spikelet, is still wise enough to withhold vain talk and die,—how much more those who exemplify Tao? To the eye it is formless, and to the ear it is noiseless. Those who discuss it, speak of it as 'the obscure.' But the mere fact of discussing Tao makes it not Tao."
At this the Empyrean asked Without-end, saying, "Do you know Tao?"
"I do not," replied Without-end; whereupon the Empyrean proceeded to ask Inaction.
"I do know Tao," said Inaction.
"Is there any method," asked the Empyrean, "by which you know Tao?"
"There is," replied Inaction.
"What is it?" asked the Empyrean.
"I know," answered Inaction, "that Tao may honour and dishonour, bind and loose. That is the method by which I know Tao."
The Empyrean repeated these words to No-beginning, and asked him which was right, the ignorance of Without-end or the knowledge of Inaction.
"Not to know," replied No-beginning, "is profound. To know is shallow. Not to know is internal. To know is external."
Here the Empyrean broke in with a sigh, "Then ignorance is knowledge, and knowledge ignorance! But pray whose knowledge is the knowledge of not knowing?"
"Tao," said No-beginning, "cannot be heard. Heard, it is not Tao. It cannot be seen. Seen, it