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Neiye - Section 4: The Sage

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Section 4: The Sage

 

Eno
The pivot of heaven is uprightness.
The pivot of earth is flatness.
The pivot of man is quiescence.

 

Spring, autumn, winter, and summer
are the season times of heaven.
Mountains ridges and river valleys
are the limbs of earth.
Showing pleasure or anger, taking or giving,
there are the schemes of man.

 

The sage adapts with the times but is not transformed,
follows along with things but is not moved by them.
He is able to be balanced and tranquil
and so he is settled.
With a settled heart [xin] within,
the eyes and ears are keen and clear,
the four limbs are strong and firm.
He is fit to be the dwelling of the essence [Jing].

 

By essence [Jing] is meant the essence [Jing] of qi.
When qi follows the Dao there is birth.
With birth there is awareness.
From awareness comes knowing.
With knowing the limit is reached.

[Two lines here will go with next section to keep in step]

If the form of the heart
acquires excessive knowledge, life is lost.

 

Linnell:
天 主 正 That which presides over Heaven is proper alignment,
地 主 平 That which presides over Earth is equability,
人 主 安 靜 That which presides over people is calmness and stillness.

 

春 秋 冬 夏 Spring, autumn, winter, summer –
天 之 時 也 The timing of heaven!
山 陵 川 谷 Mountains, hills, streams, valleys –
地 之 枝 也 The limbs of the earth!
喜 怒 取 予 Love, anger, taking, giving –
人 之 謀 也 The schemes of the people!

 

是 故 聖 人 Thus the sage :
與 時 變 而 不 化 Takes part in the changing of the seasons, but is not transformed;
從 物 而 不 移 He attends to creatures, but is not changed by them.
能 正 能 靜 When you can be properly aligned and can be still–
然 後 能 定 Then, you can be settled.
定 心 在 中 With a settled heart/mind [xin] in your center,
耳 目 聰 明 Your ears and eyes are acute and clear,
四 枝 堅 固 Your four limbs are hard and strong,
可 以 為 精 舍 You are able to become a dwelling for essence [Jing].
精 也 者 This essence [Jing] –
氣 之 精 者 也 Is essence [Jing] of Qi!

 

氣 道 乃 生 With Qi and Dao, then there is life;
生 乃 思 With life, then there is contemplation;
思 乃 知 With contemplation, then there is understanding;
知 乃 止 矣 When you reach understanding, then stop!

[Two lines here will go with next section to keep in step]

凡 心 之 形 Always : if the form of the heart/mind
過 知 失 生 Has too much understanding, life is lost.


Roth
-- Section 7 --
For the heavens, the ruling principle is to be aligned.
2. For the earth, the ruling principle is to be level.
3. For human beings the ruling principle is to be tranquil.
4. Spring, autumn, winter, and summer are the seasons of the heavens.
5. Mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys are the resources of the earth.
6. Pleasure and anger, accepting and rejecting are the devices of human beings.
7. Therefore, the sage:
8. Alters with the seasons but doesn’t transform,
9. Shifts with things but doesn’t change places with them.
-- Section 8 --
1. If you can be aligned and be tranquil,
2. Only then can you be stable.
3. With a stable mind [Xin] at your core,
4. With the eyes and ears acute and clear,
5. And with the four limbs firm and fixed,
6. You can thereby make a lodging place for the vital essence [Jing].
7. The vital essence [Jing]: it is the essence [Jing] of the vital energy [Qi].
8. When the vital energy [Qi] is guided, it [the vital essence-Roth note] is generated,
9. But when it is generated, there is thought,
10. When there is thought, there is knowledge,
11. But when there is knowledge, then you must stop.

