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Tractate of the Most High One
on Actions and Consequences
Chapter I

The Workings of Good and Evil

1. The most high one says:
太上曰:
Tàishàng yuē:
太上曰:
2. “Disasters and blessings have no entry gates of their own; they are summoned by people. 「祸福无门,惟人自召;
“Huòfú wú mén, wéi rén zì zhào;
「禍福無門,惟人自召;
3. The effects of good and evil are like shadows following their forms.” 善恶之报,如影随形。」
shàn'è zhī bào, rú yǐng suí xíng.”
善惡之報,如影隨形。」
4. And so heaven and earth have spirits who record crimes, 是以天地有司过之神,
Shìyǐ tiāndì yǒu sīguò zhī shén,
是以天地有司過之神,
5. and in proportion to the severity of their crimes, they shorten human lives appropriately. 依人所犯轻重,以夺人算。
yī rén suǒ fàn qīngzhòng, yǐ duó rén suàn.
依人所犯輕重,以奪人算。
6. Because of this not only may a person’s life be cut short, but he also becomes poor or destitute, his calamities are many; 算减则贫耗,多逢忧患。
Suàn jiǎn zé pín hào, duō féng yōuhuàn;
算減則貧耗,多逢憂患。
7. People all hate him; punishments and disasters follow him 人皆恶之,刑祸随之。
Rén jiē è zhī, xíng huò suí zhī,
人皆惡之,刑禍隨之。
8. Good fortune avoids him while evil stars persecute him. 吉庆避之,恶星灾之。
Jíqìng bì zhī, èxīng zāi zhī;
吉慶避之,惡星灾之。
9. And when his span of years is complete, he dies. 算尽则死。
Suàn jìn zé sǐ.
算盡則死。
10. And then there are also the gods of the three towers and the north star, residing above the heads of ordinary people., 又有三台北斗神君,在人头上。
Yòu yǒu Sāntái Běidǒu shén jūn, zài réntóu shàng.
又有三台北斗神君,在人頭上。
11. They too record people’s crimes and evil actions, and shorten the years of life in the sentence. 录人罪恶,夺其纪算。
Lù rén zuì'è, duó qí jì suàn.
錄人罪惡,奪其紀算。
12. And there are the three corpse spirits, residing in the human body. 又有三尸神,在人身中。
Yòu yǒu Sānshīshén, zài rénshēn zhōng.
又有三尸神,在人身中。
13. On each Kēngshēn day in the cycle of 60 days, they ascend to heaven to report people’s crimes and failings. 每到庚申日,辄上诣天曹,言人罪过。
Měi dào Gēng Shēn rì, zhé shàng yì tiān cáo, yán rén zuìguò.
每到庚申日,輒上詣天曹,言人罪過。
14. On the last day of the month the Stove God also does this. 月晦之日,灶神亦然。
Yuèhuì zhī rì, zào shén yì rán.
月晦之日,竈神亦然。
15. For ordinary people offenses cut off a jì (12 years) if great, while small offenses cut off a suàn (100 days). 凡人有过,大则夺纪,小则夺算。
Fánrén yǒuguò, dà zé duó jì, xiǎo zé duó suàn.
凡人有過,大則奪紀,小則奪算。
16. Offenses great and small arise from countless matters, 其过大小,有数百事,
Qí guò dàxiǎo, yǒu shù bǎi shì,
其過大小,有數百事,
17. and those seeking immortality must avoid them. 欲求长生者,先须避之。
yùqiú chángshēng zhě, xiān xū bì zhī.
欲求長生者,先須避之。


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