dawei

Neiye - Section 1 - The Essential Qi

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2 hours ago, OldDog said:

@Bindi and @dawei

 

I apologize for pressing a point of view too far. Clearly, I have overstepped the mark. If I have offended, then I am truly sorry. I value both of your inputs and leadership. I will dial it back some.

 

It's all good.  I likely didn't share some motivation for doing the study in my Intro Thread and that's my bad.  Bindi and I had been talking about doing a study on it to understand how it compares and potential influence later Inner Alchemy.   

 

I don't think everyone has to look at it from that angle.  Folks should participate with their own motivations, but I can see how we may not understand another's.  As I know Bindi's, I sometimes fall into some pedantic exchange as she knows (and seems TT and Apech) more about later Alchemy practices and I tend to focus on the earliest texts practices.   The Neiye clearly seems to be something different from other early practices, be them breathing focused or visualization of spirits. 

 

At first, the only thing I was trying to hold back on was talking about later sections when we have not gotten there yet, but I've already seen several times, its impossible (and likely not fair) to suppress that.  So I've now done what I said we shouldn't do :)

 

In any case, lets all keep sharing our thoughts and have enjoyed yours too  ;)

   

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33 minutes ago, dawei said:

how it compares and potential influence later Inner Alchemy. 

uh, u guys! this fascination with alchemy is so endearing)

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1 hour ago, dawei said:
 

....


So Kirkland suggests Jing, Qi, Shen, De, and Dao as coming and going, thus externally gathered.   

 

I may be reading too much Kirkland :)

 

 

I take the view (based on very little other than my own intuition) that its a matter of perspective.  In ancient times the realm of the numinous or spirit was viewed as, as real as the ordinary world.  It was a dimension into which to travel - just like you travel in the physical world.  The shamanist view supports this - the cosmos is divided into various realms including the ghost/spirit and you travel there to do certain tasks, like healing or affecting your enemies and so on.  The shaman has to purify and prepare him/herself to be acceptable to spirits and deities (te) as it is by their agency he/she gains powers.  The whole thing is seen very much as something external, a spirit, coming and taking over the body of the shaman.

 

Neidan actually rejected this view and said it is about internal alchemy - in other words vital energies in the body being purified, sublimated and circulated etc.  This actually reflects a shift in human consciousness/perspective about the world and themselves.  To see it as internal and to some extent controllable is a much more empirical view - something akin to the shift towards rationality in the West.

 

However, in the end, what is outside and what is inside is a moot point.  From the point of view of a sage what is 'outside'?  If you see what I mean.

 

Not sure I expressed that properly - but there you go.

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9 minutes ago, Apech said:

I take the view (based on very little other than my own intuition) that its a matter of perspective.  In ancient times the realm of the numinous or spirit was viewed as, as real as the ordinary world.  It was a dimension into which to travel - just like you travel in the physical world.  The shamanist view supports this - the cosmos is divided into various realms including the ghost/spirit and you travel there to do certain tasks, like healing or affecting your enemies and so on.  The shaman has to purify and prepare him/herself to be acceptable to spirits and deities (te) as it is by their agency he/she gains powers.  The whole thing is seen very much as something external, a spirit, coming and taking over the body of the shaman.

 

Neidan actually rejected this view and said it is about internal alchemy - in other words vital energies in the body being purified, sublimated and circulated etc.  This actually reflects a shift in human consciousness/perspective about the world and themselves.  To see it as internal and to some extent controllable is a much more empirical view - something akin to the shift towards rationality in the West.

 

However, in the end, what is outside and what is inside is a moot point.  From the point of view of a sage what is 'outside'?  If you see what I mean.

 

Not sure I expressed that properly - but there you go.

 

Yes, I was thinking earlier about the shaman shift as some have described their lessor role, as well as the spirits.  I read it in K.C Chang (archaeologist) in one of his books and Puett also talks about it.  The latter quotes the former that everything (ie: every realm) participated in one spontaneously self-generating life process called a correlative cosmology.  

 

Puett cites another author who said that while the Neiye seems based on shamanistic practices but instead of dealing directly with spirits the Neiye deals with naturalistic, numinous forces... ghosts and spirits become depersonalized though numinous forces of nature. Instead of linking with spirits there is a shift to perfecting the self [through spiritual/numinous forces of nature].

 

An interesting aside, the Celestial Masters religion around 120 AD got a revelation directly from Laozi which resulted in the Xiang'er commentary to the LZ book... some of it reads similar to the Neiye.

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On 5/26/2019 at 6:10 PM, Taoist Texts said:

yes it would not because essence etymologically is not connected to seed

jing is different. it is literally seed. Apech's quote says 

By essence is meant the essence of qi.

When qi follows the Dao there is birth.

 

which is a naive translation. in fact the quote says 精也者this seed,气之精者也 is the seed of qi。气道the duct of qi乃 from it 生grows

 

There is no dao in this quote, instead there is the duct or channel of qi, an archaic anatomical term used in Huangdi neijing.

https://ctext.org/pre-qin-and-han/ens?searchu=气道

 

 

On 5/26/2019 at 6:59 PM, dawei said:

 

Just to make the above clear... here is the text:

精 也 者 This essence –
氣 之 精 者 也 Is essence of Qi!
乃 生 With Qi and Dao, then there is life;

 

TT's point is that while there may be a singular character for what we typically call Dao (), he takes it as a compound with Qi (氣)  and thus calls that 'duct of Qi'.  

 

This is in Eno's section 4.   I'm going to get sections 3 and 4 setup so we can read up to this as it is been raised a few times.    

 

 

I got the translation by Romain Graziani:

 

精 也 者            Regarding what we name “Essence”

氣 之 精 者 也  It’s the quintessence of qi.

乃 生       When qi is guided, it starts to generate;

 

He too didn't choose to read Qi isolated and in his notes says the expression qi dao reminds of another one: qi li.

 

 

On 5/26/2019 at 10:27 PM, Taoist Texts said:

Despite jing being first thing mentioned, it occurs in NY 12 times only. It might be an important concept there but not redundantly defined.

i agree that a seed is a bit of a stretch. luckily there is a text that explicitly defines jing in relation to qi. its the same with the qi duct: the Huangdi neijing

阴阳应象大论

which says 

味归形,形归归化,,形食味,化生生形。味伤形,化为伤于味。

精jing 化transforms为  to become 气 qi

 

Would there be any difference by replacing transforms to transmutes?

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The Neiye advocates a return to Original nature. I don't think the Neiye is saying external 'spirits' are required to return to one's Original nature. 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Bindi said:

The Neiye advocates a return to Original nature. I don't think the Neiye is saying external 'spirits' are required to return to one's Original nature. 

 

 

 

Can you give an example of line(s) that are talking about an original nature ?   I might agree that it wants a kind of self-perfection/realization which is more like the True Man--Zhen Ren of Zhuangzi;  Here, realized in the spiritual forces of Jing, Qi, Shen, Dao, De... if that is what you mean.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dawei said:

 

Can you give an example of line(s) that are talking about an original nature ?   I might agree that it wants a kind of self-perfection/realization which is more like the True Man--Zhen Ren of Zhuangzi;  Here, realized in the spiritual forces of Jing, Qi, Shen, Dao, De... if that is what you mean.

 

Yes that is exactly what I mean.  

 

Sorry, I should have added the lines in my previous post. From Linnell:

 

, 心 乃 反 濟 Your heart/mind then returns [to its original nature] successfully.

 

能 反 其 性 You can return to your [original] nature, 性 將 大 定 And your nature will be exceptionally settled.

 

However, if they do not return [to their original nature], 此 生 之 忒 This creates errors.

 

 

(Spiritual intelligence/Yuan shen = the original consciousness.) 

 

 

Edited by Bindi
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34 minutes ago, Bindi said:

 

Yes that is exactly what I mean.  

 

Sorry, I should have added the lines in my previous post. From Linnel:

 

, 心 乃 反 濟 Your heart/mind then returns [to its original nature] successfully.

 

能 反 其 性 You can return to your [original] nature, 性 將 大 定 And your nature will be exceptionally settled.

 

However, if they do not return [to their original nature], 此 生 之 忒 This creates errors.

