This text was scanned by John Delacour ( from a book
that is long out of print.  No  record of the title "The Wisdom of China" is
kept by the successors to the original publisher and I presume that the  text
is in the public domain and publish it in good faith.

This is the only translation of Zhuang Zi I have come across and there is
certainly room for a less wordy and  ponderous translation of what is in the
original Chinese extremely simple and concise, but the meaning seems not to 
be too distorted by the translaters and I publish it for what it is worth.

The Chinese text is available in 8-bit GB with some errors and the GB code is
missing many of the characters  necessary to the text.  Big5 has most of the
characters and I will shortly make available a Big5 version unless  someone
with more time does it first.  Once Unicode is properly established it should
be possible to produce a  version without any missing characters.

I have not had time to check the text very thoroughly for typographical
errors and would welcome corrections.

Chuangtse, Mystic and Humorist


	Jesus was followed by St. Paul, Socrates by Plato, Confucius by
Mencius, and Laotse by Chuangtse.  In all four  cases, the first was the real
teacher and either wrote no books or wrote very little, and the second began
to develop  the doctrines and wrote long and profound discourses.  Chuangtse,
who died about 275 B.C., was separated from  Laotse's death by not quite two
hundred years, and was strictly a contemporary of Mencius.  Yet the most
curious  thing is that although both these writers mentioned the other
philosophers of the time, neither was mentioned by the  other in his works.

	On the whole, Chuangtse must be considered the greatest prose writer
of the Chou Dynasty, as Ch'u: Yu:an must  be considered the greatest poet. 
His claim to this position rests both upon the brilliance of his style and
the depth of  his thought.  That explains the fact that although he was
probably the greatest slanderer of Confucius, and with  Motse, the greatest
antagonist of Confucian ideas, no Confucian scholar has not openly or
secretly admired him.   People who would not openly agree with his ideas
would nevertheless read him as literature. 

	Nor can it be said truly that a pure-blooded Chinese could ever quite
disagree with Chuangtse's ideas.  Taoism is  not a school of thought in
China, it is a deep, fundamental trait of Chinese thinking, and of the
Chinese attitude  toward life and toward society.  It has depth, while
Confucianism has only a practical sense of proportions; it  enriches Chinese
poetry and imagination in an immeasurable manner, and it gives a philosophic
sanction to whatever  is in the idle, freedom-loving, poetic, vagabond
Chinese soul.  It provides the only safe, romantic release from the  severe
Confucian classic restraint, and humanizes the very humanists themselves;
therefore when a Chinese  succeeds, he is always a Confucianist, and when he
fails, he is always a Taoist.  As more people fail than succeed in  this
world, and as all who succeed know that they succeed but in a lame and
halting manner when they examine  themselves in the dark hours of the night,
I believe Taoist ideas are more often at work than Confucianism.  Even a 
Confucianist succeeds only when he knows he never really succeeds, that is,
by following Taoist wisdom.  Tseng  Kuofan, the great Confucian general who
suppressed the Taiping Rebellion, had failed in his early campaign and  began
to succeed only one morning when he realized with true Taoist humility that
he was "no good," and gave  power to his assistant generals.

	Chuangtse is therefore important as the first one who fully developed
the Taoistic thesis of the rhythm of life,  contained in the epigrams of
Laotse.  Unlike other Chinese philosophers principally occupied with
practical  questions of government and personal morality, he gives the only
metaphysics existing in Chinese literature before  the coming of Buddhism.  I
am sure his mysticism will charm some readers and repel others.  Certain
traits in it, like  weeding out the idea of the ego and quiet contemplation
and "seeing the Solitary" explain how these native Chinese  ideas were back
of the development of the Ch'an (Japanese Zen) Buddhism.  Any branch of human
knowledge, even  the study of the rocks of the earth and the cosmic rays of
heaven, strikes mysticism when is reaches any depth at all,  and it seems
Chinese Taoism skipped the scientific study of nature to reach the same
intuitive conclusion by insight  alone.  Therefore it is not surprising that
Albert Einstein and Chuangtse agree, as agree they must, on the relativity of
 all standards.  The only difference is that Einstein takes on the more
difficult and, to a Chinese, more stupid work of  mathematical proof, while
Chuangtse furnishes the philosophic import of this theory of relativity,
which must be  sooner or later developed by Western philosophers in the next

	A word must be added about Chuangtse's attitude toward Confucius.  It
will be evident to any reader that he was  one of the greatest romanticizers
of history, and that any of the anecdotes he tells about Confucius, or Laotse
or the  Yellow Emperor must be accepted on a par with those anecdotes he
tells about the conversation of General Clouds  and Great Nebulous, or
between the Spirit of the River and the Spirit of the Ocean. It must be also
plainly  understood that he was a humorist with a wild and rather luxuriant
fantasy, with an American love for exaggeration  and for the big.  One should
therefore read him as one would a humorist writer knowing that he is
frivolous when he  is profound and profound when he is frivolous.

	The extant text of Chuangtse consists of thirty-three chapters, all
of them a mixture of philosophic disquisition  and anecdotes or parables. 
The chapters containing the most virulent attacks on Confucianism (not
included here)  have been considered forgery, and a few Chinese "textual
critics" have even considered all of them forgery except  the first seven
chapters.  This is easy to understand because it is the modern Chinese
fashion to talk of forgery.  One  can rest assured that these "textual
critics" are unscientific because very little of it is philological
criticism, but  consists of opinions as to style and whether Chuangtse had or
had not enough culture to attack Confucius only in a  mild and polished
manner.  (See samples of this type of "criticism" in my long introduction to
The Book of History.)  Only one or two anachronisms are pointed out, which
could be due to later interpolations and the rest is a subjective  assertion
of opinion.  Even the evaluations of style are faulty, and at least a
distinction should be made between  interpolations and wholesale forgery.
Some of the best pieces of Chuangtse are decidedly outside the first seven 
chapters, and it has not even occurred to the critics to provide an answer as
to who else could have written them.   There is no reason to be sure that
even the most eloquent exposition of the thieves' philosophy, regarded by
most as  forgery, was not the work of Chuangtse, who had so little to do with
the "gentlemen."  On the other hand, I believe  various anecdotes have been
freely added by later generations into the extremely loose structure of the

	I have chosen here eleven chapters, including all but one of the
first best seven chapters.  With one minor  exception, these chapters are
translated complete.  The philosophically most important are the chapters on
"Levelling  All Things" and "Autumn Floods."  The chapters, "Joined Toes,"
"Horses' Hooves," "Opening Trunks" and  "Tolerance" belong in one group with
the main theme of protest against civilization.  The most eloquent protest is
 contained in "Opening Trunks," while the most characteristically Taoistic is
the chapter on "Tolerance."  The most  mystic and deeply religious piece is
"The Great Supreme."  The most beautifully written is "Autumn Floods." The 
queerest is the chapter on "Deformities" (a typically "romanticist" theme). 
The most delightful is probably "Horses'  Hooves," and the most fantastic is
the first chapter, "A Happy Excursion."  Some of Chuangtse's parables in the 
other chapters will be found under "Parables of Ancient Philosophers"
elsewhere in this volume.

	I have based my translation on that of Herbert A.  Giles.  It soon
became apparent in my work that Giles was free  in his translation where
exactness was easy and possible, and that he had a glib, colloquial style
which might be  considered a blemish.  The result is that hardly a line has
been left untouched, and I have had to make my own  translation, taking
advantage of whatever is good in his English rendering.  But still I owe a
great debt to my  predecessor, and he has notably succeeded in this difficult
task in many passages.  Where his rendering is good, I  have not chosen to be
different.  In this sense, the translation may be regarded as my own.

	It should be noted that throughout the text, Giles translates
"Heaven" as "God" where it means God.  On the  other hand, the term "Creator"
is an exact rendering of chao-wu, or "he who creates things."  I will not go
into details  of translation of 

	other philosophic terms here.





	Translated by Lin Yutang




	In the northern ocean there is a fish, called the k'un, I do not know
how many thousand li in size.  This k'un  changes into a bird, called the
p'eng.  Its back is I do not know how many thousand li in breadth.  When it
is moved,  it flies, its wings obscuring the sky like clouds.

	When on a voyage, this bird prepares to start for the Southern Ocean,
the Celestial Lake.  And in the Records of  Marvels we read that when the
p'eng flies southwards, the water is smitten for a space of three thousand li
around,  while the bird itself mounts upon a great wind to a height of ninety
thousand li, for a flight of six months' duration.

	There mounting aloft, the bird saw the moving white mists of spring,
the dust-clouds, and the living things  blowing their breaths among them.  It
wondered whether the blue of the sky was its real color, or only the result
of  distance without end, and saw that the things on earth appeared the same
to it.

	If there is not sufficient depth, water will not float large ships. 
Upset a cupful into a hole in the yard, and a  mustard-seed will be your
boat.  Try to float the cup, and it will be grounded, due to the
disproportion between water  and vessel.

	So with air.  If there is not sufficient a depth, it cannot support
large wings.  And for this bird, a depth of ninety  thousand li is necessary
to bear it up.  Then, gliding upon the wind, with nothing save the clear sky
above, and no  obstacles in the way, it starts upon its journey to the south.

	A cicada and a young dove laughed, saying, "Now, when I fly with all
my might, 'tis as much as I can do to get  from tree to tree. And sometimes I
do not reach, but fall to the ground midway.  What then can be the use of
going  up ninety thousand li to start for the south?"

	He who goes to the countryside taking three meals with him comes back
with his stomach as full as when he  started.  But he who travels a hundred
li must take ground rice enough for an overnight stay.  And he who travels a 
thousand li must supply himself with provisions for three months.  Those two
little creatures, what should they  know?

	Small knowledge has not the compass of great knowledge any more than
a short year has the length of a long  year.  How can we tell that this is
so?  The fungus plant of a morning knows not the alternation of day and
night.   The cicada knows not the alternation of spring and autumn.  Theirs
are short years.  But in the south of Ch'u there is  a mingling (tree) whose
spring and autumn are each of five hundred years' duration.  And in former
days there was a  large tree which had a spring and autumn each of eight
thousand years.  Yet, P'eng Tsu <<1>>  is known for reaching  a great age and
is still, alas! an object of envy to all!

	It was on this very subject that the Emperor T'ang <<2>> spoke to
Chi, as follows: "At the north of Ch'iungta,  there is a Dark Sea, the
Celestial Lake.  In it there is a fish several thousand li in breadth, and I
know not how many  in length.  It is called the k'un.  There is also a bird,
called the p'eng, with a back like Mount T'ai, and wings like  clouds across
the sky.  It soars up upon a whirlwind to a height of ninety thousand li, far
above the region of the  clouds, with only the clear sky above it.  And then
it directs its flight towards the Southern Ocean.

	"And a lake sparrow laughed, and said: Pray, what may that creature
be going to do?  I rise but a few yards in the  air and settle down again,
after flying around among the reeds.  That is as much as any one would want
to fly.  Now,  wherever can this creature be going to?"  Such, indeed, is the
difference between small and great.

	Take, for instance, a man who creditably fills some small office, or
whose influence spreads over a village, or  whose character pleases a certain
prince.  His opinion of himself will be much the same as that lake sparrow's.
 The  philosopher Yung of Sung would laugh at such a one.  If the whole world
flattered him, he would not be affected  thereby, nor if the whole world
blamed him would he be dissuaded from what he was doing.  For Yung can 
distinguish between essence and superficialities, and understand what is true
honor and shame.  Such men are rare in  their generation.  But even he has
not established himself.

	Now Liehtse << <<3>> >>  could ride upon the wind.  Sailing happily
in the cool breeze, he would go on for  fifteen days before his return. 
Among mortals who attain happiness, such a man is rare.  Yet although Liehtse
could  dispense with walking, he would still have to depend upon something.

	As for one who is charioted upon the eternal fitness of Heaven and
Earth, driving before him the changing  elements as his team to roam through
the realms of the Infinite, upon what, then, would such a one have need to 
depend?  Thus it is said, "The perfect man ignores self; the divine man
ignores achievement; the true Sage ignores  reputation."

	The Emperor Yao <<5>> wished to abdicate in favor of Hsu: Yu, saying,
"If, when the sun and moon are  shining, the torch is still lighted, would it
be not difficult for the latter to shine?  If, when the rain has fallen, one 
should still continue to water the fields, would this not be a waste of
labor?  Now if you would assume the reins of  government, the empire would be
well governed, and yet I am filling this office.  I am conscious of my own 
deficiencies, and I beg to offer you the Empire."

	" You are ruling the Empire, and the Empire is already well ruled,"
replied Hsu: Yu.  "Why should I take your  place? Should I do this for the
sake of a name?  A name is but the shadow of reality, and should I trouble
myself  about the shadow?  The tit, building its nest in the mighty forest,
occupies but a single twig.  The beaver slakes its  thirst from the river,
but drinks enough only to fill its belly. I would rather go back: I have no
use for the empire! If  the cook is unable to prepare the funeral sacrifices,
the representative of the worshipped spirit and the officer of  prayer may
not step over the wines and meats and do it for him."

	Chien Wu said to Lien Shu, "I heard Chieh Yu: talk on high and fine
subjects endlessly.  I was greatly startled at  what he said, for his words
seemed interminable as the Milky Way, but they are quite detached from our
common  human experience."  

	"What was it?" asked Lien Shu.

	"He declared," replied Chien Wu, "that on the Miao-ku-yi mountain
there lives a divine one, whose skin is white  like ice or snow, whose grace
and elegance are like those of a virgin, who eats no grain, but lives on air
and dew, and  who, riding on clouds with flying dragons for his team, roams
beyond the limit's of the mortal regions.  When his  spirit gravitates, he
can ward off corruption from all things, and bring good crops.  That is why I
call it nonsense, and  do not believe it."

	"Well," answered Lien Shu, "you don't ask a blind man's opinion of
beautiful designs, nor do you invite a deaf  man to a concert.  And blindness
and deafness are not physical only. There is blindness and deafness of the
mind.   His words are like the unspoiled virgin.  The good influence of such
a man with such a character fills all creation.  Yet  because a paltry
generation cries for reform, you would have him busy himself about the
details of an empire!

	"Objective existences cannot harm.  In a flood which reached the sky,
he would not be drowned.  In a drought,  though metals ran liquid and
mountains were scorched up, he would not be hot.  Out of his very dust and
siftings  you might fashion two such men as Yao and Shun <<6>> .  And you
would have him occupy himself with  objectives!"

	A man of the Sung State carried some ceremonial caps to the Yu:eh
tribes for sale.  But the men of Yu:eh used to  cut off their hair and paint
their bodies, so that they had no use for such things.

	The Emperor Yao ruled all under heaven and governed the affairs of
the entire country.  After he paid a visit to  the four sages of the
Miao-ku-yi Mountain, he felt on his return to his capital at Fenyang that the
empire existed for  him no more.

	Hueitse <<7>>  said to Chuangtse, "The Prince of Wei gave me a seed
of a large-sized kind of gourd.  I planted it,  and it bore a fruit as big as
a five bushel measure.  Now had I used this for holding liquids, it would
have been too  heavy to lift; and had I cut it in half for ladles, the ladles
would have been too flat for such purpose.  Certainly it was  a huge thing,
but I had no use for it and so broke it up."  

	"It was rather you did not know how to use large things," replied
Chuangtse.  "There was a man of Sung who had  a recipe for salve for chapped
hands, his family having been silk-washers for generations.  A stranger who
had heard  of it came and offered him a hundred ounces of silver for this
recipe; whereupon he called together his clansmen and  said, 'We have never
made much money by silk-washing.  Now, we can sell the recipe for a hundred
ounces in a  single day.  Let the stranger have it.'

	"The stranger got the recipe, and went and had an interview with the
Prince of Wu.  The Yu:eh State was in  trouble, and the Prince of Wu sent a
general to fight a naval battle with Yu:eh at the beginning of winter.  The
latter  was totally defeated, and the stranger was rewarded with a piece of
the King's territory.  Thus, while the efficacy of  the salve to cure chapped
hands was in both cases the same, its applications were different.  Here, it
secured a title;  there, the people remained silk-washers.

	"Now as to your five-bushel gourd, why did you not make a float of
it, and float about over river and lake?  And  you complain of its being too
flat for holding things! I fear your mind is stuffy inside."

	Hueitse said to Chuangtse, "I have a large tree, called the
ailanthus.  Its trunk is so irregular and knotty that it  cannot be measured
out for planks; while its branches are so twisted that they cannot be cut out
into discs or  squares.  It stands by the roadside, but no carpenter will
look at it.  Your words are like that tree --big and useless, of  no concern
to the world."  

	"Have you never seen a wild cat," rejoined Chuangtse, "crouching down
in wait for its prey?  Right and left and  high and low, it springs about,
until it gets caught in a trap or dies in a snare.  On the other hand, there
is the yak with  its great huge body.  It is big enough in all conscience,
but it cannot catch mice.  Now if you have a big tree and are  at a loss what
to do with it, why not plant it in the Village of Nowhere, in the great
wilds, where you might loiter idly  by its side, and lie down in blissful
repose beneath its shade?  There it would be safe from the axe and from all
other  injury.  For being of no use to others, what could worry its mind?"




	Tsech'i of Nankuo sat leaning on a low table.  Gazing up to heaven,
he sighed and looked as though he had lost  his mind.

	Yench'eng Tseyu, who was standing by him, exclaimed, "What are you
thinking about that your body should  become thus like dead wood, your mind
like burnt-out cinders?  Surely the man now leaning on the table is not he 
who was here just now."  

