以虚无为本,以因循为用

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by sanawak, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. sanawak Senior Member

    french
    Hi!

    I would like to translate it 以虚无为本,以因循为用. Is this Laozi ? Thanks

    Here there is the whole sentence : 这一学派标榜“以虚无为本,以因循为用”(《史记·太史公自序》,恰与当时百废待兴、需要休养生息的形势合拍。

     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  2. 枫十二 Senior Member

    Mandarin
    Here is my understanding. I just want to help, maybe it’s wrong. I think someone who loves the philosophy of 老子(laozi will help, but I read little about 老子.

    以虚无为本.
    and 无:They both have the meaning as nothing. But if it’s nothing, it is also formless and shapeless. If it is formless and shapeless , it is actually everything. So 以虚无为本 means nothing.

    以因循为用..
    因:因果 the law of universe 循:遵循 follow
    以因循为用 follow the law of universe/nature

    以虚无为本,以因循为用= 无为
    无为 is the core concept of 道家 whose founder is 老子.
    Do nothing, follow the law of universe, Everything will go well.
    My tempt to translate “以虚无为本,以因循为用” is:
    Nothing means everything, just follow the law.
     
  3. sanawak Senior Member

    french
    A friend told me that 本 is like root and 虚无 is a word
    so, I think : Nothing is the root of Tao, just follow the law of Nature as you said. Thanks

    这一学派标榜“以虚无为本,以因循为用”(《史记·太史公自序》,/////提倡无为而治,恰与当时百废待兴,需要休养生息的形势合拍。

    If I want to translate I have to use two sentences, isn't it ? as follow :

    This school says "
    Nothing means everything, just follow the law." Govern with ...无为而治....

    Thanks for your help
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  4. 枫十二 Senior Member

    Mandarin
    无为 means do nothing, just like the free market theory you have: Government should do nothing in the market, it will be self-improvement.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  5. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    = use; = as; ......= use/take...as...
    虚无 = void, sky. 道体虚无,故能包容 万物;性合于道,故有而若无,实而若虚 (http://www.zdic.net/c/a/13c/302439.htm) ==> Dao in its tangible form resembles the vast void of the universe, able to accommodate everything. It holds myriad concrete matters and yet behaves as if it were empty. A space already full cannot take in additional things, while an empty space can accommodate many. So one should hold no preconceived notion, keep an open mind, start with a clean slate (i.e., zero, nothingness, emptiness)....
    = root, principal, base
    因循 = to follow or go with the flow of nature 顺应自然 or of the existing customs 沿成規.
    = pragmatic application, practical use.
    以虚无为本 ==> literally "Take void as the root"
    以因循为用 ==> literally "Take conformity to the flow as the pragmatic approach"
    以虚无为本, 以因循为用 = Model the vast void of the universe and, for practical and pragmatic considerations, go with the flow.
     
  6. Dolokhov Junior Member

    Chinese
    “本”和“用”,更常见的说法是“体”和“用”,是中国哲学的重要概念。

    "本"就是本质,“用”就是现象。(参见百度百科,一般认为,“体”是最根本的、内在的、本质的,“用”是“体”的外在表现、表象。

    这句话是讲本体论而非方法论的,是指这个学派的世界观。

    虚无为本,指的是认为世界的本质是虚无。

    因循为用,是认为世界的现象是因果律。

    所以接近原意的翻译应该是 consider emptiness to be the essence (of the world), and causality (or movement of everything inside the world along causal chains) to be phenomenon.
     
  7. 枫十二 Senior Member

    Mandarin
    Thanks! Finally I got what's the original meaning of it.
     
  8. Testing1234567 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Chinese is already difficult for a foreigner, and you're digging into Classical Chinese. Je vous souhaite une bonne chance!

    Elaborating Skatinginbc's definition for each word:
    虛 translates to "virtual, intangible" as opposed to 实 "real, tangible".
    无 translates to "non-existence" as opposed to 有 "existence", and in Classical Chinese 无 translates to "do not have"; "do not possess". Mandarin used "沒有" to replace it, while Cantonese still keeps this word in daily usage.
    因 means "because" and 循 means "according to", 因循 is a verb meaning "follow" (archaic or poetic), but in this context it is used as a noun "the act of following", that means not doing anything at all. Just follow the trend.

    以虚无为本,以因循为用 = To base on emptiness and to depend on nature = Ne fais rien.
     

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