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SirPalomides

Translation help for obscure Chinese texts

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This is the closing spell to the Fox Immortal Scripture I was talking about earlier.

 

Here's the text:

 

狐仙放生咒
人世知音能有幾。天地萬物是良朋。
今日歌頌仙狐訣。施放眾生盡解脫。
逢山過山到深山。逢水過水進池潭。
雲霧山頭乘風去。東西南北逍遙游。
深山百鳥千聲叫。河海深處好修煉。
山神土地來相助。路上逢人半里難。

 

My amateur translation:

 

How many intimates can be had in this world?

Heaven, earth, and the ten thousand beings are good friends.

Today give the fox immortals farewell praise, 

releasing all beings, utterly untied,

on, around, or within the mountains,

on, above, or in the depths of the waters.

On cloudy mountaintops the wind goes by,

roaming carefree, east, west, north, and south.

In the mountains a hundred birds make their thousand calls;

The depths of rivers and seas practice well.

Gods of mountain and earth assist each other.

It is hard to meet people half a mile on the road.

 

There are a number of iffy moments for me here, but the part I'm having the most trouble with is the closing line- I can't make sense of it. Does it mean something like, "It's hard to meet people along the way"? Maybe "It's hard to attain a human birth"? How does it relate to what came before? Thanks

Edited by SirPalomides
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1 hour ago, SirPalomides said:

This is the closing spell to the Fox Immortal Scripture I was talking about earlier.

 

Here's the text:

狐仙放生咒
人世知音能有幾。天地萬物是良朋。
今日歌頌仙狐訣。施放眾生盡解脫。
逢山過山到深山。逢水過水進池潭。
雲霧山頭乘風去。東西南北逍遙游。
深山百鳥千聲叫。河海深處好修煉。
山神土地來相助。路上逢人半里難。

 

There are a number of iffy moments for me here, but the part I'm having the most trouble with is the closing line- I can't make sense of it. Does it mean something like, "It's hard to meet people along the way"? How does it relate to what came before? Thanks


人世知音能有幾。
How many true friends are there in a life time.
天地萬物是良朋。
All the things in nature are my good friends.

今日歌頌仙狐訣。
Today I praise the fox immortals on my departure.
施放眾生盡解脫。
Release all lives to let them free.

逢山過山到深山。
Crossing from mountain to mountain into the deep mountain.
逢水過水進池潭。
Stepping over all the waters into the deep lakes.

雲霧山頭乘風去。
Clouds and mist, on the mountaintop, are gone with the wind.
東西南北逍遙游。
Roaming freely in all directions.

深山百鳥千聲叫。
All the birds in the deep mountain are making their calls.
河海深處好修煉。
Deep places by the river and the sea are good for cultivation.

山神土地來相助。
The gods of the mountain and earth come for mutual assistance.
路上逢人半里難。
It's hardly to see anyone within a half mile on the road.

I hope this will clear the mist!

Edited by ReturnDragon

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8 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

Thanks, though it doesn't clarify 路上逢人半里難 to me.

路上逢人半里難。
It's hardly to see anyone within a half mile on the road.

It means there was nobody around, at all, to indicate the loneliness of a Taoist.

Edited by ReturnDragon
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Another day, another obscure Chinese text I'm trying to decipher. This one comes from the Confucian philosopher Yang Guishan, AKA Yang Shi, and his commentary on a passage from the Yi Jing, on the junzi's qualities of being "straight" and "square". Here is What Yang Shi says:

 

尽其诚心而无伪焉,所谓直也。若施之于事,则厚薄隆杀一定而不可易为有方矣。所主者敬而义,则自此出 焉,故有风外之辨。

 

My tentative rendering:

 

"To be thoroughly sincere of heart and therefore without affectation, this is what is called straight. In given affairs, to be certain and unwavering, through thick and thin, prosperity or disgrace- this is from being square. Being ruled by reverence and righteousness, one henceforth goes out with discernment impervious to the winds."

 

How'd I do?
 

 

Edited by SirPalomides

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11 minutes ago, ReturnDragon said:

Translating word for word is fine. Have you learn any compound character terms?

 

Sure. Interestingly 厚薄 "thick and thin" has the same connotation in English. "主一" is a favorite term used by Cheng Yi, literally meaning something like "oneness of ruler"- for him it means having a unified mind. Then there is "屋漏" from the Book of Odes, which I had some trouble figuring out. It literally means "house leak," for where light comes into the house from above. It refers to an inner courtyard of the house, so when someone is told to "be unashamed in the wulou it means to act righteously even in secret.

