Crow With No Mouth

Junior Bum
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About Crow With No Mouth

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    Dao Bum
  1. [TTC Study] Chapter 6 of the Tao Teh Ching

    It's been a long while, but I translated another chapter: Spirit of the void never dies. She is called the mysterious mother. From her opening comes all things manifest. Like a ceaseless gossamer. With only a hint of existence, She seem everlasting. She functions effortlessly, never draining. During translating this I realized that (at least to the limits of my logical capabilities, it has to be so) that matter and consciousness can't exist without each other (if one ceases, the other goes as well). And THIS is nothing but a dance between the two. I felt like this chapter was talking about how Nothing gives birth to matter and that's what this translation speaks for. Of course I realize that Lao Tzu had multiple meanings to his text, but given that it would take multiple translations to represent them all in English, it felt right to translate it this way. I chose spirit of the void over spirit of valley, because it's easier to understand and believe is what's been talked about. That Nothing that had to (to the best of my logical capability) be there before anything else - mysterious mother if you will. The next line I chose mostly because the sexual undertones pleased me (pun intended). "Like a ceaseless gossamer", I like how this relates to Higgs field, which is continuous, invisible, infinite all pervading field that gives things mass, which according to an article I read is a quality of physical existence. By my limited understanding of physics, other things are made of bosons, which also comes down to the next line. "With only hint..." I actually like the sound of - barely visible, yet seemingly everlasting - but translated it as I did because it better describes the idea. Might still end up changing it later though. Anyway, this line represents that we can only see Her through Her creation. The last line was hard to translate. It obviously has multiple meanings. I went with this one cause it supported the other lines and gives an idea of effortless creation. It just happens, it's not work or draining in any way and there's seemingly no end to it.
  2. [TTC Study] Chapter 67 of the Tao Teh Ching

    According to verbatim translation by Jonathan Star English equivalents to word tz'u are love / deep love / great love / motherly love / affection / compassion / unconditional love / mercy / "tolerance" / "love that protects and nurtures". Out of those I chose unconditional love because in my view it also encompasses things like mercy and compassion. It also made most sense to me personally. And considering that I believe Lao Tzu wrote from non-dual perspective, I also believe that he probably felt this unconditional love and also was most likely talking about that feeling. I might be wrong though and he certainly played around with having multiple meanings a lot too. I have a problem quoting properly I wanted to quote Taoist Texts post that was quoted in your post too. I agree with what your saying. In some special cases, judging from what some people, who claim to have attained 'oneness', non-duality or what ever phrase they use, say there might be something to this, but in most cases this definitely isn't the case. Then again very few people feel unconditional love. Personally I would have felt most comfortable leaving the last two sentences out completely, since I don't fully agree with what's being said, but in the end I wanted to include and try to get an understanding of them anyway. After reading Flowing Hands translation, I realized that he did a better job on these lines than I did. Bravo, the best translation of these last lines I've read. Thanks for that.
  3. [TTC Study] Chapter 67 of the Tao Teh Ching

    It's been a while since the last time I did this, but I came up with my own version again while trying to understand the chapter better. Thought I would post it here in case anyone's interested. Noticed again how English language cannot adequately get all the nuances and different meanings of Lao Tzu's teachings. Acknowledging that, this is what I came up with: The whole world says that my Tao is great, but unlike anything else. It is great precisely because it is unlike anything else. If it were like anything else it would have vanished a long time ago. I have three treasures that I hold and cherish. The first one is unconditional love. The second one is moderation. The third one is not placing myself above others. With love one has power to remove all fears, moderation enables generosity, and only those that don’t place themselves above others are fit to lead. Nowadays, many lack love yet aim to be fearless, lack restraint so they cannot afford generosity, lack humility so they want to get ahead. This is a recipe for doom. However, love will triumph in battle and be impregnable in defense. Heaven sides with those who possess unconditional love and protects them.
  4. [TTC Study] Chapter 38 of the Tao Teh Ching

