dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 52

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David Hinton 2002
52

There's a source all beneath heaven shares: call it the mother of all beneath heaven.
Once you fathom the mother you understand the child, and once you understand the child you abide in the mother,
self gone, free of danger.
If you block the senses and close the mind, you never struggle.
If you open the senses and expand your endeavors, nothing can save you.
Seeing the small is called enlightenment, and abiding in the gentle strength.
Wielding radiance return to enlightenment, then you're beyond all harm.
This is the cultivation of constancy.


 

Chad Hansen 2009
52

The social world has a beginning 
We deem it 'mother' of the social world. 
Since we acquired its 'mother' 
We use that to know its 'son' 
Since we know its 'son' 
We revert to embracing its mother. 
Burying the self we risk nothing. 
Shut up its exchanges , 
close its gates 
and end life without struggle. 
Open its exchanges, 
benefit its social affairs 
and still end life without saving anything. 
see small, say 'discernible' 
protect weakness, say 'coerce' 
Use its light; 
Revert and return to its discernment. 
Bequeath yourself no trouble; 
Deem this to be rehearsing the constant. 

 

 

Moss Roberts 2001
52

The world below has its gestation;
We hold there’s a mother of all below.
The mother gained
The children known;
The children known,
The mother regained;
Then your life will not miscarry.
Interdict all interactions;
Seal and bar all gates and doors;
Thus prevent debility.
Open paths of interaction;
Busy furthering your ends;
Then never make recovery.
True vision marks the smallest signs;
Real strength keeps to the gentler way.
Apply your view,
But regain true vision’s inner home.
Fall not into life’s misfortunes;
Strive for the common lasting norm.

 
 

Lok Sang Ho 2002
52

Everything under heaven has a beginning.
That beginning we take as our mother.
Now that we know our mother,
We can begin to know our role as sons(and daughters).
Since we know our role as sons(and daughters),
We must guard and stay with our mother,
This way, even if our bodies perish,
We will never die.
Let the passages be blocked.
Let the doors be closed.
(So long as we stay with our mother,)
Till the end of life no worry need bother us.
(If we do the contrary,)
Then even though the roads are opened up,
And help is available,
Till the end of our lives we will still be doomed.
To be able to see the small things is to be illuminated;
To adhere to the principle of flexibility and
 suppleness is to be strong.91
Let people use their own light
to illuminate and restore their understanding.
Let them leave nothing to regret about when their bodies perish.
This is called the gradual realization of the Eternal. 

 

 

Gu Zhengku 1993
52

The universe has a beginning (Tao);
The beginning functions as the mother of all things.
If you know the mother,
You can get to know her children (all things);
If, while knowing the children,
You keep the mother,
You will be a sage all your life.
Block the openings (of knowledge),
Shut the door (of desires),
And you will be free from illness all your life.
Unlock the openings,
Add to your cares,
And you will be incurable all your life.
To be able to perceive the minute is called discernment;
To be able to play the role of the weak is called the strong.
Use the light
To return to the intrinsic discernment
And you will be free from disasters.
This is called the eternal Tao.

 

 

Lin Yutang 1948
52

There was a beginning of the universe 
   Which may be regarded as the Mother of the Universe. 
From the Mother, we may know her sons. 
   After knowing the sons, keep to the Mother. 
   Thus one's whole life may be preserved from harm.

Stop its apertures, 
Close its doors, 
And one's whole life is without toil.

Open its apertures, 
Be busy about its affairs, 
And one's whole life is beyond redemption.

He who can see the small is clear-sighted; 
He who stays by gentility is strong. 
   use the light, 
   And return to clear-sightedness - 
Thus cause not yourself later distress. 
- This is to rest in the Absolute.

 

 

Flowing Hands 1987
52

The Ten Thousand Things are born of the Universe,
the Universe is born from the Dao.
From whence the Dao came from, I do not know, but I know it exists.
It is the Mother of Heaven and Earth.
In silence and in the void the Dao formed Heaven and Earth.
The Ten Thousand Things are formed by it.
In silence and peace, one can feel and sense the mystery.
Be forever at one, do only what has to be done and then remain at one.
 

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I especially like this portion:

 

30 minutes ago, dawei said:

If you block the senses and close the mind, you never struggle.
If you open the senses and expand your endeavors, nothing can save you.

 

30 minutes ago, dawei said:

Shut up its exchanges , 
close its gates 
and end life without struggle. 
Open its exchanges, 
benefit its social affairs 
and still end life without saving anything. 

 

30 minutes ago, dawei said:

Seal and bar all gates and doors;
Thus prevent debility.
Open paths of interaction;
Busy furthering your ends;
Then never make recovery.

 

30 minutes ago, dawei said:

Close its doors, 
And one's whole life is without toil.

Open its apertures, 
Be busy about its affairs, 
And one's whole life is beyond redemption.

 

The wording may sound down, but I see the message as quite uplifting. Oftentimes we struggle against what is out of a sense of needing to accomplish and end up falling short of our ambitions. This text reminds us that is simply the way and points out that we don't need to do that. In fact, by "block[ing] the senses" and "clos[ing] the mind" we actually gain a wealth of freedom since we remove ourselves from the frenetic desire to always do stuff.

Edited by Lost in Translation
fixed quote
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Flowing Hands rendering is the most poetic ... perhaps the most meaningful. It eloquently points to Dao as being beyond understanding but not unknowable. Understanding is a process of a mind that is conditioned by contending with the myriad of things ... acting in respose to them. Dao cannot be approached through such contention and action. 

 

This would seem to be where ideas from Neidan come into play. To know ... not understand but to experience Dao ... one takes up a practice of abiding in silence ... closing the apertures that feed the minds struggle to understand ... reconciling body, mind and spirit. Having that expeience and staying close to it allows one to experience the unity of being. From that point of view, what is there to be concerned about. 

 

 

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Verse Fifty Two

 

All existence begins with your Mother;

You come into the world and your experience begins, she teaches you and forms your earliest ideas before she gets down to teaching you language.

A mother knows what’s good for her child; keep your care  for those in your care like this. This includes your attitude toward yourself; detached from your body, love and care for it.

 

Now exhale. Expel your breath.

 

Don’t work to get the breath you require.

 

Open the exchange. It helps itself. 

In the end, it is not saved.

 

Put yourself in a still quiet place

And form no words, no thoughts - just take

The next breath.

 

Focus your attention.

 

Use it’s light

Illuminate what comes next - taking that next breath.

 

This lessens the problems

That come with having a body.

 

Practice this recipe

For compassionate self care

a lot.

 

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