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

p. 88


Everything has its origin in the mother of all under heaven. 1

To know the mother the child must be perceived; the child being born the qualities of the mother must be maintained, to the end of life there will be then no peril. 2

Close the doors of the senses, and the whole of life will be without care; open them, attend to the affairs of life and to the end deliverance will be impossible. 3

Perceive the germ,—that is enlightenment. 4

Maintain weakness,—that is stability. Employ the light; revert to this enlightenment; no calamity will then be bequeathed to the body. 5

p. 89

This is indeed to practice the unalterable. 6

Those who live the life of the body die, but for those who live the life of soul

"There is no death! The stars go down
   To rise upon some other shore,
 And bright in heaven's jeweled crown
   They shine for evermore."


88:1 In all mythologies the male stands for the Unmanifest, the female for the Manifested—the womb which gave birth to creation. See Isis, and the goddess Moot, the Mother, of Egypt, The Sephira of the Kabalists; Aditi of the Hindoos; Sophia of the Gnostics; Wisdom in the Proverbs of Solomon. In all theogonies we find the symbol of the egg, the ovum of the mystic mother. In Christendom it survives in the "Easter Egg."

88:2 Separation is necessary for growth, but safety lies in the preservation of the consciousness of non-separateness.

88:3 The text may be illustrated by a parable from Chuang-tzu—"There was once a man who was afraid of his own shadow, and had a strong dislike to his oven footprints. So he tried to escape from both; but the quicker he ran the more footprints he made, and fast as he went his shadow kept up with him. He thought he was going too slowly, so he ran faster and faster without stopping, until his strength gave out and be fell dead. He did not know that if he stayed in a shady place his shadow would have disappeared, and that if he had only remained quiet and motionless he would not have made any footprints. Stupid fellow that he was."—Chuang-tzu by Balfour.

88:4 "Injuries spring from desires, though small in the beginning they swell to great dimensions. Now to know that the small will become great, and to exclude it, that may be said to be enlightenment.'—Su-cheh.

88:5 Bodily vigor, like mental purity, depends on what the mind relates itself to.

89:6 Compare chaps. 16 and 55.

Next: Chapter LIII