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the lieh tzu

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Yep. That one worked. Thanks. And Thank you Cobi for starting the thread and possible discussion.

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Liezi 列子 , was also called 列禦寇 Lie Yukou.

 

According to Giles:

Lieh-Tzü was major Taoist sage who lived c. 350 BCE. His writings use stories and fables to elucidate the Taoist philosophy of cooperating with nature; they illustrate the magical powers of the ancient sages who were so 'in the Tao' that they were able to prolong life, walk through solid rock, and levitate.

 

 

A.C. Graham's introduction to his translation, The Book of Lieh-Tzû, which he says was probably written about 300 AD.

 

According to the Library of Chinese Classics book, Liezi:

 

Liezi was recorded to have been written in the Warring States Period by Liezi (alias Lie Yukou) of the state of Zheng, a contemporary of Duke Mu. According to Li Dai Zhen Xian Ti Dao Tong Jian Volume 6, as a man from Zheng, he lived at Bu for forty years without any fame. he followed Guan Yin for the Tao, and became a disciple of Huqiu first and then of Laoshang and Bogao, from whom he learned tehir teachings. Nine years later he was able to ride on the wind. This was most probably a legend told afteer his deification by Taoists.

 

Liezi lived before Zhuangzi, therefore he is described a few times in Zhuangzi, which contains a chapter titled "Lie YuKou" and sometimes calls him Master Liezi. In the first year of Tianbao of Tang (742), he was conferred the title of Immortal of the Profound Void and regarded as one of the Taoist ancestors. His book was treated as one of the "true scriptures" together with Laozi and Zhuangzi and for this reason the book of Liezi wsa rename Chong Xu Zhen Jing ("The True Scripture of the Profound Void"). In the fourth year of Jingde of Song (1007), an imperial order was issued to add in the word of Zhi de ("highest virtue") so he became Immortal of the Highest Virtue of the Profound Void and his book was changed accordingly into Chong Xu Zhi De Zhen Jing ("The True Scripture of the Highest Virtue of the Profound Void"). When Emperor Huizong of Song was on the throng, a court academician was specially appointed to be in charge of Liezi and the book was placed in Dao Zhang ("The Collection of Taoist Scriptures").

Edited by dawei
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<snip>

 

...he followed Guan Yin for the Tao...

 

</snip>

 

 

A fella could do worse.

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A fella could do worse.

 

Who was Guan Yin?

 

D. C. Lau defined Laozi as an anthology of the teachings of the Many Masters such as Guan Yin, Liezi, Shen Dao, and Gu Jiegang...
Livia Kohn in Doaist Mystical Philosophy said, "the assocation of Laozi with Yin Xi, The guardian of the pass... Yin Xi first appears in zhuangzi, once in discussion with Liezi and once with Laozi. Named Guan Yin, a title interpreted as "Pass Guardian Yin", he is represented as a Daoist Philosopher --One who explains the mysteries of Dao to his fellow seekers. ...
Rather unknown and secondary as ancient philosopher, Yin Xi plays a central role in the Daoist Religion as the first recipient of the Daode jing.
Ames wrote in Wandering at ease in the Zhuangzi: Liezi asked Guan Yin how one attains such extradinary feats. Guan Yin replies, it is "not any kind of knowledge, skill, resolution, or daring", rather it has to do with "hold fast to pure Qi". ... One must attain the perspective of Heaven...
Ellen Chen, In Praise of Nothing: "In the Zhuangzi, Guan Yin and Lao Dan are said to be "self-emptying, always generous and inclusive of all, and were never cruel to others". The Lushichuqiu attributes the teaching of emptiness from Guan Yin, a disciple of Lao zi.
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It's about time Liezi received some attention on these forums. Here's a collection of published essays under the title of "Riding the Wind With Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic": http://www.google.com/url?q=http://books.google.com/books/about/Riding_the_Wind_with_Liezi.html%3Fid%3D_l6akYls-cMC&sa=U&ei=us-bU6D4NeWxsATbiYDoBw&ved=0CA8QFjAC&usg=AFQjCNFJtzq8HmIHzKbb0igi89uo6_117w.

