荀子 Xunzi 勸學 Encourage Learning #5








荀子 Xunzi 勸學 Encourage Learning #5

Commentary and Translations


荀子 Xunzi

(PD) Zhao Yong - Egrets Small Birds Willows and Peach Blossoms

(Photo clarity and wording by Larry Neal Gowdy)

Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2020 April 04, 2020




Paragraph #18


The following is a rough word-per-word draft translation of paragraph #18. Notes are added to some sentences so as to help explain some of the ideas behind the 18th paragraph.

'Junzi know man not flawless-complete, not pure-unmixed, {it-him} not walk {use-so-as-to} become beautiful {also}.' [The Chinese word for 'man' is fu, which most often implies 'adult male, man', but can also be used to infer 'that, these, this, those'. Less often, Fu is used to reference Confucius: 孔夫子 Kong Fu Zi. The questions ask: [1] if fu is interpreted to imply 'this, these', then the sentence would refer to paragraph #17, at which time the sentence would fully contradict all previous paragraphs' comments about firsthand experience of real things in the real world, and [2] if fu is interpreted to imply 'man' — which would be coherent with the previous paragraphs' topic — then 'man' might conflict with a later sentence of 'man right'. When first entering into paragraph #18, 'man' appears to be the only coherent and sensible choice, but the following possible contradictions suggest that the author may have used 'fu' to imply two or more different meanings, or, perhaps, the author(s) may have contradicted himself, or, most likely, the reader is misreading the sentence.]

'Therefore speak-out criticize-critique, {use-according-to} pierce-pass-through-string(guan) {it-him-this}.' [The original word for 'speak-out' can also imply 'chant, read aloud, recite', but within the language era the idea might be closer to something like 'speak centered', or 'focused talking'. The ideas of 'recite' and 'real aloud' make no sense within the sentence's context. The original word for 'criticize-critique' has numerous definitions that revolve around 'best, calculate, count, repeatedly', but the original meaning appears to best point at the roots of 'mother middle daughter whip', which is a common concept of middle children not having the favoritism given to the oldest and youngest children, and so therefore 'criticize-critique' more closely relates to the roots' combined concept. 'Guan' is a string of 1,000 coins (coins with holes in the middle), and generally implies 'go through, pass through, penetrate'. Therefore it would be absurd to say 'chant best pass-through', and also be absurd to say 'read aloud repeatedly penetrate'. The idea of 'speak-out critique penetrate' is a rational process of observing and vocally critiquing man's way of life.]

'Analyze string, {use-so-as-to} logical-walk-through {it-him}.'

'Be {its-his} character, {use} pattern(reside-be-in-stay), {it-him} remove {its-his} harmful-effect-disharmonious {person-ist}, {use-so-as-to} grasp-hold raise-nourish {it-him}.' [The word for 'harmful' (hai) points to a dwelling with an abundance of 'mouths, holes, voices'. The word raises ideas of a dwelling with too many people, a home with too many holes in the walls, and/or a home with too many voices that would naturally result in disharmonious relationships. For the moment, all three of the ideas could be placed within a single classification of 'harmful-disharmonious'.]

'Apply eye wrong, right nothing want see {also}.' [The original word for 'apply' is frequently used as 'envoy, cause, send, apply'. The general idea behind the word is that of an official giving orders that other people accomplish. In the current sentence, the idea appears to be pointing at the act of an individual choosing and commanding something for oneself to accomplish.]

'Apply ear wrong, right nothing want hear {also}.'

'Apply mouth wrong, right nothing want speak {also}.'

'Apply heart-mind wrong, right nothing want think-concerned {also}.'

'Reach arrival, {its-his-that} deliver good-harmonious(hao) {it} {also}.' ['Deliver' is as the accomplishing of what was 'sent-applied' in the previous sentences. The word hao is popularly defined and used as 'good' in modern language, but the original word's structure suggests at least two probabilities, [1] a type of natural reciprocative harmonious relationship that commonly exists between a child and mother, and [2] the husband's emotional point of view of having a wife and children within a cultural era that valued having many children. There is no known English word that has a similar concept for either emotion, and so 'good-harmonious' is temporarily adequate enough for a draft translation.]

