1 Unkindness(1) Heaven is not kind to man, the ruler is not kind to his people, the father to his son, the elder to the younger brother. Why do I say so? Because Heaven cannot remove disastrous epidemics, nor keep those alive who are cut off in their prime, nor always grant a long life to good people. That is unkindness to the people. Whenever people break holes through walls, and rob or deceive others, and lead them astray, want is at the root of all these offences, and poverty their main spring. Albeit; yet the ruler takes the law, and punishes the culprits. That is unkindness to the people. Yao and Shun swayed the Empire, whereas Tan Chu and Shang Chün1continued simple citizens. That is unkindness to sons. The duke of Chou put Kuan and Ts'ai2 to death, that is unkindness to younger brothers. From these examples, which may be multiplied, we see that there is no such thing as kindness.(2) The duty of the ruler consists in critically examining the names of things and investigating the truth. His officials are expected to receive the law from him and promulgate his commands. The inferiors must not take the law into their own hands. As long as the sovereign wields his power, everything is well governed3. A prince is confronted with three difficulties; an official may become guilty of four faults. Which are the three difficulties? To rely only on one's entourage is the first4. To elect scholars for official posts according to their names5 is the second. To keep up old friendships and take an interest in persons that do not come near one is the third. And which are the four faults? The first is to be the recipient of extraordinary favours without accomplishing anything extraordinary. The second is to be in a high position, and do nothing in the government. The third is to be unjust in one's official dealings. The fourth is to lead an army into battle, and take to one's heels. If a prince is free from these three difficulties and his officials from the four faults, they will secure tranquillity to their country.(3) A prince's power is like his carriage, his authority like his whip, the officials are his horses, the people his cart-wheels. If his power is strong, the carriage is safe. If his authority is recognised, the whip hits well. Obedient officials make good horses, and, if the people are peaceful, the wheels turn quickly. Should in a country there be anything amiss in this respect, there will be a disaster. The state-car is upset, the horses bolt, the wheels break, and everything inside the carriage is smashed.A great danger indeed !For6 a long time past like and unlike could not be separated, right and wrong not be determined, white and black not be divided, pure and unpure not be regulated 7. He who really hears, can hear where there is no sound, he who really sees, can see where there is no sight. He can lay his plans, conformably to what is not yet manifest, and take the necessary precautions against what has not yet come to pass. That is the only method. Not hearing with the ear he apprehends the soundless, not seeing with the eye he perceives the immaterial, not scheming with the mind he grasps what is not yet manifest, not meditating with the intellect he conforms to what has not yet come into existence.If8 a prince conceals his person and hides himself, the lower classes are all unselfish. If he closes his eyes and shuts his ears, the whole people are in awe of him9.(4) A wise ruler ascertains the truth by a critical examen of names, and establishes his power by finding and fixing the law, and establishing his authority. Well versed in outward forms, he does not wait to derive his distinctions from events, and when having tested the doings of others, he employs them, he does not lose thereby, but does so to advantage10. When a wise prince has made one investigation 11, all things take there fixed place. For names outward things are of no use12. Knowledge cannot be merely based on that of others i.e. one must search for it in one's own self13.(5) In governing the ruler must not exceed his power, and the officials not get into confusion. All the state-functionaries have their special departments and exercise their judicial rights. The sovereign studies names to find out the truth, whereas his inferiors receive his instructions, and do not disobey. What is good, he tries to increase, what is bad, to remove. He does not reward, because he is pleased, or punish, because he is angry. That may be called a government.(6) A person carrying a heavy load on his shoulders feels oppressed by the length of the road. He whose aim is glory, is distressed, if deserted by the people. The one carrying a heavy load is worn out by the length of the road, and does not attain his purpose. The exalted one, if deserted by the people, may exert himself ever so much, he cannot govern. Therefore, the wise man estimates the length of the road, before he takes up the load, and an intelligent ruler tests the people, before he sets about governing. One does not hunt bears or tigers in kennels or harpoon whales in fresh-water ponds. Why? Because bears and tigers have not their dens in kennels, and ponds are not the waters where whales live; just as the people of Ch'u did not sail against the current, or that of Chên fold up their flags, or as Chang Lu did not become an official and Lü Tse covered his face for shame14.