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dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 28

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Legge 1891

28 
Who knows his manhood's strength, 
Yet still his female feebleness maintains; 
As to one channel flow the many drains, 
All come to him, yea, all beneath the sky. 
Thus he the constant excellence retains; 
The simple child again, free from all stains.

Who knows how white attracts, 
Yet always keeps himself within black's shade, 
The pattern of humility displayed, 
Displayed in view of all beneath the sky; 
He in the unchanging excellence arrayed, 
Endless return to man's first state has made.

Who knows how glory shines, 
Yet loves disgrace, nor e'er for it is pale; 
Behold his presence in a spacious vale, 
To which men come from all beneath the sky. 
The unchanging excellence completes its tale; 
The simple infant man in him we hail.

The unwrought material, when divided and distributed, forms 
vessels. The sage, when employed, becomes the Head of all the 
Officers (of government); and in his greatest regulations he employs 
no violent measures. 


Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904
28
He who knows the masculine and yet keeps to the feminine Will become a channel drawing all the world towards it; Being a channel of the world, he will not be severed from the eternal virtue, And then he can return again to the state of infancy.
He who knows the white and yet keeps to the black Will become the standard of the world; Being the standard of the world, with him eternal virtue will never falter, And then he can return again to the absolute.
He who knows honour and yet keeps to humility Will become a valley that receives all the world into it; Being a valley of the world, with him eternal virtue Will be complete, And then he can return again to wholeness.
Wholeness, when divided, will make vessels of utility; These when employed by the Sage will become officials and chiefs. However, for a great function no discrimination is needed.


Lok Sang Ho
28
Keep one’s place however humble, while knowing one’s
real strength48.
Stay low, like the rivers that gather water from the higher grounds.
Be that lowly river:
Depart not from the eternal virtue,
Emulate the unpretentiousness of infants.
Keep one’s color, though it be black,
 while knowing about the white.
Be an example for the world.
Be an example for the world,
Do not disgrace the eternal virtue,
Emulate the Eternal.
Take the blames from the world without complaint,
Yet never forgetting the need for honor,
Be the lowly valley of the world49.
This way, the eternal virtue is fulfilled.
And simplicity is restored.
Simplicity is valuable.
From simple substances we have all our useful tools.
When simple men are used by the Sages,
They become great statesmen.
Great people never go out of their way to make themselves great,
Just as the great artists will not do superfluous things
 to draw the attention of others. 
 
 48 The direct translation is “Know the male, yet cleave to the female.”(adapted from Waley) This and similar translations mystify Laozi’s teachings. As earlier suggested, the juxtaposition of 雌 and 雄 often do not mean male and female, unlike the words 牝 and 牡. Rather they stand for weak as opposed to strong, and submissive as opposed to dominant.
49 This passage renders support to the interpretation of the “valley spirit” in Chapter 6 as the spirit of humility. 

 

David Hinton
28
Knowing the masculine
and nurturing the feminine
you become the river of all beneath heaven.
River of all beneath heaven
you abide by perennial Integrity
and so return to infancy.
Knowing the white
and nurturing the black
you become the pattern of all beneath heaven.
Pattern of all beneath heaven
you abide by perennial Integrity
and so return to the boundless.
Knowing splendor
and nurturing ruin
you become the valley of all beneath heaven.
Valley of all beneath heaven
you rest content in perennial Integrity
and so return to the simplicity of uncarved wood.
When uncarved wood is split apart
it becomes mere implements.
But when a sage is employed
he becomes a true minister,
for the great governing blade carves nothing.

 

Ellen Marie Chen 1989

28
To know (chih) the male,
But to abide (shou) by the female (tz'u),
Is to be the valley (ch'i) of the world.
Being the valley of the world,
And departing (li) not from the everlasting power (ch'ang te),
One again returns to the infant (ying erh).
To know (chih) the white (pe),
But to abide (shou) by the black (heh),
Is to be the model (shih) of the world.
Being the model of the world,
And deviating (t'eh) not from the everlasting power,
One again returns to the unlimited (wu-chi).
To know (chih) the illustrious (yung),
But to abide (shou) by the obscure (ju),
Is to be the valley (ku) of the world.
Being the valley of the world,
One's everlasting power (ch'ang te) being full,
One again returns to the uncarved wood (p'u).
The uncarved wood disperses to become vessels (ch'i),
To be used (yung) by the sage as officials.
Therefore a great institution does not mutilate (ko).

 

Witter Bynner

28

'One who has a man's wings
And a woman's also
Is in himself a womb of the world'
And, being a womb of the world,
Continuously, endlessly,
Gives birth;
One who, preferring light,
Prefers darkness also
Is in himself an image of the world
And, being an image of the world,
Is continuously, endlessly
The dwelling of creation;
One who is highest of men
And humblest also
Is in himself a valley of the world,
And. being a valley of the world,
Continuously, endlessly
Conducts the one source
From which vessels may be usefully filled;
Servants of the state are such vessels,
To be filled from undiminishing supply.

 

Hua Ching Ni
28
Know that you possess the strong masculine principle,
yet abide by the meek, feminine principle.
Thus, become the flowing stream of the world.
As the flowing stream of the world,
never swerve from your true nature.
In this way, you return to the originality of a newborn babe.
Know the bright, yet keep to the dark.
Never wavering from the subtle truth,
you will conform to the pattern of an integral being.
In this way, you return again to the infinite.
Know how to be honored and glorified,
yet maintain unadorned plainness.
Thus, become the abundant valley of the world.
As the abundant valley of the world,
you realize the sufficiency of the constant, subtle virtue of the integral universe.
In this way, you return to the original simplicity of an uncarved block of wood with undamaged potential.
An integral individual, by preserving the original qualities of his being,
maintains his supreme, integral nature.
When the uncarved block is shaped into various single tools and vessels,
its original qualities are destroyed.
This is called "the great Oneness that cannot be divided."


Flowing Hands

28
In knowing a man's strength,
always keep a woman's care in your heart.
Be the stream of the Universe,
ever true and flowing, without preference.
Become simple, yielding and soft as a child.
Being the stream of the Universe, be an example to the World;
approach life with an open mind and an open heart.
Dwell in the infinite.
Have honour and respect,
but keep humility and be humble.
In simplicity and openness,
return to the State of the uncarved block.
For when the block is carved, it becomes useful for men
to manipulate and use.
When the Sage returns to this state,
he becomes the ruler of the Ten Thousand Things.
For he leaves everything to rise and fall without interference.

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2 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

I like Ellen's translation of this chapter.  First time I have read her's.

 

 

Yes, I have been reading her more and more... 

 

Just added WItter Bynner as a friend said how much it spoke on this chapter.

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