I encourage you to contribute—corrections, questions, comments, or even rewording the chapter. If anything comes to mind, please post it in the Leave a Reply box (below).
With your help, a much improved edition would certainly be possible. ‘Final draft’ print-on-demand copies of Word for Word are available (see below). Now, let’s test this out…
(Refer to the online translation or to your book as needed)
Knower doesn’t speak; speaker doesn’t know could be another way to say this. Just a minor change helps it roll off the tongue better. Today, the terseness of this helped say it all, in my mind anyway. I don’t think this is just because I wrote it either. Rather than untie its tangles, we commonly tend to make the most out of differences. We actively seek them out. To me this has to be instinctive; to be able to distinguish a crocked stick from a snake while making one’s way through the jungle requires an innate eagerness to spot difference over similarities. If the instinctive approach was to notice profound sameness right off the bat, we’d more likely step on the snake–not a survival advantage.
Unobtainable and intimate could be rephrased as Unobtainable yet intimate. Does that make any difference really? The experience is pretty much reflected in either way I say it. It speaks to the odd nature of my awareness of ‘it’. Consciousness is so close, yet so far. The two, complementary sides of what we experience. Who knows if this is how ‘it’ really is. Is this just a result of how our nervous system works, i.e., the on-off nature of how neurons function. On the other hand, the nature of emergent properties hints that our perception of ‘it’ is real, albeit Indistinct and suddenly.
One More Thing!
We are planning to try posting a live feed of our family’s weekly Taoist meeting on the Internet. I’m not sure how well this will work out, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. I’ll post more details as they become available.
Word for Word in Print
Order a ‘final draft’ print-on-demand copy of Tao Te Ching: Word for Word from Lulu.com for around $9—roughly at cost*. This is the print version of this site’s Word for Word Translation (with commentary). It can be especially useful when used in conjunction with your favorite translation. The word for word approach offers a way to cross check your translation with either (1) a translation more literal, or (2) actually word for word to the original Chinese.
* I’m selling this at cost for two reasons. First, to profit from this work oddly cheapens it somehow. Second, it will always be a ‘final’ draft’, with readers contributing whatever they can.