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德者，內也；得者，外也。「上德不德」，言其神不淫於外也。 神不淫於外則身全，身全之謂德。德者，得身也。凡德者，以無為集，以無欲成； 以不思安，以不用固。為之欲之，則德無舍；德無舍則不全。用之思之則不固，不固則無功， 無功則生於德。德則無德，不德則（在）有德。故曰：「上德不德，是以有德。」
所以貴無為無思為虛者，謂其意無所制也。夫無術者，故以無為無思為虛也。 夫故以無為無思為虛者，其意常不忘虛，是制於為虛也。虛者，謂其意（所無）〔無所〕制也。 今制於為虛，是不虛也。虛者之無為也，不以無為為有常。不以無為為有常，則虛；虛，則德盛； 德盛之謂上德。故曰：「上德無為而無不為也。」
義者，君臣上下之事，父子貴賤之差也，知交朋友之接也，親踈內外之分也。 臣事君宜，下懷上〔宜〕，子事父宜，（眾）〔賤〕敬貴宜，知交友朋之相助也宜，親者內而踈者外宜。 義者，謂其宜也，宜而為之。故曰：「上義為之而有以為也。」
禮者，所以（情貌）〔貌情〕也，群義之文章也，君臣父子之交也，貴賤賢不肖之所以別也。 中心懷而不諭，（其）〔故〕疾趨卑拜而明之；實心愛而不知，故好言繁辭以信之。 禮者，外（節）〔飾〕之所以諭內也。故曰：禮以（情貌）〔貌情〕也。
凡人之為外物動也，不知其為身之禮也。眾人之為禮也，以尊他人也，故時勸時衰。 君子（以）〔之〕為禮，以為其身；以為其身，故神之為上禮；上禮神而眾人貳，故不能相應； 不能相應，故曰：「上禮為之而莫之應。」
道有積而（德）〔積〕有功；德者，道之功。功有實而實有光；仁者，德之光。 光有澤而澤有事；義者，仁之事也。事有禮而禮有文；禮者，義之文也。故曰：「失道而後失德， 失德而後失仁，失仁而後失義，失義而後失禮。」
禮為情貌者也，文為質飾者也。夫君子取情而去貌，好質而惡飾。夫恃貌而論情者， 其情惡也；須飾而論質者，其質衰也。何以論之？和氏之璧不飾以五采，隋侯之珠不飾以銀黃。 其質至美，物不足以飾之。夫物之待飾而後行者，其質不美也。是以父子之間，其禮〔樸〕而不明，故曰禮薄也。
凡物不並盛，陰陽是也；理相奪予，威德是也，實厚者貌薄，父子之禮是也。 由是觀之，禮繁者，實心衰也。然則為禮者，事通人之樸心者也，眾人之為禮也，人應則輕歡，不應則責怨。 今為禮者事通人之樸心，而資之以相責之分，能毋爭乎？有爭則亂，故曰：「夫禮者，忠信之薄也，而亂之首乎。」
先物行先理動之謂前識。前識者，無緣而忘意度也。何以論之？詹何坐， 弟子侍，牛鳴於門外。弟子曰：「是黑牛也而白題。」詹何曰：「然，是黑牛也，而白在其角。」 使人視之，果黑牛而以布裹其角。以詹子之術，嬰眾人之心，華焉殆矣。故曰：「道之華也。」
人有禍則心畏恐，心畏恐則行端直，行端直則思慮熟，思慮熟則得事理， 行端直則無禍害，無禍害則盡天年；得事理則必成功。盡天年則全而壽；必成功則富與貴。 全壽富〔貴〕之謂福。而福本於有禍，故曰：「禍兮福之所倚。」以成其功也。
人有福則富貴至，富貴至〔則〕衣食美，衣食美則驕心生，驕心生則〔行〕邪僻而動棄理。 行邪僻則身死夭，動棄理則無成功。夫內有死夭之難，而外無成功之名者，大禍也。而禍本生於有福， 故曰：「福兮禍之所伏。」
夫緣道理以從事者，無不能成。無不能成者，大能成天子之勢尊，而小易得卿相將軍之賞祿。 夫棄道理而妄舉動者，雖上有天子諸侯之勢尊，而（天）下有猗頓、陶朱、卜祝之富，猶失其民人而亡其財資也。 眾人之輕棄道理而易妄舉動者，不知其禍福之深大而道闊遠若是也，故諭人曰：「孰知其極。」
所謂方者，內外相應也，言行相稱也。所謂廉者，必生死之命也，輕恬資財也。 所謂直者，義必公正，公心不偏黨也。所謂光者，官爵尊貴，衣裘壯麗也。今有道之士，雖中外信順， 不以誹謗窮墮；雖死節輕財，不以侮罷羞貪；雖義端不黨，不以去邪罪私；雖勢尊衣美，不以夸賤欺貧。 其故何也？使失路者而肯聽習問知，即不成迷也。今眾人之所以欲成功而反為敗者，生於不知道理，而不肯問知而聽能。 眾人不肯問知聽能，而聖人強以其禍敗適之，則怨。眾人多而聖人寡，寡之不勝眾，數也。今舉動而與天下之為讎， 非全身長生之道也，是以行軌節而舉之也。故曰：「方而不割，廉而不（穢）〔劌〕，直而不肆，光而不耀。」
聰明睿智，天也；動靜思慮，人也。人也者，乘於天明以視，寄於天聰以聽， 託於天智以思慮。故視強則目不明，聽甚則耳不聰，思慮過度則智識亂。目不明則不能決黑白之分， 耳不聰則不能別清濁之聲，智識亂則不能審得失之地。目不能決黑白之色則謂之盲，耳不能別清濁之聲則謂之聾， 心不能審得失之地則謂之狂。盲則不能避晝日之險，聾則不能知雷霆之害，狂則不能免人間法令之禍。 書之所謂「治人」者，適動靜之節，省思慮之費也。所謂「事天」者，不極聰明之力，不盡智識之任。 苟極盡則費神多，費神多則盲聾悖狂之禍至，是以嗇之。嗇之者，愛其精神，嗇其智識也。故曰：「治人事天莫如嗇。」
眾人之用神也躁，躁則多費，多費之謂侈。聖人之用神也靜，靜則少費， 少費之謂嗇。嗇之謂術也，生於道理。夫能嗇也，是從於道而服於理者也。眾人離於患， 陷於禍，猶未知退，而不服從道理。聖人雖未見禍患之形，虛無服從於道理，以稱蚤服。 故曰：「夫謂嗇，是以蚤服。」
凡有國而後亡之，有身而後殃之，不可謂能有其國，能保其身。夫能有其國，必能安其社稷， 能保其身，必能終其天年，而後可謂能有其國，能保其身矣。夫能有其國，保其身者，必且體道。體道則其智深， 其智深則其會遠，其會遠，眾人莫能見其所極。唯夫能令人不見其事極，不見〔其〕事極者為保其身，有其國。 故曰：「莫知其極。莫知其極則可以有國。」
所謂「有國之母」，母者，道也。道也者，生於所以有國之術， 所以有國之術，故謂之「有國之母」。夫道以與世周旋者，其建生也長，持祿也久。 故曰：「有國之母，可以長久。」樹木有曼根，有直根。〔直〕根者，書之所謂「柢」也。 柢也者，木之所以建生也；曼根者，木之所〔以〕持生也。德也者，人之所以建生也； 祿也者，人之所以持生也。今建於理者，其持祿也久，故曰：「深其根。」體其道者， 其生日長，故曰：「固其柢。」柢固則生長，根深則視久。故曰：「深其根，固其柢，長生久視之道也。」
工人數變業則失其功，作者數搖徙則亡其功。一人之作，日亡半日，十日則亡五人之功矣。 萬人之作，日亡半日，十日則亡五萬人之功矣。然則數變業者，其人彌眾，其虧彌大矣。凡法令更則利害易， 利害易則民務變，務變之謂變業。故以理觀之，事大眾而數搖之則少成功，藏大器而數徙之則多敗傷， 烹小鮮而數撓之則賊其澤，治大國而數變法則民苦之，是以有道之君貴靜，不重變法。故曰：「治大國者若烹小鮮。」
民不敢犯法，則上內不用刑罰，而外不事利其產業。上內不用刑罰，而外不事利其產業， 則民蕃息。民蕃息而畜積盛，民蕃息而畜積盛之謂有德。凡所謂祟者，魂魄去而精神亂，精神亂則無德。 鬼不祟人則魂魄不去，魂魄不去而精神不亂，精神不亂之謂有德。上盛畜積而鬼不亂其精神，則德盡在於民矣。 故曰：「兩不相傷則德交歸焉。」言其德上下交盛而俱歸於民也。
有道之君，外無怨讎於鄰敵，而內有德澤於人民。夫外無怨讎於鄰敵者， 其遇諸侯也外有禮義。內有德澤於人民者，其治人事也務本。遇諸侯有禮義則役希起， 治民事務本則淫奢止。凡馬之所以大用者，外供甲兵而內給淫奢也。今有道之君，外希用甲兵， 而內禁淫奢。上不事馬於戰鬭逐北，而民不以馬遠淫通物，所積力唯田疇，〔積力於田疇〕， 必且糞灌。故曰：「天下有道，卻走馬以糞也。」
人君無道（道），則內暴虐其民，而外侵欺其鄰國。內暴虐則民產絕，外侵欺則兵數起。 民產絕則畜生少，兵數起則士卒盡。畜生少則戎馬乏，士卒盡則軍危殆。戎馬乏則（將）〔牸〕馬出， 軍危殆則近臣役。馬者，軍之大用；郊者，言其近也。今所以給軍之具於（將）〔牸〕馬近臣。故曰： 「天下無道，戎馬生於郊矣。」
