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實“黃帝”者何等也？號乎，諡乎？如諡，臣子所誄列也。誄生時所行為之諡。黃帝好道，遂以升天，臣子誄之，宜以仙升， 不當以“黃” 諡。
載太山之上者，七十有二君，皆勞情苦思，憂念王事，然後功成事立，致治太平。太平則天下和安，乃升太山而封禪焉。夫修 道求仙，與憂職勤事不同。心思道則忘事，憂事則害性。世稱堯若臘，舜若腒，心愁憂苦，形體贏臒。使黃帝致太平乎，則其形體宜如堯、舜。堯、 舜不得道，黃帝升天，非其實也。使黃帝廢事修道，則心意調和，形體肥勁，是與堯、舜異也，異則功不同矣。功不同，天下未太平而升封，又非實也。
案能飛升之物，生有毛羽之兆;能馳走之物，生有蹄足之形。 馳走不能飛升，飛升不能馳走。稟性受氣，形體殊別也。 今人稟馳走之性，故生無毛羽之兆，長大至老，終無奇怪。好道學仙，中生毛羽，終以飛升。
且夫物之生長，無卒成暴起，皆有浸漸。為道學仙之人，能先生數寸之毛羽，從地自奮，升樓臺之陛，乃可謂升天。今無 小升之兆，卒有大飛之驗，何方術之學成無浸漸也？ 毛羽大效，難以觀實。
黃之與白，猶肉腥炙之燋，魚鮮煮之熟也。燋 不可複令腥，熟不可複令鮮。鮮腥猶少壯，燋熟猶衰老也。天養物，能使物暢至秋，不得延之至春；吞藥養性，能令人無病，不能壽 之為仙。為仙體輕氣強，猶未能升天，令見輕強之驗，亦無毛羽之效，何用升天？
”若士者悖然而笑曰：“嘻！子中州之民也，不宜遠至此。此猶光日月而戴列星，四時之所行，陰陽之所生也。此其比夫不 名之地，猶突兀也。若我南遊乎罔浪之野，北息乎沉薶之鄉，西窮乎杳冥之黨，而東貫湏懞之先。此其下無地，上無天，聽焉無聞，而視焉則營； 此其外猶有狀，有狀之餘，壹舉而能千萬裏，吾猶未能之在。今子遊始至於此，乃語窮觀，豈不亦遠哉？然子處矣。吾與汗漫期於九垓之上，吾不可久 。”若士者舉臂而縱身，逐入雲中。
且凡能輕舉入雲中者， 飲食與人殊之故也。龍食與蛇異，故其舉措與蛇不同。聞為道者，服金玉之精，食紫芝之英。食精身輕，故能神仙。若士者食合蜊之肉，與 庸民同食，無精輕之驗，安能縱體而升天？
曼都好道學仙，委家亡去，三年而返。家 問其狀，曼都曰：“去時不能自知，忽見若臥形，有仙人數人，將我上天，離月數裏而止。見月上下幽冥，幽冥不知東西。居月之旁，其寒悽愴 。口饑欲食，仙人輒飲我以流霞一杯，每飲一杯，數月不饑。不知去幾何年月，不知以何為過，忽然若臥，複下至此。
”河東號之曰“斥仙”。實論者聞之， 乃知不然。夫曼都能上天矣，何為不仙？已三年矣，何故複還？夫人去民間，升皇天之上，精氣形體，有變於故者矣。萬物變化，無複還者。複育化為蟬， 羽翼既成，不能複化為複育。能升之物，皆有羽翼，升而複降，羽翼如故。見曼都之身有羽翼乎，言乃可信；身無羽翼，言虛妄也。虛則與盧敖同一實也。
文摯曰：“ 諾，請以死為王。 ”與太子期，將往，不至者三，齊王固已怒矣。文摯至，不解屨登床，履衣，問王之疾。王怒而不與言。文摯因出辭以重王怒。王叱而起，疾乃遂已。 王大怒不悅，將生烹文摯。太子與王后急爭之而不能得，果以鼎生烹文摯。爨之三日三夜，顏色不變。文摯曰：“誠欲殺我，則胡不覆之，以絕陰陽之氣？ ”
此虛言也。 夫文摯而烹三日三夜，顏色不變，為一覆之故絕氣而死，非得道之驗也。諸生息之物，氣絕則死。死之物，烹之輒爛。致生息之物密器之中，覆蓋其口， 漆塗其隙，中外氣隔，息不得泄，有頃死也。如置湯鑊之中，亦輒爛矣。何則？體同氣均，稟性於天，共一類也。文摯不息乎？與金石同，入湯不爛，是也。 令文摯息乎？烹之不死，非也。
如武帝之時，有李少君，以 祠灶、辟穀、卻老方見上，上尊重之。少君匿其年及所生長，常自謂七十，而能使物卻老。其游以方遍諸侯。無妻。人聞其能使物及不老， 更饋遺之，常余錢金衣食。人皆以為不治產業饒給，又不知其何許人，愈爭事之。
百藥愈病，病癒而氣複，氣複而身輕矣。凡人稟性，身本自 輕，氣本自長，中於風濕，百病傷之，故身重氣劣也。服食良藥，身氣複故，非本氣少身重，得藥而乃氣長身更 輕也，稟受之時，本自有之矣。故夫服食藥物除百病，令身輕氣長，複其本性，安能延年至於度世？
Chapter XXVIII. Taoist Untruths (Tao-hsü).
