dawei

The Dao Bums
  • Content count

    12,588
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    87

About dawei

  • Rank
    Dao Bum

Recent Profile Visitors

21,082 profile views
  1. What controls the Chi

    Yes, to a degree. There must be an energy source of origin... and De, Ziran, Wuwei are not things but attributes which flow from... maybe laws of nature, or just nature. They manifest under their own 'way' but due to something they are connected to. There is no De, Ziran, or Wuwei without some source. That we can describe their 'way' of action is due to a source.
  2. LIEZI Chapter 7 - Yang Zhu

    LIEZI Chapter 7 - Yang Zhu This is Chapter 7 for those that translate the work. As Giles did not, his chapter 7 is most others Chapter 8. Graham: Anton Forke: Yang Chu was a philosopher of the classic age of Chinese thought who probably lived in the 300's B.C.E. He has been associated with the Taoists since the rise of official Confucianism and the consolidation of what we now call 'Taoism', although this term is problematic, as thinkers like Yang Chu, Chuang Tzu, and Lao Tzu are quite different and were not considered to be members of a single school in ancient times. In addition, the text that we still have which is attributed to Yang Chu is from a somewhat later period, preserved in the Lieh Tzu (other extracts of which are also available at sacred-texts in the book Taoist Teachings), which did not reach its final form until perhaps 400 C.E. or so. In this text, Yang Chu is far from being a mystic, and is concerned mainly with enjoying life to its fullest, allowing a person's individual character the fullest expression possible and not interfering with natural processes. Anton Forke Translation: Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure [The Yang Chu chapter of the Lieh Tzu (book 7)] https://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/ycgp/index.htm
  3. LIEZI - Chapter 7 (8) - Causality

