What is the explanation for “Once where to rest is known,
the direction of practicing Tao is set. Once set, one can be
tranquil. In tranquility, one can reveal his True Nature.
With the True Nature, one can be pure. Being pure, one
can attain Tao” in The Great Learning?
This statement highlights the Gong-fu15 of refining and cultivating
of one’s True Self as adopted by Saints. It describes the six stages
in the process of refining oneself.
Where to rest – The first stage is to know where to rest. To rest
means to arrest one’s innate ability at Oneness. When one knows
where to rest, he holds fast to his True Self. When one knows
when to rest, he acts properly. To rest is to return one’s spirit to
Oneness. To rest at Oneness is the ultimate rest. One should
know the Truth first and then acts accordingly. He who knows
the Truth knows where the point of perfection is. The true
practitioner of Tao will not stray away from the point of perfection,
and his actions are consistent with his True Self.
Direction is set – When the direction of practicing Tao is set,
one neither senses the thunder above him nor is frightened by a
mountain that crumbles in front of him. He could not be allured
by any temptations. Having the direction of practicing Tao set
allows one to understand the Truth and not be swayed by heresies.
He has courage and can take on important missions. When one’s
heart rests, his heart is set. When one knows what matters to rest,
his future is set. This way, one has a determination and a goal.
Be tranquil – When one is tranquil, his heart remains still. He can
rid of his impatience and recklessness. He is perfectly tranquil like
still water. When a person is tranquil, his True Self can light up the
cosmos, just like still water can reflect perfect images. In calmness,
wisdom can be revealed to oneself. One can then be inspired.
Reveal True Nature – Revealing the True Nature means to be
natural. To be natural means to put away one’s mind, or attain
the state of no Human Nature. Then one can understand Tao
without thinking, and stay in the centre without effort. In motion
or in stillness, he is natural. This is attaining what Confucius
described as “At seventy, I can follow my heart without
transgressing what is right.” To follow the heart is to put
away the Human Nature.
Be pure – Knowing to rest, being set, being tranquil, and
revealing the True Nature lead a person from motion to quiescence.
He turns emotions away and fulfill his True Self, returning all into
Oneness. Then he can be pure, or in other words, he is awakened.
The Law governing all lives, matters, and the cosmos becomes
clear to him. He realizes what the Truth is and what emotions and
desires are. He purifies his behaviours to distinguish the right