In the books of the Literati it is stated that 1Huang Ti exploited the copper mines of Mount Shou,2 and out of the ore cast tripods at the foot of the Ching Mountain. 3 When the tripods were completed, a dragon with a long beard came down, and went to meet Huang Ti. Huang Ti mounted the dragon. His whole suite including the harem, over seventy persons in all, mounted together with him, whereupon the dragon ascended. The remaining smaller officials, who could not find a seat on the dragon, all got hold of the dragon's beard, which they pulled out. Huang Ti's bow fell down. The people gazed after him, until he disappeared in the sky. Then they hugged his bow, and the dragon's beard, and moaned. Therefore later ages named the place Ting-hu (Tripod Lake) 4 and the bow of the emperor Wu-hao (Raven's Cry). 5
The Grand Annalist in his eulogy on the Five Emperors6 also says that having performed the hill-sacrifice Huang Ti disappeared as a genius, and that his followers paid their respect to his garments and cap, and afterwards buried them. 7 I say that this is not true.
What does Huang Ti really mean? Is it an appellative or a posthumous title? Being a posthumous title it must be some praise bestowed upon him by his subjects, for this kind of title is a glorification of what the deceased has done during his life-time. Huang Ti was a votary of Tao,8 and subsequently, as they say, rose to Heaven. If his subjects wanted to honour him, they ought not to have styled him Huang, but ought to have given him a title implying his ascension as an immortal.
According to the rules for honorary titles the pacification of the people would be called Huang, which means that he who is styled so kept the people at peace, 9 but the word does not denote the acquisition of Tao. Among the many emperors those given to arts and literature were called Wên i. e. Scholarly, those fond of War Wu i. e. Warriors. Both designations had their real basis. They served to exhort others to do the like.
If at the time of Huang Ti posthumous titles were not yet given according to qualities, of what generation were those who first called him Huang Ti? Huang Ti's own subjects must have known their prince, and later generations could trace his doings. Although our doubts about the existence of appellatives and posthumous titles at Huang Ti's time may not be set at rest, at all events it is evident that Huang cannot mean an Immortal who rose to Heaven.
A dragon does not rise to Heaven. If Huang Ti rode on a dragon, it is clear that he could not have ascended to Heaven either. When a dragon rises, clouds and rain appear simultaneously and carry it along. As soon as the clouds disperse, and the rain stops, the dragon comes down again, and re-enters its pond. Should Huang Ti really have ridden on a dragon, he would afterwards have been drowned with the dragon in the pond.
Huang Ti was interred in the Chiao Mountain, 10 and still they say that his officials buried his garments and cap. If he actually went up to Heaven on a dragon, his garments and cap cannot have separated from his body, and if he became a genius after the hill sacrifice and vanished, he cannot have left his garments and cap behind either. Did Huang Ti really become a genius, who could not die, but rose to Heaven, his officers and people must have seen it with their own eyes. Having thus witnessed his ascension to Heaven, they decidedly knew that he did not die. Now, to bury the garments and cap of somebody, who did not die, would have been, as if he had died. Such a thing would not have been in accordance with the feelings of the officials, who were aware of the real state of affairs, and could distinguish between life and death.