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Good job Dawei.

 

Yes, I am aware of the differences in opinion as to when Lieh Tzu lived.

 

I accept Graham's opinion.

 

Giles, in his "Taoist Teachings", gives Lieh Tzu's birth as 604 BC. That would make him even pre-Lao Tzu. And he spoke of Confucius who wasn't born yet.

 

But regardless. for those interested in the Alchemic side of Taoism I would think that Lieh Tzu would be the Father of Taoist Alchemy regardless of when he lived.

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I loved reading lieh tzu.

It really redefined the Tao for me. So simplistic but such depth. I love when he compares the Tao to a fleck of ant dung to illustrate that the Tao is also the small, seemingly insignificant things in the world.

Thanks for starting this string.

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Who was Guan Yin?

 

Female bodhisattva? Or am I getting muddled...

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The Three Teachings are One.

 

Or better... the Vinegar Tasters

I like this idea.

 

I would be lying if I were to say Taoist philosophy is 100% absolute for me...

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Quan Yin's venerated in most Taoist temples and there's generally a Taoist shrine somewhere on the precincts of most Buddhist temples east of Suez.

Quan Yin nembutsu ( chanting the name of) cultivation is really taking off in Thai Buddhism too.

Anybody can cultivate nembutsu, it's very democratic.

No 'clergy' required.

I've posted some Pure Land resource links over on the Buddhism thread if anyone's interested.

Edited by GrandmasterP
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The PDF is a fascinating read. Thank you.

Saved it on my phone. It's next in queue haha

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Ok, over half way through.

 

Freakin' excellent. Can we get some discussion threads going like we with TTC/zhuangzi?

Edited by Rara

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I'm going to provide some info and likely start some separate chapters.    I'll start by providing more from Giles:

 

Quote

TAOIST TEACHINGS FROM THE BOOK OF LIEH TZU

TRANSLATED FROM THE CHINESE,

WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES,

BY LIONEL GILES, M.A.

1912

 “The history of Taoist philosophy may be conveniently divided into three stages: the primitive stage, the stage of development, and the stage of degeneration. The first of these stages is only known to us through the medium of a single semi-historical figure, the philosopher Lao Tzu, whose birth is traditionally assigned to the year 604 B.C. Some would place the beginnings of Taoism much earlier than this, and consequently regard Lao Tzu rather as an expounder than as the actual founder of the system ; just as Confucianism  that is, a moral code based on filial piety and buttressed by altruism and righteousness- may be said to have flourished long before Confucius.”

 Condensed into a single phrase, the injunction of Lao Tzu to mankind is, "Follow Nature."  This is a good practical equivalent for the Chinese expression," Get hold of Tao," although " Tao " does not exactly correspond to the word Nature, as ordinarily used by us to denote the sum of phenomena in this ever-changing universe. It seems to me, however, that the conception of Tao must have been reached, originally, through this channel. Lao Tzu, interpreting the plain facts of Nature before his eyes, concludes that behind her manifold workings there exists an ultimate Reality which in its essence is unfathomable and unknowable, yet manifests itself in laws of unfailing regularity. To this Essential Principle, this Power underlying the sensible phenomena of Nature, he gives, tentatively and with hesitation, the name of Tao, " the Way," though fully realizing the inadequacy of any name to express the idea of that which is beyond all power of comprehension.

