The Identity of Contraries
really knowing? Now I would ask you this. If a man sleeps in a damp place, he gets lumbago and dies. But how about an eel? And living up in a tree is precarious and trying to the nerves;—but how about monkeys? Of the man, the eel, and the monkey, whose habitat is the right one, absolutely? Human beings feed on flesh, deer on grass, centipedes on snakes, owls and crows on mice. Of these four, whose is the right taste, absolutely? Monkey mates with monkey, the buck with the doe; eels consort with fishes, while men admire Mao Ch'iang and Li Chi,
- Beauties of the fifth and seventh centuries B.C., respectively. The commentators do not seem to have noted the very obvious anachronism here involved.
at the sight of whom fishes plunge deep down in the water, birds soar high in the air, and deer hurry away.
- For shame at their own inferiority.
Yet who shall say which is the correct standard of beauty? In my opinion, the standard of human virtue, and of positive and negative, is so obscured that it is impossible to actually know it as such."
"If you then," asked Yeh Ch’üeh, "do not know what is bad for you, is the Perfect Man equally without this knowledge?"
"The Perfect Man," answered Wang I, "is a spiritual being. Were the ocean itself scorched up, he would not feel hot. Were the Milky Way