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Harmonious Transformation and Changes

Chapter 3: REST
By Hu Xuezhi

Tzi Gong, one disciple of Confucius, got tired of consecutive learning, and said to Confucius: “I long for a rest.”

Confucius replied: “There is no rest throughout the life time.”

“Then there really is no place for me to have a rest?” Tzi Gong asked when got the answer.

“Yes, there is one. Please watch that tomb, isolated, curving upward, remaining in stillness, with weed desolately growing upon it. Catching hold of it you know where to have a rest!” Replied Confucius.

Tzi Gong said: “Oh, how important the death is for all human beings! The enlightened seek it for rest while the worldly beings come there to lie down.”

Confucius said: “Ah! You can be said to know the true meaning of human’s life. People always aspire for the happiness during the whole life time, yet would not like to know the affliction there sure to occur. People always stress the fatigue old people have to bear, yet would not like to know the cosiness of old life time. People always detest death but would not like to regard death as a rest. Once Yan Tzi exclaimed: ‘How great the ancient sages’ understanding towards death! The enlightened takes death as a rest while the unenlightened have to take it to lie down.’ The so-called death is nothing but return. Therefore, in antiquity time, the dead were always named as returning person. As a result, the person alive gets the name of pedestrian. Those who go out of the home and don’t know to return should be titled abandoning home. People under heaven would scold him if only one man behaves in such way. Yet, when most of people act in such way there is no persons left to scold such action. Some people leave the family behind, leave the friends and family members far away, leave the family work there undone, and without the least knowledge of return. Who are they? I think people would call them wanderers. There also have some sort of people who take much attention upon worldly events and always aspire for possession special skills and capabilities and chase after fame and benefit without intermission. Who are they? General people would regard them as capable men. Both of the two kinds of people have their own lapse to blame for. Yet, the worldly people are always prone to appreciate one kind and disdain or another. In this regard, only the sage knows what should be recommended and what should be disapproved of..”

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