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Zhuangzi explains Daoist contemplation

庚桑楚 – Geng-sang Chu chapter of Zhuangzi:

This Zhuangzi passage explains the two functions of “DAO”, as WU 無and YOU有. WU is the Transcendent, invisible Dao, which CHU 出 “brings forth” the visible You cosmos, which is done by WU’s “ben本,” ie, basic nature; in this passage, we are told to RU 入 enter DAO through Transcendent WU’s “Qiao”, 竅an opening or gateway.”
YOU is the immanent Dao- visible because “WU” is there in it; you is lasting,長 “zhang” real, because WU 剽 (piao), causes cyclical change by beating/chiseling at it, again by its very “ben” basic nature
出無本,入無竅。to send out the visible world is Wu’s basic nature; the entry to Wu is through a (mysterious, hidden) gateway竅 .
有實而無乎處,有長而無乎本剽,
You is real because Wu is there; permanently evolving because Wu basically “beats” it (chisels away at it);
有所出而無竅者有實。“You“ because it comes out from Wu’s gateway, is real/visible.
有實而無乎處者,宇也;
有長而無本剽者,宙也。(Yuzhou 宇宙 is the word for the cosmos, in Chinese; here Zhuangzi states that the Yu or heavenly part of the cosmos is real or visible, because it “chu” 處dwells in the Transcendent WU Dao.
zhou 宙the visible, earthly part of the cosmos is zhang 長 (lasting, “old”), because it is formed, beaten with a rock by Wu transcendent Dao).
有乎生,有乎死,
有乎出,有乎入,
“you” includes life, death, coming forth (from Wu) and returning (to Wu).
入出而無見其形 entering, coming forth, Wu sees (note that the word jian 見 is used, not “kan” 看。Ie, jian means to walk in and see by experiencing, while kan means to look on from a distance, with hand shading the eyes). Wu watches over by its presence the formation of xing 形,
是謂天門。This (the source of wu and you) is called “Heaven’s Gate.” (Note that tianmen 天門 or heaven’s gate means the trigram Qian 三, ie the northwest direction, in the I-ching/Yijing’s “posterior Heavens” arrangement of the 8 trigrams. The 8 trigrams are the basis of Daoist meditation, I-ching, and ritual. The Gate of hell or demon in the northeast is closed, and the gate of heaven in the northwest is opened, during all Daoist meditation, ritual, and nature’s process; this quote is from the wai-juan, 8th to 13th chapters of Zhuangzi; ie, it was written after the development of YY5 Element cosmology; only the 1st 7 chapters are authentically from Zhuangzi, the 8th chapter on are quotes recorded from his disciples.
天門者,無有也, The Gate of Heaven is Wu and You
萬物出乎無有。 The myriad creatures are born from Wu You.
有不能以有為有, You (by itself) cannot use You to make You   (nb, “you” is pronounced “yoe!”)
必出乎無有, It must come forth from Wu-you. (transcendent and immanent Dao working together).
而無有一無有。 Wu you is one WuYou (transcendent and Immanent Dao are one).
聖人藏乎是。 The shengren contemplative person holds this as a treasure.
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One thought on “Zhuangzi explains Daoist contemplation

  1. Another great article on “Taoist Contemplation”; loaded with The framework of Tao Philosophy…. You & Wu: Describing “Ultimate Oneness”…from Chuang Tsu~ In the beginning there were You & Wu and You & Wu are un-manifested; it is the source of oneness~ Chuang Tsu. I will have to break this one down and ponder over it more..xie xie Su Lao Shr

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