For they trust to their senses, which are "false witnesses." They see the contradictions, but know not that "the different is at unity with itself." They cannot see the "hidden harmony, which is greater than the harmony which is seen." For they live in the external, the common-place, the relative, and never rise above the life of the senses. "The sow loves the mire." "The ass prefers fodder to gold." And men love their "private conceits" instead of clinging to the universal reason which orders all things, and which even the sun obeys.
Of the fragments which remain to us of Heracleitus, the greater number belong to the region of logic and metaphysics, while Chuang Tzŭ devotes much space to the more practical side of the question. He not only ridicules those who trust their senses, or measure by utilitarian standards, or judge by the outward appearance;—he teaches them how to pass from the seeming to the true. The wonderful carver, who could cut where the natural joints are, is one who sees not with the eye of sense but with his mind. When he is in doubt he "falls back upon eternal principles"; for he is "devoted to Tao" (chap. iii). There is something of humour, as well as much of truth, in the rebuke which Confucius, speaking pro hâc vice as a disciple of Lao Tzŭ, administers to his self-confident follower who wanted to "be of use.""Cultivate fasting;—not bodily fasting, but the fasting of the heart." Tao can only abide in the life which has got rid of self. So the Duke of Shê is reminded that there is something higher than duty, viz., destiny, the state, that is, in which conscious obedience has given way to that which is instinctive and automatic. The parable of the trees (pp. 50-53), with its result in the survival of the good-for-nothing, is again a reversal of popular outside judgments. For as the first part of the chapter had taught the uselessness of trying to be useful, so the last part teaches the usefulness of being useless. And the same thought is carried on in the next chapter, which deals with the reversal of common opinion as to persons. Its motto is:—Judge not by the appearance. Virtue must prevail and outward form be forgotten. The loathsome leper Ai T'ai To is made Prime Minister by the wise Duke Ai. The
- Heracl. Eph. Rell. iv.
- Ibid, xlv.
- Ibid, xlvii.
- Ibid., liv., and notes.
- Ibid., li.
- Ibid., xci, xix.
- Ibid., xxix.
- Cf. Plat. Phaedr. 265: κατ᾽ ἄρθρα ᾗ πέφυκεν καὶ μὴ ἐπιχείρειν καταγνύναι μέρος μηδὲν κακοῦ μαγείρον τροπῳ χρώμενοσ.
- Cf. Herbert Spencer's well-known paradox,—"The sense of duty or moral obligation is transitory, and will diminish as fast as moralisation increases."—Data of Ethics, p. 127.