Front Page Titles (by Subject) Part I - The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Taoism. Part I: The Tao Teh King. The Writings of Kwang Ze Books I-XVII
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Part I - Lao Tzu, The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Taoism. Part I: The Tao Teh King. The Writings of Kwang Ze Books I-XVII 
The Sacred Books of China. The Texts of Taoism. Part I: The Tao Teh King. The Writings of Kwang Ze Books I-XVII, trans. James Legge (Oxford University Press, 1891).
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Part I. Section I.
Hsiâo-yâo Yû, or ‘Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease1 .’
1. In the Northern Ocean there is a fish, the name of which is Khwăn2 ,—I do not know how many lî in size. It changes into a bird with the name of Phăng, the back of which is (also)—I do not know how many lî in extent. When this bird rouses itself and flies, its wings are like clouds all round the sky. When the sea is moved (so as to bear it along), it prepares to remove to the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean is the Pool of Heaven.
There is the (book called) Khî Hsieh1 ,—a record of marvels. We have in it these words:—‘When the phăng is removing to the Southern Ocean it flaps (its wings) on the water for 3000 lî. Then it ascends on a whirlwind 90,000 lî, and it rests only at the end of six months.’ (But similar to this is the movement of the breezes which we call) the horses of the fields, of the dust (which quivers in the sunbeams), and of living things as they are blown against one another by the air2 . Is its azure the proper colour of the sky? Or is it occasioned by its distance and illimitable extent? If one were looking down (from above), the very same appearance would just meet his view.
2. And moreover, (to speak of) the accumulation of water;—if it be not great, it will not have strength to support a large boat. Upset a cup of water in a cavity, and a straw will float on it as if it were a boat. Place a cup in it, and it will stick fast;—the water is shallow and the boat is large. (So it is with) the accumulation of wind; if it be not great, it will not have strength to support great wings. Therefore (the phăng ascended to) the height of 90,000 lî, and there was such a mass of wind beneath it; thenceforth the accumulation of wind was sufficient. As it seemed to bear the blue sky on its back, and there was nothing to obstruct or arrest its course, it could pursue its way to the South.
A cicada and a little dove laughed at it, saying, ‘We make an effort and fly towards an elm or sapan-wood tree; and sometimes before we reach it, we can do no more but drop to the ground. Of what use is it for this (creature) to rise 90,000 lî, and make for the South?’ He who goes to the grassy suburbs1 , returning to the third meal (of the day), will have his belly as full as when he set out; he who goes to a distance of 100 lî will have to pound his grain where he stops for the night; he who goes a thousand lî, will have to carry with him provisions for three months. What should these two small creatures know about the matter? The knowledge of that which is small does not reach to that which is great; (the experience of) a few years does not reach to that of many. How do we know that it is so? The mushroom of a morning does not know (what takes place between) the beginning and end of a month; the short-lived cicada does not know (what takes place between) the spring and autumn. These are instances of a short term of life. In the south of Khû2 there is the (tree) called Ming-ling3 , whose spring is 500 years, and its autumn the same; in high antiquity there was that called Tâ-khun4 , whose spring was 8000 years, and its autumn the same. And Phăng Ȝû1 is the one man renowned to the present day for his length of life:—if all men were (to wish) to match him, would they not be miserable?
3. In the questions put by Thang2 to Kî we have similar statements:—‘In the bare and barren north there is the dark and vast ocean,—the Pool of Heaven. In it there is a fish, several thousand lî in breadth, while no one knows its length. Its name is the khwăn. There is (also) a bird named the phăng; its back is like the Thâi mountain, while its wings are like clouds all round the sky. On a whirlwind it mounts upwards as on the whorls of a goat’s horn for 90,000 lî, till, far removed from the cloudy vapours, it bears on its back the blue sky, and then it shapes its course for the South, and proceeds to the ocean there.’ A quail by the side of a marsh laughed at it, and said, ‘Where is it going to? I spring up with a bound, and come down again when I have reached but a few fathoms, and then fly about among the brushwood and bushes; and this is the perfection of flying. Where is that creature going to?’ This shows the difference between the small and the great.
Thus it is that men, whose wisdom is sufficient for the duties of some one office, or whose conduct will secure harmony in some one district, or whose virtue is befitting a ruler so that they could efficiently govern some one state, are sure to look on themselves in this manner (like the quail), and yet Yung-ȝze1 of Sung would have smiled and laughed at them. (This Yung-ȝze), though the whole world should have praised him, would not for that have stimulated himself to greater endeavour, and though the whole world should have condemned him, would not have exercised any more repression of his course; so fixed was he in the difference between the internal (judgment of himself) and the external (judgment of others), so distinctly had he marked out the bounding limit of glory and disgrace. Here, however, he stopped. His place in the world indeed had become indifferent to him, but still he had not planted himself firmly (in the right position).
There was Lieh-ȝze2 , who rode on the wind and pursued his way, with an admirable indifference (to all external things), returning, however, after fifteen days, (to his place). In regard to the things that (are supposed to) contribute to happiness, he was free from all endeavours to obtain them; but though he had not to walk, there was still something for which he had to wait. But suppose one who mounts on (the ether of) heaven and earth in its normal operation, and drives along the six elemental energies of the changing (seasons), thus enjoying himself in the illimitable,—what has he to wait for1 ? Therefore it is said, ‘The Perfect man has no (thought of) self; the Spirit-like man, none of merit; the Sagely-minded man, none of fame .’
4. Yâo2 , proposing to resign the throne to Hsü Yû3 , said, ‘When the sun and moon have come forth, if the torches have not been put out, would it not be difficult for them to give light? When the seasonal rains are coming down, if we still keep watering the ground, will not our toil be labour lost for all the good it will do? Do you, Master, stand forth (as sovereign), and the kingdom will (at once) be well governed. If I still (continue to) preside over it, I must look on myself as vainly occupying the place;—I beg to resign the throne to you.’ Hsü Yû said, ‘You, Sir, govern the kingdom, and the kingdom is well governed. If I in these circumstances take your place, shall I not be doing so for the sake of the name? But the name is but the guest of the reality;—shall I be playing the part of the guest? The tailor-bird makes its nest in the deep forest, but only uses a single branch; the mole1 drinks from the Ho, but only takes what fills its belly. Return and rest in being ruler,—I will have nothing to do with the throne. Though the cook were not attending to his kitchen, the representative of the dead and the officer of prayer would not leave their cups and stands to take his place.’
5.Kien Wû2 asked Lien Shû , saying, ‘I heard Khieh-yü3 talking words which were great, but had nothing corresponding to them (in reality);—once gone, they could not be brought back. I was frightened by them;—they were like the Milky Way4 which cannot be traced to its beginning or end. They had no connexion with one another, and were not akin to the experiences of men.’ ‘What were his words?’ asked Lien Shû, and the other replied, (He said) that ‘Far away on the hill of Kû-shih5 there dwelt a Spirit-like man whose flesh and skin were (smooth) as ice and (white) as snow; that his manner was elegant and delicate as that of a virgin; that he did not eat any of the five grains, but inhaled the wind and drank the dew; that he mounted on the clouds, drove along the flying dragons, rambling and enjoying himself beyond the four seas; that by the concentration of his spirit-like powers he could save men from disease and pestilence, and secure every year a plentiful harvest.’ These words appeared to me wild and incoherent and I did not believe them. ‘So it is,’ said Lien Shû. ‘The blind have no perception of the beauty of elegant figures, nor the deaf of the sound of bells and drums. But is it only the bodily senses of which deafness and blindness can be predicated? There is also a similar defect in the intelligence; and of this your words supply an illustration in yourself. That man, with those attributes, though all things were one mass of confusion, and he heard in that condition the whole world crying out to him to be rectified, would not have to address himself laboriously to the task, as if it were his business to rectify the world. Nothing could hurt that man; the greatest floods, reaching to the sky, could not drown him, nor would he feel the fervour of the greatest heats melting metals and stones till they flowed, and scorching all the ground and hills. From the dust and chaff of himself, he could still mould and fashion Yâos and Shuns1 ;—how should he be willing to occupy himself with things2 ?’
6. A man of Sung, who dealt in the ceremonial caps (of Yin)1 , went with them to Yüeh2 , the people of which cut off their hair and tattooed their bodies, so that they had no use for them. Yâo ruled the people of the kingdom, and maintained a perfect government within the four seas. Having gone to see the four (Perfect) Ones3 on the distant hill of Kû-shih, when (he returned to his capital) on the south of the Făn water4 , his throne appeared no more to his deep-sunk oblivious eyes5 .
7. Hui-ȝze6 told Kwang-ȝze, saying, ‘The king of Wei7 sent me some seeds of a large calabash, which I sowed. The fruit, when fully grown, could contain five piculs (of anything). I used it to contain water, but it was so heavy that I could not lift it by myself. I cut it in two to make the parts into drinking vessels; but the dried shells were too wide and unstable and would not hold (the liquor); nothing but large useless things! Because of their uselessness I knocked them to pieces.’ Kwang-ȝze replied, ‘You were indeed stupid, my master, in the use of what was large. There was a man of Sung who was skilful at making a salve which kept the hands from getting chapped; and (his family) for generations had made the bleaching of cocoon-silk their business. A stranger heard of it, and proposed to buy the art of the preparation for a hundred ounces of silver. The kindred all came together, and considered the proposal. “We have,” said they, “been bleaching cocoon-silk for generations, and have only gained a little money. Now in one morning we can sell to this man our art for a hundred ounces;—let him have it.” The stranger accordingly got it and went away with it to give counsel to the king of Wû1 , who was then engaged in hostilities with Yüeh. The king gave him the command of his fleet, and in the winter he had an engagement with that of Yüeh, on which he inflicted a great defeat2 , and was invested with a portion of territory taken from Yüeh. The keeping the hands from getting chapped was the same in both cases; but in the one case it led to the investiture (of the possessor of the salve), and in the other it had only enabled its owners to continue their bleaching. The difference of result was owing to the different use made of the art. Now you, Sir, had calabashes large enough to hold five piculs;—why did you not think of making large bottle-gourds of them, by means of which you could have floated over rivers and lakes, instead of giving yourself the sorrow of finding that they were useless for holding anything. Your mind, my master, would seem to have been closed against all intelligence!’
Hui-ȝze said to Kwang-ȝze, ‘I have a large tree, which men call the Ailantus1 . Its trunk swells out to a large size, but is not fit for a carpenter to apply his line to it; its smaller branches are knotted and crooked, so that the disk and square cannot be used on them. Though planted on the wayside, a builder would not turn his head to look at it. Now your words, Sir, are great, but of no use;—all unite in putting them away from them.’ Kwang-ȝze replied, ‘Have you never seen a wild cat or a weasel? There it lies, crouching and low, till the wanderer approaches; east and west it leaps about, avoiding neither what is high nor what is low, till it is caught in a trap, or dies in a net. Again there is the Yak2 , so large that it is like a cloud hanging in the sky. It is large indeed, but it cannot catch mice. You, Sir, have a large tree and are troubled because it is of no use;—why do you not plant it in a tract where there is nothing else, or in a wide and barren wild? There you might saunter idly by its side, or in the enjoyment of untroubled ease sleep beneath it. Neither bill nor axe would shorten its existence; there would be nothing to injure it. What is there in its uselessness to cause you distress?’
Part I. Section II.
Khî Wû Lun, or ‘The Adjustment of Controversies1 .’
1. Nan-kwo Ȝze-khî2 was seated, leaning forward on his stool. He was looking up to heaven and breathed gently, seeming to be in a trance, and to have lost all consciousness of any companion. (His disciple), Yen Khăng Ȝze-yû3 , who was in attendance and standing before him, said, ‘What is this? Can the body be made to become thus like a withered tree, and the mind to become like slaked lime? His appearance as he leans forward on the stool to-day is such as I never saw him have before in the same position.’ Ȝze-khî said, ‘Yen, you do well to ask such a question, I had just now lost myself4 ; but how should you understand it? You may have heard the notes1 of Man, but have not heard those of Earth; you may have heard the notes of Earth, but have not heard those of Heaven.’
Ȝze-yû said, ‘I venture to ask from you a description of all these.’ The reply was, ‘When the breath of the Great Mass (of nature) comes strongly, it is called Wind. Sometimes it does not come so; but when it does, then from a myriad apertures there issues its excited noise;—have you not heard it in a prolonged gale? Take the projecting bluff of a mountain forest;—in the great trees, a hundred spans round, the apertures and cavities are like the nostrils, or the mouth, or the ears; now square, now round like a cup or a mortar; here like a wet footprint, and there like a large puddle. (The sounds issuing from them are like) those of fretted water, of the arrowy whizz, of the stern command, of the inhaling of the breath, of the shout, of the gruff note, of the deep wail, of the sad and piping note. The first notes are slight, and those that follow deeper, but in harmony with them. Gentle winds produce a small response; violent winds a great one. When the fierce gusts have passed away, all the apertures are empty (and still);—have you not seen this in the bending and quivering of the branches and leaves?’
Ȝze-yû said, ‘The notes of Earth then are simply those which come from its myriad apertures; and the notes of Man may just be compared to those which (are brought from the tubes of) bamboo;—allow me to ask about the notes of Heaven1 .’ Ȝze-khî replied, ‘When (the wind) blows, (the sounds from) the myriad apertures are different, and (its cessation) makes them stop of themselves. Both of these things arise from (the wind and the apertures) themselves:—should there be any other agency that excites them?’
2. Great knowledge is wide and comprehensive; small knowledge is partial and restricted. Great speech is exact and complete; small speech is (merely) so much talk2 . When we sleep, the soul communicates with (what is external to us); when we awake, the body is set free. Our intercourse with others then leads to various activity, and daily there is the striving of mind with mind. There are hesitancies; deep difficulties; reservations; small apprehensions causing restless distress, and great apprehensions producing endless fears. Where their utterances are like arrows from a bow, we have those who feel it their charge to pronounce what is right and what is wrong; where they are given out like the conditions of a covenant, we have those who maintain their views, determined to overcome. (The weakness of their arguments), like the decay (of things) in autumn and winter, shows the failing (of the minds of some) from day to day; or it is like their water which, once voided, cannot be gathered up again. Then their ideas seem as if fast bound with cords, showing that the mind is become like an old and dry moat, and that it is nigh to death, and cannot be restored to vigour and brightness.
Joy and anger, sadness and pleasure, anticipation and regret, fickleness and fixedness, vehemence and indolence, eagerness and tardiness;—(all these moods), like music from an empty tube, or mushrooms from the warm moisture, day and night succeed to one another and come before us, and we do not know whence they sprout. Let us stop! Let us stop! Can we expect to find out suddenly how they are produced?
If there were not (the views of) another, I should not have mine; if there were not I (with my views), his would be uncalled for:—this is nearly a true statement of the case, but we do not know what it is that makes it be so. It might seem as if there would be a true Governor1 concerned in it, but we do not find any trace (of his presence and acting). That such an One could act so I believe; but we do not see His form. He has affections, but He has no form.
Given the body, with its hundred parts, its nine openings, and its six viscera, all complete in their places, which do I love the most? Do you love them all equally? or do you love some more than others? Is it not the case that they all perform the part of your servants and waiting women? All of them being such, are they not incompetent to rule one another? or do they take it in turns to be now ruler and now servants? There must be a true Ruler (among them)1 whether by searching you can find out His character or not, there is neither advantage nor hurt, so far as the truth of His operation is concerned. When once we have received the bodily form complete, its parts do not fail to perform their functions till the end comes. In conflict with things or in harmony with them, they pursue their course to the end, with the speed of a galloping horse which cannot be stopped;—is it not sad? To be constantly toiling all one’s lifetime, without seeing the fruit of one’s labour, and to be weary and worn out with his labour, without knowing where he is going to:—is it not a deplorable case? Men may say, ‘But it is not death’; yet of what advantage is this? When the body is decomposed, the mind will be the same along with it:—must not the case be pronounced very deplorable2 ? Is the life of man indeed enveloped in such darkness? Is it I alone to whom it appears so? And does it not appear to be so to other men?
3. If we were to follow the judgments of the predetermined mind, who would be left alone and without a teacher1 ? Not only would it be so with those who know the sequences (of knowledge and feeling) and make their own selection among them, but it would be so as well with the stupid and unthinking. For one who has not this determined mind, to have his affirmations and negations is like the case described in the saying, ‘He went to Yüeh to-day, and arrived at it yesterday2 .’ It would be making what was not a fact to be a fact. But even the spirit-like Yü3 could not have known how to do this, and how should one like me be able to do it?
But speech is not like the blowing (of the wind); the speaker has (a meaning in) his words. If, however, what he says, be indeterminate (as from a mind not made up), does he then really speak or not? He thinks that his words are different from the chirpings of fledgelings; but is there any distinction between them or not? But how can the Tâo be so obscured, that there should be ‘a True’ and ‘a False’ in it? How can speech be so obscured that there should be ‘the Right’ and ‘the Wrong’ about them? Where shall the Tâo go to that it will not be found? Where shall speech be found that it will be inappropriate? Tâo becomes obscured through the small comprehension (of the mind), and speech comes to be obscure through the vain-gloriousness (of the speaker). So it is that we have the contentions between the Literati1 and the Mohists2 , the one side affirming what the other denies, and vice versâ. If we would decide on their several affirmations and denials, no plan is like bringing the (proper) light (of the mind)3 to bear on them.
All subjects may be looked at from (two points of view),—from that and from this. If I look at a thing from another’s point of view, I do not see it; only as I know it myself, do I know it. Hence it is said, ‘That view comes from this; and this view is a consequence of that:’—which is the theory that that view and this—(the opposite views)—produce each the other4 . Although it be so, there is affirmed now life and now death; now death and now life; now the admissibility of a thing and now its inadmissibility; now its inadmissibility and now its admissibility. (The disputants) now affirm and now deny; now deny and now affirm. Therefore the sagely man does not pursue this method, but views things in the light of (his) Heaven5 (-ly nature), and hence forms his judgment of what is right.
