I am not considered wanting in courage. Yet my crops fail; and officially I am not a success. From my village an outcast, I am an outlaw from my State. How have I offended against God that he should visit me with such a fate?"
"Have you not heard," replied Pien Tzŭ, "how the perfect man conducts himself? He is oblivious of his physical organisation. He is beyond the reach of sight and hearing. He moves outside the limits of this dusty world, rambling transcendentally in the domain of no-affairs. This is called acting but not from self-confidence, influencing but not from authority.
- That is, acting not in consequence of self-confidence, but without reference to it; sc. naturally. Influencing, not because of authority, but gaining authority because of natural influence.
- This quotation appears, though Chuang Tzŭ or whoever may be responsible for this episode does not say so, in chs. x. and li. of the Tao-Tê-Ching.
"But you, you make a show of your knowledge in order to startle fools. You cultivate yourself in contrast to the degradation of others. And you blaze along as though the sun and moon were under your arms.
- These last three sentences will be found verbatim in ch. xx.
Whereas, that you have a whole body in a whole skin, and have not perished in mid career, dumb, blind, or halt, but actually hold a place among men,