Quote of the Day

From The Vision of Asia (1933) by L. Cranmer-Byng:

The gift of the Chinese nation at its zenith to the future was the gift of vitality through art. Its interpreters were interpreters of life and not of theory about life. They were citizens of this world, and as administrators, magistrates and even soldiers they played the part of men in public affairs. But the life from which they drew their power of evoking life, of calling the dreaming forces of Nature from their enchanted sleep, remains hidden from the eyes of the world. It is not for Art to reveal its Whence; the secret of its magic belongs to religion. Yet those who care to go deeper into the sources of human inspiration may find something to guide them in the following passage taken from an ancient Taoist text: ‘The essence of the perfect Tao is solitude and silence; the highest point of the perfect Tao, its further pole, is secrecy and silence; there, where is neither sight nor sound, where the spirit is centered in absolute peace; where, sans effort from within or movement from without, calm complete and perfect purity are Kings; where the spiritual essence dies not and dims not; where thought irradiates to its fullest splendour and the hidden life puts forth its flowers; where I—the strength within, close-shrined from all externals, all apprehensive, compact of wisdom and intimate power—know how to guard the self of self and secure the harmony of all my being.’