This view is the same as that, and that view is the same as this. But that view involves both a right and a wrong; and this view involves also a right and a wrong:—are there indeed, or are there not the two views, that and this? They have not found their point of correspondency which is called the pivot of the Tâo. As soon as one finds this pivot, he stands in the centre of the ring (of thought), where he can respond without end to the changing views;—without end to those affirming, and without end to those denying. Therefore I said, ‘There is nothing like the proper light (of the mind).’
4. By means of a finger (of my own) to illustrate that the finger (of another) is not a finger is not so good a plan as to illustrate that it is not so by means of what is (acknowledged to be) not a finger; and by means of (what I call) a horse to illustrate that (what another calls) a horse is not so, is not so good a plan as to illustrate that it is not a horse, by means of what is (acknowledged to be) not a horse1 . (All things in) heaven and earth may be (dealt with as) a finger; (each of) their myriads may be (dealt with as) a horse. Does a thing seem so to me? (I say that) it is so. Does it seem not so to me? (I say that) it is not so. A path is formed by (constant) treading on the ground. A thing is called by its name through the (constant) application of the name to it. How is it so? It is so because it is so. How is it not so? It is not so, because it is not so. Everything has its inherent character and its proper capability. There is nothing which has not these. Therefore, this being so, if we take a stalk of grain1 and a (large) pillar, a loathsome (leper) and (a beauty like) Hsî Shih2 , things large and things insecure, things crafty and things strange;—they may in the light of the Tâo all be reduced to the same category (of opinion about them).
It was separation that led to completion; from completion ensued dissolution. But all things, without regard to their completion and dissolution, may again be comprehended in their unity;—it is only the far reaching in thought who know how to comprehend them in this unity. This being so, let us give up our devotion to our own views, and occupy ourselves with the ordinary views. These ordinary views are grounded on the use of things. (The study of that) use leads to the comprehensive judgment, and that judgment secures the success (of the inquiry). That success gained, we are near (to the object of our search), and there we stop. When we stop, and yet we do not know how it is so, we have what is called the Tâo.
When we toil our spirits and intelligence, obstinately determined (to establish our own view), and do not know the agreement (which underlies it and the views of others), we have what is called ‘In the morning three.’ What is meant by that ‘In the morning three?’ A keeper of monkeys, in giving them out their acorns, (once) said, ‘In the morning I will give you three (measures) and in the evening four.’ This made them all angry, and he said, ‘Very well. In the morning I will give you four and in the evening three.’ His two proposals were substantially the same, but the result of the one was to make the creatures angry, and of the other to make them pleased:—an illustration of the point I am insisting on. Therefore the sagely man brings together a dispute in its affirmations and denials, and rests in the equal fashioning of Heaven1 . Both sides of the question are admissible.
5. Among the men of old their knowledge reached the extreme point. What was that extreme point? Some held that at first there was not anything. This is the extreme point, the utmost point to which nothing can be added2 . A second class held that there was something, but without any responsive recognition3 of it (on the part of men).
A third class held that there was such recognition, but there had not begun to be any expression of different opinions about it.
It was through the definite expression of different opinions about it that there ensued injury to (the doctrine of) the Tâo. It was this injury to the (doctrine of the) Tâo which led to the formation of (partial) preferences. Was it indeed after such preferences were formed that the injury came? or did the injury precede the rise of such preferences? If the injury arose after their formation, Kâo’s method of playing on the lute was natural. If the injury arose before their formation, there would have been no such playing on the lute as Kâo’s1 .
Kâo Wăn’s playing on the lute, Shih Kwang’s indicating time with his staff, and Hui-ȝze’s (giving his views), while leaning against a dryandra tree (were all extraordinary). The knowledge of the three men (in their several arts) was nearly perfect, and therefore they practised them to the end of their lives. They loved them because they were different from those of others. They loved them and wished to make them known to others. But as they could not be made clear, though they tried to make them so, they ended with the obscure (discussions) about ‘the hard’ and ‘the white.’ And their sons2 , moreover, with all the threads of their fathers’ compositions, yet to the end of their lives accomplished nothing. If they, proceeding in this way, could be said to have succeeded, then am I also successful; if they cannot be pronounced successful, neither I nor any other can succeed.
Therefore the scintillations of light from the midst of confusion and perplexity are indeed valued by the sagely man; but not to use one’s own views and to take his position on the ordinary views is what is called using the (proper) light.
6. But here now are some other sayings1 :—I do not know whether they are of the same character as those which I have already given, or of a different character. Whether they be of the same character or not when looked at along with them, they have a character of their own, which cannot be distinguished from the others. But though this be the case, let me try to explain myself.
There was a beginning. There was a beginning before that beginning2 . There was a beginning previous to that beginning before there was the beginning.
There was existence; there had been no existence. There was no existence before the beginning of that no existence . There was no existence previous to the no existence before there was the beginning of the no existence. If suddenly there was non-existence, we do not know whether it was really anything existing, or really not existing. Now I have said what I have said, but I do not know whether what I have said be really anything to the point or not.
Under heaven there is nothing greater than the tip of an autumn down, and the Thâi mountain is small. There is no one more long-lived than a child which dies prematurely, and Phăng Ȝû did not live out his time. Heaven, Earth, and I were produced together, and all things and I are one. Since they are one, can there be speech about them? But since they are spoken of as one, must there not be room for speech? One and Speech are two; two and one are three. Going on from this (in our enumeration), the most skilful reckoner cannot reach (the end of the necessary numbers), and how much less can ordinary people do so! Therefore from non-existence we proceed to existence till we arrive at three; proceeding from existence to existence, to how many should we reach? Let us abjure such procedure, and simply rest here1 .
7. The Tâo at first met with no responsive recognition. Speech at first had no constant forms of expression. Because of this there came the demarcations (of different views). Let me describe those demarcations:—they are the Left and the Right2 ; the Relations and their Obligations3 ; Classifications4 and their Distinctions; Emulations and Contentions. These are what are called ‘the Eight Qualities.’ Outside the limits of the world of men1 , the sage occupies his thoughts, but does not discuss about anything; inside those limits he occupies his thoughts, but does not pass any judgments. In the Khun Khiû2 , which embraces the history of the former kings, the sage indicates his judgments, but does not argue (in vindication of them). Thus it is that he separates his characters from one another without appearing to do so, and argues without the form of argument. How does he do so? The sage cherishes his views in his own breast, while men generally state theirs argumentatively, to show them to others. Hence we have the saying, ‘Disputation is a proof of not seeing clearly.’
The Great Tâo3 does not admit of being praised. The Great Argument does not require words. Great Benevolence is not (officiously) benevolent. Great Disinterestedness does not vaunt its humility. Great Courage is not seen in stubborn bravery.
The Tâo that is displayed is not the Tâo. Words that are argumentative do not reach the point. Benevolence that is constantly exercised does not accomplish its object. Disinterestedness that vaunts its purity is not genuine. Courage that is most stubborn is ineffectual. These five seem to be round (and complete), but they tend to become square (and immovable)1 . Therefore the knowledge that stops at what it does not know is the greatest. Who knows the argument that needs no words, and the Way that is not to be trodden2 ?
He who is able to know this has what is called ‘The Heavenly Treasure-house3 .’ He may pour into it without its being filled; he may pour from it without its being exhausted; and all the while he does not know whence (the supply) comes. This is what is called ‘The Store of Light .’
Therefore of old Yâo asked Shun, saying, ‘I wish to smite (the rulers of) Ȝung, Kwei, and Hsü-âo4 . Even when standing in my court, I cannot get them out of my mind. How is it so?’ Shun replied, ‘Those three rulers live (in their little states) as if they were among the mugwort and other brushwood;—how is it that you cannot get them out of your mind? Formerly, ten suns came out together, and all things were illuminated by them;—how much should (your) virtue exceed (all) suns!’
8. Nieh Khüeh5 asked Wang Î , saying, ‘Do you know, Sir, what all creatures agree in approving and affirming?’ ‘How should I know it?’ was the reply. ‘Do you know what it is that you do not know?’ asked the other again, and he got the same reply. He asked a third time,—‘Then are all creatures thus without knowledge?’ and Wang Î answered as before, (adding however), ‘Notwithstanding, I will try and explain my meaning. How do you know that when I say “I know it,” I really (am showing that) I do not know it, and that when I say “I do not know it,” I really am showing that I do know it1 .’ And let me ask you some questions:—‘If a man sleep in a damp place, he will have a pain in his loins, and half his body will be as if it were dead; but will it be so with an eel? If he be living in a tree, he will be frightened and all in a tremble; but will it be so with a monkey? And does any one of the three know his right place? Men eat animals that have been fed on grain and grass; deer feed on the thickset grass; centipedes enjoy small snakes; owls and crows delight in mice; but does any one of the four know the right taste? The dog-headed monkey finds its mate in the female gibbon; the elk and the axis deer cohabit; and the eel enjoys itself with other fishes. Mâo Ȝhiang2 and Lî Kî were accounted by men to be most beautiful, but when fishes saw them, they dived deep in the water from them; when birds, they flew from them aloft; and when deer saw them, they separated and fled away1 . But did any of these four know which in the world is the right female attraction? As I look at the matter, the first principles of benevolence and righteousness and the paths of approval and disapproval are inextricably mixed and confused together:—how is it possible that I should know how to discriminate among them?’
Nieh Khüeh said (further), ‘Since you, Sir, do not know what is advantageous and what is hurtful, is the Perfect man also in the same way without the knowledge of them?’ Wang Î replied, ‘The Perfect man is spirit-like. Great lakes might be boiling about him, and he would not feel their heat; the Ho and the Han might be frozen up, and he would not feel the cold; the hurrying thunderbolts might split the mountains, and the wind shake the ocean, without being able to make him afraid. Being such, he mounts on the clouds of the air, rides on the sun and moon, and rambles at ease beyond the four seas. Neither death nor life makes any change in him, and how much less should the considerations of advantage and injury do so2 !’
9.Khü Ȝhiâo-ȝze3 asked Khang-wû Ȝze , saying, ‘I heard the Master (speaking of such language as the following):—“The sagely man does not occupy himself with worldly affairs. He does not put himself in the way of what is profitable, nor try to avoid what is hurtful; he has no pleasure in seeking (for anything from any one); he does not care to be found in (any established) Way; he speaks without speaking; he does not speak when he speaks; thus finding his enjoyment outside the dust and dirt (of the world).” The Master considered all this to be a shoreless flow of mere words, and I consider it to describe the course of the Mysterious Way.—What do you, Sir, think of it?’ Khang-wû ȝze replied, ‘The hearing of such words would have perplexed even Hwang-Tî, and how should Khiû be competent to understand them? And you, moreover, are too hasty in forming your estimate (of their meaning). You see the egg, and (immediately) look out for the cock (that is to be hatched from it); you see the bow, and (immediately) look out for the dove (that is to be brought down by it) being roasted. I will try to explain the thing to you in a rough way; do you in the same way listen to me.
‘How could any one stand by the side of the sun and moon, and hold under his arm all space and all time? (Such language only means that the sagely man) keeps his mouth shut, and puts aside questions that are uncertain and dark; making his inferior capacities unite with him in honouring (the One Lord). Men in general bustle about and toil; the sagely man seems stupid and to know nothing1 . He blends ten thousand years together in the one (conception of time); the myriad things all pursue their spontaneous course, and they are all before him as doing so.
‘How do I know that the love of life is not a delusion? and that the dislike of death is not like a young person’s losing his way, and not knowing that he is (really) going home? Lî Kî2 was a daughter of the border Warden of Âi. When (the ruler of) the state of Ȝin first got possession of her, she wept till the tears wetted all the front of her dress. But when she came to the place of the king3 , shared with him his luxurious couch, and ate his grain-and-grass-fed meat, then she regretted that she had wept. How do I know that the dead do not repent of their former craving for life?
‘Those who dream of (the pleasures of) drinking may in the morning wail and weep; those who dream of wailing and weeping may in the morning be going out to hunt. When they were dreaming they did not know it was a dream; in their dream they may even have tried to interpret it4 ; but when they awoke they knew that it was a dream. And there is the great awaking, after which we shall know that this life was a great dream1 . All the while, the stupid think they are awake, and with nice discrimination insist on their knowledge; now playing the part of rulers, and now of grooms. Bigoted was that Khiû! He and you are both dreaming. I who say that you are dreaming am dreaming myself. These words seem very strange; but if after ten thousand ages we once meet with a great sage who knows how to explain them, it will be as if we met him (unexpectedly) some morning or evening.
10. ‘Since you made me enter into this discussion with you, if you have got the better of me and not I of you, are you indeed right, and I indeed wrong? If I have got the better of you and not you of me, am I indeed right and you indeed wrong? Is the one of us right and the other wrong? are we both right or both wrong? Since we cannot come to a mutual and common understanding, men will certainly continue in darkness on the subject.
‘Whom shall I employ to adjudicate in the matter? If I employ one who agrees with you, how can he, agreeing with you, do so correctly? And the same may be said, if I employ one who agrees with me. It will be the same if I employ one who differs from us both or one who agrees with us both. In this way I and you and those others would all not be able to come to a mutual understanding; and shall we then wait for that (great sage)? (We need not do so.) To wait on others to learn how conflicting opinions are changed is simply like not so waiting at all. The harmonising of them is to be found in the invisible operation of Heaven, and by following this on into the unlimited past. It is by this method that we can complete our years (without our minds being disturbed)1 .
‘What is meant by harmonising (conflicting opinions) in the invisible operation of Heaven? There is the affirmation and the denial of it; and there is the assertion of an opinion and the rejection of it. If the affirmation be according to the reality of the fact, it is certainly different from the denial of it:—there can be no dispute about that. If the assertion of an opinion be correct, it is certainly different from its rejection:—neither can there be any dispute about that. Let us forget the lapse of time; let us forget the conflict of opinions. Let us make our appeal to the Infinite, and take up our position there2 .’
11. The Penumbra asked the Shadow3 , saying, ‘Formerly you were walking on, and now you have stopped; formerly you were sitting, and now you have risen up:—how is it that you are so without stability?’ The Shadow replied, ‘I wait for the movements of something else to do what I do, and that something else on which I wait waits further on another to do as it does1 . My waiting,—is it for the scales of a snake, or the wings of a cicada2 ? How should I know why I do one thing, or do not do another3 ?
‘Formerly, I, Kwang Kâu, dreamt that I was a butterfly, a butterfly flying about, feeling that it was enjoying itself. I did not know that it was Kâu. Suddenly I awoke, and was myself again, the veritable Kâu. I did not know whether it had formerly been Kâu dreaming that he was a butterfly, or it was now a butterfly dreaming that it was Kâu. But between Kâu and a butterfly there must be a difference4 . This is a case of what is called the Transformation of Things .’
Part I. Section III.
Yang Shang Kû, or ‘Nourishing the Lord of Life1 .’
1. There is a limit to our life, but to knowledge there is no limit. With what is limited to pursue after what is unlimited is a perilous thing; and when, knowing this, we still seek the increase of our knowledge, the peril cannot be averted2 . There should not be the practice of what is good with any thought of the fame (which it will bring), nor of what is evil with any approximation to the punishment (which it will incur)3 :—an accordance with the Central Element (of our nature)4 is the regular way to preserve the body, to maintain the life, to nourish our parents, and to complete our term of years.
2. His cook5 was cutting up an ox for the ruler Wăn-hui . Whenever he applied his hand, leaned forward with his shoulder, planted his foot, and employed the pressure of his knee, in the audible ripping off of the skin, and slicing operation of the knife, the sounds were all in regular cadence. Movements and sounds proceeded as in the dance of ‘the Mulberry Forest1 ’ and the blended notes of ‘the King Shâu .’ The ruler said, ‘Ah! Admirable! That your art should have become so perfect!’ (Having finished his operation), the cook laid down his knife, and replied to the remark, ‘What your servant loves is the method of the Tâo, something in advance of any art. When I first began to cut up an ox, I saw nothing but the (entire) carcase. After three years I ceased to see it as a whole. Now I deal with it in a spirit-like manner, and do not look at it with my eyes. The use of my senses is discarded, and my spirit acts as it wills. Observing the natural lines, (my knife) slips through the great crevices and slides through the great cavities, taking advantage of the facilities thus presented. My art avoids the membranous ligatures, and much more the great bones.
‘A good cook changes his knife every year;—(it may have been injured) in cutting; an ordinary cook changes his every month;—(it may have been) broken. Now my knife has been in use for nineteen years; it has cut up several thousand oxen, and yet its edge is as sharp as if it had newly come from the whetstone. There are the interstices of the joints, and the edge of the knife has no (appreciable) thickness; when that which is so thin enters where the interstice is, how easily it moves along! The blade has more than room enough. Nevertheless, whenever I come to a complicated joint, and see that there will be some difficulty, I proceed anxiously and with caution, not allowing my eyes to wander from the place, and moving my hand slowly. Then by a very slight movement of the knife, the part is quickly separated, and drops like (a clod of) earth to the ground. Then standing up with the knife in my hand, I look all round, and in a leisurely manner, with an air of satisfaction, wipe it clean, and put it in its sheath.’ The ruler Wăn-hui said, ‘Excellent! I have heard the words of my cook, and learned from them the nourishment of (our) life.’
3. When Kung-wăn Hsien1 saw the Master of the Left, he was startled, and said, ‘What sort of man is this? How is it he has but one foot? Is it from Heaven? or from Man?’ Then he added2 , ‘It must be from Heaven, and not from Man. Heaven’s making of this man caused him to have but one foot. In the person of man, each foot has its marrow. By this I know that his peculiarity is from Heaven, and not from Man. A pheasant of the marshes has to take ten steps to pick up a mouthful of food, and thirty steps to get a drink, but it does not seek to be nourished in a coop. Though its spirit would (there) enjoy a royal abundance, it does not think (such confinement) good.’
4. When Lâo Tan died1 , Khin Shih2 went to condole (with his son), but after crying out three times, he came out. The disciples3 said to him, ‘Were you not a friend of the Master?’ ‘I was,’ he replied, and they said, ‘Is it proper then to offer your condolences merely as you have done?’ He said, ‘It is. At first I thought he was the man of men, and now I do not think so. When I entered a little ago and expressed my condolences, there were the old men wailing as if they had lost a son, and the young men wailing as if they had lost their mother. In his attracting and uniting them to himself in such a way there must have been that which made them involuntarily express their words (of condolence), and involuntarily wail, as they were doing. And this was a hiding from himself of his Heaven (-nature), and an excessive indulgence of his (human) feelings;—a forgetting of what he had received (in being born); what the ancients called the punishment due to neglecting the Heaven (-nature)4 . When the Master came5 , it was at the proper time; when he went away, it was the simple sequence (of his coming). Quiet acquiescence in what happens at its proper time, and quietly submitting (to its ceasing) afford no occasion for grief or for joy6 . The ancients described (death) as the loosening of the cord on which God suspended (the life)1 . What we can point to are the faggots that have been consumed; but the fire is transmitted (elsewhere), and we know not that it is over and ended2 .
Part I. Section IV.
Zăn Kien Shih, or ‘Man in the World, Associated with other Men1 .’
1. Yen Hui2 went to see Kung-nî3 , and asked leave to take his departure. ‘Where are you going to?’ asked the Master. ‘I will go to Wei4 ’ was the reply. ‘And with what object?’ ‘I have heard that the ruler of Wei5 is in the vigour of his years, and consults none but himself as to his course. He deals with his state as if it were a light matter, and has no perception of his errors. He thinks lightly of his people’s dying; the dead are lying all over the country as if no smaller space could contain them; on the plains6 and about the marshes, they are as thick as heaps of fuel. The people know not where to turn to. I have heard you, Master, say, “Leave the state that is well governed; go to the state where disorder prevails1 .” At the door of a physician there are many who are ill. I wish through what I have heard (from you) to think out some methods (of dealing with Wei), if peradventure the evils of the state may be cured.’
Kung-nî said, ‘Alas! The risk is that you will go only to suffer in the punishment (of yourself)! The right method (in such a case) will not admit of any admixture. With such admixture, the one method will become many methods. Their multiplication will embarrass you. That embarrassment will make you anxious. However anxious you may be, you will not save (yourself). The perfect men of old first had (what they wanted to do) in themselves, and afterwards they found (the response to it) in others. If what they wanted in themselves was not fixed, what leisure had they to go and interfere with the proceedings of any tyrannous man?
‘Moreover, do you know how virtue is liable to be dissipated, and how wisdom proceeds to display itself? Virtue is dissipated in (the pursuit of) the name for it, and wisdom seeks to display itself in the striving with others. In the pursuit of the name men overthrow one another; wisdom becomes a weapon of contention. Both these things are instruments of evil, and should not be allowed to have free course in one’s conduct. Supposing one’s virtue to be great and his sincerity firm, if he do not comprehend the spirit of those (whom he wishes to influence); and supposing he is free from the disposition to strive for reputation, if he do not comprehend their minds;—when in such a case he forcibly insists on benevolence and righteousness, setting them forth in the strongest and most direct language, before the tyrant, then he, hating (his reprover’s) possession of those excellences, will put him down as doing him injury. He who injures others is sure to be injured by them in return. You indeed will hardly escape being injured by the man (to whom you go)!
‘Further, if perchance he takes pleasure in men of worth and hates those of an opposite character, what is the use of your seeking to make yourself out to be different (from such men about him)? Before you have begun to announce (your views), he, as king and ruler, will take advantage of you, and immediately contend with you for victory. Your eyes will be dazed and full of perplexity; you will try to look pleased with him; you will frame your words with care; your demeanour will be conformed to his; you will confirm him in his views. In this way you will be adding fire to fire, and water to water, increasing, as we may express it, the evils (which you deplore). To these signs of deferring to him at the first there will be no end. You will be in danger, seeing he does not believe you, of making your words more strong, and you are sure to die at the hands of such a tyrant.
‘And formerly Kieh1 killed Kwan Lung-făng2 , and Kâu3 killed the prince Pî-kan4 . Both of these cultivated their persons, bending down in sympathy with the lower people to comfort them suffering (as they did) from their oppressors, and on their account opposing their superiors. On this account, because they so ordered their conduct, their rulers compassed their destruction:—such regard had they for their own fame. (Again), Yâo anciently attacked (the states of) Ȝhung-kih1 and Hsü-âo , and Yü attacked the ruler of Hû . Those states were left empty, and with no one to continue their population, the people being exterminated. They had engaged in war without ceasing; their craving for whatever they could get was insatiable. And this (ruler of Wei) is, like them, one who craves after fame and greater substance;—have you not heard it? Those sages were not able to overcome the thirst for fame and substance;—how much less will you be able to do so! Nevertheless you must have some ground (for the course which you wish to take); pray try and tell it to me.’
Yen Hui said, ‘May I go, doing so in uprightness and humility, using also every endeavour to be uniform (in my plans of operation)?’ ‘No, indeed!’ was the reply. ‘How can you do so? This man makes a display2 of being filled to overflowing (with virtue), and has great self-conceit. His feelings are not to be determined from his countenance. Ordinary men do not (venture to) oppose him, and he proceeds from the way in which he affects them to seek still more the satisfaction of his own mind. He may be described as unaffected by the (small lessons of) virtue brought to bear on him from day to day; and how much less will he be so by your great lessons? He will be obstinate, and refuse to be converted. He may outwardly agree with you, but inwardly there will be no self-condemnation;—how can you (go to him in this way and be successful)?’
(Yen Hui) rejoined, ‘Well then; while inwardly maintaining my straightforward intention, I will outwardly seem to bend to him. I will deliver (my lessons), and substantiate them by appealing to antiquity. Inwardly maintaining my straightforward intention, I shall be a co-worker with Heaven. When I thus speak of being a co-worker with Heaven, it is because I know that (the sovereign, whom we style) the son of Heaven, and myself, are equally regarded by Heaven as Its sons. And should I then, as if my words were only my own, be seeking to find whether men approved of them, or disapproved of them? In this way men will pronounce me a (sincere and simple1 ) boy. This is what is called being a co-worker with Heaven.
‘Outwardly bending (to the ruler), I shall be a co-worker with other men. To carry (the memorandum tablet to court)2 , to kneel, and to bend the body reverentially:—these are the observances of ministers. They all employ them, and should I presume not to do so? Doing what other men do, they would have no occasion to blame me. This is what is called being a fellow-worker with other men.
‘Fully declaring my sentiments and substantiating them by appealing to antiquity, I shall be a co-worker with the ancients. Although the words in which I convey my lessons may really be condemnatory (of the ruler), they will be those of antiquity, and not my own. In this way, though straightforward, I shall be free from blame. This is what is called being a co-worker with antiquity. May I go to Wei in this way, and be successful?’ ‘No indeed!’ said Kung-nî. ‘How can you do so? You have too many plans of proceeding, and have not spied out (the ruler’s character). Though you firmly adhere to your plans, you may be held free from transgression, but this will be all the result. How can you (in this way) produce the transformation (which you desire)? All this only shows (in you) the mind of a teacher!’
2. Yen Hui said, ‘I can go no farther; I venture to ask the method from you.’ Kung-nî replied, ‘It is fasting1 , (as) I will tell you. (But) when you have the method, will you find it easy to practise it? He who thinks it easy will be disapproved of by the bright Heaven.’ Hui said, ‘My family is poor. For months together we have no spirituous drink, nor do we taste the proscribed food or any strong-smelling vegetables2 ;—can this be regarded as fasting?’ The reply was, ‘It is the fasting appropriate to sacrificing, but it is not the fasting of the mind.’ ‘I venture to ask what that fasting of the mind is,’ said Hui, and Kung-nî answered, ‘Maintain a perfect unity in every movement of your will. You will not wait for the hearing of your ears about it, but for the hearing of your mind. You will not wait even for the hearing of your mind, but for the hearing of the spirit1 . Let the hearing (of the ears) rest with the ears. Let the mind rest in the verification (of the rightness of what is in the will). But the spirit is free from all pre-occupation and so waits for (the appearance of) things. Where the (proper) course is2 , there is freedom from all pre-occupation;—such freedom is the fasting of the mind.’ Hui said3 , ‘Before it was possible for me to employ (this method), there I was, the Hui that I am; now, that I can employ it, the Hui that I was has passed away. Can I be said to have obtained this freedom from pre-occupation?’ The Master replied, ‘Entirely. I tell you that you can enter and be at ease in the enclosure (where he is), and not come into collision with the reputation (which belongs to him). If he listen to your counsels, let him hear your notes; if he will not listen, be silent. Open no (other) door; employ no other medicine; dwell with him (as with a friend) in the same apartment, and as if you had no other option, and you will not be far from success in your object. Not to move a step is easy; to walk without treading on the ground is difficult. In acting after the manner of men, it is easy to fall into hypocrisy; in acting after the manner of Heaven, it is difficult to play the hypocrite. I have heard of flying with wings; I have not heard of flying without them. I have heard of the knowledge of the wise; I have not heard of the knowledge of the unwise. Look at that aperture (left in the wall);—the empty apartment is filled with light through it. Felicitous influences rest (in the mind thus emblemed), as in their proper resting place. Even when they do not so rest, we have what is called (the body) seated and (the mind) galloping abroad. The information that comes through the ears and eyes is comprehended internally, and the knowledge of the mind becomes something external:—(when this is the case), the spiritual intelligences will come, and take up their dwelling with us, and how much more will other men do so! All things thus undergo a transforming influence. This was the hinge on which Yü and Shun moved; it was this which Fû-hsî1 and Kî-khü2 practised all their lives: how much more should other men follow the same rule!’
3. Ȝze-kâo3 , duke of Sheh, being about to proceed on a mission to Khî, asked Kung-nî, saying, ‘The king is sending me, Kû-liang , on a mission which is very important. Khî will probably treat me as his commissioner with great respect, but it will not be in a hurry (to attend to the business). Even an ordinary man cannot be readily moved (to action), and how much less the prince of a state! I am very full of apprehension. You, Sir, once said to me that of all things, great or small, there were few which, if not conducted in the proper way1 , could be brought to a happy conclusion; that, if the thing were not successful, there was sure to be the evil of being dealt with after the manner of men2 ; that, if it were successful, there was sure to be the evil of constant anxiety3 ; and that, whether it succeeded or not, it was only the virtuous man who could secure its not being followed by evil. In my diet I take what is coarse, and do not seek delicacies,—a man whose cookery does not require him to be using cooling drinks. This morning I received my charge, and in the evening I am drinking iced water;—am I not feeling the internal heat (and discomfort)? Such is my state before I have actually engaged in the affair;—I am already suffering from conflicting anxieties. And if the thing do not succeed, (the king) is sure to deal with me after the manner of men. The evil is twofold; as a minister, I am not able to bear the burden (of the mission). Can you, Sir, tell me something (to help me in the case)?’
Kung-nî replied, ‘In all things under heaven there are two great cautionary considerations:—the one is the requirement implanted (in the nature)1 ; the other is the conviction of what is right. The love of a son for his parents is the implanted requirement, and can never be separated from his heart; the service of his ruler by a minister is what is right, and from its obligation there is no escaping anywhere between heaven and earth. These are what are called the great cautionary considerations. Therefore a son finds his rest in serving his parents without reference to or choice of place; and this is the height of filial duty. In the same way a subject finds his rest in serving his ruler, without reference to or choice of the business; and this is the fullest discharge of loyalty. When men are simply obeying (the dictates of) their hearts, the considerations of grief and joy are not readily set before them. They know that there is no alternative to their acting as they do, and rest in it as what is appointed; and this is the highest achievement of virtue. He who is in the position of a minister or of a son has indeed to do what he cannot but do. Occupied with the details of the business (in hand), and forgetful of his own person, what leisure has he to think of his pleasure in living or his dislike of death? You, my master, may well proceed on your mission.
‘But let me repeat to you what I have heard:—In all intercourse (between states), if they are near to each other, there should be mutual friendliness, verified by deeds; if they are far apart, there must be sincere adherence to truth in their messages. Those messages will be transmitted by internuncios. But to convey messages which express the complacence or the dissatisfaction of the two parties is the most difficult thing in the world. If they be those of mutual complacence, there is sure to be an overflow of expressions of satisfaction; if of mutual dissatisfaction, an overflow of expressions of dislike. But all extravagance leads to reckless language, and such language fails to command belief. When this distrust arises, woe to the internuncio! Hence the Rules for Speech1 say, “Transmit the message exactly as it stands; do not transmit it with any overflow of language; so is (the internuncio) likely to keep himself whole.”
4. ‘Moreover, skilful wrestlers begin with open trials of strength, but always end with masked attempts (to gain the victory); as their excitement grows excessive, they display much wonderful dexterity. Parties drinking according to the rules at first observe good order, but always end with disorder; as their excitement grows excessive, their fun becomes uproarious2 . In all things it is so. People are at first sincere, but always end with becoming rude; at the commencement things are treated as trivial, but as the end draws near, they assume great proportions. Words are (like) the waves acted on by the wind; the real point of the matters (discussed by them) is lost. The wind and waves are easily set in motion; the success of the matter of which the real point is lost is easily put in peril. Hence quarrels are occasioned by nothing so much as by artful words and one-sided speeches. The breath comes angrily, as when a beast, driven to death, wildly bellows forth its rage. On this animosities arise on both sides. Hasty examination (of the case) eagerly proceeds, and revengeful thoughts arise in their minds;—they do not know how. Since they do not know how such thoughts arise, who knows how they will end? Hence the Rules for Speech1 say, “Let not an internuncius depart from his instructions. Let him not urge on a settlement. If he go beyond the regular rules, he will complicate matters. Departing from his instructions and urging on a settlement imperils negotiations. A good settlement is proved by its lasting long, and a bad settlement cannot be altered;—ought he not to be careful?”
‘Further still, let your mind find its enjoyment in the circumstances of your position; nourish the central course which you pursue, by a reference to your unavoidable obligations. This is the highest object for you to pursue; what else can you do to fulfil the charge (of your father and ruler)2 . The best thing you can do is to be prepared to sacrifice your life; and this is the most difficult thing to do.’
5. Yen Ho1 , being about to undertake the office of Teacher of the eldest son of duke Ling of Wei, consulted Kü Po-yü2 . ‘Here,’ said he, ‘is this (young) man, whose natural disposition is as bad as it could be. If I allow him to proceed in a bad way, it will be at the peril of our state; if I insist on his proceeding in a right way, it will be at the peril of my own person. His wisdom is just sufficient to know the errors of other men, but he does not know how he errs himself. What am I to do in such a case?’ Kü Po-yü replied, ‘Good indeed is your question! Be on your guard; be careful; see that you keep yourself correct! Your best plan will be, with your person to seek association with him, and with your mind to try to be in harmony with him; and yet there are dangers connected with both of these things. While seeking to keep near to him, do not enter into his pursuits; while cultivating a harmony of mind with him, do not show how superior you are to him. If in your personal association you enter into his pursuits, you will fall with him and be ruined, you will tumble down with a crash. If in maintaining a harmony with his mind, you show how different you are from him, he will think you do so for the reputation and the name, and regard you as a creature of evil omen3 . If you find him to be a mere boy, be you with him as another boy; if you find him one of those who will not have their ground marked out in the ordinary way, do you humour him in this characteristic1 ; if you find him to be free from lofty airs, show yourself to be the same;—(ever) leading him on so as to keep him free from faults.
‘Do you not know (the fate of) the praying mantis? It angrily stretches out its arms, to arrest the progress of the carriage, unconscious of its inability for such a task, but showing how much it thinks of its own powers. Be on your guard; be careful. If you cherish a boastful confidence in your own excellence, and place yourself in collision with him, you are likely to incur the fate (of the mantis).
‘Do you not know how those who keep tigers proceed? They do not dare to supply them with living creatures, because of the rage which their killing of them will excite. They do not (even) dare to give them their food whole, because of the rage which their rending of it will excite. They watch till their hunger is appeased, (dealing with them) from their knowledge of their natural ferocity. Tigers are different from men, but they fawn on those who feed them, and do so in accordance with their nature. When any of these are killed by them, it is because they have gone against that nature.
‘Those again who are fond of horses preserve their dung in baskets, and their urine in jars. If musquitoes and gadflies light on them, and the grooms brush them suddenly away, the horses break their bits, injure (the ornaments on) their heads, and smash those on their breasts. The more care that is taken of them, the more does their fondness (for their attendants) disappear. Ought not caution to be exercised (in the management of them)?’
6. A (master) mechanic, called Shih, on his way to Khî, came to Khü-yüan1 , where he saw an oak-tree, which was used as the altar for the spirits of the land. It was so large that an ox standing behind it could not be seen. It measured a hundred spans round, and rose up eighty cubits on the hill before it threw out any branches, after which there were ten or so, from each of which a boat could be hollowed out. People came to see it in crowds as in a market place, but the mechanic did not look round at it, but held on his way without stopping. One of his workmen, however, looked long and admiringly at it, and then ran on to his master, and said to him, ‘Since I followed you with my axe and bill, I have never seen such a beautiful mass of timber as this. Why would you, Sir, not look round at it, but went on without stopping?’ ‘Have done,’ said Mr. Shih, ‘and do not speak about it. It is quite useless. A boat made from its wood would sink; a coffin or shell would quickly rot; an article of furniture would soon go to pieces; a door would be covered with the exuding sap; a pillar would be riddled by insects; the material of it is good for nothing, and hence it is that it has attained to so great an age2 .’
