Le in the philosophical system of Confucius (q.v.), is the ultimate immaterial element of the universe. It is the absolute, regarded in association with material essences, and manifesting itself in virtue of such association as the cause of organization and order. The spirit of man is strictly of one substance with this principle. The Le, therefore, is identical with the Tai-ki, the Great Extreme. Beyond it, as the highest pinnacle of heaven, the one ultimate power, the entity without an opposite, no human thought is capable of soaring. "The absolute is like a stem shooting upwards; it is parted into twigs; it puts out leaves and blossoms; forth it springs incessantly until its fruit is fully ripe; yet even then the power of reproduction never ceases to be latent in it. The vital juice is there; and so the absolute still works and works indefinitely. Nothing hinders or can hinder its activity until the fruits have all been duly ripened, and activity gives place to rest."

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