Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/313

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Knowledge travels North

Then Knowledge said to the Yellow Emperor, "I asked Do-nothing Say-nothing, but he did not answer me. Not that he would not; he could not. So I asked All-in-extremes. He was just going to tell me, but he did not tell me. Not that he would not; but just as he was going to do so, he forgot what he wanted to say. Now I ask you, and you tell me. How then are you wholly wrong?"

"Of those two," replied the Yellow Emperor, "the former was genuinely right, inasmuch as he did not know. The latter was near, inasmuch as he forgot. You and I are wholly wrong, inasmuch as we know.

Tao is attained, not by knowledge, but by absence of knowledge.

When All-in-extremes heard of this, he considered that the Yellow Emperor had spoken well.

"Spoken knowingly" gives the only chance of bringing out what is here a forced play upon words.

The universe is very beautiful, yet it says nothing. The four seasons abide by a fixed law, yet they are not heard. All creation is based upon absolute principles, yet nothing speaks.

And the true Sage, taking his stand upon the beauty of the universe, pierces the principles of created things. Hence the saying that the per-