dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 42

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David Hinton 2002

42

Way gave birth to one,
and one gave birth to two.
Two gave birth to three,
and three gave birth to the ten thousand things.
Then the ten thousand things shouldered yin and embraced yang,
blending ch'i to establish harmony.
People all hate scraping by orphaned, destitute, ill-fated, but true dukes and emperors call themselves just that.
Some things gain by loss, and some lose by gain.
I only teach
what the people teach:
Tyranny and force never come to a natural end.
I've taken the people as my schoolmaster.


Chad Hansen 2009

42

A guide generates 'one.' 
'One' generates 'two.' 
'Two' generates 'three.' 
'Three' generates the ten-thousand natural kinds. 
The ten-thousand natural kinds bear Yin and embrace Yang. 
Blend the life-forces and deem-make 'harmony.' 
What humans revile 
is specifically 'orphan,' 'lonely' and 'impoverished.' 
Yet Kings and Dukes deem them as titles. 
Hence among natural kinds: sometimes you diminish it and it increases. 
Sometime you increase it and it diminishes. 
What humans teach, 
I also teach. 
Those who force issues don't get their death. 
I'm on the point of deeming this 'the father of teaching.' 

 

Moss Roberts 2001

42

The number one of the Way was born.
A duad from this monad formed.
The duad next a triad made;
The triad bred the myriad,
Each holding The number one of the Way was born.
A duad from this monad formed.
The duad next a triad made;
The triad bred the myriad,
Each holding yang
And held by yin,
Whose powers’ balanced interaction
Brings all ten thousand to fruition.
By the names men most of all abhor –
“Orphaned,” “wanting,” “destitute” –
Kings and lords make themselves known.
For in this world
Those who take less shall have more,
Those given more shall have less.
These words men have taught
And so shall I teach:
“Who lives by might never do die right”,
These my authority, my guiding light.


Lok Sang Ho 2002

42

The Dao gives birth to the One.
The One gives birth to the Two(yin and yang).
The Two give birth to the Three(heaven, earth, and man)74.
The Three give birth to all things as we know them.
All living things bear the female nature
And espouse the male nature.
In interacting with each other
 these two natures result in a new harmony.
It is well known that people generally hate
 to be lonely, widowed, or under-provided.
Yet kings and people who wield power
 call themselves lonely, widowed, or under-provided.
Things may benefit people through imposing losses on them,
And may hurt them through bestowing apparent benefits.
I teach the same kind of people that others teach75.
But by a single maxim that I teach, that
“Those who use sheer force to make their ways
Will not die a good death”
I should become the teacher of all teachers. 


Gu Zhengku 1993

42

The Tao begets the One;
The One consists of Two in opposition (the Yin and Yang);
The Two begets the Three;
The Three begets all things of the world.
All things connote the Yin and Yang.
The Yin and Yang keep acting upon each other
And thus things keep changing and unifying themselves.
Words like "the solitary", "the few" and "the unkind"
Are usually detested by people,
Yet lords and kings use them to call themselves.
That is why
A thing is sometimes added to when being reduced,
Or is reduced when being added to.
So I teach what I am taught:
"The violent will not come to a good end."
This I will take as the first lesson when I teach.


Lin Yutang 1948

42

Out of Tao, One is born; 
Out of One, Two; 
Out of Two, Three; 
Out of Three, the created universe. 
The created universe carries the yin at its back 
   and the yang in front; 
Through the union of the pervading principles it 
   reaches harmony.

To be "orphaned," "lonely" and "unworthy" is what men hate most. 
   Yet the princes and dukes call themselves by such names. 
For sometimes things are benefited by being taken away from, 
And suffer by being added to.

Others have taught this maxim, 
Which I shall teach also: 
"The violent man shall die a violent death." 
This I shall regard as my spiritual teacher.


