You are confused, as a child that has lost its parents. You would fathom the sea with a pole. You are astray. You are struggling to get back to your natural self, but cannot find the way. Alas! alas!"
Nan Yung begged to be allowed to remain, and set to work to cultivate the good and eliminate the evil within him. At the expiration of ten days, with sorrow in his heart, he again sought Lao Tzŭ.
"Have you thoroughly cleansed yourself? " said Lao Tzŭ. "But this grieved look…… There is some evil obstruction yet.
"If the disturbances are external,
- Sc. sensual.
do not be always combating them, but close the channels to the mind. If the disturbances are internal, do not strive to oppose them, but close all entrance from without.
- And the mind will recover itself.
If the disturbances are both internal and external, then you will not even be able to hold fast to Tao, still less practise it."
"If a rustic is sick," said Nan Yung, "and another rustic goes to see him; and if the sick man can say what is the matter with him,—then he is not seriously ill. Yet my search after Tao is like swallowing drugs which only increase the malady.
- Although really not so very far from Tao (sc. health) as evidenced by my being able to describe my