Truly his talents are perfect and his virtue without outward form!"
"What do you mean by his talents being perfect?" asked the Duke.
"Life and Death," replied Confucius, "existence and non-existence, success and non-success, poverty and wealth, virtue and vice, good and evil report, hunger and thirst, warmth and cold,—these all revolve upon the changing wheel of Destiny. Day and night they follow one upon the other, and no man can say where each one begins. Therefore they cannot be allowed to disturb the harmony of the organism, nor enter into the soul's domain. Swim however with the tide, so as not to offend others. Do this day by day without break, and live in peace with mankind. Thus you will be ready for all contingencies, and may be said to have your talents perfect."
"And virtue without outward form; what is that?"
"In a water-level," said Confucius, "the water is in a most perfect state of repose. Let that be your model. The water remains quietly within, and does not overflow. It is from the cultivation of such harmony that virtue results. And if virtue takes no outward form, man will not be able to keep aloof from it."
- Mankind will be regenerated thereby, in the same way that evenness is imparted by the aid of water to surfaces, although the water is all the time closed up and does not overflow.