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

The Crimes of the Wicked

(This extensive list of sins makes a disproportionately long chapter, but functions as a single sentence! Clearly the author felt a need to include a great many behaviors that seemed to warrant condemnation. —DKJ)

1. But sometimes there is someone 苟或
Gǒu huò
苟或
2. who behaves without righteousness, and moves against rationality, 非义而动,背理而行;
fēi yì ér dòng, bèilǐ ér xíng;
非義而動,背理而行;
3. who mistakes evil for ability, and inflicts injury on others, 以恶为能,忍作残害;
yǐ è wéi néng, rěn zuò cánhài;
以惡為能,忍作殘害;
4. who secretly defames the virtuous, and behind their backs slanders his ruler or his parents, 阴贼良善,暗侮君亲;
yīn zéi liáng shàn, àn wǔ jūn qīn;
陰賊良善,暗侮君親;
5. who ignores those born before him, and disobeys his masters, 慢其先生,叛其所事;
màn qí xiānsheng, pàn qí suǒ shì;
慢其先生,叛其所事;
6. who deceives the unknowing, and bears false witness against his fellow students, 诳诸无识,谤诸同学;
kuáng zhū wú shí, bàng zhū tóngxué;
誑諸無識,謗諸同學;
7. who lies, calumniates, deceives, and practices deceit, who exposes the failings of clan elders, 虚诬诈伪,攻讦宗亲;
xū wū zhà wěi, gōngjié zōngqīn;
虛誣詐偽,攻訐宗親;
8. who exercises power but not compassion, who is cruel, irrational, and self-willed, 刚强不仁,狠戾自用;
gāngqiáng bùrén, hěnlì zìyòng;
剛強不仁,狠戾自用;
9. who does not distinguish right from wrong, and turns his back on those whom he should befriend, 是非不当,向背乖宜;
shìfei bùdàng, xiàngbèi guāi yí;
是非不當,向背乖宜;
10. who oppresses those below him and claims their merit for himself, but cringes before those above him to win their favor, 虐下取功,谄上希旨;
nuè xià qǔ gōng, chǎn shàng xīzhǐ;
虐下取功,諂上希旨;
11. who has no feeling for favors received, but is tireless in remembering resentment, 受恩不感,念怨不休;
shòu ēn bù gǎn, niàn yuàn bù,xiū;
受恩不感,念怨不休;
12. who makes light of heaven’s ordinary people, but agitates and disturbs the empire’s order, 轻蔑天民,扰乱国政;
qīngmiè tiān mín, rǎoluàn guó zhèng;
輕蔑天民,擾亂國政;
13. who rewards those without righteousness, but punishes the innocent, 赏及非义,刑及无辜;
shǎng jí fēi yì, xíng jí wúgū;
賞及非義,刑及無辜;
14. who slays people to take their wealth, and overthrows people to occupy their positions, 杀人取财,倾人取位;
shārén qǔ cái, qīng rén qǔ wèi;
殺人取財,傾人取位;
15. who slays captives and slaughters those who surrender, who denigrates the righteous and expels the wise, 诛降戮服,贬正排贤;
zhū jiàng lù fú, biǎn zhèng pái xián;
誅降戮服,貶正排賢;
16. who wrongs orphans and coerces widows, who ignores the law and receives bribes, 凌孤逼寡,弃法受赂;
líng gū bī guǎ, qì fǎ shòu lù;
凌孤逼寡,棄法受賂;

