dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 16

Recommended Posts

Legge

 

16 
The (state of) vacancy should be brought to the utmost degree, 
and that of stillness guarded with unwearying vigour. All things 
alike go through their processes of activity, and (then) we see them 
return (to their original state). When things (in the vegetable 
world) have displayed their luxuriant growth, we see each of them 
return to its root. This returning to their root is what we call the 
state of stillness; and that stillness may be called a reporting that 
they have fulfilled their appointed end.

The report of that fulfilment is the regular, unchanging rule. To 
know that unchanging rule is to be intelligent; not to know it leads 
to wild movements and evil issues. The knowledge of that unchanging 
rule produces a (grand) capacity and forbearance, and that capacity 
and forbearance lead to a community (of feeling with all things). 
From this community of feeling comes a kingliness of character; and he 
who is king-like goes on to be heaven-like. In that likeness to 
heaven he possesses the Tao. Possessed of the Tao, he endures long; 
and to the end of his bodily life, is exempt from all danger of decay. 
 

Lau

 

16 
I do my utmost to attain emptiness; 
I hold firmly to stillness. 
The myriad creatures all rise together 
And I watch their return. 
The teaming creatures 
All return to their separate roots. 
Returning to one's roots is known as stillness. 
This is what is meant by returning to one's destiny. 
Returning to one's destiny is known as the constant. 
Knowledge of the constant is known as discernment.

Woe to him who wilfully innovates 
While ignorant of the constant, 
But should one act from knowledge of the constant 
One's action will lead to impartiality, 
Impartiality to kingliness, 
Kingliness to heaven, 
Heaven to the way, 
The way to perpetuity, 
And to the end of one's days one will meet with no danger. 
 

Feng/English

 

16

Empty yourself of everything. 
Let the mind become still. 
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. 
They grow and flourish and then return to the source. 
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature. 
The way of nature is unchanging. 
Knowing constancy is insight. 
Not knowing constancy leads to disaster. 
Knowing constancy, the mind is open. 
With an open mind, you will be openhearted. 
Being openhearted, you will act royally. 
Being royal, you will attain the divine. 
Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao. 
Being at one with the Tao is eternal. 
And though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.

 

Jonathan Star

 

16

Become totally empty
Quiet the restlessness of the mind
Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness
See all things flourish and dance in endless variation
And once again merge back into perfect emptiness ?
Their true repose
Their true nature
Emerging. Flourishing, dissolving back again
This is the eternal process of return
To know this process brings enlightenment
To miss this process brings disaster
Be still
Stillness reveals the secret of eternity
Eternity embraces the all-possible
The all-possible leads to a vision of oneness
A vision of oneness brings about universal love
Universal love supports the great truth of Nature
The great truth of Nature is Tao
Whoever knows this truth lives forever
The body may perish, deeds may be forgotten
But he who has Tao has all eternity

 

Flowing Hands Transmission

16

Empty the mind of everything, let it reside in peace. 
Being at peace you can watch the Ten Thousand Things rise and fall. 
They follow their natural path and eventually return to the source of all things. This is the way of Nature. 
Returning to the source is stillness, for Nature is unchanging.  Knowing this constancy is having insight into all things. Not knowing this leads to disaster. 
Knowing the source, the mind is open. When the mind is open the heart will be open too. Being open hearted, you can act naturally. Acting naturally, you will be at one with the Dao. Being at one with the Dao, you will be at one with Heaven and Earth. Being at one with Heaven and Earth, you can become eternal. 
Although the body dies, the Dao will always be eternal. 

 

Hinton

 

16

Inhabit the furthest peripheries of emptiness and abide in the tranquil center.
There the ten thousand things arise, and in them I watch the return:
all things on and ever on each returning to its root.
Returning to the root is called tranquility,
tranquility is called returning to the inevitable unfolding of things,
returning to the inevitable unfolding of things is called constancy,
and to understand constancy is called enlightenment.
Without understanding constancy, you stumble deceived.
But understanding constancy, you're all-embracing,
all-embracing and therefore impartial,
impartial and therefore imperial,
imperial and therefore heaven,
heaven and therefore Way,
Way and therefore enduring:
self gone, free of danger.

