The Teachings of Li Wang Ho
The Jewelled Casket of Everlasting Flowers
By J Michaud PhD
First published in 1947, by the Uma Press, in London, This enchanting book contains the teachings of a forgotten ancient Chinese Philosopher of over 2,000 years ago, rescued from oblivion for the first time in our modern age or at any other period of occult history.
THE translation of this work has been a labour of love. Nothing has been changed, and it has been my aim to present the reader with a translation as verbatim as possible.
The Poems have been most difficult to render into English, but fortunately they were composed in the free and wild dithyrambic measure, irregular in style, introduced in China at the end of the fourth century B.C., and immensely popular there from the beginning, even more so than the compact style of Chinese poetry with which we are all familiar, and which is even more difficult to translate into another language.
In Chinese poetry there is no such thing as blank verse; but poetical licence is tolerated. If it be remembered that the P'ei Wên Yün Fu Chi, a rhyming Dictionary, contains about 15,000,000 words in the most subtle and ingenious rhyming combinations, some idea may be formed of the trials which confront the translator of Chinese verse. This is not intended as an apology. The best possible has been done under the circumstances and the verdict lies with the esteemed reader.
The songs or poems in question are entirely individual in manner and bear no resemblance to the Shih King—the Odes—of which there were originally over 3,000. Confucius collected and edited these and reduced the number to 311 (called the 300), and they treat of war, love, eating, drinking, dances, virtues, vices of rulers, misery and happiness.
But the Songs in this Book deal mainly with the love of the "Son of Heaven" for his Favourite—"Silver Lotus"—and it is hoped that they will find favour in the minds of Western readers.
A liberty has been taken in this story in connection with the chronological order of events, but this was done only to give compactness to the tale. Thus it was thought necessary to restrict the time in which the events occurred to six consecutive days, and to achieve this the trips to and from the Capital had to be accomplished within the space of one day—which is of course impossible as the discerning reader will observe. It is to be hoped, therefore, that this lack of verity will be overlooked.
The Introduction, without which no Chinese Book is ever complete, by the Keeper of the ancient Archives, T'sai Ching, is somewhat outspoken; but I am certain from my own knowledge of that peppery but learned gentleman that his Address to the "Foreign White Devils" is inspired solely by the extreme love and reverence he bears towards Li Wang Ho's Wisdom and his veneration for that great Philosopher, and not by actual hatred of the White Race.
In this connection I am reminded of a sentence in the preface of a Chinese play where it says: "If anyone ventures to call this Book indecent, he will certainly have his tongue torn out in Hell!"
A Warning to the Foreign White Devils who read this Book
IT has pleased the Inheritors of the Sublime Teachings of the happy and great Sage Li Wang Ho—upon whom may rest the Eternal Blessings of all the Gods Above and Within—to make public for the first time to Western students of Occult Lore, these wondrous Gems of mental power and beauty of the Blesséd Teacher.
But know, ye ignorant Barbarians who have the inestimable felicity to peruse these jewelled words of Wisdom and golden Flowers of inspired Wit, that it has been decreed by the Celestial Sons of Light, who dwell in the Eternal Radiance of the All-Seeing Eye of Heaven, that all who fail to read and study with reverence these Pearls of Super-Intelligence shall be sealed in Seven Curses for ever and for ever; Yea, until the Day when the Green Dragons of the Deep rise up and destroy this low abode of Sin, Treachery and Ignorance!
In connection with this, the utterly wise and brilliant Son of the Gods Li Wang Ho—the Sublime Teacher and Master—has himself laid down Seven Rules of Conduct, or Seven Holy Commandments in regard to the Seven Cardinal Sins, which can never be overlooked or forgiven; and all those who shall have the immeasurable Honour to sit at the Master's feet and imbibe his great Wisdom, should first cleanse their lowly minds by making a deep study of these great Rules, so that they may make self-enlightenment and self-revelation and purification before dwelling in Spirit on that which is to follow here; for without this necessary preparation the Teachings will be unto them but as a dark screen in an unlit cave of the inner part of the great Mountains, upon which they will gaze with blind eyes filled with dust and a bemused brain full of bats.
THE SEVEN CARDINAL SINS TO AVOID THEN ARE:
1. Ignorance. This is the greatest Sin of all, for it implies an utter lack of the Wisdom of the Universal Laws, immutably fixed and Holy. It shows the failure of the mastery of all the inner and outer Principles laid down by the Creators of all under the direct supervision of God. It prevents the acquisition of a Memory of all sublime and elevated States of Being; and it presents the mind with a Gate which is closed for ever—as if it had been once the passageway of an Emperor, no longer fit to be trodden by the unworthy feet of those of the lower grades.