 A foreigner, imbued with Christian ideas, naturally feels inclined to substitute for Tao the term by which he is accustomed to denote the supreme Being" God. But this is only admissible if he is prepared to use the term " God " in a much broader sense than we find in either the Old or the New Testament. That which chiefly impresses the Taoist in the operations of Nature is their absolute impersonality. The inexorable law of cause and effect seems to him equally removed from active goodness or benevolence on the one hand, and from active evil or malevolence on the other. This is a fact which will hardly be disputed by any intelligent observer. It is when he begins to draw inferences from it that the Taoist parts company from the average Christian. Believing, as he does, that the visible Universe is but a manifestation of the invisible Power behind it, he feels justified in arguing from the known to the unknown, and concluding that, whatever Tao may be in itself (which is unknowable), it is certainly not what we understand by a personal God " not a God endowed with the specific attributes of humanity, not even (and here we find a remarkable anticipation of Hegel) a conscious God. In other words, Tao transcends the illusory and unreal distinctions on which all human systems of morality depend, for in it all virtues and vices coalesce into One.

 The Christian takes a different view altogether. He prefers to ignore the facts which Nature shows him, or else he reads them in an arbitrary and one-sided manner. His God, if no longer anthropomorphic, is undeniably anthropopathic.  He is a personal Deity, now loving and merciful, now irascible and jealous, a Deity who is open to prayer and entreaty. With qualities such as these, it is difficult to see how he can be regarded as anything but a glorified Man. Which of these two views the Taoist or the Christian it is best for mankind to hold, may be a matter of dispute. There can be no doubt which is the more logical.  

 The weakness of Taoism lies in its application to the conduct of life. Lao Tzu was not content to be a metaphysician merely, he aspired to be a practical reformer as well. It was man's business, he thought, to model himself as closely as possible on the great Exemplar, Tao.

Very little is known of our author beyond what he tells us himself. His full name was Lieh Yu-k'ou, and it appears that he was living in the Cheng State not long before the year 398 B.C., when the Prime Minister Tzu Yang was killed in a revolution. He figures prominently in the pages of Chuang Tzu, from whom we learn that he could " ride upon the wind." On the insufficient ground that he is not mentioned by the historian Ssu-ma Ch'ien, a certain critic of the Sung dynasty was led to declare that Lieh Tzu was only a fictitious personage invented by Chuang Tzu, and that the treatise which passes under his name was a forgery of later times. This theory is rejected by the compilers of the great Catalogue of Ch'ien Lung's Library, who represent the cream of Chinese scholarship in the eighteenth century.

 

Edited by dawei
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A.C. Graham wrote his original work in 1960 and 30 years later had this re-publication preface:

 

Quote

Preface to the Morningside Edition


A significant change since this book was first published in 196o is that we have learned to see philosophical Taoism in a new historical perspective. At that time it was already recognized that Lao-tzu, traditional founder of the School of the Tao (Way') and supposed contemporary of Confucius (551—479 B.C.), is probably legendary, and that the Tao-te-ching ascribed to him may be as late as 250 B.C., later than the authentic writings of  the other great Taoist, Chuang-tzu (c. 320 B.C.). But it was still taken for granted that the Hundred Schools competing during this period did include the one called Taoist, the only one of them to survive throughout Chinese history side by side with the Confucian. Its doctrine was assumed to be the philosophy o f the Tao-te-ching and Chuang-tzu, a philosophy which rejects the competing ways' formulated as ethical and political principles by other schools for an ineffable Way on which the sage finds himself in ceasing to judge between alternatives and in returning to the spontaneity of the non-human to unite with heaven and earth. On this assumption it was puzzling that what has generally passed as Taoism for the last two thousand years isa mixture in varying proportions of Yin-Yang cosmology, ritual, meditation, magic, sexology, and alchemy, and that it still has an organized church with Lao-tzu as its central deity, traditionally said to have been founded by Chang Tao-ling in AM.

How is one to reconcile its cult of physical immortality with the ecstatic welcoming of death as one of the inevitable transformations of nature which startles us in the writings of Chuang-tzu? No doubt one may think of this church like others as debasing the pure doctrine of its founder, but the Christian churches never departed quite as far from the gospel as this.

