Sacred Texts  Taoism  Index  Previous  Next 


I can think of no better translation for , the two first characters of the Book, and which appear as its title, than our 'Ingrained Ideas;' notions, that is, held as firmly as if they were cut into the substance of the mind. They do not belong to the whole Book, however, but only to the first member of the first paragraph. That paragraph describes six classes of men, only the last of which are the right followers of the Tâo;--the Sages, from the Tâoistic point of view, who again are in the last sentence of the last paragraph identified with 'the True Men' described at length in the sixth Book. The fifth member of this first paragraph is interesting as showing how there was a class of Tâoists who cultivated the system with a view to obtain longevity by their practices in the management of the breath; yet our author does not accord to them his full approbation, while at the same time the higher Tâoism appears in the last paragraph, as promoting longevity without the management of the breath. Khû Po-hsiû, in his commentary on Kwang-dze, which was published in 1210, gives Po-î and Shû-khî as instances of the first class spoken of here; Confucius and Mencius, of the second; Î Yin and Fû Yüeh, of the third; Khâo Fû and Hsü Yû, as instances of the fourth. Of the fifth class he gives no example, but that of Phäng Zû mentioned in it.

That which distinguishes the genuine sage, the True Man of Tâoism, is his pure simplicity in pursuing the Way, as it is seen in the operation of Heaven and Earth, and nourishing his spirit accordingly, till there ensues an ethereal amalgamation between his Way and the orderly operation of Heaven. This subject is pursued to the end of the Book. The most remarkable predicate of the spirit so trained is that in the third paragraph,--that 'Its name is the

p. 147

same as Tî or God;' on which none of the critics has been able to throw any satisfactory light. Balfour's version is:--'Its name is called "One with God;"' Giles's, 'Its name is then "Of God,"' the 'then' being in consequence of his view that the subject is 'man's spiritual existence before he is born into the world of mortals.' My own view of the meaning appears in my version.

Lin Hsî-kung, however, calls the genuineness of the whole Book into question, and thinks it may have proceeded from the same hand as Book XIII. They have certainly one peculiarity in common;-many references to sayings which cannot be traced, but are introduced by the formula of quotation, 'Therefore, it is said.'

Next: Book XVI. Shan Hsing