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   "Medieval thought regarded the universe as an articulated whole, and everything in it as both a part and a whole. The world is cosmos, a divinely instituted harmony. And, in accordance with the Neoplatonic philosophy, the higher principle is not divided up when it 'comes down' in its creative power to give life and order to the lower ranks of being. It is present everywhere in its entirety, though enfeebled to a greater or less degree in its operation, from its admixture with lower existences. Therefore, every institution and even every individual is a microcosm or minor mundus (hsiao tien). God, the Absolute One, is above the plurality of the world, the source and also the goal of every living being. Hence the lex eterna, the eternal law of God, permeates all the apparent multiplicity of the world. 'All multitude', it was said, 'is derived from the One, and is brought back to the One': in other words, all order consists in the subordination of plurality to unity. The heavenly bodies have their unity in the primum mobile. So, in societies, there must be a unum regens in every whole."

   "The State Invisible is the kingdom of absolute values, the kingdom of eternal life."

W. R. INGE, D.D. 

p. 80


{notes|elucidations and analyses}

   The origin and processes of all creation issue from the Cosmic Spirit. The causes of Natural Law and anarchy, the winning of power and the loss of it proceed on constant lines.

Chinese Editor.

   The rule of the T‛ai Ch‛ing1 was in accord with Heaven, and beneficial to creation. Nature (hsing) was constant, the spirit simple and centred, (i.e. not scattered over a multitude of things). The mind had no appetites, (desire): it was quiescent: it was active, not stagnant. Mental activities were inwardly consonant with the Tao, and outward activities were in agreement with right. The activities of the mind worked artistically; action was correct with benefit to things. Words were prized and in accord with reason. Actions were simple and direct, in accordance with nature. The mind was contented and without cunning.
Felicity of all order in the Cosmic Spirit.
Actions were simple and without ostentation. So there was no recourse to horoscopy and divination of the eight signs2 and the tortoise. There was no thought of where to begin and how to end. (There was no such thing as scheming policy). Action took place when it was demanded. Principles were embodied: the spirit of Yin and Yang were envisaged. All was in conformity with the four seasons. All was bright and clear as the sun and moon: man was a fit mate of the Creator. Hence Heaven overshadowed them with grace, and Earth sustained them with life. The four seasons did not lose their order, nor did the wind and rain fall with violence. The sun and moon were limpid and lucent, shining in their brightness, and the five planets moved in their orbits without error.

p. 81

   During these periods the primal fluid was surpassingly glowing (in men of the period) and transmitted its brilliancy. The phoenix and the Lin nestled on the land; the divining grass and tortoise were found. The fattening dews descended; the flowering bamboo came to ripeness; the yellow jade appeared; the vermillion grass showed itself in the palace precincts. Portents of good omen were all these. Men's hearts were free from secret craftiness and the smartness of cunning.

   When we arrive at the decadent age, we find that men dug into the mountains for precious stones. They
Decadent age marked by
wrought metal and jade into cunning vessels and broke open oysters in search of pearls: they melted brass and iron; the whole of nature withered under the exploitation. They ripped open the pregnant and slew the young, untimely (in order to get skins and furs). The Chilin, as a result, did not visit the land. They broke down nests and despoiled the birds that had not lain, so that the phoenix no longer hovered around. They drilled wood for fire: they piled
Luxury and poverty.
up timber to make verandahs and balustrades: they burnt forests to drive out game and drained the waters for fish. In spite of this, the furniture at the service of the people was not enough for their use, whilst the luxuries of the rulers were abundant. Thus, the world of life partially failed and things miscarried so that the larger half of creation failed of fruition.

   The classes made mounds and built on high grounds: they fertilized their land and sowed their corn: they dug the land for wells, to drink from, and opened up irrigation channels, for their enrichment. They laid foundations for
Rapacity of man disturbed Nature.
their cities, so that they were munitioned. Captured wild beasts were domesticated: thus, there was grievous rupture of the Yin and Yang, and the succession of the four seasons failed. Thunder-bolts wrought havoc, and hail-stones p. 82 fell with violence. Noxious miasma and untimely hoarfrosts fell unceasingly, resulting in atrophy and the failure of nature to bear abundantly. Luxuriant grass and thick brushwood were cut down in order to get land. They cut down the jungle in order to grow ears of corn. The plants and trees that died before germination, flowering and bearing fruit, were innumerable.

