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Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]

《道虛 - Daoxu》

English translation: Albert Forke [?] Library Resources
1 道虛:
《儒書》言:黃帝採首山銅,鑄鼎於荊山下。鼎既成,有龍垂胡髯,下迎黃帝。黃帝上騎龍,群臣、後宮從上七十餘人,龍乃上去。餘小臣不得上,乃悉持龍髯。龍髯拔,墮黃帝之弓。百姓仰望黃帝既上天,乃抱其弓與龍胡髯吁號。故後世因其處曰「鼎湖」,其弓曰「烏號」。
Daoxu:
In the books of the Literati it is stated that Huangdi exploited the copper mines of Mount Shou, and out of the ore cast tripods at the foot of the Jing Mountain. When the tripods were completed, a dragon with a long beard came down, and went to meet Huangdi. Huangdi mounted the dragon. His whole suite including the harem, over seventy persons in all, mounted together with him, whereupon the dragon ascended. The remaining smaller officials, who could not find a seat on the dragon, all got hold of the dragon's beard, which they pulled out. Huangdi's bow fell down. The people gazed after him, until he disappeared in the sky. Then they hugged his bow, and the dragon's beard, and moaned. Therefore later ages named the place Ding Hu (Tripod Lake) and the bow of the emperor Wu Hao (Raven's Cry).

2 道虛:
《太史公記》誄五帝,亦云:黃帝封禪已,仙去,群臣朝其衣冠。因葬埋之。曰:此虛言也。
Daoxu:
The Grand Annalist in his eulogy on the Five Emperors also says that having performed the hill-sacrifice Huangdi disappeared as a genius, and that his followers paid their respect to his garments and cap, and afterwards buried them. I say that this is not true.

3 道虛:
實「黃帝」者,何等也?號乎?謚也?如謚,臣子所誄列也,誄生時所行為之謚。黃帝好道,遂以升天,臣子誄之,宜以「仙」、「升」,不當以「黃」謚。《謚法》曰:「靜民則法曰黃。」「黃」者,安民之謚,非得道之稱也。百王之謚,文則曰「文」,武則曰「武」。文武不失實,所以勸操行也。如黃帝之時質,未有謚乎?名之為「黃帝」,何世之人也?使黃帝之臣子,知君;使後世之人,跡其行。黃帝之世,號謚有無,雖疑未定,「黃」非升仙之稱,明矣。
Daoxu:
What does Huangdi really mean? Is it an appellative or a posthumous title? Being a posthumous title it must be some praise bestowed upon him by his subjects, for this kind of title is a glorification of what the deceased has done during his life-time. Huangdi was a votary of Dao, and subsequently, as they say, rose to Heaven. If his subjects wanted to honour him, they ought not to have styled him Huang, but ought to have given him a title implying his ascension as an immortal.
According to the rules for honorary titles the pacification of the people would be called Huang, which means that he who is styled so kept the people at peace, but the word does not denote the acquisition of Dao. Among the many emperors those given to arts and literature were called Wen i.e. Scholarly, those fond of War, i.e. Warriors. Both designations had their real basis. They served to exhort others to do the like.
If at the time of Huangdi posthumous titles were not yet given according to qualities, of what generation were those who first called him Huangdi? Huangdi's own subjects must have known their prince, and later generations could trace his doings. Although our doubts about the existence of appellatives and posthumous titles at Huangdi's time may not be set at rest, at all events it is evident that Huang cannot mean an Immortal who rose to Heaven.

4 道虛:
龍不升天,黃帝騎之,乃明黃帝不升天也。龍起雲雨,因乘而行;雲散雨止,降復入淵。如實黃帝騎龍,隨溺於淵也。
Daoxu:
A dragon does not rise to Heaven. If Huangdi rode on a dragon, it is clear that he could not have ascended to Heaven either. When a dragon rises, clouds and rain appear simultaneously and carry it along. As soon as the clouds disperse, and the rain stops, the dragon comes down again, and re-enters its pond. Should Huangdi really have ridden on a dragon, he would afterwards have been drowned with the dragon in the pond.

5 道虛:
案黃帝葬於橋山,猶曰群臣葬其衣冠。審騎龍而升天,衣不離形;如封禪已,仙去,衣冠亦不宜遺。黃帝實仙不死而升天,臣子百姓所親見也。見其升天,知其不死,必也。葬不死之衣冠,與實死者無以異,非臣子實事之心,別生於死之意也。
Daoxu:
Huangdi was interred in the Qiao Mountain, and still they say that his officials buried his garments and cap. If he actually went up to Heaven on a dragon, his garments and cap cannot have separated from his body, and if he became a genius after the hill sacrifice and vanished, he cannot have left his garments and cap behind either. Did Huangdi really become a genius, who could not die, but rose to Heaven, his officers and people must have seen it with their own eyes. Having thus witnessed his ascension to Heaven, they decidedly knew that he did not die. Now, to bury the garments and cap of somebody, who did not die, would have been, as if he had died. Such a thing would not have been in accordance with the feelings of the officials, who were aware of the real state of affairs, and could distinguish between life and death.

6 道虛:
載太山之上者,七十有二君,皆勞情苦思,憂念王事,然後功成事立,致治太平。太平則天下和安,乃升太山而封禪焉。夫修道求仙,與憂職勤事不同。心思道,則忘事;憂事,則害性。世稱堯若腊,舜若腒,心愁憂苦,形體羸臞。使黃帝致太平乎?則其形體宜如堯、舜。堯、舜不得道,黃帝升天,非其實也。使黃帝廢事修道?則心意調和,形體肥勁,是與堯、舜異也。異則功不同矣。功不同,天下未太平而升封,又非實也。
Daoxu:
It is on record that the seventy-two sovereigns who ascended Mount Tai, had troubled and toiled, worrying themselves over the state of the empire. Subsequently their efforts were crowned with success, and things settled, so that universal peace reigned throughout the land. When there was universal peace, the whole empire enjoyed harmony and tranquillity. Then they ascended the Tai Shan, and performed the hill-sacrifices. Now, the pursuit of Dao and the struggle for immortality are different from the vexations of official life and business. He whose thoughts all centre in Dao, forgets worldly affairs, because to trouble about them would injure his nature. They say that Yao looked dried up and Shun withered. Their hearts were sorrowful, and their bodies feeble and care-worn. If Huangdi brought about universal peace, his appearance must have been similar to that of Yao and Shun. Since Yao and Shun did not attain to Dao, it cannot be true that Huangdi rose to Heaven. If Huangdi in his pursuit of Dao neglected all worldly affairs, his mind would have been equanimous, and his body fat and strong. Then he would have been quite different from Yao and Shun, and consequently his achievements could not have been the same. In that case the universe would not have enjoyed universal peace. Without the universal peace his sacrifice on the mountain would not have taken place.

