Chapter 14 How to praise the mysterious.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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14. 1  
When looking at it one does not behold it. Its name is I.

What is without colour is called I. This means: An invisible colour can neither be perceived nor seen.

When listening to it one does not hear it. Its name is Hsi.

What is without sound is called Hsi. This means: An inaudible sound can neither be caught nor heard.

When grasping it one does not obtain it. Its name is Wei.

What is without form is called Wei. This means: An unformed body can neither be grasped nor obtained.

These three cannot be investigated and explored.

These three are called I, Hsi and Wei. What cannot be explored is called the invisible, the inaudible and the unformed. Orally one cannot talk about it, in writing one cannot comment on it. One has to accept it with the mind and to investigate into it by means of the spirit. One cannot searchingly ask for it in order to obtain it.

Therefore they are united and form a unity.

混 = 合united. Therefore they unite into something which has three names and yet forms a unity.

Its upper part is not light.

This means: If unity is above heaven, it is not bright and radiant.

Its lower part is not dark.

This means: If unity is below heaven, it is not dark [but] shows dark spots.

In uninterrupted continuation it cannot be named.

In uninterrupted continuation it moves without limits. What cannot be named has no colour. Blue, yellow, red, white and black cannot be distinguished. It has no sound. The five notes cannot be heard. It has no form. Longness and shortness, largeness and smallness cannot be measured.

It reverts to nothingness.

The things are material. It reverts to the state of immateriality.

This is called the formation of the formless,

This means: Unity is without form but able to cause all things to become formed.

The representation of nothingness.

Unity is without form and materiality and nevertheless produces the representations of all things.

This is called abstruse and ecstatic.

Unity is abstruse and ecstatic, as if it were existing and not existing. One cannot behold it.

When approaching it you cannot see its head.

As unity has neither a beginning nor an end, it cannot be expected beforehand. By eliminating the feelings and making away with the desires one reverts to it.

When following it you cannot see its posterior.

This means: One cannot see the traces of the formless.

By holding fast to the way of antiquity one governs the existence of the present.

A saint holds fast to unity which begot the ways of antiquity. Through governing things he knows that the present must have unity.

To be able to know the beginning of antiquity is called Tao’s thread.

Man is able to know the beginning of highest antiquity. If he possesses unity, this is called knowledge of the leading thread of Tao.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 視之不見,名曰夷;聽之不聞,名曰希;搏之不得,名曰微。此三者不可致詰,故混而為一。其上不皦,其下不昧。繩繩不可名,復歸於無物。是謂無狀之狀,無物之象,是謂惚恍。迎之不見其首,隨之不見其後。執古之道,以御今之有。能知古始,是謂道紀。

《老子河上公章句·贊玄》: 視之不見名曰夷,聽之不見名曰希,搏之不得名曰微。此三者不可致詰,故混而為一。其上不皦,其下不昧。繩繩不可名,復歸於無物。是謂無狀之狀,無物之象,是謂惚恍。迎之不見其首,隨之不見其後,執古之道,以御今之有,能知古始,是謂道紀。

《馬王堆·老子甲道經》: 視之而弗見,名之曰微;聽之而弗聞,名之曰希;昏之而弗得,名之曰夷。三者不可至計,故混□□□一者,其上不收,其下不忽,尋尋呵不可名也,復歸於無物。是胃無狀之狀,無物之□□□□□□□□□□□□而不見其首。執今之道,以御今之有。以知古始,是胃□□。

《馬王堆·老子乙道經》: 視之而弗見,□之曰微;聽之而弗聞,命之曰希;德昏之而弗得,命之曰夷。三者不可至計,故混而為一。一者其上不謬,其下不忽。尋尋呵不可命也,復歸於無物。是胃無狀之狀,無物之象,是胃忽望。隋而不見其後,迎而不見其首。執今之道,以御今之有。以知古始,是胃道紀。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

