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[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 37

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Derek Lin 1994

37

The Tao is constant in non-action
Yet there is nothing it does not do
If the sovereign can hold on to this
All things shall transform themselves
Transformed, yet wishing to achieve
I shall restrain them with the simplicity of the nameless
The simplicity of the nameless
They shall be without desire
Without desire, using stillness
The world shall steady itself


Ellen Marie Chen 1989

37

Tao everlasting (ch'ang) does not act (wu wei),
And yet nothing is not done (erh wu pu wei).
If kings and barons can abide by (shou) it,
The ten thousand things will transform by themselves (tzu hua).
If in transforming desire (yü) is aroused,
I shall suppress it by the nameless uncarved wood (p'u).
With the nameless uncarved wood,
There shall be no desire (wu yü).
Without desire there is thus quietude (ching).
The world shall be self-ordered (tzu ting).


Ni 1979

37

The subtle essence of the universe is always unoccupied,
yet it leaves nothing undone.
If the people of the world were wise enough to plant the root of their lives deep within the Subtle Origin,
then the worldly affairs of life would coherently follow their own natural course,
and harmony would abound of its own accord.
When confusion takes place in one's surroundings,
it can be dissolved with the power of undisturbable Simplicity.
When life is ruled by undisturbable Simplicity,
desire and passion naturally fall away and reveal people's true, original nature.
Then the peaceful order of the universe prevails and unity manifests again of its own accord.


J. McDonald 1996

37

The Tao never acts with force, 
yet there is nothing that it can not do.
If rulers could follow the way of the Tao, 
then all of creation would willingly follow their example. 
If selfish desires were to arise after their transformation, 
I would erase them with the power of the Uncarved Block.
By the power of the Uncarved Block, 
future generations would lose their selfish desires. 
By losing their selfish desires, 
the world would naturally settle into peace. 


Tao-Ku 1904

37

Tao is ever inactive, and yet there is nothing that it does not do.
If princes and kings could keep to it, all things would of themselves become developed. 
When they are developed, desire would stir in them; I would restrain them by the nameless Simplicity, In order to make them free from desire.
Free from desire, they would be at rest; And the world would of itself become rectified. 
However insignificant Simplicity seems, the whole world cannot make it submissive. 
If princes and kings could keep to it, All things in the world would of themselves pay homage. 
Heaven and earth would unite to send down sweet dew. 
The people with no one to command them would of themselves become harmonious. 
When merits are accomplished and affairs completed, The people would speak of themselves as following nature.


Flowing Hands 1987

37

The Dao never acts,
it nourishes the Ten Thousand Things and then all is left at one.
Man always upsets this balance,
for he constantly interferes.
So the Ten Thousand Things must struggle against him.
If they were left and man took his natural role in the World, there would be no struggle and
everything would rise and fall naturally.
It is because man desires to act and change things,
that he creates imbalance within himself and all around him.
If he lacked desire, then all would be well.
Everything would enjoy simplicity and peace.
In enjoying simplicity and peace, Man would be full; for then, is there any reason to act and
change things?

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18 hours ago, dawei said:

Derek Lin 1994

37

The Tao is constant in non-action
Yet there is nothing it does not do
If the sovereign can hold on to this
All things shall transform themselves
Transformed, yet wishing to achieve
I shall restrain them with the simplicity of the nameless
The simplicity of the nameless

They shall be without desire
Without desire, using stillness
The world shall steady itself


Ellen Marie Chen 1989

37

Tao everlasting (ch'ang) does not act (wu wei),
And yet nothing is not done (erh wu pu wei).
If kings and barons can abide by (shou) it,
The ten thousand things will transform by themselves (tzu hua).
If in transforming desire (yü) is aroused,
I shall suppress it by the nameless uncarved wood (p'u).
With the nameless uncarved wood,

There shall be no desire (wu yü).
Without desire there is thus quietude (ching).
The world shall be self-ordered (tzu ting).


Ni 1979

37

The subtle essence of the universe is always unoccupied,
yet it leaves nothing undone.
If the people of the world were wise enough to plant the root of their lives deep within the Subtle Origin,
then the worldly affairs of life would coherently follow their own natural course,
and harmony would abound of its own accord.
When confusion takes place in one's surroundings,
it can be dissolved with the power of undisturbable Simplicity.
When life is ruled by undisturbable Simplicity,

desire and passion naturally fall away and reveal people's true, original nature.
Then the peaceful order of the universe prevails and unity manifests again of its own accord.