(7) If anybody is not treated with consideration abroad, it is because he is not polite. If anybody is not beloved where he lives, he does not show himself kind. He who does not find employment despite all his talk, is not trustworthy. He who seeks without finding, has not made a good beginning to start from. He who plans without the approval of others, has no principles, who finds no adherents in his projects has lost the true path15.Since praise is bestowed according to circumstances, the deeds may be the same, but they are called by different names16. If of two persons who are alike one uses his opportunity, the energy exerted by him is only equal to that of the other, but his glory is double. The reason is that he relies upon influence beyond himself.Disputations are not listened to17. Empty words did not yet find an echo. Actions which do not improve an unsatisfactory state of things are not belauded. Hence in discussions one merely discriminates various categories, lest they injure one another. One arranges how different classes have to follow each other, so that they are not mixed up. One elucidates purposes and explains meanings, but does not aim at contradictions. To adorn one's speech with a view to create confusion or to use ambiguous words in order to shift the ground of the discussion is not the ancient method of dialectic18.Without forethought one is unable to cope with sudden emergencies, just as soldiers, who have not drilled when at leisure, are unfit to oppose the enemy. If in the palace schemes are prepared for an area of a thousand li, and admirable plans made in the commander's tent, then a hundred battles give a hundred victories, and we have an army like that of Huang Ti19.(8) Life and death depend on fate, wealth and poverty on time. He who sorrows over an untimely death, does not understand fate, and he who frets over poverty and misery, does not understand time. If a man feels no fear in danger, he knows Heaven's fate, if he is not oppressed by poverty and want, he is aware of the regular change of time.If in a year of famine the father dies in the house, and the son expires near the door, they do not complain, because they do not see each other. If people go to sea in the same boat, and have a storm on their way, their chances to be rescued and their dangers are about equal, and their sorrows the same. Persons spreading the nets and hunting together cry out and regularly answer the calls, and their booty will be nearly equal. Feeling bodily pain one cannot but cry out, and, if a man is full of joy, his face will laugh20.To give a weak person a thousand stone to carry, to direct a lame one to catch a running horse, to chase a swift-footed animal in a parlour, or to wish a monkey to show its quickness in a cage, all this is against reason. He who acts in such a way nevertheless, is like a man who puts his clothes on upside down, and then cannot find the collar.To treat as intimate friends those whom their deeds place at a great distance from us, but as strangers those who are near us; not to employ people, when they are there, but to run after them, when they are away21; these four follies22 are a source of much pain to a wise sovereign.(9) In muddy water there are no fish swimming about, moving their tails, under an oppressive government there are no gay and jolly scholars. The commands being too numerous, the people have recourse to deceit, the administration interfering too much, the people begin to be unsettled. To have only the end in view, and not care for the root is like helping a man about to be drowned by throwing stones upon him, or like putting out fire by throwing in fire-wood.(10) The doctrine when understood23 cannot be apprehended24, cannot be practised. He who knows the great doctrine25, does not know it26, and thus obtains it; does not practise it, and thus completes it27. He has nothing, but nothing fails him; holding the empty 28, he finds out the full truth. Thus all things are done. Honesty is evolved out of what is not honest, justice is born from what is not just29.Talking without restraint is called recklessness, and speaking without controlling one's words ignorance. From looking at their shapes, one learns to know bodies. Following up their principles, one gives things their correct names. Finding out their reasons, one understands the feelings of others. Is there anything that could not be accomplished or, if spoiled, be made good again in this way?That which has objects, is purpose, that which has no externals, is virtue. What requires others, is action, what requires nobody, is the right way. Thus virtue is not active30. Stopping in a place, where one must not stop, one is lost. Taking for the right way, what is not the right way, one is not on the right way, and falls into traps. Though one's purposes be not good, one's aspirations not honest, one's deeds not correct31, one's words empty, yet one can do everything, provided one gets hold of the truth.(11) To say that honour is not like disgrace is no correct statement, and to pretend that obtaining is not like losing no true saying. Not advancing one goes back; not enjoying one's self, one is sad; not being present, one is absent. This is what common people always think. The true sage changes all these ten predicates into one32. The great dialecticians distinguish between actions in general, and embrace all the things of the world. They choose what is good, and reject what is bad. They do what must be done in the right moment, and thus become successful and virtuous. The small dialecticians are otherwise. They distinguish between words and establish heterogeneous principles. With their words they hit each other, and crush one another by their actions. They do not let people know what is of importance. There is no other reason for this than their own shallow knowledge. The ideal man33, on the other hand, takes all the things together and joins them, combines all the different ways and uses them. The five flavours, he discerns in his mouth, before he has tasted them. The five virtues, though residing in his body, are nevertheless extended to others. There is no certain direction which he follows. He rejects justice before the eyes. Measures to suppress disorder, he does not take. He is contented, having no desires; serene, for he takes everything easy. His devices are unfailing, his perspicacity enters into the smallest minutiae.