 

 

(Spiritual intelligence/Yuan shen = the original consciousness.) 

 

ok for reference for others:  (Don't worry.. hard to assign these so I can)

 

心 乃 反 濟 Your heart/mind then returns [to its original nature] successfully.    (Eno Section #2; Roth Section #3)

 

能 反 其 性 You can return to your [original] nature,
性 將 大 定 And your nature will be exceptionally settled.  (Eno, last two lines of Section #15; Roth Section #22)

 

(Spiritual intelligence/Yuan shen = the original consciousness.) 

 

I think this would need discussion as all of those words are not in the Neiye explicitly and willing to talk more.   You mentioned Original Spirit (Yuan Shen) as Hun (from above).  Apech mentioned 'intelligence' I think in regards to the spirits. 

 

So is the original consciousness is really original Spirit [intelligence] that man can gather or is there and needs to be nurtured ?

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, dawei said:

 

ok for reference for others:  (Don't worry.. hard to assign these so I can)

 

心 乃 反 濟 Your heart/mind then returns [to its original nature] successfully.    (Eno Section #2; Roth Section #3)

 

能 反 其 性 You can return to your [original] nature,
性 將 大 定 And your nature will be exceptionally settled.  (Eno, last two lines of Section #15; Roth Section #22)

 

(Spiritual intelligence/Yuan shen = the original consciousness.) 

 

I think this would need discussion as all of those words are not in the Neiye explicitly and willing to talk more.   You mentioned Original Spirit (Yuan Shen) as Hun (from above).  Apech mentioned 'intelligence' I think in regards to the spirits. 

 

So is the original consciousness is really original Spirit [intelligence] that man can gather or is there and needs to be nurtured ?

 

 

Maybe this sort of framework (image from Damo Mitchell's book) might be relevant in terms of  jing/qi/shen being gathered externally. If Original spirit is always existing in everyone, yet it comes and goes, we could see this as Original Spirit shifting between the spirit body and (subtle) energy body level. Same with jing and qi, they come and go. The task is how to get them to stay on the (subtle) energy level, in between the spirit and physical body. I'm not saying this is how it is necessarily, just offering a possible way to view it. My sense is that Original Spirit (to me Yuan Shen or True Yin) is the hardest to maintain in our subtle energy body, but it is necessary for 'spirit-like understanding' or the wisdom of the sage to be embodied.  

Fig-8.2.jpg

 

神 明 之 極 This highest of spirit-like understanding – 照 乎 Is it illuminating? 知 萬 物 You will understand the ten thousand creatures.

 

有 神 自 在 身 There exists a spirit[-like understanding] naturally located in the self – 一 往 一 來 One moment it goes, one moment it arrives; 莫 之 能 思 There is no one who can contemplate it.

 

 

Edited by Bindi
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3 hours ago, dawei said:

 

ok for reference for others:  (Don't worry.. hard to assign these so I can)

 

心 乃 反 濟 Your heart/mind then returns [to its original nature] successfully.    (Eno Section #2; Roth Section #3)

 

能 反 其 性 You can return to your [original] nature,
性 將 大 定 And your nature will be exceptionally settled.  (Eno, last two lines of Section #15; Roth Section #22)

 

(Spiritual intelligence/Yuan shen = the original consciousness.) 

 

I think this would need discussion as all of those words are not in the Neiye explicitly and willing to talk more.   You mentioned Original Spirit (Yuan Shen) as Hun (from above).  Apech mentioned 'intelligence' I think in regards to the spirits. 

 

So is the original consciousness is really original Spirit [intelligence] that man can gather or is there and needs to be nurtured ?

 

 

I suspect the key is understanding precisely what xin is.

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6 hours ago, KuroShiro said:

Would there be any difference by replacing transforms to transmutes?

no, same thing

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16 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

Maybe this sort of framework (image from Damo Mitchell's book) might be relevant in terms of  jing/qi/shen being gathered externally. If Original spirit is always existing in everyone, yet it comes and goes, we could see this as Original Spirit shifting between the spirit body and (subtle) energy body level. Same with jing and qi, they come and go. The task is how to get them to stay on the (subtle) energy level, in between the spirit and physical body. I'm not saying this is how it is necessarily, just offering a possible way to view it. My sense is that Original Spirit (to me Yuan Shen or True Yin) is the hardest to maintain in our subtle energy body, but it is necessary for 'spirit-like understanding' or the wisdom of the sage to be embodied.  

Fig-8.2.jpg

 

神 明 之 極 This highest of spirit-like understanding – 照 乎 Is it illuminating? 知 萬 物 You will understand the ten thousand creatures.

 

有 神 自 在 身 There exists a spirit[-like understanding] naturally located in the self – 一 往 一 來 One moment it goes, one moment it arrives; 莫 之 能 思 There is no one who can contemplate it.

 

 

 

that's a pretty cool pic.  I have not consider this trichotomy.

 

I've been mulling some of what you and Apech have mentioned and ran across something from Roth, about a decade before he wrote his Neiye translation:

 

The Early Taoist Concept of Shen: A Ghost in the Machine

Quote

And so we find tutelary gods, spirits of dead ancestors, spirits of rivers, mountains, even trees indicated by the same term as the crucial element within the human heart responsible for clear consciousness, metaphysical cognition, and the development of sagehood, namely Shen. 

 

If pressed to find some common characteristic in these various usages I would answer that they all share some degree of sentience. The gods, spirits and ghosts of chinese folk religion, no matter what their character, and the element that resides within the core of the heart-mind, share some rather unclearly defined degree of consciousness or awareness.  In the former group one could argue as well that these spirits possess a degree of willfulness or intentionality--although the degree to which this comes from a 'self' is by no means clear, or even necessary.

 

 

He goes on to then talk about the Guanzi...  which I found very informative towards explaining his translation.

 

https://www.academia.edu/6910491/The_Early_Taoist_Concept_of_SHEN_A_Ghost_in_the_Machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, dawei said:

 

that's a pretty cool pic.  I have not consider this trichotomy.

 

I've been mulling some of what you and Apech have mentioned and ran across something from Roth, about a decade before he wrote his Neiye translation:

 

The Early Taoist Concept of Shen: A Ghost in the Machine

 

He goes on to then talk about the Guanzi...  which I found very informative towards explaining his translation.

 

https://www.academia.edu/6910491/The_Early_Taoist_Concept_of_SHEN_A_Ghost_in_the_Machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some important points from your link:

 

Quote

From Techniques of the Heart Mind Part 1 which according to Roth serves as a commentary to the Neiye:

 

That which the sage directs is his vital essence. Relinquish desire and the mind will be expansive. When it is expansive it will be still. When it is still it will be concentrated, when concentrated it will be exclusively focused, when it is exclusively focused there is clarity. With clarity comes the Numen. The Numen is the most honoured. Thus when the abode is not cleaned out, the honoured one will not dwell in it.

 

Roth – The movement of the Numen is not into and out of the human beings, it is rather into and out of one’s awareness.

 

Roth - It [the numen] appears to be identified with a core level of the heart-mind or psyche, and is conceived of as a powerful indwelling agent, a holy force to hold in awe. It is the source of two types of metaphysical knowledge: Precognition and intuition.

 

 

Intuition is explicitly referred to in association with the UDT by JAJ:

 

Of particular interest to Daoist alchemists is the opening of the center of the Upper Dantian, called the "Crystal Room," as this is where psychic perceptions and intuitive awareness take place. Higher communications, experiences of intense bliss, and perceptions that transcend time and space are associated with the Upper Dantian.

 

...the Upper Dantian is responsible for the fruition of intuitive and psychic perceptions...

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

Some important points from your link:

 

 

Intuition is explicitly referred to in association with the UDT by JAJ:

 

Of particular interest to Daoist alchemists is the opening of the center of the Upper Dantian, called the "Crystal Room," as this is where psychic perceptions and intuitive awareness take place. Higher communications, experiences of intense bliss, and perceptions that transcend time and space are associated with the Upper Dantian.

 

...the Upper Dantian is responsible for the fruition of intuitive and psychic perceptions...

 

 

 

 

Which word is translated as numen - is it shen?

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numen is another name for shen

 

Chang Sen Feng 100 steele

 

若能养炁忘言守,降伏身心,神归炁穴,意注规中,混融一炁。如鸡抱卵,如龙养珠,念兹在兹,须臾不离,日久功深,自然现出黍米之珠,光耀如日,默化元神,灵明莫测,即此是也。

If one can cultivate the qi of pre-heaven forget speech and guard Oneness, subdue body and mind, the spirit will return to the carven of pre-heaven qi, focus your attention on Gui Zhong (i.e. the Yellow Court), fusing the one qi of pre-heaven. Like a chicken incubating an egg, like a dragon cultivating a pearl, keeping in mind, never leaving for even a moment, as time passes achievement deepens, a pearl the size of a millet will appear naturally, brilliant like the sun, the primordial spirit is silently manifested, the brilliance of the numen cannot be measured, that this is.

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1 hour ago, Apech said:

 

Which word is translated as numen - is it shen?

 

He does state in that paper that he will use the word Numen for Spirit (Shen) but in his translation he seems to use Numinous.

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Posted (edited)

I know you guys are having a scholarly discussion on the neiye. My experience can shed light on the text if it is welcomed just let me know if I am distracting the discussion thanks.

Edited by Wu Ming Jen
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20 hours ago, dawei said:

The Early Taoist Concept of Shen: A Ghost in the Machine

 

He goes on to then talk about the Guanzi...  which I found very informative towards explaining his translation.

 

https://www.academia.edu/6910491/The_Early_Taoist_Concept_of_SHEN_A_Ghost_in_the_Machine

 

 

Here is another work by Roth, Psychology and Self-Cultivation in Early taoistic Thought

 

He talks about three Guanzi (Kuan Tzu) text Neiye, Xin Shu I, Xin Shu II, and the Huainanzi.    Among the phrases the Neiye focuses on, he focuses mostly on Jing and Shen, and explains the compound that shows up in later text, Jing-Shen (numinous essence).

 

https://www.academia.edu/5770208/Psychology_and_Self-Cultivation_in_Early_Taoistic_Thought

 

 

Added:  Just look here for all his available works:  https://brown.academia.edu/HaroldRoth

 

 

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2 hours ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

I know you guys are having a scholarly discussion on the neiye. My experience can shed light on the text if it is welcomed just let me know if I am distracting the discussion thanks.

 

That would be great thanks!

Is the Neye held in high regard and studied in all Daoist Schools?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2019 at 11:31 PM, Wu Ming Jen said:

I know you guys are having a scholarly discussion on the neiye. My experience can shed light on the text if it is welcomed just let me know if I am distracting the discussion thanks.

 

Hi Wu Ming Jen,

 

It has been quite a while since our paths last crossed.

 

Your "experience" has caught my attention. Why?

 

"Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience. You need experience to gain wisdom".

- Albert Einstein 

 

Sharing your "experience" will come through as a breeze in a regurgitated Neiye midst.

 

A breeze blows and flows freshly forward.

 

- Anand

 

Edited by Limahong
Enhance ...
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On 5/30/2019 at 10:09 PM, KuroShiro said:

Is the Neye held in high regard and studied in all Daoist Schools?

no)

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On 5/9/2019 at 9:13 PM, dawei said:

Eno

 

This qi
Cannot be detained through physical force,
but may be brought to rest by force of virtue [De].
It may not be summoned by means of sound,
but may be received through one’s thoughts.
 

 

Linnell:


是 故 此 氣 也 Thus this Qi –
不 可 止 以 力 Can not be brought to rest by using force,
而 可 安 以 德 But can be calmed by using De.
不 可 呼 以 聲 Can not be summoned by using your voice,
而 可 迎 以 意 But can be made welcome by using your intent.

 

Roth:
1. The vital essence  [Jing] of all things:
2. It is this that brings them to life.
3. It generates the five grains below
4. And becomes the constellated stars above.
5. When flowing amid the heavens and the earth
6. We call it ghostly and numinous.
7. When stored within the chests of human beings,
8. We call them sages.

-- Section 2 --

6. Therefore this vital energy [Qi]
7. Cannot be halted by force,
8. Yet can be secured by inner power [Te].
9. Cannot be summoned by speech,
10. Yet can be welcomed by awareness.

 

Shazi Daoren:

 

-- Section 2 --

Therefore this Energy [Qi]:
cannot be stopped by force,
yet can be pacified by Virtue [De],
cannot be spoken by voice,
yet can be embraced by the mind.

 

Yueya:

 

-- Section 2 --

Therefore this qi—
Cannot be controlled by force,
Yet can be stabilized through inner power (de).
Cannot be summoned by speech,
Yet can be welcomed through awareness.

 

Reid:


As a result, this energy-breath
15 不可止以力,
Cannot be stopped with effort,
16 而可安以德。
Yet can be made peaceful through virtue;
17 不可呼以聲,
Cannot be called over with a shout,
18 而可迎以
Yet can be welcomed with a harmonious tone (intention).{2}
 

{2} “音 Tone” is generally replaced here with yi, “意 intention.” I have retained the received wording, where “tone” contrasts with “noise; shout.” The Nei Ye later states that “to dispel sadness, nothing compares to music,” and the Xin Shu Xia states that “to moderate anger, nothing compares to music.” In “The Ten Faults” chapter of the Hanfei Zi (another important Legalist text), great weight is put on the importance of a ruler listening only to consonant music, stating that only rulers with a highly developed virtue can listen to melancholic and dissonant modes without falling into
misfortune. “Healing sound qigong” uses vocal sounds to heal the internal organs, though its date of origin is uncertain. There is, therefore, reason to believe that 音 yin was intentional, if not just to contrast tranquility (harmonious tone ) with anger (shouting). See also, Nei Ye line 167.

 

This line always struck me a little odd.. and Reid has a good argument to leave the original character (tone) and not replace it.   

 

But here is Roth's comment:

 

41 Reading [tone as intent], a variant in the late Ming edition of Chang Pang W. Suggested by Wang Nien-sun ",;lfi. See KTCC, p. 782. I have translated i as "awareness" rather than the more common "ideas" and "will," which do not fit the context. The vital essence is not something that can be summoned by one's thoughts or the will, since it resists conscious attempts to control it. It is likely that in other psychological contexts in early Chinese thought, l is best translated as "awareness," since to my knowledge no other term is translated to deal with this basic human experience. I is later combined with shih in both Buddhist and contemporary psychological contexts to translate "consciousness, " and it is actually first used in this way by Wang Ch'ung in the Lun-heng. See Chung-wen ta-tz'u-tien (Taipei: Lien-ho ch'u-pan fu-wu chung-hsin tsung-ching shou, 1962-68), entry no. 11107.104.

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17 hours ago, dawei said:

17 不可呼以聲,
Cannot be called over with a shout,
18 而可迎以
Yet can be welcomed with a harmonious tone (intention).{2}

 

17 hours ago, dawei said:

Reid has a good argument to leave the original character (tone) and not replace it.   

He was right about the tone but did not understand what does this line mean. This is not about the human actor shouting or intoning, but rather about this qi having no sound but having a tone: by the latter it can be known.

 

It is confirmed in the 2nd para., where Dao is characterized as 'in my heart it is... having nor shape nor sound 不见其形,不闻其声'. Then the text ups the ante by '被道之情,恶音与声 that dao has nor tones nor sound, cultivating heart 修心静音 to the silent tone,道乃可得 dao can be obtained'.

 

Otherwise the relationship between the heart, sounds and tones as well as their usefulness is explained as

Quote

 

凡音者,生人心者也。情动于中,故形于声。声成文,谓音。是故治世之音安以乐,其政和。乱世之音怨以怒,其政乖。亡国之音哀以思,其民困。
Yue Ji:    
All TONES   spring from the HEART of men. When the feelings are moved within, they are manifested in the sounds of the voice; and when those sounds are combined so as to form compositions, we have what are called TONES. Hence, the airs of an age of good order indicate composure and enjoyment. The TONES of an age of disorder indicate dissatisfaction and anger, and its government is perversely bad. The TONES of a state going to ruin are expressive of sorrow and (troubled) thought.

https://ctext.org/pre-qin-and-han/ens?searchu=聲 音#n10116

 

also not the familiar intro particle 

Edited by Taoist Texts
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