Friday, October 16, 2009

Wheel maker

Beautiful story attributed to Chuang Tzu - Wheel maker
I can teach the mechanics of wheel making to anyone. It is easy to create something that looks like a wheel, but quite difficult to make wheels that are durable, safe, and provide a smooth ride. I can explain all of this to my son, but it is impossible for me to give him the feeling that is at the heart of the wheel making art. He must gain that on his own. This is why I am seventy years old and still making wheels.

Your Majesty, the ancient sages possessed the feelings that were at the heart of their mastery. Using words, they could set down the mechanics of their mastery in the form of books, but just as it is impossible for me to pass on my experience to anyone else, it is equally impossible for them to transmit their essence of wisdom to you. Their feelings died when they passed away. The only things they left behind were their words. This is why I said Your Majesty was reading the leftovers of a dead man.

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