Zhuangzi 33.1


天下 - Tian Xia



The methods employed in the regulation of the world are many; and (the employers of them) think each that the efficiency of his own method leaves nothing to be added to it. But where is what was called of old 'the method of the Dao?' We must reply, 'It is everywhere.' But then whence does the spiritual in it come down? and whence does the intelligence in it come forth? There is that which gives birth to the Sage, and that which gives his perfection to the King: the origin of both is the One.

曰:無 乎 不 在。

曰:神 何 由 降? From where does the daemonic descend?

明 何 由 出? From where does illumination come forth?

聖 有 所 生, Sagehood is born from something,

王 有 所 成, Kingship forms out of something,

皆 原 於 一。 All have their source in the One.

不離於宗,謂之天人。不離於精,謂之神人。不離於真,謂之至人。以天為宗,以德為本,以道為門,兆於變化,謂之聖人。以仁為恩,以義為理,以禮為行,以樂 為和,薰然慈仁,謂之君子。以法為分,以名為表,以參為驗,以稽為決,其數一二三四是也。百官以此相齒,以事為常,以衣食為主,蕃息畜藏,老弱孤寡為意, 皆有以養,民之理也。

Not to be separate from his primal source
constitutes what we call the Heavenly man;
not to be separate from the essential nature thereof
constitutes what we call the Spirit-like man;
not to be separate from its real truth
constitutes what we call the Perfect man.
To regard Heaven as his primal Source,
Its Attributes as the Root (of his nature),
and the Dao as the Gate (by which he enters into this inheritance),
(knowing also) the prognostics given in change and transformation,
constitutes what we call the Sagely man.

To regard benevolence as (the source of all) kindness,
righteousness as (the source of all) distinctions,
propriety as (the rule of) all conduct,
and music as (the idea of) all harmony,
thus diffusing a fragrance of gentleness and goodness,
constitutes what we call the Superior man.

To regard laws as assigning the different (social) conditions,
their names as the outward expression (of the social duties),
the comparison of subjects as supplying the grounds of evidence,
investigation as conducting to certainty,
so that things can be numbered as first, second, third, fourth (and so on):
(this is the basis of government).

Its hundred offices are thus arranged;
business has its regular course;
the great matters of clothes and food are provided for;
cattle are fattened and looked after;
the (government) stores are filled;
the old and weak, orphans and solitaries,
receive anxious consideration:
in all these ways is provision made for the nourishment of the people.


How complete was (the operation of the Dao) in the men of old! It made them the equals of spiritual beings, and subtle and all-embracing as heaven and earth. They nourished all things, and produced harmony all under heaven. Their beneficent influence reached to all classes of the people. They understood all fundamental principles, and followed them out to their graduated issues; in all the six directions went their penetration, and in the four quarters all things were open to them. Great and small, fine and coarse - all felt their presence and operation. Their intelligence, as seen in all their regulations, was handed down from age to age in their old laws, and much of it was still to be found in the Historians. What of it was in the Shi, the Shu, the Li, and the Yue, might be learned from the scholars of Zou and Lu, and the girdled members of the various courts. The Shi describes what should be the aim of the mind; the Shu, the course of events; the Li is intended to direct the conduct; the Yue, to set forth harmony; the Yi, to show the action of the Yin and Yang; and the Chun Qiu, to display names and the duties belonging to them. Some of the regulations (of these men of old), scattered all under heaven, and established in our Middle states, are (also) occasionally mentioned and described in the writings of the different schools.

Graham 274


Down below in the Empire there are many who cultivate the tradition of some formula, and all of them suppose that there is nothing to add to what they have. In which of them is it finally to be found, that which a vault was called the tradition of the Way?


I say it is to be found in all of them. I say:
From where does the daemonic descend?
From where does illumination come forth?
Sagehood is born from something,
Kingship forms out of something,
All have their source in the one.


Whoever does not part from the ancestral we call "Heaven's man (天人)".
Who ever does not apart from the quintessential recall the "daemonic man (神人)".
Who ever does not depart from the genuine(真)
we call the "utmost man (至人)".
Whoever recognizes Heaven as his ancestor, the power as his root, the Way as his gateway, who has escaped beyond the alterations and transformations, we call "the sage” (聖人).

以仁為恩,以義為理,以禮為行,以樂 為和,薰然慈仁,謂之君子。

Whoever uses Goodwill (ren 仁) to do kindness,
Duty (yi 義) to pattern,
Rites (li 禮) to conduct,
Music (yue 樂) to harmonise,
and is serenely compassionate and benevolent, we call the gentleman (君 jūn).

以法為分,以名為表,以參為驗,以稽為決,其數一二三四是也。百官以此相齒,以事為常,以衣食為主,蕃息畜藏,老弱孤寡為意, 皆有以養,民之理也。

As for using laws to apportion, names to mark, checks to test, verification to decide, that is what it is for its number to become 1,2,3,4....The hundred offices use these to grade each other, and take service as their routine, and feeding and clothing as their object, set their thoughts on breeding, growing, rearing, storing, on the old, the feeble, the orphan, the widow, and all have their own patterns of action to nurture the people.



Did not the men of old provide for everything? They were peers of the daemonic-and-illumined and equals of heaven and earth, they fostered the myriad things and harmonised the empire, their bounty extended over the Hundred Clans.
They had a clear vision of the number at the root and connected it to the measurements of the uttermost twigs, their understanding ranged in the six directions and is open through the four seasons; throughout small and great, quintessential and crude, there was nothing they missed out in their circuitings. Of what they clarified in the realm of number and measure, much is still possessed by the historiographers who preserve the antique laws and the records handed down through the generations.

As for what resides in the Songs and Documents, Rites and Music, there are many among the gentry of Tsou and Lu, the teachers with memorandum tablets in their sashes, were able to clarify it. (The Songs self as guides to the intent, the Documents to the work, the Rites to conduct, the Music to harmony, the Changes to the Yin and Yang, the Spring and Autumn Annals to names and portions). As for what became available in the central states when its number divided out in the Empire below, the scholars of the Hundred schools at times site and expand some of it.