(63.4) Appraisal [and Additional Mystics]

Appraisal states: The three masters each in their techniques were elite, their use of thinking profound, however a gentlemen in serving heart and spirit, should be in the large and the far-reaching, and therefore to be a scholar with knowledge is to give up that [the small] in order to obtain this [the large].


  • Sūn Shèng states: The mysterious study of the not yet evident, the in advance reflection of coming events, even Pí Zào and Zǐ Shèn had their failings, so all the more for those inferior in technique as these. The Wú historians wrote [Zhào] Dá knew the southeast would have a king’s aura, and therefore frivolously rose to cross the Jiāng. Wèi succeeded Hàn’s line, receiving mandate in the central lands, [Zhào] Dá was not able to in advance observe the multitude of sprouting signs, and yet flowed and scuttled to Wú and Yuè. Also he did not know the baseness of being stingy with techniques, and met with belittling in his time, how was it that he was able to in advance see Heaven’s Ways and examine the corresponding omens of Emperors and Kings? In the past the sagely kings observed the patterns of Heaven and Earth, to draw the forms of the Eight Trigrams, and therefore relentlessly achieved their divination strands, transforming shape to the hexagrams, and therefore though the three Yì were different, the divination interpretations in reasoning were unified, how could there be a turning of a trinket able to deeply measure the concealed, thoughts in reply in advance observing, and able to then know of things to come? Common fashions love the strange, absurdly setting up strangeness, to be in the middle of misfortune, is what Zhòngní discarded, and therefore the gentleman’s will is in the large, with nothing else sought.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes: [Sūn] Shèng saying: ‘the gentlemen’s will is in the large, with nothing else sought,’ is an old meaning of criticism, not a new statement. The remaining ridicule, is all wrong in reasoning. From when the Central plains were in vicious chaos, reaching to Jiàn’ān, was several tens of years, the people were nearly wiped out, those that reached some small prosperity, were all the survivors of a hundred deaths. The Jiāng’s left though had weapons and armor, it could not compare in extremity to the central states, how can one know that [Zhào] Dá did not calculate the safeties and dangers, knew the disasters would be how many or few, that benefit was in the southeast, and so preserved himself? But he reproaches him for not knowing the Wèi clan was about to rise, and flowing about Wú and Yuè, but of Jīng Fáng and his class, they were yet not able to themselves escape execution, so all the more if [Zhào] Dá yet with secret techniques met with belittling, was it a regret to be stingy? The ancient techniques, overall were not unified, so the achievement of exploring the hidden, how was it only in the hexagrams? If one is able to obtain its essentials, then one can change and understand it, turning one trinket, how is it sufficient to be strange? [Zhào] Dá’s calculations, was thorough in its essential ingenuity to understand the hidden and measure the concealed, how did it shame the ancients? But to use Pí and Zǐ to restrict him, and say [Zhào] Dá was absurd, it is not a true discussion.
  • Bàopǔzǐ states: At the time there was a Gě Xiāngōng, every time he drank to intoxication, he always entered into a water pool outside someone’s house to lie down, stayed all day and then went out. Once he  followed Wúzhǔ [Sūn Quán] in going out, arrived at Lièzhōu, when returning encountered a great wind, of the boats of the hundred officials many were drowned, Xiāngōng’s boat also sank, and Wúzhǔ was extremely regretful. The next day he sent someone to fish for Gōng’s boat, and climbed up high to look out for it. After a long time, he saw Gōng walk from atop the water, his clothes and shoes not wet, but having intoxicated appearance. At once they met and he said: “I your servant yesterday followed in attendance but Wǔ Zǐxū invited me, and I temporarily went to set up the alcohol, felt disturbed, and at once left him.” Also there was a Yáo Guāng, with fire techniques. Wúzhǔ personally went to test him, amassing reeds of several thousand bundles, had Guāng sit on top, and also with several thousand bundles of reeds wrapped him, and using a fierce wind roasted him. When the reeds were used up, it was said Guāng should have become ash, but Guāng upright sat in the ashes, shook his clothes and rose, holding a one scroll book. Wúzhǔ took this book and read it, and could not understand it.
  • It also states: Wú Emperor Jǐng [Sūn Xiū] had illness, and sought a wizard inspect him, obtaining one man. Emperor Jǐng wished to test him, and so killed a goose and buried it in the park, built a small lodge, furnished with bed and tables, placing women’s shoes and clothes and things on top, and then had the wizard inspect it, announcing: “If you are able to say the appearance of the ghost of the woman buried here, then I will apply rewards and at once believe you.” All day and through the night he did not speak, and the Emperor interrogated him urgently, and so he said: “Truly I do not see a ghost, I only see one white goose standing on the grave, so I did not at once report it, I suspect it is the spirits changing and creating this appearance, and so I was watching for its true form to settle. It did not again change, and I do not know the reason, and so did not dare report the truth.” Emperor Jǐng then generously rewarded him. That being the case, when a goose dies it also has a ghost.
  • Gě Hóng’s Shénxiānzhuàn [biographies of divine celestials] states: The celestial man Jiè Xiàng appellation Yuánzé was a Kuàijī man, and had various specialist techniques. Wúzhǔ [Sūn Quán] heard of this, and summoned [Jiè] Xiàng to Wǔchāng, extremely venerating and honoring him, calling him as Lord Jiè, for him raised a mansion, and provided him with government screens, bestowing and giving beginning to end accumulating a thousand gold, from [Jiè] Xiàng studying techniques of screening appearance. To test it he returned to the Rear Palace, and when he went out the palace hall gates, none saw him. Also he sent [Jiè] Xiàng to perform transformations, planting melons and vegetables and the hundred fruits, and all on sprouting could be eaten. Wúzhǔ together discussed which of minced fish was the most beautiful [to eat], Xiàng said: “Mullet fish is superior.” Wúzhǔ said: “We are only speaking of nearby fish, that is from out in the sea, how can it be obtained?” Xiàng said: “It can be obtained.” Then he ordered people to in the palace hall courtyard make a square hole, drew water to fill it, and also sought a fish hook. Xiàng rose and baited it, and dropped the line into the hole, and suddenly, he indeed obtained a mullet fish. Wúzhǔ was surprised and pleased, and asked Xiàng: “Can it be eaten or not?” Xiàng said: “I created a living mullet to catch it for Your Majesty, how could I dare catch something that cannot be eaten?” Then he had the kitchen subordinates cut it. Wúzhǔ said: “I hear a Shǔ envoy is coming. To prepare it with Shǔ ginger is extremely good, a pity that there is not enough time for it.” Xiàng said: “How is Shǔ ginger not easy to obtain? May you send someone together with the payment.” Wúzhǔ directed from his left and right attendants one man, with cash of fifty to pay for it. Xiàng wrote one talisman, placing it inside a green bamboo cane, having the traveling man close eyes and ride the cane, and where the cane stopped, to then buy ginger, and again close eyes. This man did as said and rode the cane, suddenly stopped, and had already reached Chéngdū, did not know where he was, asked someone, and the person said it was the middle of the Shǔ market, and then he bought ginger. At the time Wú envoy Zhāng Wēn previously was at Shǔ, and in the market they recognized each other, was extremely surprised, and then wrote letter to send to his family. This man bought the ginger and finished, and clutching the letter and carrying the ginger, rode the cane and closed eyes, and immediately had already returned to Wú, just as the kitchen subordinates were finishing cutting the mince fish.
  • Your Servant Sōngzhī believes what Gě Hóng records, probably is to confuse the masses, his writings tend to be passed around the world, and therefore I select and take several things, and record them at the piān’s end. A divine celestial’s techniques, how can it be measured? By your servant’s assumptions, I believe it to confuse the masses, what is called summer insects not knowing of cold ice.

  〔一〕 孫盛曰:夫玄覽未然,逆鑒來事,雖裨灶、梓慎其猶病諸,況術之下此者乎?吳史書達知東南當有王氣,故輕舉濟江。魏承漢緒,受命中畿,達不能豫睹兆萌,而流竄吳越。又不知吝術之鄙,見薄於時,安在其能逆睹天道而審帝王之符瑞哉?昔聖王觀天地之文,以畫八卦之象,故亹亹成於蓍策,變化形乎六爻,是以三易雖殊,卦繇理一,安有迴轉一籌,可以鉤深測隱,意對逆占,而能遂知來物者乎?流俗好異,妄設神奇,不幸之中,仲尼所棄,是以君子志其大者,無所取諸。臣松之以為盛云「君子志其大者,無所取諸」,故評家之旨,非新聲也。其餘所譏,則皆為非理。自中原酷亂,至于建安,數十年閒,生民殆盡,比至小康,皆百死之餘耳。江左雖有兵革,不能如中國之甚也,焉知達不算其安危,知禍有多少,利在東南,以全其身乎?而責不知魏氏將興,流播吳越,在京房之籌,猶不能自免刑戮,況達但以祕術見薄,在悔吝之間乎!古之道術,蓋非一方,探賾之功,豈惟六爻,苟得其要,則可以易而知之矣,迴轉一籌,胡足怪哉?達之推算,窮其要妙以知幽測隱,何愧于古!而以裨、梓限之,謂達為妄,非篤論也。抱朴子曰:時有葛仙公者,每飲酒醉,常入人家門前陂水中臥,竟日乃出。曾從吳主別,到洌州,還遇大風,百官船多沒,仙公船亦沉淪,吳主甚悵恨。明日使人鉤求公船,而登高以望焉。久之,見公步從水上來,衣履不沾,而有酒色。既見而言曰:「臣昨侍從而伍子胥見請,暫過設酒,忽忽不得,即委之。」又有姚光者,有火術。吳主身臨試之,積荻數千束,使光坐其上,又以數千束荻裹之,因猛風而燔之。荻了盡,謂光當以化為燼,而光端坐灰中,振衣而起,把一卷書。吳主取其書視之,不能解也。又曰:吳景帝有疾,求覡視者,得一人。景帝欲試之,乃殺鵝而埋於苑中,架小屋,施床几,以婦人屐履服物著其上,乃使覡視之。告曰:「若能說此冢中鬼婦人形狀者,當加賞而即信矣。」竟日盡夕無言,帝推問之急,乃曰:「實不見有鬼,但見一頭白鵝立墓上,所以不即白之,疑是鬼神變化作此相,當候其真形而定。無復移易,不知何故,不敢不以實上聞。」景帝乃厚賜之。然則鵝死亦有鬼也。葛洪神仙傳曰:仙人介象,字元則,會稽人,有諸方術。吳主聞之,徵象到武昌,甚敬貴之,稱為介君,為起宅,以御帳給之,賜遺前後累千金,從象學蔽形之術。試還後宮,及出殿門,莫有見者。又使象作變化,種瓜菜百果,皆立生可食。吳主共論鱠魚何者最美,象曰:「鯔魚為上。」吳主曰:「論近道魚耳,此出海中,安可得邪?」象曰:「可得耳。」乃令人於殿庭中作方埳,汲水滿之,并求鉤。象起餌之,垂綸於埳中。須臾,果得鯔魚。吳主驚喜,問象曰:「可食不?」象曰:「故為陛下取以作生鱠,安敢取不可食之物!」乃使廚下切之。吳主曰:「聞蜀使來,得蜀薑作齎甚好,恨爾時無此。」象曰:「蜀薑豈不易得,願差所使者,并付直。」吳主指左右一人,以錢五十付之。象書一符,以著青竹杖中,使行人閉目騎杖,杖止,便買薑訖,復閉目。此人承其言騎杖,須臾止,已至成都,不知是何處,問人,人言是蜀市中,乃買薑。于時吳使張溫先在蜀,既於市中相識,甚驚,便作書寄其家。此人買薑畢,捉書負薑,騎杖閉目,須臾已還到吳,廚下切鱠適了。臣松之以為葛洪所記,近為惑眾,其書文頗行世,故撮取數事,載之篇末也。神仙之術,詎可測量,臣之臆斷,以為惑眾,所謂夏蟲不知冷冰耳。

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