All Under Heaven

Confucius said to Master Shanhu, “I have been expelled from Lu, had trees chopped down on me in Song, had my tracks wiped away in Wei, came to an end of my resources in Shang and Zhou, and was surrounded on the border of Chen and Cai. Why is it that while I have encountered these many troubles my family and relatives have grown ever more distant and my disciples and friends ever more scattered?”

Master Sanghu said, “Are you the only one who has not heard of the man who left Jai? Lin Hui cast away a jade disc worth a thousand dollars, put his baby on his back and hurried off. Someone said, ‘Did you do it because of the price? But the price of a baby is so small! Or did you do it because of the trouble? But the trouble of a baby is so much! Why would you throw away a thousand-dollar jade piece and hurry off with a baby on your back?’ Lin Hui said, ‘I was brought together with that one by profit, but I was joined with this one by heaven. Things brought together by profit, when pressed by misfortune and danger, will cast each other aside; but things joined by heaven when pressed by misfortune and danger, will shelter in each other. The difference between sheltering each other and casting each other aside is really distant indeed!'”