That which Heaven entrusts to man is to be called his nature. The following out of this nature is to be called the Way. The cultivation of the Way is to be called instruction in systematic truth. The Way, it may not be abandoned for a moment. If it might be abandoned, it would not be the Way. Because this is so, the man of principle holds himself restrained and keyed up in relation to the unseen world (lit. what he cannot see or hear). Since there is nothing more manifest than what is hidden, nothing more visible than what is minute, therefore the man of principle is on guard when he is alone with himself. (The nature in human is the soul or spirit. The Truth about this nature is Tao or Way. Tao or Spirit, inherent in each one, cannot be removed from human body. Once IT is removed, the man is dead. Meditation is to be in communion with Tao or Way, and the mind should be tied to a point and not allowed to wonder about even when alone.)[Few lines have no translation.]
Chung-ni Said: 'The man of true breeding is the mean in action. The man of no breeding is the reverse. The relation of the man of true breeding to the mean in action is that, being a man of true breeding, he consistently holds to the mean. The reverse relationship of the man of no breeding is that, being what he is, he has no sense of moral caution.' (Mean in action is about the same as The Middle Path of the Buddhist doctrine. Mean in action can also be focusing on the centre, because the Mark is the chakra 'shuan-kuan'.)
The Master said: 'Perfect is the mean in action, and for a long time now very few people have had the capacity for it.' (This statement can mean this middle focusing is known to a handful and successful persons.)
The Master said: 'I know why the Way is not pursued. (It is because) the learned run to excess and the ignorant fall short. I know why the Way is not understood. The good run to excess and the bad fall short. Amongst men there are none who do not eat and drink, but there are few who can really appreciate flavors.' (The Middle Way is to maintain a neutral path, so you are not affected by the extremes. Also in meditation, think neither good nor evil.)
The Master said: 'Alas, this failure to pursue the Way!'
The Master said: 'Consider Shun, the man of great wisdom. He loved to ask advice and to examine plain speech. He never referred to what was evil, and publicly praised what was good. By grasping these two extremes he put into effect the Mean among his people. In this way he was Shun (ie a sage-emperor), was he not?' (The use of Shun to explain the mean in action is misleading. Confucius talked about the character of Shun but not how he cultivated himself. The meaning might be in the word 'shun'.)
The Master said: 'All men say "I know," but they are driven into nets, caught in traps, fall into pitfalls, and not one knows how to avoid this. All men say "I know," but, should they choose the mean in action, they could not persist in it for a round month.'
The Master said: 'Hui, a real man! He chose the mean in action, and, if he succeeded in one element of good, he grasped it firmly, cherished it in his bosom, and never let it go.' (The use of Hui is stupid. Hui died young. So he can be said to be not at his prime. When meditating, you can prolong your life.)
The Master said: 'The states and families of the Great Society might have equal divisions (of land). Men might refuse noble station, and the wealth that goes with it. They might trample the naked sword under foot. But the mean in action, it is impossible for them to achieve that.' (don't make sense)
Tzu Lu inquired about strong men, and the Master said: 'Is it strong men of the southern kind (that you have in mind)? The strong man of the south is magnanimous and gentle in instructing people, and he takes no revenge for being treated vilely; it is the habit of a man of true breeding to be like this. The strong man of the north lives under arms and dies without a murmur: it is the habit of a man of true force to be like this. Hence the man of true breeding, how steadfast he is in his strength, having a spirit of concord and not giving way to pressure. He takes up a central position and does not waver one way or another. How steadfast his strength, for, when there is good government, he does not change his original principles, and, when there is vile government, he does not change, even though his life be at stake.' (another nonsense)
The Master said: 'To unravel mysteries and work miracles, that I will not do, even though my name should be recorded for ages to come. The man of true breeding follows the Way in all his acts, and it is impossible for me, therefore, to abandon the course half-way. The man of true breeding has faith in the mean in action. Although he live the life of a recluse, unknown to his age, he has no regrets. A man must be a sage to have this capacity.' (Confucius's admission about Taoist recluse)
The Way of the true man is widely apparent and yet hidden. Thus the ordinary man and woman, ignorant though they are, can yet have some knowledge of it; and yet in its perfection even a sage finds that there is something there which he does not know. Take the vast size of heaven-and-earth; men can still find room for criticism of it. Hence, when the enlightened man speaks of supreme bigness, it cannot be contained within the world of our experience. Nor, when he speaks of supreme smallness, can it be split up in the world of our experience into nothing. As is said in the Book of Songs, 'The hawk beats its way up to the height of heaven, the fish dives down into the abyss.' That refers to things being examined from above and from below. Thus the Way of the man of principle: its early shoots coming into existence in the ordinary man and woman, but in its ultimate extent to be examined in the light of heaven-and-earth. (The bird flying up and the fish represent our eyebrows and the nose. Chuang Tzu also mentioned this in chapter one.)
The Master said: 'The Way is not far removed from men. If a man pursue a way which removes him from men, he cannot be in The Way. In the Book of songs there is the word, "When hewing an axe-handle, hew an axe-handle. The pattern of it is close at hand.' You grasp an axe-handle to hew an axe-handle, although, when you look from the one to the other (ie from the pattern to the block of wood), they are very different. Therefore the right kind of ruler uses men to control men and attempts nothing beyond their correction; and fidelity and mutual service (these two human qualities) cannot be outside the scope of the Way. The treatment which you do not like for yourself you must not hand out to others. And this Way for the man of true breeding has four sides to it, in not one of which have I succeeded. To serve my father as I would have a son serve me as a father, in this I, Chiu, have failed. To serve my prince as I would have a minister serve me as a prince, in this I, Chiu, have failed. To serve my elder brother as I would have a younger brother serve me as an elder brother, in this I, Chiu, have failed. To be beforehand in treating a friend as I would have him treat me as a friend, in this I, Chiu, have failed.' (The Tao or Way is inside us. A block of wood represents man. When hacked to be a axe-handle means becoming a sage. So man and sage is still wood but in different shape only. The mention of good behavior is out of place. Standard behavior is legalized by the men of old, so it is a form of law. Our natural self is without law. Law is man made not God made.)
The acts of the true man agree with the station in life in which he finds himself, and he is not concerned with matters outside that station. If he is a man of wealth and high position, he acts as such. If he is a poor man and low in the social scale, he acts accordingly. So also, if he is among barbarians, or if he meets trouble. In fact, there is no situation into which he comes in which he is not himself. In a high station he does not disdain those beneath him. In a low station he does not cling round those above him. He puts himself in the right and seeks no favors. Thus he is free from ill will, having no resentment against either Heaven or men. He preserves an easy mind as he awaits the Will of Heaven: (in contrast to) the man who is not true, who walks in perilous paths and hopes for good luck. As the Master said: 'In archery there is a resemblance to the man of true breeding. If a man misses the target, he looks for the cause in himself.' (Confucius was contradictory in saying these. He preached to the various princes in different states in order to secure high post but without luck.)
The Way of the true man is like a long journey, since it must begin with the near at hand. It is like the ascent of a high mountain, since it must begin with the low ground. In the Book of Songs there is: The happy union with wife and child is like the music of lutes and harps. When concord grows between brother and brother, the harmony is sweet and intimate. The ordering of your household, your joy in wife and child! (Charity begins at home.)
The Master said: 'How greatly parents are served in this!'
The Master said: 'How irrepressible is the spiritual power in the manes! Look for them and they are not to be seen. Listen for them, and they are not to be heard. They are in things, and there is nothing without them. They stir all the people in the Great Society to fast and purify themselves and wear their ritual robes, in order that they may sacrifice to them. They fill the air, as if above, as if on the left, as if on the right. As the Book of Songs has it: 'The coming of the Spirits! Incalculable. And yet they cannot be disregarded.' Even so is the manifestation of the minute and the impossibility of hiding the real. (He was talking about Tao.)
The Master said: 'Consider Shun, the man of superb filial piety. By the virtue in him he was a sage. In his dignity he was Son of Heaven. In his wealth he owned all within the four seas. Temple sacrifices were made to him, and his memory was cherished by his descendants. Thus it is that outstanding personality is bound to obtain its position of authority, its wealth, its fame, and its lasting life. For thus it is that Heaven, as it gives life to all creatures, can be surely trusted to give to each what is due to its basic capacity. And thus it is that the well-planted is nourished and the ill-planted falls prostrate. (The mention of temple sacrifice is stupidity in the sense that Chinese follow this advice to hero-worship their idols. The praise for Shun is stupid. Shun was not a sage when he was king. He abdicated the throne and later seek the Tao and may be a sage.)
The Book of Songs has the word:
Hail to our sovereign prince! How gracious is his personality! He has put the people to right: he has put his men to right. Heaven has vouchsafed its bounty to him. Heaven has protected him and appointed him king; Heaven's blessing is his, not once but again and yet again. (This is for the future sage-king.)
Thus it is that the man of superb personality is bound to receive the commission from Heaven.
The Master said: 'The only man who has been without sorrow is King Wen. He had Wang Chi for father and King Wu for son. The father laid the foundation, and the son built on it. King Wu thus inherited from a line of kingly men, T'ai Wang, Wang Chi, and King Wen. Once he had buckled on his armor, the world was his, for (although he rebelled) he suffered no loss to his world wide reputation. In dignity he became the son of Heaven, in wealth he owned all within the four seas. Temple sacrifices were made to him, and his memory was cherished by his descendants.' (Confucius's reference to King Wen and King Wu is wrong. These men were not sages. Sage does not kill a living soul. And again the temple sacrifices.)
It was in his old age that King Wu received the Commission, and it was Duke Chou who carried to completion the virtue in King Wen and King Wu. The rite reserved for sacrificing to a Son of Heaven he used for sacrificing to his (non-royal) forbears. And this rule in ritual was extended to the feudatories and great officers and was applied in every rank of society down to the minor officials and the common people. If the father was a great officer and the son a minor official, then the father was buried with the rite of a great officer, but afterwards was sacrificed to with the rite of a minor officer. If the father was a minor official and the son a great officer, then the father was buried with the rite of a minor official, but afterwards was sacrificed to with the rite of a great officer. The practice of mourning for one year was extended to a great officer, of mourning for three years to a Son of Heaven. In the case of mourning for a father or a mother, there was no difference for the noble or the commoner. The practice was the same. (The stupidity of including funeral rites in this book shows the moral standard of Confucius. He had not reached the sage stage. This inclusion did retard the progress of Chinese in the past 2500 years, because people are concern about rites and ritual, so where have they time to learn other things.)
The Master said: 'How wide an influence King Wu's and Duke Chou's filial piety had.' Filial men are those who are well able to follow up what the men before have willed, and preserve what they have undertaken. In the spring and the autumn they repair their ancestral temples, arrange the sacrificial vessels, set in order the ceremonial robes, and offer the seasonal meats. The ritual of the temple is the means by which the line on the male side and the line on the female side are kept distinct. The gradation of titles is the means by which higher and lower ranks are defined. The distinctions of office are the means by which the worth of men is marked. In the pledging rite those of low station present the cup to those of high, and thus a place is made for the common man. At the festal board white-haired old men have their places, and by this means differences of age are observed. To maintain one's ancestors in their proper shrines, to carry out their rites, to play their music, to reverence those whom they honored, to love those closely related to them, to serve the dead as they were served alive, to serve those who are no more as they were served when they were here: this is the height of filial piety. Let (a ruler) only grasp the significance of the rites at the altars of Heaven and Earth and those in the ancestral temple, and government will become (as easy) as pointing to the palm of the hand. For the rites to Heaven and Earth are means by which service is rendered to Shang Ti, the rites in the temple are the means by which (grateful) offerings are made to those from whom we have sprung. (This lecture is stupid. Confucius was promoting custom and traditions. He was trying to say that were proper. That is why Chinese are superstitious and cannot become strong. If you don't pray to your ancestors but do my meditation, you will become strong and prosperous. Also don't pray to the Heaven and Earth, because Tao or Way is inside you.)
The Duke Ai asked advice as to governing, and the Master said: 'King Wen's and King Wu's system of government is revealed in the historical records. It is this: with their kind of men the system worked: without their kind of men it came to an end. Man's right way is to be prompt in good government as the earth's way is to be prompt in making things grow. Thus, good government is like the speed with which some reeds grow. For this reason good government depends on the men (who govern). Such men are obtainable on the basis of their personality. The cultivation of personality is on the basis of the Way. The cultivation of the Way is on the basis of human-heartedness. To be human hearted is to be a man, and the chief element in human-heartedness is loving one's relations. So it is with justice: it is to put things right, and the chief element in it is employing worthy men in public service, whilst the degrees in kinship and the grades of office are the product of the established order of procedure. (Unless those in the high ranks of society can capture the confidence of those in the lower ranks, they cannot gain the support of the people for their administrative measures). Thus it is that the true ruler must not fail to cultivate his self; and, having it in mind to do this, he must not fail to serve his parents; and having it in mind to do this, he must not fail to have knowledge of men; and having it in mind to have this knowledge, he must not fail to have knowledge of Heaven. (See my drawing in my comments on Great Learning above. Same meaning.)
There are five things which concern everybody in the Great Society, as also do the three means by which these five things are accomplished. To explain, the relationship between sovereign and subject, between father and son, between husband and wife, between elder and younger brother, and the equal intercourse of friend and friend; these five relationships concern everybody in the Great Society. Knowledge, human-heartedness, and fortitude, these three are the means; for these qualities are the spiritual power in society as a whole. The means by which this power is made effective is unity. (This lecture is secondary.)
Some people know these relationships by the light of nature. Others know them by learning about them from a teacher. Others, again, know them through hard experience. But once they all do know them, there is unity. Some people practice these relationships with a natural ease. Others derive worldly advantage from their practice of them. Others, again, have to force themselves to practice them. But once they all have achieved success in practicing them, there is unity. (Meditation will develop intuitive power in you.)
The Master said: 'To love to learn is to be near to having knowledge. To put into practice vigorously is to be near to being human-hearted. To know the stings of shame is to be near to fortitude. So we may infer that the man who knows these three things, knows how to cultivate his self. When he knows how to do that, it may be inferred that he knows how to rule other individuals. And, when he knows how to do that, it may be inferred that he knows how to rule the whole of the Great Society with its states and families. (Confucius himself and his so called sage-kings were unable to bring peace to the world world, so his words are useless. I think he just copied from old book like the Book of Songs etc. Or else he should have brought world peace in around 550 BC.)
For those whose function covers the whole Great Society or any one of its constituent states, there are nine basic duties: cultivation of one's self, honoring men of worth, affectionate treatment of the royal family, high respect towards ministers of state, courtesy towards all the other officers, fatherly care of the common people, promotion of the hundred crafts, kindly treatment of strangers, enlistment of the fervent loyalty of the fief-holders. Let the self be cultivated, then the Way is established in the country. Let the right men be put into the right posts, then mistakes[? in administration] will not occur. Let the royal family be treated affectionately, then the royal uncles and cousins will bear no ill will. Let the ministers of state be held in high respect, then there will be no vacillation in policy. Let courtesy be extended to all the other officers, then the lower ranks will doubly repay that courtesy. Let fatherly care be bestowed on the common people, then they will gladly obey. Let the hundred crafts be promoted, then the resources for expenditure will be ample. Let strangers be treated with kindness, then men from all parts will be attracted. Let the loyalty of the fief-holders be enlisted, then the whole Great Society will stand in awe of the Throne. (The main point is self cultivation - meditation. The other words are not so important.)
(At the times of solemn sacrifice) when purification is to be made and ritual robes to be worn, if nothing be done in contravention of the established order of procedure, this is the means by which the individual self is cultivated. If intrigues be expelled from court and seductive beauties kept well away, if riches be regarded lightly and the virtue in men be prized, men of worth are thereby encouraged. If high titles together with generous allowances be given to the members of the royal family, if sympathy be shown with their natural likes and dislikes, they are thereby encouraged to family affection. If their departments be enlarged, and they be given full responsibility, ministers of state are thereby encouraged. If an honest confidence be given to them and allowances be on a generous scale, lower ranks of officers are thereby encouraged. If the corvee be used only at the farmer's slack time and the taxes be lightened, the common people are thereby encouraged. If daily and monthly trials of skill be held, and grants of better rations be given on the merit of the work done, the hundred crafts are thereby encouraged. If they be escorted on their return and welcomed on their arrival, if those who are men of merit be entertained and those who are not be given charity, kindness is thereby shown to strangers. If arrangements be made for sacrifices in great families whose line of succession has been broken, and fiefs which have been extinguished be restored, if order be made where anarchy prevails and support be given where there is danger from attack, and if courts be held at stated intervals and a generous bounty be dispensed at their close with a moderate tribute required at their opening, the fervent loyalty of the fief-holders is thereby enlisted. These are the nine basic duties for the men whose function covers the whole Great Society or one of its states. By the practice of these duties and the way in which they work, there is unity. (This lecture is secondary)
In the transaction of business success depends on preparation beforehand: without preparation there will be failure. If you decide beforehand what you are going to say, (when the time comes) you will not stutter and stammer; and if you are decided on what you are setting out to do, you will fall into no quandaries. Decide (therefore) beforehand what conduct should be, and then there will be no regrets: decide beforehand what the Way is, and then there will be no limit to the result. Thus, unless those in the higher rank of society can capture the confidence of those in the lower ranks it is impossible for them to gain the support of the people for their administrative measures. But there is only one way by which this confidence may be captured; for, if friends cannot trust each other, there can be no confidence in the men in the higher ranks. But there is only one way by which friends can come to trust each other; for if men are not dutiful to their parents, there can be no trust between them as friends. But there is only one way for men to be dutiful to their parents; for, if in rounding in on themselves, they are not true, they cannot be dutiful to their parents. But there is only one way for a man to have a true and real self; for, if he does not understand the good, he cannot be true and real in himself. (Another useless talk.)
It is the characteristic of Heaven to be the real. It is the characteristic of man to be coming-to-be-real. (For a man) to be real [ie to have achieved realness] is to hit the Mean without effort, to have it without thinking of it, entirely naturally to be centred in the Way. This is to be a sage. To be coming-to-be-real is to choose the good and hold fast to it. This involves learning all about the good, asking about it, thinking it over carefully, getting it clear by contrast, and faithfully putting it into practice. If there is any part about which he has not learnt or asked questions, which he has not thought over and got clear by contrast, or which he has not put into practice, he sets to work to learn and ask and think and get clear and put into practice. If he does not get the required result, he still does not give up working. When he sees other men succeeding by one effort, or it may be a hundred, he is prepared to add a hundredfold to his own effort. The man who can last this course, although he is stupid, will come to understand: although he is weak, will become strong. (Good for everyone.)
To (be able to) proceed from (the capacity for) realness to understanding is to be ascribed to the nature of man. To proceed from understanding to realness is to be ascribed to instruction in truth. Logically, realness involves understanding and understanding involves realness.
It is only the man who is entirely real in this world of experience who has the power to give full development to his own nature. If he has that power, it follows that he has the power to give development to other men's nature. If he has that power, it follows that he has the power to give full development to the natures of the creatures. Thus it is possible for him to be assisting the transforming, nourishing work of heaven and earth. That being so, it is possible for him to be part of a trinity of power (heaven, earth, and himself). (This is true and I don't know where he copied from?)
For, in the second place, with regard to the lopsided man, he can have realness. Assuming there is realness, the inference is that it takes on form. If it takes on form, then it is conspicuous. If conspicuous, then full of light: if full of light, then stirring things: if stirring things, than changing them: if changing them, then transforming them. Thus it is only the man who is entirely real in the world of experience who has the capacity to transform.
A characteristic of the entirely real man is that he is able to foreknow. When a country is about to flourish, there are bound to be omens of good. When it is about to perish, there are bound to be omens of evil fortune. These are revealed in the milfoil and (the lines on the shell of) the tortoise. They affect the four limbs. When disasters or blessings are on the way, the morally good and the morally evil (elements) in a country are bound to be known first of all. Thus the entirely real man has a likeness to the divine. (The mention of fortune telling is ill-placed. So many Chinese depend on it to do their daily work. This is stupid.)
Realness is self-completing, and the way of it is to be self-directing. Realness is the end as well as the beginning of things, for without realness there would be no things at all: which is the reason why the true man prizes above everything coming-to-be-real. Realness is not merely a matter of an individual completing himself. It is also that by which things in general are completed. The completing of the individual self involves man-to-man-ness (jen). The completing of things in general involves knowledge. Man-to-man-ness and knowledge are spiritual powers (te) inherent in man, and they are the bridge [lit. tao, way] bringing together the outer and the inner. Hence it is self-evidently right that realness should function continuously. (No comment yet because of the Chinese word Realness.)
The result is that entire realness never ceases for a moment. Now if that be so, then it must be extended in time: if extended in time, then capable of proof: if capable of proof, then extended in space-length: if extended in length, then extended in area: if extended in area, then extended in height-visibility. And this quality of extension in area is what makes material things supportable from below: this quality of extension in height-visibility is what makes things coverable from above: whilst the extension in time is what makes them capable of completion. thus area pairs with earth, height-visibility with heaven, and space plus time makes limitlessness. This being its nature, it is not visible and yet clearly visible, does not (deliberately) stir things and yet changes them, takes no action and yet completes them. [This is abstract talk, like the Diamond Sutra talking about the six directions. Here it mentions the inaction (wu wei) and completion of things.]
The Way of Heaven-and-Earth may be summed up in a word, namely, their function in relation to all things is unique, and consequently their giving of life to all things is unfathomable. The Way of Heaven-and-Earth is large, is substantial, is high, is brilliant, is far-reaching, is long-enduring. But take now the heaven before us with its bits of brightness: and yet viewed in its inexhaustible extent with its network of sun and moon and stars, constituting the canopy over all creation. Let us take this earth before us, a handful of soil: and yet bearing the burden of the Hua Mountains and the rivers and the seas without feeling the weight or letting the water seep away. Take this mountain, just a fistful of stones: and yet on its broad flanks producing plants and trees, making a home for birds and beasts, and storing within masses of precious stones and metals. Take this piece of water, just a ladleful: and yet in its plumbed depths producing all the fishes and monsters of the deep which are of so great profit to mankind. The Book of Songs has the words: 'Heaven's decrees, how gloriously unceasing they are': which means that this is what makes heaven to be Heaven. And again, 'How concealed from view was the purity of spiritual power (te) in King Wen': which means that this was what made King Wen to be wen (the civilized): for purity does not stop. [The verses here are talking about the face. Sun and moon represent our eyes. The Hua mountain represents our nose. (42 sections Sutra's last section has saying like 'Samadhi is like the splendor in front' the Hua word is used.) The water represents our tears. Confucius was trying to pin point the word 'wen' to mean something here.]