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17. who takes the straight as crooked and the crooked as straight, 以直为曲,以曲为直;
yǐ zhí wéi qū, yǐ qū wéi zhí;
以直為曲,以曲為直;
18. who treats (and punishes) a trivial matter as though it is important and on seeing an execution adds to its suffering, 入轻为重,见杀加怒;
rù qīng wéizhòng, jiàn shā jiā nù;
入輕為重,見殺加怒;
19. who knowing his faults does not correct them, and knowing the good does not do it, 知过不改,知善不为;
zhīguò bù gǎi, zhī shàn bù wéi;
知過不改,知善不為;
20. who blames his failings on others, and obstructs divination about them, 自罪引他,壅塞方术;
zì zuì yǐn tā, yōngsè fāngshù;
自罪引他,壅塞方術;
21. who slanders the holy and the wise, and ridicules and scorns the Way and its virtues, 讪谤圣贤,侵凌道德。
shànbàng shèngxián, qīnlíng dàodé.
訕謗聖賢,侵凌道德。
22. who shoots whatever flies and entraps whatever walks, who exposes animals’ dens and startles nestlings, 射飞逐走,发蛰惊栖;
shè fēi zhúzǒu, fā zhé jīng qī;
射飛逐走,發蟄驚棲;
23. who blocks burrows and destroys nests, who injures pregnant animals and breaks eggs, 填穴覆巢,伤胎破卵;
tián xué fù cháo, shāng tāi pò luǎn;
填穴覆巢,傷胎破卵;
24. who seeks failure for others and destroys their merit, 愿人有失,毁人成功;
yuàn rén yǒu shī, huǐ rén chénggōng;
願人有失,毀人成功;
25. who endangers others to protect himself, and robs others for his own benefit, 危人自安,减人自益;
wēi rén zì ān, jiǎn rén zì yì;
危人自安,減人自益;
26. who exchanges the worthless for what is valuable, and sacrifices the public good for private gain, 以恶易好,以私废公,
yǐ è yì hǎo, yǐ sī fèi gōng,
以惡易好,以私廢公,
27. who lays claim to the abilities of others, and who hides other people’s merit, 窃人之能,蔽人之善;
qiè rén zhī néng, bì rén zhī shàn;
竊人之能,蔽人之善;
28. who publicizes the weaknesses of others, and exposes other people’s private affairs, 形人之丑,讦人之私;
xíng rén zhī chǒu, jié rén zhī sī;
形人之醜,訐人之私;
29. who squanders people’s wealth, and separates their families, 耗人货财,离人骨肉;
hào rén huòcái, lí rén gǔròu;
耗人貨財,離人骨肉;
30. who attacks what others love, and who helps others to do wrong, 侵人所爱,助人为非;
qīn rén suǒ ài, zhù rénwéi fēi;
侵人所愛,助人為非;
31. who ambitiously seeks power, and ruins others in seeking success, 逞志作威,辱人求胜;
chěng zhì zuò wēi, rǔ rén qiú shèng;
逞志作威,辱人求勝;
32. who destroys the plants and fields of others and breaks up betrothals, 败人苗稼,破人婚姻;
bài rén miáo jià, pò rén hūnyīn;
敗人苗稼,破人婚姻;
33. who grows rich by deceit but remains uncultivated, and by deceit escapes punishment but remains without shame, 苟富而骄,苟免无耻;
gǒu fù ér jiāo, gǒumiǎn wúchǐ;
苟富而驕,苟免無恥;
34. who claims credit and denies blame, who gives out evil as though it were a dowry and sells iniquity like a commodity, 认恩推过,嫁祸卖恶;
rèn ēn tuī guò, jiàhuò mài'è;
認恩推過,嫁禍賣惡;
35. who sells and buys empty glory, but conceals treachery in his heart, 沽买虚誉,包贮险心;
gū mǎi xūyù, bāo zhù xiǎn xīn;
沽買虛譽,包貯險心;
36. who crushes the strengths of others, but protects his own deficiencies, 挫人所长,护己所短;
cuò rén suǒ cháng, hùjǐ suǒ duǎn;
挫人所長,護己所短;
37. who when in power persecutes and coerces, and even violently kills and maims, 乘威迫胁,纵暴杀伤;
chéng wēipò xié, zòng bào shāshāng;
乘威迫脅,縱暴殺傷;
38. who for no reason cuts cloth, and without ritual roasts animals, 无故剪裁,非礼烹宰;
wúgù jiǎncái, fēilǐ pēng zǎi;
無故剪裁,非禮烹宰;

