knows that if a man is of honourable rank, the honour is in himself, and cannot be lost by change of condition, nor exhausted by countless modifications of existence. Who then can grieve his heart? Those who practise Tao understand the secret of this."
"Master," said Confucius, "your virtue equals that of Heaven and Earth; yet you still employ perfect precepts in the cultivation of your heart. Who among the sages of old could have uttered such words?"
"Not so," answered Lao Tzŭ. "The fluidity of water is not the result of any effort on the part of the water, but is its natural property. And the virtue of the perfect man is such that even without cultivation there is nothing which can withdraw from his sway. Heaven is naturally high, the earth is naturally solid, the sun and moon are naturally bright. Do they cultivate these attributes?"
Confucius went forth and said to Yen Hui, "In point of Tao, I am but as an animalcule in vinegar. Had not the Master opened my eyes, I should not have perceived the vastness of the universe."
- He who would concentrate himself upon life after death must first familiarise himself with life before birth.
When Chuang Tzŭ was at an interview with Duke Ai of Lu,
- Who had then been dead 120 years.