   Next we see the building of great palaces and houses with their great erections of rafters and door pillars, the short rafters of the eaves and the smaller ones that support the tiles of the eaves. These were elaborately decorated and carved: one was dove-tailed into the other and all decorated with the lotus and calthrops. One colour vied with the other, and their harmonious blending in a whole was artistic and elegant. Rooms were decorated with pictures of every kind of plant and bird. The decorations were such as the cunning of craftsmen and skill of artisans, of the type of Kung Shu and Wang Erh, who plied the chisel and saw, producing the most perfect carvings and filigree work and every kind of fretwork, could not do. Nevertheless, all this lavish ornamentation seemed as though insufficient to satisfy the desires of the rulers. The cypress, the pine and the flowering bamboo, that bloom the year round, died even in summer (because the intrinsic nature of Yin and Yang was offended): the rivers and streams, too, dried up and ceased flowing,
Nature became savage.
in consequence. The spectre of the Lares{3} appeared in some rural parts. The flying locusts filled the land. The drought was great, the very soil cracking and yawning. The Phoenix did not come. Eagles, bears, wild bulls and horned creatures became ferocious. The cottages of the people were built of reeds, rude and poor: travellers and guests could not be entertained. The frozen and hungry perished in great numbers, lying on the roads, shoulder to shoulder.

   In the course of time, the mountains and streams p. 83 were divided into boundaries and frontiers: censuses of the
Social fission.
people were taken in order to know the population of this place and that: cities were built and moats and dykes dug: barriers were erected and weapons forged, for defensive purposes: officials were created for the departments with various robes and badges and with laws: they differentiated classes and masses and distinguished the worthy from the vulgar: they organized a system of reprimands and approbations, of rewards and punishments. Following these, there arose soldiers; and firearms were made, which gave birth to wars and strifes. The untimely death and annihilation of the oppressed people ensued. There was arbitrary murder of the guiltless, and the punishment and death of the innocent. These inquities all sprang up at these times and on such occasions.

   The harmonious cooperation of Heaven and Earth, the evolution of creation by the Yin and Yang depends on
Cosmic order deranged by human enmity.
the spirit of man. Hence, when there is an estrangement between the classes and masses or rulers and the people, the very air of Heaven becomes noxious and disorganised: when prince and minister are not in harmony, the crops in the fields fail to ripen.

   For forty-six days before the winter solstice, the firmament retains its own aura, which does not descend: the Earth embosoms hers, which does not ascend; that is to say the operations of the Yin and Yang are in abeyance.4 At this period, the forces of Yin and Yang are in suspense, as though undetermined what to do. Their abundant and wide inspiration and expiration embrace and bathe all the aura of the universe. They plan and determine the myriad varieties which are mutually connected, each to each, and endowing every thing with what each should possess.

   It is by this inspiration of every matter, each influencing the other and thus fermenting with life, the host of species is organized and sustained. This is the order. But when Spring is cold and Autumn hot, when there is p. 84 hail in Winter and hoar-frost in Summer, the reason is that the proper fluids are short and evil humours have entered. Hence, we may say that this universe is of a similar nature to the human body and the spaces within the six cardinal points similar to its internal economy.

   We may say that he who is of an intelligent nature is not alarmed at any of the operations of Nature:
The sage confident in the Unity.
he who is wise, by experience, is not disturbed by any unusual phenomena. The sage thus deduced the far from the near and concluded that the myriad varieties were based on an unity.

   The ancients were one in spirit with Nature and identified with the spirit of the age. At this period there were no guerdons or largesse and congratulations, nor was there the dread of disciplinary punishment. Ceremonies, duty, honesty, (the pillars of society) had not been recognised: nor had the practice of ridicule, compliments, and
Bathed in the Tao.
niggardliness hegun. Thus the people never thought of deceiving, of oppressing, of victimising or of preying on each other. It was as though they were bathed in the great climate of the Tao.

   If we consider, on the contrary, the decadent age of the world, we find that men were many and wealth little: even laborious work failed to bring in the means of subsistence. So there sprang up strifes and struggles. Thus it came about that benevolence, jen, came to find a high place (in the philosophy of life). Benevolence and niggardliness are inconsistent with each other. The men of narrow mind and those of catholic views both formed parties and factions. Schemes of cunning appeared; expediency and sophism
Rise of petty moralities.
were cherished. The simplicity and purity of man's nature died out with the development of this ingenuity of mind. Hence we see how duty and petty virtues came to be honoured.

