Sacred Texts  Taoism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 96


Rule the Empire with uprightness. The employment of the military is a strange device. The Empire is won by non-concern. How do I know this? Thus—The more superstitious restrictions in the land the poorer the people; 1 the more the people are concerned with the administration the more benighted the state and the clans; 2 the more craftiness is displayed the greater the number of novelties which arise. The more legislation there is the more thieves and robbers increase.

It is for these reasons that a sage has said 3—'I do nothing, but the people spontaneously reform. I love tranquillity, and the people spontaneously become upright. I have no concerns, and the people naturally grow wealthy. I am without desire, and of their own free will the people revert to primitive simplicity.' 4

"Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature?" The Kingdom of God is not won by anxiety. Self-assertion, desires to better clothe and feed the self, are "strange devices." Evil is not overthrown by resistance but by submission; it is not the passive quiet of the coward, nor the sullen stolidity of the slave, but the selfless service of the Christ, which disarms the enemy. When the left cheek is voluntarily submitted for a blow like that which stings the right, when the cloak is given to him who snatches the coat, when not only is the demand for the first mile granted,

p. 97

but the second also, and that from sheer goodwill toward the oppressor evil becomes ashamed, it cannot understand such carelessness. "The Empire is won by non-concern."


96:1 Where weeds abound flowers are scarce.

96:2 See chap. 36.

96:3 There were Sages before Lao-tzu, and their teachings were his, but their names have been forgotten, and their works lost.

96:4 "He who would have good government in his country must begin by putting his house in order, and to do that, he must begin by attending properly to his personal conduct."—The Great Learning. Comp. chap. 19.

Next: Chapter LVIII