I have nowhere found any mention of the author of this brief composition, or of its date. The use of Buddhistic expressions in it shows that it cannot have had a very early origin. It belongs to the same category of Tâoist writings as the Khing Käng King, which is the first of these appendixes. Lî Hsî-yüeh says, 'The Treatise is called "the Directory for a Day," as showing that during all the hours (the Tâo) should not be left for a single instant (comp. the words of Confucius at the beginning of the Kung Yung). Let the work be done, and there is sure to be the result promised; only there must be the Purity insisted on both of body and mind. In the second paragraph it is said, "During the twelve hours of the day let the thoughts be constantly fixed on absolute Purity;" and in the last paragraph, "During the twelve hours be always pure and undefiled; "--thus showing what the main teaching of the Great Tâoistic system is, and the pre-eminent place which Purity occupies in the "Directory for a Day." The style is so clear and simple that I have left it without note or comment.'
1. As to what should be done in a day, when the eating and drinking has been arranged, let one sit straight with his mouth shut, and not allow a single thought to arise in his mind. Let him forget everything, and keep his spirit with settled purpose. Let
his lips be glued together, and his teeth be firmly pressed against one another. Let him not look at anything with his eyes, nor listen to a single sound with his ears. Let him with all his mind watch over his inward feelings. Let him draw long breaths, and gradually emit them, without a break, now seeming to breathe, and now not. In this way any excitement of the mind will naturally disappear, the water from the kidneys will rise up, the saliva will be produced in the mouth, and the real efficaciousness becomes attached to the body. It is thus that one acquires the way of prolonging life.
2. During the twelve hours of the day let one's thoughts be constantly fixed on absolute Purity. Where one thought (of a contrary kind) does not arise, we have what we call Purity; where nothing (of a contrary kind) enters the Tower of Intelligence (= the mind), we have what we call the Undefiled. The body is the house of the breath; the mind is the lodging of the spirit. As the thoughts move, the spirit moves; as the spirit moves, the breath is distributed. As the thoughts rest, the spirit rests when the spirit rests, the breath is collected.
The true powers of the five elements unite and form the boat-like cup of jade, (after partaking of which), the body seems to be full of delicious harmony. This spreads like the unguent of the chrismal rite on the head. Walking, resting, sitting, sleeping, the man feels his body flexible as the wind, and in his belly a sound like that of thunder. His ears hear the songs of the Immortals, that need no aid from any instrument; vocal without words, and resounding without the drum. The spirit and the breath effect a union and the bloom of
childhood returns. The man beholds scenes unfolded within him; Spirits of themselves speak to him; he sees the things of vacuity, and finds himself dwelling with the Immortals. He makes the Great Elixir, and his spirit goes out and in at its pleasure. He has the longevity of heaven and earth, and the brightness of the sun and moon. He has escaped from the toils of life and death. 1
3. Do not allow any relaxation of your efforts, During all the hours of the day strive always to be
pure and undefiled. The spirit is the child of the breath; the breath is the mother of the spirit.
As a fowl embraces its eggs, do you preserve the spirit and nourish the breath. Can you do this without intermission? Wonderful! wonderful! The mystery becomes still deeper!
In the body there are seven precious organs, which serve to enrich the state, to give rest to the people, and to make the vital force of the system full to overflowing. Hence we have the heart, the kidneys, the breath, the blood, the brains, the semen, and the marrow. These are the seven precious organs. They are not dispersed when the body returns (to the dust). Refined by the use of the Great Medicine, the myriad spirits all ascend among the Immortals. 1
271:1 Accustomed to the phraseology of the Text all his life, the commentator Lî, as has been seen, did not think it necessary to append here any notes of explanation. A few such notes, however, will be welcome to an English reader. 'The twelve hours of the day:'--a Chinese hour is equal to two of our hours, and their twelve to our twenty-four. The twelve hours are named by the twelve branch terms of the cycle.
'The boat-like cup of jade' seems to be a satisfactory rendering of the Chinese characters tâo kwei in the Text, which might be translated 'knife, and jade-symbol.' But Tâo, commonly meaning 'knife,' is in the Shih King (I, v; VII, 2) used of 'a small boat.' In the Khang-hsî Thesaurus, under the phrase, we have the following quotation, as if from Ko Hung's Biographies of Immortals: 'Khän Hsî, a native of the territory of Wû, was studying the Tâo in Shû, when the master Lâo sent a beautiful young lady to him with a tray of gold and a cup of jade filled with medicine, and the message, "This is the mysterious elixir; he who drinks it will not die." And on this he and his wife had each a tâo kwei.' See the account in Ko Hung's work, which is much more diffuse.
In the mention of 'the chrismal rite' there is a reference to what Dr. Williams calls 'a kind of Buddhist baptism or holy unction, by sprinkling, which confers goodness,' 'administered to children, idols, &c.' (See under the characters kwân and ting.)
272:1 If we were sure that we had exactly hit the meaning and spirit of every part of this paragraph, it would hardly be worth while to give more space to its illustration.
A sufficient number of the best of the Treatises of the later Tâoism have been placed before the reader to show him how different they are from the writings of Lâo and Kwang, and how inferior to them. It might seem as if Kwang-dze, when be ceased to write, had broken the staff of Tâoism and buried it many fathoms in the earth. We can hardly wonder that Confucianists, such as Kû Hsî, should pronounce, 'What the sect of Tâo chiefly attend to is,--the preservation of the breath of life;' and that Buddhists, such as Liû Mî, should say of it, 'Long life being attained, its goal is reached.'