Flowing Hands 1987

42

The Dao begot one,
one gave birth and then there was two.
Two begot three.
And so the Ten Thousand Things were formed.
The Ten Thousand Things each contain Yin and Yang.
They are in harmony by having both of these forces.
From this, the forces are divided still;
for the Male has more Yang and the Female has more Yin.
So they are different.
By coming together, they beget another life.
So the Ten Thousand Things depend on these forces.
When the forces are upset and out of balance,
so the Earth and the Ten Thousand Things will suffer.
Know the balance and all will be well. 

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What humans teach, 
I also teach. 
Those who force issues don't get their death. 
I'm on the point of deeming this 'the father of teaching.' 

 

This is strange! In my Dutch translation of Chad Hansen's Tao Te Ching translation it doesn't deviate from the usual warning against forcing things.

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1 minute ago, wandelaar said:

 

This is strange! In my Dutch translation of Chad Hansen's Tao Te Ching translation it doesn't deviate from the usual warning against forcing things.

Agree.  "Those who force issues don't get their death. " contains no logic therefore in makes no sense.

 

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Is it really written that way in Hansen's English translation? And what does his commentary on the chapter say?

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9 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

Is it really written that way in Hansen's English translation? And what does his commentary on the chapter say?

I don't have his published work so I can't respond to the question.

 

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Okay.  Simply adding the word "favored" would have removed any confusion as to the concept being presented.

 

 

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It is written thus in my Dutch translation of Hansen's book:

 

Quote

Heimelijke wegen en dwang leiden niet naar de bestemde dood.

 

Translating back to English with Google gives:

 

Dutch-to-English.thumb.png.26209ee5ba005068c784aa87f35609ca.png

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As pointed out by Wandelaar in his quote, the last four lines of this chapter don't seem to follow ... kinda non sequitur.

 

After reading several translations I sort of settled in on a meaning of ... those that force things do not come to a natural end

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42
The Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the ten thousand things.


The ten thousand things carry yin and 
embrace yang.
They achieve harmony by combining 
these forces.


Men hate to be "orphaned," 
"widowed," or "worthless,"
But this is how kings and lords 
describe themselves.


For one gains by losing
And loses by gaining.


What others teach, I also teach; that is:
"A violent man will die a violent death!"
This will be the essence of my teaching.

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Ths first few lines ...

 

Out of Tao, One is born;
Out of One, Two;
Out of Two, Three;
Out of Three, the created universe.
The created universe carries the yin at its back and the yang in front;
Through the union of the pervading principles it reaches harmony.

 

... along with Ch 40 ...

 

Reversion is the action of Tao.
Gentleness is the function of Tao.
The things of this world come from Being,

And Being (comes) from Non-being.

 

have always demonstrated to me a direct connection to the Yijing.

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1 hour ago, rideforever said:

What is the the 3 that comes out of Yin-Yang ?

 

Some explain it as ....Heaven, Earth and Man.

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2 hours ago, rideforever said:

What is the the 3 that comes out of Yin-Yang ?

 

It is Movement. Energy. Qi.

 

"One" is the appearance of some "Thing" from Nothing.

 

Two is YinYang, or "Polarity" that the Thing will have inherently - existence/non-existence, inside/outside, etc.

 

Three is Movement between poles of any polarity, which is how things change.

 

Change causes all variations of things - big. little, old, young, etc.

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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4 hours ago, OldDog said:
3 hours ago, vonkrankenhaus said:

It is Movement. Energy. Qi.

Some explain it as ....Heaven, Earth and Man.

 

These don't seem to be correct, this is about the creation of the universe.

Way gave birth to One > source of the universe.
One gave birth to Two > fundamental polarity, yin-yang
Two gave birth to Three > ?
Three gave birth to 10,000 > all the myriad things here

 

Cannot be Heaven, Earth, Man .... because Man does not precede the 10,000 things
Cannot be Movement, Energy, Qi .... because One does not Move, Two moves, and Qi is Energy ... this is also a bit vague

 

So I can only assume that Two gave birth to Three means simply that Yin-Yang creates.