7 道虛:
五帝三王,皆有聖德之優者,黃帝不在上焉。如聖人皆仙,仙者非獨黃帝;如聖人不仙,黃帝何為獨仙?世見黃帝好方術,方術,仙者之業,則謂帝仙矣。
Daoxu:
The Five Emperors and Three Rulers were all remarkable for their wisdom and virtue, Huangdi not more than the others. If all the sages became genii, Huangdi would not be one alone, and if the sages did not become genii, why should Huangdi alone be a genius? People seeing that Huangdi was very partial to magical arts, which are practised by genii, surmised that he was a genius.

8 道虛:
又見鼎湖之名,則言黃帝採首山銅鑄鼎,而龍垂胡髯迎黃帝矣。是與說會稽之山無以異也。夫山名曰「會稽」,即云夏禹巡狩,會計於此山上,故曰「會稽」。夫禹至會稽,治水不巡狩,猶黃帝好方伎不升天也。無會計之事,猶無鑄鼎龍垂胡髯之實也。里名勝母,可謂實有子勝其母乎?邑名朝歌,可謂民朝起者歌乎?
Daoxu:
Moreover, on finding the name of "Ding Hu" "Tripod beard" they said that Huangdi exploited the copper of Mount Shou, and cast it into tripods, and that a dragon with a floating beard came to meet him. This explanation would be on the same line with that of the Huiji Mountain. The purport of the name of this mountain is said to be that the emperor Yu of the Xia dynasty on a tour of inspection held a meeting (會) and a review (稽) on this mountain, whence its name Guiji. Yu went to Guiji for the purpose of regulating the water courses, but not on a tour of inspection, just as Huangdi was addicted to magic, but did not ascend to heaven. There was no such thing like a meeting or a review, as there was no casting of tripods, nor a dragon with a long beard. There is a village called Sheng Mu "Vanquish mother." Does that mean that there was really a son who vanquished his mother? A city is called Zhao Ge "Morning song." Are we to infer that the inhabitants of that city used to sing, when they rose in the morning?

9 道虛:
《儒書》言:淮南王學道,招會天下有道之人。傾一國之尊,下道術之士,是以道術之士,並會淮南,奇方異術,莫不爭出。王遂得道,舉家升天。畜產皆仙,犬吠於天上,雞鳴於雲中。此言仙藥有餘,犬雞食之,并隨王而升天也。好道學仙之人,皆謂之然。此虛言也。
Daoxu:
The books of the Literati relate that the Prince of Huainan in his study of Daoism assembled all the Daoists of the empire, and humbled the grandeur of a princedom before the expositors of Daoist lore. Consequently, Daoist scholars flocked to Huainan and vied with each other in exhibiting strange tricks and all kinds of miracles. Then the prince attained to Dao and rose to heaven with his whole household. His domestic animals became genii too. His dogs barked up in the sky, and the cocks crowed in the clouds. That means that there was such plenty of the drug of immortality, that dogs and cocks could eat of it, and follow the prince to Heaven. Those who have a fad for Daoism and would learn the art of immortality all believe in this story, but it is not true.

10 道虛:
夫人、物也,雖貴為王侯,性不異於物。物無不死,人安能仙?鳥有毛羽,能飛,不能升天。人無毛羽,何用飛升?使有毛羽,不過與鳥同,況其無有,升天如何?
Daoxu:
Man is a creature. His rank may be ever so high, even princely or royal, his nature cannot be different from that of other creatures. There is no creature but dies. How could man become an immortal? Birds having feathers and plumes can fly, but they cannot rise to Heaven. How should man without feathers and plumes be able to fly and rise? Were he feathered and winged, he would only be equal to birds, but he is not; how then should he ascend to heaven?

11 道虛:
案能飛升之物,生有毛羽之兆;能馳走之物,生有蹄足之形。馳走不能飛升,飛升不能馳走,稟性受氣,形體殊別也。今人稟馳走之性,故生無毛羽之兆,長大至老,終無奇怪。好道學仙,中生毛羽,終以飛升。
Daoxu:
Creatures capable of flying and rising, are provided with feathers and wings, others fast at running, have hoofs and strong feet. Swift runners cannot fly, and flyers not run. Their bodies are differently organised according to the fluid they are endowed with. Now man is a swift runner by nature, therefore he does not grow feathers or plumes. From the time he is full-grown up till his old age he never gets them by any miracle. If amongst the believers in Daoism and the students of the art of immortality some became feathered and winged, they might eventually fly and rise after all.

12 道虛:
使物性可變,金木水火可革更也?蝦蟆化為鶉,雀入水為蜄蛤,稟自然之性,非學道所能為也。好道之人,恐其或若等之類,故謂人能生毛羽,毛羽備具,能升天也。
Daoxu:
In case the nature of creatures could be changed, it ought to be possible that metal, wood, water, and fire were also altered. Frogs can be changed into quails, and sparrows dive into the water and become clams. It is the upshot of their spontaneous, original nature, and cannot be attained by the study of Dao. Lest the Daoists should be put on a level with the aforesaid animals, I say that, if men could have all the necessary feathers and plumage, then having feathers and plumage they might ascend to heaven.

13 道虛:
且夫物之生長,無卒成暴起,皆有浸漸。為道學仙之人,能先生數寸之毛羽,從地自奮,升樓臺之陛,乃可謂升天。今無小升之兆,卒有大飛之驗,何方術之學成無浸漸也?毛羽大效,難以觀實。
Daoxu:
Now, the growth and development of creatures is not abrupt, and its changes are not violent, but gradually brought about. If the Daoists and students of immortality could first grow feathers and plumes several inches long, so that they could skim over the earth, and rise to the terraces of high buildings, one might believe that they can ascend to heaven. But they do not show that they are able to fly even a small distance. How can they suddenly acquire the faculty of flying such a long way through the study of their miraculous arts without any gradual progress? That such a great result might be really effected by means of feathers and wings cannot be ascertained.