We were forgetting what inside our own tradition we know very well that labels such as idealist' and materialist', rationalist' and ' empiricist’, are applied retrospectively, and reshuffled as the focus of philosophical interest shifts elsewhere. The thinkers of ancient China came to be grouped as Taoists, Legalists, Sophists, Yin-Yang, but only the Confucians and Mohists are known to have been organized schools. Down to the 2nd century B.C. Lao-tzu, with his art of ruling by Doing Nothing, and Chuang-tzu, for whom rulership and office are burdens to be cast off, are never classed together; this attracts attention especially in the last chapter of Chuang-tzii itself, which sketches the oldest surviving history of the early thinkers. At the end of the classical age of Chinese philosophy, about 200 B.C., various eclectic movements were emerging, one of them centered on meditative and physical exercises to develop both daimonic powers and bodily health and longevity; it claimed the authority o f Laotzu.
 
When Ssu-ma T'an (died Ito B.C.) retrospectively classified the thinkers in Six Schools, it was this contemporary movement that he named Tao chia, ' School of the Way', as Hal Roth shows in Chinese Texts and Philosophical Contexts, ed. by Henry Rosemont, Jr. (La Salle, 111., 1990). The tradition of supposedly degenerate Taoism has had first right to the name from the very beginning.


In the retrospective apportioning of thinkers between schools, Chuang-tzu was classified with Lao-tzu as Taoist, but being irrelevant to the serious business of government, he was long neglected. It was from about A.D. 200, when the ancient books were being viewed in a changed perspective, that the distinctive attitude to spontaneity and the Way common to the Tao-to-ching and Chuang-tzii attracted the attention of literati disillusioned with politics. It became known as Lao-Chuang, the teaching of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu. The accepted modem label for it is philosophical Taoism'; but as a way of life for the unworldly or the tired of office it remained largely dissociated from Taoist alchemy and magic, and had an offshoot in Chinese Buddhism as Ch'an or Zen. Its third great document, Lieh-tzu, although written in the name of an ancient sage mentioned by Chuangtzu, is now generally dated to this period, not much earlier than its commentary by Chang Chan (c. A.D. 370). We may see it as the only one of the three books whose author would actually be thinking of himself as a philosophical Taoist.

Although in 1960 most scholars in China already recognized the late date of Lieh-tzu, most Westerners were still disinclined to question its antiquity. My own textual studies, not yet completed when this translation first appeared, supported the Chinese dating, which by now prevails also in the West. The 'evidence for my opinions on the still controversial question of the date of Lieh-tzu mentioned in the original preface as unpublished, appeared in ' The Date and Composition of Lieh tzu', Asia Major vol. 8/2 (1961). This, as well as the ' Being in Western Philosophy Compared with shih/jei and yu/wu in Chinese Philosophy’ also mentioned, re-appeared in my Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature (Institute of East Asian Philosophies, National University of Singapore, 1986).

One result of the textual investigation came as a surprise to me. The present book describes the hedonist' Yang Chu’ chapter as ' so unlike the rest of Lieh-tzu' that it must be from another hand (p. 135 below). The thought is certainly very different, and it does show the signs of editing and interpolation by the Taoist author which are noticed on p. 136 below. But although close scrutiny generally reveals marked differences in style between the body of the book and passages borrowed from earlier sources, I could find none to distinguish the hedonist chapter from the rest. It seems likely that the Taoist is incorporating an earlier writing by himself, from a hedonist phase in his own thought. From the contrasting episodes which introduce the 'Yellow Emperor’ and 'King Mu’ chapters (cf. pp. 6o f below), one is tempted to guess that the author, like the Yellow Emperor, had a hedonistic youth and then a Confucian career in government, before finally settling for Lao-Chuang. But to read autobiography into these episodes cannot of course be more than an attractive conjecture.

There also turned out to be internal evidence (and external evidence as well; see Studies, p. 271—an addition to the original paper) that the discussion of the finite and the infinite in the first three exchanges of the 'Questions o f T’ang’ comes from a lost part of Chuang-tzu. This adds greatly to the importance of a fascinating but obscure passage my treatment of which has left me with an uneasy conscience. The interpretation, and to some extent therefore the choice of words in translation, depended on the assumption that Chang Chan's commentary implies something missing in the text, which now seems to me very doubtful; in the neighbourhood of the supposed lacuna I was fooling myself when I claimed to be translating very literally' (p. 96 below). In more recent work I have translated it more conservatively, substantially as follows.