	" My friend," replied Tsech'i, "your question is apposite. Today I
have lost my Self....  Do you understand?  ...   Perhaps you only know the
music of man, and not that of Earth.  Or even if you have heard the music of
Earth,  perhaps you have not heard the music of Heaven."

	"Pray explain," said Tseyu.

	"The breath of the universe," continued Tsech'i, "is called wind.  At
times, it is inactive.  But when active, all  crevices resound to its blast. 
Have you never listened to its deafening roar?

	"Caves and dells of hill and forest, hollows in huge trees of many a
span in girth --some are like nostrils, and  some like mouths, and others
like ears, beam-sockets, goblets, mortars, or like pools and puddles.  And
the wind  goes rushing through them, like swirling torrents or singing
arrows, bellowing, sousing, trilling, wailing, roaring,  purling, whistling
in front and echoing behind, now soft with the cool blow, now shrill with the
whirlwind, until the  tempest is past and silence reigns supreme.  Have you
never witnessed how the trees and objects shake and quake,  and twist and

	"Well, then," enquired Tseyu, "since the music of Earth consists of
hollows and apertures, and the music of man  of pipes and flutes, of what
consists the music of Heaven?"  

	"The effect of the wind upon these various apertures," replied
Tsech'i, "is not uniform, but the sounds are  produced according to their
individual capacities.  Who is it that agitates their breasts?

	"Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious.  Great speech
is impassioned, small speech  cantankerous.

	"For whether the soul is locked in sleep or whether in waking hours
the body moves, we are striving and  struggling with the immediate
circumstances.  Some are easy-going and leisurely, some are deep and cunning,
and  some are secretive.  Now we are frightened over petty fears, now
disheartened and dismayed over some great terror.   Now the mind flies forth
like an arrow from a cross-bow, to be the arbiter of right and wrong.  Now it
stays behind as  if sworn to an oath, to hold on to what it has secured. 
Then, as under autumn and winter's blight, comes gradual  decay, and
submerged in its own occupations, it keeps on running its course, never to
return.  Finally, worn out and  imprisoned, it is choked up like an old
drain, and the failing mind shall not see light again <<8>> .

	"Joy and anger, sorrow and happiness, worries and regrets, indecision
and fears, come upon us by turns, with  everchanging moods, like music from
the hollows, or like mushrooms from damp.  Day and night they alternate 
within us, but we cannot tell whence they spring.  Alas! Alas! Could we for a
moment lay our finger upon their very  Cause?

	"But for these emotions I should not be. Yet but for me, there would
be no one to feel them.  So far we can go;  but we do not know by whose order
they come into play.  It would seem there was a soul; <<9>>   but the clue to
its  existence is wanting.  That it functions is credible enough, though we
cannot see its form.  Perhaps it has inner reality  without outward form.

	"Take the human body with all its hundred bones, nine external
cavities and six internal organs, all complete.   Which part of it should I
love best?  Do you not cherish all equally, or have you a preference?  Do
these organs serve  as servants of someone else?  Since servants cannot
govern themselves, do they serve as master and servants by  turn?  Surely
there is some soul which controls them all.

	"But whether or not we ascertain what is the true nature of this
soul, it matters but little to the soul itself.  For  once coming into this
material shape, it runs its course until it is exhausted.  To be harassed by
the wear and tear of  life, and to be driven along without possibility of
arresting one's course, --is not this pitiful indeed?  To labor without 
ceasing all life, and then, without living to enjoy the fruit, worn out with
labor, to depart, one knows not whither, --is  not this a just cause for

	"Men say there is no death --to what avail?  The body decomposes, and
the mind goes with it.  Is this not a great  cause for sorrow?  Can the world
be so dull as not to see this?  Or is it I alone who am dull, and others not

	Now if we are to be guided by our prejudices, who shall be without a
guide?  What need to make comparisons of  right and wrong with others?  And
if one is to follow one's own judgments according to his prejudices, even the
 fools have them! But to form judgments of right and wrong without first
having a mind at all is like saying, "I left for  Yu:eh today, and got there
yesterday."  Or, it is like assuming something which does not exist to exist.
 The (illusions  of) assuming something which does not exist to exist could
not be fathomed even by the divine Yu:; how much less  could we?

	For speech is not mere blowing of breath.  It is intended to say some
thing, only what it is intended to say cannot  yet be determined.  Is there
speech indeed, or is there not?  Can we, or can we not, distinguish it from
the chirping of  young birds?

	How can Tao be obscured so that there should be a distinction of true
and false?  How can speech be so  obscured that there should be a distinction
of right and wrong? <<10>>   Where can you go and find Tao not to  exist? 
Where can you go and find that words cannot be proved?  Tao is obscured by
our inadequate understanding,  and words are obscured by flowery expressions.
 Hence the affirmations and denials of the Confucian and Motsean  <<11>> 
schools, each denying what the other affirms and affirming what the other
denies.  Each denying what the  other affirms and affirming what the other
denies brings us only into confusion.

	   There is nothing which is not this; there is nothing which is not
that.  What cannot be seen by what (the other  person) can be known by
myself.  Hence I say, this emanates from that; that also derives from this. 
This is the  theory of the interdependence of this and that (relativity of

	Nevertheless, life arises from death, and vice versa.  Possibility
arises from impossibility, and vice versa.   Affirmation is based upon
denial, and vice versa.  Which being the case, the true sage rejects all
distinctions and  takes his refuge in Heaven (Nature).  For one may base it
on this, yet this is also that and that is also this.  This also  has its
'right' and 'wrong', and that also has its 'right' and 'wrong.' Does then the
distinction between this and that  really exist or not?  When this
(subjective) and that (objective) are both without their correlates, that is
the very 'Axis  of Tao.' And when that Axis passes through the center at
which all Infinities converge, affirmations and denials alike  blend into the
infinite One.  Hence it is said that there is nothing like using the Light.

	To take a finger in illustration of a finger not being a finger is
not so good as to take something which is not a  finger to illustrate that a
finger is not a finger.  To take a horse in illustration of a horse not being
a horse is not so  good as to take something which is not a horse to
illustrate that a horse is not a horse <<12>> .  So with the universe  which
is but a finger, but a horse. The possible is possible: the impossible is
impossible.  Tao operates, and the given  results follow; things receive
names and are said to be what they are.  Why are they so?  They are said to
be so! Why  are they not so?  They are said to be not so! Things are so by
themselves and have possibilities by themselves.  There  is nothing which is
not so and there is nothing which may not become so.

	Therefore take, for instance, a twig and a pillar, or the ugly person
and the great beauty, and all the strange and  monstrous transformations. 
These are all levelled together by Tao.  Division is the same as creation;
creation is the  same as destruction.  There is no such thing as creation or
destruction, for these conditions are again levelled together  into One.

	Only the truly intelligent understand this principle of the levelling
of all things into One.  They discard the  distinctions and take refuge in
the common and ordinary things.  The common and ordinary things serve certain
 functions and therefore retain the wholeness of nature.  From this
wholeness, one comprehends, and from  comprehension, one to the Tao.  There
it stops.  To stop without knowing how it stops --this is Tao.

	But to wear out one's intellect in an obstinate adherence to the
individuality of things, not recognizing the fact  that all things are One,
--that is called  "Three in the Morning."  What is  "Three in the Morning?" A
keeper of  monkeys said with regard to their rations of nuts that each monkey
was to have three in the morning and four at  night.  At this the monkeys
were very angry.  Then the keeper said they might have four in the morning
and three at  night, with which arrangement they were all well pleased.  The
actual number of nuts remained the same, but there  was a difference owing to
(subjective evaluations of) likes and dislikes.  It also derives from this
(principle of  subjectivity).  Wherefore the true Sage brings all the
contraries together and rests in the natural Balance of Heaven.   This is
called (the principle of following) two courses (at once).

	The knowledge of the men of old had a limit.  When was the limit? It
extended back to a period when matter did  not exist.  That was the extreme
point to which their knowledge reached.  The second period was that of
matter, but  of matter unconditioned (undefined).  The third epoch saw matter
conditioned (defined), but judgments of true and  false were still unknown. 
When these appeared, Tao began to decline.  And with the decline of Tao,
individual bias  (subjectivity) arose.

	Besides, did Tao really rise and decline? <<13>>  In the world of
(apparent) rise and decline, the famous  musician Chao Wen did play the
string instrument; but in respect to the world without rise and decline, Chao
Wen  did not play the string instrument.  When Chao Wen stopped playing the
string instrument, Shih K'uang (the music  master) laid down his drum-stick
(for keeping time), and Hueitse (the sophist) stopped arguing, they all
understood  the approach of Tao.  These people are the best in their arts,
and therefore known to posterity.  They each loved his  art, and wanted to
excel in his own line. And because they loved their arts, they wanted to make
them known to  others.  But they were trying to teach what (in its nature)
could not be known. Consequently Hueitse ended in the  obscure discussions of
the "hard" and "white"; and Chao Wen's son tried to learn to play the
stringed instrument all  his life and failed.  If this may be called success,
then I, too, have succeeded.  But if neither of them could be said to  have
succeeded, then neither I nor others have succeeded.  Therefore the true Sage
discards the light that dazzles and  takes refuge in the common and ordinary.
 Through this comes understanding.

	Suppose here is a statement.  We do not know whether it belongs to
one category or another.  But if we put the  different categories in one,
then the differences of category cease to exist. However, I must explain.  If
there was a  beginning, then there was a time before that beginning, and a
time before the time which was before the time of that  beginning.  If there
is existence, there must have been non-existence.  And if there was a time
when nothing existed,  then there must have been a time when even nothing did
not exist.  All of a sudden, nothing came into existence.   Could one then
really say whether it belongs to the category of existence or of
non-existence?  Even the very words  I have just now uttered, --I cannot say
whether they say something or not.

	There is nothing under the canopy of heaven greater than the tip of a
bird's down in autumn, while the T'ai  Mountain is small.  Neither is there
any longer life than that of a child cut off in infancy, while P'eng Tsu
himself died  young.  The universe and I came into being together; I and
everything therein are One.

	If then all things are One, what room is there for speech?  On the
other hand, since I can say the word 'one' how  can speech not exist?  If it
does exist, we have One and speech --two; and two and one --three <<14>> 
from which  point onwards even the best mathematicians will fail to reach
(the ultimate); how much more then should ordinary  people fail?

	Hence, if from nothing you can proceed to something, and subsequently
reach there, it follows that it would be  still easier if you were to start
from something.  Since you cannot proceed, stop here.  Now Tao by its very
nature  can never be defined.  Speech by its very nature cannot express the
absolute.  Hence arise the distinctions.  Such  distinctions are: "right" and
"left," "relationship" and "duty," "division" and "discrimination, "emulation
and  contention.  These are called the Eight Predicables.

	Beyond the limits of the external world, the Sage knows that it
exists, but does not talk about it.  Within the limits  of the external
world, the Sage talks but does not make comments.  With regard to the wisdom
of the ancients, as  embodied in the canon of Spring and Autumn, the Sage
comments, but does not expound.  And thus, among  distinctions made, there
are distinctions that cannot be made; among things expounded, there are
things that cannot  be expounded.

	How can that be?  it is asked.  The true Sage keeps his knowledge
within him, while men in general set forth  theirs in argument, in order to
convince each other.  And therefore it is said that one who argues does so
because he  cannot see certain points.

	Now perfect Tao cannot be given a name.  A perfect argument does not
employ words. Perfect kindness does not  concern itself with (individual acts
of) kindness <<15>> .  Perfect integrity is not critical of others <<16>> 
Perfect  courage does not push itself forward.

	For the Tao which is manifest is not Tao.  Speech which argues falls
short of its aim.  Kindness which has fixed  objects loses its scope. 
Integrity which is obvious is not believed in.  Courage which pushes itself
forward never  accomplishes anything.  These five are, as it were, round
(mellow) with a strong bias towards squareness  (sharpness).  Therefore that
knowledge which stops at what it does not know, is the highest knowledge.

	Who knows the argument which can be argued without words, and the Tao
which does not declare itself as Tao?   He who knows this may be said to
enter the realm of the spirit <<17>> .  To be poured into without becoming
full,  and pour out without becoming empty, without knowing how this is
brought about, --this is the art of  "Concealing  the Light."

	Of old, the Emperor Yao said to Shun, "I would smite the Tsungs, and
the Kueis, and the Hsu:-aos.  Since I have  been on the throne, this has ever
been on my mind.  What do you think?"  

	"These three States," replied Shun, "lie in wild undeveloped regions.
 Why can you not shake off this idea?  Once  upon a time, ten suns came out
together, and all things were illuminated thereby.  How much greater should
be the  power of virtue which excels the suns?"

	Yeh Ch'u:eh asked Wang Yi, saying, "Do you know for certain that all
things are the same?"  

	"How can I know?" answered Wang Yi.  "Do you know what you do not

	"How can I know!" replied Yeh Ch'u:eh.  "But then does nobody know?"  

	"How can I know?" said Wang Yi.  "Nevertheless, I will try to tell
you.  How can it be known that what I call  knowing is not really not knowing
and that what I call not knowing is not really knowing?  Now I would ask you 
this, If a man sleeps in a damp place, he gets lumbago and dies.  But how
about an eel? And living up in a tree is  precarious and trying to the
nerves.  But how about monkeys?  Of the man, the eel, and the monkey, whose
habitat  is the right one, absolutely?  Human beings feed on flesh, deer on
grass, centipedes on little snakes, owls and crows  on mice.  Of these four,
whose is the right taste, absolutely?  Monkey mates with the dog-headed
female ape, the  buck with the doe, eels consort with fishes, while men
admire Mao Ch'iang and Li Chi, at the sight of whom fishes  plunge deep down
in the water, birds soar high in the air, and deer hurry away.  Yet who shall
say which is the  correct standard of beauty?  In my opinion, the doctrines
of humanity and justice and the paths of right and wrong  are so confused
that it is impossible to know their contentions."

	"If you then," asked Yeh Ch'u:eh, "do not know what is good and bad,
is the Perfect Man equally without this  knowledge?"

	    "The Perfect Man," answered Wang Yi, "is a spiritual being.  Were
the ocean itself scorched up, he would not  feel hot. Were the great rivers
frozen hard, he would not feel cold.  Were the mountains to be cleft by
thunder, and  the great deep to be thrown up by storm, he would not tremble
with fear.  Thus, he would mount upon the clouds of  heaven, and driving the
sun and the moon before him, pass beyond the limits of this mundane
existence.  Death and  life have no more victory over him.  How much less
should he concern himself with the distinctions of profit and  loss?"

	Chu: Ch'iao addressed Ch'ang Wutse as follows: "I heard Confucius
say, 'The true Sage pays no heed to worldly  affairs.  He neither seeks gain
nor avoids injury.  He asks nothing at the hands of man and does not adhere
to rigid  rules of conduct.  Sometimes he says something without speaking and
sometimes he speaks without saying  anything.  And so he roams beyond the
limits of this mundane world.  'These,' commented Confucius, 'are futile 
fantasies.'  But to me they are the embodiment of the most wonderful Tao. 
What is your opinion?"  

	"These are things that perplexed even the Yellow Emperor," replied
Ch'ang Wutse.  "How should Confucius  know?  You are going too far ahead. 
When you see a hen's egg, you already expect to hear a cock crow.  When you 
see a sling, you are already expected to have broiled pigeon.  I will say a
few words to you at random, and do you  listen at random.

	"How does the Sage seat himself by the sun and moon, and hold the
universe in his grasp?  He blends everything  into one harmonious whole,
rejecting the confusion of this and that.  Rank and precedence, which the
vulgar  sedulously cultivate, the Sage stolidly ignores, amalgamating the
disparities of ten thousand years into one pure  mold.  The universe itself,
too, conserves and blends all in the same manner.

	"How do I know that love of life is not a delusion after all? How do
I know but that he who dreads death is not as  a child who has lost his way
and does not know his way home?

	"The Lady Li Chi was the daughter of the frontier officer of Ai. 
When the Duke of Chin first got her, she wept  until the bosom of her dress
was drenched with tears.  But when she came to the royal residence, shared
with the  Duke his luxurious couch, and ate rich food, she repented of having
wept.  How then do I know but that the dead  may repent of having previously
clung to life?

	"Those who dream of the banquet, wake to lamentation and sorrow. 
Those who dream of lamentation and  sorrow wake to join the hunt.  While they
dream, they do not know that they are dreaming.  Some will even interpret 
the very dream they are dreaming; and only when they awake do they know it
was a dream.  By and by comes the  great awakening, and then we find out that
this life is really a great dream.  Fools think they are awake now, and 
flatter themselves they know --this one is a prince, and that one is a
shepherd.  What narrowness of mind! Confucius  and you are both dreams; and I
who say you are dreams --I am but a dream myself.  This is a paradox. 
Tomorrow a  Sage may arise to explain it; but that tomorrow will not be until
ten thousand generations have gone by.  Yet you  may meet him around the

	"Granting that you and I argue.  If you get the better of me, and not
I of you, are you necessarily right and I  wrong?  Or if I get the better of
you and not you of me, am I necessarily right and you wrong?  Or are we both
partly  right and partly wrong?  Or are we both wholly right and wholly
wrong?  You and I cannot know this, and  consequently we all live in darkness.

	"Whom shall I ask as arbiter between us?  If I ask someone who takes
your view, he will side with you.  How can  such a one arbitrate between us? 
If I ask someone who takes my view, he will side with me.  How can such a one
 arbitrate between us?  If I ask someone who differs from both of us, he will
be equally unable to decide between us,  since he differs from both of us. 
And if I ask someone who agrees with both of us, he will be equally unable to
 decide between us, since he agrees with both of us.  Since then you and I
and other men cannot decide, how can we  depend upon another?  The words of
arguments are all relative; if we wish to reach the absolute, we must
harmonize  them by means of the unity of God, and follow their natural
evolution, so that we may complete our allotted span of  life.