   The nature of the Yin and Yang elements is never p. 85 uninfluenced by sexual feelings.5 Men and women congregating together in their houses and mustering in cities, without segregation, gave rise to ceremonies.6 Passions of life, being exuberant and compulsive, there arose, involuntarily, want of harmony and lack of cordiality, from which issues sprang the value of music to soothe and cordialize man.

   Thus, we see that whilst benevolence, ceremony, duty, music have the power to deliver men from degeneration,
Partly due to sex feeling.
they are not the most perfect instruments in the art of government. Benevolence is the means for saving men from war: duty that of saving men from loss of nature: ceremony that of saving men from lewdness of life: and music that of saving men from sorrow and trouble of mind.

   When the spirit which is ordained by heaven is centred on spiritual things and is free from passion, and when this
Virtuous Nature is the essential.
spirit of wu wei is prevalent, the people will be good.7 People's nature being virtuous, Nature and the Auras are favourable and afford protection. Thus, then, wealth will be enough, and men will be contented; neither cupidity, avarice, strife nor war will arise. It is clear that, under such conditions, benevolence and duty have no place in the economy. When ethics and moral nature are predominant in the world and the people are simple and unaffected, then it will follow that the eye will not be influenced by beauty nor the ear be ravished by lascivious strains. Amusements, theatricals, merrymaking and jollity, even if they were the allurements of the beauties, Mao Ch‛iang and Hsi Shih, will stir up no desire. Neither will classical music, and dance of Piao Yu and Wu Hsiang give rise to mirth. Being unaffected by lewdness, it is clear that ceremony and music have no place under such a condition.

   Therefore it was that virtue having deteriorated, benevolence came to birth. The failure of human conduct caused the rise of duty. Concord being lost, there arose music; p. 86
See the root is healthy.
and an extravagant ceremonial induced a regulated ettiquette. From this we gather that the spiritual or divine made men aware of the insufficiency of the ethical: a knowledge of the ethical led men to apprehend that benevolence and duty were insufficient for practical life; a knowledge of benevolence and duty led men to see that rites and music were not sufficiently comprehensive.8

   Men, to-day, have turned their backs on the root, and gone in search of the branch. They have abandoned fundamental principles and paid attention to mere details, so that it is impossible to arrive at real truth.9

   The greatness of Heaven and Earth can be shown and be known by measurement: the motions of the heavenly bodies can be calculated by science: the reverberating sound of thunder can be estimated by striking the drum: the change of wind and weather can be gauged by the twelve laws of sound. Hence, the visible, vast though it be, can be measured: the luminaries that can be seen can be investigated; sound that can be heard can be harmonised: colour that can be observed can be differentiated. Notwithstanding, the greatest thing of all, (the Tao), cannot be contained by Heaven and Earth: and, being so fine and tenuous, the human mind cannot classify it.

   Now, with regard to the creation of laws and instruments for differentiating the five colours, for
Rites artificial.
distinguishing the high and low notes and the five flavours, there is an implication that the original nature has been changed into an artificial application: the creation of benevolence and duty, the establishment of rites and of music imply that natural virtue has been replaced by an artificial one. Once the artificial came into operation, clever people overawed the simple and cunning schemes were used to deceive superiors. But remember that what the skill of one can do will be matched by somebody else's skill. Only the man who abides in the real nature can rule.

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   In ancient times, Tsang Chueh invented the art of writing, and (in alarm) Heaven rained corn; the demons cried the night through (fearing the rise of skill and craft). When Pei I bored for the first well, the dragon ascended the sable cloud and made its spiritual roosting place in the K‛un-Lun mountain. Thus, the more the display of ability, the less becomes the power of virtue. Therefore, the maker of the Chou Ting (Urn), cast the figure of Ts‛ui, a man biting his finger, on the surface of an urn, in token of his opinion that cunning works of skill should not be the creation of human skill, but great art comes from Wu-Wei, not from craft, Yu-Wei.10

   With regard to government by the Perfect Man, it is thus: his mind and spirit function together: his body
Govern in the spirit.
blends with his nature. With this tranquillity he embodies the virtue (tê); in movement he is permeated with reason; his nature conforms spontaneously and follows automatically the flux of nature; he is permeated with the spirit of Wu-Wei, and the empire spontaneously is at peace: he is unruffled by desire, and so the people, as a consequence, are simple in their habits: he is not interested in omens or myths, and so the people meet with no untimely fates: there is no strife, and so plenty exists.11 Equally the whole world and generations to come share these advantages. But it was not known to whom to ascribe these operations,12 or how they could be described. Therefore, he has no honours, during his life-time nor ascriptions of praise after death. He accumulates no wealth, and no monument of adulation is raised to him. It is all the work and merit of the tao.