As for nothing it is limitless, as for something it is inexhaustible: how would I know it? [i.e., know of their limitedness and exhaustibility, referring back to the preceding question and answer.]
But outside the limitless there is nothing else that is limitless, inside the inexhaustible there is nothing else that is inexhaustible.  There is no limit but also nothing else that is limitless, no exhaustion but also nothing else that is inexhaustible. This is why I know of their limitlessness and inexhaustibility, and do not know of their limitedness and exhaustibility. [ The last chapter of Chuang-tzu records paradoxes of Hui Shih (and of the sophists in general, including the ' If you daily takeaway half which I carelessly ascribed to Hui Shih himself on p. 95 n2 below), but without their explanations. The importance of the redating of this passage is that if it does come from Hui Shih's friend Chuang-tzu, we can confidently accept it as a summary of the case for Hui Shih's paradox The South is boundless yet does have bounds'.  But what are the missing steps in the argument, which Chuang-tzu, as an intimate of sophists, could take for granted as common knowledge? A rather feeble explanation, which was the best I could offer until recently, is that things go on generating to infinity inside infinite space, but there can be no infinite inside the infinite. We need a stronger explanation which fits symmetrically the contrasting pairs 'nothing/something, limitless/inexhaustible, outside/inside’. As may be seen from the notes on p. 95 below, the sophists appreciated that a division however small will have inside it 'the absolutely small’, the point, also called the Lou hou, 'dimensionless'. Assuming that the point is still 'something', there can be a much neater explanation:
(1) The non-existent, Nothing, is infinite, yet there is no second infinite outside the infinite (as should follow if the infinite is what has nothing outside it).
(2) The existent, Something, is infinitely divisible, yet there is no second infinitely-divisible inside the infinitely-divisible (as should follow if the point is something). It seems to follow that, although space cannot be finite, it cannot be infinite either.


A. C. GRAHAM, 1990
 

See his works mentioned above:

The Date and Composition of Lieh-Tzu: (1961)

http://www2.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/file/1624KWHsUJf.pdf
 

Being in Western Philosophy Compared with Shih-Fei and Yu-Wu in Chinese Philsophy: https://www2.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/file/1802hIqTUeg.pdf

 

 

Edited by dawei
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Additional information from the Library of Chinese Classics book, Liezi, written in 2005:

 

Quote

Liezi consists of eight chapters:

 

Revelation

The Yellow Emperor

King Mu of Zhou

Confucius

The Queries of Tang

Power and Destiny

Yang Zhu

Causuality

 

Revelations serves as the purport of the book... everything in the world is in constant change; the change is permanent... all things start from immateriality and to materiality and their development may be divided into four groups called:

1. The Great Change

2. The Great Conception

3. The Great Beginning

4. The Great simplicity

 

The Yellow Emperor is made up of 19 short stories to tell people the way to health preservation and self-cultivation; man should follow the laws of nature instead of going against it.

King Mu of Zhou scientifically explains dreams, holding that what one dreams at night is closely related to what one sees and thinks during the day and that different dreams results from different states of health.  

 

Confucius stresses the unique rules of nature and the understanding of world by means of the Tao so as to not violate the natural world.  Meanwhile it offers the the theory that "things will develop in opposite direction when they become extreme". 

 

The Queries of Tang holds that all things of the world are mutually dependent in motion and meanwhile are found in a state of balance and that all things and events are different in nature, and therefore, man should not consider himself always right or persistent in his opinions.  

 

Power and Destiny claims that the completion of affairs rests with heaven, the change of natural environment is beyond the power of man and therefore man has no alternative but to follow its rules of change.  At the same time, it holds that the decision of good or evil, nobility or humility, and poverty or wealth rests with destiny instead of human power. 