	"But what is it to harmonize them by means of the unity of God?  It
is this.  The right may not be really right.   What appears so may not be
really so.  Even if what is right is really right, wherein it differs from
wrong cannot be  made plain by argument.  Even if what appears so is really
so, wherein it differs from what is not so also cannot be  made plain by

	"Take no heed of time nor of right and wrong.  Passing into the realm
of the Infinite, take your final rest therein."

	The Penumbra said to the Umbra, "At one moment you move: at another
you are at rest.  At one moment you sit  down: at another you get up.  Why
this instability of purpose?"

	"Perhaps I depend," replied the Umbra, "upon something which causes
me to do as I do; and perhaps that  something depends in turn upon something
else which causes it to do as it does.  Or perhaps my dependence is like 
(the unconscious movements) of a snake's scales or of a cicada's wings.  How
can I tell why I do one thing, or why I  do not do another?"

	Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou <<18>> , dreamt I was a butterfly,
fluttering hither and thither, to all intents  and purposes a butterfly.  I
was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. 
Soon I  awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know
whether I was then a man dreaming I was a  butterfly, or whether I am now a
butterfly, dreaming I am a man.  Between a man and a butterfly there is
necessarily  a distinction.  The transition is called the transformation of
material things <<19>> .




	human life is limited, but knowledge is limitless.  To drive the
limited in pursuit of the limitless is fatal; and to  presume that one really
knows is fatal indeed!

	In doing good, avoid fame.  In doing bad, avoid disgrace.  Pursue a
middle course as your principle.  Thus you  will guard your body from harm,
preserve your life, fulfil your duties by your parents, and live your
allotted span of  life.

	Prince Huei's cook was cutting up a bullock.  Every blow of his hand,
every heave of his shoulders, every tread of  his foot, every thrust of his
knee, every whshh of rent flesh, every chhk of the chopper, was in perfect
rhythm, --like  the dance of the Mulberry Grove, like the harmonious chords
of Ching Shou.

	"Well done!" cried the Prince.  "Yours is skill indeed!"

	"Sire," replied the cook laying down his chopper, "I have always
devoted myself to Tao, which is higher than  mere skill.  When I first began
to cut up bullocks, I saw before me whole bullocks.  After three years'
practice, I saw  no more whole animals.  And now I work with my mind and not
with my eye.  My mind works along without the  control of the senses. 
Falling back upon eternal principles, I glide through such great joints or
cavities as there may  be, according to the natural constitution of the
animal.  I do not even touch the convolutions of muscle and tendon,  still
less attempt to cut through large bones.  

	"A good cook changes his chopper once a year, --because he cuts.  An
ordinary cook, one a month, --because he  hacks.  But I have had this chopper
nineteen years, and although I have cut up many thousand bullocks, its edge
is as  if fresh from the whetstone.  For at the joints there are always
interstices, and the edge of a chopper being without  thickness, it remains
only to insert that which is without thickness into such an interstice. 
Indeed there is plenty of  room for the blade to move about.  It is thus that
I have kept my chopper for nineteen years as though fresh from the  whetstone.

	"Nevertheless, when I come upon a knotty part which is difficult to
tackle, I am all caution.  Fixing my eye on it, I  stay my hand, and gently
apply my blade, until with a hwah the part yields like earth crumbling to the
ground.  Then  I take out my chopper and stand up, and look around, and pause
with an air of triumph.  Then wiping my chopper, I  put it carefully away."

	"Bravo!" cried the Prince.  "From the words of this cook I have
learned how to take care of my life."

	When Hsien, of the Kungwen family, beheld a certain official, he was
horrified, and said, "Who is that man?   How came he to lose a leg?  Is this
the work of God, or of man?"

	"Why, of course, it is the work of God, and not of man," was the
reply.  "God made this man one-legged.  The  appearance of men is always
balanced.  From this it is clear that God and not man made him what he is."

	A pheasant of the marshes may have to go ten steps to get a peck, a
hundred to get a drink.  Yet pheasants do not  want to be fed in a cage.  For
although they might have less worries, they would not like it.  When Laotse
died, Ch'in  Yi went to the funeral.  He uttered three yells and departed.  A
disciple asked him saying, "Were you not our  Master's friend?"

	"I was," replied Ch'in Yi.

	"And if so, do you consider that a sufficient expression of grief at
his death?" added the disciple.

	"I do," said Ch'in Yi.  "I had thought he was a (mortal) man, but now
I know that he was not. When I went in to  mourn, I found old persons weeping
as if for their children, young ones wailing as if for their mothers.  When
these  people meet, they must have said words on the occasion and shed tears
without any intention.  (To cry thus at one's  death) is to evade the natural
principles (of life and death) and increase human attachments, forgetting the
source  from which we receive this life.  The ancients called this 'evading
the retribution of Heaven.' The Master came,  because it was his time to be
born; He went, because it was his time to go away.  Those who accept the
natural  course and sequence of things and live in obedience to it are beyond
joy and sorrow.  The ancients spoke of this as  the emancipation from
bondage.  The fingers may not be able to supply all the fuel, but the fire is
transmitted, and  we know not when it will come to an end."




	Yen huei <<20>>  went to take leave of Confucius.  "Whither are you
bound?" asked the Master.

	"I am going to the State of Wei," was the reply.

	"And what do you propose to do there?" continued Confucius.

	"I hear," answered Yen Huei, "that the Prince of Wei is of mature
age, but of an unmanageable disposition.  He  behaves as if the people were
of no account, and will not see his own faults.  He disregards human lives
and the  people perish; and their corpses lie about like so much under growth
in a marsh.  The people do not know where to  turn for help.  And I have
heard you say that if a state be well governed, it may be passed over; but
that if it be badly  governed, then we should visit it.  At the door of
physicians there are many sick people.  I would test my knowledge  in this
sense, that perchance I may do some good at that state."

	"Alas!" cried Confucius, "you will be only going to your doom.  For
Tao must not bustle about.  If it does it will  have divergent aims.  From
divergent aims come restlessness; from restlessness comes worry, and from
worry one  reaches the stage of being beyond hope.  The Sages of old first
strengthened their own character before they tried to  strengthen that of
others.  Before you have strengthened your own character, what leisure have
you to attend to the  doings of wicked men? Besides, do you know into what
virtue evaporates by motion and where knowledge ends?   Virtue evaporates by
motion into desire for fame and knowledge ends in contentions.  In the
struggle for fame men  crush each other, while their wisdom but provokes
rivalry.  Both are instruments of evil, and are not proper principles  of

	"Besides, if before one's own solid character and integrity become an
influence among men and before one's own  disregard for fame reaches the
hearts of men, one should go and force the preaching of charity and duty and
the  rules of conduct on wicked men, he would only make these men hate him
for his very goodness. Such a person may  be called a messenger of evil.  A
messenger of evil will be the victim of evil from others.  That, alas!  will
be your  end.

	"On the other hand, if the Prince loves the good and hates evil, what
object will you have in inviting him to  change his ways?  Before you have
opened your mouth, the Prince himself will have seized the opportunity to
wrest  the victory from you.  Your eyes will be dazzled, your expression
fade, your words will hedge about, your face will  show confusion, and your
heart will yield within you.  It will be as though you took fire to quell
fire, water to quell  water, which is known as aggravation.  And if you begin
with concessions, there will be no end to them.  If you  neglect this sound
advice and talk too much, you will die at the hands of that violent man.

	"Of old, Chieh murdered Kuanlung P'ang, and Chou slew Prince Pikan. 
Their victims were both men who  cultivated themselves and cared for the good
of the people, and thus offended their superiors.  Therefore, their 
superiors got rid of them, because of their goodness.  This was the result of
their love for fame.

	"Of old, Yao attacked the Ts'ung-chih and Hsu:-ao countries, and Ya
attacked the Yu-hus.  The countries were  laid waste, their inhabitants
slaughtered, their rulers killed.  Yet they fought without ceasing, and
strove for material  objects to the last.  These are instances of striving
for fame or for material objects.  Have you not heard that even  Sages cannot
overcome this love of fame and this desire for material objects (in rulers)? 
Are you then likely to  succeed?  But of course you have a plan.  Tell it to

	"Gravity of demeanor and humility; persistence and singleness of
purpose, --will this do?" replied Yen Huei.   "Alas, no," said Confucius,
"how can it?  The Prince is a haughty person, filled with pride, and his
moods are fickle.   No one opposes him, and so he has come to take actual
pleasure in trampling upon the feelings of others.  And if he  has thus
failed in the practice of routine virtues, do you expect that he will take
readily to higher ones?  He will  persist in his ways, and though outwardly
he may agree with you, inwardly he will not repent.  How then will you  make
him mend his ways?"

	"Why, then," (replied Yen Huei) "I can be inwardly straight, and
outwardly yielding, and I shall substantiate what  I say by appeals to
antiquity.  He who is inwardly straight is a servant of God.  And he who is a
servant of God  knows that the Son of Heaven and himself are equally the
children of God <<21>> .  Shall then such a one trouble  whether his words
are approved or disapproved by man?  Such a person is commonly regarded as an
(innocent)  child.  This is to be a servant of God.  He who is outwardly
yielding is a servant of man.  He bows, he kneels, he  folds his hands --such
is the ceremonial of a minister. What all men do, shall I not do also?  What
all men do, none  will blame me for doing.  This is to be a servant of man. 
He who substantiates his words by appeals to antiquity is a  servant of the
Sages of old.  Although I utter the words of warning and take him to task, it
is the Sages of old who  speak, and not I.  Thus I shall not receive the
blame for my uprightness.  This is to be the servant of the Sages of old.  
Will this do?"

	"No!  How can it?" replied Confucius.  "Your plans are too many.  You
are firm, but lacking in prudence.   However, you are only narrow minded, but
you will not get into trouble; but that is all.  You will still be far from 
influencing him because your own opinions are still too rigid."

	"Then," said Yen Huei, "I can go no further.  I venture to ask for a

	Confucius said, "Keep fast, and I shall tell you.  Will it be easy
for you when you still have a narrow mind?  He  who treats things as easy
will not be approved by the bright heaven."

	"My family is poor," replied Yen Huei, "and for many months we have
tasted neither wine nor flesh.  Is that not  fasting?"

	"That is a fast according to the religious observances," answered
Confucius, "but not the fasting of the heart."

	"And may I ask," said Yen Huei, "in what consists the fasting of the

	"Concentrate your will.  Hear not with your ears, but with your mind;
not with your mind, but with your spirit.   Let your hearing stop with the
ears, and let your mind stop with its images.  Let your spirit, however, be
like a blank,  passively responsive to externals.  In such open receptivity
only can Tao abide.  And that open receptivity is the  fasting of the heart."

	"Then," said Yen Huei, "the reason I could not use this method was
because of consciousness of a self.  If I could  apply this method, the
assumption of a self would have gone.  Is this what you mean by the receptive

	"Exactly so," replied the Master.  "Let me tell you.  Enter this
man's service, but without idea of working for  fame.  Talk when he is in a
mood to listen, and stop when he is not.  Do without any sort of labels or
self- advertisements.  Keep to the One and let things take their natural
course.  Then you may have some chance of  success.  It is easy to stop
walking: the trouble is to walk without touching the ground.  As an agent of
man, it is easy  to use artificial devices; but not as an agent of God.  You
have heard of winged creatures flying.  You have never  heard of flying
without wings.  You have heard of men being wise with knowledge.  You have
never heard of men  wise without knowledge   "Look at that emptiness. There
is brightness in an empty room.  Good luck dwells in  repose.  If there is
not (inner) repose, your mind will be galloping about though you are sitting
still.  Let your ears  and eyes communicate within but shut out all knowledge
from the mind.  Then the spirits will come to dwell therein,  not to mention
man.  This is the method for the transformation (influencing) of all
Creation.  It was the key to the  influence of Yu and Shun, and the secret of
the success of Fu Hsi and Chi Chu.  How much more should the  common man
follow the same rule?"


	(Two sections are omitted here. --Ed.)


	A certain carpenter Shih was travelling to the Ch'i State.  On
reaching Shady Circle, he saw a sacred li tree in the  temple to the God of
Earth.  It was so large that its shade could cover a herd of several thousand
cattle.  It was a  hundred spans in girth, towering up eighty feet over the
hilltop, before it branched out.  A dozen boats could be cut  out of it. 
Crowds stood gazing at it, but the carpenter took no notice, and went on his
way without even casting a  look behind.  His apprentice however took a good
look at it, and when he caught up with his master, said, "Ever  since I have
handled an adze in your service, I have never seen such a splendid piece of
timber.  How was it that you,  Master, did not care to stop and look at it?"

	"Forget about it.  It's not worth talking about," replied his master.
 "It's good for nothing.  Made into a boat, it  would sink; into a coffin, it
would rot; into furniture, it would break easily; into a door, it would
sweat; into a pillar, it  would be worm-eaten.  It is wood of no quality, and
of no use.  That is why it has attained its present age."

	When the carpenter reached home, he dreamt that the spirit of the
tree appeared to him in his sleep and spoke to  him as follows: "What is it
you intend to compare me with?  Is it with fine-grained wood?  Look at the
cherry-apple,  the pear, the orange, the pumelo, and other fruit bearers?  As
soon as their fruit ripens they are stripped and treated  with indignity. 
The great boughs are snapped off, the small ones scattered abroad.  Thus do
these trees by their own  value injure their own lives.  They cannot fulfil
their allotted span of years, but perish prematurely because they  destroy
themselves for the (admiration of) the world.  Thus it is with all things.
Moreover, I tried for a long period to  be useless.  Many times I was in
danger of being cut down, but at length I have succeeded, and so have become 
exceedingly useful to myself.  Had I indeed been of use, I should not be able
to grow to this height.  Moreover, you  and I are both created things. Have
done then with this criticism of each other.  Is a good-for-nothing fellow in
 imminent danger of death a fit person to talk of a good-for-nothing tree?"  
When the carpenter Shih awaked and told  his dream, his apprentice said, "If
the tree aimed at uselessness, how was it that it became a sacred tree?"  

	"Hush!" replied his master.  "Keep quiet.  It merely took refuge in
the temple to escape from the abuse of those  who do not appreciate it.  Had
it not become sacred, how many would have wanted to cut it down!  Moreover,
the  means it adopts for safety is different from that of others, and to
criticize it by ordinary standards would be far wide  of the mark."

	Tsech'i of Nan-po was travelling on the hill of Shang when he saw a
large tree which astonished him very much.   A thousand chariot teams of four
horses could find shelter under its shade.  "What tree is this?" cried
Tsech'i.   "Surely it must be unusually fine timber."  Then looking up, he
saw that its branches were too crooked for rafters;  and looking down he saw
that the trunk's twisting loose grain made it valueless for coffins.  He
tasted a leaf, but it  took the skin off his lips; and its odor was so strong
that it would make a man intoxicated for three days together.   "Ah!" said
Tsech'i, "this tree is really good for nothing, and that is how it has
attained this size.  A spiritual man  might well follow its example of

	In the State of Sung there is a land belonging to the Chings, where
thrive the catalpa, the cedar, and the mulberry.   Such as are of one span or
so in girth are cut down for monkey cages.  Those of two or three spans are
cut down for  the beams of fine houses.  Those of seven or eight spans are
cut down for the solid (unjointed) sides of rich men's  coffins.  Thus they
do not fulfil their allotted span of years, but perish young beneath the axe.
 Such is the misfortune  which overtakes worth.  For the sacrifices to the
River God, neither bulls with white foreheads, nor pigs with high  snouts,
nor men suffering from piles, can be used.  This is known to all the
soothsayers, for these are regarded as  inauspicious.  The wise, however,
would regard them as extremely auspicious (to themselves).

	There was a hunchback named Su.  His jaws touched his navel.  His
shoulders were higher than his head.  His  neck bone stuck out toward the
sky.  His viscera were turned upside down.  His buttocks were where his ribs
should  have been.  By tailoring, or washing, he was easily able to earn his
living.  By sifting rice he could make enough to  support a family of ten. 
When orders came down for a conscription, the hunchback walked about
unconcerned  among the crowd. And similarly, in government conscription for
public works, his deformity saved him from being  called.  On the other hand,
when it came to government donations of grain for the disabled, the hunchback
received  as much as three chung and of firewood, ten faggots.  And if
physical deformity was thus enough to preserve his  body until the end of his
days, how much more should moral and mental deformity avail!

	When Confucius was in the Ch'u State, the eccentric Chieh Yu passed
his door, saying, "O phoenix!  O phoenix!   How has thy virtue fallen!  Wait
not for the coming years, nor hanker back to the past.  When the right
principles  prevail on earth, prophets will fulfil their mission.  When the
right principles prevail not, they will but preserve  themselves.  At the
present day, they are but trying to keep out of jail!  The good fortunes of
this world are light as  feathers, yet none estimates them at their true
value.  The misfortunes of this life are weighty as the earth, yet none 
knows how to keep out of their reach.  No more, no more, show off your
virtue.  Beware, beware, move cautiously  on!  O brambles, O brambles, wound
not my steps!  I pick my way about, hurt not my feet!" <<22>> 

	The mountain trees invite their own cutting down; lamp oil invites
its own burning up.  Cinnamon bark can be  eaten; therefore the tree is cut
down.  Lacquer can be used, therefore the tree is scraped. All men know the
utility of  useful things; but they do not know the utility of futility.




