Front Page Titles (by Subject) Part I. Section IV.: Z ăn K ien Shih, or 'Man in the World, Associated with other Men 1 .' - 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. Section IV.: Z ăn K ien Shih, or ‘Man in the World, Associated with other Men 1 .’ - 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 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 .’
[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.