When Mr. Shih was returning, the altar-oak appeared to him in a dream, and said, ‘What other tree will you compare with me? Will you compare me to one of your ornamental trees? There are hawthorns, pear-trees, orange-trees, pummelo-trees, gourds and other low fruit-bearing plants. When their fruits are ripe, they are knocked down from them, and thrown among the dirt1 . The large branches are broken, and the smaller are torn away. So it is that their productive ability makes their lives bitter to them; they do not complete their natural term of existence, but come to a premature end in the middle of their time, bringing on themselves the destructive treatment which they ordinarily receive. It is so with all things. I have sought to discover how it was that I was so useless;—I had long done so, till (the effort) nearly caused my death; and now I have learned it:—it has been of the greatest use to me. Suppose that I had possessed useful properties, should I have become of the great size that I am? And moreover you and I are both things;—how should one thing thus pass its judgment on another? how is it that you a useless man know all this about me a useless tree?’ When Mr. Shih awoke, he kept thinking about his dream, but the workman said, ‘Being so taken with its uselessness, how is it that it yet acts here as the altar for the spirits of the land?’ ‘Be still,’ was the master’s reply, ‘and do not say a word. It simply happened to grow here; and thus those who do not know it do not speak ill of it as an evil thing. If it were not used as the altar, would it be in danger of being cut down? Moreover, the reason of its being preserved is different from that of the preservation of things generally; is not your explaining it from the sentiment which you have expressed wide of the mark?’
7. Nan-po Ȝze-khî1 in rambling about the Heights of Shang2 , saw a large and extraordinary tree. The teams of a thousand chariots might be sheltered under it, and its shade would cover them all! Ȝze-khî said, ‘What a tree is this! It must contain an extraordinary amount of timber! When he looked up, however, at its smaller branches, they were so twisted and crooked that they could not be made into rafters and beams; when he looked down to its root, its stem was divided into so many rounded portions that neither coffin nor shell could be made from them. He licked one of its leaves, and his mouth felt torn and wounded. The smell of it would make a man frantic, as if intoxicated, for more than three whole days together. ‘This, indeed,’ said he, ‘is a tree good for nothing, and it is thus that it has attained to such a size. Ah! and spirit-like men acknowledge this worthlessness (and its result)3 .’
In Sung there is the district of King-shih4 , in which catalpae, cypresses, and mulberry trees grow well. Those of them which are a span or two or rather more in circumference5 are cut down by persons who want to make posts to which to tie their monkeys; those which are three or four spans round are cut down by persons who want beams for their lofty and famous houses; and those of seven or eight spans are cut down by noblemen and rich merchants who want single planks for the sides of their coffins. The trees in consequence do not complete their natural term of life, and come to a premature end in the middle of their growth under the axe and bill;—this is the evil that befalls them from their supplying good timber.
In the same way the Kieh1 (book) specifies oxen that have white foreheads, pigs that have turned-up snouts, and men that are suffering from piles, and forbids their being sacrificed to the Ho. The wizards know them by these peculiarities and consider them to be inauspicious, but spirit-like men consider them on this account to be very fortunate.
8. There was the deformed object Shû2 . His chin seemed to hide his navel; his shoulders were higher than the crown of his head; the knot of his hair pointed to the sky; his five viscera were all compressed into the upper part of his body, and his two thigh bones were like ribs. By sharpening needles and washing clothes he was able to make a living. By sifting rice and cleaning it, he was able to support ten individuals. When the government was calling out soldiers, this poor Shû would bare his arms among the others; when it had any great service to be undertaken, because of his constant ailments, none of the work was assigned to him; when it was giving out grain to the sick, he received three kung, and ten bundles of firewood. If this poor man, so deformed in body, was still able to support himself, and complete his term of life, how much more may they do so, whose deformity is that of their faculties1 !
9. When Confucius went to Khû2 , Khieh-yû, the madman of Khû3 , as he was wandering about, passed by his door, and said, ‘O Phoenix, O Phoenix, how is your virtue degenerated! The future is not to be waited for; the past is not to be sought again! When good order prevails in the world, the sage tries to accomplish all his service; when disorder prevails, he may preserve his life; at the present time, it is enough if he simply escape being punished. Happiness is lighter than a feather, but no one knows how to support it; calamity is heavier than the earth, and yet no one knows how to avoid it. Give over! give over approaching men with the lessons of your virtue! You are in peril! you are in peril, hurrying on where you have marked out the ground against your advance! I avoid publicity, I avoid publicity, that my path may not be injured. I pursue my course, now going backwards, now crookedly, that my feet may not be hurt4 .
‘The mountain by its trees weakens itself1 . The grease which ministers to the fire fries itself. The cinnamon tree can be eaten, and therefore it is cut down. The varnish tree is useful, and therefore incisions are made in it. All men know the advantage of being useful, but no one knows the advantage of being useless.’
Part I. Section V.
Teh Khung Fû, or ‘The Seal of Virtue Complete1 .’
1. In Lû2 there was a Wang Thâi3 who had lost both his feet4 ; while his disciples who followed and went about with him were as numerous as those of Kung-nî. Khang Kî5 asked Kung-nî about him, saying, ‘Though Wang Thâi is a cripple, the disciples who follow him about divide Lû equally with you, Master. When he stands, he does not teach them; when he sits, he does not discourse to them. But they go to him empty, and come back full. Is there indeed such a thing as instruction without words6 ? and while the body is imperfect, may the mind be complete? What sort of man is he?’
Kung-nî replied, ‘This master is a sage. I have only been too late in going to him. I will make him my teacher; and how much more should those do so who are not equal to me! Why should only the state of Lû follow him? I will lead on all under heaven with me to do so.’ Khang Kî rejoined, ‘He is a man who has lost his feet, and yet he is known as the venerable Wang1 ;—he must be very different from ordinary men. What is the peculiar way in which he employs his mind?’ The reply was, ‘Death and life are great considerations, but they could work no change in him. Though heaven and earth were to be overturned and fall, they would occasion him no loss. His judgment is fixed regarding that in which there is no element of falsehood2 ; and, while other things change, he changes not. The transformations of things are to him the developments prescribed for them, and he keeps fast hold of the author of them .’
Khang Kî said, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘When we look at things,’ said Kung-nî, ‘as they differ, we see them to be different, (as for instance) the liver and the gall, or Khû and Yüeh; when we look at them, as they agree, we see them all to be a unity. So it is with this (Wang Thâi). He takes no knowledge of the things for which his ears and eyes are the appropriate organs, but his mind delights itself in the harmony of (all excellent) qualities. He looks at the unity which belongs to things, and does not perceive where they have suffered loss. He looks on the loss of his feet as only the loss of so much earth.’
Khang Kî said, ‘He is entirely occupied with his (proper) self1 . By his knowledge he has discovered (the nature of) his mind, and to that he holds as what is unchangeable ; but how is it that men make so much of him?’ The reply was, ‘Men do not look into running water as a mirror, but into still water;—it is only the still water that can arrest them all, and keep them (in the contemplation of their real selves). Of things which are what they are by the influence of the earth, it is only the pine and cypress which are the best instances;—in winter as in summer brightly green2 . Of those which were what they were by the influence of Heaven3 , the most correct examples were Yâo and Shun; fortunate in (thus) maintaining their own life correct, and so as to correct the lives of others.
‘As a verification of the (power of) the original endowment, when it has been preserved, take the result of fearlessness,—how the heroic spirit of a single brave soldier has been thrown into an army of nine hosts4 . If a man only seeking for fame and able in this way to secure it can produce such an effect, how much more (may we look for a greater result) from one whose rule is over heaven and earth, and holds all things in his treasury, who simply has his lodging in the six members1 of his body, whom his ears and eyes serve but as conveying emblematic images of things, who comprehends all his knowledge in a unity, and whose mind never dies! If such a man were to choose a day on which he would ascend far on high, men would (seek to) follow him there. But how should he be willing to occupy himself with other men?’
2. Shăn-thû Kiâ2 was (another) man who had lost his feet. Along with Ȝze-khân3 of Kăng he studied under the master Po-hwăn Wû-zăn4 . Ȝze-khân said to him (one day), ‘If I go out first, do you remain behind; and if you go out first, I will remain behind.’ Next day they were again sitting together on the same mat in the hall, when Ȝze-khân spoke the same words to him, adding, ‘Now I am about to go out; will you stay behind or not? Moreover, when you see one of official rank (like myself), you do not try to get out of his way;—do you consider yourself equal to one of official rank?’ Shăn-thû Kiâ replied, ‘In our Master’s school is there indeed such recognition required of official rank? You are one, Sir, whose pleasure is in your official rank, and would therefore take precedence of other men. I have heard that when a mirror is bright, the dust does not rest on it; when dust rests on it the mirror is not bright. When one dwells long with a man of ability and virtue, he comes to be without error. There now is our teacher whom you have chosen to make you greater than you are; and when you still talk in this way, are you not in error?’ Ȝze-khân rejoined, ‘A (shattered) object as you are, you would still strive to make yourself out as good as Yâo! If I may form an estimate of your virtue, might it not be sufficient to lead you to the examination of yourself?’ The other said, ‘Most criminals, in describing their offences, would make it out that they ought not to have lost (their feet) for them; few would describe them so as to make it appear that they should not have preserved their feet. They are only the virtuous who know that such a calamity was unavoidable, and therefore rest in it as what was appointed for them. When men stand before (an archer like) Î1 with his bent bow, if they are in the middle of his field, that is the place where they should be hit; and if they be not hit, that also was appointed. There are many with their feet entire who laugh at me because I have lost my feet, which makes me feel vexed and angry. But when I go to our teacher, I throw off that feeling, and return (to a better mood);—he has washed, without my knowing it, the other from me by (his instructions in) what is good. I have attended him now for nineteen years, and have not known that I am without my feet. Now, you, Sir, and I have for the object of our study the (virtue) which is internal, and not an adjunct of the body, and yet you are continually directing your attention to my external body;—are you not wrong in this?’ Ȝze-khân felt uneasy, altered his manner and looks, and said, ‘You need not, Sir, say anything more about it.’
3. In Lû there was a cripple, called Shû-shan the Toeless1 , who came on his heels to see Kung-nî. Kung-nî said to him, ‘By your want of circumspection in the past, Sir, you have incurred such a calamity;—of what use is your coming to me now?’ Toeless said, ‘Through my ignorance of my proper business and taking too little care of my body, I came to lose my feet. But now I am come to you, still possessing what is more honourable than my feet, and which therefore I am anxious to preserve entire. There is nothing which Heaven does not cover, and nothing which Earth does not sustain; you, Master, were regarded by me as doing the part of Heaven and Earth;—how could I know that you would receive me in such a way?’ Confucius rejoined, ‘I am but a poor creature. But why, my master, do you not come inside, where I will try to tell you what I have learned?’ When Toeless had gone out, Confucius said, ‘Be stimulated to effort, my disciples. This toeless cripple is still anxious to learn to make up for the evil of his former conduct;—how much more should those be so whose conduct has been unchallenged!’
Mr. Toeless, however, told Lâo Tan (of the interview), saying, ‘Khung Khiû, I apprehend, has not yet attained to be a Perfect man. What has he to do with keeping a crowd of disciples around him? He is seeking to have the reputation of being an extraordinary and marvellous man, and does not know that the Perfect man considers this to be as handcuffs and fetters to him.’ Lâo Tan said, ‘Why did you not simply lead him to see the unity of life and death, and that the admissible and inadmissible belong to one category, so freeing him from his fetters? Would this be possible?’ Toeless said, ‘It is the punishment inflicted on him by Heaven1 . How can he be freed from it?’
4. Duke Âi of Lû2 asked Kung-nî, saying, ‘There was an ugly man in Wei, called Âi-thâi Tho3 . His father-in-law, who lived with him, thought so much of him that he could not be away from him. His wife, when she saw him (ugly as he was), represented to her parents, saying, “I had more than ten times rather be his concubine than the wife of any other man4 .” He was never heard to take the lead in discussion, but always seemed to be of the same opinion with others. He had not the position of a ruler, so as to be able to save men from death. He had no revenues, so as to be able to satisfy men’s craving for food. He was ugly enough, moreover, to scare the whole world. He agreed with men instead of trying to lead them to adopt his views; his knowledge did not go beyond his immediate neighbourhood1 . And yet his father-in-law and his wife were of one mind about him in his presence (as I have said);—he must have been different from other men. I called him, and saw him. Certainly he was ugly enough to scare the whole world. He had not lived with me, however, for many months, when I was drawn to the man; and before he had been with me a full year, I had confidence in him. The state being without a chief minister, I (was minded) to commit the government to him. He responded to my proposal sorrowfully, and looked undecided as if he would fain have declined it. I was ashamed of myself (as inferior to him), but finally gave the government into his hands. In a little time, however, he left me and went away. I was sorry and felt that I had sustained a loss, and as if there were no other to share the pleasures of the kingdom with me. What sort of man was he?’
Kung-nî said, ‘Once when I was sent on a mission to Khû, I saw some pigs sucking at their dead mother. After a little they looked with rapid glances, when they all left her, and ran away. They felt that she did not see them, and that she was no longer like themselves. What they had loved in their mother was not her bodily figure, but what had given animation to her figure. When a man dies in battle, they do not at his interment employ the usual appendages of plumes1 : as to supplying shoes to one who has lost his feet, there is no reason why he should care for them;—in neither case is there the proper reason for their use . The members of the royal harem do not pare their nails nor pierce their ears2 ; when a man is newly married, he remains (for a time) absent from his official duties, and unoccupied with them . That their bodies might be perfect was sufficient to make them thus dealt with;—how much greater results should be expected from men whose mental gifts are perfect! This Âi-thâi Tho was believed by men, though he did not speak a word; and was loved by them, though he did no special service for them. He made men appoint him to the government of their states, afraid only that he would not accept the appointment. He must have been a man whose powers3 were perfect, though his realisation of them was not manifested in his person.’
Duke Âi said, ‘What is meant by saying that his powers were complete?’ Kung-nî replied, ‘Death and life, preservation and ruin, failure and success, poverty and wealth, superiority and inferiority, blame and praise, hunger and thirst, cold and heat;—these are the changes of circumstances, the operation of our appointed lot. Day and night they succeed to one another before us, but there is no wisdom able to discover to what they owe their origination. They are not sufficient therefore to disturb the harmony (of the nature), and are not allowed to enter into the treasury of intelligence. To cause this harmony and satisfaction ever to be diffused, while the feeling of pleasure is not lost from the mind; to allow no break to arise in this state day or night, so that it is always spring-time1 in his relations with external things; in all his experiences to realise in his mind what is appropriate to each season (of the year)2 :—these are the characteristics of him whose powers are perfect.’
‘And what do you mean by the realisation of these powers not being manifested in the person?’ (pursued further the duke). The reply was, ‘There is nothing so level as the surface of a pool of still water. It may serve as an example of what I mean. All within its circuit is preserved (in peace), and there comes to it no agitation from without. The virtuous efficacy is the perfect cultivation of the harmony (of the nature). Though the realisation of this be not manifested in the person, things cannot separate themselves (from its influence).’
Some days afterwards duke Âi told this conversation to Min-ȝze3 , saying, ‘Formerly it seemed to me the work of the sovereign to stand in court with his face to the south, to rule the kingdom, and to pay good heed to the accounts of the people concerned, lest any should come to a (miserable) death;—this I considered to be the sum (of his duty). Now that I have heard that description of the Perfect man, I fear that my idea is not the real one, and that, by employing myself too lightly, I may cause the ruin of my state. I and Khung Khiû are not on the footing of ruler and subject, but on that of a virtuous friendship.’
5. A person who had no lips, whose legs were bent so that he could only walk on his toes, and who was (otherwise) deformed1 , addressed his counsels to duke Ling of Wei, who was so pleased with him, that he looked on a perfectly formed man as having a lean and small neck in comparison with him. Another who had a large goitre like an earthenware jar addressed his counsels to duke Hwan of Khî2 , who was so pleased with him that he looked on a perfectly formed man as having a neck lean and small in comparison with him3 . So it is that when one’s virtue is extraordinary, (any deficiency in) his bodily form may be forgotten. When men do not forget what is (easily) forgotten, and forget what is not (easily) forgotten, we have a case of real oblivion. Therefore the sagely man has that in which his mind finds its enjoyment, and (looks on) wisdom as (but) the shoots from an old stump; agreements with others are to him but so much glue; kindnesses are (but the arts of) intercourse; and great skill is (but as) merchants’ wares. The sagely man lays no plans;—of what use would wisdom be to him? He has no cutting and hacking to do;—of what use would glue be to him? He has lost nothing;—of what use would arts of intercourse be to him? He has no goods to dispose of;—what need has he to play the merchant? (The want of) these four things are the nourishment of (his) Heavenly (nature); that nourishment is its Heavenly food. Since he receives this food from Heaven, what need has he for anything of man’s (devising)? He has the bodily form of man, but not the passions and desires of (other) men. He has the form of man, and therefore he is a man. Being without the passions and desires of men, their approvings and disapprovings are not to be found in him. How insignificant and small is (the body) by which he belongs to humanity! How grand and great is he in the unique perfection of his Heavenly (nature)!
Hui-ȝze said to Kwang-ȝze, ‘Can a man indeed be without desires and passions?’ The reply was, ‘He can.’ ‘But on what grounds do you call him a man, who is thus without passions and desires?’ Kwang-ȝze said, ‘The Tâo1 gives him his personal appearance (and powers); Heaven2 gives him his bodily form; how should we not call him a man?’ Hui-ȝze rejoined, ‘Since you call him a man, how can he be without passions and desires?’ The reply was, ‘You are misunderstanding what I mean by passions and desires. What I mean when I say that he is without these is, that this man does not by his likings and dislikings do any inward harm to his body;—he always pursues his course without effort, and does not (try to) increase his (store of) life.’ Hui-ȝze rejoined, ‘If there were not that increasing of (the amount) of life, how would he get his body1 ?’ Kwang-ȝze said, ‘The Tâo gives him his personal appearance (and powers); Heaven gives him his bodily form; and he does not by his likings and dislikings do any internal harm to his body. But now you, Sir, deal with your spirit as if it were something external to you, and subject your vital powers to toil. You sing (your ditties), leaning against a tree; you go to sleep, grasping the stump of a rotten dryandra tree. Heaven selected for you the bodily form (of a man), and you babble about what is strong and what is white2 .’