14 道虛:
且以人髯髮、物色少老驗之。物生也色青,其熟也色黃;人之少也髮黑,其老也髮白。黃為物熟驗,白為人老效。物黃,人雖灌溉壅養,終不能青;髮白,雖吞藥養性,終不能黑。黑青不可復還,老衰安可復卻?黃之與白,猶肉腥、炙之燋,魚鮮、煮之熟也。燋不可復令腥,熟不可復令鮮。鮮腥猶少壯,燋熟猶衰老也。天養物,能使物暢至秋,不得延之至春;吞藥養性,能令人無病,不能壽之為仙。為仙體輕氣彊,猶未能升天,令見輕彊之驗,亦無毛羽之效,何用升天?
Daoxu:
The human hair and beard, and the different colours of things, when young and old, afford another cue. When a plant comes out, it has a green colour, when it ripens, it looks yellow. As long as man is young, his hair is black, when he grows old, it turns white. Yellow is the sign of maturity, white of old age. After a plant has become yellow, it may be watered and tended ever so much, it does not become green again. When the hair has turned white, no eating of drugs nor any care bestowed upon one's nature can make it black again. Black and green do not come back, how could age and decrepitude be laid aside?
Yellow and white are like the frying of raw meat, and the cooking of fresh fish. What has been fried, cannot be caused to become raw again, and what has been cooked, to become fresh. Fresh and raw correspond to young and strong, fried and cooked, to weak and old. Heaven in developing things can keep them vigorous up till autumn, but not further on till next spring. By swallowing drugs and nourishing one's nature one may get rid of sickness, but one cannot prolong one's life, and become an immortal. Immortals have a light body and strong vital energy, and yet they cannot rise to heaven. Light and strong though they be, they are not provided with feathers and wings, and therefore not able to ascend to heaven.

15 道虛:
天之與地皆體也,地無下,則天無上矣。天無上,升之路何如?穿天之體,人力不能入。如天之門在西北,升天之人,宜從崑崙上。淮南之國,在地東南,如審升天,宜舉家先從崑崙,乃得其階;如鼓翼邪飛,趨西北之隅,是則淮南王有羽翼也。今不言其從之崑崙,亦不言其身生羽翼,空言升天,竟虛非實也。
Daoxu:
Heaven and earth are both bodies. As one cannot descend into the earth, one cannot ascend into heaven. Such being the case, where would be a road leading up to heaven? Man is not strong enough to enter and pass through heaven's body. If the gate of heaven is in the North-west, all people rising to heaven must pass by the Kunlun Mountain. The State of Huainan being situated in the South-east of the earth, he must, if he really ascended to heaven, first have gone to Kunlun with all his household, where he would have found an ascent. Provided the Prince of Huainan flew straight across the land to the north-western corner, flapping his wings, then he must have had feathers and wings. But since no mention is made of his passing by the Kunlun, nor of feathers and wings growing out of his body, the mere assertion of his ascension cannot be but wrong and untrue.

16 道虛:
案淮南王劉安,孝武皇帝之時也。父長以罪遷蜀嚴道,至雍道死。安嗣為王,恨父徙死,懷反逆之心,招會術人,欲為大事。伍被之屬,充滿殿堂,作道術之書,發怪奇之文,合景亂首,八公之傳欲示神奇,若得道之狀。道終不成,效驗不立,乃與伍被謀為反事,事覺自殺。或言誅死。誅死自殺,同一實也。世見其書,深冥奇怪,又觀八公之傳,似若有效,則傳稱淮南王仙而升天,失其實也。
Daoxu:
Liu An, prince of Huainan, lived contemporaneously with the emperor Xiao Wudi. His father Liu Chang was banished to Yan Dao in Shu for some offence, but died on the road, when he arrived at Yong Zhou. Liu An, who succeeded him in his princedom, bore a grudge against the emperor for having caused his father's death in exile, and thought of making rebellion. He attracted all sorts of schemers, and intended great things. Men like Wu Bei filled his palaces, busy in writing books on the Daoist arts, and publishing essays on the most miraculous subjects. They were bustling about and putting their heads together.
In the "Memoir of the Eight Companions" they wished to prove supernatural forces, as if they had attained to Dao. But they never reached it, and had no success. Then Huainanzi plotted a rebellion together with Wu Bei. The scheme was discovered, and he committed suicide or, as some say, was done to death. Whether this be the case, or whether he committed suicide is about the same. But people finding his writings very deep, abstruse, and mysterious, and believing that the predictions of the "Bagongzhuan" had been fulfilled, divulged the story that he had become a genius, and went up to heaven, which is not in accordance with truth.

17 道虛:
儒書言:盧敖游乎北海,經乎太陰,入乎玄關,至於蒙穀之上,見一士焉,深目玄準,鴈頸而戴肩,浮上而殺下,軒軒然方迎風而舞。顧見盧敖,樊然下其臂,遯逃乎碑下。敖乃視之,方卷然龜背而食合梨。盧敖仍與之語曰:「吾子唯以敖為倍俗,去群離黨,窮觀於六合之外者,非敖而已?敖幼而游,至長不倫解,周行四極,唯北陰之未闚。今卒睹夫子於是,殆可與敖為友乎?」若士者悖然而笑曰:「嘻!子中州之民也,不宜遠至此。此猶光日月而戴列星,四時之所行,陰陽之所生也。此其比夫不名之地,猶㟮屼也。若我南游乎罔浪之野,北息乎沉薶之鄉,西窮乎杳冥之黨,而東貫須懞之先。此其下無地上無天,聽焉無聞,而視焉則營;此其外,猶有狀,有狀之餘,壹舉而能千萬里,吾猶未能之在。今子游始至於此,乃語窮觀,豈不亦遠哉?然子處矣。吾與汗漫期於九垓之上,吾不可久。」若士者舉臂而縱身,遂入雲中。盧敖目仰而視之,不見,乃止喜,心不怠,悵若有喪,曰:「吾比夫子也,猶黃鵠之與壤蟲也,終日行,而不離咫尺,而自以為遠,豈不悲哉?」
Daoxu:
It is chronicled in the books of the Literati that Lu Ao, when wandering near the "Northern Sea," passed the "Great North," and through the "Dark Gate" entered upon the Mongolean plateau. There he beheld an individual with deep eyes, a black nose and the neck of a wild goose. Lifting his shoulders, he soared up, and rapidly came down again, gamboling and disporting all the time against the wind. When he caught sight of Lu Ao, he suddenly took down his arms, and sought refuge under a rock. Lu Ao saw him there resting on the back of a tortoise and eating an oyster.
Lu Ao accosted him saying, "Sir, I believe that, because I have given up what the world desires, separating from my kindred and leaving my home, in order to explore what is outside of the six cardinal points, you will condemn me. I began travelling in my youth. When I had grown up, I did not care for the ordinary duties of man, but managed to travel about. Of the four poles the "Great North" is the only one which I have not yet seen. Now unexpectedly I find you here, Sir. Shall we not become friends?"
The stranger burst out laughing and said, "Why, you are a Chinaman. You ought not to come as far as this. Yet sun and moon are still shining here. There are all the stars, the four seasons alternate, and the Yin and the Yang are still at work. Compared to the "Nameless Region" this is only like a small hill. I travel south over the "Weary Waste," and halt north in the "Hidden Village." I proceed west to the "Obscure Hamlet," and pass east through the "Place of Dimness." There is no earth beneath, and no heaven above. Listening one does not hear, and to the looker-on the objects flit away from sight. Beyond that region there is still shape. Where that ends, one advances ten million Li by making one step. I could not yet get there. You, Sir, reached only this place in your travels, but speak of exploring. Is not that an exaggeration? But, please, remain. I have to meet Han Man on the ninth heaven, and cannot stay longer." The stranger then raised his arms, gave his body a jerk, and off he went into the clouds.
Lu Ao stared after him, until he became invisible. His heart was full of endless joy and at the same time he was grieved, as though he had lost somebody. "Compared with you, my master, said he, I am nothing more than an earth-worm is to a wild goose. Crawling the whole day, I do not advance more than some feet, but myself consider it far. It is pitiable indeed."

