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#1 tongyan

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 01:22 AM

The title of the topic is usually referred to as a quotation from Laozi's Daodejing. Does anyone know where this quote is taken from? If so, can you provide me with the Classical Chinese? Thanks.

#2 rookie

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 01:58 AM

can you write the full sentence, i guess should be somthing like及吾无身,何伤之有
是故聖人内修其本,而不外飾其末,保其精神,偃其智故,漠然無爲而無不爲也,澹然無治而無不治也。所謂無爲者,不先物爲也。所謂〔無〕不爲者,因物之所爲〔也〕。所謂無治者,不易自然也。所謂無不治者,因物之相然也。(《淮南子原道篇》)

#3 gregorio

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 10:12 AM

This seems to be a very distorted (and quite Non-Daoist, I think) "translation" of the first 3 characters (曲則全) in chapter 22 of DDJ, as offered by John Heider in "The Tao of Leadership". Chapter 22 of the DDJ (Wang Bi) runs like this: 曲 則 全, 枉 則 直, 窪 則 盈, 敝 則 新, 少 則 得, 多 則 惑。 是 以 聖 人抱 一 為 天 下 式。不 自 見 故 明, 不 自 是 故 彰, 不 自 伐 故 有 功, 不 自 矜 故長。夫 唯 不 爭, 故 天 下 莫 能 與 之 爭。 古 之 所 謂 曲 則 全 者, 豈虛 言 哉﹗ 誠 全 而 歸 之。

More, here: http://books.google....8...0&ct=result

Amazing, but a google search on the exact phrase gave 12000 hits!

#4 Bao Pu

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 08:38 AM

I don't know where it is really from, but it is not from the Daodejing.
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#5 gregorio

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 11:24 PM

I don't know where it is really from, but it is not from the Daodejing.


As I said in the previous post, we do know where it really is from -- from a translation (rendition, interpolation, paraphrase, meditation on whatever) of the DDJ. The problem, of course, is how far a translation can go from the original before it becomes a complete distortion, like Heider's. Also (and this is something I find more rewarding to think abut), whether this is of necessity a bad thing: I keep thinking of Ezra Pound (as I said in another post), but Wilhelm's Yijing also comes to mind. On the other hand, the DDJ itself seems to be prone to attract, for reasons that are quite obvious, a lot of background noise. Some of this can be quite funny, like here: http://paraverse.org/taostart.htm ; also, but only for those with a healthy sense of humor, the immortal (and mean) Schwitgebel ( http://schwitzsplint...t=1222446120000 ) caricature: "The greatest toothbrush is the one that brushes least!"

#6 Bao Pu

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:59 AM

Thanks for the link to Switzsgebel Gregorio!
It's very obvious that Heider's is not a translation, but a meditation or commentary. Check out the commentary of chapter one. And in that book Lessons in Leadership, the author simply calls it "Heider's text."
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#7 Shenzheng

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 02:23 PM

The Tao Te Ching has a long and complex textual history. There are many possible translations of the book's title, due to the multiple meanings of the Chinese words. The same polysemy seemingly applies to the entire text. The first sentence, dao ke dao, fei chang dao, in Pinyin, Mitchell translates, "The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao"; Ron Hogan, "If you can talk about it, it ain't Tao". I am tempted to comment: No translation of the Tao is a true translation of the Tao; or, as one of my graduate school professors reminded me: "Tout traducteur est un traitre", i.e., "Every translator is a traitor", or, in laconic Italian "Traduttore, tradittore".

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be", is more of a comment than an translation, as I see it. Nonetheless, it seems to fit in with the inner meaning of the text. It is a way of thinking which is reflected in Greek philosphy: Heraclitus, panta rei (everything flows) "One cannot step twice into the same stream", and in the Gospel:


Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? [Matthew 16:24-26]

Guide me in right paths, for your name's sake.

Shenzheng


#8 Bao Pu

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 02:42 PM

The Tao Te Ching has a long and complex textual history. There are many possible translations of the book's title, due to the multiple meanings of the Chinese words. The same polysemy seemingly applies to the entire text. The first sentence, dao ke dao, fei chang dao, in Pinyin, Mitchell translates, "The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao"; Ron Hogan, "If you can talk about it, it ain't Tao". I am tempted to comment: No translation of the Tao is a true translation of the Tao; or, as one of my graduate school professors reminded me: "Tout traducteur est un traitre", i.e., "Every translator is a traitor", or, in laconic Italian "Traduttore, tradittore".

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be", is more of a comment than an translation, as I see it. Nonetheless, it seems to fit in with the inner meaning of the text. It is a way of thinking which is reflected in Greek philosphy: Heraclitus, panta rei (everything flows) "One cannot step twice into the same stream", and in the Gospel:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? [Matthew 16:24-26]


You make some good points. I would argue that a concern with "what one might become" in the future is not a concern of Laozi. It sounds very Western to me. But I could be wrong.
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#9 JohnD

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 03:37 PM

"One cannot step twice into the same stream"


I think this quote has more relation to the Buddhist concept of no-self then with Daoism because you can't step into the same stream twice because it is always changing, and likewise, there is no self because we are always changing, so what I am cannot be defined since there is no consistency.

Whereas the "When I let go of what I am" quote implies that you know what you are to begin with.


You make some good points. I would argue that a concern with "what one might become" in the future is not a concern of Laozi. It sounds very Western to me. But I could be wrong.


It does sound rather sappy and "inspirational" to me, very new-age. Though it does bear some relation to the concept of perfect joy, that you cannot find happiness until you stop looking for it ("perfect joy" is Thomas Merton's term used for the title of the passage I am referring to, which he includes in his book The Way of Chuang Tzu. Apparently it is his interpretayion of chapter XVIII, 1.)

#10 Shenzheng

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:09 PM

I think this quote has more relation to the Buddhist concept of no-self then with Daoism because you can't step into the same stream twice because it is always changing, and likewise, there is no self because we are always changing, so what I am cannot be defined since there is no consistency.

Whereas the "When I let go of what I am" quote implies that you know what you are to begin with.


It does sound rather sappy and "inspirational" to me, very new-age. Though it does bear some relation to the concept of perfect joy, that you cannot find happiness until you stop looking for it ("perfect joy" is Thomas Merton's term used for the title of the passage I am referring to, which he includes in his book The Way of Chuang Tzu. Apparently it is his interpretayion of chapter XVIII, 1.)


My thanks to Bao Pu and to John D for their comments. "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be", is a quotation from Lynn Little's article on The Tao of Leadership, which I referred to as "more of a comment than a translation". At the end of the day, the quote "has more relation to the Buddhist concept of no-self than with Daoism", and at the same time it "implies that you know what you are to begin with", and consequently, that you realize your need to become something else.

Is that what the Greeks would call a "paradox", or what the Romans would refer to as a "contradiction"?

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Shenzheng


#11 JohnD

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 06:19 PM

My thanks to Bao Pu and to John D for their comments. "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be", is a quotation from Lynn Little's article on The Tao of Leadership, which I referred to as "more of a comment than a translation". At the end of the day, the quote "has more relation to the Buddhist concept of no-self than with Daoism", and at the same time it "implies that you know what you are to begin with", and consequently, that you realize your need to become something else.

Is that what the Greeks would call a "paradox", or what the Romans would refer to as a "contradiction"?



It was the "One cannot step twice into the same stream" quote that I said was more akin to Buddhism, not the "When I let go..." quote. I'm starting to get confused with my own assertions.




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