...life can be translucent

Menu

Tai Xuan Jing - new translation

H

hmesker

Guest
One stupid question can kill nine cats with nine lives each. . . .
With remarks like this cats will likely be the only creatures willing to use your work - as a scratching post that is. You have a strange way to motivate potential readers to purchase your book.
 

cjgait

Senior member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
276
Reaction score
0
Cats

With remarks like this cats will likely be the only creatures willing to use your work - as a scratching post that is. You have a strange way to motivate potential readers to purchase your book.
Cats have few objects they use day to day. It seems this work is like one of the other objects. And it needs the sand changed.
 

pocossin

Senior member
Joined
Feb 7, 1970
Messages
4,521
Reaction score
5
Robert, would you please give your view of Alex's work? If it isn't plagiarism as I thought, is it an erratic translation?
 

boyler

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 1971
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
I will look at it when I find some spare time.
 

pocossin

Senior member
Joined
Feb 7, 1970
Messages
4,521
Reaction score
5
a page index to the tetragrams in Alex's book

tet page
01 64
02 79
03 90
04 99
05 109
06 119
07 131
08 142
09 152
10 161
11 170
12 179
13 187
 

boyler

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 1971
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Hi Tom,

After glancing through the translation, and comparing it with the original text, I am sorry that I have to say that I agree with you :(

I don't know it is a plagiarism, but it is, IMHO, not proper (scholarly) translation either, and if it is a translation, it's some kind of hermeneutic "translation", which, being a kind of translator myself , I don't like, as these are not accurate, or rather, not faithful to the original.

(see, e.g. my translation of the Mystery's Heads texts at my Facebook Tai Xuan page ... honestly, I was hoping for similar reaction on my translation, but unfortunately there was no interest shown) ;)

One must be careful in translating ancient works, and Yang Xiong's Tai Xuan (Supreme Mystery) is especially tricky.

There's no doubt that author of this translation put some effort in it, but unfortunately, if it attracts some attention it would be attention of some Newagers, as scholars, and some wannabe scholars, will look at it with scorn, as this thread already had shown.

As some kind of comfort(?) to the author I must say I bought it in a good faith, as it was not expensive, will read it thoroughly when I find some time, and will hopefully find some parts to be interesting if not valuable.
 

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
...
09.爻守

首:陽氣強內而弱外,物鹹扶而進乎大。

Substance - qi of vivid Yang grows strong inside
But still appears weak outside;
All things zealously hold on to their head
In readiness to advance under Yang's leadership.
A great good fortune will be found
By the temperate subject of this tetragram.

[Nylan's: HEAD: Yang qi is strong within, but weak without. All things, branching out, advance to greatness.]
...​

Hi, Luis:

Thanks for the chinese samples.

I love Nylan's conciseness, almost literal and appropriate.

Maybe a literal translation should bring an obscene image of phallic nature which is almost visible through Nylan's version like a fish swiming in a limpid stream.

See here:



Annotations for your first quote:

{shǒu) head, chief / initial, first
{yáng) male principle / positive / sunny.
{qì) vital energy / air / smell.
{qiáng;qiǎng) strong, powerful, vigorous, violent, better.
{nèi) inside, inner, internal.
{ér) but / as well as / and.
{ruò) feebleness, infirmness / weak, feeble, young, inferior.
{wài) outside, outer, external / not closely related.
{wù) thing, object, matter, substance.
{xián) salted, salty / stingy, miserly.
{fú) to help, to support with hand.
{jìn) to advance, to enter, to come into.
{hū) ancient particle for qestion, doubt or astonishment, how...! what ...!
{dà) big; great; bigness; greatness.


A literal, alternative, translation:



shou3
INITIAL / HEAD
Chief.

陽氣強內而弱外
yang2 qiang2 nei4 er2 ruo4 wai4
(THE) MALE-PRINCIPLE SPIRIT (IS) STRONG INSIDE BUT WEAK OUTSIDE.
The male energy is vigorous when going into but feeble at the end.

物鹹扶而進
wu4 xian2 fu2 er2 jin4
(THE) STINGY THING (IS) HAND-HELD AND SO ADVANCES.
The poor thing goes forward with the help of the hand.

