The Actionless, Pellucid and Tranquil Long-lived Real Person's Most Truthful Recorded Sayings




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Accomplished men of old, wanting to distance themselves from the dreams and mirages (the impermanent and illusory world), took on the outer appearances of fools. The Confucian Yen Hui (one of Confucius' best disciples) was pure and poor and [owned only] a rice bucket and a drinking gourd. The Buddhist Sakya [the historical Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha] begged for food and took one meal [per day] by [begging from] seven [different] households. The Taoist [Lu] Ch'un-yang was non-active. He lived like a quail (had no permanent home) and ate like a baby bird [ate only what was given to him without complaint like a baby bird receives the food given to it by its mother].

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To suffer means to suffer with the mind and body. The confused people of the world make themselves suffer by coveting life and entering into the road of death. Straining their minds they use their cleverness and thus their [innate] nature sinks into the land of punishments. One who understands the Tao makes himself suffer by training his body. In other words it is like shattering a rock to take out a piece of jade. Straining his willpower he forgets cleverness and therefore his nature ascends the Nine Empyreans.

The wise find enjoyment in the midst of suffering. The foolish suffer in the midst of enjoyment. For the wise, bitterness ends and sweetness arrives. For the foolish, enjoyment climaxes and then they are sad. A scripture says, 'Blessings are born from difficulties and difficulties are born from blessings.

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