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The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion, by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, [1905], at

p. 5


When worth is not honored the people may be kept from strife.

When rare articles are not valued the people are kept from theft.

When the desirable is left unnoticed the heart is not confused.

Therefore, the method of government by the Holy Man is to empty the heart, while strengthening the purpose; to make the will pliant, and the character strong. 1 He ever keeps the people simple-minded and passionless, so that the world-wise do not dare to plan.

Practice non-action and everything will be regulated. 2

Jesus, the chief of transcendentalists, summed up the law of life in the command to love God with the whole being, and demanded of his disciples that they bless their enemies, and cherish the same feelings towards their neighbors as they felt for themselves. They were to have no treasures on earth, nor were they to occupy their thoughts with providing for the physical—an ideal which will only be reached as men rise higher than the sense life of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling. All outer goods are forgotten when man's inner being is filled with the lustre of God. So long as the driving force of man's life is desire, so long will he fall short of the teachings of the Savior. When, however, he rises above the bondage of the senses, when he perceives the human soul in all its glory, as the temple of the Holy God, his motives will be as the motives of the Godhead, the standard set up by Christ will be attained. Neither rewards nor punishments will longer appeal to him. The subtle selfishness which the one addresses,

p. 6

and the base fear which the other influences, will alike be alien to his character.

In this ideal republic, the commonwealth of days to come, socialism will realize its noblest ambitions. Each will help his brother forward, and find his joy in seeing the prosperity of his neighbor. Theft will be unheard of, for "rare articles" will be no more prized. The very fact that they are rare, and therefore not within the reach of all, will deprive them of their worth.

How it will be possible for this to become un fait accompli we may perhaps realize by reference to the law of vibrations. As the vibrations which produce the phenomenon of telepathy would, if completely under control, make man independent of the lower vibrations which make speech possible, so when the higher vibrations of the spiritual alone vibrate, the lower vibrations of the earthly will be sought no more. The pure spiritualism of Jesus will be universal among men. They will see God. By ceasing from desire, everything that is desirable will be obtained. Desire stifles; only the desireless breathe God's atmosphere. "Christian prayer itself is a moderation of desire. It is a refusal any longer to say of everything, 'It is mine.' It is the refusal to ask that which will lift me above other people. It is the cry to have my garments parted among the multitude."


5:1 Lit.—"To make their minds vacant, their stomachs comfortable, their wills weak, and their bones strong." Cf. Isa. 11.

5:2 Cp. chaps. 63, 65.

Next: Chapter IV