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Chuang Tzu Chapter 6, Section D

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Nan-bo Zi-kui asked Nu Yu, saying, 'You are old, Sir, while your complexion is like that of a child; how is it so?' The reply was, 'I have become acquainted with the Dao.' The other said, 'Can I learn the Dao?' Nu Yu said, 'No. How can you? You, Sir, are not the man to do so. There was Bu-liang Yi who had the abilities of a sagely man, but not the Dao, while I had the Dao, but not the abilities. I wished, however, to teach him, if, peradventure, he might become the sagely man indeed. If he should not do so, it was easy (I thought) for one possessing the Dao of the sagely man to communicate it to another possessing his abilities. Accordingly, I proceeded to do so, but with deliberation. After three days, he was able to banish from his mind all worldly (matters). This accomplished, I continued my intercourse with him in the same way; and in seven days he was able to banish from his mind all thought of men and things. This accomplished, and my instructions continued, after nine days, he was able to count his life as foreign to himself. This accomplished, his mind was afterwards clear as the morning; and after this he was able to see his own individuality. That individuality perceived, he was able to banish all thought of Past or Present. Freed from this, he was able to penetrate to (the truth that there is no difference between) life and death - (how) the destruction of life is not dying, and the communication of other life is not living. (The Dao) is a thing which accompanies all other things and meets them, which is present when they are overthrown and when they obtain their completion. Its name is Tranquillity amid all Disturbances, meaning that such Disturbances lead to Its Perfection.'

 

'And how did you, being alone (without any teacher), learn all this?' 'I learned it,' was the reply, 'from the son of Fu-mo; he learned it from the grandson of Luo-song; he learned it from Zhan-ming; he learned it from Nie-xu; he, from Xu-yu; he, from Ou; he, from Xuan-ming; he, from Shen-liao; and he learned it from Yi-shi.'

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Classic Original

【原文】

南伯子葵问乎女偊曰①:“子之年长矣,而色若孺子②,何也?”曰:“吾闻道矣。”南伯子葵曰:“道可得学邪?”曰:“恶③!恶可!子非其人也。夫卜梁倚有圣人之才而无圣人之道④,我有圣人之道而无圣人之才,吾欲以教之,庶几其果为圣人乎⑤!不然,以圣人之道告圣人之才,亦易矣。吾犹守而告之⑥,参日而后能外天下⑦;已外天下矣,吾又守之,七日而后能外物;已外物矣,吾又守之,九日而后能外生;已外生矣,而后能朝彻⑧;朝彻,而后能见独⑨;见独,而后能无古今;无古今,而后能入于不死不生。杀生者不死⑩,生生者不生。其为物,无不将也(11),无不迎也;无不毁也,无不成也。其名为撄宁(12)。撄宁也者,撄而后成者也。”

南伯子葵曰:“子独恶乎闻之?”曰:“闻诸副墨之子,副墨之子闻诸洛诵之孙,洛诵之孙闻之瞻明,瞻明闻之聂许,聂许闻之需役,需役闻之於讴,於讴闻之玄冥,玄冥闻之参寥,参寥闻之疑始(13)。”

 