人有欲則計會亂，計會亂而有欲甚，有欲甚則邪心勝，邪心勝則事經絕， 事經絕則禍難生。由是觀之，禍難生於邪心，邪心誘於可欲。可欲之類，進則教良民為姦， 退則令善人有禍。姦起則上侵弱君，禍至則民人多傷。然則可欲之類，上侵弱君而下傷人民。 夫上侵弱君而下傷人民者，大罪也。故曰：「禍莫大於可欲。」
人無毛羽，不衣則不犯寒；上不屬天而下不著地，以腸胃為根本，不食則不能活； 是以不免於欲利之心。欲利之心不除，其身之憂也。故聖人衣足以犯寒，食足以充虛，則不憂矣。 眾人則不然，大為諸侯，小餘千金之資，其欲得之憂不除也。胥靡有免，死罪時活，今不知足者之憂終身不解。 故曰：「禍莫大於不知足。」
故欲利甚於憂，憂則疾生；疾生而智慧衰，智慧衰則失度量；失度量則妄舉動， 妄舉動則禍害至。禍害至而疾嬰內，疾嬰內則痛禍薄外，痛禍薄外則苦痛雜於腸胃之間。苦痛雜於腸胃之間， 則傷人也憯。憯則退而自咎，退而自咎也生於欲利。故曰：「咎莫憯於欲利。」
物有理，不可以相薄，物有理不可以相薄，故理之為物之制。萬物各異理， 而道盡稽萬物之理，故不得不化；不得不化，故無常操。無常操，是以死生氣稟焉，萬智斟酌焉， 萬事廢興焉。天得之以高，地得之以藏，維斗得〔之〕以成其威，日月得〔之〕以恆其光，五常得之以常其位， 列星得之以端其行，四時得之以御其變氣，軒轅得之以擅四方，赤松得之與天地統，聖人得之以成文章。 道，與堯、舜俱智，與接輿俱狂，與桀、紂俱滅，與湯、武俱昌。以為近乎，遊於四極；以為遠乎，常在吾側； 以為暗乎，〔其〕光昭昭；以為明乎，其物冥冥。而功成天地，和化雷霆，宇內之物，恃之以成。凡道之情， 不制不形，柔弱隨時，與理相應。萬物得之以死，得之以生；萬事得之以敗，得之以成。道譬諸若水，溺者多飲之即死， 渴者適飲之即生；譬之若劍戟，愚人以行忿則禍生，聖人以誅暴則福成。故得之以死，得之以生，得之以敗，得之以成。
凡理者，方圓、短長、麤靡、堅脆之分也，故理定而後可得道也。故定理有存亡， 有死生，有盛衰。夫物之一存一亡，乍死乍生，初盛而後衰者，不可謂常。唯夫與天（與）地之剖判也具生， 至天地之消散也不死不衰者謂「常」（者）。而常〔者〕，無攸易，無定理。無定理，非在於常所，是以不可道也。 聖人觀其玄虛，用其周行，強字之曰「道」，然而可論。故曰：「道之可道，非常道也。」
是以聖人愛精神而貴處靜。〔不愛精神不貴處靜〕，此甚大於兕虎之害。 夫兕虎有域，動靜有時。避其域，省其時，則免其兕虎之害矣。民獨知兕虎之有爪角也， 而莫知萬物之盡有爪角也，不免於萬物之害。何以論之？時雨降集，曠野間靜，而以昏晨犯山川， 則（兕虎）〔風露〕之爪角害之。事上不忠，輕犯禁令，則刑法之爪角害之。處鄉不節，憎愛無度， 則爭鬭之爪角害之。嗜慾無限，動靜不節，則（虛）痤疽之爪角害之。好用其私智而棄道理， 則網羅之爪角害之。兕虎有域，而萬害有原，避其域，塞其原，則免於諸害矣。
凡兵革者，所以備害也。重生者雖入軍無忿爭之心，無忿爭之心，則無所用救害之備。 此非獨謂野處之軍也。聖人之遊世也，無害人之心，則必無人害，無人害則不備人。故曰：「陸行不遇兕虎。」 入山不恃備以救害，故曰：「入軍不備甲兵。」遠諸害，故曰：「兕無所投其角，虎無所錯其爪，兵無所（害）〔容〕其刃。」
愛子者慈於子，重生者慈於身，貴功者慈於事。慈母之於弱子也，務致其福； 〔務致其福〕則事除其禍，事除其禍則思慮熟，思慮熟則得事理，得事理則必成功，必成功則其行之也不疑， 不疑之謂勇。聖人之於萬事也，盡如慈母之為弱子慮也，故見必行之道。〔見必行之道〕則明，其從事亦不疑， 不疑之謂勇。不疑生於慈，故曰：「慈，故能勇。」
周公曰：「冬日之閉凍也不固，則春夏之長草木也不茂。」天地不能常侈常費， 而況於人乎？故萬物必有盛衰，萬事必有弛張，國家必有文武，官治必有賞罰。是以智士儉用其財則家富， 聖人愛寶其神則精盛，人君重戰其卒則民眾，民眾則國廣。是以舉之曰：「儉，故能廣。」
凡物之有形者易裁也，易割也。何以論之？有形則有短長，有短長則有小大， 有小大則有方圓，有方圓則有堅脆，有堅脆則有輕重，有輕重則有白黑。短長、大小、方圓、 堅脆、輕重、白黑之謂理，理定而物易割也。故議於大庭而後言則立，權議之士知之矣。 故欲成方圓而隨其規矩，則萬事之功形矣。而萬物莫不有規矩，議言之士，計會規矩也。 聖人盡隨於萬物之規矩，故曰：「不敢為天下先。」
書之所謂「大道」也者，端道也。所謂貌「施」也者，邪道也。所謂「徑」大也者， 佳麗也。佳麗也者，邪道之分也。「朝甚除」也者，獄訟繁也。獄訟繁則田荒，田荒則府倉虛，府倉虛則國貧， 國貧而民俗淫侈，民俗淫侈則衣食之業絕，衣食之業絕則民不得無飾巧詐，飾巧詐則知采文，知采文之謂「服文采」。
獄訟繁，倉廩虛，而有以淫侈為俗，則國之傷也若以利劍刺之。故曰：「帶利劍。」 諸夫飾智故以至於傷國者，其私家必富；私家必富，故曰：「資貨有餘。」國有若是者，則愚民不得無術而效之， 效之則小盜生。由是觀之，大姦作〔則〕小盜隨，大姦唱則小盜和。
人無愚智，莫不有趨舍。恬淡平安，莫不知禍福之所由來。得於好惡，怵於淫物， 而後變亂。所以然者，引於外物，亂於玩好也。恬淡有趨舍之義，平安知禍福之計。而今也玩好變之，外物引之。 引之而往，故曰「校」。至聖人不然：一建其趨舍，雖見所好之物，不能引，不能引之謂「不校」； 一於其情，雖有可欲之類，神不為動，神不為動之謂「不悅」。
Chapter XX. Commentaries on Lao Tzŭ's Teachings1
Virtue is internal. Acquirement is external. "Superior virtue is unvirtue" means that the mind does not indulge in external things. If the mind does not indulge in external things, the personality will become perfect. The personality that is perfect is called "acquirement". In other words, acquirement is the acquirement of the personality. In general, virtue begins with non-assertion, develops with non-wanting, rests secure with non-thinking, and solidifies with non-using. If it acts and wants, it becomes restless; if restless, it is not perfect. If put into use and thought about, it does not solidify; if it does not solidify, it cannot work successfully. If it is not perfect 2 and cannot work successfully, it will become self-assertive virtue. If it becomes self-assertive virtue, 3 it is non-virtue. Contrary to this, if unvirtue, it has virtue. Hence the saying: "Superior virtue is unvirtue. Therefore it has virtue."