(12) A ship floats on the water, a cart rolls on the earth. That is their natural movement. Those who do not govern know that they need not prepare for the future34.(13) When a stone breaks the axle-top or the waves shatter a ship, one is not angry with the stones or the waves, but one blames the workman for his lack of skill35, and does not use his vehicle any more. Thus the knowing fall into errors, the prudent skirt danger, and those who have eyes are dazed. Therefore there is only one rule which does not change. Not relaxing in one's principles for Chin's or Chu's sake, not altering one's appearance for Hu or Yueh36; bent on one aim, unwavering37, walking straight on, never at random; if one practises that one day, the whole world will follow suit, and there will be the doing of the non-doing.(14) Seeing with one's own eyes, one sees, borrowing other people's, one is blind. Hearing with one's own ears, one hears, borrowing other people's one is deaf. A wise ruler knows that, and accordingly clearly distinguishes between what he has to do and what he has to avoid.A prince must be like the sunshine on a winter-day, or the shade in summer38. Then all creatures will obey him unforced39. While he quietly lies down, his deeds are done of themselves, and while he amuses himself walking about, his government works spontaneously. The rolling of eyes, grasping of hands, and flourishing of whips and sticks are not its necessary premises40.(15) If persons around a prince do not stand by him, the reason is his knowing and not knowing. Those who though connected with are not addicted to him, are to all outward appearance his intimate friends, but inwardly they are strangers to him. His real friends, if far away, forget to respond to his call, and strangers, who are near him, forget that nothing connects them with him.If people while near do not find employment, their plans are frustrated41. If they are wanted after they have gone, they do not forget that they have gone42. In case a prince does not condescend to those near, their hearts become estranged from him, and if he thinks of them when far away, he furthers their aims43. Therefore does an intelligent ruler take great care in choosing his men, and the scholar likewise in offering his services.
2 The turning of words(16) For a long time the world has been led astray by the words grief and despair, pleasure and joy, anger and wrath, sadness and melancholy. Now I propose to restrict despair, joy, anger and melancholy to self, and grief, pleasure, wrath and sadness to others44. Between supporting and leading, declining and blaming, reason and right, agreeing and self there is the greatest difference45. The art of speech consists in the following : With the intelligent speech must be based on vast learning, with the learned on dialectic, with dialecticians on equanimity46, with the noble on power, with the wealthy on influence, with the poor on profit, with the brave on boldness, with the stupid on demonstration. That is the art of speech47. One does not succeed, if one starts before having thought the matter over; one reaps very little, if one begins the harvest too soon.One must not say what is not proper, nor do what is not correct to avoid danger. Nor must one take away anything, if not allowed to do so for fear of punishment, nor dispute on things which are not debatable, lest the word escape. The swiftest horse does not bring back a wrong utterance nor overtake a rash word. Therefore he is called an ideal man who never utters bad words nor listens to wicked talk.When officials are appointed, the unintelligent are unable to fill a post, the clever are not compliant, the benevolent not attached to one person, the bold do not make advances, those who trust others cannot be trusted. Not to be guided by men's human qualities when employing them is what I call divine48.Anger originates from no anger, action from no action. Looking at what is not there, one obtains that which one sees, listening to what has no sound, one obtains that which one hears. Hence the immaterial is the root of the material, the soundless is the mother of sound.The truth discovered through researches into names is the highest truth, and names given in accordance with truth are perfect names. By combining those two methods to an equal degree so that they complete one another one finds objects and their names.