Chapter 16 of the Daodejing:

2177 words on ~25 words

致虛極,
守靜篤。
萬物旁作,
吾以觀復。
天狀芸芸,
各復歸其根。….

The many variants in these opening lines make this ~25-character passage a very interesting case in textual criticism. While the problems are many, most of them are solvable, and the few which are not can either be accepted as alternate readings, or left as unsolved problems. I have translated only the first six lines of the traditional version of this chapter, which are the only ones included in the GD text. The chain-sequence at the end of the chapter has been moved elsewhere, along with the other four chain-sequences.

The below is mostly based on the Henricks GD (pp.60-62 and 209-210) and the Henricks MWD (pp. 218-219 and 273). The Old Chinese (OC) and Modern Chinese (MC) pronunciations are from Schuessler, and the definitions are from Wang Li. I have ignored the various added / dropped grammatical particles. (more…)

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Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm  Comments (1)