無聲曰希。 言一無音聲,不可得聽而聞之。
搏之不得名曰微。無形曰微。 言一無形體,不可摶持而得之。此三者不可致詰,三者,謂夷、希、微也。 不可致詰者,夫無色、無聲、無形,口不能言,書不能傳,當受之以靜,求之以神,不可問詰而得之也。故混而為一。混,合也。 故合於三名之為一。其上不皦,言一在天上,不皦。 皦,光明。其下不昧。言一在天下,不昧。 昧,有所闇冥。繩繩不可名,繩繩者,動行無窮級也。 不可名者,非一色也,不可以青黃白黑別,非一聲也,不可以宮商角徵羽聽,非一形也,不可以長短大小度之也。復歸於無物。物,質也。 復當歸之於無質。是謂無狀之狀,言一無形狀,而能為萬物作形狀也。無物之象,一無物質,而為萬物設形象也。是謂惚恍。一忽忽恍恍者,若存若亡,不可見之也。迎之不見其首,一無端末,不可預待也。除情去欲,一自歸之也。隨之不見其後,言一無影跡,不可得而看。執古之道,以御今之有,聖人執守古道,生一以御物,知今當有一也。能知古始,是謂道紀。人能知上古本始有一,是謂知道綱紀也。 (Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

We look at it and do not see it; Its name is The Invisible. We listen to it and do not hear it; Its name is The Inaudible. We touch it and do not find it; Its name is The Subtle (formless).
These three cannot be further inquired into, And hence merge into one.
Going up high, it is not bright, and coming down low, it is not dark. Infinite and boundless, it cannot be given any name; It reverts to nothingness.
This is called shape without shape, Form without objects. It is the Vague and Elusive. Meet it and you will not see its head. Follow it and you will not see its back.
Hold on to the Tao of old in order to master the things of the present. From this one may know the primeval beginning (of the universe). This is called the bond of Tao.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

What is looked at but not (pu) seen,
Is named the extremely dim (yi).
What is listened to but not heard,
Is named the extremely faint (hsi).
What is grabbed but not caught,
Is named the extremely small (wei).
These three cannot be comprehended,
Thus they blend into one.
As to the one, its coming up is not light,
Its going down is not darkness.
Unceasing, unnameable,
Again it reverts to nothing.
Therefore it is called the formless form,
The image (hsiang) of nothing.
Therefore it is said to be illusive and evasive (hu-huang).
Come toward it one does not see its head,
Follow behind it one does not see its rear.
Holding on to the Tao of old (ku chih tao),
So as to steer in the world of now (chin chih yu).
To be able to know the beginning of old,
It is to know the thread of Tao.
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

That which we look at and cannot see is called plainness. That which we listen to and cannot hear is called rareness. That which we grope for and cannot get is called minuteness.
These three cannot be closely examined; So they blend into One.
Revealed, it is not dazzling; Hidden, it is not dark. Infinite, it cannot be defined. It goes back to non-existence.
It is called the form of the formless, And the image of non~existence. it is called mystery. Meet it, you cannot see its face; Follow it, you cannot see its back.
By adhering to the Tao of the past You will master the existence of the present And be able to know the origin of the past. This is called the clue of Tao.
(Ⅴ)
- World by world translation :

