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Mair 17:1-2

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"This being so," asked the Earl of the River, "may I take heaven and earth as the standard for what is large and the tip of a downy hair as the standard for what is small?"
"No," said the Overlord of the Northern Sea.  "Things are limitless in their capacities, incessant in their occurrences, inconstant in their portions, uncertain in their beginning and ending.  For this reason, great knowledge observes things at a relative distance, hence it does not belittle what is small nor make much of what is big, knowing that their capacities are limitless.  It witnesses clearly the past and the present, hence it is not frustrated by what is far off nor attracted by what is close at hand, knowing that their occurrences are incessant.  It examines fullness and emptiness, hence it is not pleased when it obtains nor worried when it loses, knowing that their portions are inconstant.  It understands the level path, hence it is not enraptured by life nor perturbed by death, knowing that beginnings and endings are uncertain.  We may reckon that what man knows is less than what he doesn't know; the time when he is alive is less than the time when he isn't alive.  When he seeks to delimit the boundaries of the extremely large with what is extremely small, he becomes disoriented and can't get hold of himself.  Viewed from this vantage, how do we know that the tip of a downy hair is adequate to determine the parameters of the extremely small?  And how do we know that heaven and earth are adequate to delimit the boundaries of the extremely large?"

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