   The giver does not reckon his gifts to be charity, nor does the recipient look on it with anything but sincerity. What is given and received is a matter of course. Virtue fills every act and there is nothing done without it. Hence that which is unified by tê, virtue, is not such as can be injured by Tao—i.e. they are indentical in spirit. What the understanding does not comprehend cannot be explicated p. 88 by a gifted speaker. The tao is inexplicable. The tao that cannot be expressed is embosomed in the very Heaven of Truth. This Tao can be used without exhaustion, and it yields its treasures without ever being the poorer. Its source is unknown: let us call it the Yao Kuang, the north constellation. Yao Kuang is the treasury and granary of creation.

   To save the needy and supply the deficient gave rise to the name jen, benevolence: to advance the interests of men and eliminate the sources of misfortune, arrest anarchy and stop violence is the work of the soldier. Were the world without plagues and evils, even an angel would find no room for the exercise of charity. Were the classes and masses living in amity, even the most worthy would find no channel for the dispensation of good works and the establishment of merit.

   In olden times, when Yung Ch‛eng13 was king, old and young observed the precedence of the road like geese:
Historical observations.
an infant could be placed in a bird's nest; surplus corn could be left in the open fields for anyone to share in; the tail of the tiger and leopard could be played with; the viper could be stepped upon. Nevertheless, none knew the cause of such a state, but simply said it was natural.

   Coming to the times of Yao, ten suns once appeared together, scorching the crops, killing trees and plants, so that the people had nothing to eat: ferocious dragon-like beasts, baboons with long teeth, monsters of the deep, gorillas or bears, great boars and pythons are hurtful to people. So Yao employed I to slay the baboons in the wastes of Ch‛ou Hua and killed the monsters on the shore of the evil waters (of the barbarian north); he bound the evil beast that creates hurricanes in the marshes of the Ch‛ing Chiu; he shot the ten suns above and destroyed the dragon-like beast below; he cut down the python in T‛ung Ting lake and captured the wild boars in the Mulberry forest. The people were delighted and placed p. 89 Yao on the pedestal of the Son of Heaven.14

   It was then, for the first time, that the empire had any cartography. The country was divided into nine divisions, with specifications of mountains and plains, and distances were mapped out. During the time of Shun, the engineers mismanaged the floods and the obstreperous waves beat in violence against the land. The Lung Men was not then opened, nor the Lu Liang mountain tunnelled: the Yangtse and Hui rivers were still one, and the sea filled all the plains below. The people sought the high grounds and dwelt in the trees. So Shun employed Yü to drain the Three Rivers and the Five Lakes, to tunnel the I Ch‛üeh mountain and lead forth the waters of the Ch‛an and Chien. Channels and drains were made to lead all the waters to the Eastern Sea: the great flood flowed away and the continent dried up. The people found repose and ascribed Yao and Shun to be sages.15

   At a later age, the emperors Chieh and Chou16 built marble houses and jasper terraces, porches of ivory and beds of jade. Chou had a forest of meats and game hanging for his tables, and a lake of wine. He exhausted all the natural resources of the country and wasted the energies of the people: he extracted the heart of his minister (who ventured to reprimand him) and ripped open a pregnant woman in order to examine the embryo. He put the empire into confusion and oppressed the people. At this juncture, T‛ang, accordingly, with 300 chariots of war, overthrew Chieh at Nan Ts‛ao and imprisoned him in a great tower. Wu Wang, too, with 3000 armoured soldiers, destroyed Chou in Mou Yeh, slaying him at Hsüan Shih. Whereupon the empire was settled in peace, and concord multiplied. These were, therefore, named the worthies of Tang and Wu.