Traditional // simplified // pinyin // definition // dictionary
視 // 视 // shì // ① vue ② vision ③ regarder ④ voir ⑤ considérer // Chinese-French
視 // 视 // shì // ① to look at ② to regard ③ to inspect // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
不見 // 不见 // bù jiàn // ① disparaître // Chinese-French
不見 // 不见 // bù jiàn // ① not to see ② not to meet ③ to have disappeared ④ to be missing // CC-CEDICT
名 // 名 // míng // ① nom ② nomination ③ place ④ réputé ⑤ célèbre // Chinese-French
名 // 名 // míng // ① name ② noun (part of speech) ③ place (e.g. among winners) ④ famous ⑤ classifier for people // CC-CEDICT
曰 // 曰 // yuē // ① dire ② appeler // Chinese-French
曰 // 曰 // yuē // ① to speak ② to say // CC-CEDICT
夷 // 夷 // yí // ① raser ② exterminer ③ sauf ④ étranger // Chinese-French
夷 // 夷 // yí // ① non-Han people, esp. to the East of China ② barbarians ③ to wipe out ④ to exterminate ⑤ to tear down ⑥ to raze // CC-CEDICT
聽 // 听 // tīng // ① écouter ② suivre ③ obéir à // Chinese-French
聽 // 听 // tīng // "① to listen ② to hear ③ to obey ④ a can (loanword from English ""tin"") ⑤ classifier for canned beverages" // CC-CEDICT
聽 // 听 // tìng // ① permettre ② laisser la liberté de ③ suivre ④ se conformer à // Chinese-French
聽 // 听 // tìng // ① (literary pronunciation, still advocated in Taiwan) to rule ② to sentence ③ to allow // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
聞 // 闻 // wén // ① entendre ② sentir (une odeur) ③ information // Chinese-French
聞 // 闻 // wén // ① surname Wen // CC-CEDICT
聞 // 闻 // wén // ① to hear ② news ③ well-known ④ famous ⑤ reputation ⑥ fame ⑦ to smell ⑧ to sniff at // CC-CEDICT
名 // 名 // míng // ① nom ② nomination ③ place ④ réputé ⑤ célèbre // Chinese-French
名 // 名 // míng // ① name ② noun (part of speech) ③ place (e.g. among winners) ④ famous ⑤ classifier for people // CC-CEDICT
曰 // 曰 // yuē // ① dire ② appeler // Chinese-French
曰 // 曰 // yuē // ① to speak ② to say // CC-CEDICT
希 // 希 // xī // ① espérer ② désirer ③ rare // Chinese-French
希 // 希 // xī // ① to hope ② to admire ③ variant of 稀[xi1] // CC-CEDICT
搏 // 搏 // bó // ① lutter ② combattre ③ se jeter sur ④ battement (pouls) // Chinese-French
搏 // 搏 // bó // ① to fight ② to combat ③ to seize ④ (of heart) to beat // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
不得 // 不得 // bù dé // ① il ne faut pas ② il n'est pas permis de ③ on ne doit pas // Chinese-French
不得 // 不得 // bù dé // ① must not ② may not ③ not to be allowed ④ cannot // CC-CEDICT
名 // 名 // míng // ① nom ② nomination ③ place ④ réputé ⑤ célèbre // Chinese-French
名 // 名 // míng // ① name ② noun (part of speech) ③ place (e.g. among winners) ④ famous ⑤ classifier for people // CC-CEDICT
曰 // 曰 // yuē // ① dire ② appeler // Chinese-French
曰 // 曰 // yuē // ① to speak ② to say // CC-CEDICT
微 // 微 // wēi // ① petit, de peu de valeur ② subtil ③ obscur ④ ne pas // Chinese-French
微 // 微 // wēi // ① surname Wei ② ancient Chinese state near present day Chongqing ③ Taiwan pr. [Wei2] // CC-CEDICT
微 // 微 // wēi // ① tiny ② miniature ③ slightly ④ profound ⑤ abtruse ⑥ to decline ⑦ one millionth part of ⑧ micro- ⑨ Taiwan pr. [wei2] // CC-CEDICT
此 // 此 // cǐ // ① ce ② ici // Chinese-French
此 // 此 // cǐ // ① this ② these // CC-CEDICT
三 // 三 // sān // ① trois // Chinese-French
三 // 三 // sān // ① surname San // CC-CEDICT
三 // 三 // sān // ① three ② 3 // CC-CEDICT
