Reblogged: The Dangers of Too Pure

Here’s a post by A-Mused author, Philip Chircop SJ, which I invite you to read and ponder. For me, it speaks of humanity as our shared ecosystem of chaos and order, abundance and emptiness, light and dark. And in all things, there is a reason as well as a season. In all things, in every thing, there is God.


In popular culture the quote “Water which is too pure has no fish”comes from the movie Bulletproof Monk with Chow Yun-Fat.  But it actually originates from the Ts’ai Ken T’an (Vegetable Roots Discourses) compiled by Hong Zicheng during the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) in China.

The section that contains this quote is:

Soil that is dirty grows the countless things. Water that is clear has no fish. Thus as a mature person you properly include and retain a measure of grime. You can’t just go along enjoying your own private purity and restraint. (Robert Aitken trans. Vegetable Roots Discourse[Counterpoint, 2007] observation 76, page 38 )


– What do you think is the author trying to say?

– How comfortable are you with the idea that maturity and grime can and perhaps ought to coexist?

– Can it be that someone becomes so sanitized that he or she become sterile and lifeless, thus defeating the entire purpose of life as a journey of growth, discovery and becoming?

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