Tell me, do rivers and lakes have any intention of obstructing people? Although rivers and lakes have no intention of obstructing people, still people can’t cross them, so they become barriers from a human standpoint. Although ancient Teachers, Philosophers and Buddhas had no intention of tricking people, right now people can’t go beyond them, so these ancient teachers, philosophers and Buddhas trick people after all since, despite their open-handedness and erudition in teaching, only very few individuals manage to attain to the magnificent peaks of consciousness attained by these esteemed Masters and Teachers.
Men, walking almost always in paths beaten by others, and following by imitation their deeds, are yet unable to keep entirely to the ways of others or attain to the power of those they imitate. A wise man ought always to follow the paths beaten by great men, and to imitate those who have been supreme, so that if his ability does not equal theirs, at least it will savor of it. Let him act like the clever archers who, designing to hit the mark which yet appears too far distant, and knowing the limits to which the strength of their bow attains, take aim much higher than the mark, not to reach by their strength or arrow to so great a height, but to be able with the aid of so high an aim to hit the mark they wish to reach.