者 // 者 // zhě // ① (placé après un adjectif ou un verbe est utilisé comme substantif pour désigner une personne ou une chose) // Chinese-French
者 // 者 // zhě // ① (after a verb or adjective) one who (is) ... ② (after a noun) person involved in ... ③ -er ④ -ist ⑤ (used after a number or 後|后[hou4] or 前[qian2] to refer to sth mentioned previously) ⑥ (used after a term, to mark a pause before defining the term) ⑦ (old) (used at the end of a command) ⑧ (old) this // CC-CEDICT
不可 // 不可 // bù kě // ① ne pas devoir ② ne pas pouvoir ③ pas // Chinese-French
不可 // 不可 // bù kě // ① cannot ② should not ③ must not // CC-CEDICT
致 // 致 // zhì // ① adresser ② causer ③ entraîner ④ s'appliquer à // Chinese-French
致 // 致 // zhì // ① to send ② to devote ③ to deliver ④ to cause ⑤ to convey // CC-CEDICT
緻 // 致 // zhì // ① fine ② delicate // CC-CEDICT
詰 // 诘 // jié // ① enquête ② réprimer // Chinese-French
詰 // 诘 // jié // ① to investigate ② to restrain ③ to scold // CC-CEDICT
故 // 故 // gù // ① incident ② cause ③ à dessein ④ exprès ⑤ raison ⑥ ancien ⑦ mourir // Chinese-French
故 // 故 // gù // ① happening ② instance ③ reason ④ cause ⑤ intentional ⑥ former ⑦ old ⑧ friend ⑨ therefore ⑩ hence ⑪ (of people) to die, dead // CC-CEDICT
混 // 混 // hùn // ① confondre ② mêler ③ faire passer pour ④ s'infiltrer ⑤ gagner sa vie tant bien que mal // Chinese-French
混 // 混 // hùn // ① to mix ② to mingle ③ muddled ④ to drift along ⑤ to muddle along ⑥ to pass for ⑦ to get along with sb ⑧ thoughtless ⑨ reckless // CC-CEDICT
混 // 混 // hún // ① salaud ② canaille // Chinese-French
混 // 混 // hún // ① confused ② dirty ③ to mix ④ muddy ⑤ variant of 渾|浑[hun2] // CC-CEDICT
而 // 而 // ér // ① et ② mais ③ tandis que ④ alors que // Chinese-French
而 // 而 // ér // ① and ② as well as ③ and so ④ but (not) ⑤ yet (not) ⑥ (indicates causal relation) ⑦ (indicates change of state) ⑧ (indicates contrast) // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wèi // ① because of ② for ③ to // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wéi // ① as (in the capacity of) ② to take sth as ③ to act as ④ to serve as ⑤ to behave as ⑥ to become ⑦ to be ⑧ to do ⑨ by (in the passive voice) // CC-CEDICT
一 // 一 // yī // ① 1 (nombre) ② un // Chinese-French
一 // 一 // yī // "① one ② 1 ③ single ④ a (article) ⑤ as soon as ⑥ entire ⑦ whole ⑧ all ⑨ throughout ⑩ ""one"" radical in Chinese characters (Kangxi radical 1) ⑪ also pr. [yao1] for greater clarity when spelling out numbers digit by digit" // CC-CEDICT
其 // 其 // qí // ① son ② sa ③ ses ④ leur ⑤ leurs ⑥ il(s) ⑦ elle(s) ⑧ ceci ⑨ cela // Chinese-French
其 // 其 // qí // ① his ② her ③ its ④ their ⑤ that ⑥ such ⑦ it (refers to sth preceding it) // CC-CEDICT
上 // 上 // shàng // ① monter ② grimper ③ partir pour ④ mettre ⑤ fixer ⑥ appliquer (un remède) ⑦ supérieur ⑧ haut ⑨ premier ⑩ précédent // Chinese-French
上 // 上 // shàng // ① on top ② upon ③ above ④ upper ⑤ previous ⑥ first (of multiple parts) ⑦ to climb ⑧ to get onto ⑨ to go up ⑩ to attend (class or university) // CC-CEDICT
上 // 上 // shǎng // ① see 上聲|上声[shang3 sheng1] // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
皦 // 皦 // jiǎo // ① surname Jiao // CC-CEDICT
皦 // 皦 // jiǎo // ① sparkling ② bright // CC-CEDICT
其 // 其 // qí // ① son ② sa ③ ses ④ leur ⑤ leurs ⑥ il(s) ⑦ elle(s) ⑧ ceci ⑨ cela // Chinese-French
其 // 其 // qí // ① his ② her ③ its ④ their ⑤ that ⑥ such ⑦ it (refers to sth preceding it) // CC-CEDICT
