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《五百卷第八 - Five Hundred Years》

English translation: Jeffrey S. Bullock [?] Library Resources
1 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: Every five hundred years a sage appears. Is there truth in this?
Yangzi said: Yao, Shun, and Yu were rulers and subjects to one another, all [during] the same era. Wen, Wu, and the Duke of Zhou, were fathers and sons, all during the same era. But Tang and Confucius were born several centuries removed from each other. As for using the past to forecast what is to come, whether it be a thousand years or one year, one cannot know.

2 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
The sage has the means to emulate Heaven and Earth, himself making a triad with them!

3 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: Does the sage not have times when he is flexible?
Yangzi said: He has.
The other said: When is he flexible?
Yangzi said: As for Confucius's relationship with Nanzi, she was somebody that he did not want to see. As for Yang Huo, he was somebody to whom Confucius did not want to pay his respects. Yet Confucius saw the one he did not want to see, and he paid his respects to the one to whom he did not want to pay his respects. How could he have not been flexible?
The other said: When Duke Ling of Wei asked about the military, why was Confucius inflexible?
Yangzi said: Confucius yielded himself to promote the Dao. If it were a matter of yielding the Dao to promote himself, even if he could have got all under Heaven, he wouldn't have done it.

4 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
The sage considers his dao important and treats his salary lightly. The common man considers his salary important and takes his dao lightly. The sage says, "Am I walking the Dao?" The common man says, "Is my salary increasing?"

5 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
In the past Qi and Lu had great ministers, but history has lost their names.
Someone said: Why were they great?
Yangzi said: Shusun Tong wanted to formulate new ceremonies for rulers and ministers, and recruited ru from Qi and Lu. There were two men that he could not lure.
The other said: If this is so, then was it wrong for Confucius to travel around in search for employment by the feudal lords?
Yangzi said: Confucius traveled around and searched, but he did so in order to employ himself. If he had given up on himself and followed others, then even though he had compass and square, level and marking line, how could he have been able to use them?

6 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: In Confucius's time, did the feudal lords know he was a sage?
Yangzi said: They knew it.
The other asked: If they knew it, then why did they not employ him?
Yangzi said: They were not able to.
The other said: They knew he was a sage, yet were unable to employ him. May I hear the explanation for this?
Yangzi said: If they had employed him, it would have been appropriate to follow him. If they had followed him, then they would have had to abandon what they already practiced, go against what they were accustomed to following, improve what they degraded, and give up what they were skilled in. It would be like rushing headlong into the unknown. Apart from the greatest ruler under Heaven, who could have employed him?

7 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: When Confucius knew that his dao could not be realized, then where did he take it?
Yangzi said: To junzi of later generations.
The other said: If a merchant were like this, he would be dull-witted indeed!
Yangzi said: The more sharply a common man seeks profit, the duller he becomes. The duller the sage becomes, the sharper his profit. He would not feel regrets before a hundred [generations of] sages; he would not be ashamed before the whole world. Among men, none can surpass him. Honor without equal, or wealth without comparison: which profit is greater?

8 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone said: Is it possible to lower the standards of Confucius's dao.
Yangzi said: Lowering [its standards] would destroy the sage's dao, would it not?
The other said: If this is so, then why did he leave the state of Lu?
Yangzi said: He valued his time.
The other said: He valued his time and left. Why?
Yangzi said: Because of a bunch of slave girls. The ruler of Lu did not listen to his corrections. Confucius remonstrated but [the ruler] would not accept his advice. Confucius sighed, "I am sick of watching this! I will not stuff myself with food, sit at leisure, and watch these girls perform until I'm weary of them!" From this point of view, Confucius indeed valued his time.
The other said: Does the junzi value his time?
Yangzi said: If the junzi takes office, he wants to implement his yi. If he retires from public life, then he wants to expound his dao. In service, he does not become weary. In teaching, he does not become fatigued. When is there time to waste?

9 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone said: "Should there be those who would succeed the Zhou, even a hundred generations hence could be known." The Qin followed the Zhou, but did not rule using Xia li. Is Confucius's statement not incorrect?
Yangzi said: The sage's words are Tian. Is Tian wrong? Those who followed the Zhou did not want peace. If they had wanted peace, dispensing with Xia li and using another dao was not the way to get there.