J. McDonald 1996

37

The Tao never acts with force, 
yet there is nothing that it can not do.
If rulers could follow the way of the Tao, 
then all of creation would willingly follow their example. 
If selfish desires were to arise after their transformation, 
I would erase them with the power of the Uncarved Block.
By the power of the Uncarved Block, 

future generations would lose their selfish desires. 
By losing their selfish desires, 
the world would naturally settle into peace. 


Tao-Ku 1904

37

Tao is ever inactive, and yet there is nothing that it does not do.
If princes and kings could keep to it, all things would of themselves become developed. 
When they are developed, desire would stir in them; I would restrain them by the nameless Simplicity, In order to make them free from desire.
Free from desire, they would be at rest; And the world would of itself become rectified. 
However insignificant Simplicity seems, the whole world cannot make it submissive. 
If princes and kings could keep to it, All things in the world would of themselves pay homage. 
Heaven and earth would unite to send down sweet dew. 
The people with no one to command them would of themselves become harmonious. 
When merits are accomplished and affairs completed, The people would speak of themselves as following nature.


Flowing Hands 1987

37

The Dao never acts,
it nourishes the Ten Thousand Things and then all is left at one.
Man always upsets this balance,
for he constantly interferes.
So the Ten Thousand Things must struggle against him.
If they were left and man took his natural role in the World, there would be no struggle and
everything would rise and fall naturally.
It is because man desires to act and change things,
that he creates imbalance within himself and all around him.
If he lacked desire, then all would be well.
Everything would enjoy simplicity and peace.
In enjoying simplicity and peace, Man would be full; for then, is there any reason to act and
change things?

     (Colours added.)

 

Yes - J. McDonald is still using the wrong translation. But of course Marblehead will naturally prefer to keep the blocks  :P:

 

Carrara_7737.thumb.JPG.122829e3f1cefb7d404b74d114b1a038.JPG

(By Harald Bischoff - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18771352)

Edited by wandelaar
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Preferring Lin Yutang's translation ...

 

The Tao never does,

Yet through it everything is done,

If princes and dukes can keep the Tao,

The world will of its own accord be reformed.
When reformed and rising to action,

Let it be restrained by the Nameless pristine simplicity.
The Nameless pristine simplicity Is stripped of desire (for contention).
By stripping of desire quiescence is achieved,

And the world arrives at peace of its own accord.

 

The only piece of this that I would change is the sixth and seventh lines. I would have them read

 

Let it be restrained through Nameless pristine simplicity.
Nameless pristine simplicity Is stripped of desire (for contention).

 

This slight change ensures it is understood that from the position of simplicity is action that is appropriate to the circumstances and time. This harkens back to the discussion thread on the Uncarved Block.

 

Lin couples this chapter with an excerpt from Zhuangzi where it is said

 

Passivity means calm and when calm reverts to action, every action is right.

 

 

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7 hours ago, OldDog said:

Passivity means calm and when calm reverts to action, every action is right.

From the state of wu wei.

 

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17 hours ago, Marblehead said:

From the state of wu wei.

 

Not to mention ziran.

 

Would seem there is considerable overlap in wuwei, ziran and the uncarved block ... they all inform each other. 

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Here is my view on Chapter 37...

 

The Dao is really everything combined with unlimited potential, and hence never really separate in any way.

Man rarely realizes this, and so always struggles against the natural flow and balance.

Hence his mind sees it like the world is against him when things happen to him.

If he would just chill and reside with flow, everything would work out and be fine.

It is because of all of his desires, that he creates imbalance, and suffering comes with it.

If he could simply drop those desires, things would be simpler and fine.

And without the mental angst of all those desire, the mind would be quiet, he would be at peace, and he would be filled up with free flowing energy.

Being full of energy, all would be fine and go with the flow of the Dao.

 

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37   (Gia Fu Feng)
Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
The ten thousand things would 
develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
They would return to the simplicity of 
formless substance.
Without for there is no desire.
Without desire there is.
And in this way all things would be at 
peace.

