With Bai Yuchan’s Commentary Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson Increased Modesty益 謙 To be bent is to preserve the whole (then Nature can never be depleted). To be crooked is to be straightened (then Spirit can never be fathomed). To be hollow is to be filled (then the Mind can never be exhausted). […]
These translations of the Scripture on Tao and Virtue by Lao Zi (道 德 經 著 老 子) include the rare commentary by Taoist Immortal Bai Yuchan (白 玉 蟾, 1194–1229), more popularly called the Jade Toad Immortal. Bai Yuchan was the fifth patriarch of the Southern School of Internal Alchemy. Even though he only lived to age thirty-three, he was one of Taoist history’s most prolific writers, and is most well known for his discourses on Thunder Rites (雷 禮, Lei Li). The following texts present Bai’s insightful commentaries inserted within the Tao De Jing. A chapter of Bai’s work will appear in each monthly newsletter (and in our Tao Blog) until the entire book is ready for publication. Although there have been many excellent English translations published on the Tao De Jing, Bai’s commentaries give a fresh outlook on the inner meaning of this incredible work by Lao Zi, so it’s worthwhile to begin presenting Bai Yuchan’s interpretations to Taoist English readers.
With Bai Yuchan’s Commentary Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson Empty Mind虛 心 The vastness1 of virtue2 appears (a big container of everything) only in accordance with the Tao (a small entrance to everything). Tao as a thing (O [Wu Ji]).4 is entirely elusive and vague3 (unable to accord with the knowing of it, […]
With Bai Yuchan’s Commentary Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson Extraordinary and Common異 俗 Do away with studies and there will be no more worries (with no annoyances and no interference, how can there be [extraneous] thinking and how can there be any [intervening] anxiety?) How far apart are yes and no? (The One […]
With Bai Yuchan’s Commentary Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson Restoring the Genuine 還 淳 Banish holiness (naturally bringing this about) and discard intelligence (naturally being stilent and being without thought), and the people will benefit a hundredfold (clarity and wisdom dwells within ourselves. Will the Qi to bring about the Spirit). Banish benevolence […]
With Bai Yuchan’s Commentary Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson Thinning of the Conventional俗 薄 When the Great Tao is abandoned (it is naturally obscure, the mind has to be firm so it can arrive at the original nature) there then appears benevolence and righteousness (these are not the origins of truth). When intelligence and cleverness appear (in […]
With Bai Yuchan’s Commentary Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson Simple Winds淳 風 Of the greatest rulers (The Spirit of Vitality is of the mind and so is called the Sage), few barely know of their existence (this is the principle of each of the Ten Thousand Things). Of the next best, the people love and praise them (things […]