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Distant ridges, far away clouds
All events come from a distance.
With a high vantage point,
Foretelling the future is elementary.

It is often superstitiously said that one who follows Tao knows magic. This is nonsense. Superiority is simply a matter of using the best of one’s abilities and being in the right position. For example, a wise person who lives high in the mountains and who is not blinded by wine, sensuality, intellectuality, poor health, or greed will be better able to see events in the distance that one who lives in a closed room, eyes on some obscure project.

A storm does not happen abruptly; it takes hours, sometimes days, to develop. Travelers do not arrive suddenly; they can be seen in the distance. Knowing things in advance is possible with a high vantage point. For this reason, the follower of Tao appears to know magic.


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