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Deep Contemplation

Fang, Shiaw Ru (1357 A.D.-1402 A.D.)

    When a king is worried about his nation, he often thinks about difficult aspects of the problem, but neglects simple aspects. He often notices and takes action against fearful aspects, but fails to foresee the trouble that comes from aspects above suspicion. However, a disaster often arises from what the king neglects and a mess often comes from something innocent. Is this because the king fails to contemplate completely? No. It is understandable that a person=s ability to contemplate has a certain limit. Beyond that limit, the world is governed by God=s principle.

    After the king of Country Chyn destroyed six countries and unified China, he thought that the collapse of the Chow dynasty was caused by the dukes= strong military power. Therefore, he abolished feudalism and divided China into thirty-six provinces. He then thought the weapons and armor would no longer be used and the throne would be kept in his family generation after generation. He certainly never expected that the Chyn dynasty could fall from the effort of a common farmer. Emperor L, who established the Han dynasty, thought the collapse of the Chyn dynasty was due to the emperor=s isolation. Therefore, Emperor L offered dukedoms to his family members. He thought that, with the help of his family, the throne could be held for his descendants forever. However, a few generations later, seven dukes initiated a rebellion. Later Emperors W and S reduced the power of the dukes. They thought the government would be stable from then on. However, eventually Prime Minister Wang usurped the throne. Emperor G of the Eastern-Han dynasty corrected the mistake that led to the collapse of the Western-Han dynasty. The Wei dynasty corrected the mistake that led to the collapse of the Eastern-Han dynasty. The Gin dynasty corrected the mistake that led to the collapse of the Wei dynasty. Each dynasty took precaution to prevent the mistake that led to the collapse of the previous dynasty. However, each dynasty collapsed due to a threat that it did not recognize.

    After Emperor T1 of the T=ang dynasty heard the prophesy that Wuu would kill his offspring, he wanted to kill all suspicious people named Wuu. However, the person who later usurped the throne turned out to be Emperor T1=s concubine, Wuu. She waited on him every day, but he never suspected her. Emperor T2 of the Sung dynasty saw that the generals= military power in the Five Dynasties was strong enough to threaten the throne. Therefore, he ordered all generals to hand over their military power so that they would become weak enough to control easily. He never thought that the Sung dynasty would be constantly besieged by foreign countries, and eventually destroyed by Mongolians. These kings all had outstanding wisdom and incomparable talent. For a nationís subsistence and stability, they considered in great detail and took great precautions. They worried about a particular problem, but the disaster arose from a different problem. How could this happen? This was because these kings were wise enough to deal with most of affairs of men, but could never be wise enough to circumvent God=s will. The sons of good doctors died mostly from diseases. The sons of powerful wizards were mostly killed by ghosts. Were these doctors and wizards good at saving other people, but incapable of saving their own sons? No. This was because they were good enough to deal with people, but failed to satisfy God=s demands.

    Great kings in ancient times understood that changes in the world could not be predicted by their own wisdom, nor controlled by their strategies. Therefore, they did not dare take the liberty of using their own plots or tricks. They only used pure sincerity and virtuous deeds to please God=s heart so that God would love their virtue and would protect them as a mother protects her children and would not have the heart to abandon them. Thus, even though their offspring were foolish and decadent enough to lose their emperorship, God did not have the heart to destroy them. This shows that ancient great kings contemplated deeply.

    If a king fails to please God, relies on his personal cunning to control state affairs, and wishes no disaster to occur, then, based on common sense, we may conclude that his failure is inevitable. This is Godís principle.