My object all sublime
I shall achieve in timeЧ
To make the punishment fit the crimeЧ
The punishment fit the crime!



SINCE nobody can have the presumption to doubt the demonstrationof St. Thomas Aquinas that this world is the best of all possible worlds,it follows that
the imperfect condition of things which I am about todescribe can only obtain
in some other universe; probably the whole affair isbut the figment of my
diseased imagination. Yet if this be so, how can we reconcilethe disease with
Clearly there is something wrong here; the apparent syllogismturns out on
examination to be an enthymeme with a suppressed andimpossible Major. There
is no progression on these lines, and what I foolishlymistook for a nice easy
way to glide into my story proves but the blindest ofblind alleys.
We must begin therefore by the simple and austere processof beginning.
The conditions of Japan was at this time (what time?Here we are in trouble
with the historian at once. But let me say that I willhave no interference
with my story on the part of all these dull sensiblepeople. I am going
straight on, and if the reviews are unfavourable, onehas always the resource
of suicide) dangerously unstable. The warrior aristocracyof the Upper House
had been so diluted with successful cheesemongers thatadulteration had become
a virtue as highly profitable as adultery. In the LowerHouse brains were
still esteemed, but they had been interpreted as theknack of passing
The recent extension of the franchise to women had renderedthe Yoshiwara the
most formidable of the political organizations, whilethe physique of the
nation had been seriously impaired by the results ofa law which, by assuring
them in case of injury or illness of a life-long competenceof idleness which
they could never have obtained otherwise by the mostlaborious toil,
encouraged all workers to be utterly careless of theirhealth. The training of
servants indeed at this time consisted solely of carefulpractical instruction
in the art of falling down stairs; and the richest manin the country was an
ex-butler who, by breaking his leg on no less than thirty-eightoccasions, had
acquired a pension which put that of a field-marshalaltogether into the
As yet, however, the country was not yet irretrievablydoomed. A system of
intrigue and blackmail, elaborated by the governing classesto the highest
degree of efficiency, acted as a powerful counterpoise.In theory all were
equal; in practice the permanent officials, the realrulers of the country,
were a distinguished and trustworthy body of men. Theirinterest was to govern
well, for any civil or foreign disturbance would undoubtedlyhave fanned the
sparks of discontent into the roaring flame of revolution.
And discontent there was. The unsuccessful cheesemongerswere very bitter
against the Upper House; and those who had failed inexaminations wrote
appalling diabetes against the folly of the educationalsystem.
The trouble was that they were right; the governmentwas well enough in fact,
but in theory had hardly a leg to stand on. In view ofthe growing clamour,
the official classes were perturbed; for many of theirnumber were intelligent
enough to see that a thoroughly irrational system, howeverwell it may work in
practice, cannot for ever be maintained against the attacksof those who,
though they may be secretly stigmatized as doctrinaires,can bring forward
unanswerable arguments. The people had power, but notreason; so were amenable to the fallacies which they mistook for reasonand not to the power which they
would have imagined to be tyranny. An intelligent plebsis docile; and
educated canaille expects everything to be logical. Theshallow sophisms of
the socialist were intelligible; they could not be refutedby the profounder
and therefore unintelligible propositions of the Tory.
The mob could understand the superficial resemblanceof babies; they could
not be got to understand that the circumstances of educationand environment
made but a small portion of the equipment of a consciousbeing. The brutal and
truthful "You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow'sear" had been forgotten
for the smooth and plausible fallacies of such writersas Ki Ra Di.
So serious had the situation become, indeed, that thegoverning classes had
abandoned all dogmas of Divine Right and the like asuntenable. The theory of
heredity had broken down, and the ennoblement of thecheesemongers made it not
only false, but ridiculous.
We consequently find them engaged in the fatuous taskof defending the
anomalies which disgusted the nation by a campaign ofglaring and venal
sophistries. These deceived nobody, and only inspiredthe contempt, which
might have been harmless, with a hate which threatenedto engulph the
community in an abyss of the most formidable convulsions.
Such was the razor-edge upon which the unsteady feetof the republic strode
when, a few years before the date of my visit, the philosopherKwaw landed at
Nagasaki after an exhilarating swim from the mainland.



