- complaint, which a man sick of some serious disease is scarcely able to do.
I beg therefore merely to ask the art of preserving life."
"The art of preserving life," replied Lao Tzŭ, "consists in being able to keep all in One,
- Sc. Body and soul. See the Tao-Tê-Ching, ch. x, where this idea has been reproduced.
to lose nothing, to estimate good and evil without divination,
- To know that each is bound up in the other.
to know when to stop, and how much is enough, to leave others alone and attend to oneself, to be without cares and without knowledge,—to be in fact as a child. A child will cry all day and not become hoarse, because of the perfection of its constitutional harmony.
- Also reproduced in the Tao-Tê-Ching, ch. lv.
It will keep its fist tightly closed all day and not open it, because of the concentration of its virtue. It will gaze all day without taking off its eyes, because its sight is not attracted by externals. In motion, it knows not whither it is bound; at rest, it is not conscious of doing anything; but unconsciously adapts itself to the exigencies of its environment. This is the art of preserving life."
"Is this then the virtue of the perfect man?" cried Nan Yung.
"Not so," said Lao Tzŭ. "I am, as it were, but breaking the ice.