	IN THE STATE OF Lu there was a man, named Wang T'ai, who had had one
of his legs cut off.  His disciples  were as numerous as those of Confucius.
Ch'ang Chi asked Confucius, saying, "This Wang T'ai has been mutilated,  yet
he has as many followers in the Lu State as you.  He neither stands up to
preach nor sits down to give discourse;  yet those who go to him empty,
depart full.  Is he the kind of person who can teach without words and
influence  people's minds without material means?  What manner of man is

	"He is a sage," replied Confucius, "I wanted to go to him, but am
merely behind the others.  Even I will go and  make him my teacher, --why not
those who are lesser than I?  And I will lead, not only the State of Lu, but
the whole  world to follow him."

	"The man has been mutilated," said Ch'ang Chi, "and yet people call
him 'Master.' He must be very different from  the ordinary men.  If so, how
does he train his mind?"

	"Life and Death are indeed changes of great moment," answered
Confucius, "but they cannot affect his mind.   Heaven and earth may collapse,
but his mind will remain.  Being indeed without flaw, it will not share the
fate of all  things.  It can control the transformation of things, while
preserving its source intact."

	"How so?" asked Ch'ang Chi.  "From the point of view of
differentiation of things," replied Confucius, "we  distinguish between the
liver and the gall, between the Ch'u State and the Yueh State.  From the
point of view of  their sameness, all things are One. He who regards things
in this light does not even trouble about what reaches him  through the
senses of hearing and sight, but lets his mind wander in the moral harmony of
things.  He beholds the  unity in things, and does not notice the loss of
particular objects.  And thus the loss of his leg is to him as would be  the
loss of so much dirt."

	"But he cultivates only himself," said Ch'ang Chi.  "He uses his
knowledge to perfect his mind, and develops his  mind into the Absolute Mind.
 But how is it that people flock around him?"

	"A man," replied Confucius, "does not seek to see himself in running
water, but in still water.  For only what is  itself still can instill
stillness into others.  The grace of earth has reached only the pines and
cedars; winter and  summer alike, they are green.  The grace of God has
reached to Yao and to Shun, who alone attained rectitude.   Happily he was
able to rectify himself and thus become the means through which all were
rectified.  For the  possession of one's original (nature) is evidenced in
true courage.  A man will, single-handed, brave a whole army.   And if such a
result can be achieved by one in search of fame through self control, how
much greater courage can be  shown by one who extends his sway over heaven
and earth and gives shelter to all things, who, lodging temporarily  within
the confines of a body with contempt for the superficialities of sight and
sound, brings his knowledge to level  all knowledge and whose mind never
dies!  Besides, he (Wang T'ai) is only awaiting his appointed hour to go up
to  Heaven.  Men indeed flock to him of their own accord.  How can he take
seriously the affairs of this world?"

	Shent'u Chia had only one leg.  He studied under Pohun Wujen (
Muddle-Head No-Such-Person") together with  Tsech'an <<24>>  of the Cheng
State.  The latter said to him, "When I leave first, do you remain behind. 
When you  leave first, I will remain behind."  Next day, when they were again
together sitting on the same mat in the lecture- room, Tsech'an said, "When I
leave first, do you remain behind. Or if you leave first, I will remain
behind.  I am now  about to go.  Will you remain or not?  I notice you show
no respect to a high personage. Perhaps you think yourself  my equal?"  

	"In the house of the Master," replied Shent'u Chia, "there is already
a high personage (the Master). Perhaps you  think that you are the high
personage and therefore should take precedence over the rest.  Now I have
heard that if a  mirror is perfectly bright, dust will not collect on it, and
that if it does, the mirror is no longer bright.  He who  associates for long
with the wise should be without fault.  Now you have been seeking the greater
things at the feet  of our Master, yet you can utter words like these.  Don't
you think you are making a mistake?"

	"You are already mutilated like this."  retorted Tsech'an, "yet you
are still seeking to compete in virtue with Yao.   To look at you, I should
say you had enough to do to reflect on your past misdeeds!"  

	"Those who cover up their sins," said Shent'u Chia, "so as not to
lose their legs, are many in number.  Those who  forget to cover up their
misdemeanors and so lose their legs (through punishment) are few.  But only
the virtuous  man can recognize the inevitable and remain unmoved.  People
who walked in front of the bull's-eye when Hou Yi  (the famous archer) was
shooting, would be hit.  Some who were not hit were just lucky.  There are
many people  with sound legs who laugh at me for not having them.  This used
to make me angry.  But since I came to study under  our Master, I have
stopped worrying about it.  Perhaps our Master has so far succeeded in
washing (purifying) me  with his goodness.  At any rate, I have been with him
nineteen years without being aware of my deformity.  Now  you and I are
roaming in the realm of the spiritual, and you are judging me in the realm of
the physical. <<25>>   Are  you not committing a mistake?"   At this Tsech'an
began to fidget and his countenance changed, and he bade Shent'u  Chia to
speak no more.

	There was a man of the Lu State who had been mutilated, by the name
of Shushan No-toes.  He came walking  on his heels to see Confucius; but
Confucius said, "You were careless, and so brought this misfortune upon
yourself.   What is the use of coming to me now?" "It was because I was
inexperienced and careless with my body that I hurt  my feet," replied
No-toes.  "Now I have come with something more precious than feet, and it is
that which I am  seeking to preserve.  There is no man, but Heaven shelters
him; and there is no man, but the Earth supports him.  I  thought that you,
Master, would be like Heaven and Earth.  I little expected to hear these
words from you."

	"Pardon my stupidity," said Confucius.  "Why not come in?  I shall
discuss with you what I have learned."  But  No-toes left.  When No-toes had
left, Confucius said to his disciples, "Take a good lesson.  No-toes is
one-legged,  yet he is seeking to learn in order to make atonement for his
previous misdeeds.  How much more should those who  have no misdeeds for
which to atone?"

	No-toes went off to see Lao Tan (Laotse) and said, "Is Confucius a
Perfect One or is he not quite?  How is it that  he is so anxious to learn
from you?  He is seeking to earn a reputation by his abstruse and strange
learning, which is  regarded by the Perfect One as mere fetters."  

	"Why do you not make him regard life and death, and possibility and
impossibility as alternations of one and the  same principle," answered Lao
Tan, "and so release him from these fetters?"  

	"It is God who has thus punished him," replied No-toes.  "How could
he be released?"

	Duke Ai of the Lu State said to Confucius, "In the Wei State there is
an ugly person, named Ait'ai (Ugly) T'o.   The men who have lived with him
cannot stop thinking about him.  Women who have seen him, would say to their 
parents, 'Rather than be another man's wife, I would be this man's
concubine.' There are scores of such women.  He  never tries to lead others,
but only follows them.  He wields no power of a ruler by which he may protect
men's lives.   He has no hoarded wealth by which to gratify their bellies,
and is besides frightfully loathsome.  He follows but does  not lead, and his
name is not known outside his own State. Yet men and women alike all seek his
company.  So there  must be some thing in him that is different from other
people.  I sent for him, and saw that he was indeed frightfully  ugly.  Yet
we had not been many months together before I began to see there was
something in this man.  A year  had not passed before I began to trust him. 
As my State wanted a Prime Minister, I offered him the post.  He looked 
sullenly before he replied and appeared as if he would much rather have
declined.  Perhaps he did not think me good  enough for him!  At any rate, I
gave the post to him; but in a very short time he left me and went away.  I
grieved for  him as for a lost friend, as though there were none left with
whom I could enjoy having my kingdom.  What manner  of man is this?"

	"When I was on a mission to the Ch'u State," replied Confucius, "I
saw a litter of young pigs sucking their dead  mother.  After a while they
looked at her, and then all left the body and went off.  For their mother did
not look at  them any more, nor did she seem any more to have been of their
kind.  What they loved was their mother; not the  body which contained her,
but that which made the body what it was. When a man is killed in battle, his
coffin is not  covered with a square canopy.  A man whose leg has been cut
off does not value a present of shoes.  In each case,  the original purpose
of such things is gone.  The concubines of the Son of Heaven do not cut their
nails or pierce  their ears.  Those (servants) who are married have to live
outside (the palace) and cannot be employed again.  Such is  the importance
attached to preserving the body whole.  How much more valued is one who has
preserved his virtue  whole? "Now Ugly T'o has said nothing and is already
trusted.  He has achieved nothing and is sought after, and is  offered the
government of a country with the only fear that he might decline.  Indeed he
must be the one whose  talents are perfect and whose virtue is without
outward form!"

	 What do you mean by his talents being perfect?" asked the Duke. 
Life and Death, ' replied Confucius,  "possession and loss, success and
failure, poverty and wealth, virtue and vice, good and evil report hunger and
thirst,  heat and cold --these are changes of things in the natural course of
events.  Day and night they follow upon one  another, and no man can say
where they spring from.  Therefore they must not be allowed to disturb the
natural  harmony, nor enter into the soul's domain.  One should live so that
one is at ease and in harmony with the world,  without loss of happiness, and
by day and by night, share the (peace of) spring with the created things. 
Thus  continuously one creates the seasons in one's own breast.  Such a
person may be said to have perfect talents."  

	"And what is virtue without outward form?"

	"When standing still," said Confucius, "the water is in the most
perfect state of repose.  Let that be your model.   It remains quietly
within, and is not agitated without.  It is from the cultivation of such
harmony that virtue results.   And if virtue takes no outward form, man will
not be able to keep aloof from it."

	Some days afterwards Duke Ai told Mintse saying, "When first I took
over the reins of government, I thought  that in guiding the people and
caring for their lives, I had done all my duty as a ruler.  But now that I
have heard the  words of a perfect man, I fear that I have not achieved it,
but am foolishly squandering my bodily energy and  bringing ruin to my
country.  Confucius and I are not prince and minister, but friends in spirit.'

	Hunchback-Deformed-No-Lips spoke with Duke Ling of Wei and the Duke
took a fancy to him.  As for the well- formed men, he thought their necks
were too scraggy.  Big-Jar-Goiter spoke with Duke Huan of Ch'i, and the Duke 
took a fancy to him.  As for the well-formed men, he thought their necks were
too scraggy.  Thus it is that when  virtue excels, the outward form is
forgotten.  But mankind forgets not that which is to be forgotten, forgetting
that  which is not to be forgotten.  This is forgetfulness indeed!

	And thus the Sage sets his spirit free, while knowledge is regarded
as extraneous growths- agreements are for  cementing relationships, goods are
only for social dealings, and the handicrafts are only for serving commerce. 
For  the Sage does not contrive, and therefore has no use for knowledge; he
does not cut up the world, and therefore  requires no cementing of
relationships; he has no loss, and therefore has no need to acquire; he sells
nothing, and  therefore has no use for commerce.  These four qualifications
are bestowed upon him by God, that is to say, he is  fed by God.  And he who
is thus fed by God has little need to be fed by man.

	He wears the human form without human passions. Because he wears the
human form he associates with men.   Because he has not human passions the
questions of right and wrong do not touch him. Infinitesimal indeed is that 
which belongs to the human; infinitely great is that which is completed in

	Hueitse said to Chuangtse, "Do men indeed originally have no

	"Certainly," replied Chuangtse.

	"But if a man has no passions," argued Hueitse, "what is it that
makes him a man?"

	"Tao," replied Chuangtse, "gives him his expressions, and God gives
him his form.  How should he not be a  man?"

	"If then he is a man," said Hueitse, "how can he be without passions?"

	"Right and wrong (approval and disapproval)," answered Chuangtse,
"are what I mean by passions.  By a man  without passions I mean one who does
not permit likes and dislikes to disturb his internal economy, but rather
falls  in line with nature and does not try to improve upon (the materials
of) living."

	"But how is a man to live this bodily life," asked Hueitse.

	"He does not try to improve upon (the materials of) his living?"  

	"Tao gives him his expression," said Chuangtse, "and God gives him
his form.  He should not permit likes and  dislikes to disturb his internal
economy.  But now you are devoting your intelligence to externals, and
wearing out  your vital spirit.  Lean against a tree and sing; or sit against
a table and sleep!  God has made you a shapely sight, yet  your only thought
is the hard and white." <<26>> 




	He who knows what is of God and who knows what is of Man has reached
indeed the height (of wisdom).  One  who knows what is of God patterns his
living after God.  One who knows what is of Man may still use his  knowledge
of the known to develop his knowledge of the unknown, living till the end of
his days and not perishing  young.  This is the fullness of knowledge. 
Herein, however, there is a flaw.  Correct knowledge is dependent on 
objects, but the objects of knowledge are relative and uncertain (changing). 
How can one know that the natural is  not really of man, and what is of man
is not really natural? We must, moreover, have true men before we can have 
true knowledge.

	But what is a true man?  The true men of old did not override the
weak, did not attain their ends by brute  strength, and did not gather around
them counsellors.  Thus, failing they had no cause for regret; succeeding, no
 cause for self-satisfaction.  And thus they could scale heights without
trembling, enter water without becoming wet,  and go through fire without
feeling hot.  That is the kind of knowledge which reaches to the depths of

	The true men of old slept without dreams and waked up without
worries.  They ate with indifference to flavour,  and drew deep breaths.  For
true men draw breath from their heels, the vulgar only from their throats. 
Out of the  crooked, words are retched up like vomit. When man's attachments
are deep, their divine endowments are shallow.

	The true men of old did not know what it was to love life or to hate
death.  They did not rejoice in birth, nor strive  to put off dissolution. 
Unconcerned they came and unconcerned they went.  That was all.  They did not
forget  whence it was they had sprung, neither did they seek to inquire their
return thither.  Cheerfully they accepted life,  waiting patiently for their
restoration (the end).  This is what is called not to lead the heart astray
from Tao, and not to  supplement the natural by human means.  Such a one may
be called a true man.  Such men are free in mind and  calm in demeanor, with
high fore heads.  Sometimes disconsolate like autumn, and sometimes warm like
spring,  their joys and sorrows are in direct touch with the four seasons in
harmony with all creation, and none know the  limit thereof.  And so it is
that when the Sage wages war, he can destroy a kingdom and yet not lose the
affection of  the people; he spreads blessing upon all things, but it is not
due to his (conscious) love of fellow men.  Therefore he  who delights in
understanding the material world is not a Sage.  He who has personal
attachments is not humane.   He who calculates the time of his actions is not
wise.  He who does not know the interaction of benefit and harm is  not a
superior man.  He who pursues fame at the risk of losing his self is not a
scholar.  He who loses his life and is  not true to himself can never be a
master of man.  Thus Hu Puhsieh, Wu Kuang, Po Yi, Shu Chi, Chi Tse, Hsu Yu, 
Chi T'o, and Shent'u Ti, were the servants of rulers, and did the behests of
others, not their own. <<27>> 

	The true men of old appeared of towering stature and yet could not
topple down.  They behaved as though  wanting in themselves, but without
looking up to others.  Naturally independent of mind, they were not severe. 
Living in unconstrained freedom, yet they did not try to show off.  They
appeared to smile as if pleased, and to move  only in natural response to
surroundings.  Their serenity flowed from the store of goodness within.  In
social  relationships, they kept to their inner character.  Broad-minded,
they appeared great; towering, they seemed beyond  control.  Continuously
abiding, they seemed like doors kept shut; absent-minded, they seemed to
forget speech.   They saw in penal laws an outward form; in social
ceremonies, certain means; in knowledge, tools of expediency; in  morality, a
guide.  It was for this reason that for them penal laws meant a merciful
administration; social ceremonies,  a means to get along with the world;
knowledge a help for doing what they could not avoid; and morality, a guide 
that they might walk along with others to reach a hill. <<28>>   And all men
really thought that they were at pains to  make their lives correct.

	For what they cared for was ONE, and what they did not care for was
ONE also. That which they regarded as  ONE was ONE, and that which they did
not regard as ONE was ONE likewise.  In that which was ONE, they were  of
God; in that which was not ONE, they were of man.  And so between the human
and the divine no conflict  ensued.  This was to be a true man.

	Life and Death are a part of Destiny.  Their sequence, like day and
night, is of God, beyond the interference of  man.  These all lie in the
inevitable nature of things.  He simply looks upon God as his father; if he
loves him with  what is born of the body, shall he not love him also with
that which is greater than the body?  A man looks upon a  ruler of men as one
superior to himself; if he is willing to sacrifice his body (for his ruler),
shall he not then offer his  pure (spirit) also?

	When the pond dries up and the fishes are left upon the dry ground,
rather than leave them to moisten each other  with their damp and spittle it
would be far better to let them forget themselves in their native rivers -
and lakes.  And  it would be better than praising Yao and blaming Chieh to
forget both (the good and bad) and lose oneself in Tao.

	The Great (universe) gives me this form, this toil in manhood, this
repose in old age, this rest in death.  And  surely that which is such a kind
arbiter of my life is the best arbiter of my death.

	A boat may be hidden in a creek, or concealed in a bog, which is
generally considered safe.  But at midnight a  strong man may come and carry
it away on his back.  Those dull of understanding do not perceive that
however you  conceal small things in larger ones, there will always be a
chance of losing them.  But if you entrust that which  belongs to the
universe to the whole universe, from it there will be no escape.  For this is
the great law of things.

	To have been cast in this human form is to us already a source of
joy.  How much greater joy beyond our  conception to know that that which is
now in human form may undergo countless transitions, with only the infinite 
to look forward to?  Therefore it is that the Sage rejoices in that which can
never be lost, but endures always.  For if  we emulate those who can accept
graciously long age or short life and the vicissitudes of events, how much
more  that which informs all creation on which all changing phenomena depend?