 

Lin

 

16

Attain the ultimate emptiness
Hold on to the truest tranquility
The myriad things are all active
I therefore watch their return
Everything flourishes; each returns to its root
Returning to the root is called tranquility
Tranquility is called returning to one's nature
Returning to one's nature is called constancy
Knowing constancy is called clarity
Not knowing constancy, one recklessly causes trouble
Knowing constancy is acceptance
Acceptance is impartiality
Impartiality is sovereign
Sovereign is heaven
Heaven is Tao
Tao is eternal
The self is no more, without danger

 

[Lin commentary]

Reach for a state of ultimate emptiness. Maintain a state of the utmost stillness and tranquility.
All living things rise up in lively activity. I watch them and observe their return in the endless natural process of life.
Everything is thriving and flourishing, and eventually everything will return to its origin in the recurrent cycles of nature.
Returning to the point of origin leads to a state of peaceful and serene tranquility.
This tranquility and quietude leads to a return to one's true nature.
The return to one's true self and fulfillment of one's true nature, is a constant, unchanging principle.
Understanding this constant, unchanging principle leads to clarity, illumination and enlightenment.
Those who do not understand the principle of constancy tend to bring upon themselves problems and disasters in a chaotic way.
Knowledge of this constant, unchanging principle leads to an acceptance that encompasses everything.
Such an all-encompassing acceptance and tolerance leads to an objective, impartial frame of mind.
This objectivity leads to authentic personal power - power over one's own destiny.
Authentic power - sovereignty over oneself - leads to a heavenly divinity and a oneness with nature. This heavenly oneness leads to the Tao. The Tao, in turn, leads to everlasting eternity.
Knowing this, one can live out an entire lifetime in harmony and safety. You will be free from worldly hazards until your body no longer exists.
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Shaman Flowing Hands nails this one...

I find Shaman Flowing Hands' transmission usually cuts more cleanly, including this time.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would anyone be willing to elaborate some on the idea of constancy in the Feng/English version? What do you take that to mean or be saying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Cybele said:

Would anyone be willing to elaborate some on the idea of constancy in the Feng/English version? What do you take that to mean or be saying?

 

Quote

The way of nature is unchanging. 
Knowing constancy is insight. 
Not knowing constancy leads to disaster. 
Knowing constancy, the mind is open. 

 

What is unchanging is "the way of nature" (or Tao). This is so because things change, but the manner in which they change doesn't change. Same as for the Laws of Nature that describe the changes that are continually going on in the physical world while the Laws of Nature that describe the changes remain the same.

 

Edited by wandelaar
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can say the way of nature is unchanging with the mind, but can you feel it ?

Feel it in the belly.

When you see a person can you name the element he represents, or a structure or the state of the sky, can you feel it ... when you see something do you feel in your belly what it means ?

Feeling it in the belly can you merge with it in your being.

Then your belly has been opened to the underground forces that are clothed by the material world.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I can't. Can you? And more important - have you been able to verify how often that what you sensed with your belly was correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

15 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

No I can't. Can you? And more important - have you been able to verify how often that what you sensed with your belly was correct?

 

Are you surprised ?   Did you think all you had to do was understand some concepts in the head ?
Everyone who is practicing the Taoist arts is developing these skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not surprised - believers always find a way to avoid considering my sceptical questions.

 

And no - I don't think that understanding the concepts is enough.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, rideforever said:

You question - can you?
Yes I can, becoming sensitive is a natural result of practice.

 

And the other question?

 

20 hours ago, wandelaar said:

And more important - have you been able to verify how often that what you sensed with your belly was correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

And the other question?

 

Have you heard of a wintry person ?   Or speaking from the gut ?   Or venting our spleen ?  Or crazy ivan ?  Letting things flow ?

 

All these expressions refer to the underlying energetics of ordinary life.   They used to be more common and more detailed than today, for instance a "liverish" person, rarely heard today and people would buy an Almanac with details of the Sun and Moon.  So examples are not far away.   When practicing 5 elements or tai chi, then you develop more and more sensitivity to these things, you feel the chi of a season, or a day, the nature of it, in Autumn the contracting and clean force; you sense incomplete transitions, are places were something new has to come.   You sense when your work project is in its Spring, or its Winter, the phase.   When you are ill, you feel which climates are painful and which nourishing, and when you buy clothes which colours you choose and why.   You feel the heat and meaning of colour when you see it in the land.   And so on.

 

Which of the Taoist arts do you practice ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, rideforever said:

Have you heard of a wintry person ?   Or speaking from the gut ?   Or venting our spleen ?  Or crazy ivan ?  Letting things flow ?

 

All these expressions refer to the underlying energetics of ordinary life.   They used to be more common and more detailed than today, for instance a "liverish" person, rarely heard today and people would buy an Almanac with details of the Sun and Moon.  So examples are not far away.   When practicing 5 elements or tai chi, then you develop more and more sensitivity to these things, you feel the chi of a season, or a day, the nature of it, in Autumn the contracting and clean force; you sense incomplete transitions, are places were something new has to come.   You sense when your work project is in its Spring, or its Winter, the phase.   When you are ill, you feel which climates are painful and which nourishing, and when you buy clothes which colours you choose and why.   You feel the heat and meaning of colour when you see it in the land.   And so on.

 

Hi rideforever -

 

I'm wondering if you can explain a little more how this relates to TTC Chapter 16?

