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Scope: The Seal of Virtue Complete Request type: Paragraph
Condition 1: Contains text "常季曰何謂也" Matched:1.
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德充符 - The Seal of Virtue Complete

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《德充符》 Library Resources
1 德充符:
The Seal of Virtue...:
In Lu there was a Wang Tai who had lost both his feet; while his disciples who followed and went about with him were as numerous as those of Zhongni. Chang Ji asked Zhongni about him, saying, 'Though Wang Tai is a cripple, the disciples who follow him about divide Lu equally with you, Master. When he stands, he does not teach them; when he sits, he does not discourse to them. But they go to him empty, and come back full. Is there indeed such a thing as instruction without words? and while the body is imperfect, may the mind be complete? What sort of man is he?' Zhongni replied, 'This master is a sage. I have only been too late in going to him. I will make him my teacher; and how much more should those do so who are not equal to me! Why should only the state of Lu follow him? I will lead on all under heaven with me to do so.'
Chang Ji rejoined, 'He is a man who has lost his feet, and yet he is known as the venerable Wang - he must be very different from ordinary men. What is the peculiar way in which he employs his mind?' The reply was, 'Death and life are great considerations, but they could work no change in him. Though heaven and earth were to be overturned and fall, they would occasion him no loss. His judgment is fixed regarding that in which there is no element of falsehood; and, while other things change, he changes not. The transformations of things are to him the developments prescribed for them, and he keeps fast hold of the author of them.'
Chang Ji said, 'What do you mean?' 'When we look at things,' said Zhongni, 'as they differ, we see them to be different, (as for instance) the liver and the gall, or Chu and Yue; when we look at them, as they agree, we see them all to be a unity. So it is with this (Wang Tai). He takes no knowledge of the things for which his ears and eyes are the appropriate organs, but his mind delights itself in the harmony of (all excellent) qualities. He looks at the unity which belongs to things, and does not perceive where they have suffered loss. He looks on the loss of his feet as only the loss of so much earth.'
Chang Ji said, 'He is entirely occupied with his (proper) self. By his knowledge he has discovered (the nature of) his mind, and to that he holds as what is unchangeable; but how is it that men make so much of him?' The reply was, 'Men do not look into running water as a mirror, but into still water - it is only the still water that can arrest them all, and keep them (in the contemplation of their real selves). Of things which are what they are by the influence of the earth, it is only the pine and cypress which are the best instances - in winter as in summer brightly green. Of those which were what they were by the influence of Heaven, the most correct examples were Yao and Shun; fortunate in (thus) maintaining their own life correct, and so as to correct the lives of others. As a verification of the (power of) the original endowment, when it has been preserved, take the result of fearlessness - how the heroic spirit of a single brave soldier has been thrown into an army of nine hosts. If a man only seeking for fame and able in this way to secure it can produce such an effect, how much more (may we look for a greater result) from one whose rule is over heaven and earth, and holds all things in his treasury, who simply has his lodging in the six members of his body, whom his ears and eyes serve but as conveying emblematic images of things, who comprehends all his knowledge in a unity, and whose mind never dies! If such a man were to choose a day on which he would ascend far on high, men would (seek to) follow him there. But how should he be willing to occupy himself with other men?'

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