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Will

James Legge Translation (1891): "Like the Waves Carried About By the Wind"??

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I am a little bit perplexed by the following passage (https://ctext.org/zhuangzi/heaven-and-earth):

 

Quote
These men will not go where their mind does not carry them, and will do nothing of which their mind does not approve. Though all the world should praise them, they would (only) get what they think should be loftily disregarded; and though all the world should blame them, they would but lose (what they think) fortuitous and not to be received - the world's blame and praise can do them neither benefit nor injury. Such men may be described as possessing all the attributes (of the Dao), while I can only be called one of those who are like the waves carried about by the wind.' When he returned to Lu, (Zi-gong) reported the interview and conversation to Confucius, who said, 'The man makes a pretence of cultivating the arts of the Embryonic Age. He knows the first thing, but not the sequel to it. He regulates what is internal in himself, but not what is external to himself.
 

 

(obviously there's more to the passage context that I had to cut out)

 

I really love the phrase "like the waves carried about by the wind," as it seems to perfectly describe the ideal Daoist (someone who is carried through life in a natural manner, "going with the flow," so to speak). But it seems to me that the passage takes a negative view of living "like the waves carried about by the wind." It appears to contrast that with living with "all the attributes of the Dao." 

 

Is there something I'm missing about the context? Help!! :P

Edited by Will
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Yes because these men have only mastered themselves, but not outside, and connection with the macrocosm.
Hence they are attacked by others outside them.
There may also be a reference to pre-post natal chi (Embryonic Age).
 

The man makes a pretence of cultivating the arts of the Embryonic Age. He knows the first thing, but not the sequel to it. He regulates what is internal in himself, but not what is external to himself. If he had intelligence enough to be entirely unsophisticated, and by doing nothing to seek to return to the normal simplicity, embodying (the instincts of) his nature, and keeping his spirit (as it were) in his arms, so enjoying himself in the common ways, you might then indeed be afraid of him! But what should you and I find in the arts of the embryonic time, worth our knowing?'

 

Waves carried by the wind is not complete because it's only 2 elements, and if you are carried you are not participating so it is partial.  The goal is to be fully unified with existence which includes acting-in-union, and inner-outer ... being carried or retiring is a common fantasy of human beings who wish to take a break.   But that is not Tao.

 

imo

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50 minutes ago, Will said:

Such men may be described as possessing all the attributes (of the Dao), while I can only be called one of those who are like the waves carried about by the wind.'

yes, good catch

 

Legge mistranslated this passage. I should be

 

I call them wind-wave (disturbed) people

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2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

yes, good catch

 

Legge mistranslated this passage. I should be

 

I call them wind-wave (disturbed) people

 

Wait really? In what sense do you mean "disturbed"?

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I tried searching for this info yesterday and couldn't find it - is the Legge translation based off of the Wang Bi version of the text? I'm specifically wondering about the Chinese text at ctext. Thanks.

Edited by Aetherous
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1 hour ago, Aetherous said:

I tried searching for this info yesterday and couldn't find it - is the Legge translation based off of the Wang Bi version of the text? I'm specifically wondering about the Chinese text at ctext. Thanks.

 

To the best of my knowledge, Legge's translation of the Zhuangzi was first published in 1891, in this book (link below is to a publicly-available digital copy):

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=jOdHAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA322&lpg=PA322&dq=Such+men+may+be+described+as+possessing+all+the+attributes&source=bl&ots=VQpUfJb56E&sig=QuzUOPo2JA5T0thgPOTKrn5XZps&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGs_D44e3eAhVK1oMKHXUHChkQ6AEwCXoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Such men may be described as possessing all the attributes&f=false

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8 hours ago, Aetherous said:

I tried searching for this info yesterday and couldn't find it - is the Legge translation based off of the Wang Bi version of the text? I'm specifically wondering about the Chinese text at ctext. Thanks.

wiki says it does

 

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10 hours ago, Will said:

 

Wait really? In what sense do you mean "disturbed"?

Trad.  
fēng bō literally says wind-wave but it is an expression:
disturbance crisis disputes restlessness 
 
 
Quote

"Such men may be described as possessing all the attributes (of the Dao), ....." but to me they are just disturbed, messed up folks.

 

 

Legge did not recognise the expression, and also got tangled up in the grammar. Happens to the best of us.

 

Edited by Taoist Texts
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Let's remember though, Legge had to do almost all his own work while translating.  All things considered, I think he did a damn good job.

 

And true, later translators of the Chuang Tzu were able to do better with certain concepts than he was able to do.  But this takes nothing away from Legge's work.

 

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