下 // 下 // xià // ① sous ② suivant ③ prochain ④ bas ⑤ en bas ⑥ diminuer ⑦ descendre ⑧ arriver à (une décision, une conclusion) // Chinese-French
下 // 下 // xià // ① down ② downwards ③ below ④ lower ⑤ later ⑥ next (week etc) ⑦ second (of two parts) ⑧ to decline ⑨ to go down ⑩ to arrive at (a decision, conclusion etc) ⑪ measure word to show the frequency of an action // CC-CEDICT
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
昧 // 昧 // mèi // ① obscur ② sombre // Chinese-French
昧 // 昧 // mèi // ① to conceal ② dark // CC-CEDICT
繩 // 绳 // shéng // ① corde ② ficelle // Chinese-French
繩 // 绳 // shéng // ① rope ② CL:根[gen1] // CC-CEDICT
繩 // 绳 // shéng // ① corde ② ficelle // Chinese-French
繩 // 绳 // shéng // ① rope ② CL:根[gen1] // CC-CEDICT
不可 // 不可 // bù kě // ① ne pas devoir ② ne pas pouvoir ③ pas // Chinese-French
不可 // 不可 // bù kě // ① cannot ② should not ③ must not // CC-CEDICT
名 // 名 // míng // ① nom ② nomination ③ place ④ réputé ⑤ célèbre // Chinese-French
名 // 名 // míng // ① name ② noun (part of speech) ③ place (e.g. among winners) ④ famous ⑤ classifier for people // CC-CEDICT
復歸 // 复归 // fù guī // ① revenir // Chinese-French
復歸 // 复归 // fù guī // ① to return ② to come back // CC-CEDICT
於 // 于 // yú // ① dans ② à ③ de ④ par ⑤ que // Chinese-French
於 // 于 // yú // ① in ② at ③ to ④ from ⑤ by ⑥ than ⑦ out of // CC-CEDICT
於 // 於 // wū // ① en ② dans ③ pour ④ par // Chinese-French
於 // 於 // wū // ① (literary) Oh! ② Ah! // CC-CEDICT
於 // 於 // yū // ① surname Yu ② Taiwan pr. [Yu2] // CC-CEDICT
無物 // 无物 // wú wù // ① ne rien avoir // Chinese-French
無物 // 无物 // wú wù // ① nothing ② empty // CC-CEDICT
是 // 是 // shì // ① être ② oui ③ correct // Chinese-French
是 // 是 // shì // ① is ② are ③ am ④ yes ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
昰 // 是 // shì // ① variant of 是[shi4] ② (used in given names) // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① dire ② adresser la parole ③ être appelé ④ penser // Chinese-French
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① surname Wei // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① to speak ② to say ③ to name ④ to designate ⑤ meaning ⑥ sense // CC-CEDICT
無狀 // 无状 // wú zhuàng // ① insolence ② insolent ③ ill-mannered // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
狀 // 状 // zhuàng // ① forme ② état ③ situation ④ plainte // Chinese-French
狀 // 状 // zhuàng // ① accusation ② suit ③ state ④ condition ⑤ strong ⑥ great ⑦ -shaped // CC-CEDICT
無物 // 无物 // wú wù // ① ne rien avoir // Chinese-French
無物 // 无物 // wú wù // ① nothing ② empty // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
象 // 象 // xiàng // ① éléphant ② forme ③ image ④ aspect // Chinese-French
象 // 象 // xiàng // ① elephant ② CL:隻|只[zhi1] ③ shape ④ form ⑤ appearance ⑥ to imitate // CC-CEDICT
是 // 是 // shì // ① être ② oui ③ correct // Chinese-French
是 // 是 // shì // ① is ② are ③ am ④ yes ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
昰 // 是 // shì // ① variant of 是[shi4] ② (used in given names) // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① dire ② adresser la parole ③ être appelé ④ penser // Chinese-French
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① surname Wei // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① to speak ② to say ③ to name ④ to designate ⑤ meaning ⑥ sense // CC-CEDICT
惚 // 惚 // hū // ① troublé // Chinese-French
惚 // 惚 // hū // ① indistinct // CC-CEDICT
