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世信祭祀，謂祭祀必有福；又然解除，謂解除必去凶。 解除初禮，先設祭祀。比夫祭祀，若生人相賓客矣。先為賓客設膳，食已，驅以刃杖。 鬼神如有知，必恚止戰，不肯徑去；若懷恨，反而為禍。如無所知，不能為凶，解之無益，不解無損。
貴人之出也，萬民並觀，填街滿巷，爭進在前。士卒驅之，則走而卻；士卒還去， 即復其處；士卒立守，終日不離，僅能禁止。何則？欲在於觀，不為壹驅還也。使鬼神與生人同，有欲 於宅中，猶萬民有欲於觀也，士卒驅逐，不久立守，則觀者不卻也。然則驅逐鬼者，不極一歲，鬼神不 去。今驅逐之，終食之間，則舍之矣；舍之，鬼復還來，何以禁之？
解逐之法，緣古逐疫之禮也。昔顓頊氏有子三人，生而皆亡，一居江水為虐鬼， 一居若水為魍魎，一居歐隅之間，主疫病人。故歲終事畢，驅逐疫鬼，因以送陳、迎新、內吉也。 世相倣效，故有解除。夫逐疫之法，亦禮之失也。
行堯、舜之德，天下太平，百災消滅，雖不逐疫，疫鬼不往；行桀、紂之行， 海內擾亂，百禍並起，雖日逐疫，疫鬼猶來。衰世好信鬼，愚人好求福。周之季世，信鬼脩祀， 以求福助。愚主心惑，不顧自行，功猶不立，治猶不定。
世間繕治宅舍，鑿地掘土，功成作畢，解謝土神，名曰「解土」。為土偶人，以像鬼 （形）〔神〕，令巫祝延，以解土神。已祭之後，心快意喜，謂鬼神解謝，殃禍除去。如討論之， 乃虛妄也。
何以驗之？ 夫土地猶人之體也，普天之下，皆為一體，頭足相去，以萬里數。人民居土上，猶蚤虱著人 身也。蚤蝨食人，賊人肌膚，猶人鑿地，賊地之體也。蚤蝨內知，有欲解人之心，相 與聚會，解謝於所食之肉旁，人能知之乎？夫人不能知蚤蝨之音，猶地不能曉人民之言也。
禮、入宗廟，無所主意，斬尺二寸之木，名之曰主，主心事之，不為人像。 今解土之祭，為土偶人，像鬼之形，何能解乎？神、荒忽無形，出入無門，故謂之神。今作形像， 與禮相違，失神之實，故知其非。象似布藉，不設鬼形。
祝簡對曰：「昔（日）〔者〕，吾先君中行密子有車十乘，不憂其薄也，憂德義之不 足也。今主君有革車百乘，不憂〔德〕義之薄也，唯患車之不足也。夫車飭則賦歛厚，賦歛厚則民謗詛 。君苟以（祀）〔祝〕為有益於國乎？〔則〕詛亦將為亡矣！一人祝之，一國詛之，一祝不勝萬詛，國亡 ，不亦宜乎？祝其何罪？」中行子乃慚。
Chapter XLIV. On Exorcism (Chieh-chu).
The world believes in sacrifices, trusting that they procure happiness, and it approves of exorcism, fancying that it will remove evil influences. Exorcism begins with the ceremony of presenting an offering. An offering is like a banquet given by the living to their guests. First the ghosts are treated like guests and given a meal, but, when they have eaten it, they are expelled with swords and sticks. Provided that ghosts and spirits possess consciousness, they would undubitably resent such a treatment, offering resistence and fighting, and would refuse to leave forthwith. In their anger, they would just cause misfortune. If they are not conscious, then they cannot do mischief. In that case exorcising would be no use, and its omission would do no harm.
Moreover, what shape do people ascribe to ghosts and spirits? If they believe them to have a shape, this shape must be like that of living men. Living men in a passion would certainly make an attempt upon the lives of their adversaries. If they have no shape, they would be like mist and clouds. The expulsion of clouds and mist, however, would prove ineffectual.
As we cannot know their shapes, we can neither guess their feelings. For what purpose would ghosts and spirits gather in human dwellings? In case they earnestly wish to kill people, they would avoid their aggressors, when they drive them out, and abscond, but, as soon as the expulsion ceases, they would return, and re-occupy their former places. Should they have no murderous intentions, and only like to dwell in human houses, they would cause no injury, even if they were not expelled.
When grandees go out, thousands of people assemble to have a look at them, thronging the streets and filling the alleys, and striving for the places in front. It is not before the soldiers repel them, that they go away, but no sooner have the soldiers turned their back, than they return to their places. Unless the soldiers kept watch the whole day without leaving their post, they could not restrain them, because they are bent on having a look and would not go home on account of having been driven back once. Provided that ghosts and spirits resemble living men, they would feel attracted to their homes in the same way as those thousands are determined on sight seeing. If the soldiers repelling them do not keep watch for a long while, the lookers-on do not disperse, and unless expelled during a whole year, the ghosts would not leave. Now, being expelled, after they have finished their meal, they would retire, but having retired, come back again, for what could prevent them?
