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

p. 79


When the Empire is controlled by the Tao, riding horses are employed in agriculture; when the Empire is without Tao, war horses are in every open space. 1

There is no sin greater than covetousness; no calamity greater than discontent; no fault greater than acquisitiveness.

Who therefore knows the contentment of content possesses unchanging content.

"Everywhere THAT has hands and feet, everywhere eyes, head, mouths; all-hearing, He dwelleth in the world, enveloping all," sang the ancient Indian poet. "The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season," chanted the Hebrew Psalmist. Yet the world is devastated continually, and plunged into the miseries of war by man's covetousness. What would become of the race if the ALL-FATHER, like his children, were acquisitive—moved by desires for the personal self? How is the Empire to be freed from that which is NOT-TAO—covetousness—and brought under the control of THE TAO so that all shall enjoy the "unchanging content?" Chu-hsi, the great Confucian commentator, shall supply the answer—

"Heaven and man are not properly two, and man is separate from heaven only by having this body. Of their seeing and hearing, their thinking and revolving, their moving and acting, men all say—It is from ME. Every one thus brings out his SELF, and his smallness becomes known. But let the body be taken away, and all would be heaven. How can the body be taken away? Simply by subduing and removing that self-having of the ego. This is the taking it away."


79:1 "In the former case says Han Fei Tzu, there will be no work for soldiers. In the latter, lice will swarm in the armour, and swallows build their nests in the tents—of soldiers who return no more.'"—Remains of Lao Tzu.

Next: Chapter XLVII