恍 // 恍 // huǎng // ① trouble // Chinese-French
恍 // 恍 // huǎng // ① disappointed ② flurried ③ indistinct // CC-CEDICT
怳 // 恍 // huǎng // ① variant of 恍[huang3] // CC-CEDICT
迎 // 迎 // yíng // ① accueillir ② aller à la rencontre de ③ faire face à ④ braver // Chinese-French
迎 // 迎 // yíng // ① to welcome ② to meet ③ to face ④ to forge ahead (esp. in the face of difficulties) // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
不見 // 不见 // bù jiàn // ① disparaître // Chinese-French
不見 // 不见 // bù jiàn // ① not to see ② not to meet ③ to have disappeared ④ to be missing // CC-CEDICT
其 // 其 // qí // ① son ② sa ③ ses ④ leur ⑤ leurs ⑥ il(s) ⑦ elle(s) ⑧ ceci ⑨ cela // Chinese-French
其 // 其 // qí // ① his ② her ③ its ④ their ⑤ that ⑥ such ⑦ it (refers to sth preceding it) // CC-CEDICT
首 // 首 // shǒu // ① chef ② tête ③ premier ④ (classificateur des poèmes et chansons) // Chinese-French
首 // 首 // shǒu // ① head ② chief ③ first (occasion, thing etc) ④ classifier for poems, songs etc // CC-CEDICT
隨之 // 随之 // suí zhī // ① thereupon ② subsequently ③ accordingly // CC-CEDICT
不見 // 不见 // bù jiàn // ① disparaître // Chinese-French
不見 // 不见 // bù jiàn // ① not to see ② not to meet ③ to have disappeared ④ to be missing // CC-CEDICT
其後 // 其后 // qí hòu // ① prochain ② plus tard ③ après que // Chinese-French
其後 // 其后 // qí hòu // ① next ② later ③ after that // CC-CEDICT
執 // 执 // zhí // ① tenir ② persister ③ appliquer ④ exécuter // Chinese-French
執 // 执 // zhí // ① to execute (a plan) ② to grasp // CC-CEDICT
古 // 古 // gǔ // ① ancien ② antique // Chinese-French
古 // 古 // gǔ // ① surname Gu // CC-CEDICT
古 // 古 // gǔ // ① ancient ② old ③ paleo- // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
道 // 道 // dào // ① doctrine, raison ② voie ③ dire ④ circuit, intendance // Chinese-French
道 // 道 // dào // ① road ② path ③ CL:條|条[tiao2],股[gu3] ④ principle ⑤ truth ⑥ morality ⑦ reason ⑧ skill ⑨ method ⑩ Dao (of Daoism) ⑪ to say ⑫ to speak ⑬ to talk ⑭ classifier for long thin things (rivers, cracks etc), barriers (walls, doors etc), questions (in an exam etc), commands, courses in a meal, steps in a process ⑮ (old) administrative division (similar to province in Tang times) // CC-CEDICT
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① prendre ② utiliser ③ selon ④ à cause de ⑤ pour // Chinese-French
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① abbr. for Israel 以色列[Yi3 se4 lie4] // CC-CEDICT
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① to use ② by means of ③ according to ④ in order to ⑤ because of ⑥ at (a certain date or place) // CC-CEDICT
㕥 // 以 // yǐ // ① old variant of 以[yi3] // CC-CEDICT
㠯 // 以 // yǐ // ① old variant of 以[yi3] // CC-CEDICT
御 // 御 // yù // ① to resist ② imperial ③ (classical) to drive (a chariot) ④ to manage ⑤ to govern // CC-CEDICT
禦 // 御 // yù // ① résister à ② impérial // Chinese-French
禦 // 御 // yù // ① to defend ② to resist // CC-CEDICT
今 // 今 // jīn // ① actuel ② présent ③ ce ④ cette ⑤ aujourd'hui ⑥ maintenant // Chinese-French
今 // 今 // jīn // ① today ② modern ③ present ④ current ⑤ this ⑥ now // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① avoir ② posséder ③ il y a ④ exister // Chinese-French
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① to have ② there is ③ there are ④ to exist ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
