I’m A Baller - Chapter 77
Wang Yan struggled until there were only 30 seconds left.
The main reason was that both books had their strengths and weaknesses at the same time. In fact, neither was the best choice.
If there was still time, Wang Yan would rather choose “Junior High School Mathematics” or “Physiological Hygiene” …
His comprehension was sufficiently thorough already!
The system’s prompt was clear: reward according to the level of comprehension.
No matter how amazing the Tao Te Ching was, if one’s comprehension was one-sided and childish, the reward would definitely be quite low!
At the very least, it would be better to bring in The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve. He had already read through it once. Even though there were still many difficult parts to understand, it was better than him scratching his head now.
Unfortunately, the National Library of China did not allow him to bring in his own books. For a time, Wang Yan could not find any books that he was familiar with.
Therefore, he had no choice but to choose between the two.
After careful consideration, when there were only five seconds left, Wang Yan clenched his teeth and grabbed the Tao Te Ching.
“System, confirm the book! ”
The Tao Te Ching was much more difficult to understand than the Selection of Song Lyrics. They were simply not on the same level. But Wang Yan had to make this choice.
Because Wang Yan knew very well what this book represented.
Simply put, it was the supreme treasure of Chinese civilization.
If exaggerated, it was the supreme treasure of human civilization.
Great changes were boundless, Great Dao was simple. If one could fully comprehend one of the two sayings, one could be called a master.
Of course, Wang Yan did not want to comprehend either of them right now. He did not even want to read it at all. It was too early.
But since there was a reward, then he would read the best one!
It was a very simple and pragmatic way of thinking, completely in line with Wang Yan’s background and experience. So it was decided.
The system immediately started the timer.
[ Enlightenment time starts. Countdown: 59 minutes and 59 seconds. ]
Wang Yan didn’t dare to delay any longer and immediately opened the book.
The first sentence was the one most of the Chinese people were familiar with, “Tao that can be described is not universal and eternal Tao. Name that can be named is not universal and eternal Name.”
The following were the notes.
There were many versions of the Tao Te Ching, and time was tight, so there was no time to pick carefully. What Wang Yan got had notes written by Wang Bi. With just one look, Wang Yan’s brain started to hurt.
“The Tao that can be described and the Name that can be named refer to the shape of things, it is not ordinary. Therefore, Tao can’t be described and Name can’t be named. ”
My dear God!
Even the notes were not written in a comprehensible way. Why did they have to write everything like this?
Didn’t you consider whether I could understand it or not?
Wang Yan’s understanding of ancient Chinese wasn’t bad, but at most, he was at the level of an ordinary high school student. It was too much for him to understand this style of notes.
He gritted his teeth and simply cast aside the notes and directly read the original text.
It was impossible to give up, so he could only give it his all. Whatever he could comprehend was what it was!
The moment Wang Yan felt the unyielding spirit in his bones, he immediately abandoned all his meaningless thoughts and devoted himself to reading and understanding.
It was particularly difficult and taxing.
For example, chapter two —
“When the people of the Earth all know beauty as beauty, there arises (the recognition of) ugliness. When the people of the Earth all know the good as good, there arises (the recognition of) evil. Therefore, being and non-being interdepend in growth; difficult and easy interdepend in completion; long and short interdepend in contrast; high and low interdepend in position; tones and voice interdepend in harmony; front and behind interdepend in company. ”
Wang Yan did not get the first sentence until he figured out the second sentence. When he looked back, he had understood it slightly better.
“Therefore, being and non-being interdepend in growth; difficult and easy interdepend in completion; long and short interdepend in contrast; high and low interdepend in position; tones and voice interdepend in harmony; front and behind interdepend in company. ” It was about contrast.
Being and non-being were formed in opposition to each other, and the difficult and the easy were formed in correspondence with each other.
To use the current catchphrase to describe it — “no comparison, no harm” or “all shortcomings came from comparison”.