The reason why men value non-assertion and nonthinking as emptiness is that by remaining empty one's will is ruled by nothing. Verily, tactless people purposely regard non-assertion and non-thinking as emptiness. To be sure, those who purposely regard non-assertion and non-thinking as emptiness, never forget emptiness in their minds. They are thus ruled by the will to emptiness. By "emptiness" is meant the status of the will not ruled by anything. 4 To be ruled by the pursuit of emptiness is ipso facto not emptiness. When he who rests empty does not assert, he does not regard non-assertion as having a constant way. If he does not regard non-assertion as having a constant way, he is then empty. If he is empty, his virtue flourishes. The virtue that flourishes is called "superior virtue". Hence the saying: "Superior virtue is non-assertion and without pretension." 5
By "benevolence" is meant the love of men in a pleasant mood in one's innermost heart. It is to rejoice in the good luck of others and to lament on their bad luck. It is born of the sense of sheer necessity, but not of the want of reward. Hence the saying: "Superior benevolence acts but makes no pretensions."
"Righteousness" covers the manners 6 of ruler and minister, superior and inferior, the distinction between father and son, high and low, the contact between intimate acquaintances, between friends, and the difference between the close and the distant, the internal and the external. The minister ought to serve the ruler aright; the inferior ought to comfort the superior aright. The son ought to serve the father aright; the low ought to respect the high aright. Intimate acquaintances and good friends ought to help each other aright. The close ought to be taken in while the distant ought to be kept off. In short, "righteousness" implies whatever is done aright. Anything right ought to be done aright. Hence the saying: "Superior righteousness acts and makes pretensions."
"Propriety" refers to the mode in which one's feelings are expressed. It is concerned with the cultural embellishments of all righteous acts, such as the mutual relations of ruler and minister, father and son. It is the way whereby high and low, worthy and unworthy, are differentiated. For instance, when one pines after someone else but cannot make himself understood, he runs fast towards the person and bows low in front of him so as to express his attachment to that person. Similarly, when one loves someone from one's innermost heart and cannot make himself known, he uses pleasing words and beautiful phrases to convince the person loved. Thus, propriety is the outer embellishment whereby the inner heart is understood. Hence 7 "propriety" refers to the mode in which one's feelings are expressed.
In general, when a man responds to external things, he does not know that the response reveals the propriety of his personality. The masses of the people practise propriety only to show respect for others, wherefore propriety is now cordial and again simple. The superior man practises propriety on purpose to cultivate his personality. Since it is practised on purpose to cultivate his personality, it is intrinsic in mind and forms superior propriety. Since superior propriety is intrinsic in mind and popular propriety changes from time to time, they do not respond to each other. Since they do not respond to each other, hence the saying: "Superior propriety acts and no one responds to it."
Though the masses of the people change propriety from time to time, yet the saintly man is always courteous and respectful, practising the rules of propriety which bind him hand and foot. In so doing he never slackens. Hence the saying: "Superior virtue stretches its arm and enforces its rules."
Tao accumulates; accumulation 8 accomplishes an achievement; and Teh is the achievement of Tao. Achievement solidifies; solidity shines; and Jên 9 is the shining of Teh. Shine has gloss; gloss has function; and Ih 10 is the function of Jên. Function has propriety; propriety has embellishment; and Li 11 is the embellishment of Ih. Hence the saying: "One leaves Tao and then Teh appears. One leaves Virtue and then Benevolence appears. One leaves Benevolence and then Righteousness appears. One leaves Righteousness and then Propriety appears." 12
Propriety is the mode expressive of feelings. Embellishment is the decoration of qualities. Indeed, the superior man takes the inner feelings but leaves the outer looks, likes the inner qualities but hates the outer decorations. Who judges inner feelings by outer looks, finds the feelings bad. Who judges inner qualities by outer decorations, finds the inner qualities rotten. How can I prove this? The jade of Pien Ho was not decorated with the five bright colours. The bead of Marquis Sui 13 was not decorated with yellow gold. 14 Their qualities are so good that nothing is fit to decorate them. Verily, anything that functions only after being decorated must have poor qualities. For this reason, between father and son propriety is simple and not brilliant. Hence the saying: "Propriety is superficial semblance only."
In general, things that do not flourish together are Yin 15 and Yang. 16 Principles that mutually take and give are threat and favour. What is substantial in reality but simple in appearance, is the propriety between father and son. From this viewpoint I can see that whoever observes complicated rules of propriety is rotten in his innermost heart. Nevertheless, to observe the rules of propriety is to comply with the naïve minds of people. 17 The masses of the people, when observing the rules of propriety, rejoice imprudently if others respond, and resent it with blame if not. Now that the observers of the rules of propriety with a view to complying with the naïve minds of people are given the opportunity to blame each other, how can there be no dispute? Where there is dispute, there is disorder. Hence the saying: "The rules of propriety are the semblance of loyalty and faith, and the beginning of disorder." 18
To act before affairs take place and move before principles are clear, is called foreknowledge. The foreknower makes arbitrary guesses with no special cause. How can I prove this? Once upon a time, Chan Ho was seated and his disciples were waiting upon him. When an ox mooed outside the gate, the disciples said, "It is a black ox but white is on its forehead." In response to this, Chan Ho said, "True, it is a black ox but the white is on its horns." Accordingly, they sent men out to investigate it and found the ox was black and its horns were wrapped with white cloth. To bewilder the minds of the masses with the accomplished tact of Chan Tzŭ is almost as brilliant as any gay flower. Hence the saying: "Foreknowledge is the flower of Reason."
Supposing by way of trial we discarded the foresight of Chan Tzŭ and sent out an ignorant boy less than five feet tall to investigate it, then he would know the ox was black and its horns were wrapped with white cloth, too. Thus, with the foresight of Chan Tzŭ, who had afflicted his mind and exhausted his energy in order to attain it, was accomplished this same merit which an ignorant boy below five feet tall can do. Therefore, it is said to be "the beginning of ignorance". Hence the saying: "Foreknowledge is the flower of Reason, but of ignorance the beginning."
