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Sebastian

Help Needed to Translate Alchemy Book

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Hey Dao Bums -

 

One of my friends currently studying in Taiwan at NTU is currently 1/3rd through translating Professor Ge Guolong's (戈國龍) 2010 book, "Ten Discourses on Daoist Alchemy". It's a an enlightening commentary on alchemy texts written by a professor of religion at the China Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. 

 

It's a major undertaking for my friend because the book is over 140,000 Chinese characters long. He has the backing of Red Pine, who most people on DaoBums will know, being the author of the best selling translation of the Tao Te Ching in English. Because this would take months of dedicated work, most likely in seclusion, he recently set up a Gofundme page in case anybody was interested in backing the project, and enjoying early access perks, things like that.

 

Personally, I'm very excited about it because the book is a bridge between philosophy and practice. From the samples I was shown, I found Professor Guolong's writing to be super clear, and a breath of fresh air compared to other esoteric alchemy manuals like "Taoist Yoga" for example. Instead of making you feel more confused, the text reads like an elucidation and makes alchemy directly understandable and accessible to the modern Chinese and now Western mind.

 

I can also highly recommend my friend as an outstanding translator (having lived in China for a decade), and a wonderful spiritual cultivator. I can also vouch for the value of these texts for your own cultivation. Here is an outline of the chapters for example, but you will find more information on his official page. 

 

Chapter outline

 

1.      Unsurpassed Destiny
2.      Illuminating the Mind to See Its True Nature 
3.      The Portal of the Mysterious Pass 
4.      Advancing the Fire and Gathering the Medicine 
5.      Empty, Nonexistent Qi 
6.      Dual Cultivation of Xing and Ming 
7.      Primordial Jing and Primordial Shen 
8.      Two Heavens and Earths 
9.      Going Back to the Root, Returning to the Source
10.    Universe and Individual, Interconnected 

 

As was posted in the Daoist sub-section, we really need more translators of Chinese texts like this. Think about how many of Master Nan Huai Chin's books still haven't been translated in English for example, and how valuable each and everyone is to our community at Dao Bums. The truth is there are no translators working on them. And the reason is that you need a very high level of Chinese and you also to be an advanced practitioner of these arts.  The market is so small that it's not even worth the time and effort from a financial standpoint for the people who meet this criteria. So when someone is motivated to take months out of his life to complete a project like this,  just so we all benefit, I think we should encourage it, at least as Dao Bums. Thumbs up from me.
 

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On 13.6.2019 at 2:28 PM, Sebastian said:

Hey Dao Bums -

 

One of my friends currently studying in Taiwan at NTU is currently 1/3rd through translating Professor Ge Guolong's (戈國龍) 2010 book, "Ten Discourses on Daoist Alchemy". It's a an enlightening commentary on alchemy texts written by a professor of religion at the China Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. 

 

It's a major undertaking for my friend because the book is over 140,000 Chinese characters long. He has the backing of Red Pine, who most people on DaoBums will know, being the author of the best selling translation of the Tao Te Ching in English. Because this would take months of dedicated work, most likely in seclusion, he recently set up a Gofundme page in case anybody was interested in backing the project, and enjoying early access perks, things like that.

 

Personally, I'm very excited about it because the book is a bridge between philosophy and practice. From the samples I was shown, I found Professor Guolong's writing to be super clear, and a breath of fresh air compared to other esoteric alchemy manuals like "Taoist Yoga" for example. Instead of making you feel more confused, the text reads like an elucidation and makes alchemy directly understandable and accessible to the modern Chinese and now Western mind.

 

I can also highly recommend my friend as an outstanding translator (having lived in China for a decade), and a wonderful spiritual cultivator. I can also vouch for the value of these texts for your own cultivation. Here is an outline of the chapters for example, but you will find more information on his official page. 

 

Chapter outline

 

1.      Unsurpassed Destiny
2.      Illuminating the Mind to See Its True Nature 
3.      The Portal of the Mysterious Pass 
4.      Advancing the Fire and Gathering the Medicine 
5.      Empty, Nonexistent Qi 
6.      Dual Cultivation of Xing and Ming 
7.      Primordial Jing and Primordial Shen 
8.      Two Heavens and Earths 
9.      Going Back to the Root, Returning to the Source
10.    Universe and Individual, Interconnected 

 

As was posted in the Daoist sub-section, we really need more translators of Chinese texts like this. Think about how many of Master Nan Huai Chin's books still haven't been translated in English for example, and how valuable each and everyone is to our community at Dao Bums. The truth is there are no translators working on them. And the reason is that you need a very high level of Chinese and you also to be an advanced practitioner of these arts.  The market is so small that it's not even worth the time and effort from a financial standpoint for the people who meet this criteria. So when someone is motivated to take months out of his life to complete a project like this,  just so we all benefit, I think we should encourage it, at least as Dao Bums. Thumbs up from me.
 

