道內外 Tao Inside Outside #27








道內外 Tao Inside Outside #27


Tao Inside Outside

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

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2019 June May 27, 2019



Different Minds


Outsiders, and insiders... outsiders, are unaware of what exists inside of themselves... outsiders interpret most all things, to be things, outside of one's self.... , beyond, external, foreign, outward.

Insiders, are aware of what exists inside of themselves... insiders, interpret most all things, to be relative to what is firsthand experienced inside of one's self... , inner, interior, self.

Outsider... the alleged 'enlightened master' Tzu Ch'i, written to have said that emotions possibly arrived from souls... the writings described Tzu Ch'i as an outsider... similar are today's philosophies and sciences, not knowing what emotions are, nor from where they arrive.

Outsiders, believe of themselves to be smart, because they memorized words from school books, and are able to recite the words when asked about a topic. Outsiders cannot explain anything... outsiders cannot explain what an emotion is, nor an ethic, nor anything else... the best that an outsider is able to do, is to recite dictionary words, as how the outsiders were trained to do in schools.

The product of outsider training, is witnessed within how outsiders interpret words... it makes no difference what the words might imply... it makes no difference if the words pointed to inside things or outside things, outsiders will still only be able to interpret the words to imply outside things, because, the outsiders know nothing else, and are unable to think of anything else.

The following are seven public domain translations of the first sentences within Daodejing's section #36:

"When one is about to take an inspiration, he is sure to make a (previous) expiration; when he is going to weaken another, he will first strengthen him; when he is going to overthrow another, he will first have raised him up; when he is going to despoil another, he will first have made gifts to him:--this is called 'Hiding the light (of his procedure).' The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong." (James Legge 1891)

Legge, following the values of his culture, era, ideology, philosophy, mind, and heart, interpreted the original Chinese words to be pointing at violence... of one man's physical violence committed upon another man... of lies, deceit, of pompously desiring and believing of himself to be the lord and master of another individual.

"In order to contract a thing, one should surely expand it first. In order to weaken, one will surely strengthen first. In order to overthrow, one will surely exalt first. 'In order to take, one will surely give first'! This is called subtle wisdom. The soft and weak can overcome the hard and strong." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)

Ch'u, not distant from Legge, interpreted the words to point to one's self-gain, while also claiming that lies and deceit are ingredients of wisdom.

"If you would contract, you must first expand. If you would weaken, you must first strengthen. If you would overthrow, you must first raise up. If you would take, you must first give. This is called obscuring one’s light." (Lionel Giles 1905)

Giles' interpretation, superior over the others... not ideal, but at least the words were presented with a degree of mental stability.

"When about to inhale it is certainly necessary to open the mouth; when about to weaken it is certainly necessary to strengthen; when about to discard it is certainly necessary to promote; when about to take away it is certainly necessary to impart - this is atomic perception. The weak overcome the strong." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

Medhurst, within his common manner, inserted his philosophy of science into the words... Medhurst's philosophy, was of imagined outside things, not of firsthand-experienced inside things.

"That which is about to contract has surely been expanded. That which is about to weaken has surely been strengthened. That which is about to fall has surely been raised. That which is about to be despoiled has surely been endowed. This is an explanation of the secret that the tender and the weak conquer the hard and the strong." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)

The Suzuki & Carus interpretation, attempted to insert an imagination of reasoning as being the core topic, and, to then, finish the interpretation with violence.

"If you desire to breathe deeply, you must first empty the lungs. If you desire to be strong, you must first learn to be weak. If you desire to be in a lofty position, you must first learn to take a lowly position. If you desire to be enriched by gifts, you must first give away all that you have. This is called concealment and enlightenment. The soft overcomes the hard. The weak overcomes the strong." (Isabella Mears 1916)

The Mears interpretation, colored of a popular ideology's ideals, inserted logics of outside things... inserting reasonings to be based upon one's selfish desires of self-profit...

"That which has a tendency to contract must first have been extended; that which has a tendency to weaken itself must first have been strong; that which shows a tendency to destroy itself must first have been raised up; that which shows a tendency to scatter must first have been gathered. This is the explanation of a seeming contradiction: the tender and yielding conquer the rigid and strong (i.e., spirit is stronger than matter, persuasion than force)." (Dwight Goddard 1919)

Goddard, also interpreting the words relative to scholarly knowledge, interpreted the words to be as school textbook statements, while finishing the sentences with thoughts of violence.

The following is a word-per-word translation that uses loose English synonyms... the translation is not ideal, nor intended to be accurate, but close enough to illustrate the sentences' structures:


(a) Would intend-desire compress-suck-inhale it, will solidify stretch-expand it

(b) Would intend-desire delicate, it will solidify force-strength it

(c) Would intend-desire reject-abandon it, will solidify raise-interest it

(d) Would intend-desire snatch-rob it, will solidify take-part it

(e) Correct sense-meaning tiny-micro bright-understand

(f) Soft-gentle-pliant fragile-weak-young-inferior success rigid-strong force-strength




An insider, when reading the words, from memory recreates within one's self the firsthand experiences of each topic of action... the words are interpreted relative to what is real within one's self... the actions, real, within one's self... the felt sensations of what had been present during each firsthand experience, are recreated to be in the 'now' present... the insider, then once again observing how the actions occur within one's self... the firsthand actions, then describe the words... the insider, using verb-words to vocally describe the sentences' meanings.

Outsiders, no awareness of inner self, no recollection of an inside action if no inside action was ever consciously observed... outsiders, have no other option but to imaginatively interpret the sentences as the seven examples illustrated.