Part I. Section VI.
Tâ Ȝung Shih, or ‘The Great and Most Honoured Master1 .’
1. He who knows the part which the Heavenly2 (in him) plays, and knows (also) that which the Human (in him ought to) play, has reached the perfection (of knowledge). He who knows the part which the Heavenly plays (knows) that it is naturally born with him; he who knows the part which the Human ought to play (proceeds) with the knowledge which he possesses to nourish it in the direction of what he does not (yet) know3 :—to complete one’s natural term of years and not come to an untimely end in the middle of his course is the fulness of knowledge. Although it be so, there is an evil (attending this condition). Such knowledge still awaits the confirmation of it as correct; it does so because it is not yet determined4 . How do we know that what we call the Heavenly (in us) is not the Human? and that what we call the Human is not the Heavenly? There must be the True man1 , and then there is the True knowledge.
2. What is meant by ‘the True Man2 ?’ The True men of old did not reject (the views of) the few; they did not seek to accomplish (their ends) like heroes (before others); they did not lay plans to attain those ends3 . Being such, though they might make mistakes, they had no occasion for repentance; though they might succeed, they had no self-complacency. Being such, they could ascend the loftiest heights without fear; they could pass through water without being made wet by it; they could go into fire without being burnt; so it was that by their knowledge they ascended to and reached the Tâo1 .
The True men of old did not dream when they slept, had no anxiety when they awoke, and did not care that their food should be pleasant. Their breathing came deep and silently. The breathing of the true man comes (even) from his heels, while men generally breathe (only) from their throats. When men are defeated in argument, their words come from their gullets as if they were vomiting. Where lusts and desires are deep, the springs of the Heavenly are shallow.
The True men of old knew nothing of the love of life or of the hatred of death. Entrance into life occasioned them no joy; the exit from it awakened no resistance. Composedly they went and came. They did not forget what their beginning had been, and they did not inquire into what their end would be. They accepted (their life) and rejoiced in it; they forgot (all fear of death), and returned (to their state before life) . Thus there was in them what is called the want of any mind to resist the Tâo, and of all attempts by means of the Human to assist the Heavenly. Such were they who are called the True men.
3. Being such, their minds were free from all thought2 ; their demeanour was still and unmoved; their foreheads beamed simplicity. Whatever coldness came from them was like that of autumn; whatever warmth came from them was like that of spring. Their joy and anger assimilated to what we see in the four seasons. They did in regard to all things what was suitable, and no one could know how far their action would go. Therefore the sagely man might, in his conduct of war, destroy a state without losing the hearts of the people1 ; his benefits and favours might extend to a myriad generations without his being a lover of men. Hence he who tries to share his joys with others is not a sagely man; he who manifests affection is not benevolent; he who observes times and seasons (to regulate his conduct) is not a man of wisdom; he to whom profit and injury are not the same is not a superior man; he who acts for the sake of the name of doing so, and loses his (proper) self is not the (right) scholar; and he who throws away his person in a way which is not the true (way) cannot command the service of others. Such men as Hû Pû-kieh, Wû Kwang, Po-î, Shû-khî, the count of Kî, Hsü-yü, Kî Thâ, and Shăn-thû Tî, all did service for other men, and sought to secure for them what they desired, not seeking their own pleasure2 .
4. The True men of old presented the aspect of judging others aright, but without being partisans; of feeling their own insufficiency, but being without flattery or cringing. Their peculiarities were natural to them, but they were not obstinately attached to them; their humility was evident, but there was nothing of unreality or display about it. Their placidity and satisfaction had the appearance of joy; their every movement seemed to be a necessity to them. Their accumulated attractiveness drew men’s looks to them; their blandness fixed men’s attachment to their virtue. They seemed to accommodate themselves to the (manners of their age), but with a certain severity; their haughty indifference was beyond its control. Unceasing seemed their endeavours to keep (their mouths) shut; when they looked down, they had forgotten what they wished to say.
They considered punishments to be the substance (of government, and they never incurred it); ceremonies to be its supporting wings (and they always observed them); wisdom (to indicate) the time (for action, and they always selected it); and virtue to be accordance (with others), and they were all-accordant. Considering punishments to be the substance (of government), yet their generosity appeared in the (manner of their) infliction of death. Considering ceremonies to be its supporting wings, they pursued by means of them their course in the world. Considering wisdom to indicate the time (for action), they felt it necessary to employ it in (the direction of) affairs. Considering virtue to be accordance (with others), they sought to ascend its height along with all who had feet (to climb it). (Such were they), and yet men really thought that they did what they did by earnest effort1 .
5. In this way they were one and the same in all their likings and dislikings. Where they liked, they were the same; where they did not like, they were the same. In the former case where they liked, they were fellow-workers with the Heavenly (in them); in the latter where they disliked, they were co-workers with the Human in them. The one of these elements (in their nature) did not overcome the other. Such were those who are called the True men.
Death and life are ordained, just as we have the constant succession of night and day;—in both cases from Heaven. Men have no power to do anything in reference to them;—such is the constitution of things2 . There are those who specially regard Heaven3 as their father, and they still love It (distant as It is) ;—how much more should they love That which stands out (Superior and Alone)1 ! Some specially regard their ruler as superior to themselves, and will give their bodies to die for him;—how much more should they do so for That which is their true (Ruler) ! When the springs are dried up, the fishes collect together on the land. Than that they should moisten one another there by the damp about them, and keep one another wet by their slime, it would be better for them to forget one another in the rivers and lakes2 . And when men praise Yâo and condemn Kieh, it would be better to forget them both, and seek the renovation of the Tâo.
6. There is the great Mass (of nature);—I find the support of my body on it; my life is spent in toil on it; my old age seeks ease on it; at death I find rest in it;—what makes my life a good makes my death also a good3 . If you hide away a boat in the ravine of a hill, and hide away the hill in a lake, you will say that (the boat) is secure; but at midnight there shall come a strong man and carry it off on his back, while you in the dark know nothing about it. You may hide away anything, whether small or great, in the most suitable place, and yet it shall disappear from it. But if you could hide the world in the world4 , so that there was nowhere to which it could be removed, this would be the grand reality of the ever-during Thing1 . When the body of man comes from its special mould2 , there is even then occasion for joy; but this body undergoes a myriad transformations, and does not immediately reach its perfection;—does it not thus afford occasion for joys incalculable? Therefore the sagely man enjoys himself in that from which there is no possibility of separation, and by which all things are preserved. He considers early death or old age, his beginning and his ending, all to be good, and in this other men imitate him;—how much more will they do so in regard to That Itself on which all things depend, and from which every transformation arises!
7. This is the Tâo;—there is in It emotion and sincerity, but It does nothing and has no bodily form3 . It may be handed down (by the teacher), but may not be received (by his scholars). It may be apprehended (by the mind), but It cannot be seen. It has Its root and ground (of existence) in Itself. Before there were heaven and earth, from of old, there It was, securely existing. From It came the mysterious existences of spirits, from It the mysterious existence of God4 . It produced heaven; It produced earth. It was before the Thâi-kî5 , and yet could not be considered high1 ; It was below all space, and yet could not be considered deep . It was produced before heaven and earth, and yet could not be considered to have existed long ; It was older than the highest antiquity, and yet could not be considered old .
Shih-wei got It2 , and by It adjusted heaven and earth. Fû-hsî got It, and by It penetrated to the mystery of the maternity of the primary matter. The Wei-tâu3 got It, and from all antiquity has made no eccentric movement. The Sun and Moon got It, and from all antiquity have not intermitted (their bright shining). Khan-pei got It, and by It became lord of Khwăn-lun4 . Făng-î5 got It, and by It enjoyed himself in the Great River. Kien Wû6 got It, and by It dwelt on mount Thâi. Hwang-Tî7 got It, and by It ascended the cloudy sky. Kwan-hsü8 got It, and by It dwelt in the Dark Palace. Yü-khiang1 got It, and by It was set on the North Pole. Hsî Wang-mû2 got It, and by It had her seat in (the palace of) Shâo-kwang. No one knows Its beginning; no one knows Its end. Phăng Ȝû got It, and lived on from the time of the lord of Yü to that of the Five Chiefs3 . Fû Yüeh4 got It, and by It became chief minister to Wû-ting , (who thus) in a trice became master of the kingdom. (After his death), Fû Yüeh mounted to the eastern portion of the Milky Way, where, riding on Sagittarius and Scorpio, he took his place among the stars.
8. Nan-po Ȝze-khwei5 asked Nü Yü6 , saying. ‘You are old, Sir, while your complexion is like that of a child;—how is it so?’ The reply was, ‘I have become acquainted with the Tâo.’ The other said, ‘Can I learn the Tâo?’ Nü Yü said, ‘No. How can you? You, Sir, are not the man to do so. There was Pû-liang Î7 who had the abilities of a sagely man, but not the Tâo, while I had the Tâo, but not the abilities. I wished, however, to teach him, if, peradventure, he might become the sagely man indeed. If he should not do so, it was easy (I thought) for one possessing the Tâo of the sagely man to communicate it to another possessing his abilities. Accordingly, I proceeded to do so, but with deliberation1 . After three days, he was able to banish from his mind all worldly (matters). This accomplished, I continued my intercourse with him in the same way; and in seven days he was able to banish from his mind all thought of men and things. This accomplished, and my instructions continued, after nine days, he was able to count his life as foreign to himself. This accomplished, his mind was afterwards clear as the morning; and after this he was able to see his own individuality2 . That individuality perceived, he was able to banish all thought of Past or Present. Freed from this, he was able to penetrate to (the truth that there is no difference between) life and death;—(how) the destruction of life is not dying, and the communication of other life is not living. (The Tâo) is a thing which accompanies all other things and meets them, which is present when they are overthrown and when they obtain their completion. Its name is Tranquillity amid all Disturbances, meaning that such Disturbances lead to Its Perfection3 .’
‘And how did you, being alone (without any teacher), learn all this?’ ‘I learned it,’ was the reply, ‘from the son of Fû-mo4 ; he learned it from the grandson of Lo-sung; he learned it from Shan-ming; he learned it from Nieh-hsü; he, from Hsü-yî; he, from Wû-âo; he, from Hsüan-ming; he, from Ȝhan-liâo; and he learned it from Î-shih.’
9. Ȝze-sze1 , Ȝze-yü , Ȝze-lî , and Ȝze-lâi , these four men, were talking together, when some one said, ‘Who can suppose the head to be made from nothing, the spine from life, and the rump-bone from death? Who knows how death and birth, living on and disappearing, compose the one body?—I would be friends with him2 .’ The four men looked at one another and laughed, but no one seized with his mind the drift of the questions. All, however, were friends together.
Not long after Ȝze-yü fell ill, and Ȝze-sze went to inquire for him. ‘How great,’ said (the sufferer), ‘is the Creator3 ! That He should have made me the deformed object that I am!’ He was a crooked hunchback; his five viscera were squeezed into the upper part of his body; his chin bent over his navel; his shoulder was higher than his crown; on his crown was an ulcer pointing to the sky; his breath came and went in gasps1 :—yet he was easy in his mind, and made no trouble of his condition. He limped to a well, looked at himself in it, and said, ‘Alas that the Creator should have made me the deformed object that I am!’ Ȝze said, ‘Do you dislike your condition?’ He replied, ‘No, why should I dislike it? If He were to transform my left arm into a cock, I should be watching with it the time of the night; if He were to transform my right arm into a cross-bow, I should then be looking for a hsiâo to (bring down and) roast; if He were to transform my rump-bone into a wheel, and my spirit into a horse, I should then be mounting it, and would not change it for another steed. Moreover, when we have got (what we are to do), there is the time (of life) in which to do it; when we lose that (at death), submission (is what is required). When we rest in what the time requires, and manifest that submission, neither joy nor sorrow can find entrance (to the mind)2 . This would be what the ancients called loosing the cord by which (the life) is suspended. But one hung up cannot loose himself;—he is held fast by his bonds3 . And that creatures cannot overcome Heaven (the inevitable) is a long-acknowledged fact;—why should I hate my condition?’
10. Before long Ȝze-lâi fell ill, and lay gasping at the point of death, while his wife and children stood around him wailing1 . Ȝze-lî went to ask for him, and said to them, ‘Hush! Get out of the way! Do not disturb him as he is passing through his change.’ Then, leaning against the door, he said (to the dying man), ‘Great indeed is the Creator! What will He now make you to become? Where will He take you to? Will He make you the liver of a rat, or the arm of an insect2 ?’ Ȝze-lâi replied, ‘Wherever a parent tells a son to go, east, west, south, or north, he simply follows the command. The Yin and Yang are more to a man than his parents are. If they are hastening my death, and I do not quietly submit to them, I shall be obstinate and rebellious. There is the great Mass (of nature);—I find the support of my body in it; my life is spent in toil on it; my old age seeks ease on it; at death I find rest on it:—what has made my life a good will make my death also a good.
‘Here now is a great founder, casting his metal. If the metal were to leap up (in the pot), and say, “I must be made into a (sword like the) Mo-yeh3 ,” the great founder would be sure to regard it as uncanny. So, again, when a form is being fashioned in the mould of the womb, if it were to say, “I must become a man; I must become a man,” the Creator would be sure to regard it as uncanny. When we once understand that heaven and earth are a great melting-pot, and the Creator a great founder, where can we have to go to that shall not be right for us? We are born as from a quiet sleep, and we die to a calm awaking.’
11. Ȝze-sang Hû1 , Măng Ȝze-fan , and Ȝze-khin Kang , these three men, were friends together. (One of them said), ‘Who can associate together without any (thought of) such association, or act together without any (evidence of) such co-operation? Who can mount up into the sky and enjoy himself amidst the mists, disporting beyond the utmost limits (of things)2 , and forgetting all others as if this were living, and would have no end?’ The three men looked at one another and laughed, not perceiving the drift of the questions; and they continued to associate together as friends.
Suddenly, after a time3 , Ȝze-sang Hû died. Before he was buried, Confucius heard of the event, and sent Ȝze-kung to go and see if he could render any assistance. One of the survivors had composed a ditty, and the other was playing on his lute. Then they sang together in unison,
Ȝze-kung hastened forward to them, and said, ‘I venture to ask whether it be according to the rules to be singing thus in the presence of the corpse?’ The two men looked at each other, and laughed, saying, ‘What does this man know about the idea that underlies (our) rules?’ Ȝze-kung returned to Confucius, and reported to him, saying, ‘What sort of men are those? They had made none of the usual preparations2 , and treated the body as a thing foreign to them. They were singing in the presence of the corpse, and there was no change in their countenances. I cannot describe them;—what sort of men are they?’ Confucius replied, ‘Those men occupy and enjoy themselves in what is outside the (common) ways (of the world), while I occupy and enjoy myself in what lies within those ways. There is no common ground for those of such different ways; and when I sent you to condole with those men, I was acting stupidly. They, moreover, make man to be the fellow of the Creator, and seek their enjoyment in the formless condition of heaven and earth. They consider life to be an appendage attached, an excrescence annexed to them, and death to be a separation of the appendage and a dispersion of the contents of the excrescence. With these views, how should they know wherein death and life are to be found, or what is first and what is last? They borrow different substances, and pretend that the common form of the body is composed of them1 . They dismiss the thought of (its inward constituents like) the liver and gall, and (its outward constituents), the ears and eyes. Again and again they end and they begin, having no knowledge of first principles. They occupy themselves ignorantly and vaguely with what (they say) lies outside the dust and dirt (of the world), and seek their enjoyment in the business of doing nothing. How should they confusedly address themselves to the ceremonies practised by the common people, and exhibit themselves as doing so to the ears and eyes of the multitude?’
Ȝze-kung said, ‘Yes, but why do you, Master, act according to the (common) ways (of the world)?’ The reply was, ‘I am in this under the condemning sentence of Heaven2 . Nevertheless, I will share with you (what I have attained to).’ Ȝze-kung rejoined, ‘I venture to ask the method which you pursue;’ and Confucius said, ‘Fishes breed and grow in the water; man developes in the Tâo. Growing in the water, the fishes cleave the pools, and their nourishment is supplied to them. Developing in the Tâo, men do nothing, and the enjoyment of their life is secured. Hence it is said, “Fishes forget one another in the rivers and lakes; men forget one another in the arts of the Tâo.” ’
Ȝze-kung said, ‘I venture to ask about the man who stands aloof from others1 .’ The reply was, ‘He stands aloof from other men, but he is in accord with Heaven! Hence it is said, “The small man of Heaven is the superior man among men; the superior man among men is the small man of Heaven2 !” ’
12. Yen Hui asked Kung-nî, saying, ‘When the mother of Măng-sun Ȝhâi3 died, in all his wailing for her he did not shed a tear; in the core of his heart he felt no distress; during all the mourning rites, he exhibited no sorrow. Without these three things, he (was considered to have) discharged his mourning well;—is it that in the state of Lû one who has not the reality may yet get the reputation of having it? I think the matter very strange.’ Kung-nî said, ‘That Măng-sun carried out (his views) to the utmost. He was advanced in knowledge; but (in this case) it was not possible for him to appear to be negligent (in his ceremonial observances)1 , but he succeeded in being really so to himself. Măng-sun does not know either what purposes life serves, or what death serves; he does not know which should be first sought, and which last2 . If he is to be transformed into something else, he will simply await the transformation which he does not yet know. This is all he does. And moreover, when one is about to undergo his change, how does he know that it has not taken place? And when he is not about to undergo his change, how does he know that it has taken place3 ? Take the case of me and you:—are we in a dream from which we have not begun to awake4 ?
