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The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion, by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, [1905], at

p. 23


Equally fear favor and disgrace.

Regard a great calamity as you do your own body.

What is meant by 'Equally fear favor and disgrace?' Favor should be disparaged. Gained or lost it arouses apprehension. Hence it is said 'Equally fear favor and disgrace.'

What is meant by 'Regard a great calamity as you do your own body? Why have I any sense of misfortune? Because I am conscious of myself. Were I not conscious of my body, what distresses should I have?

Therefore, it is only they who value their persons because of their obligations, who may be entrusted with the empire. It is only they who love themselves on account of their responsibilities, who may be charged with the care of the state. 1

"Wherefore if any man be in Christ, there is a new creation; the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new." (II Cor. v, 16.) when the consciousness is identified no longer with the self, but with the Christ, the whole world is changed; even the conceptions of fear and favor disappear—these arise with "the conception of the I." When freed by the Truth (John viii, 31, 32) man is no more attached to form, because living in faith, "the faith which is in the Son of God" (Gal. ii, 20), then his untrammeled spirit rises above the illusions of pain, sorrow and disaster. He "lives neither in the present nor the future, but in the eternal." He "recognizes this individuality as not himself, but that thing which he has with pain created for his own use, and by means of which he purposes, as his growth slowly develops his intelligence, to reach to the life beyond individuality." (Light on the Path.)


23:1 Text and comment have evidently become mixed here. Probably the two first sentences alone are Lao-tzu's, and the rest the later addition of a commentator.

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