By inaction one can become the center of thought, the focus of responsibility, the arbiter of wisdom. Full allowance must be made for others, while remaining unmoved oneself. There must be a thorough compliance with divine principles, without any manifestation thereof. All of which may be summed up in the one word “passivity.” For the perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing: it refuses nothing. It receives, but does not keep. And thus he can triumph over matter, without injury to himself.
—Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzŭ), from Lionel Giles’ Musings of a Chinese Mystic
The idea behind the Taoist sage’s language is appealing, but I’m not sure I fully grasp its meaning — or that I fully buy into it. Perhaps someone could help me better comprehend it?