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

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The Tao is as emptiness, so are its operations. It resembles non-fullness. 1

Fathomless! It seems to be the ancestor of all form.

It removes sharpness, unravels confusion, harmonizes brightness, and becomes one with everything.

Pellucid! 2 It bears the appearance of permanence.

I know not whose son it is. Its Noumenon (εἴδωλον) was before the Lord. 3

No matter what road we take, we find "No thoroughfare"

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conspicuously displayed at the end. Hence Lao-tzu describes his never absent Presence, intangible yet omnipresent, formless yet the Father of form, as "Emptiness"—apprehensible but not comprehensible. The thought of man can only proceed in certain limited directions, and therefore This, the Ubiquitous, "containing everything, yet contained in all," cannot be explained. Whoever would perceive It must leave the beaten track of routine, and in a solitary by-way go forward by the single aid of the higher intuitive powers. Furthermore, It, the one comprehensive Unit, "resembles non-fulness," for we only know the perceptions It excites in our consciousness, never adequate to represent that which is the Consciousness of all consciousness.


7:1 He who understands it desires nothing. "What is king-do to us, O Govinda, what enjoyment or even life?"—Bhagavad Gita (The Despondency of Arjuna).

7:2 Rev. iv, 6. Undefiled by contact.

7:3 "God was not the Lord—in the creature only hath he become the Lord, I ask to be rid of the Lord; that is, that the Lord by his grace would bring me into the Essence, which is before the Lord, and above distinction. I would enter into that Eternal Unity which was mine before all time, above all addition and diminution—into that immobility whereby all is moved."—Master Eckhart.

"Eternity is unborn and eternal. God is born into the Godhead when he begins to create. The Creator creates himself. He is the Creator because he calls the creation into being. The word rests in God until it begins to be uttered, even as the thought rests in man until it has been conceived."—Dr. Hartmann (Leipzig).

"There are two forms of Brahman, time and non-time. That which was before the sun is non-time and bas no parts. That which had its beginning from the sun is time and has parts."

"Two Brahmans have to be meditated on, the word and the non-word. By the word alone is the non-word revealed."

"Two Brahmans are to be known, the word-Brahman and the highest Brahman; he who is perfect in the word-Brahman attains the highest Brahman."—Upanishads. (Sacred Books of the East, vol. xv, pp. 317 and 321.)

''Perfect personality is to be found only in God, while in all finite spirits there exists only a weak imitation of personality; the finiteness of the finite is not a productive condition of personality, but rather a limiting barrier to its perfect development."—Lotze.

Next: Chapter V