When grain is being dried in a court-yard, and fowls and sparrows pick it up, they escape, when the master drives them off, but return, when he relaxes his vigilance. He is unable to keep the fowls and sparrows at bay, unless he watches the whole day. If the ghosts be spirits, an expulsion would not induce them to retreat, and if they be not spirits, they would be like fowls and sparrows, and nothing but a constant repulse could frighten them away.
When tigers and wolves enter into a territory, they are pursued with bows and cross-bows, but even their deaths do not do away with the cause of those terrible visits. When brigands and insurgents assault a city, the imperial troops may beat them, but notwithstanding this rebuff, the cause of their frightful incursions is not removed thereby. The arrival of tigers and wolves corresponds to a disorganised government, that of rebels and bandits, to a general disorder. Thus the gathering of ghosts and spirits is indicative of the sudden end of life. By destroying tigers and wolves and by defeating insurgents and bandits one cannot bring about a reform of the government or re-establish order, neither is it possible to remove misfortune or prolong life by ever so much exorcising or expelling ghosts and spirits.
Sick people see ghosts appear, when their disease has reached its climax. Those who are of a strong and violent character will grasp the sword or the cudgel and fight with the ghosts. They will have one or two rounds, until at last, having missed a thrust, they are forced to surrender, for, unless they surrender, the duel will not come to a close. The ghosts expelled by exorcism are not different from those perceived by sick people, nor is there any difference between expelling and fighting. As the ghosts will not withdraw though assailed by sick people, the conjurations of the master of the house will not prevail upon the ghosts and spirits to leave. Consequently of what use would be such conjurations for the house? Therefore we cannot accept the belief that evil influences might thus be neutralised.
Furthermore, the ghosts which are expelled from the house live there as guests. The hosts are the Twelve Spirits of the house, such as the Blue Dragon and the White Tiger, and the other spirits occupying the Twelve Cardinal Points. 1 The Dragon and the Tiger are fierce spirits and the chief ghosts of heaven. 2 Flying corpses and floating goblins would not venture to gather against their will, as, when a host is fierce and bold, mischievous guests would not dare to intrude upon him. Now the Twelve Spirits have admitted the others into the house, and the master drives them away. That would be nothing less than throwing out the guests of the Twelve Spirits. Could such a hatred against the Twelve Spirits secure happiness? If there are no Twelve Spirits, there are no flying corpses or goblins either, and without spirits and goblins exorcism would be of no avail, and the expulsion have no sense.
Exorcism is an imitation of the old ceremony of the expulsion of sickness. In ancient times Chuan Hsü had three sons, who vanished, when they had grown up. One took up his abode in the water of the Yangtse and became the Ghost of Fever, one lived in the Jo River and became a Water Spirit, and one in damp and wet corners as the arbiter of sickness. 3 At the end of the year, when all business had been finished, sick people used to drive out the Spirit of Sickness, and believed that by seeing off the old year and going to meet the new one they would obtain luck. The world followed this example, whence originated exorcism. But even the ceremony of driving out sickness is out of place.
When Yao and Shun practised their virtue, the empire enjoyed perfect peace, the manifold calamities vanished, and, though the diseases were not driven out, the Spirit of Sickness did not make its appearance. When Chieh and Chou did their deeds, everything within the seas was thrown into confusion, all the misfortunes happened simultaneously, and although the diseases were expelled day by day, the Spirit of Sickness still came back. Declining ages have faith in ghosts, and the unintelligent will pray for happiness. When the Chou were going to ruin, the people believed in ghosts, and prepared sacrifices with the object of imploring happiness and the divine help. Narrow-minded rulers fell an easy prey to imposture, and took no heed of their own actions, but they accomplished nothing creditable, and their administration remained unsettled.
All depends upon man, and not or ghosts, on their virtue, and not on sacrifices. The end of a State is far or near, and human life is long or short. If by offerings, happiness could be obtained, or if misfortune could be removed by exorcism, kings might use up all the treasures of the world for the celebration of sacrifices to procrastinate the end of their reign, and old men and women of rich families might pray for the happiness to be gained by conjurations with the purpose of obtaining an age surpassing the usual span.
Long and short life, wealth and honour of all the mortals are determined by fortune and destiny, and as for their actions, whether they prove successful or otherwise, there are times of prosperity and decline. Sacrifices do not procure happiness, for happiness does not depend on oblations. But the world believes in ghosts and spirits, and therefore is partial to sacrifices. Since there are no ghosts and spirits to receive these sacrifices, the knowing do not concern themselves about them.
Sacrifices are meant as a kindness done to the ghosts and spirits, and yet they do not bring about luck and happiness. Now fancy that these spirits are expelled by brute force. Could that bring any profit?