‘Moreover, Măng-sun presented in his body the appearance of being agitated, but in his mind he was conscious of no loss. The death was to him like the issuing from one’s dwelling at dawn, and no (more terrible) reality. He was more awake than others were. When they wailed, he also wailed, having in himself the reason why he did so. And we all have our individuality which makes us what we are as compared together; but how do we know that we determine in any case correctly that individuality? Moreover you dream that you are a bird, and seem to be soaring to the sky; or that you are a fish, and seem to be diving in the deep. But you do not know whether we that are now speaking are awake or in a dream1 . It is not the meeting with what is pleasurable that produces the smile; it is not the smile suddenly produced that produces the arrangement (of the person). When one rests in what has been arranged, and puts away all thought of the transformation, he is in unity with the mysterious Heaven.’
13. Î-r Ȝze2 having gone to see Hsü Yû, the latter said to him, ‘What benefit have you received from Yâo?’ The reply was, ‘Yâo says to me, You must yourself labour at benevolence and righteousness, and be able to tell clearly which is right and which wrong (in conflicting statements).’ Hsü Yû rejoined, ‘Why then have you come to me? Since Yâo has put on you the brand of his benevolence and righteousness, and cut off your nose with his right and wrong3 , how will you be able to wander in the way of aimless enjoyment, of unregulated contemplation, and the ever-changing forms (of dispute)?’ Î-r Ȝze said, ‘That may be; but I should like to skirt along its hedges.’ ‘But,’ said the other, ‘it cannot be. Eyes without pupils can see nothing of the beauty of the eyebrows, eyes, and other features; the blind have nothing to do with the green, yellow, and variegated colours of the sacrificial robes.’ Î-r Ȝze rejoined, ‘Yet, when Wû-kwang1 lost his beauty, Kü-liang his strength, and Hwang-Tî his wisdom, they all (recovered them)2 under the moulding (of your system);—how do you know that the Maker will not obliterate the marks of my branding, and supply my dismemberment, so that, again perfect in my form, I may follow you as my teacher?’ Hsü Yû said, ‘Ah! that cannot yet be known. I will tell you the rudiments. O my Master! O my Master! He gives to all things their blended qualities, and does not count it any righteousness; His favours reach to all generations, and He does not count it any benevolence; He is more ancient than the highest antiquity, and does not count Himself old; He overspreads heaven and supports the earth; He carves and fashions all bodily forms, and does not consider it any act of skill;—this is He in whom I find my enjoyment.’
14. Yen Hui said, ‘I am making progress.’ Kung-nî replied, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I have ceased to think of benevolence and righteousness,’ was the reply. ‘Very well; but that is not enough.’
Another day, Hui again saw Kung-nî, and said, ‘I am making progress.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I have lost all thought of ceremonies and music.’ ‘Very well, but that is not enough.’
A third day, Hui again saw (the Master), and said, ‘I am making progress.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I sit and forget everything1 .’ Kung-nî changed countenance, and said, ‘What do you mean by saying that you sit and forget (everything)?’ Yen Hui replied, ‘My connexion with the body and its parts is dissolved; my perceptive organs are discarded. Thus leaving my material form, and bidding farewell to my knowledge, I am become one with the Great Pervader2 . This I call sitting and forgetting all things.’ Kung-nî said, ‘One (with that Pervader), you are free from all likings; so transformed, you are become impermanent. You have, indeed, become superior to me! I must ask leave to follow in your steps3 .’
15. Ȝze-yü4 and Ȝze-sang were friends. (Once), when it had rained continuously for ten days, Ȝze-yü said, ‘I fear that Ȝze-sang may be in distress.’ So he wrapped up some rice, and went to give it to him to eat. When he came to Ȝze-sang’s door, there issued from it sounds between singing and wailing; a lute was struck, and there came the words, ‘O Father! O Mother! O Heaven! O Men!’ The voice could not sustain itself, and the line was hurriedly pronounced. Ȝze-yü entered and said, ‘Why are you singing, Sir, this line of poetry in such a way?’ The other replied, ‘I was thinking, and thinking in vain, how it was that I was brought to such extremity. Would my parents have wished me to be so poor? Heaven overspreads all without any partial feeling, and so does Earth sustain all;—would Heaven and Earth make me so poor with any unkindly feeling? I was trying to find out who had done it, and I could not do so. But here I am in this extremity!—it is what was appointed for me1 !’
Part I. Section VII.
Ying Tî Wang1 , or ‘The Normal Course for Rulers and Kings .’
1. Nieh Khüeh2 put four questions to Wang Î , not one of which did he know (how to answer). On this Nieh Khüeh leaped up, and in great delight walked away and informed Phû-î-ȝze3 of it, who said to him, ‘Do you (only) now know it?’ He of the line of Yü4 was not equal to him of the line of Thâi5 . He of Yü still kept in himself (the idea of) benevolence by which to constrain (the submission of) men; and he did win men, but he had not begun to proceed by what did not belong to him as a man. He of the line of Thâi would sleep tranquilly, and awake in contented simplicity. He would consider himself now (merely) as a horse, and now (merely) as an ox6 . His knowledge was real and untroubled by doubts; and his virtue was very true:—he had not begun to proceed by what belonged to him as a man.
2.Kien Wû1 went to see the mad (recluse), Khieh-yü2 , who said to him, ‘What did Zăh-kung Shih3 tell you?’ The reply was, ‘He told me that when rulers gave forth their regulations according to their own views and enacted righteous measures, no one would venture not to obey them, and all would be transformed.’ Khieh-yü said, ‘That is but the hypocrisy of virtue. For the right ordering of the world it would be like trying to wade through the sea and dig through the Ho, or employing a musquito to carry a mountain on its back. And when a sage is governing, does he govern men’s outward actions? He is (himself) correct, and so (his government) goes on;—this is the simple and certain way by which he secures the success of his affairs. Think of the bird which flies high, to avoid being hurt by the dart on the string of the archer, and the little mouse which makes its hole deep under Shăn-khiû4 to avoid the danger of being smoked or dug out;—are (rulers) less knowing than these two little creatures?’
3. Thien Kăn5 , rambling on the south of (mount) Yin6 , came to the neighbourhood of the Liâo-water. Happening there to meet with the man whose name is not known1 , he put a question to him, saying, ‘I beg to ask what should be done2 in order to (carry on) the government of the world.’ The nameless man said, ‘Go away; you are a rude borderer. Why do you put to me a question for which you are unprepared3 ? I would simply play the part of the Maker of (all) things4 . When wearied, I would mount on the bird of the light and empty air, proceed beyond the six cardinal points, and wander in the region of nonentity, to dwell in the wilderness of desert space. What method have you, moreover, for the government of the world that you (thus) agitate my mind?’ (Thien Kăn), however, again asked the question, and the nameless man said, ‘Let your mind find its enjoyment in pure simplicity; blend yourself with (the primary) ether in idle indifference; allow all things to take their natural course; and admit no personal or selfish consideration:—do this and the world will be governed.’
4. Yang Ȝze-kü5 , having an interview with Lâo Tan, said to him, ‘Here is a man, alert and vigorous in responding to all matters1 , clearsighted and widely intelligent, and an unwearied student of the Tâo;—can he be compared to one of the intelligent kings?’ The reply was, ‘Such a man is to one of the intelligent kings but as the bustling underling of a court who toils his body and distresses his mind with his various contrivances2 . And moreover, it is the beauty of the skins of the tiger and leopard which makes men hunt them; the agility of the monkey, or (the sagacity of) the dog that catches the yak, which make men lead them in strings; but can one similarly endowed be compared to the intelligent kings?’
Yang Ȝze-kü looked discomposed and said, ‘I venture to ask you what the government of the intelligent kings is.’ Lâo Tan replied, ‘In the governing of the intelligent kings, their services overspread all under the sky, but they did not seem to consider it as proceeding from themselves; their transforming influence reached to all things, but the people did not refer it to them with hope. No one could tell the name of their agency, but they made men and things be joyful in themselves. Where they took their stand could not be fathomed, and they found their enjoyment in (the realm of) nonentity.’
5. In Kăng there was a mysterious wizard3 called Ki-hsien. He knew all about the deaths and births of men, their preservation and ruin, their misery and happiness, and whether their lives would be long or short, foretelling the year, the month, the decade and the day like a spirit. When the people of Kăng saw him, they all ran out of his way. Lieh-ȝze went to see him, and was fascinated1 by him. Returning, he told Hû-ȝze of his interview, and said, ‘I considered your doctrine, my master, to be perfect, but I have found another which is superior to it.’ Hû-ȝze2 replied, ‘I have communicated to you but the outward letter of my doctrine, and have not communicated its reality and spirit; and do you think that you are in possession of it? However many hens there be, if there be not the cock among them, how should they lay (real) eggs3 ? When you confront the world with your doctrine, you are sure to show in your countenance (all that is in your mind)4 , and so enable (this) man to succeed in interpreting your physiognomy. Try and come to me with him, that I may show myself to him.’
On the morrow, accordingly, Lieh-ȝze came with the man and saw Hû-ȝze. When they went out, the wizard said, ‘Alas! your master is a dead man. He will not live;—not for ten days more! I saw something strange about him;—I saw the ashes (of his life) all slaked with water!’ When Lieh-ȝze reentered, he wept till the front of his jacket was wet with his tears, and told Hû-ȝze what the man had said. Hû-ȝze said, ‘I showed myself to him with the forms of (vegetation beneath) the earth. There were the sprouts indeed, but without (any appearance of) growth or regularity:—he seemed to see me with the springs of my (vital) power closed up. Try and come to me with him again.’
Next day, accordingly, Lieh-ȝze brought the man again and saw Hû-ȝze. When they went out, the man said, ‘It is a fortunate thing for your master that he met with me. He will get better; he has all the signs of living! I saw the balance (of the springs of life) that had been stopped (inclining in his favour).’ Lieh-ȝze went in, and reported these words to his master, who said, ‘I showed myself to him after the pattern of the earth (beneath the) sky. Neither semblance nor reality entered (into my exhibition), but the springs (of life) were issuing from beneath my feet;—he seemed to see me with the springs of vigorous action in full play. Try and come with him again.’
Next day Lieh-ȝze came with the man again, and again saw Hû-ȝze with him. When they went out, the wizard said, ‘Your master is never the same. I cannot understand his physiognomy. Let him try to steady himself, and I will again view him.’ Lieh-ȝze went in and reported this to Hû-ȝze, who said, ‘This time I showed myself to him after the pattern of the grand harmony (of the two elemental forces), with the superiority inclining to neither. He seemed to see me with the springs of (vital) power in equal balance. Where the water wheels about from (the movements of) a dugong1 , there is an abyss; where it does so from the arresting (of its course), there is an abyss; where it does so, and the water keeps flowing on, there is an abyss. There are nine abysses with their several names, and I have only exhibited three of them. Try and come with him again.’
Next day they came, and they again saw Hû-ȝze. But before he had settled himself in his position, the wizard lost himself and ran away. ‘Pursue him,’ said Hû-ȝze, and Lieh-ȝze did so, but could not come up with him. He returned, and told Hû-ȝze, saying, ‘There is an end of him; he is lost; I could not find him.’ Hû-ȝze rejoined, ‘I was showing him myself after the pattern of what was before I began to come from my author. I confronted him with pure vacancy, and an easy indifference. He did not know what I meant to represent. Now he thought it was the idea of exhausted strength, and now that of an onward flow, and therefore he ran away.’
After this, Lieh-ȝze considered that he had not yet begun to learn (his master’s doctrine). He returned to his house, and for three years did not go out. He did the cooking for his wife. He fed the pigs as if he were feeding men. He took no part or interest in occurring affairs. He put away the carving and sculpture about him, and returned to pure simplicity. Like a clod of earth he stood there in his bodily presence. Amid all distractions he was (silent) and shut up in himself. And in this way he continued to the end of his life.
6. Non-action (makes its exemplifier) the lord of all fame; non-action (serves him as) the treasury of all plans; non-action (fits him for) the burden of all offices; non-action (makes him) the lord of all wisdom1 . The range of his action is inexhaustible, but there is nowhere any trace of his presence. He fulfils all that he has received from Heaven2 , but he does not see that he was the recipient of anything. A pure vacancy (of all purpose) is what characterises him. When the perfect man employs his mind, it is a mirror. It conducts nothing and anticipates nothing; it responds to (what is before it), but does not retain it. Thus he is able to deal successfully with all things, and injures none.
7. The Ruler3 of the Southern Ocean was Shû4 , the Ruler of the Northern Ocean was Hû1 , and the Ruler of the Centre was Chaos. Shû and Hû were continually meeting in the land of Chaos, who treated them very well. They consulted together how they might repay his kindness, and said, ‘Men all have seven orifices for the purpose of seeing, hearing, eating, and breathing, while this (poor) Ruler alone has not one. Let us try and make them for him.’ Accordingly they dug one orifice in him every day; and at the end of seven days Chaos died2 .
[1 ] See notice on pp. 127, 128, on the Title and Subject-matter of the Book.
[2 ] The khwăn and the phăng are both fabulous creatures, far transcending in size the dimensions ascribed by the wildest fancy of the West to the kraken and the roc. Kwang-ȝze represents them as so huge by way of contrast to the small creatures which he is intending to introduce;—to show that size has nothing to do with the Tâo, and the perfect enjoyment which the possession of it affords. The passage is a good specimen of the Yü Yen (), metaphorical or parabolical narratives or stories, which are the chief characteristic of our author’s writings; but the reader must keep in mind that the idea or lesson in its ‘lodging’ is generally of a Tâoistic nature.
[1 ] There may have been a book with this title, to which Kwang-ȝze appeals, as if feeling that what he had said needed to be substantiated.
[2 ] This seems to be interjected as an afterthought, suggesting to the reader that the phăng, soaring along at such a height, was only an exaggerated form of the common phenomena with which he was familiar.
[1 ] In Chinese, Mang Ȝhang; but this is not the name of any particular place. The phrase denotes the grassy suburbs (from their green colour), not far from any city or town.
[2 ] The great state of the South, having its capital Ying in the present Hû-pei, and afterwards the chief competitor with Khin for the sovereignty of the kingdom.
[3 ] Taken by some as the name of a tortoise.
[4 ] This and the Ming-ling tree, as well as the mushroom mentioned above, together with the khwăn and phăng, are all mentioned in the fifth Book of the writings of Lieh-ȝze, referred to in the next paragraph.
[1 ] Or ‘the patriarch Phăng.’ Confucius compared himself to him (Analects, VII, 1);—‘our old Phăng;’ and Kû Hsî thinks he was a worthy officer of the Shang dynasty. Whoever he was, the legends about him are a mass of Tâoistic fables. At the end of the Shang dynasty (bc 1123) he was more than 767 years old, and still in unabated vigour. We read of his losing 49 wives and 54 sons; and that he still left two sons, Wû and Î, who died in Fû-kien, and gave their names to the Wû-î, or Bû-î hills, from which we get our Bohea tea! See Mayers’ ‘Chinese Reader’s Manual,’ p. 175.
[2 ] The founder of the Shang dynasty (bc 1766-1754). In Lieh-ȝze his interlocutor is called Hsiâ Ko, and Ȝze-kî.
[1 ] We can hardly tell who this Yung-ȝze was. Sung was a duchy, comprehending portions of the present provinces of Ho-nan, An-hui, and Kiang-sû.
[2 ] See note on the title of Book XXXII. Whether there ever was a personage called Lieh-ȝze or Lieh Yü-khâu, and what is the real character of the writings that go under his name, are questions that cannot be more than thus alluded to in a note. He is often introduced by Kwang-ȝze, and many narratives are common to their books. Here he comes before us, not as a thinker and writer, but as a semi-supernatural being, who has only not yet attained to the highest consummations of the Tâo.
[1 ] The description of a master of the Tâo, exalted by it, unless the predicates about him be nothing but the ravings of a wild extravagance, above mere mortal man. In the conclusion, however, he is presented under three different phrases, which the reader will do well to keep in mind.
[2 ] The great sovereign with whom the documents of the Shû King commence:—bc 2357-2257.
[3 ] A counsellor of Yâo, who is once mentioned by Sze-mâ Khien in his account of Po-î,—in the first Book of his Biographies (). Hsü Yû is here the instance of ‘the Sagely man,’ with whom the desire of a name or fame has no influence.
[1 ] Some say the tapir.
[2 ] Known to us only through Kwang-ȝze.
[3 ] ‘The madman of Khû’ of the Analects, XVIII, 5, who eschews intercourse with Confucius. See Hwang-fû Mî’s account of him, under the surname and name of Lû Thung, in his Notices of Eminent Tâoists, I, 25.
[4 ] Literally, ‘the Ho and the Han;’ but the name of those rivers combined was used to denote ‘the Milky Way.’
[5 ] See the Khang-hsî Thesaurus under the character . All which is said about the hill is that it was ‘in the North Sea.’
[1 ] Shun was the successor of Yâo in the ancient kingdom.
[2 ] All this description is to give us an idea of the ‘Spirit-like man.’ We have in it the results of the Tâo in its fullest embodiment.
[1 ] See the Lî Kî, IX, iii, 3.
[2 ] A state, part of the present province of Kieh-kiang.
[3 ] Said to have been Hsü Yû mentioned above, with Nieh Khüeh, Wang Î, and Phî-î, who will by and by come before us.
[4 ] A river in Shan-hsî, on which was the capital of Yâo;—a tributary of the Ho.
[5 ] This paragraph is intended to give us an idea of ‘the Perfect man,’ who has no thought of himself. The description, however, is brief and tame, compared with the accounts of Hsü Yû and of ‘the Spirit-like man.’