乎大。
hu1 da4
HOW GREAT!
How big!


BEWARE! I WAS SAID THAT THAT INVERSION WAS NOT ALLOWED IN CLASSICAL CHINESE!
HU1 DA4 MUST BE TRANSLATED IN THE MORE CONSERVATIVE SENSE OF HU1 AS A VARIANT FOR AT/IN/INTO.

SO, BOTH CHARACTERS ARE THE CONTINUATION OF THE PRECEDENT SEQUENCE:
乎大。
hu1 da4
... INTO (THE) GREAT
... in greatness.

MI MISTAKE, I APOLOGIZE!
[Last edition. Ch.]



There is a sintax parallellism between the first and second parts: A is B but/and so [而] C which points that there is some sort of equivalence in meaning.

The wordy new «translation» hides that meaning.

Curiously, speaking of your green guy you address it as the "poor little thing tiressly flying back and forth" ... But that's another story.

Abrazo,


Charly

P.D.:
Luis, is your chinese text accurate?
Nylan instead of xian2 = salty/stingy translates xian = all (without the salt component, the same does the new translation).
鹹濕 [xian2shi1], adj., (Cantonese) (lit.) salty and wet; (fig.) indulgent in sex and sexual matters. [Lin Yutang].
In spanish «salty» applied to persons means «sexy», I don't know in chinese.
Sears says that is a composite of BOW and LIZZARD LIKE REPTILE, maybe the shooting reptile or the shooting worm, phallic indeed. Of course, wild interpretation, but chinese are fond of puns.
Ch.​
 
Last edited:

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
P.D.:
Luis, is your chinese text accurate?
...
Hi, Luis:

Maybe you can say what's the source of your chinese text.


陽氣強內而弱外, 物鹹扶而進乎大。

Sturgeon (Chinese Text Project) gives a slightly different line:

陽氣內而弱外, 物扶而進乎大。
jiang, border, instead of the character with the shooting reptile, maybe replaced for unknown reasons.

xian = all, instead of the more sexy or conflictive xian = salty / stingy.

Maybe only variants but with less suggestive character shapes.

Abrazo,


Charly
 
Last edited:

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
Dear Alex;
I certainly used the T'ai Hsuan Ching many times for divination with the yarrow stalks methods outlined in Mr. Walter's translation( please see Luis' wonderful picture if you don;t have the book) since 1989 when I acquired the book, aided with the heavily annotated Nylan's version .If yours is more conductive to be used for divination purposes just say so but don't sell it as the first translation ever oriented to that purpose. That is just a bogus claim that, as Luis pointed out, could easily be disputed by anyone mildly interested in the subject. And if that first statement is easily proven wrong then the rest ( the book, the translation) easily comes into question, making anyone start looking at it with a suspicious eye that unfortunately seems to be corroborated by Poccosin's comparison of both yours and Nyland's texts. I wonder what Mr. Nyland would say about your book. For the time been since you desperately want to be the first at something I'll consider yours the first translation of the T'ai Hsuan Ching that was more easily proven false ever in the history of Clarity's forum.
Sergio ( Mr.)
Thanks, Sergio:

Maybe you already know this 1995 document by Michael Nylan and Nathan Sivin about the Canon of Supreme Mystery:


Nylan is a girl. She likes ancient chinese nudity:


From her page in the University of California Berkeley
http://history.berkeley.edu/people/michael-nylan

Nathan, of course, is a guy. He likes taoist alchemy.
Maybe something like that (nudity again):



He is also fond of giving good advice:

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~nsivin/reading.html


Abrazo,


Charly
 
Last edited:

sergio

Senior member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
396
Reaction score
0
Hola Charly'
Gracias!!!This is all very useful information, no waste whatsoever. I remember reading somewhere that Nyland was a lady but was not really sure about it. Let's say that I decided to err on the side of caution...I also used to have a printout of this paper you are posting the link of (!?) but just could not find it. I'll read it again. I remember not been too fond of the book, The elemental changes. Maybe I change my opinion now that I am "older and wiser" if I can get a copy of its big brother, The canon of supreme mystery, which is a little bit pricey for me at the moment. We'll see...maybe for my birthday...who knows. For the time been I stand corrected about the gender issue and my apologies to Mrs. Nyland y para vos un abrazo grande;
Sergio
 

pocossin

Senior member
Joined
Feb 7, 1970
Messages
4,521
Reaction score
5
I remember not been too fond of the book, The elemental changes.
Hola Sergio!