"A great sportsman" 19 is so called because his wisdom is great. To "abide by the solid and dwell 20 not in the superficial", as is said, means to act upon inner feelings and realities and leave aside outer rules of propriety and appearance. To "abide in the fruit and dwell 21 not in the flower", as is said, means to follow causes and principles and make no arbitrary guesses. To "discard the latter and choose the former", as is said, means to discard outer manners 22 and arbitrary guesses, and adapt causes, principles, inner feelings, and realities. 23 Hence the saying: "He discards the former and chooses the latter."
Man encountered by misery feels afraid in mind. If he feels afraid in mind, his motives of conduct will become straight. If his motives of conduct are straight, his thinking processes will become careful. If his thinking processes are careful, he will attain principles of affairs. If his motives of conduct are straight, he will meet no misery. If he meets no misery, he will live a life as decreed by heaven. If he attains principles of affairs, he will accomplish meritorious works. If he can live a life as decreed by heaven, his life will be perfect and long. If he accomplishes meritorious works, he will be wealthy and noble. Who is perfect, long-lived, wealthy, and noble, is called happy. Thus, happiness originates in the possession of misery. Hence the saying: "Misery, alas! is what happiness rests upon" for accomplishing its merit.
When one has happiness, wealth and nobility come to him. As soon as wealth and nobility come to him, his clothes and food become good. As soon as his clothes and food become good, an arrogant attitude appears. When an arrogant attitude appears, his conduct will become wicked and his action unreasonable. If his conduct is wicked, he will come to an untimely end. If his action is unreasonable, he will accomplish nothing. Indeed, to meet the disaster of premature death without making a reputation for achievement, is a great misery. Thus, misery originates in the possession of happiness. Hence the saying: "Happiness, alas! is what misery is hidden in."
Indeed, those who administer affairs by following reason and principle never fail to accomplish tasks. Those who never fail to accomplish tasks, can attain the honour and influence of the Son of Heaven for their best or at least easily secure the rewards and bounties of ministers and generals. Indeed, those who discard reason and principle and make arbitrary motions, though they have the honour and influence of the Son of Heaven and the feudal lords on the one hand and possess ten times 24 the wealth of I Tun and T`ao Chu, will eventually lose their subjects and ruin their financial resources. The masses of the people who discard reason imprudently and make arbitrary motions easily, do not know that the cycle of misery and happiness is so great and profound and the way is so wide and long. Hence Lao Tzŭ taught men by saying: "Who foresees the catastrophe?"
Everybody wants wealth, nobility, health, and longevity. Yet none can evade the disaster of poverty, lowliness, death, or untimely end. To have the want in mind for wealth, nobility, health, and longevity, and meet poverty, lowliness, death, or untimely end, in the long run, means the inability to reach what one wants to reach. In general, who misses the way he seeks and walks at random, is said to be bewildered. If bewildered, he cannot reach the place he wants to reach. Now the masses of the people cannot reach the place they want to reach. Hence the saying of "bewilderment".
That the masses of the people cannot reach the place they want to reach, has been true since the opening of heaven and earth till the present. Hence the saying: "The people have been bewildered from time immemorial." 25
By "square" is implied the correspondence of the internal with the external, the agreement of word with deed. By "strictness" is implied the determination to die in the cause of fidelity, to take matters of property and money easy. By "uprightness" is implied the sense of duty to stand by 26 the just, the frame of mind to be impartial. By "brightness" is implied the honour of official rank and the excellence of clothes and fur garments. Now, the upholders of the right way of life, though earnest in mind and adaptable outside, neither slander the defamed nor debase the fallen. Though determined to die a martyr to fidelity and not be covetous of money, they neither insult the fickle nor put the greedy to shame. Though righteous and impartial, they neither spurn the wicked nor accuse the selfish. Though their influence is great and their clothes excellent, they neither show off before the humble nor look down upon the poor. What is the cause of this? Well, suppose those who have lost the way are willing to listen to able man 27 and ask knowers of the way. Then they will not be bewildered. Now, the masses of the people want successes but meet failures because they were born ignorant of reason and principle and are still unwilling to ask the knowers and listen to the able. The masses of the people being thus not willing to ask the knowers and listen to the able, if saintly men reproach 28 their misery and failure, they show resentment. The masses are many, the saintly men are few. That the few cannot prevail upon the many, is natural. Now, to make enemies of All-under-Heaven habitually is not the way to keep oneself intact and enjoy a long life. For this reason, the saintly men follow the four standards of conduct and exalt them in solitude. Hence the saying: "The saintly man is square but not sharp, strict but not obnoxious, upright but not restraining, bright but not dazzling."
Sharpness and brightness, intuition and wisdom, are endowed by heaven. Motion and repose, thinking and worry, are enacted by man. Man by virtue of natural brightness sees, by virtue of natural sharpness hears, and thinks and worries owing to natural intelligence. Therefore, if he sees too much, his eyes will not be bright. If he hears too much, his ears will not be sharp. And if his thinking and worry go beyond the limits, his wisdom and knowledge will be confused. The eyes, if not bright, cannot tell the black from the white colour. 30 The ears, if not sharp, cannot distinguish between voiceless and voiced sounds. And wisdom and knowledge, if confused, cannot discriminate the gaining from the losing game. The eyes unable to tell the black from the white colour are said to be blind. The ears unable to distinguish between voiceless and voiced sounds are said to be deaf. And the mind unable to discriminate the gaining from the losing game is said to be insane. Blind, one cannot escape dangers whether by day or night. Deaf, one cannot perceive the damage caused by thunder. And insane, one cannot evade the calamities of the violation of laws and decrees prevailing among his fellow men. 31Therefore, government of the people, as is said in Lao Tzŭ's text, should suit the degree of motion and repose and save the trouble of thinking and worry. The so-called obedience to heaven means not to reach the limits of sharpness and brightness nor to exhaust the functions of wisdom and knowledge. If anybody ventures such extremity and exhaustion, he will have to use too much of his mental energy. If he uses too much of his mental energy, then disasters from blindness, deafness, and insanity will befall him. Hence the need of frugality. Who is frugal, loves his mental energy and saves his wisdom and knowledge. Hence the saying: "For governing the people and obeying heaven, nothing is better than frugality."
The masses of the people, when using their mental energy, are in a great hurry. If in a great hurry, they waste too much of their energy. To waste too much energy is said to be extravagant. The saintly man, when using his mental energy, is reposed. Reposed, he consumes little energy. To consume a small amount of energy is said to be frugal. Frugality, called a tact, originates in reason and principle. The ability to be frugal, indeed, is due to obedience to reason and conformity to principle. The masses of the people, though caught by troubles and overtaken by disasters, are still not aware of the need of retirement and would not follow reason and principle. The saintly man even before he sees the signs of misery and disaster is already humble-minded and follows reason and principle. This is said to be early practice. Hence the saying: "Now consider that frugality is said to come from early practice."
Who knows how to govern the people, thinks and worries in repose. Who knows how to obey heaven, keeps his sense-organs humble. If one thinks and worries in repose, 32 his old virtue will not go out. If he keeps his sense-organs humble, the spirit of peace will come in every day. Hence the saying: "Accumulate an abundance of virtue."
Indeed, who can make the old virtue not go out and the spirit of peace come in every day, is a man of early practice. Hence the saying: "By early practice it is said that we can accumulate an abundance of virtue."
After one accumulates virtue, one's mind becomes tranquil. After one's mind becomes tranquil, one's spirit of peace becomes abundant. After one's spirit of peace becomes abundant, one becomes able to scheme well. After one becomes able to scheme well, one becomes able to control everything. If able to control everything, one can easily overcome enemies in warfare. If one can easily overcome enemies in warfare, his reputation will spread all over the world. Since the reputation spreads all over the world, hence the saying: "There is nothing that cannot be overcome."