    LIEZI - Chapter 7 (8) - Causality Graham: (chapter 8 for Graham and Library of Classical Chinese) Giles: 7.1 In the course of Lieh Tzu's instruction by Hu-ch'iu Tzu-lin, the latter said to him: 'You must familiarize yourself with the theory of consequents before you can talk of regulating conduct.' Lieh Tzu said: 'Will you explain what you mean by the theory of consequents?' 'Look at your shadow,' said his Master, 'and then you will know.' Lieh turned and looked at his shadow. When his body was bent, the shadow was crooked; when his body was upright, the shadow was straight. Thus it appeared that the attributes of straightness and crookedness were not inherent in the shadow, but corresponded to certain positions of the body. Likewise, contraction and extension are not inherent in the subject, but take place in obedience to external causes. Holding this theory of consequents is to be at home in the antecedent. The Law of Causality is the foundation of all science. Kuan Yin spoke to the Master Lieh Tzu, saying: 'If speech is sweet, the echo will be sweet; if speech is harsh, the echo will be harsh. If the body is long, the shadow will be long; if the body is short, the shadow will be short. Reputation is like an echo, personal experiences like a shadow. Hence the saying: "Heed your words, and they will meet with harmonious response; heed your actions, and they will find agreeable accord." Therefore, the Sage observes the origin in order to know the issue, scrutinizes the past in order to know the future. Such is the principle whereby he attains foreknowledge. 'The standard of conduct lies with one's own self; the testing of it lies with other men. We are impelled to love those who love us, and to hate those who hate us. T'ang and Wu loved the Empire, and therefore each became King. Chieh and Chou hated the Empire, and therefore they perished. Here we have the test applied. He who does not follow Tao when standard and test are both clear may be likened to one who, when leaving a house, does not go by the door, Or, when travelling abroad, does not keep to the straight road. To seek profit in this way is surely impossible. 'No one has ever profited himself by opposing natural law.' 'You may consider the virtues of Shen Nung and Yu. Yen, you may examine the books of Yü, Hsia, Shang and Chou, you may weigh the utterances of great teachers and sages, but you will find no instance of preservation or destruction, fullness or decay, which has not obeyed this supreme Law.' Of Causality. Lieh Tzu learned archery and, when he was able to hit the target, he asked the opinion of Kuan Yin Tzu on his shooting. 'Do you know why you hit the target?' said Kuan Yin Tzu. 'No, I do not,' was the reply. 'Then you are not good enough yet,' rejoined Kuan Yin Tzu. Lieh Tzu withdrew and practised for three years after which he again presented himself. Kuan Yin Tzu asked, as before: 'Do you know why you hit the target? 'Yes,' said Lieh Tzu, 'I do.' 'In that case, all is well. Hold that knowledge fast, and do not let it slip.' 'Mental and bodily equilibrium are to be sought within oneself. Once you know the causal process which makes you hit the target, you will be able to determine the operation of Destiny beforehand, and when you let fly you will make no mistake.' The above principle does not apply only to shooting, but also to the government of a State and to personal conduct. Therefore the Sage investigates not the mere facts of preservation and destruction, but rather the causes which bring them about. 7.2 Lieh Tzu said: 'Those who excel in beauty become vain; those who excel in strength become violent. To such, it is useless to speak of Tao. He who is not yet turning grey will surely err if he but speak of Tao; how much less can he put it into practice! 'No man will confide in one who shows himself aggressive. And he in whom no man confides will remain solitary and without support. 'The arrogant and the aggressive will accept no confidences, even if they are made. Their mental attitude to others is one of distrust, and they keep their ears and eyes blocked. Who can render them assistance?' 'The wise man puts his trust in others: thus he reaches fullness of years without decay, perfection of Wisdom without bewilderment. In the government of a State, then, the hardest thing is to recognize the worth of others, not to rely upon one's own.' 'If you succeed in recognizing worth, then the wise will think out plans for you, and the able will act for you. By never rejecting talent from outside, you will find the State easy to govern.' 7.3 There was once a man in Sung who carved a mulberry leaf out of jade for his prince. It took three years to complete, and it mutated Nature so exquisitely in its down, its glossiness, and its general configuration from tip to stem, that, if placed in a heap of real mulberry leaves, it could not be distinguished from them. This man was subsequently pensioned by the Sung State as a reward for his skill. Lieh Tzu, hearing of it, said: 'If it took the Creator three years to make a single leaf, there would be very few trees with leaves on them. The Sage will rely not so much on human science and skill as on the operations of Tao.' 7.4 The Master Lieh Tzu was very poor, and his face wore a hungry look. A certain stranger spoke about it to Tzu Yang, of Cheng. 'Lieh Yü-k'ou,' said he, 'is a scholar in possession of Tao. Yet here he is, living in destitution, within your Excellency's dominion. It surely cannot be that you have no liking for scholars? Tzu Yang forthwith directed that an official allowance of grain should be sent to him. Lieh Tzu came out to receive the messengers, made two low bows and declined the gift, whereupon the messengers went away, and Lieh Tzu reentered the house. There he was confronted by his Wife, who beat her breast and cried aloud: 'I have always understood that the wife and family of a man of Tao live a fife of ease and pleasure. Yet now, when his Honour sends you a present of food, on account of your starved appearance, you refuse to accept it! I suppose you will call that "destiny"!' The Master Lieh Tzu smiled and replied: 'The Minister did not know about me himself. His present of grain was made on the suggestion of another. If it had been a question of punishing me, that too would have been done at some one else's prompting. That is the reason why I did not accept the gift.' Later on, the masses rose in actual rebellion against Tzu Yang, and slew him. It is implied that Lieh Tzu's independence of spirit saved his life, inasmuch as a pensioner would have shared the fate of his patron. 7.5 Mr Shih of Lu had two sons, one of whom was a scholar and the other a soldier. The former found in his accomplishments the means of ingratiating himself with the Marquis of Ch'i, who engaged him as tutor to the young princes. The other brother proceeded to Ch'u, and won favour with the King of that State by his military talents. The King was so well pleased that he installed him at the head of his troops. Thus both of them succeeded in enriching their family and shedding lustre on their kinsfolk. Now, a certain Mr Mêng, the neighbour of Mr Shih, also had two sons who followed the selfsame professions but were straitened by poverty. Envying the affluence of the Shih family, Mr Mêng called at his neighbour's house, and wanted to know the secret of their rapid rise in the world. The two brothers readily gave him the desired information, whereupon the eldest son immediately set off for Ch'in, hoping that his cultural attainments would recommend him to the King of that State. But the King said: 'At the present moment all the feudal princes are struggling to outbid one another in power, and the great essential is to keep up a large army. If I tried to govern my State on the lines of benevolence and righteousness, ruin and annihilation would be the outcome! So saying, he had the unfortunate man castrated, and turned him away. The second son, meanwhile, had gone to Wei, hoping that his military knowledge would stand him in good stead. But the Marquis of Wei said to himself--'Mine is a weak State hedged in by powerful ones. Wei was bounded by Chin and Ch'i on the north, Lu on the east, and Chêng on the south. My method of preserving tranquillity is to show subservience to the larger States and to conciliate the lesser ones. If I were to rely on armed force, I could only expect utter destruction. I must not allow this man to depart unscathed, or he may find his way to some other State and be a terrible thorn in my side.' So, without more ado, he cut off his feet and sent him back to Lu. On their return, the whole family fell to beating their breasts in despair, and uttered imprecations on Mr Shih. Mr Shih, however, said: 'Success consists in hitting off the right moment, while missing it means failure. Your method was identical with ours, only the result was different. That is not due to any flaw in the action itself, but simply because it was not well timed. Nothing, in the ordering of this world, is either at all times right or at all times wrong. What formerly passed current may nowadays be rejected; what is now rejected may by and by come into use again. The fact that a thing is in use or in disuse forms no criterion whatever of right or wrong. There is no fixed rule for seizing opportunities, hitting off the right moment, or adapting oneself to circumstances; it is all a matter of native wit. If you are deficient in that, you may possess the learning of a Confucius or the strategical gifts of a Lü Shang, and yet you will remain poor wherever you go. The Mêng family were now 'in a more resigned frame of mind, and their indignation had subsided. 'Yes, you are right,' they said; 'please say no more about it.' 7.6 Duke Wên of Chin put an army into the field with the intention of attacking the Duke of Wei, whereat Tzu Ch'u threw his head back and laughed aloud. On being asked the reason of his behaviour, he replied: 'I was thinking of the experience of a neighbour of mine, who was escorting his wife on a visit to her own family. On the way, he came across a woman tending silkworms, who attracted him greatly, and he fell into conversation with her. Happening to look up, what should he see but his own wife also receiving the attentions of an admirer! It was the recollection of this incident that made me laugh.' The Duke saw the point, and forthwith turned home with his army. Before he got back, an invading force had already crossed his northern frontier! 'As you behave to others, so others will behave to you. He who rides roughshod towards the accomplishment of his own desires, in the belief that it will not occur to others to do the like, will in all probability find himself circumstanced as above.' 7.7 In the Chin State, which was infested with robbers, there lived a certain Ch'i Yung, who was able to tell a robber by his face; by examining the expression of his eyes he could read his inmost thoughts. The Marquis of Chin employed him in the inspection of hundreds and thousands of robbers, and he never missed a single one. The Marquis expressed his delight to Wên Tzu of Chao, saying: 'I have a man who, singlehanded, is ridding my whole State of robbers. He saves me the necessity of employing a whole staff of police.' Wên Tzu replied: 'If your Highness relies on a detective for catching robbers, you will never get rid of them. And what is more, Ch'i Yung is certain sooner or later to meet with a violent end.' Meanwhile, a band of robbers were plotting together. 'Ch'i Yung,' they said, 'is the enemy who is trying to exterminate us.' So one day they stole upon him in a body and murdered him. When the Marquis of Chin heard the news, he was greatly alarmed and immediately sent for Wên Tzu. 'Your prophecy has come true,' he said; 'Ch'i Yung is dead. What means can I adopt for catching robbers now? 