	For Tao has its inner reality and its evidences.  It is devoid of
action and of form.  It may be transmitted, but  cannot be received; It may
be obtained, but cannot be seen.  It is based in itself, rooted in itself. 
Before heaven and  earth were, Tao existed by itself from all time.  It gave
the spirits and rulers their spiritual powers, and gave Heaven  and Earth
their birth.  To Tao, the zenith is not high, nor the nadir low; no point in
time is long ago, nor by the lapse  of ages has it grown old.

	Hsi Wei obtained Tao, and so set the universe in order.  Fu Hsi
<<29>>  obtained it, and was able to steal the  secrets of eternal
principles.  The Great Bear obtained it, and has never erred from its course.
 The sun and moon  obtained it, and have never ceased to revolve.  K'an P'i
<<30>>  obtained it, and made his abode in the K'unlun  mountains.  P'ing I
<<31>>  obtained it, and rules over the streams.  Chien Wu <<32>>  obtained
it, and dwells on  Mount T'ai.  The Yellow Emperor <<33>>  obtained it, and
soared upon the clouds to heaven.  Chuan Hsu <<34>>  obtained it, and dwells
in the Dark Palace.  Yu Ch'iang <<35>>  obtained it, and established himself
at the North  Pole.  The Western (Fairy) Queen Mother obtained it, and
settled at Shao Kuang, since when and until when, no one  knows.  P'eng Tsu
obtained it, and lived from the time of Shun until the time of the Five
Princes.  Fu Yueh obtained  it, and as the Minister of Wu Ting <<36>> 
extended his rule to the whole empire.  And now, charioted upon the  Tungwei
(one constellation) and drawn by the Chiwei (another constellation), he has
taken his station among the  stars of heaven.

	Nanpo Tsek'uei said to Nu: Yu (or Female Yu), "You are of a high age,
and yet you have a child's complexion.   How is this?"   Nu: Yu replied, "I
have learned Tao."  

	"Could I get Tao by studying it?" asked the other.  "No!  How can
you?" said Nu: Yu.  "You are not the type of  person.  There was Puliang I. 
He had all the mental talents of a sage, but not Tao of the sage.  Now I had
Tao,  though not those talents.  But do you think I was able to teach him to
become indeed a sage?  Had it been so, then to  teach Tao to one who has a
sage's talents would be an easy matter.  It was not so, for I had to wait
patiently to reveal  it to him.  In three days, he could transcend this
mundane world.  Again I waited for seven days more, then he could  transcend
all material existence.  After he could transcend all material existence, I
waited for another nine days, after  which he could transcend all life. 
After he could transcend all life, then he had the clear vision of the
morning, and  after that, was able to see the Solitary (One).  After seeing
the Solitary, he could abolish the distinctions of past and  present.  After
abolishing the past and present, he was able to enter there where life and
death are no more, where  killing does not take away life, nor does giving
birth add to it.  He was ever in accord with the exigencies of his 
environment, accepting all and welcoming all, regarding everything as
destroyed, and everything as in completion.   This is to be 'secure amidst
confusion,' reaching security through chaos."

	"Where did you learn this from?" asked Nanpo Tsek'uei. "I learned it
from the Son of Ink," replied Nu Yu, "and  the Son of Ink learned it from the
Grandson of Learning, the Grandson of Learning from Understanding, and 
Understanding from Insight, Insight learned it from Practice, Practice from
Folk Song, and Folk Song from Silence,  Silence from the Void, and the Void
learned it from the Seeming Beginning."

	Four men: Tsesze, Tseyu, Tseli, and Tselai, were conversing together,
saying, "Whoever can make Not-being the  head, Life the backbone, and Death
the tail, and whoever realizes that death and life and being and non-being
are of  one body, that man shall be admitted to friendship with us."  The
four looked at each other and smiled, and  completely understanding one
another, became friends accordingly. By-and-by, Tseyu fell ill, and Tsesze
went to see  him.  "Verily the Creator is great!" said the sick man.  "See
how He has doubled me up."  His back was so hunched  that his viscera were at
the top of his body.  His cheeks were level with his navel, and his shoulders
were higher than  his neck.  His neck bone pointed up towards the sky.  The
whole economy of his organism was deranged, but his  mind was calm as ever. 
He dragged himself to a well, and said, "Alas, that God should have doubled
me up like  this!"

	"Do you dislike it?" asked Tsesze.  " No, why should l?" replied
Tseyu.  "If my left arm should become a cock, I  should be able to herald the
dawn with it. If my right arm should become a sling, I should be able to
shoot down a  bird to broil with it.  If my buttocks should become wheels,
and my spirit become a horse, I should be able to ride in  it --what need
would I have of a chariot?  I obtained life because it was my time, and I am
now parting with it in  accordance with Tao.  Content with the coming of
things in their time and living in accord with Tao, joy and sorrow  touch me
not.  This is, according to the ancients, to be freed from bondage.  Those
who cannot be freed from  bondage are so because they are bound by the
trammels of material existence.  But man has ever given way before  God; why,
then, should I dislike it?"

	By-and-by, Tselai fell ill, and lay gasping for breath, while his
family stood weeping around.  Tseli went to see  him, and cried to the wife
and children: "Go away!  You are impeding his dissolution."  Then, leaning
against the  door, he said, "Verily, God is great!  I wonder what He will
make of you now, and whither He will send you.  Do  you think he will make
you into a rat's liver or into an insect leg?" 

	"A son," answered Tselai, "must go whithersoever his parents bid him,
East, West, North, or South.  Yin and  Yang are no other than a man's
parents.  If Yin and Yang bid me die quickly, and I demur, then the fault is
mine, not  theirs.  The Great (universe) gives me this form, this toil in
manhood, this repose in old age, this rest in death.  Surely  that which is
such a kind arbiter of my life is the best arbiter of my death.

	"Suppose that the boiling metal in a smelting-pot were to bubble up
and say, 'Make of me a Moyeh!' <<37>>   think the master caster would reject
that metal as uncanny.  And if simply because I am cast into a human form, I 
were to say, 'Only a man!  only a man!' I think the Creator too would reject
me as uncanny.  If I regard the universe  as the smelting pot, and the
Creator as the Master Caster, how should I worry wherever I am sent?" Then he
sank  into a peaceful sleep and waked up very much alive.

	Tsesang Hu, Mengtse Fan, and Tsech'in Chang, were conversing
together, saying, "Who can live together as if  they did not live together? 
Who can help each other as if they did not help each other?  Who can mount to
heaven,  and roaming through the clouds, leap about to the Ultimate Infinite,
oblivious of existence, for ever and ever without  end?" The three looked at
each other and smiled with a perfect understanding and became friends
accordingly.  Shortly afterwards, Tsesang Hu died, whereupon Confucius sent
Tsekung to attend the mourning.  But Tsekung  found that one of his friends
was arranging the cocoon sheets and the other was playing stringed
instruments and  (both were) singing together as follows:

	"Oh!  come back to us, Sang Hu,

	Oh!  come back to us, Sang Hu,

	Thou hast already returned to thy true state,

	While we still remain here as men!  Oh!"

	Tsekung hurried in and said, "How can you sing in the presence of a
corpse?  Is this good manners?"

	The two men looked at each other and laughed, saying, "What should
this man know about the meaning of good  manners indeed?"

	Tsekung went back and told Confucius, asking him, "What manner of men
are these?  Their object is to cultivate  nothingness and that which lies
beyond their corporeal frames.  They can sit near a corpse and sing, unmoved.
  There is no name for such persons.  What manner of men are they?" 

	"These men,'' replied Confucius, "play about beyond the material
things; I play about within them.   Consequently, our paths do not meet, and
I was stupid to have sent you to mourn.  They consider themselves as 
companions of the Creator, and play about within the One Spirit of the
universe.  They look upon life as a huge  goiter or excrescence, and upon
death as the breaking of a tumor.  How could such people be concerned about
the  coming of life and death or their sequence?  They borrow their forms
from the different elements, and take  temporary abode in the common forms,
unconscious of their internal organs and oblivious of their senses of hearing
 and vision.  They go through life backwards and forwards as in a circle
without beginning or end, strolling forgetfully  beyond the dust and dirt of
mortality, and playing about with the affairs of inaction.  How should such
men bustle  about the conventionalities of this world, for the people to look

	"But if such is the case," said Tsekung, "which world (the corporeal
or the spiritual) would you follow?"  

	"I am one condemned by God," replied Confucius.  "Nevertheless, I
will share with you (what I know)."  

	"May I ask what is your method?" asked Tsekung "Fishes live their
full life in water.  Men live their full life in  Tao," replied Confucius. 
"Those that live their full li& in water thrive in ponds.  Those that live
their full life in Tao  achieve realization of their nature in inaction. 
Hence the saying 'Fish lose themselves (are happy) in water; man loses 
himself (is happy) in Tao.' "   "May I ask," said Tsekung, "about (those)
strange people?"  

	"(Those) strange people," replied Confucius, "are strange in the eyes
of man, but normal in the eyes of God.  Hence the saying that the meanest
thing in heaven would be the best on earth; and the best on earth, the
meanest in  heaven.

	Yen Huei said to Chungni <<38>> (Confucius), "When Mengsun Ts'ai's
mother died, he wept, but without  snivelling; his heart was not grieved; he
wore mourning but without sorrow.  Yet although wanting in these three 
points, he is considered the best mourner in the State of Lu.  Can there be
really people with a hollow reputation?  I  am astonished."  

	"Mr.  Mengsun," said Chungni, "has really mastered (the Tao).  He has
gone beyond the wise ones. There are still  certain things he cannot quite
give up, but he has already given up some things.  Mr.  Mengsun knows not
whence  we come in life nor whither we go in death.  He knows not which to
put first and which to put last.  He is ready to be  transformed into other
things without caring into what he may be transformed --that is all.  How
could that which is  changing say that it will not change, and how could that
which regards itself as permanent realize that it is changing  already?  Even
you and I are perhaps dreamers who have not yet awakened.  Moreover, he knows
his form is subject  to change, but his mind remains the same.  He believes
not in real death, but regards it as moving into a new house.   He weeps only
when he sees others weep, as it comes to him naturally.

	"Besides, we all talk of 'me.' How do you know what is this 'me' that
we speak of?  You dream you are a bird, and  soar to heaven, or dream you are
a fish, and dive into the ocean's depths.  And you cannot tell whether the
man now  speaking is awake or in a dream.  "A man feels a pleasurable
sensation before he smiles, and smiles before he thinks  how he ought to
smile.  Resign yourself to the sequence of things, forgetting the changes of
life, and you shall enter  into the pure, the divine, the One."

	Yi-erh-tse went to see Hsu Yu.  The latter asked him, saying, "What
have you learned from Yao?"

	"He bade me," replied the former, "practice charity and do my duty,
and distinguish clearly between right and  wrong."

	"Then what do you want here?" said Hsu Yu.  "If Yao has already
branded you with charity of heart and duty,  and cut off your nose with right
and wrong, what are you doing here in this free-and-easy, unfettered,
take-what- comes neighborhood?"

	"Nevertheless," replied Yi-erh-tse.  "I should like to loiter on its

	"If a man has lost his eyes," retorted Hsu Yu, "it is impossible for
him to join in the appreciation of beauty of face  and complexion or to tell
a blue sacrificial robe from a yellow one."  

	"Wu Chuang's (No-Decorum's) disregard of her beauty," answered
Yi-erh-tse, "Chu Liang's disregard of his  strength, the Yellow Emperor's
abandonment of his wisdom, --all these came from a process of purging and 
purification.  And how do you know but that the Creator would rid me of my
brandings, and give me a new nose,  and make me fit to become a disciple of

	"Ah!" replied Hsu Yu, "that cannot be known.  But I will give you an
outline.  Ah!  my Master, my Master!  He  trims down all created things, and
does not account it justice. He causes all created things to thrive and does
not  account it kindness. Dating back further than the remotest antiquity, He
does not account himself old.  Covering  heaven, supporting earth, and
fashioning the various forms of things, He does not account himself skilled. 
It is Him  you should seek."

	Yen Huei spoke to Chungni (Confucius), "I am getting on."

	"How so?" asked the latter.

	"I have got rid of charity and duty," replied the former.

	"Very good," replied Chungni, "but not quite perfect."

	Another day, Yen Huei met Chungni and said, "I am getting on. "How

	"I have got rid of ceremonies and music," answered Yen Huei.

	"Very good," said Chungni, "but not quite perfect."

	Another day, Yen Huei again met Chungni and said, "I am getting on.

	"How so?"

	"I can forget myself while sitting," replied Yen Huei.

	"What do you mean by that?" said Chungni, changing his countenance.

	"I have freed myself from my body," answered Yen Huei.  I have
discarded my reasoning powers.  And by thus  getting rid of my body and mind,
I have become One with the Infinite. This is what I mean by forgetting myself
 while sitting."

	"If you have become One," said Chungni, "there can be no room for
bias.  If you have lost yourself, there can be  no more hindrance.  Perhaps
you are really a wise one.  I trust to be allowed to follow in your steps.

	Tseyu and Tsesang were friends.  Once when it had rained for ten
days, Tseyu said, "Tsesang is probably ill."  So  he packed up some food and
went to see him. Arriving at the door, he heard something between singing and
 weeping, accompanied with the sound of a stringed instrument, as follows: "O
Father! O mother!  Is this due to  God?  Is this due to man?" It was as if
his voice was broken and his words faltered   Whereupon Tseyu went in and 
asked, "Why are you singing in such manner?"

	"I was trying to think who could have brought me to this extreme,"
replied Tsesang, "but I could not guess it.   My father and mother would
hardly wish me to be poor.  Heaven covers all equally Earth supports all
equally.  How  can they make me in particular so poor?  I was seeking to find
out who was responsible for this, but without success.   Surely then I am
brought to this extreme by Destiny."




	Joined toes and extra fingers seem to come from nature, yet,
functionally speaking they are superfluous.  Goiters  and tumors seem to come
from the body, yet in their nature, they are superfluous.  And (similarly),
to have many  extraneous doctrines of charity and duty and regard them in
practice as parts of a man's natural sentiments is not the  true way of Tao. 
For just as joined toes are but useless lumps of flesh, and extra fingers but
useless growths, so are  the many artificial developments of the natural
sentiments of men and the extravagances of charitable and dutiful  conduct
but so many superfluous uses of intelligence.  People with superfluous
keenness of vision put into  confusion the five colors, lose themselves in
the forms and designs, and in the distinctions of greens and yellows for 
sacrificial robcs.  Is this not so?  Of such was Li Chu (the clear-sighted). 
People with superfluous keenness of  hearing put into confusion the five
notes, exaggerate the tonic differences of the six pitch-pipes, and the
various  timbres of metal, stone, silk, and bamboo of the Huang-chung, and
the Ta-lu. <<39>>   Is this not so?  Of such was  Shih K'uang (the music
master).  People who abnormally develop charity exalt virtue and suppress
nature in order to  gain a reputation, make the world noisy with their
discussions and cause it to follow impractical doctrines. Is this not  so? 
Of such were Tseng and Shih. <<40>>   People who commit excess in arguments,
like piling up bricks and  making knots, analyzing and inquiring into the
distinctions of hard and white, identities and differences, wear  themselves
out over mere vain, useless terms.  Is this not so?  Of such were Yang and Mo
<<41>> .  All these are  superfluous and devious growths of knowledge and are
not the correct guide for the world. He who would be the  ultimate guide
never loses sight of the inner nature of life.  Therefore with him, the
united is not like joined toes, the  separated is not like extra fingers,
what is long is not considered as excess, and what is short is not regarded
as  wanting.  For duck's legs, though short, cannot be lengthened without
dismay to the duck, and a crane's legs, though  long, cannot be shortened
without misery to the crane.  That which is long in nature must not be cut
off, and that  which is short in nature must not be lengthened.  Thus will
all sorrow be avoided.  I suppose charity and duty are  surely not included
in human nature.  You see how many worries and dismays the charitable man
has!  Besides,  divide your joined toes and you will howl: bite off your
extra finger and you will scream.  In the one case, there is  too much, and
in the other too little; but the worries and dismays are the same.  Now the
charitable men of the  present age go about with a look of concern sorrowing
over the ills of the age, while the non-charitable -let loose the  desire of
their nature in their greed after position and wealth.  Therefore I Suppose
charity and duty are not included  in human nature.  Yet from the time of the
Three Dynasties downwards what a commotion has been raised about  them! 
Moreover, those who rely upon the arc, the line, compasses, and the square to
make correct forms injure the  natural constitution of things Those who use
cords to bind and glue to piece together interfere with the natural 
character of things.  Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering
it with ceremonies and music and  affecting charity and devotion have lost
their original nature.  There is an original nature in things.  Things in
their  original nature are curved without the help of arcs, straight without
lines, round without compasses, and rectangular  without squares; they are
joined together without glue.  and hold together without cords.  In this
manner all things  live and grow from an inner urge and none can tell how
they come to do so.  They all have a place in the scheme of  things and none
can tell how they come to have their proper place.  From time immemorial this
has always been so,  and it may not be tampered with.  Why then should the
doctrines of charity and duty continue to remain like so  much glue or cords,
in the domain of Tao and virtue, to give rise to confusion and doubt among
mankind?  Now the  lesser doubts change man's purpose, and the greater doubts
change man's nature. How do we know this?  Ever since  the time when Shun
made a bid for charity and duty and threw the world into confusion, men have
run about and  exhausted themselves in the pursuit thereof.  Is it not then
charity and duty which have changed the nature of man?   Therefore I have
tried to show <<42>>  that from the time of the Three Dynasties onwards,
there is not one who has  not changed his nature through certain external
things.  If a common man, he will die for gain.  If a scholar, he will  die
for fame.  If a ruler of a township, he will die for his ancestral honors. 
If a Sage, he will die for the world.  The  pursuits and ambitions of these
men differ, but the injury to their nature resulting in the sacrifice of
their lives is the  same.  Tsang and Ku were shepherds, and both lost their
sheep.  On inquiry it appeared that Tsang had been engaged  in reading with a
shepherd's stick under his arm, while Ku had gone to take part in some trials
of strength. Their  pursuits were different, but the result in each case was
the loss of the sheep.  Po Yi died for fame at the foot of  Mount Shouyang.
<<43>> Robber Cheh died for gain on the Mount Tungling.  They died for
different reasons, but  the injury to their lives and nature was in each case
the same.  Why then must we applaud the former and blame the  latter?  All
men die for something, and yet if a man dies for charity and duty the world
calls him a gentleman; but if  he dies for gain, the world calls him a low
fellow.  The dying being the same, one is nevertheless called a gentleman 
and the other called a low character.  But in point of injury to their lives
and nature, Robber Cheh was just another  Po Yi.  Of what use then is the
distinction of 'gentleman' and 'low fellow' between them?  Besides, were a
man to  apply himself to charity and duty until he were the equal of Tseng or
Shih, I would not call it good.  Or to savors,  until he were the equal of
Shu Erh (famous cook), I would not call it good.  Or to sound, until he were
the equal of  Shih K'uang, I would not call it good.  Or to colors, until he
were the equal of Li Chu, I would not call it good.  What  I call good is not
what is meant by charity and duty, but taking good care of virtue.  And what
I call good is not the  so-called charity and duty, but following the nature
of life.  What I call good at hearing is not hearing others but  hearing
oneself.  What I call good at vision is not seeing others but seeing oneself.
 For a man who sees not himself  but others, or takes possession not of
himself but of others, possessing only what others possess and possessing not
 his own self, does what pleases others instead of pleasing his own nature. 
Now one who pleases others, instead of  pleasing one's own nature, whether he
be Robber Cheh or Po Yi, is just another one gone astray. Conscious of my 
own deficiencies in regard to Tao, I do not venture to practise the
principles of charity and duty on the one hand, nor  to lead the life of
extravagance on the other.




