Taoist Teachings from the Book of Lieh Tzu

9780217059992: Taoist Teachings from the Book of Lieh Tzu

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1912. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... BOOK II THE YELLOW EMPEEOE The Yellow Emperor sat for fifteen years on the throne, and rejoiced that the Empire looked up to him as its head. He was careful of his physical well-being, sought pleasures for his ears and eyes, and gratified his senses of smell and taste. Nevertheless, he grew melancholy in spirit, his complexion became sallow, and his sensations became dull and confused. Then, for a further period of fifteen years, he grieved that the Empire was in disorder; he summoned up all his intelligence, exhausted his resources of wisdom and strength in trying to rule the people. But, in spite of all, his face remained haggard and pale, and his sensations dull and confused. "The practice of enlightened virtue will not succeed in establishing good government, but only disorganise the spiritual faculties." Then the Yellow Emperor sighed heavily and said: "My fault is want of moderation. MISDIRECTED ENERGY 37 The misery I suffer comes from over-attention to my own self, and the troubles of the Empire from over-regulation in everything.' Thereupon, he threw up all his schemes, abandoned his ancestral palace, dismissed his attendants, removed aU bells and written proclamations, cut down the delicacies of his cuisine, and retired to live at leisure in private apartments attached to the Court. There he fasted in heart, and brought his body under control. Fasting in heart means freeing oneself from earthly desires, after which, says the commentator, the body will naturally be under control. Actual abstention from food or other forms of bodily mortification are not intended. See Musings of a Chinese Mystic, p. 71. For three months he abstained from personal intervention in government. Then he fell asleep in the daytime, and dreamed that he made a journey to the king...

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