(17) When the rivers are dried up, the valleys become empty, when the hills fall down, the streams are blocked with the débris.The sages being dead, the big robbers do not come to the front, and the land enjoys peace. If the sages do not die, the big robbers do not stop49. How do we know that it is so ? If one measures something with pecks and bushels, it is stolen together with the pecks and bushels. If one weighs it with balance and scales, the balance and scales are stolen too. If one relies on something owing to a token or a seal, it is stolen with the token and seal. What is instructed in benevolence and justice is stolen with benevolence and justice to-boot. How so? Those who steal property, are put to death, those who steal kingdoms, become princes. Since in the palaces of such princes benevolence and justice are still to be found, have they not been stolen likewise ? That big robbers usurp princely rights is a great success, of which robber Chê could not boast. The sages are responsible for it50.Likes and dislikes, goodness and wickedness, any attempts at reforming these four are useless. Courtesy and bad manners, politeness and arrogance, any offence in regard to these four can be made good. Those who are simple and honest and know how to endure pain and disappointments do not offend, and have not to make amends. That is everlasting virtue. With those who always talk about trust, but cannot be trusted in what they do, or who will discourse on goodness, but do nothing good, one must be on one's guard.(18) The first principle of government is not to allow private interests to prevail. The greatest success consists in restraining the people from quarrelling. In the government which we have now, there is action; individual interests are in conflict with the government, and the confusion is worse than as if there was no government. A ruler is set up, and there the strife begins. The stupid people fight with the ruler, and the confusion is worse than it would be without a ruler51. Therefore in a well principled state no actions, neither selfish nor altruistic are done. A ruler is elected, and the stupid people do not oppose him. They are one with their sovereign, things are decided according to law. That is the proper way for a state. A wise ruler at the head of his ministers finds out people's reputation by inquiring into their conduct. From their reputation he learns how they appear to others, and from their appearance how they really are. Afraid of severe punishments, his subjects dare not yield to their selfishness.(19) The heart is fond of quietude, the intellect likes to roam far and wide52. When the heart is quiet, it obtains what it wants, when the intellect roams far and wide, schemes and plans are laid. The heart dislikes agitation, and the intellect narrowness. The heart being agitated, one loses one's temper; the intellect being narrow, its many projects fail53. In good times the manners are free and easy, in troublesome times they are very ceremonious and difficult to observe. In remote antiquity the music was sound and not plaintive, now it is depraved and licentious. In remote antiquity the people were honest and simple, now they are deceitful and over-active. Once exemplary punishments54 were used, and nobody committed an offence55. As soon as an attempt is made to better by tattooing and cutting off people's noses they lose all sense of shame. Then there is more disorder than order.Yao put up a drum for those who had to made complaints, Shun a wood for those who wanted to impeach some one. Tang had censors, Wu warnings engraved in metal. These four sovereigns were sages, and yet they took all these pains. Li Lu killed Tung Li Tse, and Su Sha56 murdered Chi Wên, Chieh executed Lung Fêng, and Chao 57 disembowelled Pi-Kan. These four princes were criminal rulers, therefore they hated sages like enemies. Hence there is as much distance between the wise and the stupid as between a valley several thousand feet deep and a mountain several ten thousand high, or between the deepest Hades and the loftiest mountain peak.(20) A wise ruler leads his people as a charioteer his coursers, without a bridle, and as a man walks over ice with a heavy burden on his shoulders58. Those near him he treats like strangers, and strangers like near relatives. If he is prudent and thrifty, he is blessed with happiness, if extravagant and dissipated, misfortune arises. A sage leads an easy life. In his own generation he seldom finds his peer. The nature of all things is repose (it needs no punishments with whips and sticks) — silence (there is no noise, no cries). Then the families are well supplied, and so are the individuals, and the whole world enjoys universal peace. One sees everything clearly and distinctly, and knows what is hidden59. One surmises what has not yet happened, and beholds what has not yet come to pass. That is what is called the invisible spirit and the invisible mystery.(21) If a sovereign cannot keep his independence and likes to rely on his subordinates, his knowledge becomes more and more narrowed and his position more and more precarious. Pressed from below he has not his hands free, and conforming in all to the people, he cannot uphold his dignity. His knowledge is not sufficient for the administration, his power to mete out punishment, and there is no link between him and the people. If then a sovereign gives rewards, because he is pleased, one must not imagine that one has done something meritorious, and if he punishes, because he is angry, one must not consider it a condign penalty. Because sovereigns will not control their pleasure and anger, rewarding and punishing at will, and like to leave all the responsibility to their officials, one kingdom after the other has been lost, and many a prince has been assassinated. The ancients had a saying that many mouths can melt metal60, and that three men are as dangerous as a tiger. That ought to be a warning.