When birds twitter to one another, their pleasure is mutual; when a flower grows on a twig, its fragrance can rise perpetually. Here we find the spirit of unity of one thing with another. When the view in a field is not interrupted even by a hillock, or when the light of the sky meets the water of the sea, there is the state of pervasion from above and below.
When the wind blows through the scattered bamboos, they do not hold its sound after it has gone. When the wild geese fly over a cold lake, it does not retain their shadows after they have passed. So the mind of the superior man begins to work only when an event occurs; and it becomes a void again when the matter ends.
A beautiful lady who does not care for rouge is like the sparsely-poised plum blossoms illuminated by pallid moonlight. A devotee of Ch’anism who does not indulge in emptiness is like a green lotus blooming upon a bluish pond.
When a man has realized the essential nature of his mind, he can speak of enlightening his mind. And when he has exhausted the ordinary ways of the world, he is able to discourse on his seclusion from the world.
To boast of fame is not such a pleasure as to avoid it; to be versed in worldly affairs does not bring such leisure as to be unconcerned with them. Lo, a lone cloud idling across a mountain peak does not care whether it stays there or passes on; while the bright moon hanging in the firmament is indifferent as to whether the world is silent or noisy.
A true heart can cause snow to fly in a summer’s day, a fortified city to fall, or a stone to be pierced; but a hypocrite has only his common clay without a spiritual master. When he is with others, his countenance is hideous; and, when alone, his body and his shadow are ashamed of each other.
Most people can read a book with words but not one without words, and they can play a lyre with strings but not one without strings. How can they derive tranquil pleasure from a book or a lyre, when they exercise their intelligence only on the material, but not on the spiritual, aspect of things?
Sitting by a teapoy in a room bathed with pure breezes and moonbeams, one can read the mind of Heaven in every thing. Walking along a running brook in the clouded mountain, one can observe the mysteries of the Tao in every moment.