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39. who scatters and wastes the five grains, and troubles the ordinary people, 散弃五縠,劳扰众生;
sàn qì wǔ hú, láo rǎo zhòngshēng;
散棄五縠,勞擾眾生;
40. who ruins families, and appropriates their wealth, 破人之家,取其财宝;
pò rén zhī jiā, qǔ qí cáibǎo;
破人之家,取其財寶;
41. who misdirects water and sets fires, in order to damage people’s houses, 决水放火,以害民居;
juéshuǐ fànghuǒ, yǐ hài mínjū;
決水放火,以害民居;
42. who confounds other people’s plans in order to spoil their work, 紊乱规模,以败人功;
wěnluàn guīmó, yǐ bài rén gōng;
紊亂規模,以敗人功;
43. who damage people’s tools, in order to make them unusable, 损人器物,以穷人用。
sǔnrén qìwù, yǐ qióngrén yòng.
損人器物,以窮人用。
44. who, on seeing another’s success, wishes him banished and ruined, 见他荣贵,愿他流贬;
jiàn tā róng guì, yuàn tā liú biǎn;
見他榮貴,願他流貶;
45. who, on seeing another’s wealth, wishes it bankrupted and scattered, 见他富有,愿他破散;
jiàn tā fùyǒu, yuàn tā pò sàn;
見他富有,願他破散;
46. on seeing beauty in another, is stirred to appropriate it, 见他色美,起心私之;
who, jiàn tāsè měi, qǐxīn sī zhī;
見他色美,起心私之;

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47. who when owing property to another, wishes him dead, 负他货财,愿他身死;
fù tā huòcái, yuàn tā shēn sǐ;
負他貨財,願他身死;
48. who, when requests are not met, casts curses and hatred, 干求不遂,便生咒恨;
gānqiú bùsuì, biàn shēng zhòu hèn;
干求不遂,便生咒恨;
49. who, on seeing the failures of others, says they are based in adequacy, 见他失便,便说他过;
jiàn tā shī biàn, biànshuō tā guò;
見他失便,便說他過;
50. who, on seeing someone’s bodily deformity, laughs at it, 见他体相不具,而笑之,
jiàn tā tǐ xiāng bù jù, ér xiào zhī,
見他體相不具,而笑之,
51. who, on seeing talent and ability worthy of praise, devalues them, 见他材能可称,而抑之。
jiàn tā cáinéng kě chēng, ér yì zhī;
見他材能可稱,而抑之。
52. who buries charms to oppress others, and uses chemicals to kill trees, 埋蛊厌人,用药杀树;
mái gǔ yàn rén, yòng yào shā shù;
埋蠱厭人,用藥殺樹;
53. who is abusive to teachers, and is disrespectful to his father or older brother, 恚怒师傅,抵触父兄;
huìnù shī fù, dǐ chù fù xiōng;
恚怒師傅,抵觸父兄;
54. who violently seizes things or makes demands, who enjoys fraud and theft, 强取强求,好侵好夺;
qiáng qǔ qiáng qiú, hào qīn hào duó;
強取強求,好侵好奪;
55. who plunders to become rich, and seeks promotion through deception, 掳掠致富,巧诈求迁;
lǔluè zhì fù, qiǎo zhà qiú qiān;
擄掠致富,巧詐求遷;
56. who rewards and punishes without equity, and indulges in unlimited enjoyment and excessive pleasure, 赏罚不平,逸乐过节;
shǎng fá bù píng, yì lè guò jié;
賞罰不平,逸樂過節;
57. who tyrannizes subordinates and fills others with fear, 苛虐其下,恐吓于他;
kē nuè qí xià, kǒng xià yú tā;
苛虐其下,恐嚇於他;
58. who makes accusations against heaven and criticizes people, who shouts at the wind and scolds the rain, 怨天尤人,呵风骂雨;
yuàn tiān yóu rén, hē fēng mà yǔ;
怨天尤人,呵風罵雨;
59. who urges people into litigation, and madly joins secret brotherhoods, 斗合争讼,妄逐朋党;
dòu hé zhēngsòng, wàng zhú péng dǎng;
鬥合爭訟,妄逐朋黨;
60. who makes use of the gossip of his wife or concubine, and disobeys his parents’ instructions, 用妻妾语,违父母训;
yòng qīqiè yǔ, wéi fùmǔ xùn;
用妻妾語,違父母訓;