To find nothing invulnerable results from the accumulation of an abundance of virtue. Hence the saying: "If one accumulates an abundance of virtue, then there is nothing that cannot be overcome."
If one can easily overcome his enemies in warfare, he will be able to annex All-under-Heaven. If his reputation spreads all over the world, the people will obey him. Thus, when going forward, he can annex All-under-Heaven; when turning backward, he finds the people obedient to him. If his tact is profound, the masses of the people cannot perceive its beginning and ending. Inasmuch as the people cannot perceive its beginning and ending, no one knows his limit. Hence the saying: "If nothing cannot be overcome, then no one knows his limit."
In general, who first has the state and then loses it, and who first has the body and then drives it to misery, cannot be called able to have possession of the state and keep the safety of the body. Indeed, who can have possession of the state, must be able to keep the Altar of the Spirits of Land and Grain in security; who can keep the safety of the body, must be able to live through the period of life as decreed by heaven. Such a man can be called able to have possession of the state and keep the safety of the body. Indeed, who can have possession of his state and keep the safety of the body, always holds fast to Tao. If he holds fast to Tao, his wisdom is deep. If his wisdom is deep, his comprehension is far and wide. If his comprehension is far and wide, then the masses of the people cannot know its limit. It is only by realizing the true path 33 that one can prevent people from seeing the limits of one's own affairs. Who can prevent people from seeing the limits of his own affairs, can keep the safety of his body and have possession of his state. Hence the saying: "If no one knows his limit, 34 one can 35 have possession of the state."
As to the so-called "possession of the state's mother", the mother is Tao. Tao appears in the craft whereby the state is possessed. As one has possession of the craft whereby the state is possessed, he is said to have possession of the state's mother. Indeed, Tao moves along with the world, so that it lasts long in building life and abides forever in keeping bounty. Hence the saying: "Who has possession of the state's mother may last and abide." Trees have both widespread roots and straight roots. The straight 36 root is what is called "stem" 37 in the text. By means of the stem the tree builds up its life; by means of the widespread roots the tree keeps up its life. Now, virtue is the means whereby man builds up his life; bounty is the means whereby man keeps up his life. Who establishes himself upon principle, maintains his bounty long. Hence the saying: "Deepen the roots." Who realizes the true path, lasts long in the course of life. Hence the saying: "Staunch the stem." If the stem is staunched, the life will be long. If the roots are deepened, the activity will last for ever. Hence the saying: "To deepen the roots and staunch the stem is the way to long life and everlasting activity."
The craftsman, if he frequently changes his work, will lose his accomplishment. The workman, if he frequently shifts his occupation, will lose his accomplishment, too. If one man loses half-a-day's accomplishment every day, in ten days he will lose five men's accomplishment. If ten thousand men each lose half-a-day's accomplishment every day, in ten days they will lose fifty thousand men's accomplishment. If so, the more numerous those who frequently change their works are, the greater losses they will incur. Likewise, if laws and decrees are altered, advantages and disadvantages will become different. If advantages and disadvantages are different, the duties of the people will change. Change of duties is said to be change of works. Therefore, by reasoning I can see that if tasks are big and many and are frequently shifted, then few of them can be accomplished; that if anybody keeps a great vessel and moves it too often, it will incur many damages; that if, when frying small fish, you poke them around too often, you will ruin the cooking; and that if, when governing a big country, you alter laws and decrees too often, the people will suffer hardships. Therefore, the ruler who follows the proper course of government, values emptiness and tranquillity and takes the alteration of the law seriously. Hence the saying: "Govern a big country 38 as you would fry small fish."
People when ill hold physicians in esteem, and, when miserable, hold ghosts in awe. When the sage is on the throne, the people will have fewer desires. When the people have fewer desires, their blood and spirit will become orderly and their behaviour and conduct reasonable. If blood and spirit are orderly 39 and behaviour and conduct reasonable, there will be fewer disasters. Indeed, those who suffer no trouble of boils and piles inside and incur no misery of punishment and censure outside, hold ghosts in great contempt. Hence the saying: "If with Tao Allunder-Heaven is managed, even its ghosts will not haunt."
The people of an orderly age and ghosts and gods do not harm each other. Hence the saying: "Not only will its ghosts not haunt, but its gods will not harm the people."
If ghosts fall upon sick persons, 40 it is then said that ghosts harm men. If men drive ghosts away, it is then said that men harm ghosts. If the people violate laws and decrees, it is then said that the people harm the sovereign. If the sovereign punishes and chastises the people, it is then said that the sovereign harms the people. If the people do not violate the law, then the sovereign does not have to apply any penalty, either. If the superior does not apply any penalty, it is then said that the sovereign does not harm the people. Hence the saying: "Not only will its gods not harm the people, 41 but neither will its sages harm the people."
The sovereign and the people do not ruin each other while men and ghosts do not harm each other. Hence the saying: "Neither will do harm."
If the people dare not violate the law, then the sovereign does not have to apply penalties on the one hand nor does he have to work to the advantage of his own investments on the other. If the sovereign neither has to apply penalties nor has to work to the advantage of his own investments, the people will multiply and prosper. When the people are multiplying and prospering, their savings and hoardings will flourish. To have a people who multiply and prosper and whose savings and hoardings flourish, is called to have possession of virtue. The so-called cursed person is one whose soul is gone and whose mind is perturbed. If his mind is perturbed, he has no virtue. If ghosts did not fall upon the man, his soul would not go away. If the soul did not go away, his mind would not be perturbed. To have the mind not perturbed is called to have possession of virtue. Therefore, if the sovereign encourages savings and hoardings and ghosts do not disturb their minds, then all virtue will go to the people. Hence the saying: "Since neither will do harm, therefore 42 their virtues will be combined." This means that the virtues of high and low flourish and in both cases are combined into the well-being of the people.
The ruler who upholds Tao incurs no hatred from the neighbouring enemies outside and bestows beneficence upon the people at home. Verily, who incurs no hatred from the neighbouring enemies, observes the rules of etiquette 43 when dealing with the feudal lords; who bestows beneficence upon the people, emphasizes primary works when administering the people's 44 affairs. If he treats the feudal lords according to the rules of etiquette, then warfare will rarely take place. If he administers the people's affairs by emphasizing their primary works, then indulgence in pleasures and extravagant livelihood will stop. Now, horses in general are greatly useful because they carry armour and weapons and facilitate indulgence in pleasures and extravagant livelihood. However, inasmuch as the ruler who upholds the true path rarely employs armour and weapons and forbids indulgence in pleasures and extravagant livelihood, the sovereign does not have to use horses in warfare and drive them back and forth and the masses of the people never have to employ horses for transporting luxuries between distant places. What they devote their strength to, is farms and fields only. If they devote their strength to farms and fields, they have to haul dung for fertilizing the land and water for irrigating it. Hence the saying: "When All-under-Heaven follows Tao, race-horses are reserved for hauling dung."
On the contrary, if the ruler of men does not uphold Tao, at home he will misgovern the people and abroad he will offend the neighbouring states. If he misgoverns the people, the people will lose their property; if he offend the neighbouring states, warfare will frequently take place. If the people lose their property, the cattle will decrease; if warfare takes place frequently, officers and soldiers will be exhausted. If cattle decrease, war horses will become few; if officers and soldiers are exhausted, the army will be jeopardized. If war horses are few, then even mares 45 will have to appear on the battle-field; if the army is jeopardized, then even courtiers will have to march to the front line. After all, horses are of great use to troops, and "suburb" means "neighbourhood at hand". Since they have to replenish the army with mares 46 and courtiers, hence the saying: "When All-under-Heaven does not follow Tao, war horses are bred in the suburbs."