'Eye, good-harmonious(hao) {it} five color.'

'Ear, good-harmonious(hao) {it} five sound.'

'Mouth, good-harmonious(hao) {it} five taste.'

'Heart-mind, benefit-advantage-favorable {it} have heaven under right.' [The original word xin has no parallel English word, nor any parallel word within any known European language, and so 'heart-mind' is chosen so as to help suggest that xin does not infer the common English idea of 'brain thinking'.]

'Therefore authority benefit-advantage-favorable, not capable deviation {also}.' [The 'authority' appears to point at one's own authority of 'applying'.]

'Multitude-herd, many not capable change {also}.' [The idea is valid: most people are not capable of changing their behaviors. If the sentence inferred that the multitude-herd is not being capable of changing junzi's own self-harmony, then the sentence would contradict the surrounding sentences.]

'Heaven under, not capable move-sway {also}.' [Again valid: Nature is not capable of being swayed. The laws of Nature never change. If the sentence inferred that even Nature could not sway junzi's self-harmony, then the sentence contradicts the previous sentence of 'have heaven under right', also contradicts the following sentences, and all while also contradicting what is real in the real world. If 'heart-mind heaven under right', then the junzi is logical, his logic is Nature-based, and 'heaven under' does indeed 'sway' the junzi's logic and choices. Regardless of the final decision of words, the underlying idea is that a junzi is stable and unmoving of his own quality standards of thought and behavior.]

'Birth, {in-from- ',' } reason right.' ['Right' is an antonym of 'wrong', and implies a different angle of concept than the English word 'correct'. The sentence's meaning relates to the previous sentences as well as the following sentences.]

'Die, {in-from- ',' } reason right.'

'Man right, {it-him} logical-meaning-name virtue(de) hold-character-plain.' [In paragraph #3 is the sentence structure of 'spirit, no-one great regarding transform way(dao); happiness, no-one forever regarding not-have misfortune'. Paragraph #12 has 'Man correct, {it} name dao-way virtue {it} ridgepole; propriety-rites, {it} respect writing-culture {also}; music-cheerful, {it} amidst harmonious {also}; poem book, {it} extensive {also}; spring autumn, {it} small {also}; exist heaven earth, {it} space-between {person-ist}, complete {carry}.' Therefore the current sentence is coherent with previous paragraphs when the sentence is interpreted as 'man right'. The final choice of sentence structuring will be chosen while the draft version is being edited. Modern use of the word 'hold-character-plain' (cao) may imply 'hold, command, possess', but the word's concept points to a thing that is held with a plain singular character. 'Plain' infers like a 'tree', a complex thing that is seen as a plain singular thing and given a plain singular name. A man who is calm, moves symmetrically, speaks calm, is level-headed, is rational, is mindful, who cares for other people, who weighs situations fairly, and who is consistent of reasoning and behavior, the man might be said to be virtuous. The virtue has many ingredients, but seen as like a tree of one name: 'man right, him name virtue plain', and, if the virtue plain exists, then 'man right, him name virtue hold'.]

'Virtue(de) hold-character-plain affirm-like-this careful-slow-tiny-steps, capable decide-determine.' ['Careful-slow-tiny-steps' is often given the modern definition of 'behind, later in time, future, descendants' etc.. The choice of how to define the word will depend upon the context's era of language use.]

'Capable decide-determine affirm-like-this careful-slow-tiny-steps, capable comply-respond.'




'Capable decide-determine, capable comply-respond, man right {it-him} logical-meaning-name capable character.' [Again a sentence contains 'fu', and this sentence is again given the interpretation of 'man'. If fu implies 'man', then the sentence structure will be indicative of the author's style, as well as provide a clue of whether it is the same author who wrote the previous paragraphs.]