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61. who embraces the new and forgets the old, who says with his mouth what is not in his heart, 得新忘故,口是心非;
dé xīn wàng gù, kǒu shì xīn fēi;
得新忘故,口是心非;
62. who covets wealth and deceives superiors, 贪冒于财,欺罔其上;
tān mào yú cái, qīwǎng qí shàng;
貪冒於財,欺罔其上;
63. who invents evil talk to ruin innocent people, 造作恶语,谗毁平人;
zào zuò è yǔ, chán huǐ píng rén;
造作惡語,讒毀平人;
64. who defames others and feigns honesty, who even scolds spirits yet claims to be upright, 毁人称直,骂神称正;
huǐ rén chēng zhí, mà shén chēng zhèng;
毀人稱直,罵神稱正;
65. who abandons proper social relationships and follows perversity, who turns his back on those close by to seek distant people, 弃顺效逆,背亲向疏;
qì shùn xiào nì, bèi qīn xiàng shū;
棄順效逆,背親向疏;
66. who dares point at heaven or earth that they may witness his evil designs, 指天地以证鄙怀,
zhǐ tiān dì yǐ zhèng bǐ huái,
指天地以證鄙懷,
Here the rhythm shifts for two lines. This may serve to break the monotony of a long series of 4-character phrases.
67. and to call upon spirits to witness his degrading deeds 引神明而鉴猥事。
yǐn shénmíng ér jiàn wěi shì.
引神明而鑒猥事。
68. who regrets his occasional charity, who borrows money without returning it, 施与后悔,假借不还;
shī yǔ hòuhuǐ, jiǎ jiè bù hái;
施與後悔,假借不還;
69. who seeks more than his share, and spends pretentiously beyond his means, 分外营求,力上施设;
fēn wài yíng qiú, lì shàng shīshè;
分外營求,力上施設;
70. whose lust and desire exceeds all measure, and whose heart is poisonous even while his face is compassionate, 淫欲过度,心毒貌慈;
yín yù guò dù, xīn dú mào cí;
淫慾過度,心毒貌慈;
71. who [as a merchant] sells bad food, and [as a teacher] misleads people into cults, 秽食喂人,左道惑众;
huì shí wèi rén, zuǒ dào huò zhòng;
穢食餧人,左道惑眾;

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72. who shortens the foot, and narrows the measure, lightens the scales, and skimps on the bushel, 短尺狭度,轻秤小升;
duǎn chǐ xiá dù, qīng chèng xiǎo shēng;
短尺狹度,輕秤小升;
73. who adulterates the genuine with the fake, and reaps an illicit profit, 以伪杂真,采取奸利;
yǐ wěi zá zhēn, cǎi qǔ jiān lì;
以偽雜真,採取奸(or 姦)利;
74. who drives respectable people into lowly pursuits, and deceive the simple, 压良为贱,谩蓦愚人;
yā liáng wéi jiàn, mànmò yú rén;
壓良為賤,謾驀愚人;
75. whose greed is without limit, and who curses and scolds to be believed, 贪婪无厌,咒诅求直。
tānlán wú yàn, zhòu zǔ qiú zhí.
貪婪無厭,咒詛求直。
76. who, addicted to liquor, becomes rebellious and unruly, and who battles his own family, 嗜酒悖乱,骨肉忿争;
shì jiǔ bèi luàn, gǔròu fènzhēng;
嗜酒悖亂,骨肉忿爭;
77. who, if he is male is not loyal or kind, if female is not gentle and obedient, 男不忠良,女不柔顺;
nán bù zhōng liáng, nǚ bù róu shùn;
男不忠良,女不柔順;