   From this we may gather that to gain the ascription of a Worthy or Sage it was essential to fall on the troublous times of anarchy. Today how many perfect men, born in an age of turmoil, full of virtue, and cherishing the p. 90 Tao, possessing inexhaustible knowledge, yet keeping silence, putting a muzzle on their own mouths and a gag on their lips, have died without the age knowing how to esteem their silence.17 Hence the Tao that can be explained and spoken is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be defined is not the eternal name. Such as can be inscribed on bamboo, carved and cut in metal and stone and transmitted, are only secondary and inferior goods. The Five Emperors and Three Kings differed in their achievements; but all had a common purpose. They went by different roads, but reached the same end. Later scholars have been ignorant of that which formed the Unity of the Tao and the essential and important points of the embodiment of virtue. They appropriated ready-made opinions and adopted old fashions. Stiffly seated opposite each other, they discussed these ready-made theories and beat the drum and shouted for joy and danced in their pleasure or joined in animated and lively argument. Thus, savants hear much, but are filled with many doubts,17 a condition aptly described by the words of the Ode 11. 6 Bkv. Pt. 2.


   The Sage-Emperor embodies the principle of wu-wei. The King imitates the Yin and Yang. The Autocrat copies the Four Seasons. The Prince uses the Six Laws.18

   The Supreme (God) holds sway over Heaven and Earth and keeps in subjection the mountains and rivers.19
Emperor, King, Autocrat, Prince.
He sends forth and calls in the Yin and Yang, and lengthen out, as well as draws in, the Four Seasons. He stretches out the Heavens and holds together the six quarters of the globe: he supports and covers all things, sending dew, giving light, affording guidance. His mercy overflows without selfish partiality. He is impartial in His love and dislike; all flying insects or creeping things p. 91 (all creation) depend on His energy for birth.

   Yin and Yang, with harmonious endowments from Heaven and Earth, give bodily form to myriad varieties: possessing the tempered fluids, the flux of matter proceeds to the end, so that the embryos of species may be produced. The expansion and contractions, the impalpableness and tenuity cannot be fathomed. The beginnings and the endings, the unformed, with its later maturity, proceed in their paths in unceasing march.

   Of the Four Seasons the Spring begets, the Summer fructifies, the Autumn gathers, the Winter conserves. There is method in the reception and bestowment: there are times for ingress and egress. The pullulating arid withering seasons, the expansion and suspension of life have their timely order: there is no mistake in the process. Spring (joy), Autumn (anger) (asperity), Summer (strength), Winter (weakness), never depart from their appointed courses.

   The Six Laws20 may be thus expressed. They concern the granting of life or sentence of death, rewards and punishments, bestowment or alienation of lands. Anything not administered according to these harmonies would be without principle. Therefore, such a man is careful of the weights and measures,21 of the standards and measuring lines, (or is equitable, just and true), sees to it that (even small things) are correct, so that his country may be governed properly.

   We may also conclude that the man in sympathy with T‛ai I (the Supreme) is enlightened as to the facts of
The Characteristics of their rule.
Heaven and Earth and animated with the obligations due to tao and te: his intelligence is clear as the noontide; his spirit is identified with creation: his activity and rest synchonize with Yin and Yang: his joy and anger act in cordiality with the Four Seasons. His virtuous charity reaches the most distant parts, and his name is transmitted to later generations. This is the man, the Emperor, who embodies p. 92 the principles of the T‛ai I.

   The King imitates Yin and Yang; his virtue stands on a par with Heaven and Earth; his intelligence is comparable with the sun and moon; his spiritual character is like the divinities. He is similar to Heaven and Earth (they are the round and square); he maintains the principles of right, justice and truth. Able to govern himself, he obtains the adhesion of men. So there are none in the empire who do not follow and give general assent to laws and commands, as they are issued and promulgated.

   The Autocrat copies the Four Seasons and acts flexibly, but not with impatience, firmly, but not with harshness, generously, but not with excess, eagerly, but not refractorily. Leisurely, flexibly, deliberately, persistently he acts so as to nourish the various things and affairs of life. His goodness tolerates the simple, and suffers the reprobates. There is no trace of a baleful partiality.

   The Princes use the Six Laws, suppress anarchy, arrest the violent, advance the worthy and degrade the unfit: they brush away the incompetent and forcibly correct them: they straighten out the rough and awkward and bend the crooked to make him straight. These know what to prohibit and permit, what to encourage and what to discourage. Following the spirit of the times and popular ideas, they act so as to command the allegiance of men.