Glossary

【注释】

①南伯子葵、女偊(yǔ):均为人名。旧注曾疑“南伯子葵”即“南郭子綦”。

②孺子:幼儿,孩童。

③恶(wū)这里是批驳、否定对方的言词,义同“不”。

④卜梁倚:人名:圣人之道:指虚淡内凝的心境。圣人之才:指明敏的、外用的才质。

⑤庶几:也许、大概。

⑥守:持守,修守,这里指内心凝寂,善于自持而不容懈怠。

⑦参:三。外:遗忘。“外”是相对于“内”的,思想上、精神上既然能凝寂虚空,身外之物,包括天地、死生都好像虚妄而不存在,故有以天下为外,以物为外,以生为外的说法。

⑧朝彻:“朝”指朝阳,“彻”指明彻,这里用早晨太阳初升时的清新明彻,喻指物我皆忘的凝寂空灵的心境。

⑨独:庄子哲学体系中的又一重要概念,指不受任何事物影响,也不对任何事物有所依待。能够独立而无所依待的就只有所谓的“道”,故这句中的“独”实际指的就是“道”。

⑩杀:灭除,含有摒弃、忘却之意。“杀生者”与下句“生生者”相对为文,分别指忘却生存和眷恋人世的人。

(11)将:送。

(12) 撄(yīng):扰乱,“撄宁”意思是不受外界事物的纷扰,保持心境的宁静。这是庄子所倡导的极高的修养境界,能够做到这一点也就得到了“道”,所以下一句说“撄而后成”。

(13)“副墨”、“洛诵”、“瞻明”、“聂许”、“需役”、“於(wū)讴(ōu)”、“玄冥”、“参寥”、“疑始”等,均为假托的寓言人物之名。曾有人就这些人名的用字作过推敲,揣度其间还含有某些特殊的寓意,但均不能确考。大体是,“副墨”指文字,“洛诵”指背诵,“瞻明”指目视明晰,“聂许”指附耳私语,“需役”指勤行不怠,“於讴”指吟咏领会,“玄冥”指深远虚寂,“参寥”指高旷寥远,“疑始”指迷茫而无所本。

 

Modern Interpretation

【译文】

南伯子葵向女偊问道:“你的岁数已经很大了,可是你的容颜却像孩童,这是什么缘故呢?”女偊回答:“我得‘道’了。”南伯子葵说:“‘道’可以学习吗?”女偊回答说:“不!怎么可以呢!你不是可以学习‘道’的人。卜梁倚有圣人明敏的才气却没有圣人虚淡的心境,我有圣人虚淡的心境却没有圣人明敏的才气,我想用虚淡的心境来教导他,恐怕他果真能成为圣人哩!然而却不是这样,把圣人虚淡的心境传告具有圣人才气的人,应是很容易的。我还是持守着并告诉他,三天之后便能遗忘天下,既已遗忘天下,我又凝寂持守,七天之后能遗忘万物;既已遗忘外物,我又凝寂持守,九天之后便能遗忘自身的存在;既已遗忘存在的生命,而后心境便能如朝阳一般清新明彻;能够心境如朝阳般清新明彻,而后就能够感受那绝无所待的‘道’了;既已感受了‘道’,而后就能超越古今的时限;既已能够超越古今的时限,而后便进入无所谓生、无所谓死的境界。摒除了生也就没有死,留恋于生也就不存在生。作为事物,‘道’无不有所送,也无不有所迎;无不有所毁,也无不有所成,这就叫做‘撄宁’。撄宁,意思就是不受外界事物的纷扰,而后保持心境的宁静。”

南伯子葵又问:“你偏偏是怎么得‘道’的呢?”女偊又回答说:“我从副墨(文字)的儿子那里听到的,副墨的儿子从洛诵(背诵)的孙子那里听到的,洛诵的孙子从瞻明(目视明晰)那里听到的,瞻明从聂许(附耳私语)那里听到的,聂许从需役(勤行不怠)那里听到的,需役从於讴(吟咏领会)那里听到的,於讴从玄冥(深远虚寂)那里听到的,玄冥从参寥(高旷寥远)那里听到的,参寥从疑始(迷茫而无所本)那里听到的。”

Edited by ChiDragon

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from - Wandering On The Way: Taoist Tales and Parables

by - Victor Mair

 

Sir Sunflower of Southunc inquired of Woman Hunchback,

saying, "You are old in years, ma'am, but your complexion is like

that of a child. How is this?"

"I have heard the Way."

"Can I learn the Way?" asked Sir Sunflower of Southunc.

