Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Simple Explanation of the Tao Te Ching -- Verse 21

Prior to reading this post, please acquaint yourself with "Start Here: A Simple Explanation--Basic Principles" in the column on the right side of the screen. The Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is an ancient Chinese collection of 81 wisdom verses. In “The Simple Explanation” model, the Tao spoken of by Lao Tzu refers to the metaversal information and principles of organization that have informed our universe since the moment before creation. Non-being refers to clearing your personal UC of earthly memes and karma. Non-action refers to allowing the original higher-order UC to direct your personal UC for the greater good.

Here is the 21st verse of the Tao Te Ching, which I have translated directly into Simple Explanation terminology from an original verbatim translation by Jonathan Star.

Tao Te Ching, Verse 21

Highest virtue arises through total alignment with the originating source of consciousness.

How to become one with this elusive source? By disregarding everything else.

Oh, so elusive! So very indistinct!
Yet within its dimensionless center, dimensions form.

So uncertain! So intangible!
Yet its middle contains the latent substance of all things.

So profound! Such a mystery!
Housed deep within that mysterious middle--the seed of life is consciousness itself.

The life force within is self-evident. Thus, life itself provides trustworthy evidence of the originating source.

From the first moment until now, the manifestations of consciousness remain ever the same. Thus do we all bear witness to the Creator, the Originator.

This is accordingly how I know the ways of every thing and the origin of all things: by observing what is within me.

1 comment:

  1. Here's the method I used to write the translation of Verse 22 above:
    For every verse in the Tao Te Ching, Star's Verbatim Translation provides the Chinese character, the number of the character's radical, an English transliteration of the character using the Wade-Giles system, and most importantly for my purposes, a list of English equivalents for each character.
    So, for example, the first character of Verse 21, k'ung, is translated as "Vast/all-embracing/high[est]/ great/grand/empty/ >surname of Confucius: K'ung Fu Tzu". The second character of Verse 21 is te, "Te/virtue/power }}highest virtue/a man of great virtue/"the natural expression of Power"(Wing)"
    Reading the entire stanza of 8 characters for context helped me to choose "Highest virtue" as the Simple Explanation's translation. This process went on for all 71 characters of Verse 21.
    My Ph.D. is in Rhetorical Analysis, so I am formally trained in this type of hermeneutics.