'Heaven see {its} light-bright-understanding.' ['Light-bright-understanding' is simply the sun and moon, both being firsthand obvious and understood by everyone who looks up. Within the current sentence, and by how the sentence relates to the next sentences, 'light-bright-understanding' is currently the favored choice.]

'Earth see {its} color.' [The word for 'color' implies a concept of 'fire above person', which might infer ideas of 'lit, polished, honor, glory, brightness, luster, to color' and several others. Within the current context, since the heavens do shine light, and since the sun's light-fire is above Earth, and since light is necessary for colors to be seen, plus since the next sentence speaks of junzi treasuring the whole-complete — as also spoken of in paragraph #17 — then references to Earth ought to remain coherent, and thus, Earth's 'color' is one of the plausible choices that references the reflection of the heaven's light.]

'Jun zi value-precious-treasure {its-his} whole-complete {also}.' [Two plausible interpretations: [1] junzi treasures his own whole-complete consistency, or [2] junzi treasures the whole-complete consistency of heaven and Earth. Considering that heaven and Earth are the leading topics, then it is reasonable to assume that the 'whole-complete' is referencing heaven and Earth, not referencing junzi. Also, 'its-his' infers a third-person thing not of oneself. If the sentence had implied junzi treasuring his own whole-complete, then the original word would have likely been 'it-him'. And here, the final sentence either agrees or conflicts with the first sentence. If 'fu' is defined as 'man', then the first to the last sentences are all coherent. By observing how the author patterned his words within sentences, the pattern can then be applied consistently throughout the whole of Encourage Learning — as well as all other chapters — as a measure of whether there is one author or more authors.]


It is at this point that a draft translation begins receiving an in-depth inquiry into how the author structured his words, how the author defined his words, and how the author's words related to what is real in the real world. Once the author's patterns of definitions are formed, and after the sentences have been interpreted, only then is it known with a degree of confidence what the author wrote. Sometimes an initial interpretation will appear to be obvious, but when the interpretation is judged relative to the set pattern, the author may then be discovered to have been pointing at different details. An opinion of a book is not concluded until after the whole of the book is judged of pattern.


Dubs' The Works of Hsüntze


However, as a contrast, philosophers enter into translations while with the preconceived and prejudiced belief that the philosophers already know everything in the book without the philosophers first having read the book, plus the philosophers believing that they can adequately interpret sentences without the philosophers first possessing a knowledge of the sentences' topics. As the 'hundred shoot miss one' topic in paragraph #17 illustrated that philosophers have no knowledge of shooting, so likewise philosophers have no knowledge of any other topic within Encourage Learning that requires firsthand participation and self-thinking.

Since all known philosophical translations excessively copy-paste each other's words while also following the pattern of slanting all words to fit and to promote irrational European ideologies, then it is enough to only quote one philosophical translation.



"The superior man knows that his knowledge is not complete or perspicuous, insufficient to be classed as fine; so he recites the Classics sentence by sentence in order to make them a part of himself, he seeks to search into them in order to understand them; he puts himself into the places of the writers in order to understand their viewpoint; he expels any wrong from his nature in order to grasp and mature his knowledge: he makes his eye unwilling to see what is not right; he makes his ears unwilling to hear what is not right; he makes his mouth unwilling to speak what is not right; he makes his heart unwilling to think what is not right; until he obtains what he most desires— the five colours his eyes love, the five sounds his ears love; the five tastes his mouth loves, the empire which rejoices his heart. For this reason, he cannot be overturned by force; mobs of common people cannot change him; the country cannot move him. His life will be according to this, and his death will be according to it. This is what is meant by firmly grasping virtue. When he has firmly grasped virtue, he will be able to fix his mind without distraction; when he has fixed his mind, he will be able to respond to the situation. When he can fix his mind and can respond to the situation, he can be classed as a perfect man. Heaven exhibits its brilliance; Earth exhibits its vastness; the superior man values his own completeness." (The Works of Hsüntze by Homer H. Dubs, Ph.D., publisher Arthur Probsthain, London, 1928).



Not a single sentence in Dubs' translation makes sense. Dubs also contradicted most everything that he had claimed about the "superior man" in Dubs' previous paragraphs. Dubs' translation is incoherent, inconsistent, contradicting, irrational, and exhibits a similar dementia as James Legge's. Legge and Dubs had both been missionaries to China, both had abandoned their religion in favor of more money and social status as an Oxford employee, and both purposefully twisted original Chinese texts to promote Legge's and Dubs' vanity.

One opinion of James Legge: "... Legge's whole attitude to Confucianism bespoke one comprehensive and fatal foregone conclusion — the conviction that it must at every point prove inferior to Christianity." (The Sayings of Confucius, Lionel Giles, ©1910, E. P. Dutton and Company). Dubs did similarly as Legge, except perhaps having abandoned the god of Christianity in favor of a different god: himself.

Within the next chapter Cultivate Life, Dubs' preaching intensifies into a sickness that is not so much as worthy of comment. Dubs was only around thirty-six years old when his book was published in 1928 — about forty-one years before his reported death in 1969 — not old enough to be suffering from old age dementia and Alzheimer's, and so it is assumed that Dubs may have always had the mental illnesses, including when he held employment at Oxford.

Legge and Dubs were not unique; all known philosophical writings are very similar of inconsistencies, contradictions, fallacies of logic, forgeries, and a peculiar form of pervasive dementia. Similar to how the 'hundred shoot miss one' is an easy example of illustrating philosophers' tremendous lack of education and life experience, so are C. G. Jung's own writings an easy example of why the pervasive dementia exists within all known academic writings. Examples from Jung's writings will be included within following articles about the Chinese book The Secret of the Golden Flower.


Sum


Encourage Learning begins and ends with the ideas of learning and self-improving through the conscious self-thinking reasoning of firsthand experiences; of participating in one's own life. The goal is similar as the goals within all coherent dao-ways: to be stable of mind and behavior (be sane), be stable of reasoning (be intelligent), be stable of fairness (think intelligently), be stable of emotions (be level of heart and intelligent of mind), to be consistent in all (be uniform), to be smart enough to know that the only consistent standard is Nature, and, the created sum of a whole consistency is often given the noun-name 'virtue'.

A man who is virtuous, he is able to describe the many ingredients within his virtue. Tiny people, of inconsistencies and of unstable minds and behaviors, the tiny people are able to memorize and to recite the word 'virtue', but the tiny people are unable to describe what the word means. Philosophers and ideologists are tiny, able to memorize and to recite unknown words, but unable to describe what any word means: philosophers and ideologists are not virtuous.

The words within Encourage Learning, as well as numerous other ancient Chinese books, the words point to simple things, but, apparently, the simple things still remain beyond what many people are capable of achieving. The quality man, junzi, he is given the noun-name of 'junzi' because he is indeed stable and consistent of a logic and behavior that are consistent with the standard of Nature's way.

Outward calmness is the product of the inner harmony of numerous quality ingredients: outward physical 'calm' motions cannot create inner harmony, nor quality ingredients, nor virtue.

Level speaking is the product of inner harmony: speaking in forced monotones cannot create inner harmony, nor virtue.

Philosophers and ideologists claim that fake outward behaviors are sufficient enough to name the person 'virtuous'. The philosophers and ideologists are stupid.

From paragraph #13: 'Junzi {it-him} learning {also}, enter {in-from} ear, attach {in-from} heart, spread {in-from} four limbs, body {in-from} move calm. Hold-level {and-while} speak, fluid {and-while} move, alone able use be standard follow. Tiny person {it-him} learning {also}, enter {in-from} ear, come-out {in-from} mouth, mouth ear {it-him} space-between then four cun ear. How entirely {use} beautiful seven chi {it} body {begin-?}?'

Encourage Learning speaks of rational real world things, things that still relate to today's world. The Principles of Quality page illustrates several modern parallels to what Xunzi wrote.