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Something Doing something Knowledge Male Full Above. Nothing Doing nothing Ignorance Female Empty Below. Reversal of Priority in A Chain of Oppositions. Before Moving Big Strong Hard Straight Aggressive Fame/name. Behind Still Small Weak Soft Bent Self-effacing

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reversal of priority in a chain of oppositions
Something

Doing something

Knowledge

Male

Full

Above

Nothing

Doing nothing

Ignorance

Female

Empty

Below

Reversal of Priority in A Chain of Oppositions
slide2
Before

Moving

Big

Strong

Hard

Straight

Aggressive

Fame/name

Behind

Still

Small

Weak

Soft

Bent

Self-effacing

Obscurity/nameless

why reversal of priority
Why Reversal of Priority?
  • To reject “distinction”
  • To make things/people “equal”
  • To promote “harmony”
downplaying knowledge
Downplaying“knowledge”
  • Not exalting men of worth
    • Prevents the people from competing;
  • Not putting high value on rare goods
    • Prevents the people from being bandits;
  • Not displaying objects of desire
    • Prevents the people from being disorderly.
  • For these reasons,
    • The sage, in ruling, hollows their hearts,
    • Stuffs their stomachs
    • Weakens their wills,
    • Builds up their bones,
slide5

Always causing the people

    • To be without knowledge and desire
  • He ensures that the knowledge(知,zhi) dare not be hostile
    • And that’s all*
  • (*Ifhecanbringitaboutthatthosewithknowledgesimplydonotdaretoact)
  • Then his rule will be universal*
  • (*Then there is nothing that will not be in order) 無不治 (wubuzhi)
  • TTC/DDJ: 47/3
play the part of the female
PlaythePartoftheFemale
  • Whileyou
    • Cultivatethesoulandembraceunity(一,yi),
      • Canyoukeepthemfromseparating?
    • Focusyourvitalbreath(qi)untilitissupremelysoft,
      • Canyoubelikeababy?
    • Cleansethemirrorofmysteries,
      • Canyoumakeitfreeofblemish?
    • Lovethepeopleandenliventhestate,
      • canyoudosowithoutcunning* (無知,noknowledge)
      • *canyoudoitwithoutusingknowledge.
    • Openandclosethegateofheaven,(ears,nose,eyes,mouth)
      • Canyouplaythepartofthefemale?
slide7

Reachoutwithclarityinalldirections,

  • Canyourefrainfromaction?(無為,wuwei)
  • Itgivesbirthtothemandnurturesthem,
  • Itgivesbirthtothembutdoesnotpossessthem,
  • Itrearsthembutdoesnotcontrolthem.
    • Thisiscalled“mysteriousintegrity”(德 de,virtue)
    • TTC/DDJ:54/10
to be empty and still
TobeEmptyandStill
  • Attainutmostemptiness,
  • Maintainutterstillness,
  • Themyriadcreaturesarisesidebyside,
  • ThusIobservetheirrenewal.
  • Heavens’creaturesabound*
  • *Things(comeforth)ingreatnumber,
  • Buteachreturnstoitsroots,
  • Whichiscalled“stillness”
  • Thisistermed“renewaloffate,”
slide9

Renewaloffateisperpetual---

  • Toknowtheperpetualistobeenlightened
  • Nottoknowtheperpetualistobereckless—recklessnessbreedsevil.
  • Toknowtheperpetualistobetolerant---
    • Toleranceleadsto[ducal]* impartiality,
    • [ducal]partialitytokingliness,
    • KinglinesstotheWay
    • TheWaytopermanence
  • Totheendofhisdays,
    • Hewillnotbeimperiled.
  • TTC/DDJ,60/16
to be bent self effacing
Tobe“Bent”/self-effacing
  • Ifit
    • isbent,itwillbepreservedintact;
    • iscrooked,itwillbestraightened;
    • issunken,itwillbefilled;
    • isworn-out,itwillberenewed;
    • haslittle,itwillgain;
    • hasmuch,itwillbeconfused.
  • Forthisreason,
    • Thesageholdsontounity(一,oneness)
    • Andservesastheshepherdofallunderheaven
slide11

Heisnotself-absorbed,

    • Thereforeheshinesforth;
  • Heisnotself-revealing,
    • Thereforeheisdistinguishing;
  • Heisnotself-assertive,
    • Thereforehehasmerit;
  • Hedoesnotpraisehimself,
    • Thereforeheislong-lasting.
    • TTC/DDJ:67/22
to be weak supple
Tobeweak(supple)
  • Whenyouwishtocontractsomething,
  • Youmustmomentarilyexpandit;
  • (*Itisbecauseithasbeenexpanded)
  • Whenyouwishtoweakensomething,
  • Youmustmomentarilystrengthenit;
  • (*Itisbecauseithasbeenweakened)
  • Whenyouwishtorejectsomething;
  • You must momentarily join with it.*
  • (*It is because you have worked closely with it)
slide13

When you wish to seize something,

  • Your must momentarily give it up.*
  • (itisbecauseyouhavegivenitup)
  • This is called “subtle insight”. (微明,subtlelight)
  • Thesoftandweakconquerthestrong.
  • Fishcannotberemovedfromthewaterydepths;
  • Theprofitableinstrument(利器,sharpweapons)ofstate
    • Cannotbeshowntothepeople.
    • TTC/DDJ:80/36
slide14

The softest thing under heaven

    • Gallops triumphantly over
    • The hardest thing under heaven.
  • Nonbeing (無有)penetrates nonspace.*(無間,wujian)
  • (*that which has no substance get into that which has no space)
  • Hence,
    • I know the advantages of nonaction.(無為,wuwei)
  • The doctrine without words,
  • The advantage of nonaction---
    • Few under heaven can realize this.
    • TTC/DDJ:6/13