10 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Brilliant is the light of the sun, it is the means whereby people can use their eyes. Broad and encompassing is the sage's dao, it is the means by which people can use their xin.

11 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: Heaven and Earth are easy to understand, and the sage models himself on them. Why, then, are the Five Classics so disordered?
Yangzi said: That they are disordered is probably what makes them easy to understand. If they were already easy to understand, why would we go about figuring and sorting out the meanings?

12 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone said: The sage is of no benefit to the common man.
Yangzi said: What people of the world see as beneficial to themselves is like a granary. Take from it, and it becomes exhausted. But Confucius possessed daimonic clarity. The petty use it to accomplish their petty goals, the great use it to accomplish their great goals. Whether it be a mountain or river, mound or hill, grass or wood, bird or beast, they all are thus enriched. But if you don't use the sage's dao, even daimonic clarity cannot be of benefit to you.

13 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: Does the sage divine about Heaven?
Yangzi said: He divines about Heaven and Earth.
If this is so, then how is he different from a court astrologer?
Yangzi said: The astrologer uses Heaven to divine about man. The sage uses man to divine about Heaven.

14 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: Among astronomer-astrologers there are Gan De and Shi Shen. What do you think about them?
Yangzi said: It lies in one's de, not in the stars. If one's de flourishes, then the stars become its gnomon. If one's stars are flourishing, one's de becomes a gnomon that reflects this.

15 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked about the great man.
Yangzi said: One who does not engage in petty affairs is a great man.
May I ask about petty [affairs]?
Yangzi said: Affairs that are not li and yi are petty.

16 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
The sage's words are far reaching like Tian, the worthy's words are close like Earth.

17 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
That which produces the tinkling sound of jade—is it not the substance of jade?

18 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
The sage casually opens his mouth and his words become maxims. He effortlessly wields his brush and his writing becomes a classic. His words can be heard but cannot be used up; his writings can be read but cannot be exhausted.

19 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
The men of the Zhou had many accomplishments;
The men of Qin had many faults.
Accomplishments reach a goal;
Faults reach no goal.
The shi of the Zhou were honorable;
The shi of the Qin were worthless.
The shi of the Zhou did as they pleased;
The shi of the Qin were constrained.

20 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
When the moon is not yet full, its crescent first shines in the West. When it has already been full, its crescent shines last in the east. The moon is probably moving contrary to the sun.

21 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
The crimson bow and black arrows—receiving them do not amount to having the Mandate.

22 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Listen carefully to previous generations,
Look carefully at what is before your own eyes—
There is no mirror closer by than these.

23 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone asked: How does one act and thereby receive others' respect?
Yangzi said: By respecting others.
How does one act and thereby become humiliated?
Yangzi said: By humiliating others. The difference between being respected and humiliated comes only from within oneself.

24 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Someone said: It is difficult to compel society to obey and perform li.
Yangzi said: It is precisely because it is so difficult that you must compel society to obey and perform li. It is like audaciously sitting with ones legs sprawled out, or like a child biting a fruit and gobbling it down. How are these compelled? But whether it's in one's nature or whether it is compelled, once one is completely accustomed to it, it is equally natural.

25 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Look at a drawn bow—it will still be good when the tension is relaxed.
The other said: What do you mean?
Yangzi said: I simply mean that it has been molded to shape.

26 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
For rivers there are levees, for vessels there are molds. From these one can see the indispensability li and education.

27 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Once you survey, then you know where you can put the posts and planks.

28 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
Zhuang Zhou and Yang Zhu were reckless and unmethodical. Mo Di and Yan Ying were stingy and dispensed with li. Shen Buhai and Han Feizi were devious and had no power to transform people. Zou Yan was preposterous and not to be believed.

29 五百卷第... :
Five Hundred Years:
The materials of the sage are Heaven and Earth; next he turns to mountains and hills, rivers and springs; and finally, birds and beasts, grass and wood.

URN: ctp:yangzi-fayan/juan-ba