   Now, when he who is emperor acts in sympathy with Yin and Yang (and not with God, as he should) he will
Abuse of the proper order leads to failure.
suffer from the aggression of others. When the king imitates the Four Seasons, he will have his territories sliced away. When the autocrat uses the six laws, he will suffer shame at the hands of his neighbours. When the prince loses his square and line i.e. righteousness and justice, he will see the defection of his people.

   Thus we may conclude that when a man of minor gifts attempts deeds beyond his abilities, he will act in a very defective manner, lacking all the marks of a finesse of p. 93
A Square peg in a round hole.
detail which is the characteristic of the first-rate man, so the people are estranged. When the man in a superior station deals with second-rate affairs, it will follow that his government will be narrow and his plans skinny. His plans will offer no room for development of great things. When the classes and masses attend to their own businesses, each to each, the empire will be properly ruled.

   Heaven is careful of its own powers and Earth of its own elements: men guard their own natures. The powers of Heaven are sun, moon, planet, thunder, lightening, wind and rain. The elements of Earth are fire, water, metal, wood, soil. The nature of man consists of feeling, thought, meditation, intelligence, joy and anger. And so, when the four senses are closed up and the "five extravagances"{22} are suspended, the being or individual will be immersed in the tao. Hence the spiritual faculties will be hidden in the invisible world, and the spirit will return to the Perfect Body (or the Perfect Realm).{23} In such a state the eye will be clear, but not occupied with seeing; the ear will be quick, but not given to hearing; the mind will be exquisitely intelligent, directly intuitive, but not occupied with thinking. There will be an abandon and no energetic activity: harmonious concord will prevail, without giving rise to pride of self (or boastfulness). The appetites, the passions, will be in a state of calm, and there will be no employment of human wisdom and clevernesses. The spirit fills the eye, so he sees clearly; it is present in the ear, so he hears acutely; it abides in the mouth, and so the person's words are with wisdom; it accummulates in the mind, so his thoughts are penetrative. Hence the closing down of the Four Senses gives the body rest from troubles, and the individual parts have no sickness. There is no death, no life, no void, no excess: in such a condition of spirit, like the diamond, it will not wear away: such are the characteristics of the Perfect Man.24 All anarchy springs from excess: the causes of excess may be traced p. 94 to the extravagant use made of the five elements. Let us take these in order.25

   Extravagant and Luxurious Use of Wood.—A lavish use of timber in building, with rafter and post interlacing
Waste and excesses the cause of anarchy.
each the other, in the creation of palaces and residences, lofty storeys are built, with high passages connecting the one with the other: spacious basements, rafters, poles, pillars, planks and boards, of every description, are used, each and all mutually connected and affording mutual support, one being clamped and dovetailed into the other. Cunning workmanship is used to engrave the floating dragon and crouching tiger on these, or in decoration of the rooms. The most dazzling colours are used to depict pictures of water and flowers, wreathing and encircling in tortuous lines the pillars and walls, elaborate designs of luxuriant scenes of grass and water, one following on the other, in great profusion.

   Extravagant and Luxurious Use of Water.—Long and deep channels are dug through the ground, stretching right to the far distance. Waters are led into these from the hills. Ornamental and zigzag ways are created, slabs of stone are piled up; squares of marble are built into ornamental banks or jetties and landing places; obstacles are placed in the water to create artificial waves and fountains, the waters being lashed into angry waves. The water is bent in its path, being deviated hither and thither,—now straight, now oblique, here turning sharply round, there moving in a curving channel, in imitation of the waters of Yü, Ou, and Wu. The lotus and the chestnut plants are grown in abundant luxuriance in these waters, to feed the tortoises and fishes. Great herons, the turquoise kingfishers26 fly about; paddy rice and millet abound. The dragon boats, with the fabulous bird painted on the prow, sail along, to the sound of gala music.

   Extravagant and Luxurious Use of Soil.—High walls are built round the cities for defence: trees are planted p. 95 for bulwarks:27 parapets of earth and timber of surpassing height are admired and sought after: extensive walled and unwalled gardens for housing the rarest animals; portals and houses of giddy heights are erected, touching the very clouds and rivalling the Kun-Iun mountain itself in height. Men erect walls and parapets and build thoroughfares over giddy heights. Elevations are lowered and depressions raised: earth is piled on earth, mountain high. To pass quickly from one place to another and in order to reach distant parts, roads are straightened, and obstructions and dangers removed. There is constant riding to the hunt, but no accidents through horses stumbling.