"Oh, no! You can't. You're not the person for it. There was

Lotbridge Learner who had the ability of a sage but not the

Way of a sage. I have the Way of a sage but not the ability of a

sage. I wanted to teach him, in hopes that he would truly

become a sage, you see? In any event, it should have been easy

to teach the Way of a sage to someone with the ability of a

sage . Still, I had to instruct him and watch over him. After

three days, he could put all under heaven beyond him. Once he

was able to put all under heaven beyond him, I watched over

him again. After seven days, he could put things beyond him.

Once he was able to put things beyond him, I watched over

him again. After nine days, he could put life beyond him. Once

he was able to put life beyond him, he could then see with the

clarity of morning light. Seeing with the clarity of morning

light, he could envision uniqueness. Envisioning uniqueness, he

could eliminate past and present. Eliminating past and present,

he could enter the realm of lifelessness and deathlessness, where

that which kills life does not die and that which engenders life

does not live. As for what sort of thing it is, there's nothing

that it doesn't send off, nothing that it doesn't welcome, noth-

ing that it doesn't destroy, and nothing that it doesn't bring to

completion. Its name is Tranquility in Turmoil. Tranquility in

Turmoil may be defined as that which is brought to completion

after passing through turmoil."

 

"Wherever did you learn all this?" asked Sir Sunflower of

Southunc.

"I learned it from the son of Assistant Ink. Assistant Ink's

son learned it from the grandson of Ready Reciter. Ready

Reciter's grandson learned it from Bright Vision. Bright Vision

learned it from Agreeable Whisper. Agreeable Whisper learned

it from Earnest Service. Earnest Service learned it from Sighing

Songster. Sighing Songster learned it from Murky Mystery.

Murky Mystery learned it from Share Vacuity. Share Vacuity

learned it from Would-be Beginning."

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I really like how Mair's translation says "put life and death beyond him" instead of saying he "went beyond" them or that he was somehow on some higher level. It isn't phrased in terms of going beyond life and death, but just in terms of clearing them from the mind. Thats kind of profound to me :)

 

I like the names at the end of Mair's too, it helps me understand what the author meant a lot more.

 

keep it up marblehead... even tho nobody has commented on Chap 6 Sec C at all! aaaaa someone will i know it

 

:)

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keep it up marblehead... even tho nobody has commented on Chap 6 Sec C at all! aaaaa someone will i know it

 

:)

 

Yeah, it is hard for me to keep posting these when, on occasion, I think that I am just talking to myself. But I'll do what I can because there are a lot of wonderful lessons within the text of The Chuang Tzu.

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Yeah, it is hard for me to keep posting these when, on occasion, I think that I am just talking to myself. But I'll do what I can because there are a lot of wonderful lessons within the text of The Chuang Tzu.

 

yeah its worth it! and i just saw chidragon commented on 6C

 

where are all the people who used to talk about the chapters?! They converted to confucianism i think

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yeah its worth it! and i just saw chidragon commented on 6C

 

where are all the people who used to talk about the chapters?! They converted to confucianism i think

 

Hehehe. I hope they didn't convert!

 

Maybe the treads will get active again. We'll see.

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Modern Interpretation

【译文】

南伯子葵向女偊问道:“你的岁数已经很大了,可是你的容颜却像孩童,这是什么缘故呢?”

 

南伯子葵 asked 女偊: "How old are you, why are you look still look like a child, what is the reason for that? "

 

女偊回答:“我得‘道’了。”

南伯子葵说:“‘道’可以学习吗?”

 

女偊 answered: "I have obtained 'Tao'.

南伯子葵 said: "'Tao', can it be learned?"

 

女偊回答说:“不!怎么可以呢!你不是可以学习‘道’的人。

卜梁倚有圣人明敏的才气却没有圣人虚淡的心境,

我有圣人虚淡的心境却没有圣人明敏的才气,

我想用虚淡的心境来教导他,恐怕他果真能成为圣人哩!

