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The earlier awakened, the Later awakened, and the not awakened at all

One asked, "The ancients' designation for a person of understanding was ‘earlier born.' What does this mean?"
It is like saying "earlier awakened." A man who has not heard of the methods of the True Way is in the dark as to success and failure, and does not know the sources of government and disorder. His befuddlement is like drunkenness.
Now among the world's rulers there are those who are earlier awakened, those who are later awakened, and those who are not awakened at all. Of old, when King Chuang of Ch’u was making plans, whenever one turned out well he would have an anxious look. Shên-Kung Wu Ch'en asked,
"Why is Your Highness anxious?"
King Chuang said, "I have heard it said of the potentialities (tê) of the feudal lords that one who can himself choose his teachers will be king; one that can himself choose his friends will be hegemon; and one whose associates are not his equals will be lost. I am unworthy insofar as none of the arguments of the Great Officers come up to mine. For this reason I am anxious."
It was fitting that King Chuang, with his mortal power (tê), should rule men and subjugate the feudal lords; yet every day he was anxious and concerned to seek out sage advisers. Such is the earlier awakened.
Of old Duke Chao of Sung went into exile. He said to his charioteer, "I know how I lost my state."
The charioteer said, "How?"
Duke Chao said, "When I put on clothes and stood up, of the several tens of attendants, none of them but said, ‘Our ruler is elegant.' Whenever I spoke or did anything, of the several hundreds of court ministers, none but said, ‘Our ruler is a sage.' Inside the court and out I never saw my faults, and this is how I lost my state."
Whereupon he reformed his principles and changed his conduct, rested in i and practiced the True Way. He had been two years in exile before his excellence became known in Sung. The people of Sung went to meet him to restore him to his throne. His posthumous designation was Chao, "in demeanour respectful and intelligent." Such is the later awakened.
Of old the Prince of Kuo was driven out of Kuo. He said to his charioteer, "I am thirsty and wish to drink." The charioteer gave him clear wine. He said, "I am hungry and wish to eat." The charioteer gave him dried meat and cooked millet. He said, "How is it that you had it ready?"
The charioteer said, "I had stored it away."
"Why had you stored it?"
The charioteer said, "Against your going away into exile, when you would be hungry and thirsty on the way."
"Did you know I was about to lose my state?"
The charioteer said, "I did."
"Then why did you not remonstrate with me?"
The charioteer said, "You were pleased with flattery in speech and disliked straightforward language. I wished to offer remonstrances, but feared before I could speak Kuo would be lost. For this reason I did not remonstrate."
The Prince of Kuo flushed in anger and said, "What was really the cause of my losing my state?"
The charioteer reversed his statement and said, "You lost it because you were too much of a sage."
He said, "How is it that a sage loses his state instead of preserving it?"
The charioteer said, "It was because you alone were the only sage in the empire that you lost your state."
The Prince of Kuo was pleased, and leaning against the crossbar sighed, "Alas, so this is the way it goes with a sage!" Then, his body being weary and his strength exhausted, he pillowed his head against the charioteer's knee and went to sleep. The charioteer put a clod in his own place, and abandoned him. The Prince of Kuo perished in the wilderness and was eaten by tigers and wolves. Such is the one who is not awakened at all.
Now one earlier awakened, in that same year becomes hegemon —such was King Chuang of Ch’u. One later awakened is restored within three years—such was Duke Chao of Sung. One not awakened at all dies in the wilderness and is eaten by tigers and wolves—such was the Prince of Kuo. There are those earlier awakened, those later awakened, and those not awakened at all.
The Ode says,
When there are admonishing words,
You are sleepy as if drunk.
问者曰:“古之谓知道者曰先生,何也?”“犹言先醒也。不闻道术之人,则冥于得失,不知乱之所由,眊眊乎其犹醉也。故世主有先生者,有后生者、有不生者。昔者、楚庄王谋事而居有忧色。申公巫臣问曰:‘王何为有忧也?’庄王曰:‘吾闻诸侯之德,能自取师者王,能自取友者霸,而与居不若其身者亡。以寡人之不肖也,诸大夫之论,莫有及于寡人,是以忧也。’庄王之德宜君人,威服诸侯,日犹恐惧,思索贤佐。此其先生者也。昔者、宋昭公出亡,谓其御曰:‘吾知其所以亡矣。’御者曰:‘何哉?’昭公曰:‘吾被服而立,侍御者数十人,无不曰:吾君、丽者也。吾发言动事,朝臣数百人,无不曰:吾君、圣者也。吾外内不见吾过失,是以亡也。’于是改操易行,安义行道,不出二年,而美闻于宋,宋人迎而复之,諡为昭。此其后生者也。昔郭君出郭,谓其御者曰:‘吾渴,欲饮。’御者进清酒。曰:‘吾饥,欲食。’御者进乾脯梁糗。曰:‘何备也!’御者曰:‘臣储之。’曰:‘奚储之?’御者曰:‘为君之出亡,而道饥渴也。’曰:‘子知吾且亡乎?’御者曰:‘然。’曰:‘何不以谏也?’御者曰:‘君喜道谀,而恶至言。臣欲进谏,恐先郭亡,是以不谏也。’郭君作色而怒曰:‘吾所以亡者、诚何哉?’御转其辞曰:‘君之所以亡者、太贤。’曰:‘夫贤者所以不为存而亡者、何也?’御曰:‘天下无贤而独贤,是以亡也。’伏轼而叹曰:‘嗟乎!失贤人者如此乎?’于是身倦力解,枕御膝而卧,御自易以备,疏行而去。身死中野,为虎狼所食。此其不生者也。故先生者、当年霸,楚庄王是也。后生者、三年而复,宋昭公是也。不生者、死中野,为虎狼所食,郭君是也。有先生者、有后生者、有不生者。”《诗》曰:“听言则对,诵言如醉。”

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