   The Extravagant and Luxurious Use of Metal.—Great bells and tripods, beautiful vessels, works of art are manufactured. The decorations cast on these have been superb. The mountain dragon, or pheasant, and all animals of variegated plumage, the aquatic grass, flamboyants and grains of cereals were engraven on them, one symbol interwoven with another. The sleeping rhinoceros and crouching tiger, the dragon, wreathed in coils, were wrought. These figures shone with the brilliancy of the sun, dazzling the eyes: the decorations and the engravings in metal shone with different rays and variegated hues: there were zigzag lines, dovetailing traceries. Roughness was smoothed out; every flaw was eliminated; the lines were exceedingly fine, like those of the bamboo and water reeds with the whiteness of snow. They were close together and yet each apart, distinct and clear. Though carved, the lines could not be felt, so smooth and even was the work.

   The Extravagant and Luxurious Use of Fire.—By roasting, frying, broiling and stewing, they sought to perfect the cooking of foods and to give the viands flavour, rivalling the sweet and acid tastes of Ching and Wu, in their variety, by sauces made from the salt of Ch‛i.

   Forests were burnt for the chase, great timbers being scorched and charred. Bellows blew the fires of the stoves, so that the very iron and brass of these were melted by p. 96 the roaring heat. So it went on, day by day. There were no big trees left on the mountains nor wild mulberry in the fields: wood was burnt into charcoal; grass was scorched and burnt into ashes; the grasses of the fields, betimes, were scorched white, so that nothing found its seasonable ripeness. The sky, above, was hidden by the smoke, and the wealth of the land, below, was exhausted by the extravagance.

   One, alone, of these five extravagant wastes would be enough to bring the empire to ruin! Consider the simplicity of the ancient court of the Ming Tang28 in ancient times. They were simply built to ensure that no damp should arise from the ground, nor rain and fog enter from above, and that they might be shielded from the winds that blow from the four quarters. This was thought enough. The walls were not ornamented: the woodwork was not carved (or even sawn or planed too fine). The metal vessels were not engraved; clothes were not cut out with any elaboration (i.e. the corners were not cut off, but shaped much in the way of a kimono). Hats were not shaped with elaborate corners,29 but in a simple style. The Ming Tang was built just large enough for people to move about comfortably in attendance on their duty: it was kept so quiet and clean as to be fit for the worship of God and for the ceremonies of 'All Souls.'30 The people were thus taught to practise economy in expenditure.

   But music, painting and the five flavours, the rare delicacies and curios of distant countries, wonderful and
Luxury inflames the passions.
curious articles are enough to agitate the mind and give inconstancy to the will, to stir the soul and inflame the passions in an indescribable way.

   The production of wealth by Nature consists really of no more than the five elements. The sage king, by the economical use of these,31 governed without excesses.

   All people whose natures and minds are blended in harmony, without anger or joy, and whose desires are p. 97 simple, are animated with the feeling of pleasure. Pleasure seeks to express itself in movement: movement gives rise to motion, the tripping of the feet: this again leads to song and dance. When song and dance are spontaneous, wild animals come in and join in the dance.31a

   When people's minds and natures are in sorrow, by reason of death, there arises grief; and with grief comes mourning. Weeping excites the nerves, and excitement leads to passion. Passion, on the other hand, wants to express itself in physical movements; so there ensues the gesture of hand and foot. Anger gets hold of a person who sees his land pillaged and raided. Anger rises in this way: the blood, coursing fast in the veins, gives rise to temper, and violence of spirit issues in the ebullition of anger. Once anger has been vented, the hatred of the mind has been released.

