The fasting of the heart

Confucius : “Fasting to the heart empties the faculties, frees you from limitation and from preoccupation. Fasting of the heart begets unity and freedom”

“I see”, said Yen Hui. “What as standing in my way was my own self-awareness. If I can begin this fasting of the heart, self-awareness will vanish. Then I will be free from limitation and preoccupation! Is that what you mean?”

“Yes”, said Confucius, “That’s it! If you can do this, you will be able to go among men in their world without upsetting them. You will not enter into conflict with their ideal image of themselves. If they will listen, sing them a song. Is not, keep silent. Dont’t try to break down their door. Don’t try out new medicines on them. Just be among them, because there is nothing else for you to be but one of them. Then you may have success!

“It is easy to stand still and leave no trace, but it is hard to walk without touching the ground. You know that one can fly with wings; you have not yet learned about flying without wings. You are familiar with the wisdom of who know, but you have not yet learned the wisdom of those who know not.”


Thomas Merton (The way of Chuang Tzu – 1965)


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