18 道虛:
若盧敖者。唯龍無翼者,升則乘雲。盧敖言若士者有翼,言乃可信。今不言有翼,何以升雲?
Daoxu:
Such as Lu Ao held that dragons alone have no wings, and when they rise, ride on the clouds. Had Lu Ao said that the stranger had wings, his words might be credible. But he did not speak of wings, how could the other then ascend to the clouds?

19 道虛:
且凡能輕舉入雲中者,飲食與人殊之故也。龍食與蛇異,故其舉措與蛇不同。聞為道者,服金玉之精,食紫芝之英。食精身輕,故能神仙。若士者,食合蜊之肉,與庸民同食,無精輕之驗,安能縱體而升天?聞食氣者不食物,食物者不食氣。若士者食物如不食氣,則不能輕舉矣。
Daoxu:
Those creatures which with agility rise into the clouds, do not take human food or human drink. The dragon's food is different from that of snakes, hence its movements are not the same as those of snakes. One hears that the Daoists drink an elixir made of gold and gems and eat the flowers of the purple boletus. These extremely fine stuffs make their bodies light, so that they become spirits and genii. The stranger ate the flesh of an oyster. Such is the food of ordinary people, by no means fine, or rendering the body light. How could he then have given himself a jerk and ascended to heaven?
I have heard that those who feed on air do not take solid food, and that the latter do not eat air. The above mentioned stranger ate something substantial. Since he did not live on air, he could not be so light, that he might have risen on high.

20 道虛:
或時盧敖學道求仙,游乎北海,離眾遠去,無得道之效,慚於鄉里,負於論議,自知以必然之事見責於世,則作誇誕之語,云見一士。其意以為有求,仙之未得,期數未至也。
Daoxu:
May be that Lu Ao studying Dao and trying hard to become an immortal, travelled to the Northern Sea. Having left human society, and gone far away, he felt that he did not succeed in acquiring Dao. He was ashamed and afraid, lest his fellow-countrymen should criticize him. Knowing that things would certainly turn out so, that every body would reproach him, he invented the extravagant stories. He said that he met with a stranger. The meaning of the whole story is that his efforts to become immortal were not successful, and that time had not yet come.

21 道虛:
淮南王劉安坐反而死,天下並聞,當時並見,儒書尚有言其得道仙去、鷄犬升天者,況盧敖一人之身,獨行絕跡之地,空造幽冥之語乎?是與河東蒲坂項曼都之語無以異也。
Daoxu:
In the case of Liu An, Prince of Huainan, who suffered death as a punishment of rebellion, all people heard of it, and at that time saw it, and yet the books of the Literati say that he obtained Dao, and disappeared as a genius, and that his cocks and dogs went up to heaven also. We cannot be surprised then that Lu Ao, who alone went to a far-off country, leaving no trace, should speak obscure and mysterious words. His case is similar to that of Xiang Man Du of Pufan in Hedong.

22 道虛:
曼都好道學仙,委家亡去,三年而返。家問其狀,曼都曰:「去時不能自知,忽見若臥形,有仙人數人,將我上天,離月數里而止。見月上下幽冥,幽冥不知東西。居月之旁,其寒悽愴。口饑欲食,仙人輒飲我以流霞一杯。每飲一杯,數月不饑。不知去幾何年月,不知以何為過,忽然若臥,復下至此。」河東號之曰斥仙。實論者聞之,乃知不然。
Daoxu:
Xiang Man Du was a follower of Dao and a student of spiritism. He abandoned his family, and went away. When after three years absence he came back, his people asked him, what had happened to him. Xiang Man Du replied "I have no clear recollection of my departure, but I suddenly found myself as if lying down. Several genii appeared, who took me up to heaven, until we were at some few Li's distance from the moon. I saw that above and beneath the moon all was dark, so that I could not distinguish East and West. Where we stopped near the moon, it was bitter cold. I felt hungry, and wished to eat, when a genius gave me a cupful of morning-red to drink. After having taken one cup, one does not feel hunger for several months. I do not know, how many years or months I stayed there, nor what fault I committed, for suddenly I found myself asleep again, and brought down to this place." The Hedong people gave him the surname of "Fallen Angel." But dealing thoroughly with the subject, we find that this story is impossible.

23 道虛:
夫曼都能上天矣,何為不仙?已三年矣,何故復還?夫人去民間,升皇天之上,精氣形體,有變於故者矣。萬物變化,無復還者。復育化為蟬,羽翼既成,不能復化為復育。能升之物,皆有羽翼,升而復降,羽翼如故。見曼都之身有羽翼乎,言乃可信;身無羽翼,言虛妄也。虛則與盧敖同一實也。
Daoxu:
If Xiang Man Du could rise to heaven, he must have become a genius. How could he return after three years' time? If a man leaves his kindred, and ascends to heaven, his vital fluid and his body must have undergone a change. Now, all creatures that have been metamorphosed, do not return to their previous state. When a chrysalis has changed into a cricket, and received its wings, it cannot be transmuted into a chrysalis again. All creatures that fly up, have wings. When they fly up, and come down again, their wings are still there as before. Had Xiang Man Du』s body had wings, his tale might be reliable, but since it had not, his talk is futile and not more trustworthy than Lu Ao's.

24 道虛:
或時聞曼都好道,默委家去,周章遠方。終無所得,力勌望極,默復歸家,慚愧無言,則言上天。其意欲言道可學得,審有仙人,己殆有過,故成而復斥,升而復降。
Daoxu:
Perhaps it was known at his time that Xiang Man Du was a fervent believer in Dao, who stealthily left his home, and wandered about in distant lands. At last, when he achieved nothing, and felt his strength exhausted, and his hope gone, he stealthily returned home, but being ashamed, if he had nothing to say, he told the story of his ascension to heaven, intimating thereby that Dao could be learned, and that there really were genii, and that he himself was degraded for some fault, after having reached the goal, first rising to heaven, and then coming down again.