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Cybele said:

Hi rideforever -

I'm wondering if you can explain a little more how this relates to TTC Chapter 16?

Thanks

 

Yes the verse discusses observing the 10,000 things and becoming natural and constant and then regal.  So the discussion that was had was how to be in the state where one can feel this .... and that it is quite different to intellectual understanding.   So how to do what the verse says ?   How can I be the constant at the centre, how can I see the 10,000 rise and fall ?  Well the Taoist arts teach you to feel the forces, for instance through empty-full movements in tai chi, or the 5 Animal Frolics teaching you the cycle of 5 elemental forces, and as you practice you start to feel these things .... in and outside of practice.   When you are cooking you start to feel how your food is changing state, and that the food in the pan, each type of food is a different element.   You start to feel the wind, sun and rain as elements ... because your dantien's intelligence is awoken, you now have a 2nd brain down in the belly that feels these energetic currents.

Continuing in this way you become more and more sensitive to it, you live with this intelligence as well, and then you become like Verse 16 says.   You feel the movement of the universe, but you are the natural in the centre.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, rideforever said:

Have you heard of a wintry person ?   Or speaking from the gut ?   Or venting our spleen ?  Or crazy ivan ?  Letting things flow ?

 

I have gut feelings and intuitions, and I think they are important as a complement to the workings of the conscious part of my mind. I don't consider them as being sensations of the belly however, but as signals form the unconscious part of my mind. And the mind - in my opinion - is basically located in the brain.

 

3 hours ago, rideforever said:

All these expressions refer to the underlying energetics of ordinary life.   They used to be more common and more detailed than today, for instance a "liverish" person, rarely heard today and people would buy an Almanac with details of the Sun and Moon.  So examples are not far away.   When practicing 5 elements or tai chi, then you develop more and more sensitivity to these things, you feel the chi of a season, or a day, the nature of it, in Autumn the contracting and clean force; you sense incomplete transitions, are places were something new has to come.   You sense when your work project is in its Spring, or its Winter, the phase.   When you are ill, you feel which climates are painful and which nourishing, and when you buy clothes which colours you choose and why.   You feel the heat and meaning of colour when you see it in the land.   And so on.

 

And here you mix in theoretical perspectives that force a certain interpretation of your experiences. Those interpreted experiences thus are not beyond thought, they are not simple facts! So whether your interpretation has some factual basis remains to be seen.

 

3 hours ago, rideforever said:

Which of the Taoist arts do you practice ?

 

None of the traditional Taoist arts. But I meditate, do simple chi gong exercises (sometimes), study Lao tzu and Chuang tzu, and am looking for ways to get wu wei into my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

None of the traditional Taoist arts. But I meditate, do simple chi gong exercises (sometimes), study Lao tzu and Chuang tzu, and am looking for ways to get wu wei into my life.

 

What kind of meditation do you do ?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just sitting. It helps me getting more relaxed, and letting thoughts and feelings come up and disappear without getting involved. The latter is difficult but it is good training for keeping my cool in enervating circumstances. When you can step back on any moment, you will no longer get sucked into unhealthy automated behaviours. Still working on it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I notice on your avatar you have a picture of a head.  The meditation practice seems to be an awareness practice, also done in the head.  So it seems most of your focus right now is on head/ awareness type practices.   Other practices open the heart in some traditions, then you would feel the world from the head and heart simultaneously and equally, a big change.  And Taoist practices open up the belly similarly.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are getting too much off topic right now. I will start another topic about your suggestions on meditation:

 

 

Edited by wandelaar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/14/2018 at 5:24 PM, wandelaar said:

 

I have gut feelings and intuitions, and I think they are important as a complement to the workings of the conscious part of my mind. I don't consider them as being sensations of the belly however, but as signals form the unconscious part of my mind. And the mind - in my opinion - is basically located in the brain.

 

Try to see or feel or sense it in or as the heart.

 

The chinese 'xin' is heart-mind', but I would default to the heart as that is in daoist theory the General who reads and directs.

 

I can help you experience that as an experiment if you want.   But the more you focus on the mind, the more you lose sight of the heart. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kind of an experiment do you have in mind? From what I have read about internal alchemy it looks like the experiential effects could be the results of (self)suggestion. Is the experiment such that (self)suggestion can be ruled out as a possible explanation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/12/2018 at 11:19 PM, Cybele said:

Would anyone be willing to elaborate some on the idea of constancy in the Feng/English version? What do you take that to mean or be saying?

 

All of the translations are pointing to the same idea.

Our lives are filled with change.

As we become more empty and still we can approach a direct experience of that which does not change.

That which does not change is without beginning or end, without boundary, and without bias;  it is the eternal, that which "will never pass away."

That is the essence of immortality and it is our fundamental essence.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites