The character ZHENG (Uprightness), which is comprised of the signs oneness and attainment, means to reach a state of oneness and to maintain it.
大學曰 為人君止於仁 為人臣止於敬 為人子止於孝 為人父止於慈 與國人交止於信 皆止於一也 即所以為正也
The Book of Great Learning mentioned, “Being a ruler, one must attain benevolence; being a government official, one must attain paying respect; being a child, one must attain filial piety; being a parent, one must attain mercifulness; being associated with others, one must attain trustfulness.” These all “reach a state of oneness” so that they are each regarded as ZHENG.
又曰 心有所忿懥 則不得其正 有所恐懼 則不得其正 有所好惡 則不得其正
蓋忿懥 恐懼 好惡 憂患 皆失其心之一 而不得其正也
Others say, “If a heart is filled with resentment, fright, prejudice or anxiety, ZHENG is lost.” Hence, resentment, fright, prejudice and anxiety can cause the oneness to be lost from the heart, thus ZHENG is unreachable.
故為君者 正身以正朝廷 正朝廷以正百官 正百官以正萬民 萬民正而天下無不正矣
Therefore, a ruler must attain ZHENG personally in order for ZHENG to abound in the government; ZHENG must abound in the government in order that ZHENG permeates the hundreds of government officials; and ZHENG must be the way of the hundreds of government officials so that ZHENG comes to the millions of citizens. When all citizens attain ZHENG, the world will be ZHENG.
誠意正心云者 不起纖微之私意 不起毫末之曲心 目無邪視 口無邪言 耳無邪聽 足無邪行 且又正其衣冠 正其顏色
Confucius said that the principle of “Practice your morals, put your family in order, manage your country and pacify the world” is derived from the honesty and the heart of ZHENG (uprightness). The honesty and the heart of ZHENG mean that a person has neither selfish motives, nor wicked intentions. A person should not see, speak, hear or act evil. Furthermore, one should dress uprightly, with a personal bearing that deserves respect.
如孔子之居鄉 席不正不坐 割不正不食
伯夷之交友 其冠不正 望望然而去之 斯則可謂之正人君子矣
For example, when Confucius lived in his village, he would not sit on an un-ZHENG mat; he would not eat if the food was cut un-ZHENG. If one of Pak Yee’s friends didn’t put his hat in a ZHENG position, he would simply walk away from his friend1. These people have reached ZHENG and its upright way!
有云正直之人 難免受小人之欺謗 當此末劫之時 四生六道轉入人曹
固不免為正人之害 然四生六道 皆稟於彎心曲性
若人則本來原質 溫良中正 其處於世 必有一番正氣 非彼四生六道所可比
語云 邪不敵正 即此意也
Some say that people who are ZHENG are inevitably bullied and libeled by wicked people. In these dangerous times, all kinds of creatures (Four types of Births and Six Realms of Transmigration1) are reincarnated into human beings. These creatures, crooked in their hearts and ill-natured, cause harm to the people of ZHENG. However, mankind, whose natural essence is at peace and full of ZHENG, always possess a spirit of ZHENG with which no other creatures can compare in this world.
As the Analects of Confucius affirmed, immorality is always defeated by ZHENG.
Note1: Four types of Births 四生:
胎/viviparous(born of one’s kind)、
卵/oviparous(hatching from an egg)、
濕(如虫因濕氣而生)/(worm born out of ooze)、
化(無所依托, 因業力而生)/(born only from Karma)
Six Realms of Transmigration 六道:
近數百年來 人禽同居 正直之道 消磨殆盡 然以世界之大 豈真無一正直之人
奈群魔廣佈 正人無可立足 不得不隱以求志 亡以保身
Within the last couple of hundred years, mankind and those creatures which have been reincarnated as humans have mingled together and caused the TAO of ZHENG to fade. Nevertheless, as huge as is this world, does it really have no ZHENG people? Amid the vast scattering around of devils, people of ZHENG reluctantly seclude themselves from this world that has no place for them, in order to preserve their ambitions and lives.