[Two lines here will go with next section to keep in step]

12. Whenever the forms of the mind have excessive knowledge,
13. You loose your vitality.

 

Shazi Daoren
-- Section 7 --
Heaven's ruling principle is to be aligned.
Earth's ruling principle is to be level.
Humanity's ruling principles are grace and tranquility.
Spring, autumn, winter, and summer,
these are heaven's seasons.
Mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys,
these are earth's features.
Pleasure and anger, taking and giving,
these are human devices.
Therefore the Sage,
changes with the seasons and doesn't transform them,
yields to things and does not change them.
-- Section 8 --
If able to be aligned, able to be calm,
only then can you be stable.
With a stable heart [xin] within your bosom,
eyes and ears acute and clear,
four limbs firm and sure,
you can thereby make a dwelling-place for Essence [Jing].
As for Essence [Jing]:
It is the Essence [Jing] of Energy [Qi].
Energy's [Qi] Dao is to flourish,
to flourish is to think,
to think is to know,
to know is where to stop.

[Two lines here will go with next section to keep in step]

All forms of the Heart,
crossing over to knowledge lose life.

 

Yueya
-- Section 7 --
The ruling principle of the heavens is alignment.
The ruling principle of the earth is levelness.
The ruling principle of human beings is stillness.
Spring, autumn, winter, and summer are the seasons
Of the heavens.
Mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys are the constituents
Of the earth.
Pleasure, anger, accepting, and rejecting are the devices
Of human beings.
Thus, we may speak of the sage一
Alters with the seasons but does not transform;
Shifts with things but is not changed by them.
-— Section 8 -—
If you can be aligned and tranquil,
Only then can you become stable.
With a stabilized heart-mind [xin] at your core,
With the ears and eyes acute and bright,
And with the four limbs firm and fixed,
You are able to become a lodging place for vital essence [Jing].

 

The vital essence [Jing] is the essence of qi.
When qi is guided, vital essence [Jing] is generated.
When it is generated, then there is thinking.
When there is thinking, then there is knowing.
When there is knowing, then you should cease.

[Two lines here will go with next section to keep in step]

Considering the forms of the heart-mind,
Excessive knowing dissipates vitality.

 

Reid:

79 天主正,
Heaven is ruled by alignment;
80 地主平,
Earth is ruled by balance;
81 人主安靜。
People are ruled by peaceful {12} silence.
82 春秋冬夏,
Spring, autumn, winter, and summer
83 天之時也;
Are the seasons of Heaven;
84 山陵川谷,
Mountains, hills, streams, and valleys
85 地之枝也;
Are the extensions of Earth;
86 喜怒取予,
Euphoria, anger, taking, and giving
87 人之謀也。
Are the underlying motivations of humanity.
88 是故聖人
Therefore, sages
89 與時變而不化,
Follow the times of change, yet are not transformed.
90 從物而不移。
They adapt to things, yet are not displaced.
91 能正能靜,
If you can be aligned, you can be silent.
92 然後能定。
Then you can be settled.
93 定心 在中,
When the heart-mind settles in its very center,
94 耳目聰明,
The ears and eyes become acute and perceptive,
95 四枝堅固,
And the four limbs become solid and stable. {13}

96 可以為精舍。
You can thereby house the pure and vital essence.
97 精也者,
This pure essence
98 氣之精者也。
Is the pure essence of energy-breath.
99 氣道乃生,
The way of energy-breath is to flourish.
100 生乃思,
Flourishing, it becomes thoughts;
101 思乃知,
Thoughts become knowledge;
102 知乃止矣。
After knowledge, it stops.

[Two lines here will go with next section to keep in step]

103 凡心之形,
Invariably, mental formulations
104 過知失生。
Will supersede knowledge even at the expense of one’s life.

 

 

{12} “安 Stability; calm; comfort” is usually suppressed in translations of this line.

{13}  See also the Xin Shu Xia, lines 122-123, “When the source is not dried up, the four limbs will become firm and solid, enabling commeand of their functions and keeping them fit and strong”

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Posted (edited)

this is fine as well except this part

16 hours ago, dawei said:

氣 道 乃 生 With Qi and Dao, then there is life;
生 乃 思 With life, then there is contemplation;
思 乃 知 With contemplation, then there is understanding;
知 乃 止 矣 When you reach understanding, then stop!

but for the purposes of this discussion it is hardly consequential (knowledge reaches its limit/knows where to stop)

Edited by Taoist Texts
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13 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

this is fine as well except this part

but for the purposes of this discussion it is hardly consequential (knowledge reaches its limit/knows where to stop)

 

This is your 'air duct' reference in another thread... would be good to see a few lines translated from the other sources you found to see how that compound is treated.