Please be kind to the the Elemental Changes. I use it. It has been a blessing to me, and I have never graduated to the adult version. The less commentary the better, in my opinion. You can see Nylan's picture by typing in her name and clicking IMAGES. That woman is a national treasure. If I had enough courage, I'd have sent her love poetry like another I know. When her apartment in Philly was burglarized and her computers stolen, I contacted a cousin there who "knows people" and offered to pay for their return. He said, "Forget it. The hard drives have already been erased, and she can't deal with those people anyway." So I did nothing but have wondered if I could have. Thank God she is now in California and, I hope, safer.
 

sergio

Senior member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
396
Reaction score
0
Hola Pocossin;
Thanks for the advise and the stories. I am planning on taking a second look at the Elemental Changes. Like I said I was too impatient with it at the time.I remember the first time I heard "Nefertiti" by Miles Davis I dismissed it right away. Years after that I was scrambling to get it back. And these were the days when there was no Internet and mail order was a rare expensive luxury in South America.I paid dearly for my stupidity. When I finally got it back I just could not believe what I've done before.I guess everything comes at the right time provided one is open to it.
Be well;
Sergio
 

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
I´ve commited a mistake in my first translation of a line provided by Luis:

The emmended temporary translation:

陽氣強內而弱外
yang2 qi4 qiang2 nei4 er2 ruo4 wai4
(THE) MALE-PRINCIPLE SPIRIT (IS) STRONG INSIDE BUT WEAK OUTSIDE.
The male energy is vigorous when going into but feeble at the end.

物鹹扶而進乎大
wu4 xian2 fu2 er2 jin4 hu1 da4
(THE) STINGY THING (IS) HAND-HELD AND SO ADVANCES INTO (THE) GREAT.
The poor thing goes forward with the help of the hand but improves in greatness.

Of course, the sense is always the same FEMALE IS GREATER THAT MALE.

Maybe that´s why I prefer more Michael National Treasure Nylan´s version.

I apologize.


Charly
 
Last edited:

pocossin

Senior member
Joined
Feb 7, 1970
Messages
4,521
Reaction score
5
Robert's translation of 09. Shu / Strengthening:

首:陽氣彊內而弱外,物鹹扶而進乎大。
Head:
Yang vapor is strong from the inside, and weak from the outside, so that all things are supported, and advance to become bigger.

Nylan for comparison:

Shu
No. 9. Branching Out
HEAD: Yang qi is strong within, but weak without. All things, branching out, increase in size. (Elemental Changes, p.63)

I understand the 'branching out' imagery to be root growth of the sprouting seed extending into the soil. Luis has "advance to greatness" as the last three words. Maybe a difference in versions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcRg-duiWgQ
Miles Davis - Nefertiti
 

sparhawk

Senior member
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 1971
Messages
5,060
Reaction score
3
I understand the 'branching out' imagery to be root growth of the sprouting seed extending into the soil. Luis has "advance to greatness" as the last three words. Maybe a difference in versions.

The Chinese version I quoted comes from an old, 2005, pdf file compiled by Robert Matusan-Boyler which I have in my laptop. It is possible, and perhaps he can clarify, that some parts of the text are different from the one at the Chinese repository.
 

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
The Chinese version I quoted comes from an old, 2005, pdf file compiled by Robert Matusan-Boyler which I have in my laptop. It is possible, and perhaps he can clarify, that some parts of the text are different from the one at the Chinese repository.
I don't know what's the more acurate:

Robert's version lacks of a character uniquely used in the Dai Xuan which is the name of the tetragram 9 traduced Branching Out by Nylan.

The sequence in Chinese Text Project:
陽氣彊內而弱外,物咸扶��而進乎大。

�� shu: to advance slowly [Nylan] (1)

A composite of 爻 and 守

yao2: a line in the Book of Changes
shou3: to guard / to protect / to defend / to watch / to wait / to keep ( a secret, etc. ) / to stick to / to maintain / to abide by [Sears'Chineseetymology]

(To be continued)

Charly
_________________
(1) Responsibility for any dirty association is not mine.
Ch.
 