	Horses have hooves to carry them over frost and snow, and hair to
protect them from wind and cold.  They eat  grass and drink water, and fling
up their tails and gallop.  Such is the real nature of horses.  Ceremonial
halls and big  dwellings are of no use to them.  One day Polo (famous
horse-trainer), <<44>> appeared, saying, "I am good at  managing horses."  So
he burned their hair and clipped them, and pared their hooves and branded
them.  He put  halters around their necks and shackles around their legs and
numbered them according to their stables.  The result  was that two or three
in every ten died.  Then he kept them hungry and thirsty, trotting them and
galloping them, and  taught them to run in formations, with the misery of the
tasselled bridle in front and the fear of the knotted whip  behind, until
more than half of them died.  The potter says, "I am good at managing clay. 
If I want it round, I use  compasses; if rectangular, a square."  The
carpenter says, "I am good at managing wood.  If I want it curved, I use an 
arc; if straight, a line."  But on what grounds can we think that the nature
of clay and wood desires this application of  compasses and square, and arc
and line?  Nevertheless, every age extols Polo for his skill in training
horses, and  potters and carpenters for their skill with clay and wood. 
Those who manage (govern) the affairs of the empire make  the same mistake. 
I think one who knows how to govern the empire should not do so.  For the
people have certain  natural instincts --to weave and clothe themselves, to
till the fields and feed themselves.  This is their common  character, in
which all share.  Such instincts may be called "Heaven born."  So in the days
of perfect nature, men  were quiet in their movements and serene in their
looks.  At that time, there were no paths over mountains, no boats  or
bridges over waters.  All things were produced each in its natural district. 
Birds and beasts multiplied; trees and  shrubs thrived.  Thus it was that
birds and beasts could be led by the hand, and one could climb up and peep
into the  magpie's nest.  For in the days of perfect nature, man lived
together with birds and beasts, and there was no  distinction of their kind. 
Who could know of the distinctions between gentlemen and common people? 
Being all  equally without knowledge, their virtue could not go astray. 
Being all equally without desires, they were in a state of  natural
integrity.  In this state of natural integrity, the people did not lose their
(original) nature.  And then when  Sages appeared, crawling for charity and
limping with duty, doubt and confusion entered men's minds.  They said  they
must make merry by means of music and enforce distinctions by means of
ceremony, and the empire became  divided against itself.  Were the uncarved
wood not cut up, who could make sacrificial vessels?  Were white jade left 
uncut, who could make the regalia of courts?  Were Tao and virtue not
destroyed, what use would there be for  charity and duty?  Were men's natural
instincts not lost, what need would there be for music and ceremonies?  Were 
the five colors not confused, who would need decorations?  Were the five
notes not confused, who would adopt the  six pitch-pipes?  Destruction of the
natural integrity of things for the production of articles of various kinds
--this is  the fault of the artisan.  Destruction of Tao and virtue in order
to introduce charity and duty --this is the error of the  Sages.  Horses live
on dry land, eat grass and drink water.  When pleased, they rub their necks
together.  When  angry, they turn round and kick up their heels at each
other.  Thus far only do their natural instincts carry them.  But  bridled
and bitted, with a moon-shaped metal plate on their foreheads, they learn to
cast vicious looks, to turn their  heads to bite, to nudge at the yoke, to
cheat the bit out of their mouths or steal the bridle off their heads.  Thus
theirminds and gestures become like those of  thieves.  This is the fault of
Polo.  In the days of Ho Hsu: <<45>> , the people did nothing in particular
at their homes  and went nowhere in particular in their walks.  Having food,
they rejoiced; tapping their bellies, they wandered  about.  Thus far the
natural capacities of the people carried them.  The Sages came then to make
them bow and bend  with ceremonies and music, in order to regulate the
external forms of intercourse, and dangled charity and duty  before them, in
order to keep their minds in submission.  Then the people began to labor and
develop a taste for  knowledge, and to struggle with one another in their
desire for gain, to which there is no end.  This is the error of the  Sages.




	the precautions taken against thieves who open trunks, search bags,
or ransack tills, consist in securing with cords  and fastening with bolts
and locks.  This is what the world calls wit.  But a strong thief comes and
carries off the till  on his shoulders, with box and bag, and runs away with
them.  His only fear is that the cords and locks should not  be strong
enough! Therefore, does not what the world used to call wit simply amount to
saving up for the strong  thief?  And I venture to state that nothing of that
which the world calls wit is otherwise than saving up for strong  thieves;
and nothing of that which the world calls sage wisdom is other than hoarding
up for strong thieves.  How  can this be shown?  In the State of Ch'i, the
neighboring towns overlooked one another and one could hear the  barking of
dogs and crowing of cocks in the neighboring town. Fishermen cast their nets
and ploughmen ploughed  the land in a territory of over two thousand li. 
Within its four boundaries, was there a temple or shrine dedicated, a  god
worshipped, or a hamlet, county or a district governed, but in accordance
with the rules laid down by the Sages?   Yet one morning <<46>>   T'ien
Ch'engtse slew the ruler of Ch'i, and stole his kingdom.  And not his kingdom
only,  but the wisdom-tricks which he had got from the Sages as well, so that
although T'ien Ch'engtse acquired the  reputation of a thief, he lived as
securely and comfortably as ever did either Yao or Shun.  The small States
did not  venture to blame, nor the great States to punish him, and for twelve
generations his descendants ruled over Ch'i.  <<47>>  Was this not a stealing
the State of Ch'i and its wisdom-tricks of the Sages in order to preserve
their thieves'  lives?  I venture to ask, was there ever anything of what the
world esteems as great wit otherwise than saving up for  strong thieves, and
was there ever anything of what the world calls sage wisdom other than
hoarding up for strong  thieves?

	How can this be shown?  Of old, Lungfeng was beheaded, Pikan was
disemboweled, Changhung was sliced to  death, Tsehsu: was thrown to the
waves.  All these four were learned ones, but they could not preserve
themselves  from death by punishment.

	An apprentice to Robber Cheh asked him saying, "Is there then Tao
(moral principles) among thieves?"

	"Tell me if there is anything in which there is not Tao," Cheh

	"There is the sage character of thieves by which booty is located,
the courage to go in first, and the chivalry of  coming out last.  There is
the wisdom of calculating success, and kindness in the equal division of the
spoil.  There  has never yet been a great robber who was not possessed of
these five qualities."  It is seen therefore that without the  teachings of
the Sages, good men could not keep their position, and without the teachings
of the Sages, Robber  Cheh could not accomplish his ends.  Since good men are
scarce and bad men are the majority, the good the Sages  do to the world is
little and the evil great.  Therefore it has been said "If the lips are
turned up, the teeth will be cold.   It was the thinness of the wines of Lu
which caused the siege of Hantan. <<48>> 

	When the Sages arose, gangsters appeared. Overthrow the Sages and set
the gangsters free, and then will the  empire be in order.  When the stream
ceases, the gully dries up, and when the hill is levelled the chasm is
filled.   When the Sages are dead, gangsters will not show up, but the empire
will rest in peace.  On the other hand, if the  Sages do not pop off neither
will the gangsters drop off.  Nor if you double the number of Sages wherewith
to  govern the empire will you do more than double the profits of Robber Cheh.

	If pecks and bushels are used for measurement, the pecks and bushels
themselves will also be stolen, along with  the rice.  If scales and steel
yards are used for weighing, the scales and steel yards themselves will also
be stolen  along with the goods.  If tallies and signets are used for good
faith, the tallies and signets will also be stolen.  If  charity and duty are
used for moral principles, charity and duty will also be stolen.  How is this
so?  Steal a hook and  you hang as a crook; steal a kingdom and you are made
a duke.  (The teachings of) charity and duty remain in the  duke's domain. 
Is it not true, then, that they are thieves of charity and duty and of the
wisdom of the Sages?

	So it is that those who follow the way of brigandage are promoted
into princes and dukes.  Those who are bent  on stealing charity and duty
together with the measures, scales, tallies, and signets can be dissuaded by
no rewards  of official regalia and uniform, nor deterred by fear of sharp
instruments of punishment.  This doubling the profits of  robbers like Cheh,
making it impossible to get rid of them, is the fault of the Sages.

	Therefore it has been said, "Fishes must be left in the water; the
sharp weapons of a state must be left where none  can see them." <<49>> These
Sages are the sharp weapons of the world; they must not be shown to the world.

	Banish wisdom, discard knowledge, <<50>>  and gangsters will stop!
Fling away jade and destroy pearls, and  petty thieves will cease.  Burn
tallies and break signets, and the people will revert to their uncouth
integrity.  Split  measures and smash scales, and the people will not fight
over quantities. Trample down all the institutions of Sages,  and the people
will begin to be fit for discussing (Tao).  Confuse the six pitch-pipes,
confine lutes and stringed  instruments to the flames, stuff up the ears of
Blind Shih K'uang, and each man will keep his own sense of hearing.   Put an
end to decorations, confuse the five colors, glue up the eyes of Li Chu, and
each man will keep his own sense  of sight.  Destroy arcs and lines, fling
away squares and compasses, snap off the fingers of Ch'ui the Artisan, and 
each man will use his own natural skill.  Wherefore the saying, "Great skill
appears like clumsiness." <<5l>>  Cut  down the activities of Tseng and Shih
<<52>>  pinch the mouths of Yang Chu and Motse, discard charity and duty, 
and the virtue of the people will arrive at Mystic Unity. <<53>>

	If each man keeps his own sense of sight, the world will escape being
burned up.  If each man keeps his own  sense of hearing, the world will
escape entanglements.  If each man keeps his intelligence, the world will
escape  confusion.  If each man keeps his own virtue, the world will avoid
deviation from the true path.  Tseng, Shih, Yang,  Mo, Shih K'uang, Ch'ui,
and Li Chu were all persons who developed their external character and
involved the world  in the present confusion so that the laws and statutes
are of no avail.  Have you never heard of the Age of Perfect  Nature?  In the
days of

	Yungch'eng, Tat'ing, Pohuang, Chungyang, Lilu, Lihsu:, Hsienyu:an,
Hohsu:, Tsunlu, Chuyung, Fuhsi, and  Shennung, <<54>> the people tied knots
for reckoning. They enjoyed their food, beautified their clothing, were 
satisfied with their homes, and delighted in their customs.  Neighboring
settlements overlooked one another, so that  they could hear the barking of
dogs and crowing of cocks of their neighbors, and the people till the end of
their days  had never been outside their own country.<<55>>  In those days
there was indeed perfect peace.

	But nowadays any one can make the people strain their necks and stand
on tiptoes by saying, "In such and such  a place there is a Sage." 
Immediately they put together a few provisions and hurry off, neglecting
their parents at  home and their masters' business abroad, going on foot
through the territories of the Princes, and riding to hundreds  of miles
away.  Such is the evil effect of the rulers' desire for knowledge When the
rulers desire knowledge and  neglect Tao, the empire is overwhelmed with

	How can this be shown?  When the knowledge of bows and cross-bows and
hand-nets and tailed arrows  increases, then they carry confusion among the
birds of the air.  When the knowledge of hooks and bait and nets and  traps
increases, then they carry confusion among the fishes of the deep.  When the
knowledge of fences and nets  and snares increases, then they carry confusion
among the beasts of the field.  When cunning and deceit and  flippancy and
the sophistries of the "hard" and white' and identities and differences
increase in number and variety,  then they overwhelm the world with logic.

	Therefore it is that there is often chaos in the world, and the love
of knowledge is ever at the bottom of it.  For all  men strive to grasp what
they do not know, while none strive to grasp what they already know; and all
strive to  discredit what they do not excel in, while none strive to
discredit what they do excel in.  That is why there is chaos.  Thus, above,
the splendor of the heavenly bodies is dimmed; below, the power of land and
water is burned up, while  in between the influence of the four seasons is
upset.  There is not one tiny worm that moves on earth or insect that  flies
in the air but has lost its original nature.  Such indeed is the world chaos
caused by the desire for knowledge!    Ever since the time of the Three
Dynasties downwards, it has been like this.  The simple and the guileless
have been  set aside; the specious and the cunning have been exalted. 
Tranquil inaction has given place to love of disputation;  and disputation
alone is enough to bring chaos upon the world.




	THERE HAS BEEN such a thing as letting mankind alone and tolerance;
there has never been such a thing as  governing mankind.  Letting alone
Springs from the fear lest men's natural dispositions be perverted and
tolerance  springs from the fear lest their character be corrupted.  But if
their natural dispositions be not perverted, nor their  character corrupted,
what need is there left for government?

	Of old, when Yao governed the empire, he made the people live
happily; consequently the people struggled to be  happy and became restless. 
When Chieh governed the empire he made the people live miserably;
consequently the  people regarded life as a burden and were discontented. 
Restlessness and discontent are subversive of virtue; and  without virtue
there has never been such a thing as stability.

	When man rejoices greatly, he gravitates towards yang (the positive
pole).  When he is in great anger, he  gravitates towards yin (the negative
pole).  If the equilibrium of positive and negative is disturbed, the four
seasons  are upset, and the balance of heat and cold is destroyed, man
himself suffers physically thereby.  It causes men to  rejoice and sorrow
inordinately, to live disorderly lives, to be vexed in their thoughts, and to
lose their balance and  form of conduct.  When that happens, then the whole
world seethes with revolt and discontent, and we have such  men as Robber
Cheh, Tseng, and Shih.  Offer the entire world as rewards for the good or
threaten the wicked with  the dire punishments of the entire world, and it is
still insufficient (to reform them).  Consequently, with the entire  world,
one cannot furnish sufficient inducements or deterrents to action.  From the
Three Dynasties downwards, the  world has lived in a helter-skelter of
promotions and punishments.  What chance have the people left for living the 
even tenor of their lives?

	Besides, love (over-refinement) of vision leads to debauchery in
color; love of hearing leads to debauchery in  sound; love of charity leads
to confusion in virtue; love of duty leads to perversion of principles; love
of ceremonies  (li) leads to a common fashion for technical skill; love of
music leads to common lewdness of thought; love of  wisdom leads to a fashion
for the arts; and love of knowledge leads to a fashion for criticism If the
people are  allowed to live out the even tenor of their lives, the above
eight may or may not be; it matters not.  But if the people  are not allowed
to live out the even tenor of their lives, then these eight cause discontent
and contention and strife,  and throw the world into chaos.

	Yet the world worships and cherishes them.  Indeed deep-seated is the
mental chaos of the world.  Is it merely a  passing mistake that can be
simply removed?  Yet they observe fasts before their discussion, bend down on
their  knees to practise them, and sing and beat the drum and dance to
celebrate them.  What can I do about it?

	Therefore, when a gentleman is unavoidably compelled to take charge
of the government of the empire, there is  nothing better than inaction
(letting alone).  By means of inaction only can he allow the people to live
out the even  tenor of their lives.  Therefore he who values the world as his
own self may then be entrusted with the government of  the world and he who
loves the world as his own self may then be entrusted with the care of the
world.<<56>>  Therefore if the gentleman can refrain from disturbing the
internal economy of man, and from glorifying the powers  of sight and
hearing, he can sit still like a corpse or spring into action like a dragon,
be silent as the deep or talk with  the voice of thunder, the movements of
his spirit calling forth the natural mechanism of Heaven.  He can remain 
calm and leisurely doing nothing, while all things are brought to maturity
and thrive.  What need then would have I  to set about governing the world?

	Ts'ui Chu: asked Lao Tan <<57>> , saying, "If the empire is not to be
governed, how are men's hearts to be kept  good?"

