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March 9, 2016

Real and False Greatness

 Beauty Of Nature  #16
YANG CHU said:

   "Kuan Ching filled his post as a minister of Ch’i in the following way. When his sovereign was wanton he was wanton too; when his sovereign was prodigal he was also prodigal. He met his wishes and obeyed him; following the right path, he made the kingdom prosper. But after the king's death, he was only Mr. Kuan again. Nothing more.

   "But when Tien was minister of Ch’i he behaved as follows. When his sovereign was overbearing he was condescending. When his sovereign collected taxes he distributed money. Thus the people admired him, and in consequence he entered into the possession of the kingdom of Ch’i. His descendants hold it to this day.

   "If anybody has real greatness he is poor; if his greatness is spurious, he is rich."

   Yang Chu said:

   "The really good man is not famous; if he be famous, he is not really a good man, for all fame is nothing but falsehood.

   "Of old Yao and Shun pretended to yield the empire to Hsu-yu and Shan-Chuan, but they did not lose it, and enjoyed happiness for a hundred years.

   "Po Yo and Shu-Ch’i really abdicated on account of the Prince Ku-Chu, and lost their kingdom at last, finally dying of starvation on the mountain of Shou-Yang.

   "This is the difference between the real and false."