When a man has wild desires, his inferences become confused. When 47 his inferences are confused, his desire becomes intense. When his desire is intense, the crooked mind rules supreme. When the crooked mind rules supreme, affairs go straight 48 to a deadlock. When affairs go straight 49 to a deadlock, disasters take place. From this viewpoint it is clear that disasters are due to the crooked mind, which is in its turn due to submission to desire. As regards submission to desire, the positive kind would lead obedient citizens to villainy, the negative kind would lead good persons to misery. When culprits appear, the ruler will be violated and weakened. When misery comes, most people will be harmed. Thus, all sorts of submission to desire either violate and weaken the ruler or harm the people. To violate and weaken the ruler and harm the people is, indeed, a great crime. Hence the saying: "No greater crime than submitting to desire."
Therefore the saintly men are never attracted to the five colours 50 nor do they indulge in music; the intelligent ruler treats lightly amusement in curios and rids himself of indulgence in beauties. By nature man has neither wool nor feather. If he wears no clothes at all, he cannot resist 51 cold. Above he does not belong to the heavens. Below he is not stuck to the earth. And the stomach and intestines are what he takes as roots of his life. Unless he eat, he cannot live. Therefore he cannot avoid having an avaricious mind. The avaricious mind, unless banished, would cause one worries. Therefore, the saintly men, if they have sufficient clothes to resist cold and sufficient food to fill their empty stomachs, have no worry at all. The same is not true of the ordinary man. Whether they are feudal lords or only worth a thousand pieces of gold, their worry about what they want to get is never shaken off. It is possible for convicts to receive special pardons; and it happens occasionally that criminals sentenced to death live on 52 for some time. Since the worry of those who know no sufficiency is life-long and inevitable, hence the saying: "No greater misery than not knowing sufficiency."
Therefore, if avarice is intense, 53 it causes worry. If one worries, he falls ill. If he falls ill, his intelligence declines. If his intelligence declines, he loses the ability to measure and calculate. If he loses the ability to measure and calculate, his action becomes absurd. If his action is absurd, then misery will befall him. If misery befalls him, the illness will turn from bad to worse inside his body. If the illness turns from bad to worse inside his body, he feels pain. If misery hangs over him from without, he feels distressed. The pain and distress that ply out and in 54 would hurt the invalid seriously. Hurt seriously, the invalid retires and finds fault with himself. It is due to the avaricious mind that he retires and finds fault with himself. Hence the saying: "No greater 55 fault than avarice."
Tao is the way of everything, the form of every principle. Principles are the lines that complete things. Tao is the cause of the completion of everything. Hence the saying: "It is Tao that rules 56 everything."
Things have their respective principles and therefore cannot trespass against each other. Inasmuch as things have their respective principles and therefore cannot trespass against each other, principles 57 are determinants of things and everything has a unique principle. Inasmuch as everything has its unique principle and Tao disciplines the principles of all things, everything has to go through the process of transformation. Inasmuch as everything has to go through the process of transformation, it has no fixed frame. Since everything has no fixed frame, the course of life and death depends upon Tao, the wisdom of the myriad kinds conforms to it, and the rise and fall of the myriad affairs is due to it. Heaven can be high because of it, earth can hold everything because of it, the Polar Star can have its majesty because of it, the sun and the moon can make constant illumination because of it, the five constant elements 58 can keep their positions constant because of it, all the stars can keep their orbits right because of it, the four seasons can control their diverse expressions because of it, Hsien-yüan could rule over the four directions at his discretion because of it, Master Red Pine 59 could live 60 as long as heaven and earth because of it, and sages can compose essays and elaborate institutions because of it. It was manifested in the wisdom of Yao and Shunm in the rampancy of Chieh-yü, 61 in the destruction of Chieh and Chow, and in the prosperity of T`ang and Wu. Near as you might suppose it to be, it travels to the four poles of the world. Far as you might suppose it to be, it always abides by the side of everybody. Dim as you might suppose it to be, its gleam is glittering. Bright as you might suppose it to be, its body is obscure. By its achievement heaven and earth are formed. By its harmony thundering is transformed. Thus everything in the world owes it its formation. By nature the inner reality of Tao is neither restrained nor embodied. It is either soft or weak according as the occasion is, and is always in correspondence with principles. Because of it everything dies. Thanks to it everything lives. Because of it every affair fails. Thanks to it every affair succeeds. Tao can be compared to water. Who is drowning, dies as he drinks too much of it. Who is thirsty lives on as he drinks a proper amount of it. Again, it can be compared to a sword or a spear. 62 If the stupid man uses it for wreaking his grudge upon others, calamities will happen. If the saintly man uses it for punishing the outrageous, good luck will ensue. Thus, people die of it, live owing to it, fail because of it, and succeed on account of it. 63
Men rarely see living elephants. As they come by the skeleton of a dead elephant, they imagine its living according to its features. Therefore it comes to pass that whatever people use for imagining the real is called "image". 64 Though Tao cannot be heard and seen, the saintly man imagines its real features in the light of its present effects. Hence the saying: "It is the form of the formless, the image of the imageless." 65
In general, principles are what distinguish the square from the round, the short from the long, the coarse from the fine, and the hard from the brittle. Accordingly, it is only after principles become definite that things can attain Tao. Thus, definite principles include those of existence and extinction, of life and death, and of rise and fall. Indeed, anything that first exists and next goes to ruin, now lives and then dies, and prospers at the beginning and declines afterward, cannot be said to be eternal. Only that which begins with the creation of heaven and earth and neither dies nor declines till heaven and earth disappear can be said to be eternal. What is eternal has neither a changing location nor a definite principle 66 and is not inherent in an eternal place. 67 Therefore the eternal cannot be traced as a way. The saintly man, looking at its mysterious emptiness and dwelling upon its universal course, forcibly gave it the name Tao. Only thereafter it can be talked about. Hence the saying: "The Tao that can be traced as a way is not the eternal Tao."
Man begins in birth and ends in death. To begin is called to appear; to end, to disappear. Hence the saying: "Appear in birth, disappear in death."
The human body is composed of three hundred and sixty joints with four limbs and nine passages as its important equipment. Four limbs plus nine passages are thirteen in number. 68 The motion and the repose of all these thirteen depend upon life. As they depend upon life, they are said to be "dependencies". Hence the saying: "There are thirteen dependencies 69 of life."
As regards death, the thirteen equipments revert to their original status, and all depend upon death. Therefore, the dependencies of death are also thirteen. Hence the saying: "There are thirteen dependencies of life; there are thirteen dependencies of death."
On the whole, people who live by living life's intensity, move all the time. When motion is exerted, they incur losses. If motion does not stop, losses will occur incessantly. If losses occur incessantly, life will come to an end. Life's coming to an end is called "death". That is to say, the thirteen equipments are all avenues to pass into the realm of death. Hence the saying: "People move to live in the realm of life. But motion includes all avenues to the realm of death which are also thirteen in number." 70
Therefore, the saintly man saves mental energy and esteems the status of repose. Otherwise, conditions would become much worse than the harm of bisons and tigers. True, bisons and tigers have lairs and their motion and repose come on certain occasions. If you keep away from their lairs and avoid the occasions of their activities, then you will be able to evade their harm. However, as people know bisons and tigers have horns and claws but do not know everything else has horns and claws, they cannot evade the harm of the myriad things. How can this be proved? Well, when seasonal rain is falling in torrents and wide fields are lonesome and quiet, if you cross mountains and rivers at dusk or at dawn, the claws and horns of wind and dew will harm you. When serving the superior, if you are not loyal or violate prohibitions and decrees imprudently, the claws and horns of penal law will harm you. When living in the village, if you take no caution but show hatred and love at random, the claws and horns of dispute and quarrel will harm you. If you satiate your appetites without limitation and never regulate your motion and repose, the claws and horns of piles and boils will harm you. If you are habitually fond of applying your self-seeking wisdom and discarding rational principles, the claws and horns of nets and traps will harm you. Thus, while bisons and tigers have lairs and the myriad harms have causes, only if you can keep away from the lairs and stop the causes, will you be able to evade their harms.
