Daojing and Shengjing

At the link is a much-improved and entirely rewritten version
of my post “Early Dao and Sage Dao” from several months ago.
UPDATED AGAIN: January 27, 2018

 道 經 與 聖 經


Starting from Lau’s thesis that the Daodejing (DDJ) is an anthology of writings of diverse origin, together with the common hypothesis that the DDJ consists of a relatively more mystical layer and a relatively more political layer, in this article I divide DDJ into two parts, roughly equal in length, which I call the Daojing 道 經  (the mystical and metaphysical part)  and the Shengjing 聖 經  (the part speaking of strategy and state service).

My primary method was simply to sort whole chapters of the unedited Wang Bi (WB) DDJ text into these two groups on the basis of explicit textual criteria. There was one exception: I divided chapters 05 and 28 on well recognized fault lines, leaving the Shengjing the parts of these chapters in which the Sage appears, and putting the remainders of these chapters into the Daojing. This gave me a DDJ of 83 “chapters”, 44 Daojing chapters and 39 Shengjing chapters.

The word Sage 聖 is seen 26 times in the Shengjing, but only once in the Daojing (in chapter 19, where sageliness is rejected). Only 6 Shengjing chapters are seen in the Guodian text, but 25 Daojing chapters are seen there (in whole or in part). Daojing chapters thus make up 80% of the Guodian text, and Guodian chapters make up 56% of the Daojing.

4 Shengjing key words or phrases (難, 敢, 爭, and 天 道 / 天 之 道) make 27 chapter-appearances in Shengjing chapters, but are seen only once in a Daojing chapter. 12 Daojing key words or phrases (母, 牝, 雌, 嬰, 赤 子, 精, 氣, 陰 陽,  象, 不 殆,復 歸, and 無 名 / 不 名) are seen 29 times in Daojing chapters, but never in a Shengjing chapter.

If the Daojing and the Shengjing are read separately, it will be seen that the Daojing includes the great majority of the metaphysical and mystical passages, while the Shengjing includes the great majority of the passages dealing with strategy and state service. I append the WB text of the DDJ, divided according to my theory, so that readers can make this comparison for themselves.

[More at the link: Daojing and Shengjing]


Published in: on January 19, 2018 at 7:25 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] *Daojing and Shengjing   * Shen Dao * 聖 “sage” *不害 “not harm” * 不傷  “not hurt” […]

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