Saturday, March 19, 2011

The wisdom of Can Tong Qi (周易參同契) - Chapter 5


御政之首,鼎新革故。管括微密,開舒布寶。要道魁柄,統化綱紐。爻象內動,吉凶外起,五緯錯順,應時感動。四七乖戾,誃離俯仰。文昌統錄,詰責台輔, 百官有司,各典所部。日合五行精,月受六律紀。五六三十度,度竟復更始。原始要終,存亡之緒,或君驕佚,亢滿違道﹔或臣邪佞,行不順軌。弦望盈縮,乖變凶咎。執法刺譏,詰過貽主。辰極受正,優游任下。明堂布政,國無害道。

My rendition of Chapter five of Can Tong Qi (周易參同契):

To be a good ruler, one must replace old with new thinking. Manage according to broad principals but pay attention to details. Cover all areas with good intentions but without tight control. The main routes must be wide, and with narrow connecting branches to form an intricate web. Any signal of change comes from inside, whereas any source of fortune or misfortune comes from outside. The strings of the five elements shall be activated only upon right moment being felt. When the moment is not right, stay calm. Instructions should be organized from the center, every senior official is to carry out his specific instructions, and every minor official also has his own responsibility to run his own department. Like the Sun follows the essence of the five elements, while the Moon follows the pattern of the six sounds. Five days of six sessions make 30 days, and this cycle repeats itself. Whenever there is a beginning there will be an end. It goes astray when the emperor being too confident and acts against the wisdom of Tao, or when his officials being vicious and do not follow his rightful instructions. Like tightening and loosening a string to maintain the right tension, any tipping to one side must be brought back to harmony, otherwise disaster will come. When the law is being carried out too rigidly, the fault is with the emperor. When the morning ends, noon will come; there is no reason for the emperor not to manage leisurely. With a clear understand of the nature of ruling, the country will not go astray from Tao.

Paul's comment: This chapter explained succinctly the Tao's way of managing a country. This chapter serves the purpose of showing the way of Tao being applicable to sound harmonious running of human society, as well as to sound harmonious cultivation inside a human body. The later being the practice of inner alchemy or Neidan, the main subject of Can Tong Qi.

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