dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 61

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Some shuffling of translation...

 

David Hinton 2002
61
A great nation flows down into
the place where all beneath heaven converges,
the female of all beneath heaven.
In its stillness, female lies perpetually low, and there perpetually conquers male.
A great nation that puts itself below a small nation takes over the small nation,
and a small nation that puts itself below a great nation gives itself over to the great nation.
Some lie low to take over, and some lie low to give over.
A great nation wanting nothing more than to unite and nurture the people and a small nation wanting nothing more than to join and serve the people: they both succeed in what they want.
Great things lie low and rest content.

 


Dwight Goddard 1919
61
A great state that is useful is like a bond of unity within the Empire; it is the Empire's wife.
The female controls the male by her quietude and submission.
Thus a great state by its service to smaller states wins their allegiance. 
A small state by submission to a great state wins an influence over them. Thus some stoop to conquer, and others stoop and conquer.
Great states can have no higher purpose than to federate states and feed the people. 
Small states can have no higher purpose than to enter a federation and serve the people. 
Both alike, each in his own way, gain their end, but to do so, the greater must practice humility.

 

 

Bradford Hatcher 2005
61
The great realm is the one which flows beneath
A confluence to (all) under heaven
A woman to (all) under heaven
The feminine, ever through stillness, overcomes the male
Through stillness & playing submissive
And so a great realm, by submitting to a small realm,
Will then appropriate the small realm
A small realm, by submitting to a great realm,
Will then appropriate the great realm
And so the one submits, intending to appropriate
The other submits and gets taken in
(Where) the great realm has no greater ambition
than uniting & caring for others
(And) the small realm has no greater ambition
than joining & serving others
Then both of these each gets what it wants
(And) the great one should act to submit

 

 

Wing-Tsit Chan 1963
61
A big country may be compared to the lower part of a river. It is the converging point of the world; It is the female of the world. The female always overcomes the male by tranquillity, And by tranquillity she is underneath. 
A big state can take over a small state if it places itself below the small state; And the small state can take over a big state if it places itself below the big state. 
Thus some, by placing themselves below, take over (others), And some, by being (naturally) low, take over (other states). 
After all, what a big state wants is but to annex and herd others, And what a small state wants is merely to join and serve others. 
Since both big and small states get what they want, The big state should place itself low. 

 

 

Gu Zhengku 1993
61

A large state should play the role of female,
Just like the lowest reaches of a river
Where all the other streams meet.
The female always conquers the male by motionlessness,
Because the motionless female always takes the lower position.
Hence the large state can annex the small one by taking the lower position (being modest);
The small state can gain the trust of the large one by taking the lower position,
The case being either the former or vice versa.
The large state wants to put the small one under its protection,
The small state wants to be shielded by the large one,
Thus both can satisfy their wishes,
But the large state should be more willing to take the lower position.

 

 

Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904
61

A great state is the worlds low-stream (to which all the river flows [sic] down), the world's field and the world's female. 
The female always conquers the male by quietude, which is employed as a means to lower oneself. 
Thus a great state lowers itself towards a small state before it takes over the small state. 
A small state lowers itself towards a great state before it takes over the great state. 
Therefore some lower themselves to take, while some lower themselves to gather. 
A great state wishes nothing more than to have and keep many people, and a small state wishes nothing more than to get more things to do. 
When the two both mean to obtain their wishes, the greater one should lower itself.

 


Flowing Hands 1987
61
A great kingdom is only great because it can remain humble in its greatness.
In being humble it does not strive to rule other nations, but greets other nations with open
arms and benevolence. Therefore it is great.
When a great kingdom is humble,
a small country will find strength and security within the larger nation,
yet its people are not dominated or suppressed by the larger nation.
So in being great, be humble and modest, so then your greatness will shine forth
 

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A great nation also protects its borders.

 

A small nation will seek the protection of a great nation.  Therefore a great nation should accept the small nation with open arms.

 

This will benefit both.

