道先 Tao Firsts #19








道先 Tao Firsts #19


Tao Firsts

© Tao Firsts - bone structure of Daodejing #36 (English commas added).

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2019 May 25, 2019



The article, Dialogues of Nodin and William - Firsts, points to common examples of how some people are uncareful of their logic, and who begin to believe that created things somehow are able to arrive into existence before the created things' creator existed.

Relative to Daodejing, the following is an easy example of choosing what is logical relative to the word 'first'...

An individual, uncarefully speaking broken English to another person... 'I don't know anyone him child, him like god, him first.'

The spoken sentence is confusing and appears to make no sense in English. Within a normal sequencing of events within Nature, it is not possible for an individual to not be someone's child. Commonly, the listener would question and then quickly sum a conclusion that the speaker was pointing to that of the person of topic not having children of his own.

Nature-based logic... all humans must be the child of a parent, regardless of which language is spoken. Easy...

Next, the thinking listener recognizes that the 'god' reference points to the originating Source of all things in this Reality, which quickly sums to the conclusion that the person of topic could not have logically been 'first' before his parents, nor first before 'god'.

Nature-based logic... no created thing can exist before the creator. Easy...

Next, not having a child, as well as being 'like god', does not infer that the man of topic was 'first' of anything. Easy...

Therefore, the logical 'anyone his child' would appear to surely be pointing at the person of topic not having children of his own, but the concept has no relativity to 'like god, him first'.

Observe the broken strings of logic... [1] all people must be a child of someone within the past two-hundred years (unless someone is over two-hundred years old)... [2] therefore the 'him child' ought to refer to the man's own absence of having children... [3] most all concepts of 'god' refer to the very first and original Source that created everything 'zillions and zillions' of years ago... [4] how can the childless man resemble 'god'... and [5] how can the childless man be the first of anything related to the sentence?

Therefore, the core contradiction arises... [1] one plausible Nature-related correctness that is connected with [2] a Nature-related impossibility... both within a single sentence.

Most all healthy people today would agree that anyone who could not cross-light and recognize the absurd contradiction within the sentence, would have a severe thinking problem.

And so, now, the questions arise... [1] when an author writes a similar sentence, did the author imply something different than what the words appear to infer, or [2] did the author have a severe thinking problem?

Within Daodejing, there is indeed a similar sentence... the answers to the questions lead to the two most plausible conclusions... [1] the author was speaking of a topic that is not overtly obvious, nor common, within English-speaking cultures, or, [2] the author had a severe thinking problem, which would render the whole of Daodejing to be worthless, laughable, and unworthy of being read.

The following are six public domain translations of the last sentence within Daodejing's section #4:

"I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God." (James Legge 1891)

"I do not know whose offspring it is; But it looks like the predecessor of Nature." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)

"I know not whose son it is. Its Noumenon was before the Lord." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

"I know not whose son it is. Apparently even the Lord it precedes." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)



"I do not know whose Son It is, It existed before God was manifest in Form." (Isabella Mears 1916)

"I do not know from what it proceeds. It even appears to be antecedent to the Lord." (Dwight Goddard 1919)

Sad... all known common translations, sad...

Ten original words... 吾不知誰之子象帝之先... none of the common translations, and none of the known modern publicly available translations, followed, nor attempted to meaningfully translate, the original words...

The following is a rough (and known to be incorrect of synonyms) draft of the last sentence within section #4, the draft illustrating the direct word structure: 'I not know any it child appearance-resemble god it first'.

Asian languages, Greek also, often place words of emphases at different sequences within sentences than what English uses... the 'I not know any it child', when changing the words of emphases to reflect English structure, smoothed, and with English punctuation added, the sentence might be: 'I not know any it (be the) child (of)... (it) resembles god... it first', or, 'I not know of it being the child of anything... resembling god, it first'.

The topic of the section's previous sentences pointed at natures of, and analogies of, Tao/Dao. According to common translations, Daodejing's descriptions of Tao/Dao are of mere metaphors, parables, and analogies of things that are not possible, and thus, make no sense...

Also, the common translations' descriptions point to a demand that people are to believe in Daodejing's 'teaching'... an irrationally absurd teaching that is to be followed... but the teaching is not of a thing that exists already, and never of a thing that is related to the nature of Nature, nor related to what is possible.

However, when an individual knows what the topic is, then the individual will also recognize the original sentence as being very logical. Lightly rephrasing the draft words further into smoothed modern conversational English... 'I not know anything dao (be) child (of)... (dao) resemble god, dao first'.

Mental durations... the section's previous sentences spoke of dao... mental durations retain the sentences' concepts of dao while relating the concepts to each new sentence... the final sentence then becomes as an added chord within the mental durations... the final sentence, therefore, relates to the previous sentences, and correlates by what the previous sentences described.

But, without mental durations, the section's last sentence is disconnected, translated as an independent concept without regard of the previous sentences... resulting in absurd contradictions... and, yet, all known common translations did similar... no useful mental durations exist within the common translations.

Within an interpretation, by an individual who knows what the topic is, the section's last sentence is extremely obvious, and extraordinarily simple. Within a draft version of conversational English, as given by an individual who knows what the topic is, the sentence is coherent when phrased as... 'I not know any it child, resemble god, it first'.

Yes, there is no change of words... the original words remain ideal as they were written, and there exists no reason to change anything, and no reason for the common translations to have inserted imaginations that dao existed first, before the creator of dao.

To not know any it (dao) child of, is expected... most people are not able to divide one oneself, nor able to divide one's self, and there exists no known public writing of what the 'divide' implies, which means that the knowledge of dividing is unknown to the public. Dividing one's self twice, is ample enough to recognize that it cannot be known from where the origins may have begun... three divisions, very rare... self-dividing beyond three, not spoken of.

The common translations... the scholarly translations... all of them known, none excepted, all did not know the very first word of Daodejing, nor the first word of the title... the result was of copy-pasted repeats of previous translations, all of which were, and are, of absurd contradictions that make no sense.

"A man said: 'I know a road from my house to the city which is downhill all the way to the city and downhill all the way back home.'" (The Measurement of Intelligence, (X, 2. Detecting absurdities), Lewis M. Terman, ©1916, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, New York, Chicago)

"I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God." (James Legge 1891)

Downhill uphill... past present... first last... all ought to be very simple to healthy people... if an individual is not able to mentally discern the mutuals, then the individual is able to speak with contradictions without 'detecting absurdities' within their own minds... all common translations, did not detect their own absurdities.