- Lao Tzŭ, but if so, then it must have been Lao Tzŭ as he existed, an incarnation of Tao, before his appearance in the Confucian age.
was living on Mount K'ung-t'ung, he went thither to see him, and said, "I am told, Sir, that you are in possession of perfect Tao. May I ask in what perfect Tao consists? I desire to avail myself of the good influence of heaven and earth in order to secure harvests and feed my people. I should also like to control the Two Powers of nature
- The Yin and the Yang. See pp. 82, 120.
in order to the protection of all living things. How can I accomplish this?"
"What you desire to avail yourself of," replied Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ, "is the primordial integrity of matter. What you wish to control are the disintegrators thereof. Ever since the empire has been governed by you, the clouds have rained without waiting to thicken, the foliage of trees has fallen without waiting to grow yellow, the brightness of the sun and moon has paled, and the voice of the flatterer is heard on every side. How then speak of perfect Tao?"
The Yellow Emperor withdrew. He resigned the Throne. He built himself a solitary hut. He lay upon straw. For three months he remained in seclusion, and then went again to see Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ.
The latter was lying down with his face to the south. The Yellow Emperor approached after the manner of an inferior, upon his knees. Prostrating