KWAW, when he crossed the Yellow Sea, was of the fullage of thirty-two years.
The twenty previous equinoxes had passed over his headas he wandered, sole
human tenant, among the colossal yet ignoble ruins ofWei Hai Wei. His only
companions were the lion and the lizard, who frequentedthe crumbling remains
of the officers' quarters; while in the little cemeterythe hoofs of the wild
ass beat (uselessly, if he wished to wake them) uponthe tombs of the
sportsmen that once thronged those desolate halls.
During this time Kwaw devoted his entire attention tothe pursuit of
philosophy; for the vast quantities of excellent storesabandoned by the
British army left him no anxiety upon the score of hunger.
In the first year he disciplined and conquered his bodyand its emotions.
In the next six years he disciplined and conquered hismind and its thoughts.
In the next two years he had reduced the Universe tothe Yang and the Yin and
their permutations in the trigrams of Fo-hi and the hexagramsof King Wu.
In the last year he abolished the Yang and the Yin, andbecame united with
the great Tao.
All this was very satisfactory to Kwaw. But even hisiron frame had become
somewhat impaired by the unvarying diet of tinned provisions;and it was
perhaps only by virtue of the talisman


that he succeeded in his famous attempt to outdo the featsof Captain Webb.
Nor was his reception less than a triumph. So athletica nation as the
Japanese still were could not but honour so superb anachievement, though it
cost them dear, inasmuch as the Navy League (by an astuteseries of political
moves) compelled the party in power to treble the Navy,build a continuous
line of forts around the sea-coast, and expend many billionsof yen upon the
scientific breeding of a more voracious species of sharkthan had hitherto
infested their shores.
So they carried Kwaw shoulder-high to the Yoshiwara,and passed him the glad
hand, and called out the Indians, and annexed his personalproperty for
relics, and otherwise followed the customs of the bestNew York Society, while
the German Band accompanied the famous Ka Ru So to thefollowing delightful

CHORUS. Blow the tom-tom, bang the flute!
Let us all be merry!
I'm a party with acute
Chronic beri-beri.

Monday I'm a skinny critter
Quite Felicien-Rops-y.
Blow the cymbal, bang the zither!
Tuesday I have dropsy.

Wednesday cardiac symptoms come;
Thursday diabetic,
Blow the fiddle, strum the drum!
Friday I'm paretic.

If on Saturday my foes
Join in legions serried,
Then, on Sunday, I suppose
I'll be beri-beried!

One need not be intimately familiar with the Japanesecharacter to understand
that Kwaw and his feat were forgotten in a very few days;but a wealthy
Daimio, with a taste for observation, took it into hishead to inquire of Kwaw
for what purpose he had entered the country in so strangea manner. It will
simplify matters if I reproduce in extenso the correspondence,which was
carried on by telegram.
(1) Who is your honourable self, and why has your excellencypaid us cattle
the distinguished compliment of a visit?
(2) This disgusting worm is great Tao. I humbly beg ofyour sublime radiance
to trample his slave.
(3) Regret great toe unintelligible.
(4) Great Tao Ч T.A.O. Ч Tao.
(5) What is the great Tao?
(6) The result of subtracting the universe from itself.
(7) Good, but this decaying dog cannot grant your honourableexcellency's
sublime desire, but, on the contrary, would earnestlypray your brilliant
serenity to spit upon his grovelling "joro."
(8) Profound thought assures your beetle-headed suppliantthat your glorious
nobility must meet him before the controversy can bedecided.
(9) True. Would your sublimity condescend to defile himselfby entering this
muck-sweeper's miserable hovel?
(10) Expect leprous dragon with beri beri at your highmightiness's
magnificent heavenly palace to-morrow (Thursday) afternoonat three sharp.
Thus met Kwaw, the poet-philosopher of China; and Juju,the godfather of his
Sublime moment in eternity! To the names of Joshua andHezekiah add that of
Kwaw! For though he was a quarter of an hour late forthe appointment, the
hands went back on the dial of Juju's chronometer, sothat no shadow of
distrust or annoyance clouded the rapture of that supremeevent.