'in Chou,' replied Wên Tzu, 'we have a proverb: "Search not the ocean-depths for fish: calamity comes upon those who pry into hidden mysteries." If you want to be quit of robbers, the best thing your Highness can do is to promote the worthy to office. Let them instruct and enlighten their sovereign on the one hand, and reform the masses below them on the other. if once the people acquire a sense of shame, you will not find them turning into robbers.' The Marquis then appointed Sui Hui to be Prime Minister, and all the robbers fled to the Ch'in State. A shrewd thrust at the brigand State which eventually swallowed up all the rest. The commentator says: 'Apply cleverness to ferret out wrongdoing, and the cunning rogue will escape. Using the gift of intuition to expose crime only excites hatred in the wicked. That "sagacity is an evil" is no empty saying.' 7.8 Duke Mu of Ch'in said to Po Lo: A famous judge of horses, of whom Chuang Tzu speaks with scant respect. 'You are now advanced in years. Is there any member of your family whom I could employ to look for horses in your stead?' Po Lo replied: 'A good horse can be picked out by its general build and appearance. But the superlative horse--one that raises no dust and leaves no tracks--is something evanescent and fleeting, elusive as thin air. The talent of my sons lies on a lower plane altogether: they can tell a good horse when they see one, but they cannot tell a superlative horse. I have a friend, however, one Chiu-fang Kao, a hawker of fuel and vegetables, who in things appertaining to horses is nowise my inferior. Pray see him.' Duke Mu did so, and subsequently despatched him on the quest for a steed. Three months later, he returned with the news that he had found one. 'It is now in Sha-ch'iu,' he added. 'What kind of a horse is it?' asked the Duke. 'Oh, it is a dun-coloured mare,' was the reply. However, on some one being sent to fetch it, the animal turned out to be a coal-black stallion! Much displeased, the Duke sent for Po Lo. 'That friend of yours,' he said, 'whom I commissioned to look for a horse, has made a nice mess of it. Why, he cannot even distinguish a beast's colour or sex! What on earth can he know about horses?' Po Lo heaved a sigh of satisfaction. 'Has he really got as far as that?' he cried. 'Ah, then he is worth a thousand of me put together. There is no comparison between us. What Kao keeps in view is the spiritual mechanism. In making sure of the essential, he forgets the homely details; intent on the inward qualities, he loses sight of the external. He sees what he wants to see, and not what he does not want to see. He looks at the things he ought to look at, and neglects those that need not be looked at. So clever a judge of horses is Kao, that he has it in him to judge something better than horses.' When the horse arrived, it turned out indeed to be a superlative horse. 7.9 Mr Yü was a wealthy man of the Liang State. Another name for the Wei State in the fourth century B.C. His household was rolling in riches, and his hoards of money and silk and other valuables were quite incalculable. It was his custom to have banquets served, to the accompaniment of music, in a high upper hall overlooking the main road; there he and his friends would sit drinking their wine and amusing themselves with bouts of gambling. One day, a party of young gallants happened to pass along the road. In the chamber above, play was going on as usual, and a lucky throw of the dice, which resulted in the capture of both fishes, evoked a loud burst of merriment from the players. The game here alluded to was played on a board with a 'river' in the middle. Precisely at that moment, it happened that a kite which was sailing overhead dropped the carcass of a rat in the midst of the company outside. The young men held an angry consultation on the spot: 'This Mr Yü,' they said, 'has been enjoying his wealth for many a long day, and has always treated his neighbours in the most arrogant spirit. And now, although we have never offended him, he insults us with this dead art. If such an outrage goes unavenged, the world will look upon us as a set of poltroons. Let us summon up our utmost resolution, and combine with one accord to wipe him and his family out of existence!' The whole party signified their agreement, and when the evening of the day appointed had come, they collected, fully armed for the attack, and exterminated every member of the family. 'Pride and extravagance lead to calamity and ruin in more ways than one. Mr. Yü's family was destroyed, although in this particular instance he had no thought of insulting others; nevertheless, the catastrophe was due to an habitual lack of modesty and courtesy in his conduct.' 7.10 In the east of China there was a man named Yüan Ching Mu, who set off on a journey but was overcome by hunger on the way. A certain robber from Hu-fu, of the name of Ch'iu, saw him lying there, and fetched a bowl of rice-gruel in order to feed him. After swallowing three mouthfuls, Yüan Ching Mu opened his eyes and murmured, 'Who are you?' 'I am a native of Hu-fu, and my name is Ch'iu.' 'Oh misery!' cried Yüan Ching {p. 109} Mu, 'are not you the robber Ch'iu? What are you feeding me for? I am an honest man and cannot eat your food.' So saying, he clutched the ground with both hands, and began retching and coughing in order to bring it up again. Not succeeding, however, he fell flat on his face and expired. Now the man from Hu-fu was a robber, no doubt, but the food he brought was not affected thereby. Because a man is a robber, to refuse to eat the food he offers you, on the ground that it is tainted with crime, is to have lost all power of discriminating between the normal and the real. 7.11 Yang Chu's younger brother, named Pu, went out one day wearing a suit of white clothes. It came on to ram, so that he had to change and came back dressed in a suit of black. His dog failed to recognize him in this garb, and rushed out at him, barking. This made Yang Pu angry, and he was going to give the dog a beating, when Yang Chu said: 'Do not beat him. You are no wiser than he. For, suppose your dog went away white and came home black, do you mean to tell me that you would not think it strange? 7.12 Yang Chu said:, You may do good without thinking about fame, but fame will follow in its wake. Fame makes no tryst with gain, but gain will come all the same. Gain makes no tryst with strife, but strife will certainly ensue. Therefore the superior man is very cautious about doing good.' 7.13 The good people of Han-tan were in the habit, every New Year's day, of presenting their Governor, Chien Tzu, with a number of live pigeons. This pleased the Governor very much, and he liberally rewarded the donors. To a stranger who asked the meaning of the custom, Chien Tzu explained that the release of living creatures on New Year's day was the sign of a benevolent disposition. 'But,' rejoined the stranger, 'the people, being aware of your Excellency's whim, no doubt exert themselves to catch as many pigeons as possible, and large numbers must get killed in the process. If you really wish to let the birds live, the best way would be to prohibit the people from capturing them at all. If they have to be caught first in order to be released, the kindness does not compensate for the cruelty.' Chien Tzu acknowledged that he was right. 7.14 Mr T'ien, of the Ch'i State, was holding an ancestral banquet in his hall, to which a thousand guests were bidden. As he sat in their midst, many came up to him with presents of fish and game. Eyeing them approvingly, he exclaimed with unction: 'How generous is Almighty God to man! He makes the five kinds of grain to grow, and creates the finny and the feathered tribes, especially for our benefit.' All Mr T'ien's guests applauded this sentiment to the echo; but the twelve-year-old son of a Mr Pao, regardless of seniority, came forward and said: 'You are wrong, my lord. All the living creatures of the universe stand in the same category as ourselves, and one is of no greater intrinsic value than another. It is only by reason of size, strength or cunning that some particular species gains the mastery, or that one preys upon another. None of them are produced in order to subserve the uses of others. Man catches and eats those that are fit for food, but how can it be maintained that God creates these expressly for man's use? Mosquitoes and gnats suck man's blood, and tigers and wolves devour his flesh; but we do not therefore assert that God created man expressly for the benefit of mosquitoes and gnats, or to provide food for tigers and wolves.' In reading these words, penned before the beginning of our era, it is curious to reflect that only about fifty years ago Christian teleology used solemnly to preach this very doctrine of 'design', until Darwin arose and swept it away for ever. 7.15 A man, having lost his axe, suspected his neighbour's son of having taken it. Certain peculiarities in his gait, his countenance and his speech, marked him out as the thief. In his actions, his movements, and in fact his whole demeanour, it was plainly written that he and no other had stolen the axe. By and by, however, while digging in a dell, the owner came across the missing implement. The next day, when he saw his neighbour's son again, he found no trace of guilt in his movements, his actions, or his general demeanour. 'The man in whose mind suspicion is at work will let himself be carried away by utterly distorted fancies, until at last he sees white as black, and detects squareness in a circle.' 7.16 There was once a man in the Ch'i State who had a burning lust for gold. Rising early one morning, he dressed and put on his hat and went down to the marketplace, where he proceeded to seize and carry off the gold from a money-changer's shop. An ordinary thief would have gone at night, and probably naked, after smearing his body with oil. He was arrested by the police, who were puzzled to know why he had committed the theft at a time when every body was about. 'When I was taking the gold,' he replied, 'I did not see anybody at all; what I saw was the gold, and nothing but the gold.'
