Liu Yiming on Superior Virtue and Inferior Virtue


The reason why superior virtue "does not use examining and seeking" is that in the person of superior virtue, Celestial Reality has never been damaged and extraneous breaths (qi) have never entered. Since one immediately awakens to one's fundamental nature, there is nothing to cultivate and nothing to verify. One goes directly to the "other shore" (bi'an, nirvana), and the function of examining and seeking does not operate.

The reason why the operation of inferior virtue "does not rest" is that Celestial Reality is lacking, and cognition has begun. Although one could immediately awaken to one's fundamental nature, one cannot follow it as it is. One must use the way of gradual cultivation and the function of "augmenting and decreasing": by augmenting and then again augmenting, by decreasing and then again decreasing, one comes to what cannot be augmented or decreased.

Source: Liu Yiming (1734-1821), Commentary on the Cantong qi (Seal of the Unity of the Three), sec. 20


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