	"Be careful," replied Lao Tan, "not to interfere with the natural
goodness of the heart of man.  Man's heart may  be forced down or stirred up.
 In each case the issue is fatal.  By gentleness, the hardest heart may be
softened.  But  try to cut and polish it, and it will glow like fire or
freeze like ice.  In the twinkling of an eye it will pass beyond the  limits
of the Four Seas.  In repose, it is profoundly still; in motion, it flies up
to the sky.  Like an unruly horse, it  cannot be held in check.  Such is the
human heart."

	Of old, the Yellow Emperor first interfered with the natural goodness
of the heart of man, by means of charity  and duty.  In consequence, Yao and
Shun wore the hair off their legs and the flesh off their arms in endeavoring
to  feed their people's bodies. They tortured the people's internal economy
in order to conform to charity and duty.   They exhausted the people's
energies to live in accordance with the laws and statutes.  Even then they
did not  succeed.  Thereupon, Yao (had to) confine Huantou on Mount Ts'ung,
exile the chiefs of the Three Miaos and their  people into the Three Weis,
and banish the Minister of Works to Yutu, which shows he had not succeeded. 
When it  came to the times of the Three Kings,<<58>> the empire was in a
state of foment.  Among the bad men were Chieh  and Cheh; among the good were
Tseng and Shih.  By and by, the Confucianists and the Motseanists arose; and
then  came confusion between joy and anger, fraud between the simple and the
cunning, recrimination between the  virtuous and the evil-minded, slander
between the honest and the liars, and the world order collapsed.  Then the
great  virtue lost its unity, men's lives were frustrated.  When there was a
general rush for knowledge, the people's desires  ever went beyond their
possessions.  The next thing was then to invent axes and saws, to kill by
laws and statutes, to  disfigure by chisels and awls.  The empire seethed
with discontent, the blame for which rests upon those who would  interfere
with the natural goodness of the heart of man.

	In consequence, virtuous men sought refuge in mountain caves, while
rulers of great states sat trembling in their  ancestral halls.  Then, when
dead men lay about pillowed on each other's corpses, when cangued prisoners
jostled  each other in crowds and condemned criminals were seen everywhere,
then the Confucianists and the Motseanists  bustled about and rolled up their
sleeves in the midst of gyves and fetters! Alas, they know not shame, nor
what it is  to blush!

	Until I can say that the wisdom of Sages is not a fastener of
cangues, and that charity of heart and duty to one's  neighbor are not bolts
for gyves, how should I know that Tseng and Shih were not the singing arrows
<<59>>  (forerunners) of (the gangsters) Chieh and Cheh?  Therefore it is
said, "Abandon wisdom and discard knowledge,  and the empire will be at

	The Yellow Emperor sat on the throne for nineteen years, and his laws
obtained all over the empire.  Hearing that  Kuangch'engtse was living on
Mount K'ungt'ung, he went there to see him, and said, "I am told that you are
in  possession of perfect Tao. May I ask what is the essence of this perfect
Tao?  I desire to obtain the essence of the  universe to secure good harvests
and feed my people.  I should like also to control the yin and yang
principles to  fulfil the life of all living things."

	"What you are asking about," replied Kuangch'engtse, "is merely the
dregs of things.  What you wish to control  are the disintegrated factors
thereof.  Ever since the empire was governed by you, the clouds have rained
before  thickening, the foliage of trees has fallen before turning yellow,
and the brightness of the sun and moon has  increasingly paled.  You have the
shallowness of mind of a glib talker.  How then are you fit to speak of
perfect  Tao?"

	The Yellow Emperor withdrew. He resigned the Throne.  He built
himself a solitary hut, and sat upon white  straw.  For three months he
remained in seclusion, and then went again to see Kuangch'engtse.

	The latter was lying with his head towards the south.  The Yellow
Emperor approached from below upon his  knees.  Kowtowing twice upon the
ground, he said, "I am told that you are in possession of perfect Tao.  May I
ask  how to order one's life so that one may have long life?"

	Kuangch'engtse jumped up with a start.  "A good question indeed!"
cried he.  "Come, and I will speak to you of  perfect Tao.  The essence of
perfect Tao is profoundly mysterious; its extent is lost in obscurity.  "See
nothing; hear  nothing; guard your spirit in quietude and your body will go
right of its own accord.

	"Be quiet, be pure; toil not your body, perturb not your vital
essence, and you will live for ever.

	"For if the eye sees nothing, and the ear hears nothing, and the mind
thinks nothing, your spirit will stay in your  body, and the body will
thereby live for ever.

	"Cherish that which is within you, and shut off that which is without
for much knowledge is a curse.

	"Then I will take you to that abode of Great Light to reach the
Plateau of Absolute Yang.  I will lead you through  the Door of the Dark
Unknown to the Plateau of the Absolute Yin.

	"The Heaven and Earth have their separate functions.  The yin and
yang have their hidden root.  Guard carefully  your body, and material things
will prosper by themselves.

	"I guard the original One, and rest in harmony with externals. 
Therefore I have been able to live for twelve  hundred years and my body has
not grown old."

	The Yellow Emperor kowtowed twice and said, "Kuangch'engtse is surely

	"Come," said Kuangch'engtse, "I will tell you.  That thing is
eternal; yet all men think it mortal.  That thing is  infinite; yet all men
think it finite.  Those who possess my Tao are princes in this life and
rulers in the hereafter.   Those who do not possess my Tao behold the light
of day in this life and become clods of earth in the hereafter.

	"Nowadays, all living things spring from the dust and to the dust
return.  But I will lead you through the portals  of Eternity to wander in
the great wilds of Infinity.  My light is the light of sun and moon.  My life
is the life of  Heaven and Earth.  Before me all is nebulous; behind me all
is dark, unknown.  Men may all die, but I endure for  ever."

	When General Clouds was going eastwards, he passed through the
branches of Fuyao (a magic tree) and  happened to meet Great Nebulous. The
latter was slapping his thighs and hopping about.  When General Clouds saw 
him, he stopped like one lost and stood still, saying, "Who are you, old man,
and what are you doing here?"

	"Strolling!" replied Great Nebulous, still slapping his thighs and
hopping about.

	"I want to ask about something," said General Clouds.

	"Ough!" uttered Great Nebulous.

	"The spirits of Heaven are out of harmony," said General Clouds; "the
spirits of the Earth are smothered; the six  influences <<61>>   of the
weather do not work together, and the four seasons are no longer regular.  I
desire to  blend the essence of the six influences and nourish all living
beings.  What am I to do?"

	"I do not know! I do not know!" cried Great Nebulous, shaking his
head, while still slapping his thighs and  hopping about.

	So General Clouds did not press his question.  Three years later,
when passing eastwards through the plains of  the Sungs, he again fell in
with Great Nebulous.  The former was overjoyed, and hurrying up, said, "Has
your  Holiness <<62>>  forgotten me? Has your Holiness forgotten me?"   He
then kowtowed twice and desired to be  allowed to interrogate Great Nebulous;
but the latter said, "I wander on without knowing what I want.  I rush about 
without knowing whither I am going.  I simply stroll about, watching
unexpected events.  What should I know?"

	"I too regard myself as rushing about," answered General Clouds; "but
the people follow my movements.  I  cannot escape the people and what I do
they follow.  I would gladly receive some advice."

	"That the scheme of empire is in confusion," said Great Nebulous,
"that the conditions of life are violated, that  the will of the Dark Heaven
is not accomplished, that the beasts of the field are scattered, that the
birds of the air cry  at night, that blight strikes the trees and herbs, that
destruction spreads among the creeping things, --this, alas! is the  fault of
those who would rule others."

	"True," replied General Clouds, "but what am I to do?" 

	"Ah!" cried Great Nebulous, "keep quiet and go home in peace!"  

	"It is not often," urged General Clouds, "that I meet with your
Holiness.  I would gladly receive some advice."

	"Ah," said Great Nebulous, "nourish your heart.  Rest in inaction,
and the world will be reformed of itself. Forget  your body and spit forth
intelligence.  Ignore all differences and become one with the Infinite. 
Release your mind,  and free your spirit.  Be vacuous, be devoid of soul. 
Thus will things grow and prosper and return to their Root.   Returning to
their Root without their knowing it, the result will be a formless whole
which will never be cut up.  To  know it is to cut it up.  Ask not about its
name, inquire not into its nature, and all things will flourish of

	"Your Holiness," said General Clouds, "has informed me with power and
taught me silence.  What I had long  sought, I have now found."  Thereupon he
kowtowed twice and took leave.

	The people of this world all rejoice in others being like themselves,
and object to others being different from  themselves.  Those who make
friends with their likes and do not make friends with their unlikes, are
influenced by a  desire to be above the others.  But how can those who desire
to be above the others ever be above the others?   Rather than base one's
Judgment on the opinions of the many, let each look after his own affairs. 
But those who  desire to govern kingdoms clutch at the advantages of (the
systems of) the Three Kings <<63>>  without seeing the  troubles involved. 
In fact, they are trusting the fortunes of a country to luck, but what
country will be lucky enough  to escape destruction?  Their chances of
preserving it do not amount to one in ten thousand, while their chances of 
destroying it are ten thousand to nothing and even more.  Such, alas! is the
ignorance of rulers.

	For to have a territory is to have something great.  He who has some
thing great must not regard the material  things as material things.  Only by
not regarding material things as material things can one be the lord of
things. The  principle of looking at material things as not real things is
not confined to mere government of the empire.  Such a  one may wander at
will between the six limits of space or travel over the Nine Continents
unhampered and free.   This is to be the Unique One.  The Unique One is the
highest among men.

	The doctrine of the great man is (fluid) as shadow to form, as echo
to sound.  Ask and it responds, fulfilling its  abilities as the help-mate of
humanity.  Noiseless in repose, objectless in motion, he brings you out of
the confusion  of your coming and going to wander in the Infinite.  Formless
in his movements, he is eternal with the sun.  In  respect of his bodily
existence, he conforms to the universal standards. Through conformance to the
universal  standards, he forgets his own individuality.  But if he forgets
his individuality, how can he regard his possessions as  possessions?  Those
who see possessions in possessions were the wise men of old.  Those who
regard not  possessions as possessions are the friends of Heaven and Earth.

	That which is low, but must be let alone, is matter.  That which is
humble, but still must be followed, is the  people.  That which is always
there but still has to be attended to, is affairs.  That which is inadequate,
but still has to  be set forth, is the law.  That which is remote from Tao,
but still claims our attention, is duty.  That which is biassed,  but must be
broadened, is charity.  Trivial, but requiring to be strengthened from
within, that is ceremony.   Contained within, but requiring to be uplifted,
that is virtue.  One, but not to be without modification, that is Tao.  
Spiritual, yet not to be devoid of action, that is God.  Therefore the Sage
looks up to God, but does not offer to aid.   He perfects his virtue, but
does not involve himself.  He guides himself by Tao, but makes no plans.  He
identifies  himself with charity, but does not rely on it.  He performs his
duties towards his neighbors, but does not set store by  them.  He responds
to ceremony, without avoiding it.  He undertakes affairs without declining
them, and metes out  law without confusion.  He relies on the people and does
not make light of them.  He accommodates himself to  matter and does not
ignore it.  Things are not worth attending to, yet they have to be attended
to.  He who does not  understand God will not be pure in character.  He who
has not clear apprehension of Tao will not know where to  begin.  And he who
is not enlightened by Tao,  --alas indeed for him!   What then is Tao?  There
is the Tao of God,  and there is the Tao of man.  Honour through inaction
comes from the Tao of God: entanglement through action  comes from the Tao of
man.  The Tao of God is fundamental: the Tao of man is accidental.  The
distance which  separates them is great.  Let us all take heed thereto!




	In the time of autumn floods, a hundred streams poured into the
river.  It swelled in its turbid course, so that it  was impossible to tell a
cow from a horse on the opposite banks or on the islets.  Then the Spirit of
the River laughed  for joy that all the beauty of the earth was gathered to
himself.  Down the stream he journeyed east, until he reached  the North Sea.
 There, looking eastwards and seeing no limit to its wide expanse, his
countenance began to change.   And as he gazed over the ocean, he sighed and
said to North-Sea Jo, "A vulgar proverb says that he who has heard a  great
many truths thinks no one equal to himself.  And such a one am I.  Formerly
when I heard people detracting  from the learning of Confucius or underrating
the heroism of Po Yi, I did not believe it.  But now that I have looked  upon
your inexhaustibility --alas for me ! had I not reached your abode, I should
have been for ever a laughing stock  to those of great enlightenment!"

	To this North-Sea Jo (the Spirit of the Ocean) replied, "You cannot
speak of ocean to a well-frog, which is limited  by his abode.  You cannot
speak of ice to a summer insect, which is limited by his short life.  You
cannot speak of  Tao to a pedagogue, who is limited in his knowledge.  But
now that you have emerged from your narrow sphere and  have seen the great
ocean, you know your own insignificance, and I can speak to you of great

	"There is no body of water beneath the canopy of heaven which is
greater than the ocean.  All streams pour into  it without cease, yet it does
not overflow.  It is being continually drained off at the Tail-Gate <<65>> 
yet it is never  empty.  Spring and autumn bring no change; floods and
droughts are equally unknown.  And thus it is  immeasurably superior to mere
rivers and streams.  Yet I have never ventured to boast on this account.  For
I count  myself, among the things that take shape from the universe and
receive life from the yin and yang, but as a pebble or  a small tree on a
vast mountain.  Only too conscious of my own insignificance, how can I
presume to boast of my  greatness?

	"Are not the Four Seas to the universe but like ant-holes in a marsh?
 Is not the Middle Kingdom to the  surrounding ocean like a tare-seed in a
granary?  Of all the myriad created things, man is but one.  And of all those
 who inhabit the Nine Continents, live on the fruit of the earth, and move
about in cart and boat, an individual man is  but one.  Is not he, as
compared with all creation, but as the tip of a hair upon a horse's body?

	"The succession of the Five Rulers <<66>> , the contentions of the
Three Kings, the concerns of the kind- hearted, the labors of the
administrators, are but this and nothing more.  Po Yi refused the throne for
fame.  Chungni  (Confucius) discoursed to get a reputation for learning. 
This over-estimation of self on their part --was it not very  much like your
own previous self-estimation in reference to water?"

	"Very well," replied the Spirit of the River, "am I then to regard
the universe as great and the tip of a hair as  small?"

	"Not at all," said the Spirit of the Ocean.  "Dimensions are
limitless; time is endless.  Conditions are not constant;  terms are not
final.  Thus, the wise man looks into space, and does not regard the small as
too little, nor the great as  too much; for he knows that there is no limit
to dimensions.  He looks back into the past, and does not grieve over  what
is far off, nor rejoice over what is near; for he knows that time is without
end.  He investigates fullness and  decay, and therefore does not rejoice if
he succeeds, nor lament if he fails; for he knows that conditions are not 
constant.  He who clearly apprehends the scheme of existence does not rejoice
over life, nor repine at death; for he  knows that terms are not final.

	"What man knows is not to be compared with what he does not know. The
span of his existence is not to be  compared with the span of his
non-existence.  To strive to exhaust the infinite by means of the
infinitesimal  necessarily lands him in confusion and unhappiness.  How then
should one be able to say that the tip of a hair is the  ne plus ultra of
smallness, or that the universe is the ne plus ultra of greatness?"

	"Dialecticians of the day," replied the Spirit of the River, "all say
that the infinitesimal has no form, and that the  infinite is beyond all
measurement.  Is that true?"

	"If we look at the great from the standpoint of the small," said the
Spirit of the Ocean, "we cannot reach its limit;  and if we look at the small
from the standpoint of the great, it eludes our sight.  The infinitesimal is
a subdivision of  the small; the colossal is an extension of the great.  In
this sense the two fall into different categories.  This lies in the  nature
of circumstances.  Now smallness and greatness presuppose form.  That which
is without form cannot be  divided by numbers, and that which is above
measurement cannot be measured.  The greatness of anything may be a  topic of
discussion, and the smallness of anything may be mentally imagined.  But that
which can be neither a topic  of discussion nor imagined mentally cannot be
said to have greatness or smallness.

	"Therefore, the truly great man does not injure others and does not
credit himself with charity and mercy.  He  seeks not gain, but does not
despise the servants who do.  He struggles not for wealth, but does not lay
great value  on his modesty.  He asks for help from no man, but is not proud
of his self-reliance, neither does he despise the  greedy.  He acts
differently from the vulgar crowd, but does not place high value on being
different or eccentric; nor  because he acts with the majority does he
despise those that flatter a few.  The ranks and emoluments of the world  are
to him no cause for joy; its punishments and shame no cause for disgrace.  He
knows that right and wrong  cannot be distinguished, that great and small
cannot be defined.

	"I have heard say, 'The man of Tao has no (concern) reputation; the
truly virtuous has no (concern for)  possessions; the truly great man ignores
self.' This is the height of self-discipline."

	"But how then," asked the Spirit of the River, "arise the
distinctions of high and low, of great and small in the  material and
immaterial aspects of things?"

	"From the point of view of Tao," replied the Spirit of the Ocean,
"there are no such distinctions of high and low.  >From the point of view of
individuals, each holds himself high and holds others low.  From the vulgar
point of  view, high and low (honors and dishonor) are some thing conferred
by others.  "In regard to distinctions, if we say  that a thing is great or
small by its own standard of great or small, then there is nothing in all
creation which is not  great, nothing which is not small.  To know that the
universe is but as a tare-seed, and the tip of a hair is (as big as) a 
mountain, --this is the expression of relativity <<67>> 

	"In regard to function, if we say that something exists or does not
exist, by its own standard of existence or non- existence, then there is
nothing which does not exist, nothing which does not perish from existence. 
If we know that  east and west are convertible and yet necessary terms in
relation to each other, then such (relative) functions may be  determined.