(22) The nature of man is such that in discussions he desires to have the last word, and what he has begun he likes to put through. A wise man does not envy others for their excellence on account of his own shortcomings, nor is he jealous of other people's successes, because he himself failed61.If a prince follows those who give good advice and rewards them, and exposes them who give bad advice and punishes them, thus cutting off the way of depravity and evil, and doing away with all licentious talk, his subjects will take the key, and his attendants hold their tongues, and he can be called an intelligent ruler. Those who do good, the prince rewards, those who do evil, he punishes. He treats the people according to the manner in which they show themselves, and requites them conformably to their accomplishments. He follows a sage, and therefore can make use of him. He does so in a reasonable way, and therefore can go on for a long time. The sovereigns of the present day have not the ability of Yao and Shun, but are anxious to have the same government. That plunges them in utter confusion and darkness, and things are not cleared up at all. In vain they strive for the semblance of a government, but are incapable of bringing order into the general confusion.(23) Sorrows begin after one has obtained an appointment. A disease breaks out, when the patient has already recovered a little. Misfortune is the outcome of idleness. Filial conduct is lost through the wife. Of these four things one must take great care at the end as much as at the beginning. The wealthy must help the poor, the young and strong the old. Those who are dominated by their propensities and yield to their desires, will become extravagant and brutal. Therefore I hold that there is no reason, why we should esteem people for their nobility, or think much of them for their talents, why we should look up to them, because they have money, or bow to them, because they are strong and bold. He who acts up to this, deserves the name of a perfect man.(24) For those who have a proposition to make the greatest difficulty is to get a hearing, for those who want to do something, to carry it through. To carry through something the circumstances must be favourable, to get a hearing the hearer must be favourably predisposed. Therefore throwing a heap of fuel on a fire, one must first light it, and watering a level ground, one first soaks it. Touching a kindred note one always gets a response62. That is the only practical way63.(25) If, after a prince has established his laws, those who abide by them are rewarded, and those who break through the restrictions are punished, such a prince is called a silly ruler and his state a lost state64.(26) A wise man stands quietly between right and wrong, and good and evil are distinguished65. A prudent man keeps quiet between what is desirable and what is not, and going forward and backward are well defined. If a wise man cannot distinguish between right and wrong or a prudent one between what is desirable and what is not, they are frauds.(27) The eye is prized for vision, the ear for hearing, the heart for justice. If we see with the world eye, there is nothing which we do not see. If we hear with the world ear, there is nothing which we do not hear. If we think with the world intellect, there is nothing which we do not understand66. Possessing these three faculties one preserves them in inaction.
1The sons of Yao and Shun said to have been unworthy of the Empire.2These two brothers of the duke rebelled against their imperial master Chêng Wang, their nephew, and were overpowered by the duke.3Têng Tse advocates a pure despotism.4A prince seldom learns the truth, hearing only so much as his councillors think fit.5The name viz. the character of officials does not always correspond to their real worth.6This paragraph has no connexion whatever with the preceding with which it is connected in the text. I therefore have separated it in the translation.7 How this knowledge is to be obtained, we hear in the sequence.8The text again connects the two paragraphs.9The wonderful effect of inaction.10The meaning of this paragraph is very obscure and mere guesswork.11Concerning the ultimate cause of everything. When he has attained to that knowledge, everything becomes clear and settled to him.12It is essential to have one general principle, from which all relations expressed by words can be deduced. Outward things alone, as we perceive them, do not teach us what they really are, and how therefore they must be called.13 Knowledge comes from within, not from without, is subjective, not objective.14 I have only been able to trace one of these four allusions. In Mê-ti, Chapter 49, towards the end, we learn that the people of Chu when fighting that of Yüeh on the Yangtse would always attack with the current. These allusions are evidently meant to show that what is not appropriate must not be done. Chang Lu and Lü Tse are proper names, but nothing is known about them. Probably we must insert [不], ‘not’ before [之] ‘did not cover his face for shame’, because all the preceding clauses are in the negative. Why Chang Lu and Lü Tse behaved, as they did, we do not know.15People are to a great extent themselves responsible for their misfortunes or the failure of their projects, something being wrong with them.16This paragraph must be separated from the preceding, which is not done in the Chinese text.17A new clause again.18Têng Tse here distinctly repudiates those dialectical tricks with which he himself is charged as a sophist, and states in plain words the aim