dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 39

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Derek Lin 1994

39

Those that attained oneness since ancient times:
The sky attained oneness and thus clarity
The earth attained oneness and thus tranquility
The gods attained oneness and thus divinity
The valley attained oneness and thus abundance
The myriad things attained oneness and thus life
The rulers attained oneness and became the standard for the world
These are all from oneness
The sky, lacking clarity, would break apart
The earth, lacking tranquility, would erupt
The gods, lacking divinity, would vanish
The valley, lacking abundance, would wither
Myriad things, lacking life, would be extinct
The rulers, lacking standard, would be toppled
Therefore, the honored uses the lowly as basis
The higher uses the lower as foundation
Thus the rulers call themselves alone, bereft, and unworthy
Is this not using the lowly as basis? Is it not so?
Therefore, the ultimate honor is no honor
Do not wish to be shiny like jade
Be dull like rocks

 


Ellen Marie Chen 1989

39

Those of old that attain the One:
Heaven attains the One thus is clear,
Earth attains the One thus is peaceful,
Spirits attain the One thus are efficacious,
Valleys attain the One thus are replenished,
Ten thousand beings attain the One thus come to be,
Princes and barons attain the One thus are exalted in the world.
All because they attain the One.
Heaven, without that which renders it clear, might crack,
Earth, without that which renders it peaceful, might explode,
Spirits, without that which makes them efficacious, might cease,
Valleys, without that which replenishes them, might become empty,
Ten thousand beings, without that which sustains them in existence, might become extinct,
Barons and kings, without that which exalts them to high positions, might be toppled.
Therefore the exalted is rooted in the humble,
The high has the low for foundation.
Therefore barons and kings call themselves orphaned, widowed and unworthy.
Is this not taking the humble for one's root?
Is it not?
Therefore the most famous has no fame.
Do not tinkle like jade,
Or chime like stones!

 

 

Ni 1979

39

Since ancient times there have been those who have attained the subtle essence of the universe and thus become what they are.
Heaven attained the subtle essence of the universe and became clear.
Earth attained the subtle essence of the universe and became stable.
Divine spirits attained the subtle essence of the universe and became powerful.
The Valley of the Universe attained the subtle essence of the universe and became productive.
The myriad things attained the subtle essence of the universe and became prosperous.
The sages attained the subtle essence of the universe and became wise.
All became what they are by attaining the subtle essence of the universe and hence their true nature.
Extinction happens to one who violates his true nature.
Without being pure, Heaven would cease to be.
Without being stable, Earth would burst into bits.
Without maintaining their potency, spirits would disperse.
Without being productive, the vast Valley of the Universe would become exhausted.
Without being reproductive, the myriad things would perish.
Without fortifying themselves with integral virtue, sages would stumble and fall.
Greatness is rooted in plainness,
just as the low forms the foundation of the high.
Realizing this, the ancient sovereigns were content to style themselves as desolate, unworthy, and needy.
Therefore, one who does not separate his being from the nature of the universe follows the Integral Way.
He has no wish to sound like jingling jade pendants in order to court a good name,
nor like the rumbling of a stone rolling from a cliff in order to create a bad name.
Each one should work on one's own subtle spiritual integration with the subtle essence of the universe.

 


Tao-Ku 1904

39

From of old the things that have acquired Unity are these:
Heaven by Unity has become clear;
Earth by Unity has become steady;
The Spirit by Unity has become spiritual;
The Valley by Unity has become full;
All things by Unity have come into existence;
Princes and kings by Unity have become rulers of the world.
If heaven were not clear, it would be rent.
If earth were not steady it would be tumbled down.
If the Spirit were not active, it would pass away.
If the Valley were not full, it would be dried up.
If all things were not existing, they would be extinct.
If princes and kings were not rulers, they would be overthrown.
The noble must be styled in terms of the humble;
The high must take the low as their foundation.
Therefore princes and kings must call themselves 'the ignorant', 'the virtueless' and 'the unworthy'.
Does this not mean that they take the humble as their root? What men hate most are 'the ignorant', 'the virtueless' and 'the unworthy'.
And yet princes and kings chose them as their titles.
Therefore the higest fame is to have no fame.
Thus kings are increased by being diminished;
They are diminished by being increased.
It is undesirable to be as prominent as a single gem,
Or as monotonously numerous as stones.

 

 

Lin Yutang 1948

39

There were those in ancient times possessed of the One; 
Through possession of the One, the Heaven was clarified, 
Through possession of the One, The Earth was stabilized, 
Through possession of the One, the gods were spiritualized, 
Through possession of the One, the valleys were made full, 
Through possession of the One, all things lived and grew, 
Through possession of the One, the princes and dukes 
   became the ennobled of the people. 
   - that was how each became so.

