In Lu there was a man named Wang Tai who had had his foot cut off.1 He had as many followers gathered around him as Confucius.
Chang Ji asked Confucius, “This Wang Tai who's lost a foot—how does he get to divide up Lu with you, Master, and make half of it his disciples? He doesn't stand up and teach, he doesn't sit down and discuss, yet they go to him empty and come home full. Does he really have some wordless teaching, some formless way of bringing the mind to completion? What sort of man is he?”
Confucius said, “This gentleman is a sage. It's just that I've been tardy and haven't gone to see him yet. But if I go to him as my teacher, how much more should those who are not my equals! Why only the state of Lu? I'll bring the whole world along and we'll all become his followers!”
Chang Ji said, “If he's lost a foot and is still superior to the Master, then how far above the common run of men he must be!
1 As a penalty for some offense.