Sacred Texts  Taoism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 53


When one uses the Tao in assisting his sovereign, he will not employ arms to coerce the state. Such methods easily react. 1

Where military camps are established briers and thorns flourish. When great armies have moved through the land calamities are sure to follow. 2

The capable are determined, but no more. They will not venture to compel; determined, but not conceited; determined, but not boastful; determined, but not arrogant; determined because it cannot be helped; determined, but not forceful.

When things reach their prime, they begin to age. This cannot be said to be the Tao. What is NOT the Tao soon ends. 3

War is crude, unrefined cruelty; a creator of divisions, and an opponent of the unity underlying creation; brute force and strategy are its weapons, each a contradiction of the simplicity and purity of God; its effects extend beyond the physical, and to those who have open ears there come from the Unseen, echoes similar to the lament of the Great Spirit in Hiawatha:

"O my children! my poor children!
 Listen to the words of wisdom,
 From the lips of the Great Spirit,
 From the Master of Life, who made you!"

"I am weary of your quarrels,
 Weary of your wars and bloodshed, p. 54
 Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
 Of your wranglings and divisions;
 All your strength is in your union,
 All your danger is in discord;
 Therefore be at peace henceforward,
 And as brothers live together."

Armies when contending seem to be the most commanding forces in the universe, yet is their strength unequal to the Spiritual Force—electricity.


53:1 "With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again."—Luke.

53:2 Although the Tao Teh King is now little read, so manifest is the Law of Retribution that this sentence has become one of the commonest proverbs in the Chinese colloquial.

53:3 See chap. 55.

Next: Chapter XXXI