Last edited:

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
The ?? character is 𤕠, an Unicode extension not supported by all html applications.
Ch.
 

boyler

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 1971
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Thanks for spotting this one charly.

The translation should be something like:

首:
陽氣強內而弱外,
物咸扶𤕠而進乎大。

Head:
Yang vapor is strong from the inside, and weak from the outside,
So that all things are supported by strengthening, and advancing to become bigger.
 

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
Thanks for spotting this one charly.

The translation should be something like:

首:
陽氣強內而弱外,
物咸扶𤕠而進乎大。

Head:
Yang vapor is strong from the inside, and weak from the outside,
So that all things are supported by strengthening, and advancing to become bigger.
Hi, Robert:

It wasn't my intention to spot errors in your work. Nobody's perfect.

I wanted to point that a fair translation is correlative with the original, with few exceptions that must be explicitly based.

A translation that in comparison with the orignall brings excessive number of words, where extra words were dropped, even sentences, is not fair, not loyal with the original, although its intention be to better the original.

I prefer to reserve the word TRANSLATION only for fair ones. Often behind an unfair translation there is an unfair intention, but that's another story.

I'm interested in your reasons for translating 𤕟 as STRENGHTENING, QI as VAPOR and XIAN as ALL.

All the best,


Charly
 

pocossin

Senior member
Joined
Feb 7, 1970
Messages
4,521
Reaction score
5
Based on a study of the sequence of plant imagery in the tai xuan, I believe Nylan's translation of 𤕠 as "Branching Out" to be correct. The branching out refers to the emission of side roots by a sprouting seed. Here is a version for children:

http://edservices.ccps.org/wbl/plants/Germination.html

Note that the side roots develop before the plant breaks the surface of the soil. And, yes, Yang Xiong was observant enough to know such things.
 

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
The ?? character is , an Unicode extension not supported by all html applications.
Ch.
For those that could not see extended unicode this is the shape of character Shu:



Source: Zdict.net​

I have read that in Han times (the times of the Tai Xuan) was common to make new characters dropping a so called radical into an old character excessively polisemic. The old character lost some meanings which were acquired by the new. The pronunciaion of the new character remained close to the old.

The dropped radical is known as the semantic part, but doesn´t bear much information about the semantic of the new character, it mainly serve to disambiguate the meaning with respect to the old character or other offsprings.

Here the right part shuo depicts a HAND (bearing menings like SKILL, ABILITY, ACTION) below a ROOF or COVER (which means HIDDEN). The left part is yao the name given to the lines of the Book of Changes.

The HIDDEN ABILITY to expand the lines, to imagine the future TREE by observing the SEED. And thus, the advice: advance slowly!

I also love Nylan´s translation of shu, but I wonder: why BRANCHING OUT and no BRANCHING?

Maybe the author of the Tai Xuan created the character shu thinking in the skill of the yang energy for rising a sprout out of the trunk, which is the sense of branching out. I believe, but that´s another story.

Charly
 

boyler

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 1971
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Hi, charly,

It wasn't my intention to spot errors in your work. Nobody's perfect.
Exactly ;)

Any emendation and criticism of the translation, as well as any comment about the translation are most welcome.

I'm interested in your reasons for translating 𤕟 as STRENGHTENING, QI as VAPOR and XIAN as ALL.
(1) "Strengthening" is kind of extended meaning given by Nylan, as well as early Chinese commentators, "slow advancing", like in context of a living organism, say babe, which is advancing, growing, becoming stronger, and therefrom strengthening. The same could be said for plants too. It is perhaps not too happy translation but I couldn't think of one more appropriate at the moment. This translation, according to my understanding, also fits the larger context of the whole Mystery, and is derived mostly from Alternations in Mystery (Xuan Cuo, 玄錯), which Nylan translates as, Interplay of Opposites in the Mystery, where it is paired with Shuo #17. Weakening, saying:

《𤕠》也進, Strenghtening (#9) is advancing.
《䎡》也退。 Weakening (#17) is retreating.