 

Tao gave birth tot the Source of the Universe
Source manifested through a pair of fundamental alternating polarities YinYang

YinYang is creative

What was created was 10,000 things.

 

?

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Excellent points.  I slid right over them without even thinking.

 

I think the most important thing to try to conceptualize is that Dao consists of process; Tzujan.

 

So going backward we have, Man, the Earth, the Heavens.  Man would not exist if the Earth did not exist, Earth would not be if the Heavens did not exist. The Heavens would not exist if the beginning of a new cycle had not started.

 

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Posted (edited)

Kinda figured this would be a controversial concept.

 

I really believe that there is a bit of truth in all these points of view ... because my experiece and reason compels me to a holistic view of Taoism ... one that embraces the I Ching, early proto-daoist ideas, Laotzi, Zhuangzi, Guanzi and other sources on into the early centuries. 

 

The idea that Heaven, Earth and Man form a trinity comes to me from the I Ching, specifically from Wilhelm/Baynes.

 

The eight trigrams are images not so much of objects as of states of change. This view is associated with the concept expressed in the teachings of Lao-tse, as also in those of Confucius, that every event in the visible world is the effect of an “image,” that is, of an idea in the unseen world. Accordingly, everything that happens on earth is only a reproduction, as it were, of an event in a world beyond our sense perception; as regards its occurrence in time, it is later than the suprasensible event. The holy men and sages, who are in contact with those higher spheres, have access to these ideas through direct intuition and are therefore able to intervene decisively in events in the world. Thus man is linked with heaven, the suprasensible world of ideas, and with earth, the material world of visible things, to form with these a trinity of the primal powers. (p lvii)

 

... and then, later ...

 

The six lines of each hexagram are divided among the three primal powers, heaven, earth, and man. (p 289)

 

In the Ho-Shang Kung Commentary, Dan Reid translates ..

 

 

'Dao gave birth to the One'

Dao sent forth life, and there was Oneness

 

'The one gave birth to Two'

The One gave birth to Yin and Yang

 

'Two gave birth to Three'

Yin and Yang gave birth to harmony between clear and opague. This separated into three ebergy-breaths, creating Heaven, Earth and Humanity

 

Reid later makes a compelling case for the prevalence if early Taoist ideas being in common circulation prior to Laotse and shows how these went on to find expression in other viens of Taoism, including Nieye. 

 

So I think the varied interpretations of what in Ch 42 is presented as ... One emerging,  One > Two, Two > Three ... may not necessarily be describing a strict generation sequence but rather a relationship of things among the Ten-Thousand things.

 

This is about as far as my understanding has developed thus far. As I do further research no doubt these notions will change.

 

 

Edited by OldDog
Lost a quote

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In correspondence to above, Three Terraces, Big Dipper, Sun, Moon, Seven Stars, stepping on the Yin Yang, Five Elements, Eight Trigrams, Nine Palaces, Four Directions, Ten Dimensions merge as an organic whole. Pre-heaven essence, qi and spirit, post-heaven intent, qi and strength, unify as one. This is Taoism's thought of the unification of Heaven, Earth and Man emerging in the midst of the form.

 

– 不别山 « Don’t lock the mountain’s gate » : don’t close the knowledge of the great gate ;
– 十方皈戒  « Ten directions take refuge and comply to the precepts » : in the ten direction those who have destiny can study higher theories, and thus elevate themselves ;
– 玄之又玄  « Mystery within mystery » : the inner content of the great Dao is too profound ;
– 万法归真  « Ten thousand laws return to the Truth » : each and every life will return to the inner Truth of the universe.

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4 hours ago, rideforever said:

So I can only assume that Two gave birth to Three means simply that Yin-Yang creates.

 

Tao gave birth tot the Source of the Universe
Source manifested through a pair of fundamental alternating polarities YinYang

YinYang is creative

What was created was 10,000 things.