Without clarity, the Heavens would shake, 
Without stability, the Earth would quake, 
Without spiritual power, the gods would crumble, 
Without being filled, the valleys would crack, 
Without the life-giving power, all things would perish, 
Without the ennobling power, the princes and dukes would stumble. 
therefore the nobility depend upon the common man for support, 
And the exalted ones depend upon the lowly for their base.

That is why the princes and dukes call themselves 
   "the orphaned," "the lonely one," "the unworthy." 
Is is not true then that they depend upon the common man for support? 
Truly, take down the parts of a chariot, 
   And there is no chariot (left). 
Rather than jingle like the jade, 
   Rumble like the rocks.

 

 

Flowing Hands 1987

39

In the ancient beginning, all things came from the one.
That’s why the sky is whole and mysteriously distinct.
The Earth is whole and firm.
Within it, the spirit is whole and strong.
The valley is whole and full.
The Ten Thousand Things are whole and living.
All these things are in wholeness with the Dao.
The distinct fullness of the sky maintains the Earth.
The wholeness and firmness of the Earth,
nourishes the Ten Thousand Things.
When the spirit is strong, so all will be maintained.
Thus the Ten Thousand Things may reproduce and prevent their breed from dying.
Therefore being nourished by the great Dao,
the Ten Thousand Things are raised.
For the Dao is humble in its greatness.
In being at one with the Dao,
the Ten Thousand Things are also humble in their greatness, and so they return to it.
When man is not humble, the Dao is not great. and so catastrophe will follow.
For man assumes he is greater than the Dao.
Therefore be humble;
do not seek wealth and riches,
do not clatter like glass chimes,
be at one with the Dao, then you can be truly great.

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The Dao is not a summit sat on. No one and no thing attains the perfect static balance of it, or all hell would break loose. 

The skies would choke,  mountains would soar off into space, the rivers would puddle and fester. 

The ever pulsing dynamic of Tao, breathes life into a world of cycles and rebirth by constantly tearing down the constructs of yesterday, and the relentless chase drags us to our elusive destiny.

 

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Speaking of which,

 

I went to Cici's for pizza lunch today and they offer military discounts.  I showed my ID and said, "Expiration indefinite.  That means I have the potential for immortality."  The clerk said, "I like that."

 

 

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I am struggling a bit with this chapter. 

 

As a whole, it talks about what the manifest world (heaven, earth and the myriad things) is like when with Oneness and what happens without Oneness. 

 

It speaks (most typically translated) of the myriad things attaining or acquiring Oneness, as if they came into existence without oneness. How do the myriad things attain and lose oneness?

 

Lin Yutang only refers to the myriad things being in possession of oneness ... as if that were the natural state upon coming into being ... before going on to decribing things without oneness. How do the myriad things lose the oneness they were born with?

 

Flowing Hands, significantly and perhaps more importantly, speaks of the myriad things coming from Oneness, does not really speak of attainment and only speaks of loss of oneness in relation to man. Is man really a distinct case? How does man attain and lose ... or lose and attain?

 

Thoughts?

 

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23 minutes ago, OldDog said:

I am struggling a bit with this chapter. 

 

As a whole, it talks about what the manifest world (heaven, earth and the myriad things) is like when with Oneness and what happens without Oneness. 

 

It speaks (most typically translated) of the myriad things attaining or acquiring Oneness, as if they came into existence without oneness. How do the myriad things attain and lose oneness?

 

Lin Yutang only refers to the myriad things being in possession of oneness ... as if that were the natural state upon coming into being ... before going on to decribing things without oneness. How do the myriad things lose the oneness they were born with?

 

Flowing Hands, significantly and perhaps more importantly, speaks of the myriad things coming from Oneness, does not really speak of attainment and only speaks of loss of oneness in relation to man. Is man really a distinct case? How does man attain and lose ... or lose and attain?

 

Thoughts?

 

 

To me, possession of the One, means residing as an aspect of the One.  Residing as the One is a view or non-dualistic realization of the manifest aspects of the Dao. So it really means the same as the Flowing Hands version as coming from Oneness (view).

 

Man is unique in that he is "self aware", and hence has a view that is not wholistically integrated (oneness). Or as SFH, hand says, when he is not humble, he applies his own specific egotistical view on how he believes things should be, and then things seem broken or out of sort.  So the chapter in both versions at the end state to not get caught up in the separate parts (of the chariot).

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Such differences in the language used but all very beautiful prose. Lovely reading :)

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On 24/08/2018 at 3:19 PM, OldDog said:

 

Lin Yutang only refers to the myriad things being in possession of oneness ... as if that were the natural state upon coming into being ... before going on to decribing things without oneness. How do the myriad things lose the oneness they were born with?

 

By choice/influence. The easiest analogy I can think of is the garden of eden story.

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19 hours ago, Rara said:

 

By choice/influence. The easiest analogy I can think of is the garden of eden story.


great analogy... then, every choice we make?

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11 hours ago, dawei said:


great analogy... then, every choice we make?

 

Yes. But easier said - make less choices...thus simplicity....thus ability to cultivate without distraction.

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