(2) Translating qi (氣) as vapor is based on my understanding of the concept, mostly based on its definitions from Yellow Emperor's Inner Warp (Huang Di Nei Jing, 黃帝內經) as well as from Book of Burials (Zang Shu, 葬書). It is also one of common translation of the character, and is used in translations of some Daoist books.

(3) Xian (鹹) or (咸), besides meaning "salty", simply means "all", and fits better the context and the meaning of the thext.
 

pocossin

Senior member
Joined
Feb 7, 1970
Messages
4,521
Reaction score
5
《䎡》也退。 Weakening (#17) is retreating.
Nylan has "Holding Back" for 17. In the Interplay, "As to Holding Back, it is the retreat." In terms of plant imagery I understand this as cotyledons being imprisoned by the seed coat, as often happens with legumes. As a gardener, I have often freed cotyledons by removing seed coats by hand.
 

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0
...
Any emendation and criticism of the translation, as well as any comment about the translation are most welcome.
...
(1) "Strengthening" is kind of extended meaning given by Nylan, as well as early Chinese commentators, "slow advancing", like in context of a living organism, say babe, which is advancing, growing, becoming stronger, and therefrom strengthening. The same could be said for plants too. It is perhaps not too happy translation but I couldn't think of one more appropriate at the moment. This translation, according to my understanding, also fits the larger context of the whole Mystery, and is derived mostly from Alternations in Mystery (Xuan Cuo, 玄錯), which Nylan translates as, Interplay of Opposites in the Mystery, where it is paired with Shuo #17. Weakening, saying:

《��》也進, Strenghtening (#9) is advancing.
《䎡》也退。 Weakening (#17) is retreating.

(2) Translating qi (氣) as vapor is based on my understanding of the concept, mostly based on its definitions from Yellow Emperor's Inner Warp (Huang Di Nei Jing, 黃帝內經) as well as from Book of Burials (Zang Shu, 葬書). It is also one of common translation of the character, and is used in translations of some Daoist books.

(3) Xian (鹹) or (咸), besides meaning "salty", simply means "all", and fits better the context and the meaning of the thext.
Hi, Robert:

I've always felt VAPOR as mainly related with physics, but now, I like it. Vapor is STRONG, pushes hard towards all directions, when HELD and is WEAK, vanishes, when RELEASED.

YANG, I suppose, is like VAPOR, STRONG AT THE BIGINING BUT FATED TO VANISH.

All men and women have YANG:

ALL BEINGS, IF HELD [WITH SUPPOT] STRENGTEN INTO GREAT.

We are among that BEINGS, proud but fated to vanish like VAPOR or DUST.

Polvo serán, mas polvo enamorado​
Francisco de Quevedo

Wild translation:
Dust will be but, but dust in love.
And what happened with the salt? I believe that is no casual the use of the compount (鹹) SALT + ALL = all, together but also salty, stingy

STINGY BEINGS (WE),while enjoy support, can strenghten and access greatness.

It's implicit that at last the stingy beings (we) will vanish like vapor or dust. We are like dust, BUT DUST IN LOVE:

→ BEINGS, while TOGETHER, enjoy support and strenghten in great mesure. Say, yang is good, but don't forget the yin, for without yin and yang there is no life, no love.

Forked ways, that at last, lead to the same point.

Of course, I have not the feeling of the whole Tai Xuan, my work is only amateurism (amatory + ism), but that's another story.


All the best,


Charly
 
Last edited:

boyler

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 1971
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
And what happened with the salt? I believe that is no casual the use of the compount (鹹) SALT + ALL = all, together but also salty, stingy

STINGY BEINGS (WE),while enjoy support, can strenghten and access greatness.
Actually, in the original text, the character used is the one without salt radical (咸), so you don't need to be confused with that "salt" thing. Xiong could use the one with the salt radical (鹹), if he wanted to play with words "salt" and "all", but for some reason he chose not to.

Besides, Head texts refer to waning and waxing of yin and yang vapors in the nature, mostly vegetable kingdom, and not specifically to humans, although humans are also one of ten thousand things of the phenomenal world.

The texts that refer more to humans are texts we can find in Assistant and/or Estimation texts in the Mystery.
 

charly

Senior member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
0

Clarity,
Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
London.
W1A 6US
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).

Top