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I find this verse interesting:

 

When qi is guided, vital essence [Jing] is generated.
When it is generated, then there is thinking.
When there is thinking, then there is knowing.
When there is knowing, then you should cease.

 

It seems to contradict this earlier verse:

 

彼 道 之 情 The nature of that Dao
惡 意 與 聲 Detests thoughts and words about it.
修 心 靜 意 But when you cultivate your heart/mind [xin] and still your thoughts,
道 乃 可 得 Dao can then be attained.

 

The only sense I can make of it is that cultivating jing/xin will lead to thinking and knowing of a different order to the mundane mind's thinking, in effect it will lead to knowing/wisdom, which I conceive of as True Yin being activated. This cultivating jing is an active thing, it is guided, I would say by intention. What this verse doesn't supply is how to cultivate jing or form the right intention if not by the mundane mind. 

 

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8 hours ago, Bindi said:

I find this verse interesting:

 

When qi is guided, vital essence [Jing] is generated.
When it is generated, then there is thinking.
When there is thinking, then there is knowing.
When there is knowing, then you should cease.

 

It seems to contradict this earlier verse:

 

彼 道 之 情 The nature of that Dao
惡 意 與 聲 Detests thoughts and words about it.
修 心 靜 意 But when you cultivate your heart/mind [xin] and still your thoughts,
道 乃 可 得 Dao can then be attained.

 

The only sense I can make of it is that cultivating jing/xin will lead to thinking and knowing of a different order to the mundane mind's thinking, in effect it will lead to knowing/wisdom, which I conceive of as True Yin being activated. This cultivating jing is an active thing, it is guided, I would say by intention. What this verse doesn't supply is how to cultivate jing or form the right intention if not by the mundane mind. 

 

 

 

Hmmm interesting.

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14 hours ago, dawei said:

would be good to see a few lines translated from the other sources you found to see how that compound is treated.

certainly

气道万物 yang qi flows to all things 律书

壮者之气血盛,其肌肉滑,气道通 when qi is powerful and blood plentiful..the qi ducts are passable 营卫生会

心系急则气道约 when the heart is hurried then the qi ducts are constrained 口问

阴阳气道不通,四海闭塞 when yin-yang qi ducts are impassable, the 4 seas are filled in五癃津液别

so the whole passage is:

精 也 者 This essence [Jing] –
氣 之 精 者 也 Is essence [Jing] which produces qi

氣 道 乃 生  the qi ducts in the human body originate in jing
生 乃 思  once originating this qi turns into thinking
思 乃 知 thinking becomes knowledge
知 乃 止 矣  knowledge reaches its limit

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12 hours ago, Bindi said:

I find this verse interesting:

 

When qi is guided, vital essence [Jing] is generated.
When it is generated, then there is thinking.
When there is thinking, then there is knowing.
When there is knowing, then you should cease.

 

It seems to contradict this earlier verse:

 

彼 道 之 情 The nature of that Dao
惡 意 與 聲 Detests thoughts and words about it.
修 心 靜 意 But when you cultivate your heart/mind [xin] and still your thoughts,
道 乃 可 得 Dao can then be attained.

 

The only sense I can make of it is that cultivating jing/xin will lead to thinking and knowing of a different order to the mundane mind's thinking, in effect it will lead to knowing/wisdom, which I conceive of as True Yin being activated. This cultivating jing is an active thing, it is guided, I would say by intention. What this verse doesn't supply is how to cultivate jing or form the right intention if not by the mundane mind. 

 

 

The challenge in this line is how to structure the characters for translation.

 

Roth:

乃 生 - Qi Dao Nai Sheng

When the vital energy (Qi-氣) guides (Dao-道) it (Nai-乃) [vital essence-paren by Roth] is generated (Sheng-生, often as born)

 

So the challenge.. is, what is the "it" (although Nai is usually transition to something next, a result of, therefore) ?   

