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Ho-Shang-Kung's Commentary on Lao-tse

P.182. 老子河上公章句

posted 10 Mar 2017, 01:31 by Jim Sheng



If it knows when to stop, then there will be no danger. 
        If heaven knows when to stop, then the magical power of the spirits is pre- 
        served and not endangered. 
                   Instead of  天 "Heaven" v.l 夫 "now if one knows  when to stop". Instead of 止 "to stop" 
                 v. l. 之 "by knowing this", which follows a different reading of the text.
Tao's existence in the world may be compared to the relations of the rivers and 
torrents to the [Vang-tse-]chiang and the sea. 
        This means: Tao's relations within the world to man correspond to the harmony 
        with which rivers and torrents mutually mingle their floods with the [Yang- 
        and the sea. 

Ch. 33
How to discriminate Te. 
《辯德》
Who knows men is wise. 
知人者智,
        Who is able to know the love and hatred of men, that one is wise.  
        能知人好惡,是為智。
                Instead of 為智 "is wise" v. I. 有智 "has wisdom". 
Who knows himself is enlightened. 
自知者明。
        If a man is able to know his own worthiness and unworthiness, this means 
        that he reversely hears the soundless and internally perceives the shapeless. There- 
        fore he is called enlightened. 
        人能自知賢與不肖,是為反聽無聲,內視無形,故為明也。
Who vanquishes others possesses strength 
勝人者有力
        Who is able co vanquish others, only manages it by force. 
        能勝人者,不過以威力也。
Who vanquishes himself is strong. 
自勝者強。
        If a man is able to vanquish the desires of his own character, then nobody in 
        the world can fight him. Therefore he is strong. 
        人能自勝己情欲,則天下無有能與己爭者,故為強也。
Who knows contentedness is rich. 
知足者富,
        Who is able to know what forms the contentedness of contentedness, will long 
        retain luck and prosperity. Therefore he is esteemed. 
        人能知足,則長保福祿,故為富也。
                Ho-Shansi-kung's reading 貴 "esteemed" presupposes wording of the text he commented 
                upon. The present reading is implied by the following variant; "Who knows contentedness, 

P. 133

posted 9 Mar 2017, 14:46 by Jim Sheng   [ updated 9 Mar 2017, 14:48 ]



opinions, make themselves intelligible, detach themselves from Tao, adapt them- 
selves to circumstances, avoid reality and effect appearance. Those who are not 
commendable may not be honoured with functions nor endowed with posts. 
Instead of "those who are nor commendable" v. I. "the worthies of the world". 
does not cause the people to contend. 
Do not contend for merit and glory but return to nature. 
Not to praise treasures difficult to gain 
This means that a prince ought not to rule with a love for precious treasures. He 
should cast the money [back] to the mountains [where it came from] and throw 
the pearls and jewels into the lakes. 
causes people not to become thieves. 
If the superiors turn towards purity, the inferiors are not greedy. 
For 净 "purity" v. I. 静"stillness"_ 
Not to show things desirable 
One ought to banish the songs of Cheng and to keep away adulators. 
commentary is a quotation from Lun-yü. For 佞人, adulators" v. I. 
美人 "beauties", which differs from the reading of the Lun-yü and is therefore to be rejected. 
does not lead the mind into confusion. 
Do not be bad and excessive nor unstable and confused. 
Therefore the government of the saint 
This means to govern the country together with the body. 
治身 "to govern the means in Taoist the same as "to lead the life of 
an ascetic". We will therefore regularly translate it by „to practise asceticism". 
empties their minds and fills their bellies, 
Abandon desire and flee from confusion and trouble. Enclose Tao in your 
bosom, embrace unity and retain the five spirits. 
Instead Of 抱一 "embrace unity" an expression alluding to ch. 1o, there is a variant 
抱道 "embrace Tao",  which is rejected by Li Ch'iao. On the five spirits of Howe's, see ch. 6. 
weakens their will 
Side with the weak and supple and do not stay with the powerful. 






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