How supreme is the Way of the sage man, (the influence of it) spreading far and wide like the ocean. His Way nourishes all creation. Its influence reaches to the height of heaven. And how yet more supreme are the Three Hundred Maxims of the Ritual Code, and the ten times more on discipline in conduct. 'Unless the power of personality (te) be of the highest, the highest result of the Way cannot be consolidated.' Therefore the enlightened man does homage to the spiritual power (te) which is his by nature and applies himself to personal study (of li). The further a-field he goes in this, the more he explores the hidden subtleties. At the peak of enlightenment the mean in action directs him. Thus it is that he studies the old past and comes to know the new present, and gives earnest attention to (the principles and practice of) the Ritual Code. (Mean-in-action here could mean Tao or Way. Ritual Code is out of context here.)
It follows from this that in a high position the enlightened man is not proud, in a low position he is not insubordinate. When things are right in the country his advice is such that he has to be employed. When things are wrong, his silence is such that he cannot be treated harshly. Is not this the meaning of the saying in the Book of songs: 'His intelligence and wisdom are a protection to himself'? As the Master said: 'To be ignorant and have a passion for one's own opinion, to be in a low position and be entirely self-willed, to live in the world today and go continually back to the old ways: people of this sort invite calamity on themselves.'
The Son of Heaven is the only person who has the right to decide the rules of li (ritual), the weights and measures, and the forms of the characters. Take the Great Society as we see it today. Carriage wheels have to be a uniform distance apart, books have to be written in uniform characters, and conduct is regulated by uniform relationships. Although a man occupy the throne, if he has not the corresponding moral personality, he has not the right to make new rituals and music. Nor if he has the moral personality but does not occupy the throne has he this right. The Master said: 'I can speak of the Hsia Ritual, but (the authorities in) Chih State cannot prove what they were. I can study the Yin Ritual, because it still exists in Sung State. Actually I study the Chou Ritual, for it is in use today. I follow Chou.' (No point talking about rituals.)
If the man who exercises kinship in the Great Society has the three important matters (of ritual, weights and measures, and the forms of the characters) in hand, he will seldom go wrong. But, if the man at the head be good but does not give such visible proof of his goodness, then being unattested, he does not inspire confidence, and the people, in consequence, do not obey. So also with his officials if they be good but have no respect (for the regulations which they enforce): they also do not inspire confidence, and the people, in consequence, do not obey. Thus it is that the Way of the true monarch is rooted and grounded in his own personality and proves itself in the eyes of the people, bears examination by the Three Sage-Kings, and reveals no fundamental errors: is built up in accord with Heaven-and-Earth and shows no contradiction (of its laws): is tested in relation to the manes and creates no doubts: and is able without society going astray to wait a hundred generations for a sage. If (a monarch's way) can stand the test in relation to the manes, then he has understanding of Heaven. If it can thus wait a hundred generations for a sage man without leading society astray, then he has understanding of man. And thus it is that the true monarch's influence may last for generations as the Way for the Great Society, and his deeds be an example and his words a pattern. Then people in far-off places look longingly to him; and those who are near will not grow weary of him. The Book of Songs has the words: 'In this quarter no hatred (of him), in that no wearying. Almost without ceasing night and day they continue their praises.' There never has been a true monarch of this kind who became widely known as 'a highly reputable parasite.' (A hundred generation is about right. Confucius's descendants are now in the 80th generation. It is very close. This confirms my saying that sage-kings of Confucius were not sages when they were kings.)