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44 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

尽其诚心而无伪焉,所谓直也
To be thoroughly sincere of heart and therefore without affectation, this is what is called straight. 

May I rephrase it and translated as below:
To be totally sincere but not hypocritical, this is what is called honesty.

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47 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

Interestingly 厚薄 "thick and thin" has the same connotation in English.

若施之于事, 则厚薄隆杀一定而不可易为有方矣
In given affairs, to be certain and unwavering, through thick and thin, prosperity or disgrace- this is from being square.
 


I would translate it is as:
If applied to all affairs at different levels, then, it must not be feasible and considered of having a good plan.
 

Edited by ReturnDragon

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1 minute ago, ReturnDragon said:


I would translate it is as:
If applied to all affairs at different levels, then, it must not be feasible to be considered of having a good plan.
 

 

Thanks, but that doesn't make any sense in English or in the context of the passage.

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To be totally sincere but not hypocritical, this is what is called honesty.
If applied to all affairs at different levels, then, it must not be feasible and considered of having a good plan.

What do you the contextual meaning is? Please let me hear it from you first. We will get this right together.

Edited by ReturnDragon

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half a mile is only one half of the mile one half of understanding. The mutual assistance of yin and yang need the other half to be complete. 

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14 minutes ago, ReturnDragon said:

What do you the contextual meaning is? Please let me hear it from you first.

 

This is a commentary on the passage in the Yijing, Kun, Six in the Second place: "The junzi straightens the inside with reverence, and squares the outside with righteousness." Yang Shi's comment comes after a few others (by Cheng Yi) explaining what "straight" 直 and "square" 方 mean in the Yijing passage. Cheng Yi connects "straight" to inner sincerity (敬)and "square" to outer righteousness (义).

Edited by SirPalomides

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15 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

This is a commentary on the passage in the Yijing, Kun, Six in the Second place: "The junzi straightens the inside with reverence, and squares the outside with righteousness." Yang Shi's comment comes after a few others (by Cheng Yi) explaining what "straight" 直 and "square" 方 mean in the Yijing passage. Cheng Yi connects "straight" to inner sincerity (敬)and "square" to outer righteousness (义).


Ok, I see where you are coming from.

"straight" 直 and "square" 方. The direct translations are correct but they don't apply here. As I had mentioned the compound characters before, here is what they are.

率直 : honest
方法: method; 有方; good method or handle matters well


In ancient text, one character was used from the compound characters and assumed the reader knew its meaning. Anyway it is hard to explain if one is not familiar with the language.
 

Edited by ReturnDragon

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I've consulted with a number of translations of related passages, by scholars trained in classical Chinese and Confucian philosophy specifically, and my rendering of "square" and "straight" is supported by them. I don't believe you have the competence to help me here, but thanks for trying.

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On 2/21/2020 at 8:33 AM, SirPalomides said:

Another day, another obscure Chinese text I'm trying to decipher. This one comes from the Confucian philosopher Yang Guishan, AKA Yang Shi, and his commentary on a passage from the Yi Jing, on the junzi's qualities of being "straight" and "square". Here is What Yang Shi says:

 

尽其诚心而无伪焉,所谓直也。若施之于事,则厚薄隆杀一定而不可易为有方矣。所主者敬而义,则自此出 焉,故有风外之辨。

 

My tentative rendering:

 

"To be thoroughly sincere of heart and therefore without affectation, this is what is called straight. In given affairs, to be certain and unwavering, through thick and thin, prosperity or disgrace- this is from being square. Being ruled by reverence and righteousness, one henceforth goes out with discernment impervious to the winds."

 

How'd I do?
 

 

 

That "straight/square" is perhaps derived from the idiom "compass and square" originating in the concept of Fuxi and Nuwa giving "proper," "as it should be" law and order to earthly/human affairs. (A broken clock shows the correct time twice a day, and ChiDragon got the idiomatic meaning of the terms right!)  Here's a picture of Nuwa holding the compass and Fuxi holding the square that is part of the yin-yang philosophy of taoism (and a noteworthy borrowing therefrom by the Freemasons):

 

nuwa.jpg?resize=860%2C1018&ssl=1

 

Image result for masonic compass and square  

 

Edited by Taomeow
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