[6 ] Or Hui Shih, the chief minister of ‘king Hui of Liang (or Wei), (bc 370-333),’ with an interview between whom and Mencius the works of that philosopher commence. He was a friend of Kwang-ȝze, and an eccentric thinker; and in Book XXXIII there is a long account of several of his views. I do not think that the conversations about ‘the great calabash’ and ‘the great tree’ really took place; Kwang-ȝze probably invented them, to illustrate his point that size had nothing to do with the Tâo, and that things which seemed useless were not really so when rightly used.
[7 ] Called also Liang from the name of its capital. Wei was one of the three states (subsequently kingdoms), into which the great fief of Ȝin was divided about bc 400.
[1 ] A great and ancient state on the sea-board, north of Yüeh. The name remains in the district of Wû-kiang in the prefecture of Sû-kâu.
[2 ] The salve gave the troops of Wû a great advantage in a war on the Kiang, especially in winter.
[1 ] The Ailantus glandulosa, common in the north of China, called ‘the fetid tree,’ from the odour of its leaves.
[2 ] The bos grunniens of Thibet, the long tail of which is in great demand for making standards and chowries.
[1 ] See pp. 128-130.
[2 ] Nan-kwo, ‘the southern suburb,’ had probably been the quarter where Ȝze-khî had resided, and is used as his surname. He is introduced several times by Kwang-ȝze in his writings:—Books IV, 7; XXVII, 4, and perhaps elsewhere.
[3 ] We have the surname of this disciple, Yen (); his name, Yen (); his honorary or posthumous epithet (Khăng); and his ordinary appellation, Ȝze-yû. The use of the epithet shows that he and his master had lived before our author.
[4 ] ‘He had lost himself;’ that is, he had become unconscious of all around him, and even of himself, as if he were about to enter into the state of ‘an Immortal,’ a mild form of the Buddhistic samâdhi. But his attitude and appearance were intended by Kwang-ȝze to indicate what should be the mental condition in reference to the inquiry pursued in the Book;—a condition, it appears to me, of agnosticism. See the account of Lâo-ȝze in a similar trance in Book XXI, par. 4.
[1 ] The Chinese term here (lâi) denotes a reed or pipe, with three holes, by a combination of which there was formed the rudimentary or reed organ. Our author uses it for the sounds or notes heard in nature, various as the various opinions of men in their discussions about things.
[1 ] The sounds of Earth have been described fully and graphically. Of the sounds of Man very little is said, but they form the subject of the next paragraph. Nothing is said in answer to the disciple’s inquiry about the notes of Heaven. It is intimated, however, that there is no necessity to introduce any foreign Influence or Power like Heaven in connexion with the notes of Earth. The term Heaven, indeed, is about to pass with our author into a mere synonym of Tâo, the natural ‘course’ of the phenomena of men and things.
[2 ] Words are the ‘sounds’ of Man; and knowledge is the ‘wind’ by which they are excited.
[1 ] ‘A true Governor’ would be a good enough translation for ‘the true God.’ But Kwang-ȝze did not admit any supernatural Power or Being as working in man. His true Governor was the Tâo; and this will be increasingly evident as we proceed with the study of his Books.
[1 ] The name ‘Ruler’ is different from ‘Governor’ above; but they both indicate the same concept in the author’s mind.
[2 ] The proper reply to this would be that the mind is not dissolved with the body; and Kwang-ȝze’s real opinion, as we shall find, was that life and death were but phases in the phenomenal development. But the course of his argument suggests to us the question here, ‘Is life worth living?’
[1 ] This ‘teacher’ is ‘the Tâo.’
[2 ] Expressing the absurdity of the case. This is one of the sayings of Hui-ȝze;—see Book XXXIII, par. 7.
[3 ] The successor and counsellor of Shun, who coped with and remedied the flood of Yâo.
[1 ] The followers of Confucius.
[2 ] The disciples of Mih-ȝze, or Mih Tî, the heresiarch, whom Mencius attacked so fiercely;—see Mencius, V, 1, 5, et al. His era must be assigned between Confucius and Mencius.
[3 ] That is, the perfect mind, the principle of the Tâo.
[4 ] As taught by Hui-ȝze;—see XXXIII, 7; but it is doubtful if the quotation from Hui’s teaching be complete.
[5 ] Equivalent to the Tâo. See on the use in Lâo-ȝze and Kwang-ȝze of the term ‘Heaven,’ in the Introduction, pp. 16-18.
[1 ] The language of our author here is understood to have reference to the views of Kung-sun Lung, a contemporary of Hui-ȝze, and a sophist like him. One of his treatises or arguments had the title of ‘The White Horse,’ and another that of ‘Pointing to Things.’ If these had been preserved, we might have seen more clearly the appropriateness of the text here. But the illustration of the monkeys and their actions shows us the scope of the whole paragraph to be that controversialists, whose views are substantially the same, may yet differ, and that with heat, in words.
[1 ] The character in the text means both ‘a stalk of grain’ and ‘a horizontal beam.’ Each meaning has its advocates here.
[2 ] A famous beauty, a courtezan presented by the king of Yüeh to his enemy, the king of Wû, and who hastened on his progress to ruin and death, she herself perishing at the same time.
[1 ] Literally, ‘the Heaven-Mould or Moulder,’—another name for the Tâo, by which all things are fashioned.
[2 ] See the same passage in Book XXIII, par. 10.
[3 ] The ordinary reading here is făng (), ‘a boundary’ or ‘distinctive limit.’ Lin Hsî-kung adopts the reading , ‘a response,’ and I have followed him.
[1 ]Kâo Wăn and Shih Kwang were both musicians of the state of Ȝin. Shih, which appears as Kwang’s surname, was his denomination as ‘music-master.’ It is difficult to understand the reason why Kwang-ȝze introduces these men and their ways, or how it helps his argument.
[2 ] Perhaps we should read here ‘son,’ with special reference to the son of Hui-ȝze.
[1 ] Referring, I think, to those below commencing ‘There was a beginning.’
[2 ] That is, looking at things from the standpoint of an original non-existence, and discarding all considerations of space and time.
[1 ] On this concluding clause, Ȝiâo Hung says:—‘Avoiding such procedure, there will be no affirmations and denials (no contraries). The phrase occurs in the Book several times, and interpreters have missed its meaning from not observing that serve merely as a final particle, and often have the added to them, without affecting its meaning.’ See also Wang Yin on the usages of in the , ch. 1208, art. 6.
[2 ] That is, direct opposites.
[3 ] Literally, ‘righteousnesses;’ the proper way of dealing with the relations.
[4 ] Literally, ‘separations.’
[1 ] Literally, ‘the six conjunctions,’ meaning the four cardinal points of space, with the zenith and nadir; sometimes a name for the universe of space. Here we must restrict the meaning as I have done.
[2 ] ‘The Spring and Autumn;’—Confucius’s Annals of Lû, here complimented by Kwang-ȝze. See in Mencius, IV, ii, 21.
[3 ] Compare the Tâo Teh King, ch. 25, et al.
[1 ] Compare the use of in the Shû King, I, iii, 11.
[2 ] The classic of Lâo, in chaps. 1, 2.
[3 ] Names for the Tâo.
[4 ] Three small states. Is Yâo’s wish to smite an instance of the ‘quality’ of ‘emulation’ or jealousy?
[5 ] Both Tâoistic worthies of the time of Yâo, supposed to have been two of the Perfect Ones whom Yâo visited on the distant hill of Kû-shih (I, par. 6). According to Hwang Mî, Wang Î was the teacher of Nieh Khüeh, and he again of Hsü Yû.
[1 ] Compare par. 1 of Book XXII.
[2 ] Two famous beauties;—the former, a contemporary of Hsî Shih (par. 4, note 2), and like her also, of the state of Yüeh; the latter, the daughter of a barbarian chief among the Western Jung. She was captured by duke Hsien of Ȝin, in bc 672. He subsequently made her his wife,—to the great injury of his family and state.
[1 ] Not thinking them beautiful, as men did, but frightened and repelled by them.
[2 ] Compare Book I, pars. 3 and 5.
[3 ] We know nothing of the former of these men, but what is mentioned here; the other appears also in Book XXV, 6, q. v. If ‘the master’ that immediately follows be Confucius they must have been contemporary with him. The Khiû in Khang-wû’s reply would seem to make it certain ‘the master’ was Confucius, but the oldest critics, and some modern ones as well, think that Khang-wû’s name was also Khiû. But this view is attended with more difficulties than the other. By the clause interjected in the translation after the first ‘Master,’ I have avoided the incongruity of ascribing the long description of Tâoism to Confucius.
[1 ] Compare Lâo-ȝze’s account of himself in his Work, ch. 20.
[2 ] See note 2 on page 191. The lady is there said to have been the daughter of a barbarian chief; here she appears as the child of the border Warden of Âi. But her maiden surname of Kî () shows her father must have been a scion of the royal family of Kâu. Had he forsaken his wardenship, and joined one of the Tî tribes, which had adopted him as its chief?
[3 ] Ȝin was only a marquisate. How does Kwang-ȝze speak of its ruler as ‘a king?’
[4 ] This could not be; a man does not come to himself in his dream, and in that state try to interpret it.
[1 ] Compare XVIII, par. 4.
[1 ] See this passage again in Book XXVII, par. 1, where the phrase which I have called here ‘the invisible operation of Heaven,’ is said to be the same as ‘the Heavenly Mould or Moulder,’ that is, the Heavenly Fashioner, one of the Tâoistic names for the Tâo.
[2 ] That is, all things being traced up to the unity of the Tâo, we have found the pivot to which all conflicting opinions, all affirmations, all denials, all positions and negatives converge, and bring to bear on them the proper light of the mind. Compare paragraph 3.
[3 ] A story to the same effect as this here, with some textual variations, occurs in Book XXVII, immediately after par. 1 referred to above.
[1 ] The mind cannot rest in second causes, and the first cause, if there be one, is inscrutable.
[2 ] Even these must wait for the will of the creature; but the case of the shadow is still more remarkable.
[3 ] I have put this interrogatively, as being more graphic, and because of the particle , which is generally, though not necessarily, interrogative.
[4 ] Hsüan Ying, in his remarks on these two sentences, brings out the force of the story very successfully:—‘Looking at them in their ordinary appearance, there was necessarily a difference between them, but in the delusion of the dream each of them appeared the other, and they could not distinguish themselves! Kâu could be a butterfly, and the butterfly could be Kâu;—we may see that in the world all traces of that and this may pass away, as they come under the influence of transformations.’ For the phrase, ‘the transformation of things,’ see in Book XI, par. 5, et al. But the Tâoism here can hardly be distinguished from the Buddhism that holds that all human experience is merely so much mâya or illusion.
[1 ] See pp. 130, 131.
[2 ] Under what is said about knowledge here there lies the objection of Tâoists to the Confucian pursuit of knowledge as the means for the right conduct of life, instead of the quiet simplicity and self-suppression of their own system.
[3 ] This is the key to the three paragraphs that follow. But the text of it is not easily construed. The ‘doing good’ and the ‘doing evil’ are to be lightly understood.
[4 ] A name for the Tâo.
[5 ] ‘The ruler Wăn-hui’ is understood to be ‘king Hui of Liang (or Wei),’ with the account of an interview between whom and Mencius the works of that philosopher commence.
[1 ] Two pieces of music, ascribed to Khăng Thang and Hwang-Tî.
[1 ] There was a family in Wei with the double surname Kung-wăn. This would be a scion of it.
[2 ] This is Hsien still speaking. We have to understand his reasoning ad sensum and not ad verbum. The master of the Left had done ‘evil,’ so as to incur the punishment from which he suffered; and had shown himself less wise than a pheasant.
[1 ] Then the account that Lâo-ȝze went westwards, and that nothing is known as to where he died, must be without foundation.
[2 ] Nothing more is known of this person.
[3 ] Probably the disciples of Lâo-ȝze.
[4 ] Lâo had gone to an excess in his ‘doing good,’ as if he were seeking reputation.
[5 ] Into the world.
[6 ] See Kwang-ȝze’s remarks and demeanour on the death of his wife, in Book XVIII.
[1 ] This short sentence is remarkable by the use of the character Tî (), ‘God,’ in it, a usage here ascribed to the ancients.
[2 ] The concluding sentence might stand as a short paragraph by itself. The ‘faggots’ are understood to represent the body, and the ‘fire’ the animating spirit. The body perishes at death as the faggots are consumed by the fire. But the fire may be transmitted to other faggots, and so the spirit may migrate, and be existing elsewhere.
[1 ] See pp. 131, 132.
[2 ] The favourite disciple of Confucius, styled also Ȝze-yüan.
[3 ] Of course, Confucius;—his designation or married name.
[4 ] A feudal state, embracing portions of the present provinces of Ho-nan, Kih-lî, and Shan-tung. There was another state, which we must also call Wei in English, though the Chinese characters of them are different;—one of the fragments of the great state of Ȝin, more to the west.
[5 ] At this time the marquis Yüan, known to us by his posthumous title of duke Ling;—see Book XXV, 9.
[6 ] Adopting Lin’s reading of instead of the common .
[1 ] Compare in the Analects, VIII, xiii, 2, where a different lesson is given; but Confucius may at another time have spoken as Hui says.
[1 ] The tyrant with whom the dynasty of Hsiâ ended.
[2 ] A worthy minister of Kieh.
[3 ] The tyrant with whom the dynasty of Shang or Yin ended.
[4 ] A half-brother of Kâu, the tyrant of the Yin dynasty.
[1 ] See in par. 7, Book II, where Hsü-âo is mentioned, though not Ȝhung-kih. See the Shû, III, ii.
[2 ] I take here as = ;—a meaning given in the Khang-hsî dictionary.
[1 ] Entirely unsophisticated, governed by the Tâo.
[2 ] See the Lî Kî, XI, ii, 16, 17.
[1 ] The term is emphatic, as Confucius goes on to explain.
[2 ] Such as onions and garlic, with horse, dog, cow, goose, and pigeon.
[1 ] The character in the text for ‘spirit’ here is , ‘the breath.’
[2 ] The Tâo.
[3 ] ‘Said;’ probably, after having made trial of this fasting.
[1 ] Often spoken of as Fo-hî, the founder of the Chinese kingdom. His place in chronology should be assigned to him more than bc 3000 rather than under that date.
[2 ] A predecessor of Fû-hsî, a sovereign of the ancient paradisiacal time.
[3 ] The name of Sheh remains in Sheh-hsien, a district of the department Nan-yang, Ho-nan. Its governor, who is the subject of this narrative, was a Shăn Kû-liang, styled Ȝze-kâo. He was not a duke, but as the counts of Khû had usurped the name of king, they gave high-sounding names to all their ministers and officers.
[1 ] Or, ‘according to the Tâo.’
[2 ] As a criminal; punished by his sovereign.
[3 ] Anxiety ‘night and day,’ or ‘cold and hot’ fits of trouble;—a peculiar usage of Yin Yang.
[1 ] The Ming of the text here is that in the first sentence of the Kung Yung.
[1 ] Probably a Collection of Directions current at the time; and which led to the name of Yang Hsiung’s Treatise with the same name in our first century.
[2 ] See the Shih, II, vii, 6.
[1 ] See above, on preceding page.
[2 ] Not meaning the king of Khû; but the Tâo, whose will was to be found in his nature and the conditions of his lot.
[1 ] A member of the Yen family of Lû. We shall meet with him again in Books XIX, XXVIII, and XXXII.
[2 ] A minister of Wei; a friend and favourite of Confucius.
[3 ] Compare in the Kung Yung, ii, ch. 24.
[1 ] Equivalent to ‘Do not cross him in his peculiarities.’
[1 ] The name of a place; of a road; of a bend in the road; of a hill. All these accounts of the name are found in different editions of our author, showing that the locality had not been identified.
[2 ] No one has thought it worth cutting down.
[1 ] This is the indignity intended.
[1 ] Probably the Nan-kwo Ȝze-khî at the beginning of the second Book.
[2 ] In the present department of Kwei-teh, Ho-nan.
[3 ] A difficult sentence to construe.
[4 ] In what part of the duchy we do not know.
[5 ] See Mencius, VI, i, 13.
[1 ] Probably the name of an old work on sacrifices. But was there ever a time in China when human sacrifices were offered to the Ho, or on any altar?
[2 ] One of Kwang-ȝze’s creations.
[1 ] The deficiency of their faculties—here mental faculties—would assimilate them to the useless trees in the last two paragraphs, whose uselessness only proved useful to them.
[2 ] The great state of the south, having its capital in the present Hû-pei.
[3 ] See the Analects XVIII, v.
[4 ] The madman would seem to contrast his own course with that of Confucius; but the meaning is very uncertain, and the text cannot be discussed fully in these short notes. There is a jingle of rhyme also in the sentence, and some critics find something like this in them:‘Ye ferns, ye thorny ferns, O injure not my way!To save my feet, I backward turn, or winding stray!’
[1 ] Literally, ‘robs itself;’—exhausts its moisture or productive strength.
[1 ] See pp. 133, 134.
[2 ] The native state of Confucius, part of the present Shan-tung.
[3 ] A Tâoist of complete virtue; but probably there was not really such a person. Our author fabricates him according to his fashion.
[4 ] The character uh () does not say that he had lost both his feet, but I suppose that such is the meaning, because of what is said of Toeless below that ‘he walked on his heels to see Confucius.’ The feet must have been amputated, or mutilated rather (justly or unjustly), as a punishment; but Kwang-ȝze wished to say nothing on that point.
[5 ] Perhaps a disciple of Confucius;—not elsewhere mentioned as such.
[6 ] See the Tâo Teh King, ch. 2.
[1 ] Literally, ‘the Senior;’ often rendered ‘Teacher.’
[2 ] ‘That in which there is no element of falsehood’ is the Tâo, which also is the ‘Author’ of all the changes that take place in time and space. See the Introductory Note on the title and subject of the Book.
