Yin Yang according to Laozi

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Yin Yang according to Laozi

Postby Yeung on Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:15 pm

In the excavated texts of Mawangdui and Guodan, the characters 陰 yin1 and 陽 yang2 were not found, and in the commonly circulated versions, Yin and Yang were found only in chapter 42, entitled the “Transformation of Dao” (道 dao4 化 hua1) by 河 he2 上 shang4 公 gong1.

I think he inferred Yin Yang with his various examples.
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Re: Yin Yang according to Laozi

Postby Bob on Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:43 pm

As translated by Roger Ames & David Hall (A Philosophical Translation Dao De Jing "Making This Life Significant" Featuring the recently discovered Bamboo texts):

Chapter 42:

" . . . Everthing carries yin on its shoulders and yang in its arms
And blends these vital energies (qi) together to make them harmonious (he)."

PP. 142-143
Last edited by Bob on Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yin Yang according to Laozi

Postby Yeung on Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:05 am

The problem is that Chapter 42 was missing in the Guodan Bamboo Text, and the phrase "back on Yin and facing Yang" was missing in the Mawangdui Texts. In the context of this chapter, "Dao produce one, one produce two, two produce three, and three produce all things" is very different to the Yin Yang binary system of 1, 2, 4, 8, etc. Laozi 's concept of "have and have not" is a continuum rather than dualistic, sort of from having a lot to having nothing, Thus, the Taoist origin of Internal Martial Arts should be an interesting subject.
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Re: Yin Yang according to Laozi

Postby Bob on Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:12 pm

The translations provided by Ames & the late Hall are from the archaeological finds i.e. Mwangdui (1973) & Guodian (1993).

I have been in a seminar with Ames and he is a very heavy hitter and I trust his translations more than any other academic - just a point of reference. Maybe there are some more recent translations which amend Ames & Hall's work?
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Re: Yin Yang according to Laozi

Postby Yeung on Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:39 am

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Re: Yin Yang according to Laozi

Postby Bob on Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:08 am

This has gotten well beyond my area of "expertise" but I will leave the issue with the following passage from Ames & Hall (p. 63)

"Although the systematized and elaborate "five phases' yinyang wuxing cosmology does not appear until Han dynasty sources, the ideas that the world and its phenomena are perturbations that emerge out of and and fold back into a vital energizing field called qi was already widely held in the late fourth and early third centuries BCE, attested to in the Zhuangzi, the Daodejing, and the Mencius as well as other early texts.

Qi has to be distinguished from either "animating vapors" or "basic matter' because it cannot be resolved into any kind of spiritual-material dichotomy. Qi is both the animating energy and that which is animated. There are no "things" to be animated; there is only the vital energizing field and its focal manifestations. The energy of transformation resided within the world itself, and it is expressed in what Zhuangzi calls the perpetual "transforming of things and events (wuhua)." It is this understanding of a focus-field process of cosmic change that is implicitly assumed in the Daodejing and other texts of this period as a kind of common sense." (p. 63)
Last edited by Bob on Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yin Yang according to Laozi

Postby Yeung on Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:14 pm

The following link will give you lots of information on translation:

https://terebess.hu/english/tao/_index.html

With the excavated texts, one need to verify them with the commonly circulated versions and then the internal and external consistencies that is all. Zhuangzi took the continuum view of YinYang instead of the dichotomy view. The idea of unity of heaven and earth and man has been around for a long time and it is just interesting to workout its origin from ancient texts,
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