Wang Yan roughly understood it when he looked back at the first sentence.
People knew about beauty because there was ugliness.
People knew about kindness because there was unkindness.
So, this was the earliest dialectic thought in the country, the theory of comparison?
With Wang Yan’s strength, he could only comprehend to this extent, but he was still deeply inspired.
Everyone knew that the living poor was not easy, which was why people worshipped moeny and why people would kneel to the rich.
And the reason why there were so many pretentious people in the modern society was that… wait a minute, that was not right!
Pretentiousness was not only popular in modern times. It had existed since ancient times.
For example, Xie Lingyun, who wanted to boast after drinking too much, said, “There is only one hectolitre of talents in the world! ”
Everyone was shocked, but they had to listen to whatever Xie Lingyun said since he was a prominent public figure.
Then he prasied his idol, “Cao Zijian alone had eighty percent of the talents! ”
Alright then, Cao Zijian was indeed amazing back then. Everyone had to hold back whether they were convinced or not.
The last sentence was the shocker.
Xie Lingyun raised his wine bottle and drank it all in one gulp. He threw his head back and laughed loudly. (There should be an emoji pack here)
“I have ten percents and everyone else throughout the history shared the rest ten percents!”
Everyone was dumbfounded.
That was why it was human nature to be pretentious.
Wang Yan was determined that he wanted to make all his classmates who looked down on him look at him in a new light when he returned during the winter vacation. It seemed a little childish yet it was also extremely natural.
The so-called “achieving a better self” was partly for survival, partly for material enjoyment, and further up was for spiritual satisfaction.
How to satisfy?
I was more handsome, smarter, richer, kinder, more useful to society. Of course I would be satisfied.
Some people were pretentious on the outside, while some were gloating secretly. But in general, the satisfaction all came from comparison.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, high-level needs for respect, and self-realization could be summed up in one sentence —
I had to be pretentious!
I didn’t want to be pretentious most of the time, but I had to have the right and the ability to be pretentious at any time!
When compared to others, the respect would come naturally if I was better and superior.
The meaning of self-actualization was simpler: I was so good that my talent could not be wasted. Come on, let me contribute to social progress and make welfare for people who were not so good!
The explanation was a little harsh for ears, but the logic was sound, right?
Wang Yan felt that it was right.
Then, he heard a “ding” sound, and the system notification came out of nowhere.
[ While you are reading the “Tao Te Ching”, you have comprehended the true meaning of pretense. You have achieved your reading goal ahead of time and received a reward. ]
Wang Yan was completely dumbfounded.
What the hell?
He had only read two chapters and randomly thought for a short time. It was already done?!
How could the system be so careless?!
Wang Yan was bullying the system which wasn’t very intelligent. It would have cursed him out a long time ago if it did.
How dare you call me careless?
You just happened to associate the Tao Te Ching with the art of pretense and it somehow made sense. Did you know how frustrated it made me?
However, the system did not have any emotions, so not only did it not curse, it also gave an rare explanation.
[ The host’s understanding of comparison has reached the limit of the content of this sentence. Although the intention is not noble, it is enough to trigger the highest level of reward. ]
When Wang Yan heard that it was the highest level reward, he did not have any objections. He closed the book and looked at the interface happily.
[ Extraordinary awesome ]
[ Possession card, used 3/3 times ]
[ When you want to act pretentiously, you can summon an ancient King of Pretense who once wrote notes for Tao Te Ching to possess you, obtaining the corresponding aura and bearing. ]
[ Duration: 10 minutes/each time ]
[ Selection of the Kings of Pretense: Wang Bi, Zhao Ji, and Zhang Daoling ]
Wang Yan was stunned when he saw those three names.
The one he was least familiar with was Wang Bi, but there was a brief introduction about him in this Tao Te Ching. Wang Bi was indeed a peerless genius in pretending.
Wang Yan was very familiar with the other two names.
He would be able to vanquish anyone who came after him if he used these three opportunities well…