  4. LIEZI - Chapter 6 - Effort and Destiny Graham: Giles: 6.1 Effort said to Destiny: I have purposely avoided the familiar modern terms, Fate and Free will, which might seem to furnish the best equivalent to li and ming. Li is the ordinary word for 'strength' or 'force,' and here indicates human effort exerted in some definite direction (the German 'streben') as opposed to the blind and unconscious workings of Nature or Tao. 'Your achievements are not equal to mine.' 'Pray what do you achieve in the working of things,' replied Destiny, 'that you would compare yourself With me? 'Why,' said Effort, 'the length of man's life, his measure of success, his rank, and his wealth, are all things which I have the power to determine.' To this, Destiny made reply: 'P'êng Tsu's wisdom did not exceed that of Yao and Shun, yet he lived to the age of eight hundred. Yen Yüan's ability was not inferior to that of the average man, yet he died at the early age of thirty-two. The virtue of Confucius was not less than that of the feudal princes, yet he was reduced to sore straits between Ch'ên and Ts'ai. The conduct of Chou, of the Yin dynasty, did not surpass that of the Three Men of Virtue, yet he occupied a kingly throne. Wei Tzu, Chi Tzu and Pi Kan were all relatives of Chou Hsin, by whose orders the last-named was disembowelled. Chi Cha would not accept the overlordship of Wu, while T'ien Hêng usurped sole power in Ch'i. Po I and Shu. Ch'i starved to death at Shou-yang, while Chi Shih waxed rich at Chan-ch'in. If these results were compassed by your efforts, how is it that you allotted long life to P'êng Tsu and an untimely death to Yen Yüan; that you awarded discomfiture to the sage and success to the impious, humiliation to the wise man and high honours to the fool, poverty to the good and wealth to the wicked? 'If, as you say,' rejoined Effort, 'I have really no control over events, is it not, then, owing to your management that things turn out as they do? Destiny replied: 'The very name "Destiny" Something already immutably fixed. Shows that there can be no question of management in the case. When the way is straight, I push on; when it is crooked, I put up with it. Old age and early death, failure and success, high rank and humble station, riches and poverty--all these come naturally and of themselves. How can I know anything about them? 'Being what it is, without knowing why--that is the meaning of Destiny. What room is there for management here? 6.2 Yang Chu had a friend called Chi Liang, who fell ill. In seven days' time his illness had become very grave; medical aid was summoned, and his sons stood weeping round his bed. Chi Liang said to Yang Chu: 'Such excess of emotion shows my children to be degenerate. Will you kindly sing them something which will enlighten their minds? Yang Chu then chanted the following words: 'How can men be aware of things outside God's ken? Over misfortune man has no control, and can look for no help from God. Have doctors and wizards this knowledge that you and I have not? The sons, however, did not understand, and finally called in three physicians, Dr Chiao, Dr Yü and Dr Lu. They all diagnosed his complaint; and Dr Chiao delivered his opinion first: 'The hot and cold elements of your body,' he said to Chi Liang, 'are not in harmonious accord, and the impermeable and infundibular parts are mutually disproportionate. The origin of your malady is traceable to disordered appetites, and to the dissipation of your vital essence through worry and care. Neither God nor devil is to blame. Although the illness is grave, it is amenable to treatment.' Chi Liang said: 'You are only one of the common ruck,' and speedily got rid of him. {p. 93} Then Dr Yü came forward and said: 'You were born with too little nervous force, and were too freely fed with mother's milk. Your illness is not one that has developed in a matter of twenty-four hours; the causes which have led up to it are of gradual growth. It is incurable.' Chi Liang replied: 'You are a good doctor,' and told them to give him some food. Lastly, Dr Lu said: 'Your illness is attributable neither to God, nor to man, nor to the agency of spirits. It was already fore-ordained in the mind of Providence when you were endowed with this bodily form at birth. What possible good can herbs and drugs do you? 'You are a heaven-born physician indeed!' cried Chi Liang; and he sent him away laden with presents. Not long after, his illness disappeared of itself. 6.3 Duke Ching of Ch'i was travelling across the northern flank of the Ox-mountain in the direction of the capital. Gazing at the view before him, he burst into a flood of tears, exclaiming: 'What a lovely scene! How verdant and luxuriantly wooded! To think that some day I must die and leave my kingdom, passing away like running water! If only there were no such things as death, nothing should induce me to stir from this spot.' Two of the Ministers in attendance on the Duke, taking their cue from him, also began to weep, saying: 'We, who are dependent on your Highness's bounty, whose food is of an inferior sort, who have to ride on broken-down hacks or in creaking carts--even we do not want to die. How much less our sovereign liege!' Yen Tzu, meanwhile, was standing by, with a broad smile on his face. The Duke wiped away his tears and, looking at him, said: 'To-day I am stricken with grief on my journey, and both K'ung and Chü mingle their tears with mine. How is it that you alone can smile? Yen Tzu replied: 'If the worthy ruler were to remain in perpetual possession of his realm, Duke T'ai and Duke Huan would still be exercising their sway. If the bold ruler were to remain in perpetual possession, Duke Chuang and Duke Ling would still be ruling the land. But if all these rulers were now in possession, where would your Highness be? Why, standing in the furrowed fields, clad in coir cape and hat! The ordinary garb of a Chinese peasant in wet weather. Condemned to a hard life on earth, you would have had no time, I warrant, for brooding over death. Again, how did you yourself come to occupy this throne? By a series of successive reigns and removals, until at last your turn came. And are you alone going to weep and lament over this order of things? That is pure selfishness. it was the sight of these two objects--a self-centred prince and his fawning attendants--that set me quietly laughing to myself just now.' Duke Ching felt much ashamed. Raising his goblet, he fined himself one cup, and his obsequious courtiers two cups of wine apiece. 6.4 There was once a man, Tung-mên Wu of Wei, who when his son died testified no grief. His house-steward said to him: 'The love you bore your son could hardly be equalled by that of any other parent. Why, then, do you not mourn for him now that he is dead? 'There was a time,' replied Tung-mên Wu, 'when I had no son, yet I never had occasion to grieve on that account. Now that my son is dead, I am only in the same condition as I was before my son was born. What reason have I, then, to mourn? There is a story of Plutarch consoling his wife in exactly similar terms after the death of their daughter. The husbandman takes his measures according to the season, the trader occupies himself with gain, the craftsman strives to master his art, the official pursues power. Here we have the operation of human forces. But the husbandman has seasons of rain and seasons of drought, the trader meets with gains and losses, the craftsman experiences both failure and success, the official finds opportunities or the reverse. Here we see the working of Destiny.
  5. LIEZI - Chapter 5 - The Question of Tang Graham: Giles: 5.1 T'ang of Yin questioned Hsia Ko, saying: 'In the beginnings of antiquity, did individual things exist?' 'He suspected that there was only Chaos, and nothing more. 'If things did not exist then,' replied Hsia Ko, 'how could they be in existence now? Or will the men of future ages be right in denying the existence of things at the present time? 'Things in that case,' pursued T'ang, 'have no before nor after?' Hsia Ko replied: 'To the beginning and end of things there is no precise limit. Beginning may be end, and end may be beginning. How can we conceive of any fixed period to either? 'That which we call an end at the present moment may be the beginning of a new thing, and that which we call a beginning may, contrariwise, be the end of something. End and beginning succeed one another until at last they cannot be distinguished.' But when it comes to something outside matter in space, or anterior to events in time, our knowledge fails us.' 'Then upwards and downwards and in every direction space is a finite quantity? Ko replied: 'I do not know.' 'It was not so much that he did not know as that it is unknowable.' T'ang asked the question again with more insistence, and Ko said: 'If there is nothing in space, then it is infinite; if there is something, then that something must have limits. How can I tell which is true? But beyond infinity there must again exist non-infinity, and within the unlimited again that which is not unlimited. Lieh Tzu means that in this universe of relativity there must be contraries, even to a negative. We are only brought back, however, to our starting-point, for, as the commentator points out, that which is not infinite and not unlimited really stands for that which is finite and limited. It is this consideration--that infinity must be succeeded by non-infinity, and the unlimited by the not-unlimited--that enables me to apprehend the infinity and unlimited extent of space, but does not allow me to conceive of its being finite and limited.' 5.2 T'ang continued his inquiries, saying: 'What is there beyond the Four Seas? That is, the inhabited world as known to the Chinese. Ko replied: 'Just what there is here in the province of Ch'i.' 'How can you prove that?' asked T'ang. 'When travelling eastwards,' said Ko, 'I came to the land of Ying, where the inhabitants were nowise different from those in this part of the country. I inquired about the countries east of Ying, and found that they, too, were similar to their neighbour. Travelling westwards, I came to Pin, where the inhabitants were similar to our own countrymen. I inquired about the countries west of Pin, and found that they were again similar to Pin. That is how I know that the regions within the Four Seas, the Four Wildernesses and the Four Uttermost Ends of the Earth are nowise different from the country we ourselves inhabit. Thus, the lesser is always enclosed by a greater, without ever reaching an end. Heaven and earth, which enclose the myriad objects of creation, are themselves enclosed in some outer shell. 'That which contains heaven and earth is the Great Void.' Enclosing heaven and earth and the myriad objects within them, this outer shell is infinite and immeasurable. How do we know but that there is some mightier universe in existence outside our own? That is a question to which we can give no answer. 'Heaven and earth, then, are themselves only material objects, and therefore imperfect. Hence it is that Kua of old fashioned many-coloured blocks of stone to repair the defective parts. 'Nü Kua, being a divine man, was able to refine and extract the essence of the five constituents of matter! He cut off the legs of the Ao and used them to support the four corners of the heavens. This Chinese 'Atlas' was a gigantic sea-turtle. Later on, Kung Kung fought with Chuan Hsü for the throne, and, blundering in his rage against Mount Pu-chou, he snapped the pillar which connects Heaven and earth. At the north-western comer. That is why Heaven dips downwards to the north-west, so that sun, moon and stars travel towards that quarter. The earth, on the other hand, is now not large enough to fill up the south-east, so that all rivers and streams roll in that direction.' An ingenious theory to account for the apparent westward revolution of the heavenly bodies, as also for the easterly trend of the great Chinese rivers. 5.3 The two mountains T'ai-hsing and Wang-wu, which cover an area of 700 square li, and rise to an enormous altitude, originally stood in the south of the Chi district and north of Ho-yang. The Simpleton of the North Mountain, an old man of ninety, dwelt opposite these mountains, and was vexed in spirit because their northern flanks blocked the way to travellers, who had to go all the way round. So he called his family together, and broached a plan. 'Let us,' he said, 'put forth our utmost strength to clear away this obstacle, and cut right through the mountains until we come to Han-yin. What say you? They all assented except his wife, who made objections and said: 'My goodman has not the strength to sweep away a dunghill, let alone two such mountains as T'ai-hsing and Wang-wu. Besides, where will you put all the earth and stones that you dig up? The others replied that they would throw them on the promontory of P'o-hai. So the old man, followed by his son and grandson, sallied forth with their pickaxes, and the three of them began hewing away at the rocks, and cutting up the soil, and carting it away in baskets to the promontory of P'o-hai. A widowed woman who lived near had a little boy who, though he was only just shedding his milk teeth, came skipping along to give them what help he could. Engrossed in their toil, they never went home except once at the turn of the season. The Wise Old Man of the River-bend burst out laughing and urged them to stop. 'Great indeed is your witlessness!' he said. 