In general, weapons and armour are for providing against harm. Who clings firmly to life, though serving in the ranks, has no mind of grudge and dispute. Without the mind of grudge and dispute, he finds no place wherein to use the provisions against harm. This not only refers to the troops in the wilderness. But it is also concerned with the saintly man who has no mind to harm anybody when making his way through the world. If he has no mind to harm anybody, he will find no harm from anybody. If he finds no harm from anybody, he need not guard against anybody. Hence the saying: "When travelling on land, he will not fall a prey to the bison or the tiger." Likewise, he does not have to depend on the provisions against harm when walking through the world. 71 Hence the saying: "When going among soldiers, he need not fear 72 arms and weapons." Since he can thus keep away from all kinds of harm, hence the saying: "The bison finds no place wherein to insert its horns. The tiger finds no place wherein to put his claws. Weapons find no place wherein to thrust their blades."
It is the rational principle of heaven and earth that man takes no precaution against any kind of harm and never is harmed. As he merges in the course of heaven and earth, hence the saying: "He does not belong to the realm of death." Inasmuch as he moves and does not belong to the realm of death, he is said to be taking good care of life.
Who loves his child, is compassionate to the child. Who clings firmly to life, is compassionate to himself. Who values successful accomplishment, is compassionate to tasks. The compassionate mother, regarding her infant child, always strives to establish the child's well-being. If she strives to establish the child's well-being, she will endeavour to rid the child of calamities. If she endeavours to rid the child of calamities, her reflection and consideration become thorough. If her reflection and consideration are thorough, she will attain the principles of affairs. If she attains the principles of affairs, she will certainly accomplish her purposes. If she is certain of accomplishing her purposes, she will not hesitate in her action. To make no hesitation is called "bravery". Now, the saintly man deals with the myriad affairs exactly in the same way as the compassionate mother considers the well-being of her child. Therefore, he finds reason for determined action. If he has reason for determined action, he will not hesitate in transacting affairs either. Thus, to make no hesitation is called "bravery"; unhesitating action is due to compassion. Hence the saying: "The compassionate can be brave."
The Duke of Chou said: "If it does not freeze hard in winter days, grass and trees will not flourish in spring and summer." Thus, even heaven and earth can neither always be extravagant nor always be frugal. How much less can mankind be so? Therefore, the myriad things must have prosperity and decline, the myriad affairs must have their rise and fall, the state must have civil and military institutions, and government must have reward and punishment. For this reason, if wise men frugally spend their money, their families will become rich; if the saintly man treasures his mind, his energy will become abundant; and if the ruler of men emphasizes the usefulness of his soldiers for military purposes, his subjects will become numerous. If the subjects are numerous, the state will become magnificent. From all these facts there can be inferred the saying: "The frugal can be magnificent."
In general, anything that has a form can be easily cut and easily trimmed. How can I prove this? Well, if the thing has form, it has length; if it has length, it has size; if it has size, it has a shape; if it has a shape, it has solidity; if it has solidity, it has weight; and if it has weight, it has colour. Now, length, size, shape, solidity, weight, and colour are called principles. As these are fixed, the thing can be easily cut. Therefore, if you present discussions first in the government and draw your conclusion from them later, then 73 thoughtful and planful personages will know the right decision to make. Likewise, supposing you wanted to construct squares and circles and followed the compasses and squares, then the accomplishment of any task would take its shape. As with everything following the compasses and squares, thinkers and speakers must inspect and follow the compasses and squares. The saintly man thoroughly follows the compasses and squares of the myriad things. Hence the saying: "They dare not come to the front of All-under-Heaven."
Thus, if one dare not come to the front of All-underHeaven, then everything will be done, every achievement will be accomplished, and his theory will prevail all over the world. Then, even though he wants not to attain to high office in government, is it possible? To attain to high office in government is called 74 to become perfect as chief vessels. 75 Hence the saying: "Those who dare not come to the front of All-under-Heaven can become 76 perfect as chief vessels." 77
Who is compassionate to his children, dare not stop giving them clothes and food. Who is compassionate to himself, dare not go astray from laws and regulations. Who is compassionate to squares and circles, dare not discard the compasses and squares. For the same reason, if one in the face of warfare is compassionate to the rank and file, he will overcome his enemies in attack; if compassionate to war implements, he will make the city-walls hard and firm. Hence the saying: "The compassionate 78 will in attack be victorious, and in defence firm."
Indeed, who can perfect himself and thoroughly follow the principles of the myriad things, will eventually live a heavenly life. A heavenly life refers to the right way of human nature. 79 The true path of All-under-Heaven leads to the welfare of living beings. If it is protected with compassion, everything will be successful. Then it is called "treasure". Hence the saying: "I have three treasures 80 which I cherish and treasure."
The so-called Grand Course in the text is the orthodox way. The so-called hypocrisy 81 is the heretical way. The so-called by-paths are beautiful decorations. And beautiful decorations are part of the heretical way. If the palace is splendid, litigations will become numerous. If litigations multiply, fields will run waste. If the fields run waste, treasuries and storehouses will become empty. If treasuries and storehouses are empty, the country will become poor. If the country is poor, the folkways will become frivolous and extravagant. If the folkways are frivolous and extravagant, professions for earning clothes and food will stop. If professions for earning clothes and food stop, the people will have to pretend to genius and embellish falsehood. If the people pretend to genius and embellish falsehood, they will use ornaments and gay clothes. To use ornaments and gay clothes is called "wearing ornaments and gay clothes".
If litigations are numerous, granaries and storehouses are empty, and certain people practise frivolity and extravagance as folkways, then the state will be injured as though pierced through by sharp swords. Hence the saying of "carrying sharp swords". Again, those who pretend to wisdom and genius 82 till they injure the state, their own families are always rich. Since the private families are always rich, hence the saying of "having a redundance of costly articles". If there are such crooks in the state, then even stupid people will infallibly follow the example. If they follow the bad example, then small robbers will appear. From this viewpoint I can see that wherever great culprits start, there follow small robbers; whenever great culprits sing, then join the small robbers.
Indeed, the Yü 83 is the head of all musical instruments. Therefore, once the Yü takes the lead, then follow bells and harps; once the Yü sounds, then join all other instruments. Similarly, wherever great culprits start, there sing common people; wherever common people sing, there join small burglars. Hence, to wear ornaments and gay clothes, to carry sharp swords, to be excessive in drinking and eating, and to have a redundance of costly articles, this is the Yü 84 of robbers.
Men, whether stupid or intelligent, either accept or reject things. If reposed and secure, they would know the causes of misfortune and good luck. Excited by likes and dislikes and beguiled by obscene objects, they become different and perturbed. The reason for this is that they are attracted to external things and perturbed by likes and tastes. In fact, repose involves the meaning of accepting likes and rejecting dislikes; security purports the estimation of misfortune and good luck. Now, they are changed by likes and tastes and attracted to external things. Since they are attracted to external things and thereby led astray, hence the saying of "being uprooted". Such is not the case with the saintly man, however. Once he sets up his principle of acceptance and rejection, then though he sees things he likes, he is never attracted to them. Not to be attracted to them is said to "be not uprooted". Once he sets up the basis of devotion, then though there may be things that he likes, his mind is never thereby moved. Not to be moved is said to "be not looted".
Sons and grandsons act upon this Tao and thereby maintain the ancestral halls. The indestructibility of the ancestral halls means "the everlasting duration of the sacrificial celebrations".
