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Freedom Founts

Source Materials About Freedom


1. To him who holds in his hands the Great Image (of the invisible Dào), the whole world repairs. Men resort to him, and receive no hurt, but (find) rest, peace, and the feeling of ease.


2. Music and dainties will make the passing guest stop (for a time). But though the Dào as it comes from the mouth, seems insipid and has no flavour, though it seems not worth being looked at or listened to, the use of it is inexhaustible.

Legge's Comments

仁德, 'The Attribute of Benevolence.' But there seems little appropriateness in this title. The subject of the chapter is the inexhaustible efficacy of the Dào for the good of the world.

The Great Image (of the invisible Dào) is a name for the Dào in its operation; as in chapters 14 and 41. He who embodies this in his government will be a centre of attraction for all the world. Or the 天下往 may be taken as a predicate of the holder of the Great Image:—'If he go all under heaven teaching the Dào.' Both constructions are maintained by commentators of note. In par. 2 the attraction of the Dào is contrasted with that of ordinary pleasures and gratifications.