'With the poor remaining strength of your declining years you will not succeed in removing a hair's breadth of the mountain, much less the whole vast mass of rock and soil.' With a sigh, the Simpleton of the North Mountain replied: 'Surely it is you who are narrow-minded and unreasonable. You are not to be compared with the widow's son, despite his puny strength. Though I myself must die, I shall leave a son behind me, and through him a grandson. That grandson will beget sons in his turn, and those soils will also have sons and grandsons. With all this posterity, my line will not die out, while on the other hand the mountain will receive no increment or addition. Why then should I despair of levelling it to the ground at last? The Wise Old Man of the River-bend had nothing to say in reply. One of the serpent-brandishing deities heard of the undertaking and, fearing that it might never be finished, went and told God Almighty, who was touched by the old man's simple faith, and commanded the two sons of K'ua O to transport the mountains, one to the extreme north-east, the other to the southern comer of Yung. In the south-west. That is, as far apart as possible. K'ua O was apparently a god of strength. Ever since then, the region lying between Chi in the north and Han in the south has been ap. unbroken plain. Roughly, the modem province of Honan. 5.4 Kung-hu of Lu and Ch'i-ying of Chao both fell ill at the same time, and called in the aid of the great Pien-ch'iao. A famous physician of the fifth century B.C. Pien-ch'iao cured them both, and when they were well again he told them that the malady they had been suffering from was one that attacked the internal organs from without, and for that reason was curable by the application of vegetable and mineral drugs. 'But,' he added, 'each of you is also the victim of a congenital disease, which has grown along with the body itself. Would you like me now to grapple with this? They said, 'Yes'; but asked to hear his diagnosis first. Pien-ch'iao turned to Kung-hu. 'Your mental powers,' he said, 'are strong, but your willpower is weak. Hence, though fruitful in plans, you are lacking in decision. Ch'i-ying's mental powers, on the other hand, are weak, while his will-power is strong. Hence there is want of forethought, and he is placed at a disadvantage by the narrowness of his aim. Now, if I can effect an exchange of hearts between you, the good will be equally balanced in both.' That is, Kung-hu, who has the weaker character, will get weaker brain-power to match, while Ch'i-ying, with the stronger will, receives a stronger mind to direct it. Though it may be that Ch'i-ying has the best of the bargain, each man, under the new arrangement, will at any rate be perfectly well balanced. The heart, as we have seen, was regarded as the seat of the mental faculties. So saying, Pien-ch'iao administered to each of them a potion of medicated wine, which threw them into a death-like trance lasting three days. A striking proof of the knowledge and practical application of anæsthetics at a very early date. Then, making an incision in their breasts, he took out each man's heart and placed it in the other's body, poulticing the wounds with herbs of marvellous efficacy. When the two men regained consciousness, they looked exactly the same as before; and, taking their leave, they returned home. Only it was Kung-hu who went to Ch'i-ying's house, where Ch'i-ying's wife and children naturally did not recognize him, while Ch'i-ying went to Kung-hu's house and was not recognized either. This led to a lawsuit between the two families, and Pien-ch'iao was called in as arbitrator. On his explaining how the matter stood, peace was once more restored. 5.5 King Mu of Chou made a tour of inspection in the west. He crossed the K'un-lun range, but turned back before he reached the Yen mountains. 'The place where the sun sets.' On his return journey, before arriving in China, a certain artificer was presented to him, by name Yen Shih. King Mu received him in audience, and asked what he could do. 'I will do anything,' replied Yen Shih, 'that your Majesty may please to command. But there is a piece of work, already finished, that I should like to submit first to your Majesty's inspection.' 'Bring it with you to-morrow.' said the King, 'and we will look at it together.' So Yen Shih called again the next day, and was duly admitted to the royal presence. 'Who is that man accompanying you?' asked the King. 'That, Sire, is my own handiwork. He can sing and he can act.' The King stared at the figure in astonishment. It walked with rapid strides, moving its head up and down, so that any one would have taken it for a live human being. The artificer touched its chin, and it began singing, perfectly in tune. He touched its hand, and it started posturing, keeping perfect time. It went through any number of movements that fancy might happen to dictate. The King, looking on with his favourite concubine and the other inmates of his harem, could hardly persuade himself that it was not real. As the performance was drawing to an end, the automaton winked his eye and made sundry advances to the ladies in attendance on the King. This, however, threw the King into a passion, and he would have put Yen Shih to death on the spot had not the latter, in mortal terror, instantly pulled the automaton to pieces to let him see what it really was. And lo! it turned out to be merely a conglomeration of leather, wood, glue and paint, variously coloured white, black, red and blue. Examining it closely, the King found all the internal organs complete--liver, gall, heart, lungs, spleen, kidneys, stomach and intestines--and, over these, again, muscles and bones and limbs with their joints, skin and teeth and hair, all of them artificial. Not a part but was fashioned with the utmost nicety and skill; and when it was put together again, the figure presented the same appearance as when first brought in. The King tried the effect of taking away the heart, and found that the mouth would no longer utter a sound; he took away the liver, and the eyes could no longer see; he took away the kidneys, and the legs lost their power of locomotion. Now the King was delighted. Drawing a deep breath, he exclaimed: 'Can it be that human skill is really on a par with that of the Creator?' And forthwith he gave an order for two extra chariots, in which he took home with him the artificer and his handiwork. Now, Pan Shu, with his cloud-scaling ladder, and Mo Ti, with his flying kite, thought that they had reached the limits of human achievement. 'Pan Shu made a cloud-ladder by which he could mount to the sky and assail the heights of heaven; Mo Ti made a wooden kite which would fly for three days without coming down.' But when Yen Shih's wonderful piece of work had been brought to their knowledge, the two philosophers never again ventured to boast of their mechanical skill, and ceased to busy themselves so frequently with the square and compasses. 5.6 Hei Luan of Wei had a secret grudge against Ch'iu Ping-chang, for which he slew him; and Lai Tan, the son of Ch'iu Ping-chang, plotted vengeance against his father's enemy. Lai Tan's spirit was very fierce, but his body was very slight. You could count the grains of rice that he ate, and he was at the mercy of every gust of wind. For all the anger in his heart, he was not strong enough to take his revenge in open fight, and he was ashamed to seek help from others. So he swore that, sword in hand, he would cut Hei Luan's throat unawares. This Hei Luan was the most ferocious character of his day, and in brute strength he was a match for a hundred men. His bones and sinews, skin and flesh were cast in superhuman mould. He would stretch out his neck to the blade or bare his breast to the arrow, but the sharp steel would bend or break, and his body show no scar from the Impact. Trusting to his native strength, he looked disdainfully upon Lai Tan as a mere fledgling. Lai Tan had a friend Shên T'o, who said to him: 'You have a bitter feud against Hei Luan, and Hei Luan treats you with sovereign contempt. What is your plan of action? Shedding tears, Lai Tan besought his friend's counsel. 'Well,' said Shên T'o, 'I am told that K'ung Chou of Wei has inherited, through an ancestor, a sword formerly possessed by the Yin Emperors, of such magical power that a mere boy wielding it can put to flight the embattled hosts of an entire army. Why not sue for the loan of this sword? Acting on this advice, Lai Tan betook himself to Wei and had an interview with K'ung Chou. Following the usage of supplicants, he first went through the ceremony of handing over his wife and children, and then stated his request. 'I have three swords, I replied K'ung Chou, 'but with none of them can you kill a man. You may choose which you like. First, however, let me describe their qualities. The first sword is called "Light-absorber". It is invisible to the eye, and when you swing it you cannot tell that there is anything there. Things struck by it retain an unbroken surface, and it will pass through a man's body without his knowing it. The second is called "Shadow-receiver". If you face north and examine it at the point of dawn, when darkness melts into light, or in the evening, when day gives way to dusk, it appears misty and dim, as though there were something there, the shape of which is not discernible. Things struck by it give out a low sound, and it passes through men's bodies without causing them any pain. The third is called "Night-tempered", because in broad daylight you only see its outline and not the brightness of its blade, while at night you see not the sword itself but the dazzling light which it emits. 'Alluding to its reflecting power.' The objects which it strikes are cleft through with a sibilant sound, but the line of cleavage closes up immediately. Pain is felt, but no blood remains on the blade. 'These three precious heirlooms have been handed down for thirteen generations, but have never been in actual use. They lie stored away in a box, the seals of which have never been broken.' 'In spite of what you tell me,' said Lai Tan, 'I should like to borrow the third sword.' K'ung Chou then returned his wife and children to him, and they fasted together for seven days. On the seventh day, in the dusk of evening, he knelt down and presented the third sword to Lai Tan, who received it with two low obeisances and went home again. 'He chose the third of the swords because it could be both handled and seen.' Grasping his new weapon, Lai Tan now sought out his enemy, and found him lying in a drunken stupor at his window. He cut clean through his body in three places between the neck and the navel, but Hei Luan was quite unconscious of it. Thinking he was dead, Lai Tan made off as fast as he could, and happening to meet Hei Luan's son at the door, he struck at him three times with his sword. But it was like hitting the empty air. Hei Luan's son laughed and said: 'Why are you motioning to me in that silly way with your hand? It will be remembered that the sword was invisible in daylight. Realizing at last that the sword had no power to kill a man, Lai Tan heaved a sigh and returned home. When Hei Luan recovered from the effects of his debauch, he was angry With his wife: 'What do you mean by letting me lie exposed to a draught?' he growled; 'it has given me a sore throat and aching pains in the small of my back.' 'Why,' said his son, 'I am also feeling a pain in my body, and a stiffness in my limbs. Lai Tan, you know, was here a little time ago and, meeting me at the door, made three gestures, which seem somehow to have been the cause of it. How he hates us, to be sure!' Thus, the improper use of divine weapons only leads to discomfiture. in this allegory, Lieh Tzu is satirizing the blood-feud, which must have been a terrible feature of the lawless times in which he lived. The powerlessness of the magic sword to kill may symbolically represent the essential futility of the vendetta which perpetuates itself from father to son.
  6. LIEZI - Chapter 4 - Confucius