25 道虛:
儒書言:齊王疾痟,使人之宋迎文摯。文摯至,視王之疾,謂太子曰:「王之疾,必可已也。雖然,王之疾已,則必殺摯也。」太子曰:「何故?」文摯對曰:「非怒王,疾不可治也。王怒,則摯必死。」太子頓首強請曰:「苟已王之疾,臣與臣之母以死爭之於王,必幸臣之母。願先生之勿患也。」文摯曰:「諾,請以死為王。」與太子期,將往,不至者三,齊王固已怒矣。文摯至,不解屨登床,履衣,問王之疾。王怒而不與言。文摯因出辭以重王怒。王叱而起,疾乃遂已。王大怒不悅,將生烹文摯。太子與王后急爭之而不能得,果以鼎生烹文摯。爨之三日三夜,顏色不變。文摯曰:「誠欲殺我,則胡不覆之,以絕陰陽之氣?」王使覆之,文摯乃死。夫文摯、道人也,入水不濡,入火不燋,故在鼎三日三夜,顏色不變。
Daoxu:
The books of the Literati contain the statement that the king of Qi being dangerously ill, a messenger was sent to Song to fetch Wen Zhi. When he arrived and saw the king's sickness he said to the heir-apparent: "The king's illness can certainly be cured, but when it has been, the king is sure to kill me."
The heir-apparent inquired what for, Wen Zhi replied, "Without anger the king's illness cannot be cured, but when the king gets angry, my death is certain." The heir-apparent bowed his head, and entreated him saying," Should you cure the king's sickness, myself and my mother are going to forcibly restrain the king at the cost of our lives. The king will certainly please my mother. We are wishing that you, master, shall have no trouble."
Wen Zhi gave his consent and said that he was prepared to die. The king with his eldest son fixed a time. Thrice the physician was expected, but did not come so, that the king of Qi was already very angry. When he came at last, he did not put off his shoes, but walked upon the bed and tread upon the sheets. He asked the king about his sickness, but the king was so furious, that he did not speak with him. Then he said something which but aggravated the king』s wrath. The king abused him, and rose up, and his disease was gone. He was so enraged and so little pleased, that he wished to boil Wen Zhi alive. The heir-apparent and the queen forthwith interfered, but could obtain nothing. Wen Zhi was actually boiled alive in a cauldron: After three days' and three night's cooking, his appearance had not yet changed. Wen Zhi said, " If one really is anxious to kill me, why does one not put on the lid to intercept the Yin and the Yang fluids."
The king had the lid put on, whereupon Wen Zhi died. Wen Zhi was a Daoist, in water he was not drowned, and in fire he did not burn. Hence he could remain three days and three nights in the kettle without changing colour.

26 道虛:
此虛言也。夫文摯而烹三日三夜,顏色不變,為一覆之故,絕氣而死,非得道之驗也。諸生息之物,氣絕則死;死之物,烹之輒爛。致生息之物密器之中,覆蓋其口,漆塗其隙,中外氣隔,息不得洩,有頃死也。如置湯鑊之中,亦輒爛矣。何則?體同氣均,稟性於天,共一類也。文摯不息乎?與金石同,入湯不爛,是也;令文摯息乎?烹之不死,非也。
Daoxu:
This is idle talk. Wen Zhi was boiled three days and nights without changing colour. If then only in consequence of the lid being put on he was choked and died, this proves that he was not in possession of Dao. All living and breathing creatures die, when deprived of air. When they are dead and boiled, they become soft. If living and breathing creatures are placed in vessels with a lid on, having all their fissures carefully filled, so that the air cannot circulate, and their breath cannot pass, they die instantaneously. Thrown into a kettle with boiling water, they are also cooked soft. Why? Because they all have the same kind of body, the same breath, are endowed by heaven with a similar nature, and all belong to one class. If Wen Zhi did not breathe, he could have been like a piece of metal or stone, and even in boiling water not be cooked soft. Now he was breathing, therefore, when cooked, he could not but die.

27 道虛:
令文摯言,言則以聲,聲以呼吸。呼吸之動,因血氣之發。血氣之發,附於骨肉。骨肉之物,烹之輒死。今言烹之不死,一虛也。既能烹煮不死,此真人也,與金石同。金石雖覆蓋與不覆蓋者,無以異也。今言文摯覆之則死,二虛也。置人寒水之中,無湯火之熱,鼻中口內,不通於外,斯須之頃,氣絕而死矣。寒水沉人,尚不得生,況在沸湯之中,有猛火之烈乎?言其入湯不死,三虛也。人沒水中,口不見於外,言音不揚。烹文摯之時,身必沒於鼎中。沒則口不見,口不見則言不揚。文摯之言,四虛也。烹輒死之人,三日三夜,顏色不變,癡愚之人,尚知怪之。使齊王無知,太子群臣宜見其奇。奇怪文摯,則請出尊寵敬事,從之問道。今言三日三夜,無臣子請出之言,五虛也。
Daoxu:
If Wen Zhi could speak, he must have given sounds, which require breathing. Breathing is closely connected with the vital force, which resides in bones and flesh. Beings of bones and flesh being cooked, die. To deny that is the first untruth.
Provided that Wen Zhi could be cooked without dying, he was a perfect Daoist, similar to metal or stone. To metal or stone it makes no difference, whether a lid be put on, or not. Therefore, to say that Wen Zhi died, when the lid was put on, is a second untruth.
Put a man into cold water, which is not hot like boiling water, and he will die for want of breath after a short interval, his nose and mouth being shut out from the outer air. Submerged in cold water, a man cannot remain alive, how much less in bubbling, boiling water, in the midst of a violent fire? To say that Wen Zhi survived in the boiling water is a third untruth.
When a man is submerged in water, so that his mouth is not visible outside, the sound of what he says is inaudible. When Wen Zhi was cooked, his body was certainly submerged in the kettle, and his mouth invisible. Under those circumstances one could not hear, what he said. That Wen Zhi should have spoken is the fourth untruth.
Had a man who after three days' and three nights' cooking died, not changed colour, even ignorant people would have been amazed. If the king of Qi was not surprised, the heir-apparent and his ministers should have noticed this wonderful fact. In their astonishment at Wen Zhi they would have prayed that he be taken out, granted high honours, and be venerated as a master, from whom one might learn more about Dao. Now three days and three nights are mentioned, but nothing is said about the officials asking for his release. That is the fifth untruth.

