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[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 18

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18 
When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, 
benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom 
and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy.

When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, 
filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell 
into disorder, loyal ministers appeared. 

 

Lau

 

18 
When the great way falls into disuse 
There are benevolence and rectitude; 
When cleverness emerges 
There is great hypocrisy; 
When the six relations are at variance 
There are filial children; 
When the state is benighted 
There are loyal ministers. 

 

Feng/English

 

18

The very highest if barely known. 
Then comes that which people know and love. 
Then that which is feared, 
Then that which is despised.

Who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

When actions are performed 
Without unnecessary speech, 
People say, "We did it!"
 

Jonathan Star

 

18

When the greatness of Tao is present action arises from one?s own heart
When the greatness of Tao is absent action comes from the rules of ?kindness? and ?justice?
If you need rules to be kind and just, if you act virtuous, this is a sure sign that virtue is absent
Thus we see the great hypocrisy
Only when the family loses its harmony do we hear of ?dutiful sons?
Only when the state is in chaos do we hear of ?loyal ministers?

 

Flowing Hand's Tranmission

 

18
 When the great Dao is forgotten, human kindness and morals arise. 
When clever people employ their schemes, the great perversion begins. 
When the family have forgotten the natural order, filial piety and devotion arises. 
When the country is in chaos, loyal ministers always appear. 
Set things in order, be at one with the Dao. For when people are at one, there is no need for such things. 

 

Hinton

 

18

When the great Way is abandoned we're faced with Humanity and Duty.
When clever wisdom appears we're faced with duplicity.
When familial harmony ends we're faced with obedience and kindness.
And when chaos engulfs the nation we're faced with trustworthy ministers.
 

Lin

 

18

The great Tao fades away
There is benevolence and justice
Intelligence comes forth
There is great deception
The six relations are not harmonious
There is filial piety and kind affection
The country is in confused chaos
There are loyal ministers

 

[Lin commentary]

When people forsake the great Tao, so that it fades away and perishes in their thoughts, concepts like benevolence, compassion, justice and righteousness appear in the world.
When intelligence, book knowledge and cleverness become widespread in the world, we end up with great hypocrisy and deception everywhere
When the six family relationships - parent, child, older sibling, younger sibling, husband, wife - are in a state of disharmony, concepts like filial piety, obedience, and the kind affection of parental love become important and significant.
When the country is in a state of chaos and anarchy, it becomes crucial to make the distinction between ministers who are loyal, and those who are not.

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Sincere behavior is not calculated for appearance, and vice versa.

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Here is my view on 18...

 

When the true Dao is lost/forgotten, then people become caught up in attachment.

Such attachment leads to fear of loss and aversion.

When everyone gets caught up in this, it becomes hard to trust,

and without simple trust, the Dao becomes even more hidden.

The road back to the Dao is found with quieting the mind and just doing what needs to be done. (Letting go of all those attachments. In the mind).

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3 hours ago, nestentrie said:

What are attachments? What are examples? And, can one be attached to the Dao?

 

Attachments are desires wrapped in energetic connections. Loving ice cream or addicted to smoking are examples. On cannot be attached to the Dao, but one can be attached to the mental concept of the Dao.

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“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?” 
Zhuangzi


I am reminded of the passage above. Words like "compassion" and "justice" and "benevolence" are just snares to help find the Way. When these words are given flesh and bones and dressed up as the Way, then clever people can twist and turn them to suit their fancies. 

The hint is when you try to dine on justice, and taste only trap. 

 

Edited by Stonehouse
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FH hit this one on the head , yet again. ....

but it is still possible to go the one step farther ,and blatantly clarify ,,though , admittedly ,it may do no good in the end. 

Edited by Stosh
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On 7/22/2017 at 9:27 AM, Jeff said:

Here is my view on 18...

 

When the true Dao is lost/forgotten, then people become caught up in attachment.

Such attachment leads to fear of loss and aversion.

When everyone gets caught up in this, it becomes hard to trust,

and without simple trust, the Dao becomes even more hidden.

The road back to the Dao is found with quieting the mind and just doing what needs to be done. (Letting go of all those attachments. In the mind).

 

I think I would re-word you idea as:

 

When the true Dao is lost/forgotten, then people become caught up in attaching to what their senses feel.
Such attachment leads to detachment of their senses in regards to living
When everyone gets caught up in this, it may be hard to realize what to trust,
and without simple trust, the Dao becomes even more hidden.
The road back to the Dao is found with quieting the mind and just doing what needs to be done. (Letting go of all those attachments. In the mind).
 

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If anyone can clarify, line two really means something "negative", because as good as they appear, they are human constructs?

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On 5/5/2020 at 6:11 AM, Rara said:

If anyone can clarify, line two really means something "negative", because as good as they appear, they are human constructs?

 

Yes... kind of an entropy unfolding from the Dao (natural way) to Man (intentional way). 

 

I think your finishing with the idea that from man's point of view, these are 'good' but nonetheless not necessarily without interference.

 

What is interesting to note is that ch. 17 & 18 are in Guodian C and 18 starts, 'therefore' and the two are a single chapter there.  

 

Can also note that the first words to describe the first descent is 'ren' and 'yi' (There is benevolence and justice--Lin) both of which are important concepts in Confucianism.   Remember that the Heaven and Earth is said to be 'not ren' in ch. 5.  

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