    LIEZI - Chapter 4 - Confucius Graham: Giles: 4.1 A high official from Shang paid a visit to Confucius 'You are a sage, are you not? he inquired. 'A sage! replied Confucius. 'How could I venture to think so? I am only a man with a wide range of learning and information.' The Minister then asked: 'Were the Three Kings sages? The Three Kings, in this particular passage, are probably T'ang, surnamed 'The Completer' or 'The Successful', who founded the Shang dynasty, 1766 B.C., and the two founders of the Chou dynasty, Wên and Wu. The word shêng, here translated 'sage', implies a man inspired by Heaven. 'The Three Kings,' replied Confucius, 'were great in the exercise of wisdom and courage. I do not know, however, that they were sages.' 'What of the Five Emperors? Were they not sages? Shao Hao, Chuan Hsü, Yao, Shun, and the Great Yü. The last-named came to the throne in 2205 B.C. 'The Five Emperors excelled in the exercise of altruism and righteousness. I do not know that they were sages.' 'And the Three Sovereigns: surely they were sages? The Three Sovereigns always denote the legendary rulers Fu Hsi, Shên Nung and the Yellow Emperor. 'The Three Sovereigns excelled in the virtues that were suited to their age. But whether they were sages or no I really cannot say.' 'The wide learning of Confucius, the warlike prowess of T'ang and Wu, the humility and self-abnegation of Yao, and shun, the rude simplicity of Fu Hsi and Shên Nung, simply represent the ordinary activities of the sage who accommodates himself to the necessities of the world he lives in. They are not the qualities which make them sages. Those qualities are truly such as neither word nor deed can adequately express. Why, who is there, then,' cried the Minister, much astonished, 'that is really a sage?' The expression of Confucius' countenance changed, and he replied after a pause: 'Among the people of the West a true sage dwells. He governs not, yet there is no disorder. He speaks not, yet he is naturally trusted. He makes no reforms, yet right conduct is spontaneous and universal. So great and incomprehensible is he that the people can find no name to call him by. I suspect that this man is a sage, but whether in truth he is a sage or is not a sage I do not know.' The early Jesuit missionaries saw in the above an allusion to Jesus Christ. But (apart from other considerations) it is almost certain that the present work had taken definite shape before the Christian era. On the other hand, it is quite possible that the Sage whom Lieh Tzu had in mind was Sâkyamuni Buddha. The Minister from Shang meditated awhile in silence. Then he said to himself: 'Confucius is making a fool of me!' When the Master Lieh Tzu took up his abode in Nan-kuo the number of those who settled down with him was past reckoning, though one were to count them day by day. Lieh Tzu, however, continued to live in retirement, and every morning would hold discussions with them, the fame of which spread far and wide. Nan-kuo Tzu was his next-door neighbour, but for twenty years no visit passed between them, and when they met in the street they made as though they had not seen each other. 'There was a mysterious harmony between their doctrines, and therefore they arrived at old age without having had any mutual intercourse.' Nan-kuo Tzu means simply 'the Philosopher of Nan-kuo'. Lieh Tzu's disciples felt convinced that there was enmity between their Master and Nan-kuo Tzu; and at last, one who had come from the Ch'u State spoke to Lieh Tzu about it, saying: 'How comes it, Sir, that you and Nan-kuo Tzu are enemies? 'Nan-kuo Tzu,' replied the Master, 'has the appearance of fullness, but his mind is a blank. By no means a term of disparagement, in the mouth of a Taoist. His ears do not hear, his eyes do not see, his mouth does not speak, his mind is devoid of knowledge, his body free from agitation. What would be the object of visiting him? However, we will try, and you shall accompany me thither to see.' Accordingly, forty of the disciples went with him to call on Nan-kuo Tzu, who turned out to be a repulsive-looking creature with whom they could make no contact. Taoist writers seem to delight in attributing ugliness and deformity to their sages, no doubt as a sort of foil or set-off to their inward grandeur. He only gazed blankly at Lieh Tzu. Mind and body seemed not to belong together, and his guests could find no means of approach. 'The soul had subjugated the body. The mind being void of sense-impressions, the countenance remained motionless. Hence it seemed as if there were no co-operation between the two. How could they respond to external stimuli?' Suddenly, Nan-kuo Tzu singled out the hindermost row of Lieh Tzu's disciples, and began to talk to them quite pleasantly and simply, though in the tone of a superior. 'Fraternizing with the hindmost row, he recognized no distinctions of rank or standing; meeting a sympathetic influence, and responding thereto, he did not allow his mind to be occupied with the external.' The disciples were astonished at this, and when they got home again, all wore a puzzled expression. Their Master Lieh Tzu said to them: 'He who has reached the stage of thought is silent. He who has attained to perfect knowledge is also silent. He who uses silence in lieu of speech really does speak. He who for knowledge substitutes blankness of mind really does know. Without words and speaking not, without knowledge and knowing not, he really speaks and really knows. Saying nothing and knowing nothing, there is in reality nothing that he does not say, nothing that he does not know. This is how the matter stands, and there is nothing further to be said. Why are you thus astonished without cause?' 4.2 Lung Shu said to Wên Chih: 'Wên Chih lived in the time of the Six States, and acted as physician to Prince Wei of Ch'i (378-333 B.C.]. Another account says that he was an able physician of the Sung State in the "Spring and Autumn" period, and that he cured Prince Wen of Ch'i by making him angry, whereupon his sickness vanished.' 'You are the master of cunning arts. I have a disease. Can you cure it, Sir? 'I am at your service,' replied Wên Chih. {p. 73} 'But please let me know first the symptoms of your disease.' 'I hold it no honour, said Lung Shu, 'to be praised in my native village, nor do I consider it a disgrace to he decried in my native State. Gain excites in me no joy, and loss no sorrow. I look upon life in the same light as death, upon riches in the same light as poverty, upon my fellow-men as so many swine, and upon myself as I look upon my fellow-men. I dwell in my home as though it were a mere caravanserai, and regard my native district with no more feeling than I would a barbarian State. Afflicted as I am in these various ways, honours and rewards fail to rouse me, pains and penalties to overawe me, good or bad fortune to influence me, joy or grief to move me. Thus I am incapable of serving my sovereign, of associating with my friends and kinsmen, of directing my wife and children, or of controlling my servants and retainers. 'Men are controlled by external influences in so far as their minds are open to impressions of good and evil, and their bodies are sensitive to injury or the reverse. But one who is able to discern a connecting unity in the most multiform diversity will surely, in his survey of the universe, be unconscious of the differences between positive and negative.' What disease is this, and what remedy is there that will cure it?' Wên Chih replied by asking Lung Shu to stand with his back to the light, while he himself faced the light and looked at him intently. 'Ah!' said he after a while, 'I see that a good square inch of your heart is hollow. You are within an ace of being a true sage. Six of the orifices in your heart are open and clear, and only the seventh is blocked up. 'It was an ancient belief that the sage had seven orifices in his heart' (the seat of the understanding). This, however, is doubtless due to the fact that you are mistaking for a disease that which is really divine enlightenment. It is a case in which my shallow art is of no avail.' 4.3 Pu-tsê, in the Cheng State, was rich in wise men, and Tung-li in men of administrative talent. Among the vassals of Pu-tsê was a certain Po Fêng Tzu, who happened to travel through Tung-li and had a meeting with Têng Hsi. A noted sophist of the sixth century B.C. The latter cast a glance at his followers, and asked them, with a smile: 'Would you like to see me have some sport with this stranger? They understood what he would be at, and assented. Têng Hsi then turned to Po Fêng Tzu. 'Are you acquainted with the true theory of Sustentation? he inquired. 'To receive sustenance from others, through inability to support oneself, places one in the category of dogs and swine. It is man's prerogative to give sustenance to other creatures, and to use them for his own purposes. That you and your fellows are provided with abundant food and comfortable clothing is due to us administrators. Young and old, you herd together, and are penned up like cattle destined for the shambles: in what respect are you to be distinguished from dogs and swine? Po Fêng Tzu made no reply, but one of his company, disregarding the rules of precedence, stepped forward and said: 'Has your Excellency never heard of the variety of craftsmen in Ch'i and Lu? Some are skilled potters and carpenters, others are clever workers in metal and leather; there are good musicians, trained scribes and accountants, military experts and men learned in the ritual of ancestor-worship. All kinds of talent are there fully represented. But without proper organization, these craftsmen cannot be usefully employed. But those who organize them lack knowledge, those who employ them lack technical ability, and therefore they make use of those who have both knowledge and ability. 'Whoso possesses skill and knowledge of any particular kind is incapable of helping his prince in the direction of affairs! So it is really we who may be said to employ the Government administrators. What is it, then, that you are boasting about? Têng Hsi could think of nothing to say in reply. He glanced round at his disciples and retreated.
  7. Liezi - Book 3 - Dreams

    Liezi - Book 3 - Dreams Giles: 3.1 In the time of King Mu of Chou, there was a magician who came from a kingdom in the far west. He could pass through fire and water, penetrate metal and stone, overturn mountains and make rivers flow backwards, transplant whole towns and cities, ride on thin air without falling, encounter solid bodies without being obstructed. There was no end to the countless variety of changes and transformations which he could effect; and, besides changing the external form, he could also spirit away men's internal cares. King Mu revered him as a god, and served him like a prince. He set aside for his use a spacious suite of apartments, regaled him with the daintiest of food, and selected a number of singing-girls for his express gratification. The magician, however, condemned the King's palace as mean, the cooking as rancid, and the concubines as too ugly to live with. So King Mu had a new building erected to please him. It was built entirely of bricks and wood, and gorgeously decorated in red and white, no skill being spared in its construction. The five royal treasuries were empty by the time that the new pavilion was complete. It stood six thousand feet high, over-topping Mount Chung-nan, and it was called Touch-the-sky Pavilion. Then the King proceeded to fill it with maidens, selected from Chêng and Wei, of the most exquisite and delicate beauty. They were anointed with fragrant perfumes, adorned with moth-eyebrows, provided with jewelled hairpins and earrings, and arrayed in the finest silks, with costly satin trains. Their faces were powdered, and their eyebrows pencilled, their girdles were studded with precious stones. All manner of sweet-scented plants filled the palace with their odours, and ravishing music of the olden time was played to the honoured guest. Every month he was presented with fresh and costly raiment; every morning he had set before him some new and delicious food. The magician could not well refuse to take up his abode in this palace of delight. But he had not dwelt there very long before he invited the King to accompany him on a jaunt. So the King clutched the magician's sleeve, and soared up with him higher and higher into the sky, until at last they stopped, and lo! they had reached the magician's own palace. This palace was built with beams of gold and silver, and incrusted with pearls and jade. It towered high above the region of clouds and rain, and the foundations whereon it rested were unknown. It appeared like a stupendous cloud-mass to the view. The sights and sounds it offered to eye and ear, the scents and flavours which abounded there, were such as exist not within mortal ken. The King verily believed that he was in the Halls of Paradise, tenanted by God Himself, and that he was listening to the mighty music of the spheres. He gazed at his own palace on the earth below, and it seemed to him no better than a rude pile of clods and brushwood. It seemed to the King as if his stay in this place lasted for several decades, during which he gave no thought to his own kingdom. Then the magician invited him to make another journey, and in the new region they came to, neither sun nor moon could be seen in the heavens above, nor any rivers or seas below. The King's eyes were dazed by the quality of the light, and he lost the power of vision; his ears were stunned by the sounds that assailed them, and he lost the faculty of hearing. The framework of his bones and his internal organs were thrown out of gear and refused to function. His thoughts were in a whirl, his intellect became clouded, and he begged the 'This was the region of the Great Void, where all is dim and blurred, assuredly not meant to be traversed by the ordinary man. The dizziness of brain and eye was the effect produced by the Absolute.' magician to take him back again. Thereupon, the magician gave him a shove, and the King experienced a sensation of falling through space.... When he awoke to consciousness, he found himself sitting on his throne just as before, with the selfsame attendants round him. He looked at the wine in front of him, and saw that it was still full of sediment; he looked at the viands, and found that they had not yet lost their freshness. He asked where he had come from, and his attendants told him that he had only been sitting quietly there. This threw King Mu into a reverie, and it was three months before he was himself again. Then he made further inquiry, and asked the magician to explain what had happened. 'Your Majesty and I, 'replied the magician, 'were only wandering about in the spirit, and, of course, our bodies never moved at all. What essential difference is there between that sky-palace we dwelt in and your Majesty's palace on earth, between the spaces we travelled through and your Majesty's own park? Looked at from the standpoint of the Absolute, both palaces were unreal. You are accustomed to being permanently in the body, and cannot understand being out of it for a while. Can any number of changes, or successive intervals of fast and slow, fully represent the true scheme of things?' The King was much pleased. He ceased to worry about affairs of State, and took no further pleasure in the society of his ministers or concubines. The sky-palace was only some degrees finer than the King's, just as the King's palace was only some degrees finer than the hovel of a peasant. To strive for something that shall satisfy man's desires and aspirations once and for all is only labour lost. The story continues with an account of the King's marvellous journey to the West. But though he drained the cup of pleasure to the dregs, the upshot of it all was that he never truly attained to Tao. We may seek the moral in a saying of Lao Tzu: 'Without going out of doors, one may know the whole world; without looking out of window, one may see the Way of Heaven. The farther one travels, the less one may know.' 3.2 Lao Ch'êng Tzu went to learn magic from the venerable Yin Wên. After a period of three years, having obtained no communication, he humbly asked permission to go home. Yin Wên bowed, and led him into the inner apartment. There, having dismissed his attendants, he spoke to him as follows: 'Long ago, when Lao Tzu was setting out on his journey to the West, he addressed me and said: "All that has the breath of life, all that possesses bodily form, is mere illusion. The point at which creation begins, the change effected by the Dual Principles--these are called respectively Life and Death. That which underlies the manifold workings of Destiny is called Evolution; that which produces and transforms bodily substance is called Illusion. The ingenuity of the Creative Power is mysterious, and its operations are profound. In truth, it is inexhaustible and eternal. The 'Creative Power', of course, is Tao; but how widely the conception of Tao, differs from that of a personal God may be seen from the commentator's note: 'How should the Creative Power possess a conscious mind? It is its spontaneity that constitutes the mystery. Spirit and matter eagerly come together and coalesce into perceptible forms. Following the path of evolution they proceed on their way, and before long relapse into nothingness.' The ingenuity of that which causes material form is patent to the eye, and its operations are superficial. Therefore it arises anon, and anon it vanishes." Only one who knows that Life is really Illusion, and that Death is really Evolution, can begin to learn magic from me. You and I are both illusions. What need, then, to make a study of the subject? 'If a person wishes to make a study of illusion, in spite of the fact that his own body is an illusion, we are reduced to the absurdity of an illusion studying an illusion.' 3.3 Lao Ch'êng Tzu returned home, and for three months pondered deeply over the words of the Venerable Yin Wên. Subsequently, he had the power of appearing or disappearing at will; he could reverse the order of the four seasons, produce thunderstorms in winter and ice in summer, make flying things creep and creeping things fly. But to the end of his days he never published the secret of his art, so that it was not handed down to after generations. 3.4 The Master Lieh Tzu said: 'A dream is something that comes into contact with the mind; an external event is something that impinges on the body. Hence our feelings by day and our dreams by night are the result of contacts made by mind or body. it follows that if we can concentrate the maid in abstraction, our feelings and our dreams will vanish of themselves. Those who rely on their waking perceptions will not argue about them. Those who put faith in dreams do not understand the processes of change in the external world. This refers to a previous passage, omitted in the present selection. Contrary to the received opinion of his own day, Lieh Tzu held that dreams were not just arbitrary manifestations portending future events, but the effects of regular antecedent causes, without any further significance. They are produced by certain processes of the mind, and if these processes can be checked (as Lieh Tzu believes they can) by means of abstraction, dreaming will also cease. "The pure men of old passed their waking existence in self-oblivion, and slept without dreams." How can this be dismissed as an empty phrase? 3.5 Mr Yin of Chou was the owner of a large estate who harried his servants unmercifully, and gave them no rest from morning to night. There was one old servant in particular whose physical strength had quite left him, yet his master worked him all the harder. All day long he was groaning as he went about his work, and when night came he was reeling with fatigue and would sleep like a log. His spirit was then free to wander at will, and every night he dreamt that he was a king, enthroned in authority over the multitude, and controlling the affairs of the whole State. He took his Pleasure in palaces and belvederes, following his own fancy in everything, and his happiness was beyond compare. But when he awoke, he was servant once more. To some one who condoled with him on his hard lot the old man replied: 'Human life may last a hundred years, and the whole of it is equally divided into nights and days. In the daytime I am only a slave, it is true, and my misery cannot be gainsaid. But by night I am a king, and my happiness is beyond compare. So what have I to grumble at?' Now, Mr Yin's mind was full of worldly cares, and he was always thinking with anxious solicitude about the affairs of his estate. Thus he was wearing out mind and body alike, and at night he also used to fall asleep utterly exhausted. Every night he dreamt that he was another man's servant, running about on menial business; of every description, and subjected to every possible kind of abuse and ill-treatment. He would mutter and groan in his sleep, and obtained no relief until morning came. This state of things at last resulted in a serious illness, and Mr Yin besought the advice of a friend. 'Your station in life,' his friend said, 'is a distinguished one, and you have wealth and property in abundance. In these respects you are far above the average. If at night you dream that you are a servant and exchange ease for affliction, that is only the proper balance in human destiny. What you want is that your dreams should be as pleasant as your waking moments. But that is beyond your power to compass.' On hearing what his friend said, Mr Yin lightened his servant's toil, and allowed his own mental worry to abate; whereupon his malady began to decrease in proportion. 3.6 A man was gathering fuel in the Cheng State when he fell in with a deer that had been startled from its usual haunts. He gave chase, and succeeded in killing it. He was overjoyed at his good luck; but, for fear of discovery, he hastily concealed the carcass in a dry ditch, and covered it up with brushwood. Afterwards, he forgot the spot where he had hidden the deer, and finally became convinced that the whole affair was only a dream. He told the story to people he met as he went along; and one of those who heard it, following the indications given, went and found the deer. On reaching home with his booty, this man made the following statement to his wife: 'Once upon a time,' he said, 'a wood-cutter dreamt that he had got a deer, but couldn't remember the place where he had put it. Now I have found the deer, so it appears that his dream was a true dream.' 'On the contrary.' said his wife, 'it is you who must have dreamt that you met a wood-cutter who had caught a deer. Here you have a deer, true enough. But where is the wood-cutter? it is evidently your dream that has come true.' 'I have certainly got a deer,' replied her husband; 'so what does it matter to us whether it was his dream or mine?' Meanwhile, the wood-cutter had gone home, not at all disgusted at having lost the deer. For he thought the whole thing must have been a dream. But the same night, he saw in a dream the place where he had really hidden it, and he also dreamt of the man who had taken it. So, the next morning, in accordance With his dream, he went to seek him out in order to recover the deer. A quarrel ensued, and the matter was finally brought before the magistrate, who gave judgment in these terms: 'You,' he said to the wood-cutter, 'began by really killing a deer, but wrongly thought it was a dream. Then you really dreamt that you had got the deer, but wrongly took the dream to be a reality. The other man really took your deer, which he is now disputing with you. His wife, on the other hand, declares that he saw both man and deer in a dream, so that nobody can be said to have killed the deer at all. Meanwhile, here is the deer itself in court, and you had better divide it between you.' The case was reported to the Prince of the Chêng State, who said: 'Why, the magistrate must have dreamt the whole thing himself!' The question was referred to the Prime Minister, but the latter confessed himself unable to disentangle the part that was a dream from that part that was not a dream. 'If you want to distinguish between waking and dreaming,' he said, 'only the Yellow Emperor or Confucius could help you. But both these sages are dead, and there is nobody now alive who can draw any such distinction. Of course, it is implied that there is no real distinction between the two. So the best thing you can do is to uphold the magistrate's decision.' 3.7 Yang-li Hua-tzü, of the Sung State, was afflicted in middle age by loss of memory. Anything he received in the morning he had forgotten by the evening, anything he gave away in the evening he had forgotten the next morning. Out-of-doors, he forgot to walk; indoors, he forgot to sit down. At any given moment, he had no recollection of what had just taken place; and a little later on, he could not even recollect what had happened then. All his family were perfectly disgusted with him. Fortune-tellers were summoned, but their divinations proved unsuccessful; Wizards were sought out, but their exorcisms were ineffectual; physicians were called in, but their remedies were of no avail. At last, a learned professor from the Lu State volunteered his services, declaring that he could effect a cure. Hua-tzu's wife and family immediately offered him half their estate if only he would tell them how to set to work. The professor replied: 'This is a case which cannot be dealt with by means of auspices and diagrams; the evil cannot be removed by prayers and incantations, nor successfully combated by drugs and potions. What I shall try to do is to influence his mind and turn the current of his thoughts; in that way a cure is likely to be brought about.' Accordingly, the experiment was begun. The professor exposed his patient to cold, so that he was forced to beg for clothes; subjected him to hunger, so that he was fain to ask for food; left him in darkness, so that he was obliged to search for light. Soon, he was able to report progress to the sons of the house, saying gleefully: 'The disease can be checked. But the methods I shall employ have been handed down as a secret in my family, and cannot be made known to the public. All attendants must, therefore, be kept out of the way, and I must be shut up alone with my patient.' The professor was allowed to have his way, and for the space of seven days no one knew what was going on in the sick man's chamber. Then, one fine morning, the treatment came to an end, and, wonderful to relate, the disease of so many years' standing had entirely disappeared! No sooner had Hua-tzu regained his senses, however, than he flew into a great rage, drove his wife out of doors, beat his sons, and, snatching up a spear, hotly pursued the professor through the town. On being arrested and asked to explain his conduct, this is what he said: 'Lately when I was steeped in forgetfulness, my senses were so benumbed that I was quite unconscious of the existence of the outer world. But now I have been brought suddenly to a perception of the events of half a lifetime. Preservation and destruction, gain and loss, sorrow and joy, love and hate have begun to throw out their myriad tentacles to invade my peace; and these emotions will, I fear, continue to keep my mind in the state of turmoil that I now experience. Oh! if I could but recapture a short moment of that blesséd oblivion!'. 'If such is the man's reaction to an infirmity which resembles the Highest Principle, how much greater will be the effect of incorporation in the Absolute!' 3.8 There was once a man who, though born in Yen, was brought up in Ch'u, and it was only in his old age that he returned to his native country. Yen was the northernmost State of ancient China, while Ch'u was bounded by the left bank of the Yangtsze. On the way thither, as they were passing through the Chin State, a fellow-traveller played a practical joke on him. Pointing to the city he said: 'Here is the capital of the Yen State'; whereupon the old man flushed with excitement. Pointing out a certain shrine, he told him that it was his own village altar, and the old man heaved a deep sigh. Then he showed him a house, and said: 'This is where your ancestors lived'; and the tears welled up in his eyes. Finally, a mound was pointed out to him as the tomb where his ancestors lay buried, whereupon the old man could control himself no longer, and wept aloud. But his fellow-traveller burst into roars of laughter. 'I have been hoaxing you,' he cried; 'this is only the Chin State.' His victim was greatly mortified; and when he arrived at his journey's end, and really did see before him the city and altars of Yen, with the actual abode and tombs of his ancestors. his emotion was much less acute.
  8. What controls the Chi