是以正氣消亡 魔風日熾 幾有不可收拾之勢
This is why the spirit of ZHENG has faded from view; the evil atmosphere expands inexorably and becomes uncontrollable.
今欲伸張正氣 必須推己及人 由精正之氣 化為原正之氣
由原正之氣 化為剛正之氣 剛正之氣日伸 則邪魔之氣日縮 而劫運化為烏有矣
If we want to revive the spirit of ZHENG today, we must start with ourselves and spread it to others to develop a spirit of essential ZHENG from the spirit of purified ZHENG; to develop a spirit of indestructible ZHENG from the spirit of essential ZHENG. As soon as the spirit of indestructible ZHENG starts growing, the wicked spirit starts shrinking. Thus, the disastrous fate of mankind is averted.
先正云 和氣致祥 乖氣致戾 人能煉成正氣 則五風十雨 萬魔星散
The past Sages said, “A harmonious atmosphere brings the spirit of fortune; a wicked atmosphere brings the spirit of evil.” If mankind can comport itself steadfastly until we possess the spirit of ZHENG, timely wind and rain will come and devils will be dispersed.
人心由邪以轉正 世運由衰以轉盛 有何天心之不可挽 人事之不可移哉
When mankind’s heart turns from wickedness to ZHENG and the world trends to prosperity instead of degeneration, what confidence of the heart of Heaven cannot be restored and which human affairs cannot be transformed?
抑有進焉者 人苟正己以正人 正人以正物 則正氣流行 可由吾身之氣
以通天地之氣 由天地之氣 以通太虛之氣 氣氣相融 隨所感而應之
Furthermore, if one can attain ZHENG oneself, bring others ZHENG, and then apply it to all matters, the spirit of ZHENG circulates. This spirit can come from our bodies and channel with the spirit of the Heaven and the Earth, to the spirit of the Great Void. When these spirits merge harmoniously with each other, the universe will ‘respond’ to what we ‘feel’.
故人即神 神即虛 虛即道 分之則為萬 合之則為一
If this could come to pass, each man would become a deity; a deity which is the void/universe. The void is the TAO. If everything remains separate, there is nothing but innumerable pieces. Uniting them makes Oneness.
此其理難明 非有以考證之不可 考證之法為何 即如吾有救治之方 不需一藥
Without meditative reflection, this concept is difficult to understand, just like my method of healing which doesn’t require any medicine. This is the process of ‘feel and response’.
傳曰 神 聰明正直而壹者也
The book of Zuo Zhuan1 mentioned, “A deity is intelligent, ZHENG, and completely focused.”
Note1: Zuo Zhuan or the Records of History is the first and most revered Chinese history book.
我能正直 我即神也 以我心而合神意 以神意而合天心 豈不如響斯應乎
I can be ZHENG, therefore I partake in the essence of a deity. When my heart matches the thoughts of a deity, and the intention of the deity also matches the heart of Heaven, the ‘response’ from the universe surely echoes resoundingly.
但濟世之方 有效有不效 因其人有正與不正之別也
正則神可感而生效 不正則神且惡之 安能手到而病除哉 此則諸生之所宜考究者也
However, for the ‘healing’ to be effective depends upon the healer who is either ZHENG or not-ZHENG.
When the healer is ZHENG, a deity is touched and the ‘healing’ becomes effective. When not, the deity is annoyed; how can then, the illness be healed? Let all learned audiences carefully consider this concept.
今世傳道之士 頗不乏人 有云彼正者 有云彼邪者 不知道無邪正 亦無是非 惟在人之心正與否而已 諸君子以為然否
Nowadays, preachers are everywhere. People say that some preachers are ZHENG (orthodox), and others are not ZHENG (heterodox). They don’t know that TAO (way of life) has neither wicked nor ZHENG, right nor wrong. It is that the person’s heart is ZHENG. Don’t you think so?