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Ho-Shang-Kung's Commentary on Lao-tse
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.
How to discriminate Te.
Who knows men is wise.
Who is able to know the love and hatred of men, that one is wise.
Instead of 為智 "is wise" v. I. 有智 "has wisdom".
Who knows himself is enlightened.
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.
Who vanquishes others possesses strength
Who is able co vanquish others, only manages it by force.
Who vanquishes himself is strong.
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.
Who knows contentedness is rich.
Who is able to know what forms the contentedness of contentedness, will long
retain luck and prosperity. Therefore he is esteemed.
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,
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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