   Thus, bells, drums, flutes, whistles, shields and feather flags are the symbolic embellishments of joy. Garments of frayed edges, caps of hemp, rough hemp clothes and mourning staff32 are the symbolic ornaments of a mourning spirit. The pangs of sorrow have their regulations, whereby grief is restrained within bounds. Arms, wands, metal drums, battle-axes and halberds symbolise anger. There is the fact; and the symbolic representation of it is shown. In ancient times, the sage sat in the seat of honour administrating and instructing impartially: and the feeling of kindness and goodwill blended: high and low were of the same mind, prince and minister were in concord. The necessaries of life were enough and to spare. Families and individuals had enough. Fathers were sympathetic; sons were filial, elder brothers kind and the younger ones cooperative. There was no grumbling at life nor regrets at death.33 The empire was permeated with the spirit of concord and everyone was satisfied. As the joy and goodwill that filled the heart of everybody needed some means of expressing itself, the Sages created music for the people, in order that they might possess an instrument p. 98 for this self-expression.

   In the government of these modern days, the taxes on agriculture and fisheries are heavy: the octrois and local
Heavy taxes lead to despair
taxes are collected harshly: prohibitions against fishing and the use of weirs make it impossible to use the nets. It is useless to plough the fields. The strength of the people is spent in attending to the demands of the official minions, and their wealth is used up in paying the poll taxes. There is no food at home; there is no corn for those who go forth:34 the aged are not fed nor the dead buried. Wives are sold and children are disposed of, in order to meet the demands of the authorities. Even these desperate measures fail to meet every claim. Rustic people and simple women, homeless and wandering, have lost their spirit, and their minds are filled with despair. It would be an entire misuse of the essential idea of music to strike the great bell, to tap the resonant drum, to blow the pipe and flutes and play on the organ to people under such distressing and unhappy circumstances.

   In ancient times the authorities imposed light taxes and the people had enough. The prince exercised his goodness; the minister discharged his loyalties; the father dispensed his kindness; the son consummated his filial duty. All were moved by the feelings of love, and there was no room for any unfriendly spirit.

   The three years mourning is not to be observed as matter of compulsion (but of real feeling); at such a time, music has no pleasure; good food has no taste: the mind can't leave off thinking of the departed.

   But the manners and customs of these modern times have deteriorated: extravagant desires have multiplied:
and deterioration of life
rites have degenerated. Prince and minister are given to mutual deception: father and son are suspicious of one another; the spirit of antipathy and aversion fills every breast; thoughts of true filiality are dead in the mind. A feeling p. 99 of hilarity and levity exists in those who are clad in the mourning dress and who wear the white cap: and though there is a full three years observance of mourning rites, the real feelings of mourning are wanting.

   In olden times, the king's demesne of a 1,000 square li and the land of the feudal lords of a 100 li were sufficient
Unworthy ruler to be removed.
for the needs of each; there was no need of mutual aggression; each attended to his own possessions. Should it happen that a recalcitrant appeared who did not act in this princely spirit, but oppressed the people, quarrelled over territory, plundered land, created anarchy in government, violated prohibitions, who neither responded to summonses, nor obeyed commands,—a person whom no laws could keep in check nor admonitions change, there was nothing for it but to move troops against him for punishment, take him captive and disperse his supporters, wall up his cemetery and substitute a party to sacrifice at the hearth in his place. One of his sons or grandsons was selected by lot to continue the reign.

   In these later times, on the contrary, kings plan to enlarge their dominions and snatch frontiers, by
The right use of Soldiers.
appropriating the land of others and increasing their possessions unceasingly. Their use of soldiers is without just grounds: they punish innocent countries, slay guiltless people and exterminate the descendants of the holy kings of old. Other great countries follow their example of aggrandisement, and rulers, committing the cares of their own country to petty allies, rush forth to rob people of their cattle and make slaves of their children. They destroy the ancestral temples and move away the precious inheritance; they fill the land with rivers of blood and create desolation by their ferocity. All this is done to satisfy the desires of lustful lords. Soldiers were never meant to be used in this way.35

   The 'raison d'être' of the soldiers is to suppress oppression, not to be oppressors, Similarly, music was created p. 100
And decay of music.
for the consummation of concord in human nature, not to be the cause of voluptuousness. Mourning is a rite expressive of the feeling of grief, and not meant to be merely an artificial act.

   There are, therefore, principles in the service of parents, love being the predominant element. There are demeanours and miens observed in the Court, with the feeling of reverence as the chief factor. There are ceremonies in the observances of mourning, but the dominating idea is grief. There is an art for the use of the military, and justice should be the ruling idea in their employment.

   Build on the foundation, and the Tao will operate: when the foundation is neglected, the Tao will fail.