Chung Ni handed on the (traditions of) Yao and Shun as if they had been his ancestors, and took Wen and Wu's laws as subject of exposition. These conformed with the regularity of the stars above and fulfilled the laws of land and water below. They are to be compared with heaven and earth, for there is nothing which they do not hold and sustain, nothing which they do not cover and envelop. They are to be compared with the seasons in their interaction, with the light of the sun and the light of the moon giving place to each other. Thus all creatures were nourished alike with none injuring their fellows. All men pursued the Way alike with none contradicting it to another. By the virtue of their lesser powers the streams flowed in their courses; and by virtue of their greater powers there were mighty transformations. This in them is that by which Heaven-and-Earth is supreme. (The talk of traditions and laws is out of place.)
It is only the man who is entirely sage-like in the Great Society who can be both brilliant in intellect and intuitively wise, and thus be adequate for being over all men: who can be magnanimous and tender-hearted, and thus be adequate for being king to all: who can be strong and determined, and thus be adequate for holding all in control: who can be outwardly composed and inwardly true, and thus be adequate for being revered: who can be cultured in mind and withdrawn into his studious thoughts, and thus be adequate for distinguishing between true and false. Like a fathomless deep spring, continually gushing forth and watering far and wide! Being all-embracing like heaven and deep as a spring from the abyss, when he appears, the people all revere him: when he speaks, they all trust him: when he acts, they all take delight in him. Thus it is that his fame spreads from end to end of the civilized world [lit. the Middle Kingdom] and even to the barbarian tribes. Where ships and carriages go, wherever the strength of man penetrates, wherever the canopy of heaven is overhead and the earth bears up the world, on whatever spot the sun and the moon shine and the frosts and dews fall, all who have blood and breath pay loving homage to him. And thus it may be said, he pairs with Heaven. [(God), Middle Kingdom is China.]
It is only the man who is entirely real in his world of men who can make the warp and woof of the great fabric of civilized life, who can establish the great foundations of civilized society, and who can understand the nourishing processes of heaven and earth. Can there be any variableness in him? His human-heartedness how insistent! His depth how unfathomable! His super-humanness how overwhelming! Who is there who can comprehend this unless he posses acute intelligence and sage-like wisdom, unless he reach out to the spiritual power of Heaven! (Only the One to come will know about this.)
There is the expression in the Book of Songs: 'Over her embroidered robe she wears a simple cloak'; for she dislikes the display of the robe's elegance. Hence the Way of the true man is hidden from view yet daily more resplendent, whilst the untrue man takes the obvious path and daily goes more and more to ruin. The true man may seem tasteless, but people do not weary of him. He has simplicity along with great accomplishments, is thorough but all in accord with principle. He knows the nearness of the distant, that, indeed, the wind must come from somewhere, that the invisible must become visible. Such a man has the right to enter into spiritual power. As it is said in the Book of Songs: 'Without a word we seek the presence. During this time (of sacrifice) all quarrels are put aside.' Before the true monarch gives rewards for goodness, the people are already encouraged to be good. Before he punishes in his anger, they fear him in a way that no hatchets or battle-axes can make them fear. As it is said in the Book of Songs: 'Nothing is more resplendent than their spiritual power. The chieftains all pattern themselves on it.' Thus it is that the true monarch is true-hearted and reverent of spirit, and the world is at peace. As the saying is in the Book of Songs: 'I am moved by your spiritual power of understanding. You do not build your fame on empty show.' And the Master said: 'Of the means of transforming the people, the least is the bubble of fame.' And, again, in the Book of Songs: 'Spiritual power is weightless as a hair. Yet even a hair has weight for comparison.' But 'the deeds of high Heaven are without sound and smell.' This is perfection.
(23rd July 2001) Where does the spiritual power come from? By Confucian theory? Those who talk too much don't understand this. Spiritual power comes from inaction or meditation. Therefore action (inaction) is supreme. With the spiritual power, one can do propagation. This propagation increases further the spiritual power because of compassion, love for fellow human being. In Buddhist term, it is the 'Great Vehicle' or Mahayana.
Edited on 5th June 2008