"WHAT," said Juju, "O great Tao, do you recommend as aremedy for the ills of
my unhappy country?"
The sage replied as follows: "O mighty and magniloquentDaimio, your
aristocracy is not an aristocracy because it is not anaristocracy. In vain
you seek to alter this circumstance by paying the noxiousvermin of the Dai Li
Pai Pur to write fatuous falsehoods maintaining thatyour aristocracy is an
aristocracy because it is an aristocracy.
"As Heracleitus overcame the antinomy of Xenophanes andParmenides, Melissus
and the Eleatic Zero, and Ens and the Non-Ens by hisBecoming, so let me say
to you; the aristocracy will be an aristocracy by becomingan aristocracy.
"Ki Ra Di and his dirty-faced friends wish to level downthe good practice to
the bad theory; you should oppose them be levelling upthe bad theory to the
good practice.
"Your enviers boast that you are no better than they;prove to them that they
are as good as you. They speak of a nobility of foolsand knaves; show to them
wise and honest men, and the socialistic ginger is nolonger hot in the
individualistic mouth."
Juju grunted assent. He had gone almost to sleep, butKwaw, absorbed in his
subject, never noticed the fact. He went on with thealacrity of a
steam-roller, and the direct and purposeful vigour ofa hypnotized butterfly.
"Man is perfect by his identity with the great Tao. Subsidiaryto this he must
have balanced perfectly the Yang and the Yin. Easierstill is it to rule the
sixfold star of Intellect; while for the base the controlof the body and its
emotions is the earliest step.
"Equilibrium is the great law, and perfect equilibriumis crowned by identity
with the great Tao."
He emphasized this sublime assertion by a deliberateblow upon the protruding
abdomen of the worthy Juju.
"Pray continue your honourable discourse!" exclaimedthe half-awakened
Kwaw went on, and I think it only fair to say that hewent on for a long
time, and that because you have been fool enough to readthus far, you have no
excuse for being fool enough to read farther.
"Phenacetin is a useful drug in fever, but woe to thatpatient who shall
imbibe it in collapse. Because calomel is a dangerousremedy in appendicitis,
we do not condemn its use in simple indigestions.
"As above so beneath! said Hermes the thrice greatest.The laws of the
physical world are precisely paralleled by those of themoral and intellectual
sphere. To the prostitute I prescribe a course of trainingby which she shall
comprehend the holiness of sex. Chastity forms part ofthat training, and I
should hope to see her one day a happy wife and mother.To the prude equally I
prescribe a course of training by which she shall comprehendthe holiness of
sex. Unchastity forms part of that training, and I shouldhope to see her one
day a happy wife and mother.
"To the bigot I commend a course of Thomas Henry Huxley;to the infidel a
practical study of ceremonial magic. Then, when the bigothas knowledge and
the infidel faith, each may follow without prejudicehis natural inclination;
for he will no longer plunge into his former excesses.
"So also she who was a prostitute from native passionmay indulge with safety
in the pleasure of love; she who was by nature cold mayenjoy a virginity in
no wise marred by her disciplinary course of unchastity.But the one will
understand and love the other.
"I have been taxed with assaulting what is commonly knownas virtue. True; I
hate it, but only in the same degree that I hate whatis commonly known as
"So it must be acknowledged that one who is but slightlyunbalanced needs a
milder correction than whoso is obsessed by prejudice.There are men who make
a fetish of cleanliness; they shall work in a fitter'sshop, and learn that
dirt is the mark of honourable toil. There are thosewhose lives are rendered
wretched by the fear of infection; they see bacteriaof the deadliest sort in
all things but the actual solutions of carbolic acidand mercuric chloride
with which they hysterically combat their invisible foemen;such would I send
to live in the bazaar at Delhi, where they shall haplylearn that dirt makes
little difference after all.
"There are slow men who need a few months' experienceof the hustle of the
stockyards; there are business men in a hurry, and theyshall travel in
Central Asia to acquire the art of repose.
"So much for the equilibrium, and for two months in everyyear each member of
your governing classes shall undergo this training underskilled advice.
"But what of the Great Tao? For one month in every yeareach of these men
shall seek desperately for the Stone of the Philosophers.By solitude and
fasting for the social and luxurious, by drunkennessand debauch for the
austere, by scourging for those afraid of physical pain,by repose for the
restless, and toil for the idle, by bull-fights for thehumanitarian, and the
care of little children for the callous, by rituals forthe rational, and by
philosophy for the credulous, shall these men, whileyet unbalanced, seek to
attain to unity with the great Tao. But for those whoseintellect is purified
and co-ordinated, for those whose bodies are in health,and whose passions are
at once eager and controlled, it shall be lawful to choosetheir own way to
the One Goal; videlicet, identity with that great Taowhich is above the
antithesis of Yang and Yin."
Even Kwaw felt tired, and applied himself to saké-and-soda.Refreshed, he
continued: "The men who are willing by this means tobecome the saviours of
their country shall be called the Synagogue of Satan,so as to keep themselves
from the friendship of the fools who mistake names forthings. There shall be
masters of the Synagogue, but they shall never seek todominate. They shall
most carefully abstain from inducing any man to seekthe Tao by any other way
than that of equilibrium. They shall develop individualgenius without
considering whether in their opinion its fruition willtend to the good or
evil of their country or of the world; for who are theyto interfere with a
soul whose balance has been crowned by the most holyTao?
"The masters shall be great men among men; but amonggreat men they shall be
"Since equilibrium will have become perfect, a greaterthan Napoleon shall
arise, and the peaceful shall rejoice thereat; a greaterthan Darwin, and the
minister in his pulpit give open thanks to God.
"The instructed infidel shall no longer sneer at thechurch-goer, for he will
have been compelled to go to church until he saw thegood points as well as
the bad; and the instructed devotee will no longer detestthe blasphemer,
because he will have laughed with Ingersoll and Saladin.
"Give the lion the heart of the lamb, and the lamb theforce of the lion; and
they will lie down in peace together."
Kwaw ceased, and the heavy and regular breathing of Jujuassured him that his
words had not been wasted; at last that restless andharried soul had found
supreme repose.
Kwaw tapped the gong. "I have achieved my task," saidhe to the obsequious
major-domo, "I pray leave to retire from the Presence.""I beg your excellency
to follow me," replied the gorgeous functionary, "hislordship has commanded
me to see that your holiness is supplied with everythingthat you desire."
Then the sage laughed aloud.