    "We"... is a part of created but not a part of the creators... An outside agent is better to answer this.
  9. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 42

    Dao is not something but innate intelligence is. Is this reconciled by: Dao [is the principle behind innate intelligence] gave rise to singularity [of what would become things] This singularity, void of separation, then separated... etc...
  10. What controls the Chi

    At some point, is the pesky problem of 'something from nothing'... to be deal with. Laws of physics don't allow it.. but a video game might... Are we seeing what is really there.. or here ? I essentially agree with your, De is the efficacy when Zi Ran aligns (without intent) with Wu Wei..., as we have talked it for years... but their potential ultimately comes from somewhere. I went back to 'view' the big bang origin... because we have to know what was before it... Is it a first bang or oscillating universe.. or a wizard behind a curtain, etc... I'm rather comfortable to talk from the potential stage of the unfolding as what is before that is not so comfortable.
  11. Liezi - Chapter Introduction

    Well, I only got through sharing two chapters and seem my deficiency lead to asking about the seventh... My only memory right now, and you may not be here, is that Yang Zhu seemed a misunderstood naturalist... He was accused of not willing to pull out one hair, but he did ask, how will that one hair help humanity? He was a pragmatic realist. But I'll have to look at the chapter to comment on that.
  12. My wife recently mentioned some online 'revival' advice to seek daoism when in need... seems Laozi lives on.
  13. Noob Question About Energy

    There can be alternative reasons for doing it outside in general... a school may want the best results and most safeguards. Safeguards are not often talked too much about as Qigong is Mind-Body-Energy and if you are generally careful to follow instructions, and work with a person or group where you can get feedback and assistance, then you are usually going to see some results without problems. So if you keep it simple enough, you can do it anywhere. One important aspect is 'resistance' which hinders the Qi flow. You want to be as open as possible in Mind-Body-Energy. Some will say that the more intent you try to use, the more issues that can occurr... thus they advocate more non-intent. I was more into Medical Qigong and intent and safeguards were rather important. So that is another level. But I would recommend you test out inside vs outside. You can do some still or movement stuff inside, and then outside try it again. Also, outside, you can 'hug' trees; the bigger the better. If you find a spilt in the huge branches, walk around the tree, stopping every two steps to feel the tree, yes, hands extended to tree about 2 inches away to feel it.
  14. Variations of Microcosmic orbit?

    Chi Kung: Health and Martial Arts https://www.amazon.com/Chi-Kung-Health-Martial-Arts/dp/0940871009/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=chi+kung+health+and+martial+arts&sr=8-1 This is Dr. Yang Jing Ming early books and just over a 100 pages is packed with info including various MCOs. You can find used ones very cheap at Amazon.
  15. What controls the Chi

    Thanks for that as I understand your point better. This is sliding into cosmology a bit but I think I found a way to keep it tied to the OP. I've easily spent more than a decade researching chinese cosmology texts/passages and reading lots of papers on it. One of the most interesting findings is that while there are several very detailed and interesting cosmologies, and overlap usually with other texts, Laozi's DDJ42 is the most simple and succint and no other text seems to follow his terminology, particular 'Three': Dao > One > Two > Three > Ten Thousand Things. But, Liezi and Zhuanzi actually come close without using numbers and instead describing the dormant arising. Liezi mentions four stages which can be said to align to Laozi's three steps; Three is really the first matter to form, and the next step is really just Ten Thousand 3's arising and interacting. Zhuangzi mentions, quoting Chai’s tranlation: In the Great Beginning there was nothingness, nonbeing, and namelessness. From it arose the One, an oneness that was without form. When things obtained it they were thus born and this was called Virtue. Before there were forms and divisions, they were innumerable though without separation, and this was called the Order of Things. From this flowing and moving things were born and once they became complete they gave birth to principles that were called Forms. Pure tranquility is the perfection of virtue, effeminacy and weakness are the function of Dao, and calm empty-nothingness is the ancestor of the myriad things. Using these three, one falls into formlessness and formlessness is what we call the One. With the One, one mindlessly merges with all under heaven. I more recently found this and seems a rare mention of De (Virtue here, but others as Power, Efficacy, etc) in cosmology. Zhuangzi's mention of 'when things obtained it' points back to Laozi 39. There is a mention of three but refer to the combining of pure tranquility (De), effeminacy and weakness (Dao) and calm empty-nothingness (Ten Thousand Things), that fall back to One. But Chai makes clear that Zhuangzi does not appear to equate Dao with One and says: Since the One is affiliated with Dao and dwells in the realm of nothingness, the One for Zhuangzi was neither a numeric singularity nor monistic absolute; rather, it served as a holistic representation of the unfathomable mystery of Dao. To take the One as pertaining to Dao alone is to stop viewing it as One; to take the One as pertaining to humanity alone is also to stop viewing it as One. Now, my attempt to bring this all back to “will leads Qi”, “intent arising before existence”, and “before existence is beingness”. The gap called Mahapralaya reminded me a bit of the Oscillating Universe theory which has the problem that entropy doesn’t decrease it only increases. So how would one overcome that? Well, an outside influence could ‘will’ it or have ‘intent’ to do so. Religiously, people might think God but I’m sticking to the Chinese models where Dao (Dao) is clearly the primordial potential-nothingness that bubbles up (Huainanzi says Dao awoke gave rise to space which gave rise to Primal Qi; Eva Wong comments on Liezi as Primal Oneness leads to Primal Emerging, or Primal Qi as vapor), to One (Undifferentiated Qi and space). The undifferentiated then separates (Two as Yin and Yang). These two interact, and produce shapes and form (Three). These shapes and forms multiple (Ten Thousand). There seems to be a thread that strings all this together: Dao, De, Qi, One, Two, Three. I have long thought of De as, ‘Dao in you’ and why I was curious it doesn’t show up in cosmology but see it in Zhuangzi. If Dao is the potential-nothingness, possessing all possibilities it would seem that De, Wu Wei and Zi Ran infuse or transport will, intent, instinct, and non-being as becoming being into life. This would account for: Will (De, Dao in you) leads Qi (Dao potential bubbles up). And that will (or intent) is before the Ten Thousand (existence). Non-being as being is before existence. Laozi 40 in Guodian says: The things of this world arise from being, and they arise from non-being. BTW: I see Laozi’s Dao>One>Two>Three>Ten Thousand as the double slit experiment…