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

p. 80


The world may be known without going out of doors.

The heavenly way (Tao) may be seen without looking through the window. 1

The further one goes the less one knows.

Hence the Holy Man arrives without traveling; 2 names without looking; accomplishes without action. 3

The knowledge of the Sage is intuitive. He requires only to concentrate his attention on a subject to understand it. All men have intuitions, certain facts of which they are convinced without having reasoned on them, but most are guided by impulse, their motives arise in that which is without, instead of from what is within. The man who is dependent on reason, like the blind man who relies on touch, is liable to deception. The further he goes the less he knows. The Heavenly Way is only perceptible to the inner eye. "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Hence the Sage arrives without traveling. So also the "Upanishads." "Though sitting still, he walks far; though lying down he goes everywhere." Says Alipili: "If

p. 81

that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee thou wilt never find it without thee."

"Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
 From outward things, whate’er you may believe."

By concentration on this inner universe, by meditation on the Higher Self, by unselfish obedience to the holy vision, the world may be known without going out of doors. The unselfish, who are devoid of self-seeking, who subordinate the finite to the Universal Will, may follow this Divinity within wherever it leads. "If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The pure in heart, or the single-minded, "see God."


80:1 Su-cheh writes, ''Spirit is universal, knowing nothing of either near or far, ancient or modern. It is thus that the Sage knows everything without going from the door, or looking through the window. Men of the present day are limited by matter, the spirit within them is limited by ears and eyes, thus they are thrown into confusion by desires and by their bodies; thus mountains and rivers become barriers; they know nothing excepting what their eyes see, or their ears hear, and in this way even such trifles as doors and windows obstruct them. Are you not aware that the Sage having recovered his original nature is satisfied? Why desire to go abroad to search? The farther you go the less you will know." See "The Voice of the Silence," p. 13 (note).

Wang-pi says: "All things have one ancestry; all roads meet at one point; all thought leads to the same conclusion; all religions point to the same goal."

80:2 i.e. he knows intuitively and does not require to go over each point step by step.

80:3 Comp. Deut. xxx, 12-14, Rom. x, 6-8.

Next: Chapter XLVIII