    This is the second verse I made my own version of. This was a hard one. Well at least it became pretty clear why I'm doing this as I noticed that at least 3 different translations would be needed to express every idea in English. I did the best I could to and here's a version that made most sense to me. Supreme virtue doesn’t consider itself to be virtuous, therefore it truly is virtuous. Low virtue keeps account of its actions, therefore it is not truly virtuous. Supreme action is effortless and has no motive, with nothing to do – nothing is left undone. Low action is forced and done for selfish reasons, thus there always remains a lot to be done. Benevolent person acts without a personal motive. Moral person acts according to personal ideals. Dutiful person acts according to the rules of conduct, and when these man made rules are not followed; rolls up his sleeves and forces people to comply. Thus when the Way is lost, only then virtue is required. When virtue is lost, only then must one resort to benevolence. When benevolence is lost, only then morality is needed. And when morality is lost, there isn’t anything left but ritualized conduct. When it comes to ritualized conduct, it is but a husk for faith and loyalty, which only bring confusion to heart and trouble for others. Foreknowledge is but a flowery trapping of Tao; having one’s mind made up before hand is the beginning of delusion. Thus the truly great man dwells in the deep and not on the surface; substance instead of the husk. He keeps the real and discards the superficial; fruit instead of the flower. Accepts the former and rejects the latter.
  5. [TTC Study] Chapter 9 of the Tao Teh Ching

    Actually, the second line "will only make it spill" is a liberty I took. Literary translation for that line would have been "it's better to stop in time". In this case I liked the metaphor better as it is pretty obvious. Those 4 lines point to knowing when to stop and not over doing things. They also speak for moderation and at least for me warn against obsessing to reach perfection, which often just wastes time and energy and often even the results are worse (like a blunt blade). This to me is obvious for example when mixing music. After certain time my ears (and mind) get tired and I end up making decisions that actually make it sound worse, which can be heard very obviously after taking a break. In short enough is enough and too much is too much and the skill is to know when to stop. Sorry it took so long to answer. I was out of town for few days.
  6. [TTC Study] Chapter 9 of the Tao Teh Ching

    Hi everyone, I'm new here. I recently started making my own translation/interpretation of Tao Teh Ching in order to understand it better and am hoping that it will also help me integrate it. I don't actually know any Chinese but I'm instead using Jonathan Star's verbatim translation and taking inspiration from all the translations I've read/can find. I'm just doing this to understand it myself so I'll take some artistic liberties when I see fit. Hope that doesn't offend anyone. Anyway if anyone has any criticism or suggestion I'll gladly listen. I'm always more than willing to learn from others views. And maybe I even make changes based on them. I'm done with the first verse (this one, I'm doing this in random order based on what I feel like doing the day I do it) although it's still open for changes. Which is precisely why I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions. So here it is: Filling a cup to the brim, will only make it spill. Sharpening a blade for too long, will only make it blunt. A house filled with gold and jade, no one is capable of guarding it. Wealth and status leads to pride and arrogance, bringing their own misfortune. Once the task is done - Retire. Such is the nature of Tao. The path to serenity.
  7. Hello

    Hi everyone, I joined because I recently started making my own interpretation/translation of Tao Te Ching in order to understand it better and to better integrate it's lessons. For a long time it has been the text that speaks to me most directly. It's pure genius. I'm only doing this as a fun project and am not planning on releasing it or anything, but I was still hoping I might get some criticism from others here and hear some other peoples views too. I'm sure I'll miss or misinterpret somethings before I'm done, so criticism is gladly listened to and might just give me new insights. Especially since I don't know chinese and am using Jonathan Star's Verbatim translation + getting inspiration from all the different translations I can find. As for me I've tried many different meditational practices(not sure if that really covers everything but...) and use whatever works on the way. Nowadays it's dominantly self-inquiry. Here's a poem by one of my favorite Zen masters Ikkuy Sojun that was the inspiration for my user name. Hearing a crow with no mouth Cry in the deep Darkness of the night, I feel a longing for My father before he was born.