 

Linnell:

乃 生 With Qi and Dao, then there is life;
生 乃 思 With life, then there is contemplation;
思 乃 知 With contemplation, then there is understanding;
知 乃 止 矣 When you reach understanding, then stop!
凡 心 之 形 Always : if the form of the heart/mind
過 知 失 生 Has too much understanding, life is lost.

 

Dan Reid translated it as:  The way of energy-breath is to flourish.

 

That is the most straightforward way that I would of done it.

 

Taoist Text shows some other text examples of QiDao as being the 'Qi duct'.

 

@Taoist Texts:  I see your translation as 'originating' (Sheng) in Jing but find that a bit forced to look backwards.  I think I'd still move to 'life' or gives life or establishes life.   But I follow your point. thanks. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

certainly

气道万物 yang qi flows to all things 律书

壮者之气血盛,其肌肉滑,气道通 when qi is powerful and blood plentiful..the qi ducts are passable 营卫生会

心系急则气道约 when the heart is hurried then the qi ducts are constrained 口问

阴阳气道不通,四海闭塞 when yin-yang qi ducts are impassable, the 4 seas are filled in五癃津液别

so the whole passage is:

精 也 者 This essence [Jing] –
氣 之 精 者 也 Is essence [Jing] which produces qi

氣 道 乃 生  the qi ducts in the human body originate in jing
生 乃 思  once originating this qi turns into thinking
思 乃 知 thinking becomes knowledge
知 乃 止 矣  knowledge reaches its limit

 

Qi ducts are interesting, is this a common term in Daoism?

Does it relate to specific channels?

Can we say that the qi ducts originate in the LDT since they originate in jing?

 

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

The qi ducts don't naturally exist, until the seed of qi is 'planted'?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bindi

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8 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

certainly

气道万物 yang qi flows to all things 律书

壮者之气血盛,其肌肉滑,气道通 when qi is powerful and blood plentiful..the qi ducts are passable 营卫生会

心系急则气道约 when the heart is hurried then the qi ducts are constrained 口问

阴阳气道不通,四海闭塞 when yin-yang qi ducts are impassable, the 4 seas are filled in五癃津液别

so the whole passage is:

精 也 者 This essence [Jing] –
氣 之 精 者 也 Is essence [Jing] which produces qi

氣 道 乃 生  the qi ducts in the human body originate in jing
生 乃 思  once originating this qi turns into thinking
思 乃 知 thinking becomes knowledge
知 乃 止 矣  knowledge reaches its limit

 

To clarify the source of his translations, as the << click here>> would show the source:

1. 律书 - The Shiji - Record of the Grand Historian... Sima Qian

2. 营卫生会 - Ancient medical classic, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine, sub section: Spiritual Pivot

3. 口问 - Within Same as above

4. 五癃津液别 - Within Same as above

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1 hour ago, Bindi said:

Qi ducts are interesting, is this a common term in Daoism?

Does it relate to specific channels?

Can we say that the qi ducts originate in the LDT since they originate in jing?

 

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

The qi ducts don't naturally exist, until the seed of qi is 'planted'?

 

Naturally "opening" Xiao Zhou Tian an Da Zhou Tian comes to mind.

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6 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

Qi ducts are interesting, is this a common term in Daoism?

Does it relate to specific channels?

Can we say that the qi ducts originate in the LDT since they originate in jing?

Unfortunately i would have to answer negative on all. Its not common in daoism or in pre-modern chinese in general. It is common in modern mandarin meaning any kind of air conduit, incl. respiratory organs. We dont know if they were associated with LDT or any channels

Quote

 

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

The qi ducts don't naturally exist, until the seed of qi is 'planted'?

 

yes, they dont

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15 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

Unfortunately i would have to answer negative on all. Its not common in daoism or in pre-modern chinese in general. It is common in modern mandarin meaning any kind of air conduit, incl. respiratory organs. We dont know if they were associated with LDT or any channels

yes, they dont

 

In your translation qi ducts are in the Neiye (I really appreciate your input in the translation of the Neiye BTW)

 

氣 道 乃 生  the qi ducts in the human body originate in jing
生 乃 思  once originating this qi turns into thinking
思 乃 知 thinking becomes knowledge
知 乃 止 矣  knowledge reaches its limit.