能 // 能 // néng // ① capacité ② énergie ③ pouvoir ④ être capable de // Chinese-French
能 // 能 // néng // ① surname Neng // CC-CEDICT
能 // 能 // néng // ① can ② to be able to ③ might possibly ④ ability ⑤ (physics) energy // CC-CEDICT
知 // 知 // zhī // ① savoir ② connaître ③ connaissances // Chinese-French
知 // 知 // zhī // ① to know ② to be aware // CC-CEDICT
古 // 古 // gǔ // ① ancien ② antique // Chinese-French
古 // 古 // gǔ // ① surname Gu // CC-CEDICT
古 // 古 // gǔ // ① ancient ② old ③ paleo- // CC-CEDICT
始 // 始 // shǐ // ① début ② origine // Chinese-French
始 // 始 // shǐ // ① to begin ② to start ③ then ④ only then // CC-CEDICT
是 // 是 // shì // ① être ② oui ③ correct // Chinese-French
是 // 是 // shì // ① is ② are ③ am ④ yes ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
昰 // 是 // shì // ① variant of 是[shi4] ② (used in given names) // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① dire ② adresser la parole ③ être appelé ④ penser // Chinese-French
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① surname Wei // CC-CEDICT
謂 // 谓 // wèi // ① to speak ② to say ③ to name ④ to designate ⑤ meaning ⑥ sense // CC-CEDICT
道 // 道 // dào // ① doctrine, raison ② voie ③ dire ④ circuit, intendance // Chinese-French
道 // 道 // dào // ① road ② path ③ CL:條|条[tiao2],股[gu3] ④ principle ⑤ truth ⑥ morality ⑦ reason ⑧ skill ⑨ method ⑩ Dao (of Daoism) ⑪ to say ⑫ to speak ⑬ to talk ⑭ classifier for long thin things (rivers, cracks etc), barriers (walls, doors etc), questions (in an exam etc), commands, courses in a meal, steps in a process ⑮ (old) administrative division (similar to province in Tang times) // CC-CEDICT
紀 // 纪 // jì // ① discipline ② mémoires // Chinese-French
紀 // 纪 // jì // ① order ② discipline ③ age ④ era ⑤ period ⑥ to chronicle // CC-CEDICT
紀 // 纪 // jǐ // ① surname Ji ② also pr. [Ji4] // CC-CEDICT
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

What you look at but can not see is called "formless."
What you listen to but can not hear is called "soundless."
What you grasp at but can not get is called "traceless."
Those three are an inseparable puzzle.
One can't know where it begins and where it ends.
Continuous and nameless, it returns to nothingness.
It is formless shape, imageless image, invisible vision.
One tries to meet it, but can see no head.
One tries to follow it, but can see no end.
In the domain of the Way, the past shapes the present,
And being able to feel the past is abiding by the Way.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

When we look for it but see it not, we call it the invisible.
When we listen for it but hear it not, we call it the inaudible.
When we try to touch it but find it not, we call it the imperceptible.
Because these three aspects of it are impossible to probe, it remains a single amorphous unity.
Its risings cast no light, and its settings occasion no dark.
On and on it goes, unnamable, always reverting to nothingness.
This we refer to as the shape of that which has no shape, the image of that which has no physical existence.
This we refer to as dim and dark.
Try to meet it, but you will not see its head.
Try to follow it, but you will not see its tail, so hold on to the Dao of old to preside over what exists now.
It is possible to know how things were at the beginning of time.
This we refer to as holding the thread of the Dao.
(Ⅷ)


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