To accumulate energy is virtue to oneself. To accumulate property is virtue to one's family. To tranquillize the people is virtue to the village, to the state, and to All-under-Heaven. Since one refines his personality and external things cannot perturb his mind, hence the saying: "Who cultivates it in his person, his virtue is genuine." By "genuineness" is meant "firmness of prudence". 86
Who manages his family affairs, his decision is never moved by useless things. If this is so, his resources will be overflowing. Hence the saying: "Who cultivates it in his family, his virtue is overflowing."
If the squire of the village acts upon this principle, then homes that have abundance will multiply. Hence the saying: "Who cultivates it in his village, his virtue lasts long and spreads wide."
If the governor of the country acts upon this principle, then villages that have virtue will multiply. Hence the saying: "Who cultivates it in his country, 87 his virtue is abundant."
If the ruler of All-under-Heaven acts upon this principle, then the livelihood of the people will always receive his beneficence. Hence the saying: "Who cultivates it in All-under-Heaven, his virtue is universal."
If the self-cultivator differentiates the superior man from the small man by means of this principle, and if the squire of the village, the governor of the country, and the ruler of All-under-Heaven, all follow this principle in making a comprehensive survey of their respective gains and losses, there can be no single mistake in a myriad cases. Hence the saying: "By one's person one looks at persons. By one's family one looks at families. By one's village one looks at villages. By one's country one looks at countries. By one's All-under-Heaven one looks at All-under-Heaven. How 88 do I know that All-under-Heaven is such? Through IT 89 ."
1. 解老. This chapter contains Han Fei Tzŭ's interpretations of certain chapters and certain passages quoted from Lao Tzŭ's Tao Teh Ching or The Canon of Reason and Virtue. To understand Han Fei Tzŭ's academic thoroughness, it is necessary to read Lao Tzŭ's works. I have therefore added in Italics before each commentary the text of Lao Tzŭ. As regards the English translation of the Tao Teh Ching, I have largely followed Paul Carus.
2. Wang Hsien-shen proposed the supply of 不全 above 無功.
3. Wang Hsien-ch`ien proposed the supply of 生有 above 德.
4. With Lu Wên-shao 所無 should be 無所.
5. 無不為 should be 無以爲 in accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text.
6. With Lu Wên-shao and Wang Hsien-shen 事 should be 禮.
7. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 曰 below 故 is superfluous.
8. With Ku 德 should be 積.
12. With Lu Wên-shao every 失 below every 後 should be removed.
13. With Wang Hsien-shen the Imperial Library Edition has 隨 in place of 隋.
14. With Wang 銀黃 should be 黃金.
17. With Wang Hsien-ch`ien 通人 means 衆人.
18. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 乎 below 首 should be 也.
19. 大丈夫 is rendered as "a great organizer" by Carus. However, I regard "a great sportsman" as its most appropriate equivalent in English.
20. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 處 above 其簿 should be 居.
21. With Ku 處 above 其華 should be 居.
22. Ku proposed the supply of 禮 above 貌.
23. With Ku 好 above 情實 is superfluous.
24. Wang Hsien-shen suspected that 卜祝 was a mistake for 十倍.
25. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 也 below 迷 and 以 above 久 should be removed and 故 below 日 should be 固.
26. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 公 should be 立.
27. With Wang Wei 習 should be 能.
28. With Wang 適 should read 讁.
29. The English rendering of 守道 by Paul Carus is "Hold Fast to Reason", which is a serious mistake.
30. With Wang Hsien-shen 分 should be 色.
31. Evidently, neither insanity nor ignorance was recognized as a defence.
32. With Wang 則 should be supplied above 故徳.
33. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 體道 should be supplied above 能.
34. With Lu Wên-shao 莫知其極 should not be repeated.
35. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 則 above 可以 should be removed.
36. With Yü Yüeh 直 should be supplied above 根.
37. 柢 should be 蒂 in accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text.
38. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 者 below 治大國 should be removed.
39. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 血氣治而 should be supplied above 擧動理.
40. With Wang Wei 也 above 疾人 is superfluous.
41. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 非其神不傷人 should be supplied above 聖人亦不傷民, and 民 should be 人.
42. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 則 should be 故.
43. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 外 above 有禮義 is superfluous.
44. With Wang Hsien-shen 人 should be 民.
45. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 將 should be 牸.
46. With Ku 將 should be 牸.
47. With Wang Hsien-shen 而 below 計會亂 should be 則.
48. With Wang 經 in both cases means 徑.
49. With Wang 經 in both cases means 徑.
50. 五色, including blue (including green), red, yellow, black, and white, implies all kinds of painting and drawing.
51. With Wang Hsien-shen 犯 means 勝.
52. With Wang Hsien-ch`ien 有 above 免死 should be above 罪時活.
53. Hirazawa's edition reads 於 for 則.
54. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 腸胃 should be 外内.
55. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 憯 should be 大.
56. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê and Wang Hsien-shen 理 means 紀. Therefore, Han Fei Tzŭ seemed to have derived the quotation from the last sentence of Chapter XIV in Lao Tzŭ's text.
57. Hirazawa's edition has no 之 below 理.
58. They are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.
59. Master of Rain at the time of Emperor Shên-nung.
60. With Sun I-jang 統 below 天地 should be 終.
61. Alias of Lu T`ung, a native of the Ch`u State, who feigned himself mad to escape being importuned to engage in public service. It was about the year 489 b.c. that Confucius passed by him, when he sang a song satirically blaming his not retiring from the world (vide Confucian Analects, Bk. XVIII, Ch. V).
62. 戟, strictly speaking, is a kind of spear with crescent-shaped blade at the side.
63. No critic could find out exactly what part of Lao Tzŭ's text on which Han Fei Tzŭ had made the commentary in this paragraph. It seems to me, however, that the text of the paragraph contains certain hiatuses.
64. In Chinese 象 originally means "elephant" and later comes to mean "resemblance", "copy", or "image". Apart from its trunk and tusks 象 bears close "resemblance" to 豕 or "pig".
65. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 無物 should be 無象.
66. With Kao Hêng 無定理 should not be repeated.
67. Kao proposed the supply of 所 below 常.
68. With Wang Hsien-shen 者 below 三 is superfluous.
69. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 也 below 徒 and 者 below 三 should be removed.
70. The whole saying is not identical in wording with Lao Tzŭ's text but the same in meaning.
71. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 山 should be 世.
72. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 備 should be 避.
73. With Kao Hêng 立 below 則 should be 夫.
74. With Wang Hsien-ch`ien 為 below 謂 is superfluous.
75. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 事長 should be 器長.
76. Lao Tzŭ's text has no 為 above 成.
77. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 事長 should be 器長.
78. In accordance with Lao Tzŭ's text 於 below 慈 should be 以.
79. With Kao Hêng 生心 should be 性.
80. Namely, frugality, compassion, and not daring to come to the front of All-under-Heaven.
81. With Kao Hêng 貌 above 施 is superfluous.
82. With Kao Hêng 故 below 智 should be 巧.
83. A kind of musical instrument consisting of thirty-six reed pipes.
84. Lao Tzŭ's text has 誇 which Carus translated as "pride". In place of 誇 Han Fei Tzŭ put 竽. With Wang Hsien-shen 誇 conveys no specific sense in the sentence.
85. Wang's note has 五十三 in place of 五十四. I disagree with him.
86. 愼 meaning "prudence" is composed of 眞 meaning "genuineness" and 心 meaning "mind" or "heart". With Kao Hêng 愼 should be 悳.
87. With Wang Hsien-shen 國 in Lao Tzŭ's text should be 邦. As the name of the first emperor of the Han Dynasty was Liu Pang, scholars of this dynasty purposely put kuo (國) in place of pang (邦), both having practically the same meaning. Han Fei Tzŭ's commentary having 邦 instead of 國 is correct.
88. Lao Tzŭ's text has 何 in place of 奚.
89. Namely, the "observing ability".
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