 

Are they seen as a negative thing?  The descent of qi into the mundane and mundane thinking? 

 

Or are they positive, knowledge of a higher order, though even this reaches its limits?  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bindi said:

Are they seen as a negative thing?  The descent of qi into the mundane and mundane thinking? 

my impression so far that yes it is a vaguely bad thing, but also an unavoidable thing, the purpose of this passage is to describe the functioning of the human consciousness and how it can be used for fun and profit.

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2 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

In your translation qi ducts are in the Neiye (I really appreciate your input in the translation of the Neiye BTW)

 

氣 道 乃 生  the qi ducts in the human body originate in jing
生 乃 思  once originating this qi turns into thinking
思 乃 知 thinking becomes knowledge
知 乃 止 矣  knowledge reaches its limit.

 

Are they seen as a negative thing?  The descent of qi into the mundane and mundane thinking? 

 

Or are they positive, knowledge of a higher order, though even this reaches its limits?  

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn't say 'mundane' - so I think it is just descriptive.  As in 'where to thoughts come from?' - Ans:  jing in body causes channels for qi.  The qi movement (?) generates thoughts, then thinking gives you knowledge - and that reaches its limit so its the end of the process.  Perhaps it is saying don't bother pursuing thoughts any further than this. (?)

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10 minutes ago, Wuschel said:

 

or it is saying, this is the land of humans. sages grow from ashes

 

what happened to the final line of linnel's translation in the other versions?

 

凡 心 之 形 Always : if the form of the heart/mind
過 知 失 生 Has too much understanding, life is lost.

 

When you reach the summit you have to stop - which is the land of humans - infecting even the remotest places on earth :)

 

 

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 Quality of Jing directly affects quality of Qi. We need to do nothing to have jing and Qi. The quality is affected by post heaven Qi basically lifestyle, environment and thoughts can damage or reduce the quality of jing and qi we are all born with.

 

Knowing mind is the limit of knowledge stop. The original spirit is pure awareness return to awareness and forget knowledge and then there is no limit.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Apech said:

 

 

It doesn't say 'mundane' - so I think it is just descriptive.  As in 'where to thoughts come from?' - Ans:  jing in body causes channels for qi.  The qi movement (?) generates thoughts, then thinking gives you knowledge - and that reaches its limit so its the end of the process.  Perhaps it is saying don't bother pursuing thoughts any further than this. (?)

 

A word search on the use of the character knowledge in the Neiye gives me the impression that thoughts are a vital part of the process, and will take you all the way to the Dao. 

 

思 之 思 之 又 重 思 之 Contemplate it, contemplate it, and again repeatedly contemplate it

 

思 索 生 知 Deep contemplation creates understanding

 

... 此 謂 和 成 This is called achieving harmony – 精 之 所 舍 That which is the dwelling place of essence 而 知 之 所 生 And that which is the creation of understanding.

 

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.

 

既 知 其 極 Once you understand the extremes, 反 於 道 德 Return to Dao and De.

 

I then wonder if the yin and yang qi channels that are created from a 'seed' are energy channels connecting jing and thoughts that allow a higher order of thinking and understanding. Overall, still the 'mind' and emotions, yet contemplate deeply. Try to understand, but specifically via the qi channels, not the energetically unconnected mundane mind. 

 

 

Edited by Bindi
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15 minutes ago, Bindi said:

 

A word search on the use of the character knowledge in the Neiye gives me the impression that thoughts are a vital part of the process, and will take you all the way to the Dao. 

 

思 之 思 之 又 重 思 之 Contemplate it, contemplate it, and again repeatedly contemplate it

 

思 索 生 知 Deep contemplation creates understanding

 

... 此 謂 和 成 This is called achieving harmony – 精 之 所 舍 That which is the dwelling place of essence 而 知 之 所 生 And that which is the creation of understanding.

 

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.

 

既 知 其 極 Once you understand the extremes, 反 於 道 德 Return to Dao and De.

 

I then wonder if the yin and yang qi channels that are created from a 'seed' are energy channels connecting jing and thoughts that allow a higher order of thinking and understanding. Overall, still the 'mind' and emotions, yet contemplate deeply. Try to understand, but specifically via the qi channels, not the energetically unconnected mundane mind. 