2. Materialism. These who dwell in the material only can never enter into communion with the Sublime Spiritual Worlds. They are like pigs that wallow in mud, which gives them an illusion of that cleanliness to which they are entitled by reason of their low state of evolution—which is no evolution but degradation. At the end of time they will be submerged into the primeval ooze and remain there for ever; until they become mud themselves.
3. Envy. This dreadful state of mind is the characteristic of the meanly ones. They are even lower than the materialists, for they have added a more deadly attribute to that state by reason of their envious predisposition. They lack harmony, which is an essential part of evolution, on account of their spiteful jealousies of other people's possessions, wits, and happiness; they have no freedom within themselves, as they are fettered down by their lack of goodwill and understanding. They are without confidence in their own powers to achieve the same elevation as those upon whom they look with green and squinting eyes; and they are utterly unbalanced and treacherous in their natures and unworthy to mix with their fellow-beings.
4. Pride. This is an altogether unpardonable Sin and shows an utter absence of Intelligence and Appreciation of the Benevolence of the Gods. For it is only They who can bestow that of which man, in his stupidity, is so proud. And not only that; but they do not realize that their unworthy pride is as much an illusion as the things on which they pride themselves. For this reason the Gods make sometimes a last effort to guide this erring type of person, by taking away and completely destroying that of which he is so pompously proud; and all he has been given dominion over will be as a blast of icy wind from the North which will freeze him with terror at his loss.
5. Hatred. This is a condition of mind on an even lower scale than envy and pride. He who hates will lose Life, Peace and Happiness. When he has lost these blessings he will be as a fish in a nearly dried-up river—panting for the life-giving waters of Love, and slowly suffocating for lack of the rays of that kindly Inner Sun of Goodwill that should shine from the hearts of all men. Until he has learned to forego hatred—no matter what the cause—and has learned the virtue of Non-Resistance, he will be burning amidst the fierce flames of an everlasting fire, which sears without consuming the victim.
6. Judgement of others. This is another terrible Sin, for who are we, standing so much in need of Tolerance ourselves on account of our many errors, that we should dare to judge another?
Justice, Law and Order are necessary in this world of inexperienced beings, but that is a different thing. Judging, and condemning, the faults—as we think we see them—of other men, is the prerogative of the Great Recorders in the Celestial Realms only.
We can only bow our heads in shame at our own faults and pray that Mercy shall be meted out to us at the final Accounting, and we must never attempt to pass judgement on others ourselves, but strive for that great Poise which will enable us to find a right Balance in our conduct, so that others shall not judge us unduly and harshly.
7. Blindness. This is a refusal on man's part to look up to the Light that shines from the Upper Heavens, penetrating the Middle Zones and reaching Earth, the low abode of lowly beings called men. If we look up and see with the inner eye of the adoring Spirit, there shall be given unto us Faith, Youth, Purpose, Vitality, Concentration, Activity and Achievement, so that we shall be enabled to fulfil the Purpose for which we were placed within our Shells of Clay, moulded by the Heavenly Potters in their Creative Ingenuity and Wisdom. If we do not look to the Light, we shall dwell in darkness for ever and cry unceasingly for a Ray of Comfort—but then the Gods will be as blind and deaf as we were in our wilfulness and Sin.
These, then, are the Seven Holy Commandments of the Benefactor Li Wang Ho. To those who follow the Rules there will be opened out a Vision of Wisdom and Beauty such as the average man cannot conceive, nor can he imagine it without due preparation and meditation and subjugation to the Serene and Divine Precepts laid down by our beloved Teacher and Brother.
So take heed and obey—for this is one of the ways to true enlightenment and bliss.
Keeper of the ancient Archives
Principal Male Characters
The Divine EmperorSHI HWANG-TI—T'IEN TSZE (Son of Heaven)
The SageLI WANG HO
The MandarinYING PO CHING
The MagistrateSHU TONG
The Rich MerchantLI HO LU
The DoctorCHU SHI-NIEN
The Son of the GeneralLAI PAO
The New DiscipleLU-SHUN
The 'Master' of the Yin YangWANG CH'UNG
The Lad of GeniusSINGING NIGHTINGALE
Principal Female Characters
Silver LotusTHE ADOPTED DAUGHTER OF LI WANG HO
Glowing RoseSISTER OF SILVER LOTUS
PRIESTS — OFFICIALS — OFFICERS — DISCIPLES
VISITORS — SINGERS — ACTORS — DANCERS — ETC., ETC.,
The Scenes are laid in—
The Village of Apricot Blossom
The Town of Ping-Liang Fu, on the banks of the King-Ho River
The Emperor's Capital
The Garden of Delight
The Emperor's Palace
The House of Li Wang Ho
Time and place of action:CHINA, ABOUT 2,160 YEARS AGO
The following dedication appears on the title page of the printed book:
This Book is dedicated
to the Ever-Fragrant Attributes of the
MSS commenced 15 December 1939. Finished 2 February 1940.
World Copyright 1947 — The Uma Press, London.
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