 

 

 

Abides means to be absorbed in to reside in, it stays within itself, it does not separate itself with action.   
As it flows it flowers and everything is taken care of.

King and Lords ?   
Well, to be absorbed is not passive, it is active but active-whilst-absorbed in the spirit of nature.   
And so your actions extend that spirit though you.
Such a King or Lord would have to be unusually in tune with nature.

Many people would like to believe that absorption is passive, and that you can go to sleep, which is monkey's favourite thing. 
But being Tao is not going to sleep at all.   It is waking up big.
Possibly Laozi also believed in passive.

He says "If King and Lords Observe This" ... well it's not that easy is it.   
How to make K&L conscious ?   
No answer given.  Thanks a lot Laozi : yes we can all criticize can't we.
We all know we would like to be peaceful like the forest, but ... how can it be done ?  

Without desire ?
Well desire also arose from the Tao, what is its purpose ?
If you don't know the purpose of desire, and you don't know the purpose of the individual mind, then .... ..... then .... ..... you will default to monkey's greatest hits :

1. Kill it
2. Fuck it
3. Monkey sleeps now

 

And these 3 greatest hits are monkey's approach to ego-individuality-desire-separation .... because monkey doesn't understand why it is there.

 

It is there because Tao put it there, because Tao is bored of flowing like a really big Mississippi River, it wants companions and friends, it wants individuals who carry Tao to emerge.   
And so it births them.   
And they are confused.   
Very confused.

 

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If someone is going to impact on your attitudes, then you are going to have to allow them to supercede the ideas you already hold, at least for a while. 

As long as you adjudicate, dismiss or challenge, each sentence.. youre going to arrive at the same summary conclusions. 

The way around that, is to consider HoW a thing is meant, the intended extent , to which an example is pointing. 

More than just a ten second benefit of a doubt. 

Take the idea that, everyone wants to be peaceful... the truth of that .. is SORT of.

people love their fury too.. SORT of. 

 

Once you can really digest that, you know why people do not always be placid, nor is placidity ,, a polemically valid description of GOODNESS. 

So , if this is true, what could be wisely be being said to you by the Classical Taoists?

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On 8/19/2018 at 10:02 AM, OldDog said:

Preferring Lin Yutang's translation ...

 

The Tao never does,

 

That is a great opening, poetic line.   I'll replace J. McDonald for a while with Lin Yutang. 

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4 hours ago, dawei said:

That is a great opening, poetic line.

 

I have always felt that a good translator needs to be a bit of a poet and not just a technical translator. A poet has the ability to express things that are difficult to describe in just words ... and do it in as concise a way possible ... more meaning, fewer words.

 

 

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  • Verse Thirty Seven

 

The force we’ve been talking about,

The tendency to observe that things move in certain ways

That I’m calling the Trail Marker,

Translated from the word Dao,

 

Is the interrelation of so many processes that there is no way to name all the parts and movements.

 

It’s the pulsing, the suction, the peristalsis

 of things happening.


 

Big hats, people of importance

Protect and defend and shout about

What’s happening anyway ,whether they desire it or not; 

Change. 

All the myriad things - all those scorpions - change

And become something different.

 

I would live in a town

With no name.

Not so mysterious as it sounds, just a place 

With no reputation, 

 

No reputation keeps things simple,

 

What else could one desire?

 

If you don’t want peace and quiet,

 

I’m certain that the sky will rain on you soon enough.

 

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On 21.08.2018 at 3:30 AM, Stosh said:

If someone is going to impact on your attitudes, then you are going to have to allow them to supercede the ideas you already hold, at least for a while. 

As long as you adjudicate, dismiss or challenge, each sentence.. youre going to arrive at the same summary conclusions. 

The way around that, is to consider HoW a thing is meant, the intended extent , to which an example is pointing. 

More than just a ten second benefit of a doubt. 

Take the idea that, everyone wants to be peaceful... the truth of that .. is SORT of.

people love their fury too.. SORT of. 

 

Once you can really digest that, you know why people do not always be placid, nor is placidity ,, a polemically valid description of GOODNESS. 

So , if this is true, what could be wisely be being said to you by the Classical Taoists?

 

I like this very much. Thank you. Is rihanna classical taoist? I am thinking she might be. 

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