 

FWIW: I prefer "know" to "understanding".  The former may imply it comes to one in various ways but the latter sometimes feels like we need to seek to understand. 

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What does it mean then when it says 'knowledge reachers its limit?'

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Apech said:

What does it mean then when it says 'knowledge reachers its limit?'

 

To me, it means when the Numen (what I would have referred to as Original Spirit previously) arrives to stay, knowledge and intent is no longer needed to guide jing. I associate the Numen with a Higher order mind, it takes over, and any previous mentation defers to the Numen which has access to metaphysical knowledge.   

 

 

Edited by Bindi
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58 minutes ago, Bindi said:

 

To me, it means when the Numen (what I would have referred to as Original Spirit previously) arrives to stay, knowledge and intent is no longer needed to guide jing. I associate the Numen with a Higher order mind, it takes over, and any previous mentation defers to the Numen which has access to metaphysical knowledge.   

 

 

 

 

So knowledge reaches its end in spiritual awareness?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Apech said:

So knowledge reaches its end in spiritual awareness?

 

I prefer how D. Reid translates the line:  After knowledge, it stops.

 

To imply the process [of awareness] comes to its end, not that the person applies some brakes. 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

On 5/28/2019 at 4:25 AM, Bindi said:

I find this verse interesting:

 

When qi is guided, vital essence [Jing] is generated.
When it is generated, then there is thinking.
When there is thinking, then there is knowing.
When there is knowing, then you should cease.

 

It seems to contradict this earlier verse:

 

彼 道 之 情 The nature of that Dao
惡 意 與 聲 Detests thoughts and words about it.
修 心 靜 意 But when you cultivate your heart/mind [xin] and still your thoughts,
道 乃 可 得 Dao can then be attained.

 

Can this verse be referring to the pre-cultivation status of Human Being?

 

 

On 5/26/2019 at 8:01 PM, dawei said:

Roth
-- Section 7 --
For the heavens, the ruling principle is to be aligned.
2. For the earth, the ruling principle is to be level.
3. For human beings the ruling principle is to be tranquil.
4. Spring, autumn, winter, and summer are the seasons of the heavens.
5. Mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys are the resources of the earth.
6. Pleasure and anger, accepting and rejecting are the devices of human beings.
7. Therefore, the sage:
8. Alters with the seasons but doesn’t transform,
9. Shifts with things but doesn’t change places with them.
-- Section 8 --
1. If you can be aligned and be tranquil,
2. Only then can you be stable.
3. With a stable mind [Xin] at your core,
4. With the eyes and ears acute and clear,
5. And with the four limbs firm and fixed,
6. You can thereby make a lodging place for the vital essence [Jing].
7. The vital essence [Jing]: it is the essence [Jing] of the vital energy [Qi].
8. When the vital energy [Qi] is guided, it [the vital essence-Roth note] is generated,
9. But when it is generated, there is thought,
10. When there is thought, there is knowledge,
11. But when there is knowledge, then you must stop.

[Two lines here will go with next section to keep in step]

 

Can the it is generated be the mysterious and miraculous process of Life?

From Seed to Human Being?

When one gains knowledge one must stop and start cultivation?

 

Next 2 lines:

Whenever the forms of the mind have excessive knowledge,

You lose your vitality.

 

 

On 5/28/2019 at 4:25 AM, Bindi said:

The only sense I can make of it is that cultivating jing/xin will lead to thinking and knowing of a different order to the mundane mind's thinking, in effect it will lead to knowing/wisdom, which I conceive of as True Yin being activated.

 

Yes, omniscience makes sense but I don't know if it relates to that specific verse.

 

 

21 hours ago, Bindi said:

A word search on the use of the character knowledge in the Neiye gives me the impression that thoughts are a vital part of the process, and will take you all the way to the Dao. 

 

Why are you associating 知 with thoughts?

 

Edited by KuroShiro

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1 hour ago, KuroShiro said:

Can the it is generated be the mysterious and miraculous process of Life?

From Seed to Human Being?

When one gains knowledge one must stop and start cultivation?

 

Next 2 lines:

Whenever the forms of the mind have excessive knowledge,

You lose your vitality.

 

 

I follow your idea but it seems not likely to me because of how Roth's Section 8 runs:

 

Quote

7. Therefore, the sage:
8. Alters with the seasons but doesn’t transform,
9. Shifts with things but doesn’t change places with them.

--Section 8 --

1. If you can be aligned and be tranquil,
2. Only then can you be stable.
3. With a stable mind at your core,
4. With the eyes and ears acute and clear,
5. And with the four limbs firm and fixed,
6. You can thereby make a lodging place for the vital essence.
7. The vital essence: it is the essence of the vital energy.
8. When the vital energy is guided, it [the vital essence] is generated,
9. But when it is generated, there is thought,
10. When there is thought, there is knowledge,
11. But when there is knowledge, then you must stop.
12. Whenever the forms of the mind have excessive knowledge,
13. You loose your vitality.

 

I thought whether the "you" is supposed to be just a continuation of talking about the Sage... but it seems to me this is not the generative process to life [from seed] but talking about life  itself.

 

I also thought on the use of 'vitality' as that seems to explicitly tie Jing (essence) to vitality which I think tends to come later in Daoist thought.   The chinese word here is Sheng (生) often used for birth or life.   I find the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine uses 精明 which seems to imply refined essence, why not use this?

 

The character Sheng is a picture of growing/growth and there is room for vitality as a translation.  My main thoughts:

1. Jing in previous lines seem to start this part as explaining life (lodging place for jing; jing is jing of Qi... Qi-Dao is life).  And if Life was used before, then Life would seem logical to end with "life is lost". (See Linnell)  But most of the translations side-step Sheng as Life and instead look at birth, flourish, generated and can avoid ending it about Life.

2. Too much knowledge (or knowing) doesn't seem logical that it would end one's life but that it could affect one's vitality seems more reasonable and later daoist focus is on health and vitality.   Reid has likely a clever translation whereby he keeps Life (even at the expense of one’s life) which leaves room that one could be losing their vitality which in turn will cause eventually lose of life. 

 

If the implication here is about vitality then this could be one of the earliest pointers to Jing and vitality practices. 

 

 

BTW:  I liked that you added the two lines to finish the section idea... Because I'm following Eno's break... so I went back to the first post and put them in each translation just to help clear and end this too. 

 

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3 hours ago, KuroShiro said:

 

 

Can this verse be referring to the pre-cultivation status of Human Being?

 

 

When qi is guided, vital essence [Jing] is generated.
When it is generated, then there is thinking.
When there is thinking, then there is knowing.
When there is knowing, then you should cease.

 

With this verse I'm going with the idea that jing is naturally depleted throughout a lifetime, ie. pre-cultivation, but things like guiding qi and generating jing are deliberate cultivation. This is why I'm then thinking that the thinking that is generated from jing cultivation is also positive, though there is a definite limit to how far this method can take you. A certain level of knowing and thinking should cease, but also I suspect actively guiding qi and generating jing should cease. Everything that can be done is done, and further progress just unfolds naturally, interference at this point would destroy the natural process which began with deliberate cultivation perhaps. 

 

3 hours ago, KuroShiro said:

 

Can the it is generated be the mysterious and miraculous process of Life?

From Seed to Human Being?

When one gains knowledge one must stop and start cultivation?

 

Next 2 lines:

Whenever the forms of the mind have excessive knowledge,

You lose your vitality.

 

Considering the forms of the heart-mind,
Excessive knowing dissipates vitality.

 

I wonder if this could be related to excessive thinking. Knowing and understanding are one thing, perhaps even vital, but even so excessive thinking just depletes yuan shen. 

 

3 hours ago, KuroShiro said:

 

 

Yes, omniscience makes sense but I don't know if it relates to that specific verse.

 

 

 

Why are you associating 知 with thoughts?

 

 

I was going with understanding/knowing as the consequence of contemplation, which is a deep/profound type of thinking.

 

思 乃 知 With contemplation, then there is understanding

思 索 生 知 Deep contemplation creates understanding

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