Hi!

 

When will this book be out?

 

best

Michael

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On 6/15/2019 at 10:19 PM, MIchael80 said:

Hi!

 

When will this book be out?

 

best

Michael

 

Hi Michael,

 

Sorry my delayed response on this.  I was told it would roughly coincide with when the funding will be received. This makes sense because they are currently at 1/3rd of the funding, and 1/3rd through the book. But in terms of actual date, I would refer you to the GoFundMe page where you can directly ask questions.

 

And also, just to confirm, 1/3rd of the book is already out to people backing the project. So you can get immediate access to chapters 1,2, and 3 depending on if you make a tier 1,2 or 3 donation. This is a little bit like Kickstarter perks. These chapters specifically have already been written.

  •  Unsurpassed Destiny - a discussion of how one comes to have an affinity with Daoist practice and the implications of such a life destiny
  •  Illuminating the Mind to See Its True Nature - an exploration of the mind training common to and central to all Daoist inner alchemy schools, as well as that which links these traditions to Chan/Zen Buddhism (the title of this chapter is a well-known Chan Buddhist concept)
  • The Portal of the Mysterious Pass - a further exploration of mind training with an emphasis on explaining the uniquely Daoist concept of “the mysterious pass”

When the book is finished for everyone to peruse, I will update this thread.

 

Hope it helps,

Seb

   

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The translator referenced here has been a personal friend of mine for some years now, and asked me if I would post on this. As long timers here know, I said I would never post here again, so that should give some idea of my regard for the person in question. He is someone who I have spent a fair amount of time around here in Beijing, so I can vouch for his credentials directly.

 

Most importantly, this is something that I believe can benefit a lot of people, and that is why I am happy to lend my support to it.

 

So, why participate? What qualifies this person to translate these kinds of works?

 

Firstly, he has completed a degree course in TCM at a prestigious university in Beijing, in the Chinese language. He is now doing post graduate studies in Taiwan, again in the Chinese language. Anyone who knows anything about TCM knows that it is inseparably connected to Daoist thought and principles. Someone who sincerely studies Chinese medicine is also doing so the same in respect of the Dao.

 

Further to his academic studies, my friend has also sought out capable and qualified experts in Chinese medicine, at his own personal expense in time and money (and continues to do so.) He has always shared what he has learned with others, and not just kept it to himself. I can personally testify to his skills and sincerity.

 

He is a practicing, lineage Daoist. He has teachers who are authentic lineage members. Not theorists, faux philosophers, or lightweight intellectual dandies, but people who live and breathe the Dao. People who drink deeply from the well, not the typical shallow draught brigade. 

 

As if full time studies were not time consuming enough, in the years that I have known him, he has always been busy helping numerous people with numerous problems, from medical issues, to spiritual assistance from authentic, legitimate Daoist lineage masters. This is something he continues to do. 

 

I know the subject of college tuition fees is a thorny one. Those who have worked to pay their own way through college know how hard this is. Imagine doing so in a foreign country and culture. There are some who feel they should get something for nothing, but ultimately someone has to pay. People have bills to cover, not to mention their own precious time to use wisely.

 

There has been, and continues to be, much debate over what Daoism is, and is not. I would think anyone who sincerely wants to know would jump at the chance of supporting a person who sincerely wants to share this knowledge; a person who has the academic and intellectual ability to do so, and who has access to recognised, lineage Daoist masters who can advise and guide on the important details.

 

My friend could easily just read these books and enjoy them for himself. He doesn't personally need to translate them, and he already has well paying translation work. Translating obscure texts doesn't pay anything like what commercial work does, and not many translators actually have a clue about this kind of material. This is a great opportunity for people who don't have Chinese language skills and access to authentic sources. I would urge people to take it. If not, then it is a real loss for non-Chinese speakers, and real understanding of these subjects will remain privy to only a small number of people.

 

I'm returning to my self-imposed exile, so please direct any questions you have to the OP.

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