It is on record that the seventy-two sovereigns who ascended Mount T`ai,11 had troubled and toiled, worrying themselves over the state of the empire. Subsequently their efforts were crowned with success, and things settled, so that universal peace reigned throughout the land. When there was universal peace, the whole empire enjoyed harmony and tranquillity. Then they ascended the T`ai-shan, and performed the hill-sacrifices. Now, the pursuit of Tao and the struggle for immortality are different from the vexations of official life and business. He whose thoughts all centre in Tao, forgets worldly affairs, because to trouble about them would injure his nature. 12 They say that Yao looked dried up and Shun withered. Their hearts were sorrowful, and their bodies feeble and care-worn. If Huang Ti brought about universal peace, his appearance must have been similar to that of Yao and Shun. Since Yao and Shun did not attain to Tao, it cannot be true that Huang Ti rose to Heaven. 13 If Huang Ti in his pursuit of Tao neglected all wordly affairs, his mind would have been equanimous, and his body fat and strong. Then he would have been quite different from Yao and Shun, and consequently his achievements could not have been the same. In that case the universe would not have enjoyed universal peace. Without the universal peace his sacrifice on the mountain would not have taken place. 14
The Five Emperors and Three Rulers were all remarkable for their wisdom and virtue, Huang Ti not more than the others. If all the sages became genii, Huang Ti would not be one alone, and if the sages did not become genii, why should Huang Ti alone be a genius? People seeing that Huang Ti was very partial to magical arts, which are practised by genii, surmised that he was a genius.
Moreover, on finding the name of "Ting-hu" "Tripod beard" 15 they said that Huang Ti exploited the copper of Mount Shou, and cast it into tripods, and that a dragon with a floating beard came to meet him. This explanation would be on the same line with that of the K`uei-chi Mountain. 16 The purport of the name of this mountain is said to be that the emperor Yü of the Hsia dynasty on a tour of inspection held a meeting () and a review () on this mountain, whence its name K`uei-chi.17Yü went to K`uei-chi for the purpose of regulating the water courses, but not on a tour of inspection, just as Huang Ti was addicted to magic, but did not ascend to heaven. There was no such thing like a meeting or a review, as there was no casting of tripods, nor a dragon with a long beard. There is a village called Shêng-mu "Vanquish mother." Does that mean that there was really a son who vanquished his mother? A city is called Chao-ko "Morning song." Are we to infer that the inhabitants of that city used to sing, when they rose in the morning?
The books of the Literati relate that the Prince of Huai-nan18 in his study of Taoism assembled all the Taoists of the empire, and humbled the grandeur of a princedom before the expositors of Taoist lore. Consequently, Taoist scholars flocked to Huai-nan and vied with each other in exhibiting strange tricks and all kinds of miracles. Then the prince attained to Tao and rose to heaven with his whole household. His domestic animals became genii too. His dogs barked up in the sky, and the cocks crowed in the clouds. That means that there was such plenty of the drug of immortality, that dogs and cocks could eat of it, and follow the prince to Heaven. All who have a fad for Taoism and would learn the art of immortality believe in this story, but it is not true.
Man is a creature. His rank may be ever so high, even princely or royal, his nature cannot be different from that of other creatures. There is no creature but dies. How could man become an immortal? Birds having feathers and plumes can fly, but they cannot rise to Heaven. How should man without feathers and plumes be able to fly and rise? Were he feathered and winged, he would only be equal to birds, but he is not; how then should he ascend to heaven?
Creatures capable of flying and rising, are provided with feathers and wings, others fast at running, have hoofs and strong feet. Swift runners cannot fly, and flyers not run. Their bodies are differently organised according to the fluid they are endowed with. Now man is a swift runner by nature, therefore he does not grow feathers or plumes. From the time he is full-grown up till his old age he never gets them by any miracle. If amongst the believers in Taoism and the students of the art of immortality some became feathered and winged, they might eventually fly and rise after all.