and method of a true logic.19 Huang Tî is credited with having organised wild beasts into an army by which he routed his opponent Yen Ti (Wang Chang, Book II, Chapter 42)20People suffering (as in the case of the common sea-voyage) or enjoying themselves together (as when hunting) will give vent to the common feeling.21This passage occurs in Kuei Ku Tse, III, 3, but the subsequent argumentation is quite different.22They are as devoid of sense as the instances given in the first part of this paragraph.23Mystically understood.24By the intellect.25By intuition.26 In the ordinary sense of the word.27Inaction and quietism are practical mysticism.28The terms ‘nothing’ and ‘empty’ describe the nature of the mystic principle.29The mystical principle is the source of all virtues, though itself devoid of any moral quality, therefore neither honest nor just.30The virtue of the mystic is purely contemplative and emotional, not the ordinary practical virtue which requires objects to work upon.31 Not good, not honest is not equivalent to bad or dishonest. A mystic has no purposes, no aspirations like ordinary people. The statement that his purposes are not good is a pars pro toto, his purposes are neither good nor bad, for he has none. His sole aim is to get hold of what he believes to be the truth. Having obtained that, he is perfect, and can do everything without the slightest effort, spontaneously.32The true sage does not care the least for honour and disgrace, obtaining or losing and all these contraries, which play such an important role in the world. To him they are all one and the same.33The bad dialecticians and controversialists multiply distinctions and differences, which exist but in their imagination, the great dialecticians distinguish only between some few general principles. The ideal man, i.e., the mystic does mot make any distinctions at all. He has no fixed purpose, but instinctively always hits the right and knows things, which others do not understand after long study.34They follow the natural course of things, by which everything is settled of itself without the interference of any government or administration.35The text must be corrupt giving no reasonable sense, I would read , etc.36Old Chinese states not quite as civilised as the others. The Hu (Mongols) and the Yüeh in Chekiang did not dress like the Chinese proper.37The identification of the individual with the mystical Unknown by meditation.38The sun gives its warmth spontaneously, not on purpose, and so does the shade its freshness.39Feeling his benign influence.40There is not absolute inaction, but the ruler does not bustle about. He does not scheme or use artificial means, his only guide being the inspiration of the mystical principle.41 Kuei Ku Tse, III, 3 has the same passage, but in a different context.42The latter half of this clause Kuei Ku Tse loc. cit., reads as instead of ?43 Not forgetting the slight they have received first, they take their revenge when the prince is in need of them.44I fail to see how people can be led astray by these synonyms, and how the arbitrary limitations proposed by Têng Tse could be of any use.45The entire passage seems to be corrupt and devoid of sense.46With an able adversary one must never lose one's temper, always keeping clear-headed.47For a parallel cf. Kuei Ku Tse IX, 8.48Choosing the right man instinctively is the proper thing.49The existence of sages calls forth robbers (of which princes and conquerors are the worst) just as dried up rivers make the valleys empty or crumbling hills block the streams.50This paragraph with some unimportant variations towards the end is to be found in Chuang Tse, Cap. X [Wieger].51This was the state of affairs during the Spring and Autumn period, an incessant series of struggles of the different states and of the different factions in each state.52Têng Tse remarks on a certain antagonism between thought and sentiment.53A parallel Kuei Ku Tse XIII, 12, but differently argued.54On exemplary punishment see Edkins, ‘Siün King, the Philosopher’ in J. R. As. Soc. Vol. XXXIII page 49. They consisted merely in a change of dress, the criminals having to dress in a certain way according to their offences.55The usual praise of the good old time.56Legendary rulers. Li Lu is mentioned in Chuang Tse, Chapter 10, of Su Sha I found no trace.57The tyrants Chieh and Chao are well-known and used by the Chinese as typical representatives of wickedness.58i.e., with the utmost care.59By inspiration from the invisible spirit or mystery.60Quoted by Kuei Ku Tse IX, 8.61 Kuei Ku Tse has the following parallel which is much less reasonable: ‘A wise man does not put forward his own shortcomings but stupid people's accomplishments, not his own deficiencies, but the successes of those stupid people. Therefore he does not get into trouble.’62Wishing to perform something one must make the necessary preparations, as the circumstances may require. One seldom attains one's aim directly, one must prepare one's way, as when making a fire or watering a field.63Kuei Ku Tse VIII, 7 gives this whole paragraph, but in a much more diffuse style. His lucubrations make the impression of a clumsy paraphrase of our passage, which he did not understand well.64Only a mystic can say so. In many other aphorisms Têng Tse himself says the contrary.65 He does not use his reasoning power like other mortals, but distinguishes between good and evil intuitively.66The same passage with slight changes occurs in Kuei Ku Tse XII, 10. 69
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