The Emperor of China sat on a platform under a canopy and read a book.
Not far from him, a master was repairing his carriage.
The emperor postponed the book and began to observe the actions of the old master, and then asked him:
“Why are you repairing the carriage yourself, you are so old? Do not you have an assistant?”
Master replied: – “You are right, sir. I taught my sons the craft, but I can not give them my art. And here the work is responsible, a special art is required.”
The emperor said: “You are talking somehow tricky!” Please explain your idea.”
The old master asked then: “May I ask you, what are you reading? And is the person who wrote this book alive?”
The Emperor began to get angry.
The old man, seeing this, said: ” Do not be angry, please, I will now explain my idea. You see, my sons make good wheels, but they have not achieved perfection in this matter. I achieved it, but how can I convey my experience?
The truth is in the middle … If you make the wheel strong, it will be heavy and ugly. If you try to make it elegant, then it will be unreliable.
Where is the line, the measure that I follow? She is inside me, I comprehended her. This is art, but how to convey it? In your carriage, the wheels must be elegant and sturdy at the same time. So I have to do it myself, the old man.
So is the treatise that you read. A man who wrote it many centuries ago reached a high level of understanding, but there is no way to convey this understanding.”