 

Yang Zhu thinks that man lives for fame and profit, the pursuit exhausts both his body and mind; therefore the best way to keep body and soul pleasant is moderation.  

 

Causality explains the destiny of man and nation by the extent to which natural laws are understood and the corresponding actions taken and advises man to understand these laws and make use of them.  

Edited by dawei

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THE IDEA OF NATURE IN THE DAOIST CLASSIC OF LIEZI
BY
YIN-CHING CHEN
DISSERTATION
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in East Asian Languages & Cultures
in the Graduate College of the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2012

 

Quote

The Liezi is regarded the third of the Daoist classics following the Laozi and the Zhuangzi. A philosophical treatise attributed to the pre-Qin philosopher Lie Yukou 列御寇 (ca. fifth century B.C.) and recomposed during the Han (206 B.C.- 220 A.D.) and the Jin (265-420 A.D.) dynasties, the Liezi not only stands in the line of classical Daoist thought represented by Laozi (sixth or fifth century B.C.) and Zhuangzi (ca. 369-286 B.C.), but also incorporates later traditions including the Huang-Lao Daoism and Neo-Daoism. More than a philosophical treatise, the Liezi is also a revered Daoist religious scripture. During the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), the book of Liezi is entitled “True Scripture of Emptiness” (沖虛真經) by the Tang Emperor Xuanzong (685-762 A.D.), and the philosopher Liezi was honored with the title “True Man of Emptiness” (沖虛真人). Furthermore, the Tang  Emepror Xuanzong selected the four major Daoist classics of the Laozi, the Zhuangzi, the Liezi, and the Wenzi to be textbooks for civil service examination. During the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1279), the book of Liezi was further honored “True Scripture of the Highest Virtue of Emptiness” (沖虛至德真經), and the philosopher Liezi “Perfect Sovereign of Emptiness and Sublime Contemplation” (沖虛觀妙真君) by the Song Emperor Zhenzong (968-1022 A.D.). In the Daozang (道藏), the official collection of Daoist texts complied by the Ming court (1368-1644 A.D.), the Liezi was placed with the Laozi (also known as the Daodejing) and the Zhuangzi as the major Daoist canons.

 I. The Text

1. The Philosopher Liezi and the Book of Liezi
 

The Book of Liezi is attributed to the Daoist philosopher Lie Yukou 列御寇, who lived around the fifth century B.C. and was senior to Zhuangzi (between 399 and 295 B.C.). The historical figure Liezi is recorded in several ancient texts including the Zhanguo ce 戰國策the Lü shi chunqiu 呂氏春秋, the Shizi 尸子, etc., among which the Zhuangzi 莊子 includes twenty two accounts of Liezi. Hence the Book of Han bibliography section 漢書藝 文志 suggests, based on the fact that Zhuangzi quotes Liezi, Liezi must have lived before Zhuangzi. As recorded in the Zhanguo ce 戰國策 (Strategies of the Warring States), an ambassador of the Han state named Shi Ji 史疾 was sent to the Chu state. The king of Chu was troubled by banditry in the country so he consulted Shi Ji about his policy. Shi Ji answered, “I followed the words of Master Lie Yukou, who honors propriety (zheng ).”


Qian Mu comments this passage in his Textual Research of Pre-Qin Philosophers, “This account proves that Lie Yukou was a historical figure. Shi Ji heard and learned his theory, which followed the Confucian idea of rectifying names and signifies the beginning of the Daoist and Legalist schools.”  It is notable that Master Lie’s first name is “Yu-kou” 御寇which means “guarding against bandits.” It is possible that Liezi was known for his success in maintaining social security. Concerning Liezi’s Daoist orientation, the Lü shi chunqiu 氏春秋 (Mister Lu’s Spring and Autumn Annals) and the Shizi 尸子 both records that “Liezi honors emptiness (xu ).”

 

According to Gao You’s commentary, Liezi is a Daoist adept, who emptied the worldly thought and desires in his mind until it is in accordance with the Way.

 

Edited by dawei

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