28 道虛:
此或時聞文摯實烹,烹而輒死,世見文摯為道人也,則為虛生不死之語矣。猶黃帝實死也,傳言升天;淮南坐反,書言度世。世好傳虛,故文摯之語,傳至於今。
Daoxu:
At that time it was perhaps known that Wen Zhi was actually cooked, and that his death was caused by it. People noticing that he was a Daoist, invented the story that he lived a subtle life, and did not die, just as Huangdi really died, whereas the reports say that he rose to heaven, and as the prince of Huainan suffered the punishment of rebellion, whilst the books say that he entered a new life. There are those who like to spread false reports. Hence the story of Wen Zhi has been propagated until now.

29 道虛:
世無得道之效,而有有壽之人。世見長壽之人,學道為仙,踰百不死,共謂之仙矣。何以明之?
Daoxu:
There are no instances of any one having obtained Dao, but there have been very long-lived persons. People remarking that those persons, while studying Dao and the art of immortality, become over a hundred years old without dying, call them immortals, as the following example will show.

30 道虛:
如武帝之時,有李少君,以祠竈、辟穀、卻老方見上,上尊重之。少君匿其年及所生長,常自謂七十,而能使物,卻老。其游以方徧諸侯。無妻。人聞其能使物及不老,更饋遺之,常餘錢金衣食。人皆以為不治產業饒給,又不知其何許人愈,爭事之。少君資好方,善為巧發奇中。嘗從武安侯飲,座中有年九十餘者,少君乃言其王父游射處。老人為兒時從父,識其處。一座盡驚。少君見上,上有古銅器,問少君。少君曰:「此器齊桓公十五年陳於柏寢。」已而案其刻,果齊桓公器,一宮盡驚,以為少君,數百歲人也。久之,少君病死。
Daoxu:
At the time of Han Wudi there lived a certain Li Shao Jun, who pretended that by sacrificing to the 'Hearth' and abstaining from eating grain he could ward off old age. He saw the emperor, who conferred high honours upon him. Li Shao Jun kept his age and the place where he was born and had grown up secret, always saying that he was seventy old, and could effect that things did not grow old. On his journeys he visited all the princes around, and was not married. On hearing that he could manage that things did not age, people presented him with much richer gifts than they would otherwise have done. He had always money, gold, dresses, and food in abundance. As people believed that he did not do any business, and was yet richly provided with everything, and as nobody knew, what sort of a man he really was, there was a general competition in offering him services.
Li Shao Jun knew some clever manoeuvres and some fine tricks, which did not fail to produce a wonderful effect. He used to feast with the Marquis of Wu An. In the hall there was a man of over 90 years. Li Shao Jun indicated to him the places which his grand-father frequented, when shooting. The old man knew them, having visited them as a child with his father. The whole audience was bewildered.
When Li Shao Jun saw the emperor, the emperor had an old bronze vase, about which he asked him. Li Shao Jun replied that in the 15th year of the reign of Duke Huan of Qi it was placed in the Boqin hall. The inscription was examined, and it was found out that it was indeed a vessel of Duke Huan of Qi. The whole Court was startled, and thought that Li Shao Jun was several hundred years old. After a long time he died of sickness.

31 道虛:
今世所謂得道之人,李少君之類也。少君死於人中,人見其尸,故知少君性壽之人也。如少君處山林之中,入絕跡之野,獨病死於巖石之間,尸為虎狼狐狸之食,則世復以為真仙去矣。
Daoxu:
Those who now-a-days are credited with the possession of Dao are men like Li Shao Jun. He died amongst men. His body was seen, and one knew, therefore, that his nature had been longevous. Had he dwelt in mountain-forests or gone into deserts, leaving no trace behind him, he would have died a solitary death of sickness amidst high rocks. His corpse would have been food for tigers, wolves, and foxes, but the world would again have believed him to have disappeared as a real immortal.

32 道虛:
世學道之人,無少君之壽,年未至百,與眾俱死,愚夫無知之人,尚謂之尸解而去,其實不死。所謂「尸解」者,何等也?謂身死精神去乎?謂身不死得免去皮膚也?如謂身死精神去乎?是與死無異,人亦仙人也。如謂不死免去皮膚乎?諸學道死者,骨肉具在,與恆死之尸無以異也。夫蟬之去復育,龜之解甲,虵之脫皮,鹿之墮角,殼皮之物解殼皮,持骨肉去,可謂尸解矣。今學道而死者,尸與復育相似,尚未可謂尸解。何則?案蟬之去復育,無以神於復育,況不相似復育,謂之尸解,蓋復虛妄失其實矣。
Daoxu:
The ordinary students of Dao have not Li Shao Jun's age. Before Reaching a hundred years they die like all the others. Yet uncultured and ignorant people still hold that they are separated from their bodies, and vanish, and that, as a matter of fact, they do not die.
What is understood by separation from the body? Does it mean that the body dies, and the spirit disappears? Or that the body does not die, but drops its coil? If one says that the body dies, and the spirit is lost, there is no difference from death, and every one is a genius. And if one believes that the body does not die, but throws off its coil, one must admit that the bones and the flesh of all the deceased Daoists are intact and in no wise different from the corpses of ordinary mortals.
When the cricket leaves its chrysalis, the tortoise drops its shell, the snake its skin, and the stag its horns, in short, when the horned and skinned animals lose their outward cover, retaining only their flesh and bones, one might speak of the separation from the body. But even if the body of a dead Daoist were similar to a chrysalis, one could not use this expression.Why? When the cricket leaves the chrysalis, it cannot be considered as a spirit with regard to the chrysalis. Now to call it a separation from the body, when there is not even a similarity with the chrysalis, would again be an unfounded assertion missing the truth.

33 道虛:
太史公與李少君同世並時,少君之死,臨尸者雖非太史公,足以見其實矣。如實不死,尸解而去,太史公宜紀其狀,不宜言死。
Daoxu:
The Grand Annalist was a contemporary of Li Shao Jun. Although he was not amongst those who came near to Li Shao Jun』s body, when he had expired, he was in a position to learn the truth. If he really did not die, but only parted with his body, the Grand Annalist ought to have put it on record, and would not have given the place of his death.

34 道虛:
其處座中年九十老父為兒時者,少君老壽之效也。或少君年十四五,老父為兒,隨其王父。少君年二百歲而死,何為不識?武帝去桓公鑄銅器,且非少君所及見也。或時聞宮殿之內有舊銅器,或案其刻以告之者,故見而知之。今時好事之人,見舊劍古鉤,多能名之,可復謂目見其鑄作之時乎?
Daoxu:
The reference to the youth of the nonagenarian in the court would prove Li Shao Jun's age. Perhaps he was fourteen or fifteen years old, when the old man accompanied his grandfather as a boy. Why should Li Shao Jun not know this, if he had 200 years?
Wudi』s time is very far from Duke Huan, when the bronze vase was cast, and Li Shao Jun cannot have seen it. Perhaps he heard once that in the palace there was an old vessel, or he examined the inscription beforehand to speak upon it, so that he was well-informed, when he saw it again. When our amateurs of to-day see an old sword or an antique crooked blade, they generally know where to place it. Does that imply that they saw, how it was wrought?

