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Daoism -> Zhuangzi -> Outer Chapters -> The Way of Heaven -> 9.1

What the world thinks the most valuable exhibition of the Dao is to be found in books.
But books are only a collection of words.
Words have what is valuable in them
- what is valuable in words is the ideas they convey.
But those ideas are a sequence of something else
- and what that something else is cannot be conveyed by words.
When the world, because of the value which it attaches to words, commits them to books,
that for which it so values them may not deserve to be valued - because that which it values is not what is really valuable.
Thus it is that what we look at and can see
is (only) the outward form and colour,
and what we listen to and can hear
is (only) names and sounds.
Alas!
that men of the world should think that form and colour, name and sound, should be sufficient to give them the real nature of the Dao.
The form and colour, the name and sound, are certainly not sufficient to convey its real nature;
and so it is that 'the wise do not speak and those who do speak are not wise.'
How should the world know that real nature?


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