SIX months passed by, and Juju, stirring in his sleep,remembered the duties
of politeness, and asked for Kwaw.
"He is on your lordship's estate at Nikko," the servantshastened to reply,
"and he has turned the whole place completely upsidedown. Millions of yen
have been expended monthly; he has even mortgaged thisvery palace in which
your lordship has been asleep; a body of madmen has seizedthe reins of
"The Synagogue of Satan!" gasped the outraged Daimio.
"ЧAnd you are everywhere hailed as the Godfather of yourcountry!"
"Do not tell me that the British war has ended disastrouslyfor us!" and he
called for the elaborate apparatus of hari-kari.
"On the contrary, my lord, the ridiculous Sa Mon, whowould never go to sea
because he was afraid of being sick, although his geniusfor naval strategy
had no equal in the Seven Abysses of Water, after a monthas stowaway on a
fishing boat (by the order of Kwaw) assumed the rankof Admiral of the Fleet,
and has inflicted a series of complete and crushing defeatsupon the British
Admirals, who though they had been on the water all theirlives, had
incomprehensibly omitted to acquire any truly accurateknowledge of the
metaphysical systems of Sho Pi Naour and Ni Tchze.
"Again, Hu Li, the financial genius, who had hithertobeen practically
useless to his country on account of that ugliness anddeformity which led him
to shun the society of his fellows, was compelled byKwaw to exhibit himself
as a freak. A fortnight of this cured him of shyness;and within three months
he has nearly doubled the revenue and halved the taxes.Your lordship has
spent millions of yen; but is to-day a richer man thanwhen your excellency
went to sleep."
"I will go and see this Kwaw," said the Daimio. The servantsthen admitted
that the Mikado in person had been waiting at the palacedoor for over three
months, for the very purpose of begging permission toconduct him thither, but
that he had been unwilling to disturb the sleep of theGodfather of his
Impossible to describe the affecting scene when thesetwo magnanimous beings
melted away (as it were) in each other's arms.
Arrived at the estate of Juju at Nikko, what wonder didthese worthies
express to see the simple means by which Kwaw had workedhis miracles! In a
glade of brilliant cherry and hibiscus (and any otherbeautiful trees you can
think of) stood a plain building of stone, which afterall had not cost
millions of yen, but a very few thousands only. Its heightwas equal to its
breadth, and its length was equal to the sum of these,while the sum of these
three meas urements was precisely equal to ten timesthe age of Kwaw in units
of the span of his hand. The walls were tremendouslythick and there was only
one door and two windows, all in the eye of the sunset.One cannot describe
the inside of the building, because to do so would spoilall the fun for other
people. It must be seen to be understood, in any case;and there it stands to
this day, open to anybody who is strong enough to forcein the door.
But when they asked for Kwaw, he was not to be found.He had left trained men
to carry out the discipline and the initiations, theselast being the chief
purpose of the building, saying that he was homesickfor the lions and lizards
of Wei-Hai-Wei, and that anyway he hadn't enjoyed a decentswim for far too
There is unfortunately little room for doubt that thenew and voracious
species of sharks (which Japanese patriotism had spentsuch enormous sums in
breeding) is responsible for the fact that he has neveragain been heard of.
The Mikado wept; but, brightening up, exclaimed: "Kwawfound us a confused
and angry mob; he left us a diverse, yet harmonious,republic; while let us
never forget that not only have we developed men of geniusin every branch of
practical life, but many among us have had our equilibriumcrowned by that
supreme glory of humanity, realization of our identitywith the great and holy
Wherewith he set aside no less than three hundred andsixty-five days in
every year, and one extra day every fourth year, as daysof special rejoicing.


"The Way of Heaven"
(Liber XLI, Class C)

Originally published in Konx Om Pax, 1907 e.v.
Assigned to the Adeptus Major Grade of the A\A\.
At its original publication, this instruction was assignedneither a Document
Class nor a catalogue number. In fact, it has never beenpublished with
official A\A\ sanction, outside of individual contemporarylineages. The
formulation of the A\A\ was, in 1907, in its early stages,and these details
may not have as yet been formalized. Later (in the "Syllabus"in Equinox
I:10), it was designated as a Class C Document, and giventhe number XLI. No
explanation was given for the assignment of this number.

"LIBER XLI. Ч Thien TAO (in Konx Om Pax).
"An advanced study of Attainment by the method of equilibriumon the ethical


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