The sacrificial rites and the methods of exorcism are very numerous. We will prove their uselessness by one example, for from a small sacrifice one may draw a conclusion to the great ones, and from one ghost learn to know the hundred spirits.
When people have finished the building of a house or a cottage, excavated the ground, or dug up the earth, they propitiate the Spirit of Earth, after the whole work has been completed, and call this appeasing the earth. They make an earthen figure to resemble a ghost. The wizards chant their prayers to reconcile the Spirit of Earth, and, when the sacrifice is over, they become gay and cheerful, and pretend that the ghosts and spirits have been propitiated, and misfortunes and disasters removed. But if we get to the buttom of it, we find that all this is illusive.
Why? Because the material earth is like the human body. Everything under heaven forms one body, whose head and feet are tens of thousands of Li apart. Mankind lives upon earth as fleas and lice stick to the human body. Fleas and lice feed upon man, and torment his skin, as men dig up the earth, and torment its body. Should some among the fleas and lice, being aware of this, wish to appease man's heart, and for that purpose assemble to propitiate him near the flesh, which they have eaten, would man know about it? Man cannot comprehend what fleas and lice say, as Earth does not understand the speech of man.
The Hu and the Yüeh have the same ears and mouths, and are animated by similar feelings, but even if they speak mouth to mouth, and ear to ear, they cannot understand each other. And there should be a communication between the ears and the mouth of Earth and man, who does not resemble her?
Moreover, who is it that hears what man says? Should it be Earth, her ears are too far away to hear, and if it be the earth of one special house, this earth is like an atom of human flesh, how could it understand anything? If the spirit of the house be the hearer, one ought to speak of appeasing the house, but not of appeasing Earth.
The Rites prescribe that entering into the ancestral hall one must not find a master there. 4 One has made the device of cutting a wooden tablet, one foot and two inches long, and calling it the master, and serves it in the spirit, but does not make a human likeness. Now at the propitiatory sacrifices to Earth, they make an earthen human figure resembling the shape of a ghost. How could that have a propitiatory effect? Spirits are diffuse, vague, and incorporeal; entering and departing they need no aperture, whence their name of spirits. Now to make a bodily image is not only in opposition to the Rites, but also reveals a misapprehension of the nature of spirits. We know that they have no likeness, therefore, when the mats are spread for sacrifice, no figures of ghosts are put up.
If at the propitiatory service for Earth they set up human figures, could a stone effigy be used at the sacrifice to the Mountains, or could a wooden man be made for the sacrifice to the Gates and Doors? 5
When Ch`ung Hang Yin of Chin6 was near his end, he summoned his high-priest, wishing to punish him. "The victims," said he, "which you have immolated for me, have not been fat and glossy. You have not observed the rules of fasting with reverence, and thus have caused the ruin of my State. Is it not so?"
The priest replied in plain terms, "Formerly, my old lord, Ch`ung Hang Mi Tse, possessed ten chariots, and did not feel grieved at their small number, but at the insufficiency of his righteousness. Your Lordship has a hundred war-chariots, and does not feel distressed that your justice is so imperfect, but merely regrets that your chariots do not suffice. When vessels and chariots are well equipped, the taxes must be high, and the taxes being heavy, the people defame and curse their sovereign. If he then offers sacrifices, of what use can it be to his State? These curses must also ruin the State.---One man prays for him, and the whole State curses him. One prayer cannot overcome ten thousand curses. Is it not quite natural that a State should perish thus? What is the guilt of the priest?"---Ch`ung Hang Yin then felt ashamed.
The people of to-day rely on sacrifices like Ch`ung Hang Yin. They do not improve their conduct, but multiply the prayers, do not honour their superiors, but fear the ghosts. When they die, or misfortune befalls them, they ascribe it to noxious influences, maintaining that they have not yet been regulated. When they have been regulated and offerings prepared, and misfortunes are as numerous as before, and do not cease, they make the sacrifices answerable, declaring that they have not been performed with sufficient reverence.
As regards exorcism, exorcism is of no use, and as regards sacrifices, sacrifices are of no avail. As respects wizards and priests, wizards and priests have no power, for it is plain that all depends upon man, and not on ghosts, on his virtue, and not on sacrifices.
1. In addition to the Blue Dragon and White Tiger Wang Ch`ung mentions the T`ai-sui,Têng-ming and Tsung-k`uei as such spirits. Cf. Lun-hêng, chap. 24, 13 (Nan-sui).
2. The Blue Dragon and the White Tiger are also names of the eastern and western quadrant of the solar mansions. Comp. p. 106 and p. 352.
3. Cf. p. 242.
4. The image of the departed, who as master dwells in the ancestral hall.
5. No figures are used at the sacrifices to those deities.
6. A nobleman, related to the ducal house of Chin, of the 5th cent. b.c. The Ch`ung Hang family possessed large domains in Chin.
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|Published by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia|