道衆 Tao Multitude #17
© Tao Fish - bone structure of Daodejing #36 (English commas added).
Copyright ©2019 May 08, 2019
The following are six public domain translations of the first three sentences within Daodejing's section #21. The quoted translations do not follow the original ancient Chinese text's words... not so much as closely follow... the translations are quite peculiar... resulting in there not being a clarity of where the first three original sentences began and ended within the quoted translations. Nevertheless, the quoted translations are what the authors wrote.
"The grandest forms of active force From Tao come, their only source. Who can of Tao the nature tell? Our sight it flies, our touch as well. Eluding sight, eluding touch, The forms of things all in it crouch;" (James Legge 1891)
"The great virtue as manifested is but following Tao. Tao is a thing that is both invisible and intangible. Intangible and invisible, yet there are forms in it;" (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)
"The comprehensiveness of supreme energy is its conformity to the Tao. The Tao considered as an entity is impalpable, indefinite. Indefinite, impalpable, within are concretions. Impalpable, indefinite, within are shapes." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)
""Vast virtue's form Follows Reason's norm. "And Reason's nature Is vague and eluding. "How eluding and vague All types including! How vague and eluding, All beings including!" (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)
"The complete manifestation of things visible proceeds only from Life. In its nature Life is always coming into activity, yet in itself it eludes our sight and touch. Eluding sight! eluding touch! Within it are hid the plane of created things." (Isabella Mears 1916)
"All the innumerable forms of teh correspond to the norm of Tao, but the nature of the Tao's activity is infinitely abstract and illusive. Illusive and obscure, indeed, but at its heart are forms and types." (Dwight Goddard 1919)
Below is an early word-per-word draft of my own that has had English punctuation changed, as well as having several key words changed to different English 'dictionary synonyms' so as to purposefully omit the key words as well as the sentences' meanings. The draft is ample enough to illustrate the original words' sequences of pattern.
'Fine virtue it toleration only way right unhurried. Way it be thing only indistinct only indistinct. Ignore (pause...) indistinct (pause...) it center be shape, indistinct (pause...) ignore (pause...) it center be thing.'
The sentence particle, 兮 (xi), is often translated to imply an exclamatory 'ah' or 'oh', which is the likely cause of many translations inserting the English exclamation mark '!'. Nevertheless, non-modern descriptions of 兮, as well as the symbolism's design, implies 'separated breath', or, as would be popularly said today in English, 'pause'.
'Laozi's' patterns of words... soft, slow guqin... many pauses in-between words... 兮 fits 'Laozi's' pattern... exclamation marks, do not fit, and the exclamation marks create an appearance of 'Laozi' as having had a rather bizarre personality.
One usefulness of the quoted translations is within their illustration that none agree with the other... not so much as near. All healthy individuals, can look up at a real cloud, and agree that the cloud is seen. Real things are real... people who can see the real things, agree that the things exist, and the people can describe the things similarly (at least a similarity of basic things, like shape and color). Imaginations, however, cannot be seen, and no two individuals' descriptions of their own imaginations will agree.
Another usefulness of the quoted translations is within their illustration that all of the translations literally omitted several of the key words that were in the original ancient sentences. The absence of the key words, rendered the whole of the translations to have no meaning.
Another usefulness of the quoted translations is within their illustration that the first three sentences have no relevance to the section's other sentences. The following are six public domain translations of the last two sentences within Daodejing's section #21:
"Now it is so; 'twas so of old. Its name--what passes not away; So, in their beautiful array, Things form and never know decay." (James Legge 1891)
"From of old till now, it has never lost its (nameless) name, Through which the origin of all things has passed. How do I know that it is so with the origin of all things? By this (Tao)." (Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904)
"From the beginning until now it has not changed, and thus it has watched all the essentials. How do I know it has been thus will all principles? By what has just been said." (Spurgeon Medhurst 1905)
""Its name is never vanishing, It heeds the good of everything." Through what do I know that "it heeds the good of everything"? In this way, verily: Through IT." (D.T. Suzuki & Paul Carus 1913)
"Through its Doorway comes the Universe into existence. How do I know that the Universe is coming to full perfection through Life? The witness is in Life itself." (Isabella Mears 1916)
"From of old its expression is unceasing, it has been present at all beginnings. How do I know that its nature is thus? By this same Tao." (Dwight Goddard 1919)
As was done for the first three sentences, below is an early word-per-word draft of my own that has had English punctuation changed, as well as having several key words changed to different English 'dictionary synonyms' so as to purposefully omit the key words as well as the sentences' meanings. The draft is ample enough to illustrate the original words' sequences of pattern.
'Certainly old reach today it name not go use read multitude now. I how use know multitude now it shape begin use now.'
The quoted sentence translations of the last two sentences, do not relate to the original Daodejing sentences, nor relate to the translator's own first three sentences.
The section's topic, it appears very simple to myself... I had written of the topic for a lengthy online article in 2013... within the article, I had given ample descriptions, without saying too much... it was of the same parallel topic that 'Laozi' wrote of throughout his writings.
Also interesting, is that section #21's topic is directly parallel to one of the very most topmost important Chinese texts of all time. One of Asia's most treasured writings, surely known to most all people living in Asia, but, perhaps, not known to English scholars. Investigating known public translations, of individuals' who translated both the topmost important Chinese texts and Daodejing #21, it was found that the translations do not agree, not even from the same author.
The six public domain translations... all are accepted by the masses... multitudes of people, believing, and accepting, other people's imaginations to be real things...
Divide one oneself... divide one's self... participating in one's own life, enables the ability to understand.