道明 Tao Understand #15








道明 Tao Understand #15


道明 Tao Understand

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

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2019 May 07, 2019



Public domain translations of the first sentence in section #33 of Daodejing:

"He who knows other men is discerning; he who knows himself is intelligent." (James Legge 1891)

"He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)

"Who knows men has discernment; who knows himself has illumination." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

"One who knows others is clever, but one who knows himself is enlightened." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)

"He who knows men is wise, He who knows himself can see clearly." (Isabella Mears 1916)

"He who knows others is intelligent; he who understands himself is enlightened;" (Dwight Goddard 1919)

The original Chinese words with direct English translations below:

知  人  者  智

know people person-ist knowledge

自  知  者  明

oneself know person-ist understand

My own draft version of the direct word-per-word translation:

'Know people person-ist, knowledge...

Oneself know person-ist, understand.'

In a smoothed modern conversational English: 'A person who knows people, the knowing is knowledge... a person who knows oneself, the knowing is understanding'.

(ming) implies 'understand, bright, clear, straightforward'. The word is composed of , meaning 'sun', and meaning 'moon'. The sun and moon, bright, obvious, clear to see, unmistakable, understood when seeing firsthand.

Memorizing book words, is knowledge... self-observing one's self, is understanding.

Memorizing book words about being a lead violinist, is knowledge... experiencing firsthand one's self being a lead violinist, is understanding.

Memorizing philosophical book words about dao, is knowledge... experiencing firsthand one's self dao, is understanding.



is bright-understanding of what is obvious firsthand...

Reading words has no light, and has no understanding... all imaginary.

The public domain quotes interpreted as "intelligent", "enlightened", "illumination", "enlightened", "see clearly", and "enlightened".

Not distant from the Three Character Classic, children are taught when young to memorize book words, and taught that book words are all that any individual needs to know everything about everything. Today, most all children are forced to obey the laws of attending schools, where only the memorizing of words is permitted, while firsthand understanding is deemed to be irrelevant, and unwanted.

The act of self-thinking, understanding, is so distant from most minds, that the idea itself is much too often interpreted to imply a form of mysterious 'enlightenment'.

'Laozi' spoke of firsthand self-thinking, of firsthand self-observation, of firsthand self-understanding...

'Laozi's' dao, requires firsthand understanding.

All of the knowledge in the world, cannot give the understanding of a warm kiss...

All of the knowledge in the world, cannot give the understanding of love...

All of the knowledge in the world, cannot give the understanding of beauty...

All of the knowledge in the world, cannot give the understanding of virtue...

All of the knowledge in the world, cannot give the understanding of an ethic...

All of the knowledge in the world, cannot give the understanding of dao...

Chidao, is firsthand dao...

Public domain translations of the last sentence in section #33 of Daodejing:

"...he who dies and yet does not perish, has longevity." (James Legge 1891)

"He who may die but not perish has longevity." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)

"...he dies, but does not perish; he lives eternally." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)

"One who may die but will not perish, has life everlasting." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)

"He who dies, but does not perish, shall endure for ever." (Isabella Mears 1916)

"...but he, who dying does not perish, is immortal." (Dwight Goddard 1919)

According to some scholars' imaginations, a living human being can die, but not die-perish, and can continue living a long human life after being dead.

According to some scholars' imaginations, 'self-thinking understanding' is the cause of eternal life.

One scholar made a very small mistake, but the small mistake resulted in a very large misinterpretation, and all future scholars copied the same mistake...

All of the knowledge in the world, cannot give the understanding of what the scholars were thinking...


Divide one oneself... divide one's self... participating in one's own life, enables the ability to understand.