Edward Harper Parker.

China and religion online

. (page 21 of 23)
Online LibraryEdward Harper ParkerChina and religion → online text (page 21 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


by lowliness you take, in the case of the great state it only
wishes to annex and nurture individuals (10, 51) whilst in
the case of a small state it only wishes to take part in
serving (59) individuals. In either case the desired object
is gained. Hence the great should be lowly.

62. "Providence" is the esoteric principle^ of the

' The word ao is practically the same in meaning as the word wei
(14), which, indeed, is actually used to explain what ao means ; more-



294 THE TA0-T6H KING

innumerable created objects (14), the jewel of the good
man (27, 6^, 69), the stand-by of the bad man (27). Nice
words (81) will always find a market, and noble deeds
will never come amiss to folk. How is it possible to
abandon people (27) because of their want of goodness ?
Hence, in setting up an Emperor, or in appointing the
three chief Ministers, although it may be glorious for them
to sit in a state chariot, preceded by jewelled sceptre
bearers, it were better for them to remain at home and
advance their store of Providence (41). Why was it that
the ancients honoured (51) this Providence so highly?
Was it not that they looked for answers to their prayers
and hoped for remission of their sins? (46). For this
reason was it esteemed throughout the world (56),

63. Act with the least possible dwelling on action (2,
57, etc.) ; employ means with the least possible ado (48,
57, etc.); taste with the least possible dwelling on the
savour (12, 35). Make the big as little, make the many
as few as possible (4). Requite enmity (75) with Grace.
Overcome difficulty when there is least resistance (9).
Achieve maximum results by minimum means (31). All
the difficult things in the world are evolved out of easy
individual items, and all the great things in the world are
evolved from petty individual items. Hence the highest
form of man never unduly magnifies, and is thus able to
achieve results of magnitude (34). Now, he who lightly
consents is sure to be little trustworthy (26, 81): he who
regards most things as easy will find the most difficulties
(69). For which reason the highest form of man always
inclines to see possible difficulties (73), and thus in the
end finds no difficulty (13).

64. It is easy enough to maintain peace when you
already have it. It is easy enough to form effective

over, the words hiian-ao and hiian-wei are both used to express the
same " colourless-abstruseness " which is so difficult to translate, and
which eludes every effort of the mind to grasp or realise : it seems
to be the " Absolute " or " Void " of our Western philosophers, who
probably scarcely understand themselves what they mean.



THE TAOIST CLASSIC 295

schemes (73) before trouble or inducement arises (20).
It is easy enough to break what is already brittle. It
is easy enough to disperse what are already [7vet or]
insignificant indications (14, 36). Take action before a
matter becomes concrete being (i, 14). Keep order before
confusion (18, 38) arises, A tree you can scarcely clasp
with your arms (^6) originated with a slip or seed. The
nine-storeyed tower ^ begins with a pile of earth. The
thousand-furlong journey commences with the first foot-
step. Those who try their hands at action are apt to
come to grief; those who grasp at a thing are apt to see
it slip away (29). But the highest form of man, by not
making work (2, 63, etc), escapes coming to grief; and
by not grasping at a thing, does not see it slip away (8).
The way most people go about a piece of business is
usually to ruin it when just on the point of completion.
Be as careful at the end as at the beginning, and then
you will not spoil a piece of business. For which reason
the highest form of man desires that which others do not
desire (8, 37), and places no value upon rare possessions
(3, 12); he makes a study of what others do not study ^
(20, 48), and goes back to that (14, 16, 19, 28, 52, 80)
which the generality of people pass by, in order to
encourage the principle of spontaneity (17, 23, 25, 51) in
all created objects, and their hesitation to do anything
which need not be done (3).

65. Those who in ancient times were good hands at
Providence did not use it to educate the people (36, 57) ;
they used it to befool them (38), The reason why the
people are so hard to govern (75) is that they are apt to
know too much (18, 27, 33, 36) ; and therefore a man who
governs his state on "knowing" or sagacity principles (19)

^ This cannot reasonably be supposed to have anything to do with
Buddhist pagodas, which always have an odd number of stages. The
" Sublime Porte," or gate of the royal palaces, was known as the
'Nine Storey" many centuries before Buddhism was heard of in
China.

2 The philosopher Chwang-tsz develops this idea in rather a
more complicated sense.



296 THE TAO-T^H KING

is a traitor to the state, whilst one who is not " knowing "
in his government of the state is a blessing to the state.
He who understands these two points may take them for
his model, and the fact of understanding such a model (22,
28) is what is called the colourless dissolution of Grace (ro,
51). This colourless Grace extends deep and far^ indeed
(25), re-acting upon created objects (40), until at last it
attains to perfect accord (55).

66. The reason why the Great River and the Sea are
able to rule over the countless streams (28, 32, 78) is that
the former are good at placing themselves in a low place
of receptivity as compared with the latter (7, 8, 68, 76) ;
hence they are able to act as the ruling impulse to the
countless streams. For this reason the highest form of
man, when he wishes to place himself above the people,
must in his language place himself below them (22, y6) ;
if he wishes to take precedence of the people, he must
keep his personality in their background (7, 9), For which
reason the people make no objection (80) when the highest
form of man is in occupation of the superior position ; the
people suffer no injury- (35) when he occupies a front
position. And then the Empire is delighted to acclaim

^ China's first great historian Sz-ma Ts'ien (B.C. 100), who frequently
quotes whole sentences of the Canon, in discussing the comparative
merits of Lao-tsz and his imitators Chwang-tsz, Han Fei-tsz, and Shen
Puh-hai, says : — " They all draw their inspiration from the idea of
Providence and Grace {tao-teh)^ but Lao-tsz goes deepest and
farthest ; " and, again : " I have found Han Fei-tsz particularly
difficult to understand."

~ Puh-hai, or "no injury," or "sense of security," is the name of
the philosopher Shen-tsz, mentioned in the last note : he is the
Chinese Draco, and died B.C. 337 — a further proof of the genuine
antiquity of Lao-tsz' book. In same way the Pao-p''uh, or "show
simplicity," of Par. 19 gives the name to the later Tavist philosopher
Pao-p''uh-tsz, of the fourth century ; and Kwan-yin-tsz, or " Pass
official," gives the literary name to Lao-tsz' friend for whom he wrote
the work I now translate. The fact that the private name of the
Tao'xst philosopher Lieh-tsz (Licius) is taken from an expression in
the " Book of Changes " (Yii-k'ou) only increases the general evidence
in favour of the all-round genuineness and continuity of Tao\si history.



THE TAOIST CLASSIC 297

him, and does not get weary of him (72), the reason being
that, making no self-assertive effort (3, 8, 68, 73, 81), no
one else in the world can successfully assert against
him (22).

6j. The world all mistakenly says I am great with
the appearance of not being equal to what I preach.
Now, it is precisely on account of the grandeur of my
subject that I appear unequal to it. If I appeared equal
to it, I should be remaining small for a very long time
indeed. But at least I can possess three of its gems,
value them, and hold on to them : to wit, tenderness (18,
19) ; to wit, thriftiness (59) ; to wit, an objection to placing
myself in front of the rest of the world (3, 7, 66) ; through
being tender-hearted one is able to display bravery (73) ;
through being thrifty one is able to display profusion ;
through hesitation to stand in front of the rest of the
world one is able to qualify as administrative instrument
(15, 28). No! The kind of bravery which is without
tenderness (31), the profusion which is without thriftiness,
the forwardness which is without retiringness — these will
land you at death's door. But with tenderness you conquer
in the attack (68), and are all the firmer in the defence ;
for Heaven will come to your rescue (27), and with the
same tenderness protect you (69).

68. Those who serve as officers most creditably (15) are
never blustering ; those who are the best hands at fighting
never lose their tempers ; those who are best at gaining
victory never strive (73) in emulation ; those who are
best at utilising other men yield place to them. This is
called the Grace which doth not strive (8) ; this is called
the capacity for utilising mankind (33); this is called
being on a par with Heaven — the highest ideal of all
time (9, 16).

69. It has been said by military strategists: — "Better
be the visitor than the visited ; " and again : — " Better
retire a foot than advance an inch" (57). This is called
action without acting (38), baring without the arms (38),
going on (38) without the enemy, grasping without the



298 THE TA0-T£:H KING

weapons. There is no greater evil (46) than despising an
enemy, for in despising the enemy you risk losing one of
my gems (67). Hence when it comes to the hand-to-hand
fight, it is the compassionate or bewailing man who
conquers (31, 67, yS).

70. What I say is very easy to understand, and very
easy to do ; but the world is incapable of understanding
it and incapable of doing it (20, 6"], 78). The words have
a progenitor (4), as the affairs instanced have a master-
spirit (26) ; but, as general ignorance prevails (3), of course
I myself am not understood. Those who understand me
being so \Jii or] few (14), it thus redounds to my honour.
For these reasons, the highest form of man is content with
a rugged exterior and the knowledge of his own hidden
value (3, 12, 72).

71. To know that you cannot know much is best, but
to imagine you know the unknowable is disastrous. Now
if you shrink from what is disastrous you will not incur
disaster (44). The highest form of man does not incur
this form of disaster, because he shrinks from the disastrous
(73), and for this reason does not incur such disaster (3,

8, 9. 13. 22).

72. The people have no fear of the ordinary terrors of
the law (24), the supreme question of life and death being
ever before them. Therefore do not confine their scope
within too narrow bounds (80) ; do not make their lives
too weary (66). If you do not weary them in this way,
then they will not weary of you. For which reason the
highest form of man knows what is in him (7, 8, 33, 70),
but does not show himself off (22, 24, ^j) ; respects himself,
but does not place a value on himself (13, 22, 24). Hence
he ignores the latter for the sake of the former in each
case (12, 38).

73. He who is eager in running risks gets killed, he
who is eager in not running risks survives (71). Of these
two aims i^f) the one is as advantageous as the other is
disadvantageous, yet both may be equally abhorred of
Heaven (31). Who knows the why? And thus it is



THE TAOIST CLASSIC 299

that even the highest form of man finds it hard to choose
between them (63). The Providence of Heaven (9, 47, 79)
never strives either way, yet is best at gaining victory (68) ;
without words (56, etc.), is best at securing response (38) ;
without summons, is best at attracting comers (10, 35);
without flurry, is best at forming effective schemes (64).
The net of Heaven is spread far indeed ; though its
meshes be large, it allows none to slip away (34, 37).

74. As the people do not fear threats of death (72, 75),
so what is the use, then, in trying to frighten them with it ?
If it were possible to keep the people in continual fear of
dying and of becoming ghosts, we might find our account
in arresting and killing them. But who would dare? (31J.
There are always proper judicial officers charged with
executions (29, 32), and for us to undertake executions
on behalf of the executioners would be like our hacking
on behalf of the carpenter. Now, if we took to hacking on
behalf of the carpenter, there are \hi or] few (14) of us but
would maim our hands (29).

75. The people are hungry on account of the amount of
taxation consumed by their superiors ; that is why they
hunger (24, 53). The people are difficult to govern on
account of the meddlesomeness of those above them ; that
is why they are difficult to govern (65). The people
despise death (74) because they are so desperately anxious
to obtain a livelihood ; that is why they despise death. It
is those who place no value on their own lives (16, 52)
who are the most high-minded (3, JJ^ in the matter of
their own and others' lives.

"j^. Man at his birth is soft and tender (55) ; at his
death he has become hard and strong (30). Created
objects and vegetation at their birth are tender and crisp ;
at their death they are like wilt and hollowed poles.
Hence the firm and strong belong to the category of the
waning or dead ; the soft and tender belong to the category
of the waxing or living (50). For which reason a power-
ful army is not necessarily a conquering one (30, 31, d^),
and a powerful tree bends over with its own weight. Thus



300 THE TAO-T^H KING

the powerful and great may occupy the lower {66), the
soft and tender the higher position (36, 78).

yy. Is not Heaven's Providence (9, 47, 73, 79) rather
like drawing a bow? If too high, we lower it; if too low,
we elevate it. If it is too much, we reduce it (42) ; if not
enough, add to it. The Providence of Heaven is to take
from abundance (20), to make up what is not enough.
The Providence of Man is not so : there is taken from
those who have not enough to supply the wants of (24, 53)
those who have superfluity. Who is capable of possessing
abundance sufficient to supply the wants of the whole
world? Only those who really possess Providence (24, 31,
46). For which reason the highest form of man takes
action without self-conscious assertion (2, 51), and achieves
results (2, 9, 22, 34) without boasting. How unwilling he
is to show off his " high character " ! (3, 75).

78. Of the soft and tender things in the world nothing
is more so than water (8, 76), but for attacking the firm
and strong {y6) nothing can surpass it : nothing will serve
as a substitute for it. How the weak may thus overcome
the strong, and how the soft may thus overcome the hard
(36), every one in the world knows, but no one is able to
do it himself (70). Hence, as the highest forms of man
have said^ (57): " He who takes upon himself the dirt of
the State may be styled the lord of its tutelary gods,
whilst he who takes upon himself the inauspiciousness of
the State, is styled the King or Emperor of the State"
(57, yy) : true words which seem to return (40, 65) !

79. Though great enmities may be appeased (63),
there is bound to remain some vestige of ill-feeling. How

1 As one instance out of many hundred, showing how Lao-tsz
derived his ideas from extremely ancient books, or from books which
equally inspired Confucius, I may quote the following, taken
respectively from the "Book of History" {ends with B.C. 721), and
from the Amplification by his pupil of Confucius' own History {begins
with B.C. 784) : " The Son of Heaven acts as the people's father and
mother, and as such is the King [or Emperor] of the World [or
Empire]." And again : " That the Prince of a State should hold dirt
in his mouth is the Providence of Heaven."



THE TAOIST CLASSIC 301

is it possible to be on perfectly good terms again ? Thus
it is that the highest form of man keeps a loyal hold
upon his agreements, but makes no exacting claim ; he
who possesses Grace takes cognizance of the spirit of the
agreement ; he who possesses no Grace takes cognizance
only of the tithes due. The Providence of Heaven {'jj,
etc.) has no personal preferences (56), and is always on
the side of the good man (49, 6"]).

80. My ideal is a series of small states with small
populations. Let them possess an army machine (29, 31,
36, 41, 57, 6"]^ of moderate size, but not be too ready to
use it (31, 6"], 70). Let them place a proper value on
their lives (75), and refrain from distant migrations. Then,
though they will be possessed of boats and carts, there
will be no one to ride in them ; though they will be
possessed of arms and cuirasses, there will be no need for
arraying them. Let the people revert to the old quipo
system of records (3, 37), enjoy their food, take a pride
in their clothes, dwell in peace, and rejoice in their local
customs (72). Each state would be within easy sight of
the other ; the sound of each other's hens cackling and
dogs barking would be heard across. The people of each
state would live to a good old age, and would have no
movement of intercourse with neighbouring states.

81. True words are apt to be not liked ; pleasant words
are apt to be untrue (62). Good or beneficent men (30)
do not wrangle, and wranglers are apt not to be good men
(5, 23, 45). Those who know best do not range over
many subjects, and those who range most widely do not
know best (56). The highest form of man cares not to
accumulate (3, 'J'j') : so far as he uses his resources for
others, he increases his own store ; so far as he gives them
to others (8), he has the more for himself. The Providence
of Heaven (9, 79, etc.) benefits and does not injure (27,
67) ; the Providence of the highest form of man takes
action without self-assertive effort (3, 8, 68, 73, etc).



INDEX



Abbassides, 5, 142, 154
Abdul Ishtar, 155, 157
Abdullah, 150, 167
Abraham, 165, 169
Abstinence, 81, 115
Abu Djafar, 142
Achmat (Polo's), 148

, of Hami, 153

Adam, 165, 169

, Nestorian, 126

, Presbyter, 127

Adoration of Priests, 130

x'Esculapius, Chinese, 47

Affghanistan, 157

Afrangh, 175

Africa, 152

After Life (see Life)

Ainos, the, 104

Aisie, the Mussulman, 98, 149, 181

Alan Tartars, 181, 188, 232

Albazin, 235, 243

Albazins, 237, 240, 241, 243

Alchemy, 100

Alchuk, 159

Alcock, Sir R., 215, 220

Alexander, Borgia, 1 1

, Nevsky, 232

, the Great, 69

Allied War, 214

Almanacs, 149

Aloha, or Elohim, 122

Alopen, the Nestorian, 121, 122, 123,

126
Alphabet, 80, 132, 257
Al Roum, 175
Alsatia, 104
Altars, 258
Ambrosius, 238

American missions, 211, 217, 227
Amoy, 185, 190, 200
Am-tu-la, 167, 170
Amur River, 233
Ancestors, 18, 22, 61, 81, 106, 166,

259
Ancestral shrine, 25, 259



Ancestral worships, 132, 162, 198,

200, 234, 249
Andijans, 157
Andrea, 1S8
Angamala, See of, 138
Angkor, ruins of, 85
Anglican Church, 265
Animal instincts, 19
Animosity, religious, 6 (see Nagging)
Annam, 236
Annamese, the, 22
Antonius, 238

Apostolic See, 198, 201 (see Popes)
Arab conquests, 112, 115, 140

language, 128

Arabia, 153, 154

Arabs, 5, 112, 140, 147, 163

Aral, Sea of, 181

Archbishops, 185, 187, 234

Archimandrite, 135

Archimandrites, Russian, 184, 234,

238, 244
Archives, 51
Ardishir, King, 112
Argon, 184 (see Erkun)
Arhan, Buddhist, 169
Ark of the Covenant, 25
Arkon (see Erkun), 176, 182, 184,

185, 187, 232
Armenia, 181
Armenian priests, 181
Armenians, 185
Artillery, 5, 149, 190, 193, 197
Asamgha, 83
Asceticism, 55

Asia, High, 74, 105 (see Western)
Assumption, Church of, 243
Assyria, 29

Astrology, 20, 35, 48, 69, 152, 18 1
Astronomy, 115, 155, 194, 196, 234,

261
Asura worship, 107
Augustan period, 28
Augustus, rulers like, 35
Austro-Hungary, 9

30S



304



INDEX



Author of Heaven, no (see Creator)

Avalokites'vara, 135

Avars, the, 94

Avignon, 188

Avus, or divus, 26

Awakening of China, 225

Ayulipalipatra, Khan, 186, 233

Babylonia, i8i

Babylonian Jews, 122

Babylonian religions, 139

Badaghis, 124

Badakshan, 157

Bagdad, 155, 183

Baldwin, Rev. S. J., 220

Balkh, 128

Ballads, 28, 64 (see " Book of Odes")

Balti, State, 127

Bamyan, 107

Banner of the Cross, 184

Bannermen, 235

Baptism, 122

Barbarous regions, 28

Barcelona Protestants, 9

Bartholomew of Cremona, 181

Basil mission, 212, 221

Batu Khan, 231, 232

Bear worship, 104

Beard, the, 122

Benevolence, 42, 53, 67, 255, 260

Berlin Ladies' Mission, 221

Bhamo, 215

Bible, the, 122, 210, 211

Bilga Khan (Ouigour), 145

(Turk), 131

Bishops, Catholic, 8, 137

, in partibns, 204

, Protestant, 8, 173, 245

Bishpalik, 151

Black Clothes, 142

Black Sea, 113

Blue Books, 216

Board of Rites, 192, 196

Bodhisattva, 134

Bokhara, 157

Bokhariots, 147

Bombay, 5

Bonzes, Persian, 121, 123

, Western, 87, 130

Books, primitive, 49 (see Texts)

, recovery of, 74

"Book of Changes," 26, 34, 68, 80

127, 166, 170, 248, 250, 258,

260, 262

" of History," 34, 68

" of Odes," 34, 68

" of Rites," 34, 167, 251

Borasan, 107
Borhan-uddin, 157, 160
Bouvet, Jesuit, 197



"Boxers," 158, 237, 241, 242
Brahm, 141 (see Fam and Brahman)
Brahman writing, 105, 126
Brahmanism, 4, 77, 80, 83, 147
Brahmans, 107
Brandt, von, M., 252
Bretschneider, Dr (see .List of

Authorities)
Bridgman, Dr, 211
Britain, Great, 4, 237, 238
Brown, Dr, 253
Bryant, missionary, 219
Bryson, missionary, 219
Bucharia, Little, 155, 157
Buddha, 246

, birthplace, 81, 88

, family of, 128

, hfe of, 80, 239

, the name, 74, 85

Buddha's bone, 135

tooth, 108, 129

Buddhism, 3, 38, 48, 108, 140, 147,

171, 176, 183, 192, 242, 245

and Laocius, 89, 96, 107

and Manicheism, 113, 120

in Persia, 108

, Japanese, 247, 251, 253

Buddhist books (see sCltras), 109

literature, 10, 12, 104, 239, 240

missionaries, 12

Buddhochinga, 87, 134

Buddhomania, 71, 95, 124, 131, 135

Bulls, papal, 202

Burdon, Bishop, 214, 217, 223

Burials, 102

Burma, 83, 84, 158, 215

Burning the dead, 105, I lo

Burzug Khan, 158

Bushido, 75, 268

Bussurman, 232

Byzantine Empire, 93, 109, 112, 175,

181, 231
history, 126

Cabul valley, 75, 82, 91, 105, 109,

"3

Csesars, 35

Calendar, 149, 155, 197

Caliphs, 146, 245

Campichu, Polo's, 144, 157, 183, 187

Candlemas Convent, 236

Canon, Taoist, 248 (see Appendix)

Canouge, 88

Canton, 84, 142, 159, 189, 197, 211

factory, 210

Capitals, Chinese, 116, 118
Caravan routes, 13
Carlyle, 31
Carmelites, 138
Carmichael, Dr, 211



INDEX



305



Carpini, 180, 231
Casartelli, Mgr. L. C, 128
Caspian Sea, 113, 147
Cassels, Bishop, 227
Cataneo, Jesuit, 191
Cathayans, 94, 144, 188

in Persia, 144, 146

Cathedral, CathoHc, 196, 198, 203,

205, 206

, Russian, 245

Catherine I., 236
CathoHc Missions, 203

, 109, 232

Celibacy, 128, 162

Cemeteries, Russian, 238, 243

Ceremonies, 29, 43, 51, 64, 255

Ceylon, 83

Chaldaeans, 33, 59, 138

Chalmers, Dr, 221

Ch'ang-an, city, no, 112, 118, 120,

123, 161
Chang I., 48
Chang-teh Fu, 86
Changes," " Book of (see Book)
Ch'ao-chou Fu, 192
Charles VI. (Germany), 234
Chavannes, M., 94
Chefoo, 217

Cheh Kiang, province, 215, 218
Ch'en dynasty, the, 70
Chernigoff, Michael, 232
Chih Li, province, 159, 184
China, Divided, 70, 85, 89, 179

, Inland Mission, 215, 226

, Old Central, 22, 27, 34, 36, 67

, United, 70, 94

China's tolerance, 2, 6, 15, 151, 240
Chinese dress, 214, 215, 218

, the primitive, 17

virtues, 228

Chinkiang, 79, 116, 137, 184, 216,

225
Chitral, 91, 106
Chou, Duke of, 70, 78, 127

dynasty, early, 27, 29, 33,

89, 165, 169

dynasty, later, 119

Christ, 12, 193, 204, 264

and Mini, 118

Christianity, 120, 135, 182, 187, 229,
245, 264

, Early, 108

Christmas, 124

Chronology, 29, 165, 171

Chu Hi, philosopher, 71, 95, 254

Chu-hu-ti, or Jews, 176

Chung-ni (see Confucius), 66

Chung-yung, the, 55, 170

Church, Catholic, 263 (see Cathedral)

Missionary Society, 214, 227



Church, Russian, 7, 67 (see Cathedral)

Chu-u, or Jews, 151, 176

Chu-wu (see Chu-u)

Chwang-tsz, 47

Ciampa, 85, 88

Cibot, Father, 173

Cin-ghingiu, Polo's, 184

Cincius, 60 (see Tseng-tsz)

Circumcision, 174

Clans, 29

Classics, 33, 36, 74, 170, 212, 251,

259
Cloud -bright Monasteries, 116
Code of Law, 106
Coffins, 102
Coins, evidence of, 77
Colleges, 149, 192, 227, 237
Columbum, Bishop of, 137
Commercial Jealousy, 196
Compass, points of the, 22
Conception, the, 125
Concubines, 130
Confession, 13, 125
Confucianism in Japan, 253
Confucianists, 3, 125, 128, l6l, 182,

196
Confucius, 28, 51, 104, 168, 239

and Lao-Tsz, 29, 45, 53, 59


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23

Online LibraryEdward Harper ParkerChina and religion → online text (page 21 of 23)