然而却不是这样,把圣人虚淡的心境传告具有圣人才气的人,应是很容易的。

 

我还是持守着并告诉他,三天之后便能遗忘天下,既已遗忘天下,我又凝寂持守,七天之后能遗忘万物;既已遗忘外物,我又凝寂持守,九天之后便能遗忘自身的存在;既已遗忘存在的生命,而后心境便能如朝阳一般清新明彻;能够心境如朝阳般清新明彻,而后就能够感受那绝无所待的‘道’了;既已感受了‘道’,而后就能超越古今的时限;既已能够超越古今的时限,而后便进入无所谓生、无所谓死的境界。摒除了生也就没有死,留恋于生也就不存在生。作为事物,‘道’无不有所送,也无不有所迎;无不有所毁,也无不有所成,这就叫做‘撄宁’。撄宁,意思就是不受外界事物的纷扰,而后保持心境的宁静。”

 

 

 

女偊 answered back: No, how can you? You are not the one that can learn about 'Tao". 卜梁 has the sagacious intelligence but he doesn't have the empty-lighted heart for it. I have the sagacious empty-lighted heart but not the sagacious intelligence. I want to use my empty-lighted heart to teach him; but I am afraid that he cannot become a sage. However, then is not so. If I use the sagacious empty-lighted heart and tell the one with the sagacious intelligence, it ought to be alot easier.

 

I was still insisted to let him know then, I'll forget about the world in three days. I became silent and waited, after seven days, I forgot about the world, then I will forget everything else. I became silent and waited, after nine days, then I can forget about my own existence. Since I forgot the existence of my life, therefore, my heart can be felt like refreshing and brilliant as facing the sun.

 

Since my heart was able to feel like refreshing and brilliant as facing the sun, then I can sensed the "without desire" Tao. Since I sensed Tao, then I can transcend beyond the past and present time limit; and I can enter the level of no life and no death. Since I eliminated life, then there will be no death; I can't stay with life because life does not exist. To think of it as a matter but Tao has nothing to offer nor to receive. There was nothing can be destroyed nor created. This is called the "Suppressing disturbance". Suppressing disturbance means it was not disturbed by external influence, then, one can maintain peace and quietness within the heart.

Edited by ChiDragon

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This paragraph is the most difficult to be translated by a non-Chinese speaker.

 

南伯子葵又问:“你偏偏是怎么得‘道’的呢?”女偊又回答说:“我从副墨(文字)的儿子那里听到的,副墨的儿子从洛诵(背诵)的孙子那里听到的,洛诵的孙子从瞻明(目视明晰)那里听到的,瞻明从聂许(附耳私语)那里听到的,聂许从需役(勤行不怠)那里听到的,需役从於讴(吟咏领会)那里听到的,於讴从玄冥(深远虚寂)那里听到的,玄冥从参寥(高旷寥远)那里听到的,参寥从疑始(迷茫而无所本)那里听到的。”

 

南伯子葵 asked again: "How did you obtained Tao?"

 

女偊 then answered again:" I heard from 副墨(the son of the written literature). The son of the written literature heard from the grandson of 洛诵(the recital). The grandson of the recital heard from 瞻明(the clear vision). The clear vision heard from 聂许(the ears drop). The ears drop heard from 需役(the diligence). The diligence heard from 於讴(the intuition). The intuition heard from 玄冥(the abyssal stillness). The abyssal stillness heard from 参寥(the high broad and far out). The high broad and far out heard from 疑始(the obscure and using Wu(无) as the principle foundation).

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Most people treated the compound characters in bold as proper nouns but they are not. The true meanings are shown in ().

 

Footnote:

(13)“副墨”、“洛诵”、“瞻明”、“聂许”、“需役”、“於(wū)讴(ōu)”、“玄冥”、“参寥”、“疑始”等,均为假托的寓言人物之名。曾有人就这些人名的用字作过推敲,揣度其间还含有某些特殊的寓意,但均不能确考。大体是,“副墨”指文字,“洛诵”指背诵,“瞻明”指目视明晰,“聂许”指附耳私语,“需役”指勤行不怠,“於讴”指吟咏领会,“玄冥”指深远虚寂,“参寥”指高旷寥远,“疑始”指迷茫而无所本。

Edited by ChiDragon

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Hey people

 

Sorry I kind of disappeared. Wasn't an intentional boycott, just got put out a bit by over analysis of words, though I was hoping for some in the beginning, I guess it got a bit too over my head after a while.