If the original Chinese text's author was an insider, then the words should be interpreted from the insider point of view... if, the original Chinese text's author were an outsider, and had written from an outsider point of view, then the philosophical words are without value, and unworthy of being read.

If Daodejing is supposed to have been written by an 'enlightened' individual, then the wording ought to be interpreted similarly. An outsider author, unaware of his own self, of what possible value could his words be?

Outsiders truly believe that an apple in one's left hand, and an apple in one's right hand, is the mathematical sum of 2, which infers 'same, equal, level, and identical'. The insider, similarly holding apples, recognizes that the apples are of different sizes, different colors, different aromas, different feelings, different weights, different histories, and, within the countless variations of sensorially sensed differences between the different apples, there can never be a 2, same, equal, level, nor identical.

The world of outsiders, is imaginary... all things, given imaginary noun-names... all things, judged relative to the imaginary language of mathematics. The world of insiders, is what is real to one's self... all things, judged relative to what is real of one's own sensory perceptions... self-critiqued... understanding, that all things of this Reality, are as how the body senses this Reality... to the insider, perhaps the concept might be reduced into the idea of something like 'so this is how I myself perceive this Reality', while also being aware that what one senses, does not mandate that that is all that exists.

'Would intend-desire reject-abandon it, will solidify raise-interest it'... from the insider point of view, if an individual were to choose to abandon a thing, the choice would naturally heighten an interest/attention of the thing... to mentally focus on a thing to be abandoned, the mental focus is solidified of interest.

All individuals, self-aware of their own thoughts, would share a similar opinion... a similar underlying concept... that first, there was no concerted mental focus on a thing, but when having chosen to abandon the thing, thoughts of the thing rise stronger of focus... the thoughts, approaching to the forefront of the mind... interest, is raised.

Outsiders, however, amply describe their own minds and hearts by how the outsiders interpreted the words:

"when he is going to overthrow another, he will first have raised him up" (James Legge 1891)

"In order to overthrow, one will surely exalt first." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)

"If you would overthrow, you must first raise up." (Lionel Giles 1905)

"when about to discard it is certainly necessary to promote" (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

"That which is about to fall has surely been raised." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)

"If you desire to be in a lofty position, you must first learn to take a lowly position." (Isabella Mears 1916)

"that which shows a tendency to destroy itself must first have been raised up" (Dwight Goddard 1919)

Insiders agree of interpreted concepts... outsiders, their interpretations are wild, conflicting of the others, none with agreement, illustrating that the outsiders' interpretations are imaginary, mere reflections of the individuals' own hearts.

And once again, if Daodejing section #36 were written by an 'enlightened master', then the words were written from an insider's point of view... but, if the words were written from an outsider point of view as the scholarly versions claim, then the words are worthless, useless, of no value, and unworthy of being read.

Now, who wrote Daodejing section #36? Was it 'Laozi'... was it a scholar... or was it of a decaying mind?

Skilled musicians are able to recognize patterns within other musicians' music, and are able to know from whom the music was created... similar is for many different types of skill...

Insiders, self-observe... self-observe self-patterns... self-observe thought patterns... self-observe one's own reactions when reading other people's words... self-recognize differences of written patterns... self-recognize which written patterns are harmonious, and which written patterns are not. Outsiders see no patterns, feel no patterns, recognize no patterns, not able to discern lies from honesty, and not know who wrote what.

The author, of section #36, obvious...

If an individual believes that Tao can be known through outside words, then why are the individuals unable to read the Tao words that say that Nature and Tao have no emotions? If an individual does not know what an emotion is, then it is absurd to claim that something else does not possess an emotion.

Chuang Tzu... believes, for instance, that every human being has a soul, which is an emanation from the great impersonal Soul of the universe. In contradistinction to the mind, which is only the scene or background of our ever-changing sensations and emotions, and dies with the body, the soul is in its nature immortal, and after passing through a series of different states in conditioned being, finally reunites with the divine essence whence it sprang. How to hasten the attainment of this goal of supreme bliss—that is the question which lies at the root of Chuang Tzu's philosophy. And his answer points to the abstract contemplation of Tao as the only means of destroying attachment to existence for its own sake, and thus loosening the soul from its bodily fetters. ...To him the highest form of virtue does not mean the mortification of animal instincts. Rather would he like these to have free and natural scope. Nor does it consist in living the life of a hermit. For "the perfect man can transcend the limits of the human and yet not withdraw from the world." "Those," he says, "who would benefit mankind from deep forests or lofty mountains are simply unequal to the strain upon their higher natures." Again, his hatred of outward show leads him to condemn anything approaching ritualism or asceticism, which he perceives truly enough to be symptoms of decay in the moral fibre. The only form of fasting he will recommend is the "fasting of the heart." (Musings of a Chinese Mystic, Lionel Giles, ©1911)

The writings about Chuang Tzu, saying that the soul can attain "supreme bliss"... but is not 'bliss' a human emotion? How then, is a soul able to express a human emotion? Is that not a contradiction and a confession of not knowing what he was talking about?

And "supreme" implies a two-dimensional measure, as well as implying that the soul and root of Source have boundaries... boundaries that Nature places upon created material objects. But, is not Source before Nature? How can Nature place boundaries upon the Source that created Nature?

To believe in outsiders' words, always results in contradictions and absurdities.

Root of Source... not two-dimensional, not finished, no boundaries... chidao, shakes head at Chuang Tzu's imaginations of bliss...