Sunday, 13 November 2011

The world in a wine cup

Han Dynasty jade wine cup
Business Men

Business men boast of their skill and cunning
But in philosophy they are like little children.
Bragging to each other of successful depredations
They neglect to consider the ultimate fate of the body.
What should they know of the Master of Dark Truth
Who saw the wide world in a jade cup,
By illuminated conception got clear of Heaven and Earth;
On the chariot of Mutation entered the Gate of Immutability?

Ch'en Tzu-ang (A.D. 656 - 698)
Translated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley

Tell Me Now

"Tell me now, what should a man want
But to sit alone, sipping his cup of wine?"
I should like to have visitors come and discuss philosophy
And not to have the tax-collector coming to collect taxes:
My three sons married into good families
And my five daughters wedded to steady husbands.
Then I could jog through a happy five-score years
And, at the end, need no Paradise.

Wang Chi (circa A.D. 700)
Translated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley


James Higham said...

With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow - I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.

Confucius, The Confucian Analects

A K Haart said...

JH - yes he has much to offer.