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78. who, if male, does not accord with his wife; if female, does not respect her husband, 不和其室,不敬其夫;
bù hé qí shì, bù jìng qí fū;
不和其室,不敬其夫;
79. who, if male, always likes to boast; if female, is jealous and suspicious, 每好矜夸,当行妒忌;
měi hào jīnkuā, dāng xíng dù jì;
每好矜誇,當行妒忌;
80. who, if male acts without manners to wife and children; if female, lacks propriety towards her parents-in-law, 无行于妻子,失礼于舅姑;
wú xíng yú qī zi, shī lǐ yú jiù gū;
無行於妻子,失禮於舅姑;
81. who makes light of ancestral spirits and disobeys the commands of superiors, 轻慢先灵,违逆上命;
qīng màn xiān líng, wéi nì shàng mìng;
輕慢先靈,違逆上命;
82. who makes and does what is unhelpful, whose chest bears a treacherous heart, 作为无益,怀挟外心;
zuò wéi wú yì, huái xié wài xīn;
作為無益,懷挾外心;
83. who curses both himself and others, who hates and loves based on prejudice, 自咒咒他,偏憎偏爱;
zì zhòu zhòu tā, piān zēng piān ài;
自咒咒他,偏憎偏愛;
84. who commits the improprieties of stepping across wells and stoves, and jumping over food and people, 越井越灶,跳食跳人;
yuè jǐng yuè zào, tiào shí tiào rén;
越井越竈,跳食跳人;
85. who kills infants and aborts the unborn, and commits many secret iniquities 损子堕胎,行多隐僻;
sǔn zi duò tāi, xíng duō yǐn pì;
損子墮胎,行多隱僻;
86. who sings and dances at the solemn festivals of Huì (on the last day of the month) and Là (on the last day of the year), and who shouts in anger on the first day of the month or in the early morning 晦腊歌舞,朔旦号怒;
huì là gē wǔ, shuò dàn hào nù;
晦臘歌舞,朔旦號怒;
87. who snorts and spits and pees while facing the north [and its god], who sings and hums and weeps when facing the stove [and its god], 晦腊歌舞,朔旦号怒;
duì běi tì tuò jí nì, duì zào yín yǒng jí kū;
晦臘歌舞,朔旦號怒;
88. and who lights incense from the stove fire, who uses dirty fuel to prepare food, 又以灶火烧香,秽柴作食;
yòu yǐ zào huǒ shāo xiāng, huì chái zuò shí;
又以竈火燒香,穢柴作食;
89. who rises at night and goes out ill-clad, who inflicts punishments on the eight festival days [when bodies are more vulnerable], 夜起裸露,八节行刑;
yè qǐ luǒ lù, bā jié xíng xíng;
夜起裸露,八節行刑;
90. who irrevently spits at shooting stars and points at rainbows, 唾流星,指虹霓;
tuò liú xīng, zhǐ hóng ní;
唾流星,指虹霓;
Once again a brief shift in the meter relieves its monotony.
91. who irreverently points at the three brilliances (sun, moon,and stars), and who stares at the sun and the moon, 辄指三光,久视日月;
zhé zhǐ sān guāng, jiǔ shì rì yuè;
輒指三光,久視日月;
92. who in spring sets fire to the woods to hunt, or who scolds while facing north; 春月燎猎,对北恶骂;
春月燎獵,對北惡罵;
chūn yuè liáo liè, duì běi è mà;
93. or who for no reason slays turtles and strikes snakes. 无故杀龟打蛇.
wú gù shā guī dǎ shé.
無故殺龜打蛇.
Although there are other interpretations, turtles and snakes are both sacred animals in some contexts.


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