In case the nature of creatures could be changed, it ought to be possible that metal, wood, water, and fire were also altered. 19 Frogs can be changed into quails, and sparrows dive into the water and become clams. 20 It is the upshot of their spontaneous, original nature, and cannot be attained by the study of Tao. Lest the Taoists should be put on a level with the aforesaid animals, I say that, if men could have all the necessary feathers and plumage, they might ascend to heaven.
Now, the growth and development of creatures is not abrupt, and its changes are not violent, but gradually brought about. If the Taoists and students of immortality could first grow feathers and plumes several inches long, so that they could skim over the earth, and rise to the terraces of high buildings, one might believe that they can ascend to heaven. But they do not show that they are able to fly even a small distance. How can they suddenly acquire the faculty of flying such a long way through the study of their miraculous arts without any gradual progress? That such a great result might be really effected by means of feathers and wings cannot be ascertained.
The human hair and beard, and the different colours of things, when young and old, afford another cue. When a plant comes out, it has a green colour, when it ripens, it looks yellow. As long as man is young, his hair is black, when he grows old, it turns white. Yellow is the sign of maturity, white of old age. After a plant has become yellow, it may be watered and tended ever so much, it does not become green again. When the hair has turned white, no eating of drugs nor any care bestowed upon one's nature can make it black again. Black and green do not come back, how could age and decrepitude be laid aside?
Yellow and white are like the frying of raw meat, and the cooking of fresh fish. What has been fried, cannot be caused to become raw again, and what has been cooked, to become fresh. Fresh and raw correspond to young and strong, fried and cooked, to weak and old. Heaven in developing things can keep them vigorous up till autumn, but not further on till next spring. By swallowing drugs and nourishing one's nature one may get rid of sickness, but one cannot prolong one's life, and become an immortal. Immortals have a light body and strong vital energy, and yet they cannot rise to heaven. Light and strong though they be, they are not provided with feathers and wings, and therefore not able to ascend to heaven.
Heaven and earth are both bodies. As one cannot descend into the earth, one cannot ascend into heaven. Such being the case, where would be a road leading up to heaven? Man is not strong enough to enter and pass through heaven's body. If the gate of heaven is in the North-west, all people rising to heaven must pass by the K`un-lun Mountain. The State of Hwai Nan Tse being situated in the South-east of the earth, he must, if he really ascended to heaven, first have gone to K`un-lun with all his household, where he would have found an ascent. Provided the Prince of Huai-nan flew straight across the land to the north-western corner, flapping his wings, then he must have had feathers and wings. But since no mention is made of his passing by the K`un-lun, nor of feathers and wings growing out of his body, the mere assertion of his ascension cannot be but wrong and untrue.
Liu An, prince of Huai-nan, lived contemporaneously with the emperor Hsiao Wu Ti.21 His father Liu Chang was banished to Yen-tao22 in Shu23 for some offence, but died on the road, when he arrived at Yung-chou.24Liu An, who succeeded him in his princedom, bore a grudge against the emperor for having caused his father's death in exile, and thought of making rebellion. He attracted all sorts of schemers, and intended great things. Men like Wu Pei filled his palaces, busy in writing books on the Taoist arts, and publishing essays on the most miraculous subjects. They were bustling about and putting their heads together.
In the "Memoir of the Eight Companions" 25 they wished to prove supernatural forces, as if they had attained to Tao. But they never reached it, and had no success. Then Huai Nan Tse plotted a rebellion together with Wu Pei. The scheme was discovered, and he committed suicide or, as some say, was done to death. Whether this be the case, or whether he committed suicide is about the same. But people finding his writings very deep, abstruse, and mysterious, and believing that the predictions of the "Pa-kungchuan" had been fulfilled, divulged the story that he had become a genius, and went up to heaven, which is not in accordance with truth.
It is chronicled in the books of the Literati 26 that Lu Ao,27 when wandering near the "Northern Sea," 28 passed the "Great North," and through the "Dark Gate" 29 entered upon the Mongolean 30 plateau. There he beheld an individual with deep eyes, a black nose and the neck of a wild goose. Lifting his shoulders, he soared up, and rapidly came down again, gamboling and disporting all the time against the wind. When he caught sight of Lu Ao, he suddenly took down his arms, and sought refuge under a rock. Lu Ao saw him there resting on the back of a tortoise and eating an oyster.