 

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I am always a little disturbed when I read daoist texts that interpret the relationship between some things in terms of male/female. While such comparison is common ... even classical ... I think the relationsship often is not expressed well. Terms like conquers, overcomes, submissive, while carrying a bit of truth tend to cast the relationship as one side .... male/female, female/male ... being at disadvantage to the other at the expense of its identity. While this usually gets a point across it doesn't always describe the relationship well.

 

Such dualities are common the daoist texts and discussions; great/small, superior/inferior, etc. Such terms often carry a very strong preference bias. That bias can shift over time. Given a choice, who would choose to be the conquered, the lesser, the ever submissive. 

 

I think what we tend to lose sight of when using such pairs of terms is the underlying central unity of what is being talked about. It is worthwhile remembering that one side in these dualities has no meaning without the other. Each side has a role, a purpose, to fulfill in the overall relationship. 

 

If one goes to the Yijing as a source for defining these dualities and reads/compares the first two hexagrams ... qian, kun ... it sets up the basis for dualities it terms of the roles and functioning in a way that defuses the preference bias and underscores their complementary nature and points to the central unity of all existence.

 

Then when one encounters such dualities ... female/male ... it is easier to see them as potential to fulfill a particular influence in the unfolding of things.

 

Of the samples of Ch 61 above, Flowing Hands interpretation does the best job of defusing the preference bias and gets to the heart of the relationship between countries. 

 

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On 10/28/2018 at 10:30 AM, OldDog said:

I am always a little disturbed when I read daoist texts that interpret the relationship between some things in terms of male/female. While such comparison is common ... even classical ... I think the relationsship often is not expressed well. Terms like conquers, overcomes, submissive, while carrying a bit of truth tend to cast the relationship as one side .... male/female, female/male ... being at disadvantage to the other at the expense of its identity. While this usually gets a point across it doesn't always describe the relationship well.

 

Such dualities are common the daoist texts and discussions; great/small, superior/inferior, etc. Such terms often carry a very strong preference bias. That bias can shift over time. Given a choice, who would choose to be the conquered, the lesser, the ever submissive. 

 

I think what we tend to lose sight of when using such pairs of terms is the underlying central unity of what is being talked about. It is worthwhile remembering that one side in these dualities has no meaning without the other. Each side has a role, a purpose, to fulfill in the overall relationship. 

 

If one goes to the Yijing as a source for defining these dualities and reads/compares the first two hexagrams ... qian, kun ... it sets up the basis for dualities it terms of the roles and functioning in a way that defuses the preference bias and underscores their complementary nature and points to the central unity of all existence.

 

Then when one encounters such dualities ... female/male ... it is easier to see them as potential to fulfill a particular influence in the unfolding of things.

 

Of the samples of Ch 61 above, Flowing Hands interpretation does the best job of defusing the preference bias and gets to the heart of the relationship between countries. 

 

 

I found this a very interesting point as I hold it too !  LOL

 

Male / Female tends to be used because it is the most accessible and understandable meaning, even if it is not exactly the meaning.

 

In energy speak terms, it is about male/transmission vs female/reception.  In real life, there can be a bevy of meanings. 

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1 hour ago, dawei said:

... there can be a bevy of meanings. 

 

From the Yijing I came to appreciate ...

 

Heaven/male creates and emits ... Earth/female receives and nurtures. 

 

Without female there would be no place for creating ... without male there would be nothing to nurture.

 

Neither has meaning without the other.

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On 10/28/2018 at 5:34 AM, Marblehead said:

A great nation also protects its borders.

 

I don't seem to see that in any of the translations...

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15 minutes ago, OldDog said:

 

From the Yijing I came to appreciate ...

 

Heaven/male creates and emits ... Earth/female receives and nurtures. 

 

Without female there would be no place for creating ... without male there would be nothing to nurture.

 

Neither has meaning without the other.

 

exactly: Male emits vs female receives.  It is an energy loop in our duality existence !

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7 hours ago, Cybele said:

 

I don't seem to see that in any of the translations...

Neither did I.  I just made it up.

 

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7 hours ago, dawei said:

It is an energy loop in our duality existence !

 

Yes. There are many such pairings that can be understood in this manner, which is how the Dao is manifest in the world. Whenever such pairings present themselves, I find it helpful to keep this understanding in mind. 

 

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