道報 Tao Reciprocation #18








道報 Tao Reciprocation #18


Tao Reciprocation

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

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2019 May 13, 2019



Reciprocation, the English word points to an action... not point to a WuWei 'non-action'... and the action, within the nature of Nature's way, can infer two general points of view, [1] a reciprocation that selfishly balances other people's outward behaviors... eye for an eye... and, [2] a necessary ingredient of Creation's creativity, that of harmony.

By which manner of how a translator uses the word 'reciprocation', it will illustrate the translator's own point of view, of the translator being an outsider or an insider... and by how the word is used within a text, it also illustrates the author as being either an outsider or an insider.

交 (jiāo), is only used twice within Daodejing... used once in section #60, and also used once in section #61... (jiāo) implies 'communicate, exchange, mix, mutual, reciprocate, relationship, simultaneous, etc.'.

報 (bào), is used only once within Daodejing... used only within section #63... (bào) implies 'announce, karma, note, judgment, reciprocate, report, revenge, vengeance, etc.'.

(jiāo) and (bào) both point to outside things, which is fine if the author knowingly used outsider terms, but not fine if the author believed that the words inferred inside things.


Section #60


The following is a rough (and known to be incorrect of synonyms) draft of the last two sentences within section #60, the draft illustrating the word structures that include (jiāo): 'Sage person likewise not harmful people, man both not mutually harmful. Therefore virtue reciprocal return how.'

The following are six public domain translations of the last two sentences within Daodejing's section #60:

"When these two do not injuriously affect each other, their good influences converge in the virtue (of the Tao)." (James Legge 1891)

"Nor will the Sage harm the people. Inasmuch as none of them harms anybody, Therefore virtue belongs to them both." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)

"...but he will not be injured by the sages. When neither harm, the attributes of the Tao blend and converge." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

"...but neither will its holy men harm the people. Since neither will do harm, therefore their virtues will be combined." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)

" The Master also does not hurt men. Therefore they unite in manifesting Teh." (Isabella Mears 1916)

"...neither will wise men mislead the people. Since nothing frightens or harms the people, teh will abide." (Dwight Goddard 1919)

Though (jiāo) may point to a relationship that is reciprocal, the common translations appear to be presented from a knowledge-based outside point of view, one that inserts words of outside behaviors without first understanding the inside nature of reciprocation. The common translations appear to attempt to infer that the proper behavior for a 'sage person' is of three general categories... [1] for the sage person to be violently vengeful of other people's behavior that the sage person does not personally believe to be as perfect as his own... [2] for the sage person to be passive to all forms of violence... or, [3] the sage person ought to live within a pollyanna imagination that bad people can somehow become good people if the good people behave 'virtuously' towards bad people.

Pollyanna, the word implies 'unrealistically optimistic'... it is unrealistically optimistic to believe that a bad person can become a good person merely by a good person submitting to the bad person's bad behavior... no wars would exist if one person's virtue could cause a bad person to become friendly... and, so, therefore, the imagined idea of 'unite in virtue' has no relativity to what is real in this Reality.


Section #61


The following is a rough (and known to be incorrect of synonyms) draft of the first sentence within section #61, the draft illustrating the word structure that includes (jiāo): 'Large nation person-ist under stream(class), heaven under it reciprocal, heaven under it female'.

The following are six public domain translations of the first sentence within Daodejing's section #61:

"What makes a great state is its being (like) a low-lying, down-flowing (stream);--it becomes the centre to which tend (all the small states) under heaven." (James Legge 1891)

"A great state is the worlds low-stream (to which all the river flows [sic] down), the world's field and the world's female." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)



"A great country is lowly. Everything under heaven blends with it. It is like the female, which at all times and in every place overcomes the male by her quietude." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

"A great state, one that lowly flows, becomes the empire's union, and the empire's wife." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)

"A great kingdom, lowly like running water, is the Meeting-place of the world. It is the feminine quality of the world. " (Isabella Mears 1916)

"A great state that is useful is like a bond of unity within the Empire; it is the Empire's wife." (Dwight Goddard 1919)

The word (man with arms stretched wide) typically implies 'big, bigger, great, huge, large, wide, etc.', and so the English words of 'great' and 'large' require choosing relative to what the sentence is speaking of... which English term chosen, is not much important until the whole of the section is translated and determined what the section is speaking of... the original Chinese character is recognized for its intention, and is not dependent on the English definition.