 

So, in looking at this chapter, it seems Chuang Tzu definitely had some knowledge of esoteric Taoist Alchemy. A lot of the time it seems more like he's talking about virtues of humility and self-reliance, but here he seems to be speaking about things far beyond, yea?

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Hey people

 

Sorry I kind of disappeared. Wasn't an intentional boycott, just got put out a bit by over analysis of words, though I was hoping for some in the beginning, I guess it got a bit too over my head after a while.

 

So, in looking at this chapter, it seems Chuang Tzu definitely had some knowledge of esoteric Taoist Alchemy. A lot of the time it seems more like he's talking about virtues of humility and self-reliance, but here he seems to be speaking about things far beyond, yea?

 

Nice to see you here with us.

 

Yeah, the word analysis is distracting for those of us who do not read Chinese but it is of value for those who do so it is all part of the threads.

 

I would agree that Chuang Tzu was a mystic and likely had a good knowledge of alchemy.

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Modern Interpretation

【译文】

南伯子葵(Nan Bo Zi Kui) asked 女偊(Nu Yu): "How old are you, why are you still look like a child, what is the reason for that? "

 

女偊(Nu Yu) answered: "I have obtained 'Tao'.

南伯子葵(Nan Bo Zi Kui) said: "'Tao', can it be learned?"

 

女偊(Nu Yu) answered back: "No, how can you? You are not the one that can learn about 'Tao". 卜梁(Pu Liang) has the sagacious intelligence but he doesn't have the empty-lighted heart for it. I have the sagacious empty-lighted heart but not the sagacious intelligence. I want to use my empty-lighted heart to teach him; but I am afraid that he cannot become a sage. However, it is not so. If I use the sagacious empty-lighted heart and tell the one with the sagacious intelligence, it ought to be a lot easier.

 

I was still insisted to let him know then, I'll forget about the world in three days. I became silent and waited, after seven days, I forgot about the world, then I will forget everything else. I became silent and waited, after nine days, then I can forget about my own existence. Since I forgot the existence of my life, therefore, my heart can be felt like refreshing and brilliant as facing the sun.

 

Since my heart was able to feel like refreshing and brilliant as facing the sun, then I can sensed the "without desire" Tao. Since I sensed Tao, then I can transcend beyond the past and present time limit; and I can enter the level of no life and no death. Since I eliminated life, then there will be no death; I can't stay with life because life does not exist. To think of it as a matter but Tao has nothing to offer nor to receive. There was nothing can be destroyed nor created. This is called the "Suppressing Disturbance". Suppressing Disturbance means it was not disturbed by external influence, then, one can maintain peace and quietness within the heart."

 

南伯子葵(Nan Bo Zi Kui) asked again: "How did you obtained Tao?"

女偊(Nu Yu) then answered again: "I heard it from 副墨(the son of the written literature). The son of the written literature heard it from the grandson of 洛诵(the recital). The grandson of the recital heard it from 瞻明(the clear vision). The clear vision heard it from 聂许(the ears dropping). The ears dropping heard it from 需役(the diligence). The diligence heard it from 於讴(the intuition). The intuition heard it from 玄冥(the abyssal stillness). The abyssal stillness heard it from 参寥(the high broad and far out). The high broad and far out heard it from 疑始(the obscure and using Wu(无) as the principle foundation)."

Edited by ChiDragon

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This is called the "Suppressing disturbance". Suppressing disturbance means it was not disturbed by external influence, then, one can maintain peace and quietness within the heart."

I consider this an important concept.

 

It has been an important question in my life.

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