Hepsibah !

I decline to write of religion. Christianity as we understand it i.e., as it is presented to our gaze  in the "occident", has reduced itself to one principle:

"Thou shalt attend to thy neighbour's business in preference to thy own." 

It is upon this basis that the churches are organized, it upon this basis that they flourish, (bar one old established conspirator's club which exploits a more complicated scenic arrangement). They equally blame themselves on the victimized Galilean. Against all of which I have no defence save the eleventh chapter of the Lun-Yu, the 25th section:

Tseu-lou, Thseng-sie, Yan-yeou, and Kong-si-hoa were seated beside the Philosopher, who said "I am older than you are but pay no attention to that in our conversations."

He continued, "we sit apart and in solitude, we are unrecognized, but if someone should recognize you, what would you do about it?"

Tseu-Lou replied lightly but respectfully, "Let us imagine a kingdom of ten thousand war-chariots, stuffed in between other kingdoms, let them be full of levies, let the first kingdom suffer death and famine should your friend (Little Tseu-lou) be set in power, he would put things right in less than three years, the people would put on their courage."

The philosopher smiled at these words. And said,

"And you Thseng-sie?"

Thseng replied respectfully, "Let us imagine a province of sixty or seventy li or even of fifty to sixty li put me in charge of it and in less than three years the people will have enough, and I will put the instruction in rites and in music in charge of an exceptional man."

"And you Yan?" said the Master.

"I am not sure I could do these things, I should much rather study. I should be happy in wearing the cobalt robes of an acolyte in the great ceremonies at the Temple of Ancestors, or in the public processions."

"And you Si-hoa?" said the Philosopher.

The last pupil picked a few odd chords on his viol, but the sounds continued echoing in the bowl of it. He put it aside and rose, and then respectfully, "My opinion is entirely different from any among my companions." The Philosopher answered "Who forbids you to express it? Here each one may say what he likes."

Si-hoa continued, "The spring being passed over and my spring clothes put in the chest, and wearing the bonnet de virilité* with five or six men and a half dozen young chaps, I should like to go to the old swimming hole on the Y (near Kou village), and feel the wind in that country where they offer rain-sacrifice in the -summer; and sing a little, and make a few tunes, and then go back to my homestead."

The philosopher sighed, and added, "I am rather of Si-hoa's opinion."

Three disciples took leave but Thseng-sie (presumably the Rodyheaver, or potential Xtn convert of the company) remained and asked after an interval “What should one think of the speeches of these three disciples?"

Kung-fu-tseu said "Each one has expressed his own temperament. That is the end of the matter.

Yours,

Walter Villerant

And damn the occident anyhow!

 

REFERENCE

Ezra Pound. "Mr. Villerant's Morning Outburst." [3rd letter]. Little Review V.7 (November 1918): 7-12.  P&P 3: 221-223. Pavannes & Divagations 72-73. Pdf.

 

 

The Fifth Decad

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Cantos LII - LXXI

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