Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ding Dong Bell


"If one says to these people that their judgment is not their own, they will be offended. It is like this in most cases for most people. almost all of them receive their ideas already made, and follow popular opinion all their lives. They speak in the style of the times, and dress according to fashion, not from any principle, but in order to act like the others. Servile imitators, who say yes or no according to suggestion, they believe themselves to be self-determining. Is this not folly? An incurable folly, for men re sure that they are not caught up in this mania for imitation. It is a general folly, for the whole empire is touched with this madness. I would therefore be in vain for me to try to put men back on the way of spontaneous personal actions, emanating from the self and from their instinct. alas! Noble music leaves villagers indifferent whereas a trivial song easily makes them swoon. Likewise, elevated thoughts do not enter minds stuffed with common ideas. The noise of the earthenware drums drowns the sound of a bronze bell. How could I make the fools who populate the empire listen to me? If I hoped to achieve that, I also would be a fool. Therefore I leave them alone, without attempting to enlighten them. None of them, moreover, wish me to, for they cling to their common folly. Just like the leper who only caresses his new born son after he has assured himself that he is just as leprous as he."

-- Chuang Tzu. 4th C. BC

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