How much more then those who have the great way?"
- If my success was due to the simple principle above enunciated, what a success would result from Tao, which is the infinite extension of such principles into every phase of existence!
- The Chinese word here used for "way," as a synonym of Tao, settles the original meaning of the latter in the sense of "road." Thus Lao Tzŭ is said to have explained that the Way he taught was not the way which could be walked upon.
When Confucius was hemmed in between Ch'ên and Ts'ai, he passed seven days without food.
The minister Jen went to condole with him, and said, "You were near, Sir, to death."
"I was indeed," replied Confucius.
"Do you fear death, Sir?" enquired Jen.
"I do," said Confucius.
"Then I will try to teach you," said Jen, "the way not to die.
"In the eastern sea there are certain birds, called the i-êrh. They behave themselves in a modest and unassuming manner, as though unpossessed of ability. They fly simultaneously: they roost in a body. In advancing, none strives to be first; in retreating, none ventures to be last. In eating, none will be the first to begin; it is considered proper to take the leavings of others. Therefore, in their own ranks they are at peace, and the outside world is unable to harm them. And thus they escape trouble.