Similarly, an English synonym of (jiāo) requires first knowing what the sentence and section are pointing at. The common translations appear to point to outsider doctrines... point to doctrines of ideologies already held within belief by the translators... the translators choosing English words to bend the original Chinese words to allegedly fit the pre-existing beliefs.

The original text's author, also appears to be pointing to outsider points of view, a relationship, while also inserting pre-existing beliefs of outsider doctrines.


Section #63


The following is a rough (and known to be incorrect of synonyms) draft of the second sentence within section #63, the draft illustrating the word structure that includes (bào): 'Large small, many few, announce-reciprocate hatred-enmity use virtue'.

The following are six public domain translations of the second sentence within Daodejing's section #63. Some of the translators purposefully rearranged the original words, making the translators' English sentences to be difficult to follow.

"...to consider what is small as great, and a few as many; and to recompense injury with kindness." (James Legge 1891)

"Regard the small as the great; regard the few as many. Manage the difficult while they are easy; Manage the great while they are small." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)

"Account the small as great, and the few as many. For hatred return perfection." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

"Make great the small. Make much the little. Requite hatred with virtue." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)

"The great shall be small, The many shall be few, and Evil shall be recompensed by goodness." (Isabella Mears 1916)

"...to enlarge the small things, and multiply the few. He should respond to hatred with kindness." (Dwight Goddard 1919)

Again the common translations chose pre-existing ideological beliefs, while not giving attention to the original words themselves. The question, is to ask what the author likely intended... did the author himself intend for (bào) to imply 'judgment', 'reciprocation', 'revenge', or perhaps a different meaning?

'Large small, many few' appears to generally imply a concept of all people, or, perhaps, implying the size and quantity of 'hatreds'...

The 'use' word... (yǐ)... within 'hatred-enmity use virtue' can also imply 'according to, because, in order to, take advantage of, with, etc.'. If (yǐ) is translated to imply 'with', then the sentence would read similar to 'Large small, many few, reciprocate enmity with virtue'.

The sentence would appear to be sensible within a common ideological belief of 'turning the other cheek'... that is, rewarding evil with 'good'... to make of oneself easy prey... but the sentence would also reduce (bào) down to implying an 'act of return'... again, there exists an act, not a WuWei 'non-action'.

And so, regardless of how the sentences might be translated, the sentences continue to point to outside behaviors, while not speaking of inside natures.

But now, if English punctuation were changed, the sentence might read as 'Large small, many few, reciprocate enmity... use virtue'. The sentence might also be read as 'Large small, many few, announce enmity (to) use virtue'. By separating the words, and permitting pauses of concept-thoughts, the sentence can then imply something quite different.

And again, the final choice of how to interpret the words, will depend on what the previous and following sentences state.

Nevertheless, regardless of how the sentence is translated, and regardless of how each word is chosen of synonyms, the sentence and its surrounding sentences do indeed speak of outside behaviors, while not hinting of inside natures.

If all of Daodejing were similar, all being of outsider acts, then Daodejing would be nothing more than a rehash of existing ideological beliefs, and not relate to what is real within this Reality, nor be rational.

One voice within Daodejing, it spoke of a scholar's imaginations... another voice, it spoke of pollyanna outsider beliefs... another voice, it spoke of inside natures as described from a firsthand point of view.

Nature... Creation... all exists within the act of harmony... Creation cannot occur through outside behaviors... Creation must occur within inside behaviors...

If Tao/Dao is supposed to be about Creation, the 'way' of Creation, from heaven to earth to man, then the manners of how (jiāo) and (bào) were presented, are not a portion of Tao/Dao, nor worthy to stand beside the voice who spoke of creative inside natures from an insider's firsthand point of view.