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This correspondence has been used extensively to manipulate the original, rather than as any kind of consistent analogy. The best connections are (Heaven -> Net) [Heaven as a transparent medium], and (Earth -> Market) [the Market as a worldly enterprise].

Frequently, tiandi is translated to its original idiomatic meaning: “the world”, with connotation “the entire world”.

Something was born of chaos, before the Net.
Silent and empty,
solitary and eternal,
pervasive and unceasing,
it might be the mother of the Net.

I do not know its name,
though some call it the Way.
If I must choose a name,
I would call it the Great:
to be great is to be connected;
to have connectivity is to be far-reaching;
that which reaches far returns to its beginning.

The Way is great;
the Net is great;
the Market is great;
the CEO is great.
In this world there are four Greats,
and the CEO is one of them.

The people follow the Market;
the Market follows the Net;
the Net follows the Way;
the Way follows only itself.


As foundations of the Consultant’s world, “the Market and the Net” substitute here for “Heaven and Earth” in the original text.

chapter notes:

Besides the virtue of sheer silliness, working the birth of the Net into a putative cosmogony helped solve the riddle set by the second verse: how to make the chained phrases relevant in the new context. Once I knew to turn “to(proceed/pass/go on)” into “to be connected”, everything fell into place.

December 2009

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