35 道虛:
世或言:東方朔亦道人也,姓金氏,字曼倩,變姓易名,游宦漢朝。外有仕宦之名,內乃度世之人。
Daoxu:
Dong Fang Shuo is said to have also been possessed of Dao. His name was Jin, his style Man Qian, but he changed his names and for a time took office with the Han dynasty. Outwardly he was considered an official, but inwardly he passed to another existence.

36 道虛:
此又虛也。夫朔與少君並在武帝之時,太史公所及見也。少君有教道、祠竈、卻老之方,又名齊桓公所鑄鼎,知九十老人王父所游射之驗,然尚無得道之實,而徒性壽遲死之人也。況朔無少君之方術效驗,世人何見謂之得道?
Daoxu:
This is wrong too. Dong Fang Shuo lived together with Li Shao Jun under the reign of Wudi, and must have been known to the Grand Annalist. Li Shao Jun taught Dao and a method to keep off old age by means of sacrificing to the "Hearth." He determined the period of a tripod cast under Duke Huan of Qi, and knew the places frequented, when hunting, by the grandfather of a nonagenarian, and yet he did not really attain to Dao. He was only a long-lived man, who died late. Moreover, Dong Fang Shuo was not as successful as Li Shao Jun in magical arts, wherefore then was he credited with the possession of Dao?

37 道虛:
案武帝之時,道人文成、五利之輩,入海求仙人,索不死之藥,有道術之驗,故為上所信。朔無入海之使,無奇怪之效也。如使有奇,不過少君之類,及文成、五利之輩耳,況謂之有道?
Daoxu:
Under Wudi there were the Daoists Wen Cheng and Wu Li and others of the same type, who went on sea in search of the genii and to find the physic of immortality. Because they evidently knew the Daoist arts, they were trusted by the Emperor. Dong Fang Shuo undertook no mission on sea, nor did he do anything miraculous. If he had done, he would only have been a man like Li Shao Jun or on a level with Wen Cheng and Wu Li. Nevertheless he had the chance to be credited with the possession of Dao.

38 道虛:
此或時偶復若少君矣,自匿所生之處,當時在朝之人,不知其故,朔盛稱其年長,人見其面狀少,性又恬淡,不好仕宦,善達占卜射覆,為怪奇之戲,世人則謂之得道之人矣。
Daoxu:
He again resembled Li Shao Jun, insomuch as he made a secret of his birth place, and the courtiers did not know his origin. He exaggerated his age. People finding that he looked rather strong and young and was of phlegmatic temper, that he did not care much for his office, but was well versed in divination, guessing, and other interesting plays, called him therefore a man possessed of Dao.

39 道虛:
世或以老子之道為可以度世,恬淡無欲,養精愛氣。夫人以精神為壽命,精神不傷,則壽命長而不死。成事:老子行之,踰百度世,為真人矣。
Daoxu:
There is a belief that by the doctrine of Laozi one can transcend into another existence. Through quietism and dispassionateness one nourishes the vital force, and cherishes the spirit. The length of life is based on the animal spirits. As long as they are unimpaired, life goes on, and there is no death. Laozi acted upon this principle. Having done so for over a hundred years, he passed into another existence, and became a true Daoist sage.

40 道虛:
夫恬淡少欲,孰與鳥獸?鳥獸亦老而死。鳥獸含情欲,有與人相類者矣,未足以言。草木之生何情欲?而春生秋死乎?夫草木無欲,壽不踰歲;人多情欲,壽至於百。此無情欲者反夭,有情欲者壽也。夫如是,老子之術,以恬淡無欲、延壽度世者,復虛也。
Daoxu:
Who can be more quiet and have less desires than birds and animals? But birds and animals likewise age and die. However, we will not speak of birds and animals, the passions of which are similar to the human. But which are the passions of plants and shrubs, that they are born in spring, and die in autumn? They are dispassionate, and their lives do not extend further than one year. Men are full of passions and desires, and yet they can become a hundred years old. Thus the dispassionate die prematurely, and the passionate live long. Hence Laozi's theory to prolong life and enter a new existence by means of quietism and absence of desires is wrong.

41 道虛:
或時老子、李少君之類也,行恬淡之道,偶其性命亦自壽長。世見其命壽,又聞其恬淡,謂老子以術度世矣。
Daoxu:
Laozi was like Li Shao Jun. He practised his theory of quietism, and his life happened to be long of itself. But people seeing this, and hearing of his quietism, thought that by his art he passed into another existence.

42 道虛:
世或以辟穀不食為道術之人,謂王子喬之輩,以不食穀,與恆人殊食,故與恆人殊壽,踰百度世,遂為仙人。
Daoxu:
The idea prevails that those who abstain from eating grain, are men well versed in the art of Dao. They say e.g. that Wangzi Qiao and the like, because they did not touch grain, and lived on different food than ordinary people, had not the same length of life as ordinary people, in so far as having passed a hundred years, they transcended into another state of being, and became immortals.

43 道虛:
此又虛也。夫人之生也,稟食飲之性,故形上有口齒,形下有孔竅。口齒以噍食,孔竅以注瀉。順此性者,為得天正道;逆此性者,為違所稟受。失本氣於天,何能得久壽?
Daoxu:
That is another mistake. Eating; and drinking; are natural impulses, with which we are endowed at birth. Hence the upper part of the body has a mouth and teeth, the inferior part orifices. With the mouth and teeth one chews and eats, the orifices are for the discharge. Keeping in accord with one's nature, one follows the law of heaven, going against it, one violates one's natural propensities, and neglects one's natural spirit before heaven. How can one obtain long life in this way?

44 道虛:
使子喬生無齒口孔竅,是稟性與人殊。稟性與人殊,尚未可謂壽,況形體均同,而以所行者異?言其得度世,非性之實也。
Daoxu:
If Wangzi Qiao had got no mouth, teeth, or orifices at birth, his nature would have been different from that of others. Even then one could hardly speak of long life. Now, the body is the same, only the deeds being different. To say that in this way one can transcend into another existence is not warranted by human nature.