[1 ] Wang Thâi saw all things in the Tâo, and the Tâo in all things. Comp. Book XI, par. 7, et al.
[2 ] Notwithstanding his being a cripple. He forgets that circumstance himself, and all others forget it, constrained and won by his embodiment of the Tâo. What follows is an illustration of this, exaggerated indeed, but not so extravagantly as in many other passages.
[3 ] In the Tâoistic meaning of the term.
[4 ] The royal army consisted of six hosts; that of a great feudal prince of three. ‘Nine hosts’ = a very great army.
[1 ] The arms, legs, head, and trunk.
[2 ] Another cripple introduced by our author to serve his purpose.
[3 ] Kung-sun Khiâo; a good and able minister of Kăng, an earldom forming part of the present Ho-nan. He was a contemporary of Confucius, who wept when he heard of his death in bc 522. He was a scion of the ruling house, which again was a branch of the royal family of Kâu.
[4 ] A Tâoist teacher. See XXI, par. 9; XXXII, par. 1.
[1 ] A famous archer of antiquity in the twenty-second century bc, or perhaps earlier.
[1 ] ‘Toeless’ is a sort of nickname. Shû-shan or Shû hill was, probably, where he dwelt:—‘Toeless of Shû hill.’
[1 ] ‘Heaven’ here is a synonym of Tâo. Perhpas the meaning is ‘unavoidable;’ it is so in the Tâoistic order of things.
[2 ] It was in the sixteenth year of duke Âi that Confucius died. Âi was marquis of Lû from bc 494 to 468.
[3 ] The account of Âi-thâi Tho is of course Kwang-ȝze’s own fabrication. Âi-thâi is understood to be descriptive of his ugliness, and Tho to be his name.
[4 ] Perhaps this was spoken by his wife before their marriage.
[1 ] One sees dimly the applicability of this illustration to the case in hand. What made Âi-thâi Tho so much esteemed was his mental power, quite independent of his ugly person.
[1 ] See the Lî Kî, VIII, i, 7; but the applicability of these two illustrations is not so clear.
[2 ] These two have force as in ‘reasoning from the less to the greater.’ With the latter of the two compare the mosaical provision in Deuteronomy xxiv. 5.
[3 ] ‘Powers’ are the capacities of the nature,—the gift of the Tâo. ‘Virtue’ is the realisation or carrying out of those capacities.
[1 ] Specially the season of complacent enjoyment.
[2 ] So, in Lin Hsî-kung; but the meaning has to be forced out of the text.
[3 ] The disciple Min Sun or Min Ȝze-khien.
[1 ] These two men are undoubtedly inventions of Kwang-ȝze. They are brought before us, not by surnames and names, but by their several deformities.
[2 ] The first of the five presiding chiefs; marquis of Khî from bc 685 to 643.
[3 ] Lin Hsî-kung wonders whether the story of the man who was so taken with the charms of a one-eyed courtesan, that he thought other women all had an eye too many, was taken from this!
[1 ] Lû Shû-kih maintains here that ‘the Tâo’ and ‘Heaven’ have the same meaning; nor does he make any distinction between mâo (), ‘the personal appearance,’ and hsing (), ‘the figure,’ or ‘bodily form.’
[2 ] Compare in the Tâo Teh King expressions in li, 2, and lv, 5.
[1 ] Apparently a gross meaning attached by Hui-ȝze to Kwang-ȝze’s words.
[2 ]Kwang-ȝze beats down his opponent, and contemptuously refers to some of his well-known peculiarities;—as in II, par. 5, XXXIII, par. 7, and elsewhere.
[1 ] See pp. 134-136.
[2 ] Both ‘Heaven’ and ‘Man’ here are used in the Tâoistic sense;—the meaning which the terms commonly have both with Lâo and Kwang.
[3 ] The middle member of this sentence is said to be the practical outcome of all that is said in the Book; conducting the student of the Tâo to an unquestioning submission to the experiences in his lot, which are beyond his comprehension, and approaching nearly to what we understand by the Christian virtue of Faith.
[4 ] That is, there may be the conflict, to the end of life, between faith and fact, so graphically exhibited in the Book of Job, and compendiously described in the seventy-third Psalm.
[1 ] Here we meet with the True Man, a Master of the Tâo. He is the same as the Perfect Man, the Spirit-like Man, and the Sagely Man (see pp. 127, 128), and the designation is sometimes interchanged in the five paragraphs that follow with ‘the Sagely Man.’ Mr. Balfour says here that this name ‘is used in the esoteric sense,—“partaking of the essence of divinity;” ’ and he accordingly translates by ‘the divine man.’ But he might as well translate any one of the other three names in the same way. The Shwo Wăn dictionary defines the name by , ‘a recluse of the mountain, whose bodily form has been changed, and who ascends to heaven;’ but when this account was made, Tâoism had entered into a new phase, different from what it had in the time of our author.
[2 ] In this description of ‘the True Man,’ and in what follows, there is what is grotesque and what is exaggerated (see note on the title of the first Book, p. 127). The most prominent characteristic of him was his perfect comprehension of the Tâo and participation of it.
[3 ] has here the sense of .
[1 ] Was not this the state of non-existence? We cannot say of Pantâoism. However we may describe that, the Tâo operates in nature, but is not identical with it.
[2 ] appears in the common editions as , which must have got into the text at a very early time. ‘The mind forgetting,’ or ‘free from all thought and purpose,’ appears everywhere in the Book as a characteristic of the True Man. Not a few critics contend that it was this, and not the Tâo of which it is a quality, that Kwang-ȝze intended by the ‘Master’ in the title.
[1 ] Such antithetic statements are startling, but they are common with both Lâo-ȝze and our author.
[2 ] The seven men mentioned here are all adduced, I must suppose, as instances of good and worthy men, but still inferior to the True Man. Of Hû Pû-kieh all that we are told is that he was ‘an ancient worthy.’ One account of Wû Kwang is that he was of the time of Hwang-Tî, with ears seven inches long; another, that he was of the time of Thang, of the Shang dynasty. Po-î and Shû-khî are known to us from the Analects; and also the count of Khî, whose name, it is said, was Hsü-yü. I can find nothing about Kî Thâ;—his name in Ȝiâo Hung’s text is . Shăn=thû Tî was of the Yin dynasty, a contemporary of Thang. He drowned himself in the Ho. Most of these are referred to in other places.
[1 ] All this paragraph is taken as illustrative of the True man’s freedom from thought or purpose in his course.
[2 ] See note 3 on par. 1, p. 236.
[3 ] Love is due to a parent, and so such persons should love Heaven. There is in the text here, I think, an unconscious reference to the earliest time, before the views of the earliest Chinese diverged to Theism and Tâoism. We cannot translate the here.
[1 ] The great and most honoured Master,—the Tâo.
[2 ] This sentence contrasts the cramping effect on the mind of Confucianism with the freedom given by the doctrine of the Tâo.
[3 ] The Tâo does this. The whole paragraph is an amplification of the view given in the preceding note.
[4 ] The Tâo cannot be taken away. It is with its possessor, an ‘ever-during thing.’
[1 ] See p. 242, note 4.
[2 ] Adopting the reading of for , supplied by Hwâi-nan Ȝze.
[3 ] Our author has done with ‘the True Man,’ and now brings in the Tâo itself as his subject. Compare the predicates of It here with Bk. II, par. 2. But there are other, and perhaps higher, things said of it here.
[4 ] Men at a very early time came to believe in the existence of their spirits after death, and in the existence of a Supreme Ruler or God. It was to the Tâo that those concepts were owing.
[5 ] The primal ether out of which all things were fashioned by the interaction of the Yin and Yang. This was something like the current idea of protoplasm; but while protoplasm lies down in the lower parts of the earth, the Thâi-kî was imagined to be in the higher regions of space.
[1 ] The Tâo is independent both of space and time.
[2 ] A prehistoric sovereign.
[3 ] A name for the constellation of the Great Bear.
[4 ] Name of the spirit of the Khwăn-lun mountains in Thibet, the fairy-land of Tâoist writers, very much in Tâoism what mount Sumêru is in Buddhism.
[5 ] The spirit presiding over the Yellow River;—see Mayers’s Manual, pp. 54, 55.
[6 ] Appears here as the spirit of mount Thâi, the great eastern mountain; we met with him in I, 5, but simply as one of Kwang-ȝze’s fictitious personages.
[7 ] Appears before in Bk. II; the first of Sze-mâ Khien’s ‘Five Tîs;’ no doubt a very early sovereign, to whom many important discoveries and inventions are ascribed; is placed by many at the head of Tâoism itself.
[8 ] The second of the ‘Five Tîs;’ a grandson of Hwang-Tî. I do not know what to say of his ‘Dark Palace.’
[1 ] The Spirit of the Northern regions, with a man’s face, and a bird’s body, &c.
[2 ] A queen of the Genii on mount Khwăn-lun. See Mayers’s Manual, pp. 178, 179.
[3 ] Phăng Ȝû has been before us in Bk. I. Shun is intended by ‘the Lord of Yü.’ The five Chiefs;—see Mencius, VI, ii, 7.
[4 ] See the Shû, IV, viii; but we have nothing there of course about the Milky Way and the stars.—This passage certainly lessens our confidence in Kwang-ȝze’s statements.
[5 ] Perhaps the same as Nan-po Ȝze-khî in Bk. IV, par. 7.
[6 ] Must have been a great Tâoist. Nothing more can be said of him or her.
[7 ] Only mentioned here.
[1 ] So the is explained.
[2 ] Standing by himself, as it were face to face with the Tâo.
[3 ] Amid all changes, in life and death, the possessor of the Tâo has peace.
[4 ] Meaning writings; literally, ‘the son of the assisting pigment.’ We are not to suppose that by this and the other names that follow individuals are intended. Kwang-ȝze seems to have wished to give, in his own fashion, some notion of the genesis of the idea of the Tâo from the first speculations about the origin of things.
[1 ] We need not suppose that these are the names of real men. They are brought on the stage by our author to serve his purpose. Hwâi-nan makes the name of the first to have been Ȝze-shui ().
[2 ] Compare the same representation in Bk. XXIII, par. 10. Kû Teh-kih says on it here, ‘The head, the spine, the rump-bone mean simply the head and tail, the beginning and end. All things begin from nothing and end in nothing. Their birth and their death are only the creations of our thought, the going and coming of the primary ether. When we have penetrated to the non-reality of life and death, what remains of the body of so many feet?’
[3 ] The ‘Creator’ or ‘Maker’ () is the Tâo.
[1 ] Compare this description of Ȝze-yü’s deformity with that of the poor Shû, in IV, 8.
[2 ] Such is the submission to one’s lot produced by the teaching of Tâoism.
[3 ] Compare the same phraseology in III, par. 4, near the end. In correcting Mr. Balfour’s mistranslation of the text, Mr. Giles himself falls into a mistranslation through not observing that the is passive, having the that precedes as its subject (observe the force of the after in the best editions), and not active, or governing the that follows.
[1 ] Compare the account of the scene at Lâo-ȝze’s death, in III, par. 4.
[2 ] Here comes in the belief in transformation.
[3 ] The name of a famous sword, made for Ho-lü, the king of Wû (bc 514-494). See the account of the forging of it in the , ch. 74. The mention of it would seem to indicate that Ȝze-lâi and the other three men were of the time of Confucius.
[1 ] These three men were undoubtedly of the time of Confucius, and some would identify them with the Ȝze-sang Po-ȝze of Ana. VI, 1, Măng Kih-fan of VI, 13, and the Lâo of IX, vi, 4. This is very unlikely. They were Tâoists.
[2 ] Or, ‘without end.’
[3 ] Or, ‘Some time went by silently, and.’
[1 ] In accordance with the ancient and modern practice in China of calling the dead back. But these were doing so in a song to the lute.
[2 ] Or, ‘they do not regulate their doings (in the usual way).’
[1 ] The idea that the body is composed of the elements of earth, wind or air, fire, and water.
[2 ] A strange description of himself by the sage. Literally, ‘I am (one of) the people killed and exposed to public view by Heaven;’ referring, perhaps, to the description of a living man as ‘suspended by a string from God.’ Confucius was content to accept his life, and used it in pursuing the path of duty, according to his conception of it, without aiming at the transcendental method of the Tâoists. I can attach no other or better meaning to the expression.
[1 ] Misled by the text of Hsüang Ying, Mr. Balfour here reads instead of .
[2 ] Here, however, he aptly compares with the language of Christ in Matthew vii. 28.—Kwang-ȝze seems to make Confucius praise the system of Tâoism as better than his own!
[3 ] Must have been a member of the Măng or Măng-sun family of Lû, to a branch of which Mencius belonged.
[1 ] The people set such store by the mourning rites, that Măng-sun felt he must present the appearance of observing them. This would seem to show that Tâoism arose after the earlier views of the Chinese.
[2 ] I adopt here, with many of the critics, the reading of instead of the more common .
[3 ] This is to me very obscure.
[4 ] Are such dreams possible? See what I have said on II, par. 9.
[1 ] This also is obscure; but Confucius is again made to praise the Tâoistic system.
[2 ] Î-r is said by Lî Î to have been ‘a worthy scholar;’ but Î-r is an old name for the swallow, and there is a legend of a being of this name appearing to king Mû, and then flying away as a swallow;—see the Khang-hsî Thesaurus under . The personage is entirely fabulous.
[3 ] Dismembered or disfigured you.
[1 ] Names of parties, of whom we know nothing. It is implied, we must suppose, that they had suffered as is said by their own inadvertence.
[2 ] We must suppose that they had done so.
[1 ] ‘I sit and forget;’—generally thus supplemented (). Hui proceeds to set forth the meaning he himself attached to the phrase.
[2 ] Another denomination, I think, of the Tâo. The is also explained as meaning, ‘the great void in which there is no obstruction ().’
[3 ] Here is another testimony, adduced by our author, of Confucius’s appreciation of Tâoism; to which the sage would, no doubt, have taken exception.
[4 ] Two of the men in pars. 9, 10.
[1 ] Here is the highest issue of Tâoism;—unquestioning submission to what is beyond our knowledge and control.
[1 ] See pp. 136-138.
[2 ] See p. 190, note 5.
[3 ] An ancient Tâoist, of the time of Shun. So, Hwang-fû Mî, who adds that Shun served him as his master when he was eight years old. I suppose the name indicates that his clothes were made of rushes.
[4 ] Shun. See p. 245, note 3.
[5 ] An ancient sovereign, earlier, no doubt, than Fû-hsî; but nothing is known of him.
[6 ] He thought nothing about his being, as a man, superior to the lower creatures. Shun in governing employed his acquired knowledge; Thâi had not begun to do so.
[1 ] See p. 170, note 2.
[2 ] See p. 170, note 3.
[3 ] A name;—‘a worthy,’ it is said.
[4 ] Name of some hill, or height.
[5 ] A name (‘Root of the sky’), but probably mythical. There is a star so called.
[6 ] Probably the name of a mountain, though this meaning of Yin is not given in the dictionary.
[1 ] Or, ‘a nameless man.’ We cannot tell whether Kwang-ȝze had any particular Being, so named, in view or not.
[2 ] The objectionable point in the question is the supposition that ‘doing’ was necessary in the case.
[3 ] Or, ‘I am unprepared.’ But as Thien Kăn repeats the question, it seems better to supply the second pronoun. He had thought on the subject.
[4 ] See the same phraseology in VI, par. 11. What follows is merely our author’s way of describing the non-action of the Tâo.
[5 ] The Yang Kû, whom Mencius attacked so fiercely. He was, perhaps, a contemporary and disciple of Lâo-ȝze.
[1 ] The may be taken as = , in which case we must understand a as its object; or as = , ‘an echo,’ indicating the quickness of the man’s response to things.
[2 ] Compare the language of Lâo Tan, in Bk. XII, par. 8, near the beginning.
[3 ] is generally feminine, meaning ‘a witch.’ We must take it here as masculine (= ). The general meaning of the character is ‘magical,’ the antics of such performers to bring down the spirits.
[1 ] Literally, ‘intoxicated.’
[2 ] The teacher in Tâoism of Lieh-ȝze, called also Hû Khiû, with the name Lin (). See the remarks on the whole paragraph in the Introductory Notice of the Book.
[3 ] ‘The hens’ signify the letter of the doctrine; ‘the cock,’ its spirit; ‘the eggs,’ a real knowledge of it.
[4 ] is here in the first tone, and read as , meaning ‘to stretch,’ ‘to set forth.’
[1 ] One of the dugong. It has various names in Chinese, one being , ‘the Man-Fish,’ from a fancied resemblance of its head and face to a human being;—the origin perhaps of the idea of the mermaid.
[1 ] The four members of this sentence occasion the translator no small trouble. They are constructed on the same lines, and seem to me to be indicative and not imperative. Lin Hsî-kung observes that all the explanations that had been offered of them were inappropriate. My own version is substantially in accordance with his interpretations. The chief difficulty is with the first member, which seems anti-Tâoistic; but our author is not speaking of the purpose of any actor, but of the result of his non-action. is to be taken in the sense of , ‘lord,’ ‘exercising lordship.’ The in the third sentence indicates a person or persons in the author’s mind in what precedes.
[2 ] = the Heavenly or self-determining nature.
[3 ] Perhaps ‘god’ would be a better translation.
[4 ] Meaning ‘Heedless.’
[1 ] Meaning ‘Sudden.’
[2 ] The little allegory is ingenious and amusing. ‘It indicates,’ says Lin, ‘how action (the opposite of non-inaction) injures the first condition of things.’ More especially it is in harmony with the Tâoistic opposition to the use of knowledge in government. One critic says that an ‘alas!’ might well follow the concluding ‘died.’ But surely it was better that Chaos should give place to another state. ‘Heedless’ and ‘Sudden’ did not do a bad work.