Lu Ao accosted him saying, "Sir, I believe that, because I have given up what the world desires, separating from my kindred and leaving my home, in order to explore what is outside of the six cardinal points, 31 you will condemn me. I began travelling in my youth. When I had grown up, I did not care for the ordinary duties of man, but managed to travel about. Of the four poles the "Greath North" is the only one which I have not yet seen. Now unexpectedly I find you here, Sir. Shall we not become friends?"
The stranger burst out laughing and said, "Why, you are a Chinaman. You ought not to come as far as this. Yet sun and moon are still shining here. There are all the stars, the four seasons alternate, and the Yin and the Yang are still at work. Compared to the "Nameless Region" this is only like a small hill. I travel south over the "Weary Waste," and halt north in the "Hidden Village." I proceed west to the "Obscure Hamlet," and pass east through the "Place of Dimness." There is no earth beneath, and no heaven above. Listening one does not hear, and to the looker-on the objects flit away from sight. Beyond that region there is still shape. Where that ends, one advances ten million Li by making one step. I could not yet get there. You, Sir, reached only this place in your travels, but speak of exploring. Is not that an exaggeration? But, please, remain. I have to meet Han Man32 on the ninth heaven, 33 and cannot stay longer."---The stranger then raised his arms, gave his body a jerk, and off he went into the clouds.
Lu Ao stared after him, until he became invisible. His heart was full of endless joy and at the same time he was grieved, as though he had lost somebody. "Compared with you, my master, said he, I am nothing more than an earth-worm is to a wild goose. Crawling the whole day, I do not advance more than some feet, but myself consider it far. It is pitiable indeed."---
Such as Lu Ao held that dragons alone have no wings, and when they rise, ride on the clouds. Had Lu Ao said that the stranger had wings, his words might be credible. But he did not speak of wings, how could the other then ascend to the clouds?
Those creatures which with agility rise into the clouds, do not take human food or human drink. The dragon's food is different from that of snakes, hence its movements are not the same as those of snakes. One hears that the Taoists drink an elixir made of gold and gems and eat the flowers of the purple boletus. These extremely fine stuffs make their bodies light, so that they become spirits and genii. The stranger ate the flesh of an oyster. Such is the food of ordinary people, by no means fine, or rendering the body light. How could he then have given himself a jerk and ascended to heaven?
I have heard that those who feed on air do not take solid food, and that the latter do not eat air. The above mentioned stranger ate something substantial. Since he did not live on air, he could not be so light, that he might have risen on high.
May be that Lu Ao studying Tao and trying hard to become an immortal, travelled to the Northern Sea. Having left human society, and gone far away, he felt that he did not succeed in acquiring Tao. He was ashamed and afraid, lest his fellow-countrymen should criticize him. Knowing that things would certainly turn out so, that every body would reproach him, he invented the extravagant stories. He said that he met with a stranger. The meaning of the whole story is that his efforts to become immortal were not successful, and that time had not yet come.
In the case of Liu An, Prince of Huai-nan, who suffered death as a punishment of rebellion, all people heard of it, and at that time saw it, and yet the books of the Literati say that he obtained Tao, and disappeared as a genius, and that his cocks and dogs went up to heaven also. We cannot be surprised then that Lu Ao, who alone went to a far-off country, leaving no trace, should speak obscure and mysterious words. His case is similar to that of Hsiang Man Tu34 of P`u-fan35 in Ho-tung.36
Hsiang Man Tu was a follower of Tao and a student of spiritism. He abandoned his family, and went away. When after three years absence he came back, his people asked him, what had happened to him. Hsiang Man Tu replied "I have no clear recollection of my departure, but I suddenly found myself as if lying down. Several genii appeared, who took me up to heaven, until we were at some few Li's distance from the moon. I saw that above and beneath the moon all was dark, so that I could not distinguish East and West. Where we stopped near the moon, it was bitter cold. I felt hungry, and wished to eat, when a genius gave me a cupful of morning-red to drink. After having taken one cup, one does not feel hunger for several months. I do not know, how many years or months I stayed there, nor what fault I committed, for suddenly I found myself asleep again, and brought down to this place."