45 道虛:
夫人之不食也,猶身之不衣也。衣以溫膚,食以充腹,膚溫腹飽,精神明盛。如饑而不飽,寒而不溫,則有凍餓之害矣,凍餓之人,安能久壽?且人之生也,以食為氣,猶草木生以土為氣矣。拔草木之根,使之離土,則枯而蚤死;閉人之口,使之不食,則餓而不壽矣。
Daoxu:
For a man not to eat is like not clothing the body. Clothes keep the skin warm, and food fills the stomach. With a warm epidermis and a well-filled belly the animal spirits are bright and exalted. If one is hungry, and has nothing to eat, or feels cold, and has nothing to warm one's self, one may freeze or starve to death. How can frozen and starved people live longer than others?
Moreover, during his life man draws his vital force from food, just as plants and trees do from earth. Pull out the roots of a plant or a tree, and separate them from the soil, and the plant will wither, and soon die. Shut a man's mouth, so that he cannot eat, and he will starve, but not be long-lived.

46 道虛:
道家相誇曰:「真人食氣。」以氣而為食,故《傳》曰:「食氣者壽而不死。」雖不穀飽,亦以氣盈。
Daoxu:
The Daoists exalting each other's power assert that the "pure man" eats the fluid, that the fluid is his food. Wherefore the books say that the fluid-eaters live long, and do not die, that, although they do not feed on cereals, they become fat and strong by the fluid.

47 道虛:
此又虛也。夫氣謂何氣也?如謂陰陽之氣,陰陽之氣不能飽人。人或嚥氣,氣滿腹脹,不能饜飽。如謂百藥之氣,人或服藥,食一合屑,吞數十丸,藥力烈盛,胸中憒毒,不能飽人。
Daoxu:
This too is erroneous. What kind of fluid is understood by fluid? If the fluid of the Yin and the Yang be meant, this fluid cannot satiate people. They may inhale this fluid, so that it fills their belly and bowels, yet they cannot feel satiated. If the fluid inherent in medicine be meant, man may use and eat a case full of dry drugs, or swallow some ten pills. But the effects of medicine are very strong. They cause great pain in the chest, but cannot feed a man.

48 道虛:
食氣者必謂吹呴呼吸,吐故納新也,昔有彭祖嘗行之矣,不能久壽,病而死矣。
Daoxu:
The meaning must certainly be that the fluid-eaters breathe, inhaling and exhaling, emitting the old air and taking in the new. Of old, Pengzu used to practise this. Nevertheless he could not live indefinitely, but died of sickness.

49 道虛:
道家或以導氣養性,度世而不死。以為血脈在形體之中,不動搖屈伸,則閉塞不通;不通積聚,則為病而死。
Daoxu:
Many Daoists hold that by regulating one's breath one can nourish one's nature, pass into another state of being, and become immortal. Their idea is that, if the blood vessels in the body be not always in motion, expanding and contracting, an obstruction ensues. There being no free passage, constipation is the consequence, which causes sickness and death.

50 道虛:
此又虛也。夫人之形,猶草木之體也。草木在高山之巔,當疾風之衝,晝夜動搖者,能復勝彼隱在山谷間,鄣於疾風者乎?
Daoxu:
This is likewise without any foundation. Man's body is like that of plants and trees. Plants and trees growing on the summits of high mountains, where they are exposed to the squalls of wind, are moved day and night, but do they surpass those that are hidden in mountain valleys and sheltered from wind?

51 道虛:
案草木之生,動搖者傷而不暢;人之導引動搖形體者,何故壽而不死?夫血脈之藏於身也,猶江河之流地。江河之流,濁而不清;血脈之動,亦擾不安。不安,則猶人勤苦無聊也,安能得久生乎?
Daoxu:
When plants and trees, while growing, are violently shaken, they are injured, and pine away. Why then should man by drawing his breath and moving his body gain a long life and not die? The blood arteries traverse the body, as streams and rivers flow through the land. While thus flowing, the latter lose their limpidity, and become turbid. When the blood is moved, it becomes agitated also, which causes uneasiness. Uneasiness is like the hardships man has to endure without remedy. How can that be conducive to a long life?

52 道虛:
道家或以服食藥物,輕身益氣,延年度世。
Daoxu:
The Daoists sometimes use medicines with a view to rendering their bodies more supple and their vital force stronger, hoping thus to prolong their years and to enter a new existence.

53 道虛:
此又虛也。夫服食藥物,輕身益氣,頗有其驗。若夫延年度世,世無其效。
Daoxu:
This is a deception likewise. There are many examples that by the use of medicines the body grew more supple and the vital force stronger, but the world affords no instance of the prolongation of life and a new existence following.

54 道虛:
百藥愈病,病愈而氣復,氣復而身輕矣。凡人稟性,身本自輕,氣本自長,中於風濕,百病傷之,故身重氣劣也。服食良藥,身氣復故,非本氣少身重,得藥而乃氣長身更輕也;稟受之時,本自有之矣。故夫服食藥物除百病,令身輕氣長,復其本性,安能延年至於度世?
Daoxu:
The different physics cure all sorts of diseases. When they have been cured, the vital force is restored, and then the body becomes supple again. According to man's original nature his body is supple of itself, and his vital force lasts long of its own accord. But by exposure to wind and wetness he falls a victim to hundreds of diseases, whence his body becomes heavy and stiff, and his force is weakened. By taking an efficacious remedy he restores his body and the vital force. This force is not small at the outset, or the body heavy, and it is not by medicine that the force lasts long, or the body grows supple and light. When first received, they already possess those qualities spontaneously. Therefore, when by medicines the various diseases are dispelled, the body made supple, and the vital force prolonged, they merely return to their original state, but it is impossible to add to the number of years, let alone the transition into another existence.

55 道虛:
有血脈之類,無有不生;生無不死。以其生,故知其死也。天地不生,故不死;陰陽不生,故不死。死者、生之效,生者、死之驗也。夫有始者必有終,有終者必有始。唯無終始者,乃長生不死。
Daoxu:
Of all the beings with blood in their veins there are none but are born, and of those endowed with life there are none but die. From the fact that they were born, one knows that they must die. Heaven and Earth were not born, therefore they do not die. The Yin and the Yang were not born, therefore they do not die. Death is the correlate of birth, and birth the counterpart of death. That which has a beginning, must have an end, and that which has an end, must necessarily have had a beginning. Only what is without beginning or end, lives for ever and never dies.

56 道虛:
人之生,其猶冰1也。水凝而為冰,氣積而為人。冰極一冬而釋,人竟百歲而死。人可令不死,冰可令不釋乎?諸學仙術,為不死之方,其必不成,猶不能使冰終不釋也。
Daoxu:
Human life is like water. Water frozen gives ice, and the vital force concentrated forms the human being. Ice lasts one winter, then it melts, man lives a hundred years, than he dies. Bid a man not to die, can you bid ice not to melt? All those who study the art of immortality and trust that there are means, by which one does not die, must fail as sure as one cannot cause ice never to melt.

1. 冰 : Originally read: "水". 據《論死》篇改。

URN: ctp:lunheng/dao-xu