	"In regard to man's desires or interests, if we say that anything is
good or bad because it is either good or bad  according to our individual
(subjective) standards, then there is nothing which is not good, nothing --
which is not  bad.  If we know that Yao and Chieh each regarded himself as
good and the other as bad, then the (direction of) their  interests becomes

	"Of old Yao and Shun abdicated (in favor of worthy successors) and
the rule was maintained, while Kuei (Prince  of Yen) abdicated (in favor of
Tsechih) and the latter failed.  T'ang and Wu got the empire by fighting,
while by  fighting, Po Kung lost it.  From this it may be seen that the value
of abdicating or fighting, of acting like Yao or like  Chieh, varies
according to time, and may not be regarded as a constant principle.  "A
battering-ram can knock down  a wall, but it cannot repair a breach. 
Different things are differently applied.  Ch'ichi and Hualiu (famous horses)
 could travel 1,000 li in one day, but for catching rats they were not equal
to a wild cat.  Different animals possess  different aptitudes.  An owl can
catch fleas at night, and see the tip of a hair, but if it comes out in the
daytime it can  open wide its eyes and yet fail to see a mountain.  Different
creatures are differently constituted.

	"Thus, those who say that they would have right without its
correlate, wrong; or good government without its  correlate, misrule, do not
apprehend the great principles of the universe, nor the nature of all
creation.  One might as  well talk of the existence of Heaven without that of
Earth, or of the negative principle without the positive, which is  clearly
impossible.  Yet people keep on discussing it without stop; such people must
be either fools or knaves.

	"Rulers abdicated under different conditions, and the Three Dynasties
succeeded each other under different  conditions.  Those who came at the
wrong time and went against the tide are called usurpers.  Those who came at
the  right time and fitted in with their age are called defenders of Right. 
Hold your peace, Uncle River.  How can you  know the distinctions of high and
low and of the houses of the great and small?'

	"In this case," replied the Spirit of the River, "what am I to do
about declining and accepting, following and  abandoning (courses of

	"From the point of view of Tao," said the Spirit of the Ocean.  "How
can we call this high and that low?  For there  is (the process of) reverse
evolution (uniting opposites).  To follow one absolute course would involve
great  departure from Tao.  What is much?  What is little?  Be thankful for
the gift.  To follow a one-sided opinion is to  diverge from Tao.  Be
exalted, as the ruler of a State whose administration is impartial.  Be at
ease, as the Deity of the  Earth, whose dispensation is impartial.  Be
expansive, like the points of the compass, boundless without a limit.  
Embrace all creation, and none shall be more sheltered or helped than
another.  This is to be without bias.  And all  things being equal, how can
one say which is long and which is short?  Tao is without beginning, without
end.  The  material things are born and die, and no credit is taken for their
development.  Emptiness and fullness alternate, and  their relations are not
fixed.  Past years cannot be recalled; time cannot be arrested.  The
succession of growth and  decay, of increase and diminution, goes in a cycle,
each end becoming a new beginning.  In this sense only may we  discuss the
ways of truth and the principles of the universe.  The life of things passes
by like a rushing, galloping  horse, changing at every turn, at every hour. 
What should one do, or what should one not do?  Let the (cycle of)  changes
go on by themselves!"

	"If this is the case," said the Spirit of the River, "what is the
value of Tao?"

	"Those who understand Tao," answered the Spirit of the Ocean <<68>> 
"must necessarily apprehend the eternal  principles and those who apprehend
the eternal principles must understand their application.  Those who
understand  their application do not suffer material things to injure them.
"The man of perfect virtue cannot be burnt by fire, nor  drowned by water,
nor hurt by the cold of winter or the heat of summer, nor torn by bird or
beast.  Not that he  makes light of these; but that he discriminates between
safety and danger, is happy under prosperous and adverse  circumstances
alike, and cautious in his choice of action, so that none can harm him.

	"Therefore it has been said that Heaven (the natural) abides within
man (the artificial) without.  Virtue abides in  the natural.  Knowledge of
the action of the natural and of the artificial has its basis in the natural
its destination in  virtue.  Thus, whether moving forward or backwards
whether yielding or asserting, there is always a reversion to the  essential
and to the ultimate."

	"What do you mean," enquired the Spirit of the River, "by the natural
and the artificial?"

	"Horses and oxen," answered the Spirit of the Ocean, "have four feet.
 That is the natural.  Put a halter on a  horse's head, a string through a
bullock's nose.  That is the artificial.

	"Therefore it has been said, do not let the artificial obliterate the
natural; do not let will obliterate destiny; do not  let virtue be sacrificed
to fame.  Diligently observe these precepts without fail, and thus you will
revert to the True."

	The walrus <<69>> envies the centipede; the centipede envies the
snake; the snake envies the wind; the wind  envies the eye; and the eye
envies the mind.  The walrus said to the centipede, "I hop about on one leg
but not very  successfully.  How do you manage all those legs you have?'

	"I don't manage them," replied the centipede.  "Have you never seen
saliva?  When it is ejected, the big drops are  the size of pearls, the small
ones like mist.  At random they fall, in countless numbers.  So, too, does my
natural  mechanism move, without my knowing how I do it."

	The centipede said to the snake, "With all my legs I do not move as
fast as you with none.  How is that?"

	"One's natural mechanism," replied the snake, "is not a thing to be
changed.  What need have I for legs?"

	The snake said to the wind, "I wriggle about by moving my spine, as
if I had legs.  Now you seem to be without  form, and yet you come blustering
down from the North Sea to bluster away to the South Sea How do you do it?"

	"'Tis true," replied the wind, "that I bluster as you say.  But
anyone who sticks his finger or his foot into me,  excels me.  On the other
hand, I can tear away huge trees and destroy large buildings. This power is
given only to  me.  Out of many minor defeats I win the big victory <<70>> . 
And to win a big victory is given only to the Sages."

	When Confucius visited K'uang, the men of Sung surrounded him by
several cordons.  Yet he went on singing to  his guitar without stop.  "How
is it, Master," enquired Tselu, "that you are so cheerful?"

	"Come here," replied Confucius, "and I will tell you.  For a long
time I have not been willing to admit failure, but  in vain.  Fate is against
me.  For a long time I have been seeking success, but in vain.  The hour has
not come.  In the  days of Yao and Shun, no man throughout the empire was a
failure, though this was not due to their cleverness.  In  the days of Chieh
and Chou, no man throughout the empire was a success, though this was not due
to their  stupidity.  The circumstances happened that way.

	"To travel by water without fear of sea-serpents and dragons, --this
is the courage of the fisherman.  To travel by  land without fear of the wild
buffaloes and tigers, --this is the courage of hunters.  When bright blades
cross, to look  on death as on life, --this is the courage of the warrior. 
To know that failure is fate and that success is opportunity,  and to remain
fearless in times of great danger, --this is the courage of the Sage.  Stop
bustling, Yu!  My destiny is  controlled (by someone).

	Shortly afterwards, the captain of the troops came in and apologized,
saying, "We thought you were Yang Hu;  that was why we surrounded you.  We
find we have made a mistake." Whereupon he apologized and retired.

	Kungsun Lung <<71>>  said to Mou of Wei, "When young I studied the
teachings of the elders.  When I grew  up, I understood the morals of charity
and duty.  I learned to level together similarities and differences, to
confound  arguments on "hardness" and "whiteness", to affirm what others
deny, and justify what others dispute.  I vanquished  the wisdom of all the
philosophers, and overcame the arguments of all people.  I thought that I had
indeed  understood everything.  But now that I have heard Chuangtse, I am
lost in astonishment.  I know not whether it is in  arguing or in knowledge
that I am not equal to him.  I can no longer open my mouth.  May I ask you to
impart to me  the secret?"

	Prince Mou leaned over the table and sighed.  Then he looked up to
heaven and laughed, saying, "Have you  never heard of the frog in the shallow
well?  The frog said to the turtle of the Eastern Sea, 'What a great time I
am  having! I hop to the rail around the well, and retire to rest in the
hollow of some broken bricks.  Swimming, I float on  my armpits, resting my
jaws just above the water.  Plunging into the mud, I bury my feet up to the
foot-arch, and not  one of the cockles, crabs or tadpoles I see around me are
my match. Besides, to occupy such a pool all alone and  possess a shallow
well is to be as happy as anyone can be.  Why do you not come and pay me a

	"Now before the turtle of the Eastern Sea had got its left leg down
its right knee had already stuck fast, and it  shrank back and begged to be
excused. It then told the frog about the sea, saying, 'A thousand li would
not measure  its breadth, nor a thousand fathoms its depth.  In the days of
the Great Yu:, there were nine years of flood out of ten;  but this did not
add to its bulk.  In the days of T'ang, there were seven years of drought out
of eight; but this did not  make its shores recede.  Not to be affected by
the passing of time, and not to be affected by increase or decrease of 
water, --such is the great happiness of the Eastern Sea.'  At this the frog
of the shallow well was considerably  astonished and felt very small, like
one lost.

	"For one whose knowledge does not yet appreciate the niceties of true
and false to attempt to understand  Chuangtse, is like a mosquito trying to
carry a mountain, or an insect trying to swim a river.  Of course he will
fail.   Moreover, one whose knowledge does not reach to the subtlest
teachings, yet is satisfied with temporary success, -- is not he like the
frog in the well?

	"Chuangtse is now climbing up from the realms below to reach high
heaven.  For him no north or south; lightly  the four points are gone,
engulfed in the unfathomable.  For him no east or west- starting from the
Mystic Unknown,  he returns to the Great Unity.  And yet you think you are
going to find his truth by dogged inquiries and arguments!   This is like
looking at the sky through a tube, or pointing at the earth with an awl.  Is
not this being petty?

	"Have you never heard how a youth of Shouling went to study the
walking gait at Hantan? <<72>>   Before he  could learn the Hantan gait, he
had forgotten his own way of walking, and crawled back home on all fours.  If
you do  not go away now, you will forget what you have and lose your own
professional knowledge."  Kungsun Lung's jaw  hung open, his tongue clave to
his palate, and he slunk away.

	Chuangtse was fishing on the P'u River when the Prince of Ch'u sent
two high officials to see him and said, "Our  Prince desires to burden you
with the administration of the Ch'u State."  Chuangtse went on fishing
without turning  his head and said, "I have heard that in Ch'u there is a
sacred tortoise which died when it was three thousand (years)  old.  The
prince keeps this tortoise carefully enclosed in a chest in his ancestral
temple.  Now would this tortoise  rather be dead and have its remains
venerated, or would it rather be alive and wagging its tail in the mud?"

	"It would rather be alive," replied the two officials, and wagging
its tail in the mud."

	"Begone!" cried Chuangtse. "I too will wag my tail in the mud.

	Hueitse was Prime Minister in the Liang State, and Chuangtse was on
his way to see him.  Someone remarked,  "Chuangtse has come.  He wants to be
minister in your place."  Thereupon Hueitse was afraid, and searched all over
 the country for three days and three nights to find him.

	Then Chuangtse went to see him, and said, "In the south there is a
bird.  It is a kind of phoenix.  Do you know it?   When it starts from the
South Sea to fly to the North Sea, it would not alight except on the wu-t'ung
tree.  It eats  nothing but the fruit of the bamboo, drinks nothing but the
purest spring water.  An owl which had got the rotten  carcass of a rat,
looked up as the phoenix flew by, and screeched.  Are you not screeching at
me over your kingdom  of Liang?"

	Chuangtse and Hueitse had strolled on to the bridge over the Hao,
when the former observed, "See how the small  fish are darting about!  That
is the happiness of the fish."

	"You not being a fish yourself," said Hueitse, "how can you know the
happiness of the fish?"

	"And you not being I," retorted Chuangtse, "how can you know that I
do not know?"

	"If I, not being you, cannot know what you know," urged Hueitse, "it
follows that you, not being a fish, cannot  know the happiness of the fish."

	"Let us go back to your original question," said Chuangtse.  "You
asked me how I knew the happiness of the  fish.  Your very question shows
that you knew that I knew.  I knew it (from my own feelings) on this bridge."




 1	 He is reputed to have lived 800 years 
 2	 1783 B.C. 
 3	 Philosopher about whose life nothing is known. The book Liehtse is 
	 considered a later compilation. See the  section "Parables of 
	 Ancient Philosophers."
 4	 The wind 
 5	 2357 B.C. 
 6	 Sage emperors 
 7	 A sophist and friend of Chuangtse who often carried on debates 
	 with him. 
 8	 Agitations of the soul (music of Heaven) compared to the agitations 
	 of the forest (music of Earth). 
 9	 Lit. "true lord" 
10	 Shih and fei mean general moral judgments and mental distinctions; 
	 "right" and "wrong," "true"and "false," "is" and "is not," 
	 "affirmative" and "negative," also "to justify" and "condemn,"
	 "to affirm" and "deny."
11	 The followers of Motse were powerful rivals of the Confucianists 
	 in Chuangtse's days.  See the selections from Motse. 
12	 The meaning of these two sentences is made clear by a line below. 
	 "But if we put the different categories in one. then the differences 
	 of category cease to exist."
13	 Ch'eng and k'uei, lit. "whole" and "deficient."  "Wholeness" refers 
	 to unspoiled unity of Tao. In the following sentences, ch'eng is 
	 used in the sense of "success " It is explained by commentators 
	 that the "wholeness" of music exists only in silence, and that as 
	 soon as one note is struck, other notes are necessarily held in 
	 abeyance. The same thing is true of arguments: when we argue, we 
	 necessarily cut up truth by emphasizing certain aspects of it.
14	 See Laotse, Ch. 42.
15	 See Laotse, Ch. 5.
16	 See Laotse, Ch. 58.
17	 Lit.  in the "Palace of Heaven."
18	 Personal name of Chuangtse. "tse" being the equivalent of "Master."
19	 An important idea that recurs frequently in Chuangtse, all things 
	 are in constant flow and change, but are different aspects of the 
20	 Best disciple of Confucius.
21	 Lit.  "regarded as sons (ie. fathered) by Heaven."
22	 The first part of this song is found in the Analects.
23	 This chapter deals entirely with deformitiesa literary device for 
	 emphasizing the contrast of the inner and the outer man.
24	 A  well-known historical person, a model minister referred to in 
	 the Analects.
25	 Lit.  "The outside of frame and bones.''
26	 Hueitse often discusses the nature of attributes, like the 
	 "hardness" and "whiteness" of objects.
27	 All of these historical and semi-historical persons were good men 
	 who lost their lives, by drowning or starving themselves, or 
	 pretending insanity, in protest against a wicked world, or just 
	 to avoid being called into office.
28	 General attitude of fluidity towards life.
29	 Mythical emperor (2852 B.C.) said to have discovered the 
	 principles of mutations of Yin and Yang.
30	 With a man's head but a beast's body
31	 A river spirit.
32	 A mountain god
33	 A semi-mythical ruler, who ruled in 2698-2597 B.C.
34	 A semi-mythical ruler, who ruled in 25I4-2417 B.C., shortly before 
	 Emperor Yao.
35	 A water god with a human face and a bird's body.
36	 A monarch of the Shang Dynasty, 1324-l266 B.C.100
37	 A famous sword
38	 Personal name of Confucius
39	 Huang-chung and ta-lu: were the standard pitchpipes.
40	 Tseng Ts'an and Shih Yu:, disciples of Confucius.
41	 I Yang chu and Motse (Mo Ti).
42	 Beginning with this phrase there is a marked change in style and 
	 vocabulary in this part.
43	 Because he refused to serve the new dynasty.
44	 Sun Yang, 658-619 B.C.
45	 A mythical ruler
46	 481 B.C.
47	 There is an anachronism here for Chuangtse lived to see only the 
	 ninth generation of T'iens, At least the number "twelve" must have 
	 been slipped in by a later scribe.  This evidence is not sufficient 
	 to vitiate the whole chapter, as some "textual critics" claim.
48	 Reference to a story.  The states Lu and Chao both presented wine 
	 to the King of Ch'u.  By the trickery of a servant, the flasks were 
	 exchanged, and Chao was blamed for presenting bad wine, and its 
	 city Hantan was beseiged.
49	 See Laotse, Ch. 36
50	 See Laotse, Ch. 19
51	 See Laotse, Ch. 45
52	 See Note 40
53	 See Laotse, Ch. 1
54	 All legendary ancient rulers
55	 Cf. Laotse, Ch. 80
56	 See Laotse, Ch. 13
57	 Laotse, Tan being one of the personal names of Laotse (Li Tan, or 
	 Li Erh). "Lao" means "old," while "Li" is the family name
58	 The founders of the three dynasties, Hsia, Shang and Chou 
	 (2205-222 B.C.)
59	 Signal for attack
60	 Lit. "Heaven"
61	 Yin, yang, wind, rain, light and darkness.
62	 Great Nebulous is here addressed as "Heaven." See Note 60
63	 See Note 58
64	 This chapter further develops the ideas in Chapter "On Levelling 
	 All Things" and contains the important philosophical concept of 
65	 Wei-Lu:, a mythical hole in the bottom or end of the ocean
66	 Mythical rulers before the Three Kings.
67	 Lit. "levelling of ranks or distinctions."
68	 From here on to the end of this paragraph, most of the passages 
	 are rhymed.
69	 K'uei, a mythical, one-legged animal.
70	 Now a slogan used in China in the war against Japan.
71	 A Neo-Motseanist (of the Sophist school) who lived after 
	 Chuangtse.  This section must have been added by the latter's 
	 disciples, as is easy to see from the three stones about Chuangtse 
	 which follow.
72	 Capital of Chao.