 

I had earlier written "Three is Movement between poles of any polarity, which is how things change."

Heaven/Earth is a polarity. Think of all the movement between the poles of just this one polarity.

 

Movement between the poles of any polarity is "Qi".

 

Movement is change, and change is variation.

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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4 hours ago, rideforever said:

Cannot be Movement, Energy, Qi .... because One does not Move, Two moves, and Qi is Energy ... this is also a bit vague

 

So I can only assume that Two gave birth to Three means simply that Yin-Yang creates.

7 hours ago, vonkrankenhaus said:

 

It is Movement. Energy. Qi.

. . .

Three is Movement between poles of any polarity, which is how things change.

 

 

I rather align with Von but view it as he writes in his second line:

 

That the 'three' are the result of the polarity of Yin and Yang.  I've seen some explain it as thus, Yin + Yang + their interactive result.  It may be that Von is saying the interactive results are three and to be considered the three. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, dawei said:

That the 'three' are the result of the polarity of Yin and Yang.  I've seen some explain it as thus, Yin + Yang + their interactive result.  It may be that Von is saying the interactive results are three and to be considered the three. 

 

The "One" has, inherently and immediately upon existing, YinYang, or "Polarity" - an inside/outside, beginning/end, and so on.

 

That is the "Two".

 

We never see One object bifurcate into Two physical objects, so it isn't about that.

 

It's YinYang. It's Polarity.

 

One doesn't move. That's right. And it doesn't "split".

 

The movement happens in YinYang, in Polarity.
OF the One.
Between the poles of any Polarity - between Up and Down, Beginning and End, etc.

 

Movement between the poles of any polarity is Qi.

 

Qi is Movement. Movement is Change. Change is Variation.

 

The "10,000" or "myriad" Variations.

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

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Think of One and Two as centre and periphery (as, from a certain perspective, suggested by the image of Earth and Heaven). In between these two poles, energy moves and the ten-thousand things are created (with Man being their epitome).

 

You could call this the story of Creation in a nutshell. -_-

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, rideforever said:

Out of One, Two;
Out of Two, Three;

 

 

What is the the 3 that comes out of Yin-Yang ?

 

Anyone know ?

 

the 4th is , ' the myriad things'  ; The 'Universe' of manifestation , or 'nature '

 

its all part of the 3 /  4 law  

 

the 3rd thing is yin or yang

 

The 3  are the ideal supernal  'incomprehensible' principles  ;  from 0  comes  THE Way  1 . Dao )  from that comes the yin and yang  ( which all creatures must bear on the fronts and backs  as we live in that manifest world )    -  2  . that is the 'Supernal triad', the 'ideal principle' that forms everything else.  Dao , Yin and Yang

 

the third thing automatically gerates form the 2nd thing, but they are dual so they make the 2nd and 3rd 'thing'

 

Dao , yin yang - three things (or concepts ) ... out of these then comes the 4th thing  - the myriad worlds , the '10,000 things' , the 'Universe' .

 

In Kabbalah , it is  Supernal triad ;

 

binah.jpg

 

below that is the 'abyss'   ( the realm above the abyss is 'ideal' or 'incomprehensible' or 'veiled' )

 

( a horizontal  line through Daath )

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRg_bfY3TW-XpW_-MAtdDM

 

and below that , the 4th principle, is everything else  - 'manifestation'   fully condensed in the lowest sphere of the physical Universe , 'The Kingdom' .

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nungali

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6 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Excellent points.  I slid right over them without even thinking.

 

I think the most important thing to try to conceptualize is that Dao consists of process; Tzujan.

 

So going backward we have, Man, the Earth, the Heavens.  Man would not exist if the Earth did not exist, Earth would not be if the Heavens did not exist. The Heavens would not exist if the beginning of a new cycle had not started.

 

 

Exactly marbles !  I believe it is describing a process  .... wait ...   the    process   - of how all things came into being / came to be .

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