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Louis Swaim wrote:I think there's a problem in Brennan's Chen Yanlin section on lingkong jin. He seems to have missed a passive marker and gotten the subjects mixed up in the following:
Brennan translates: "When one who has a high level of skill issues with this energy, there only needs to be a “ha!” and the opponent’s feet leave the ground and he falls back. This is because the one issuing is mentally already issuing while drawing in, and so it cannot be resisted."
What he's translated as "the one issuing" should be "the one who is being issued" taking into account the 被. So I would render that as, "It is because the mental state of the one receiving the issuing has already been engaged by the issuer that he is not able to resist." [reading 吸引 as "engage," or "influence"]
That to me is pretty key to understanding what Chen Yanlin was talking about. It's kind of like psyching out the opponent to disarm him mentally/emotionally.
The passive marker is important for identifying the subject in the next sentence as well, and again Brennan appears to have missed it: 然被發者必須先明沾黏等勁。故一哈之後。卽由感覺而後退。否則發者仍無效。Brennan translates: "But to do this, the energy of sticking must first be understood, and then once a “ha!” is sounded, the opponent will feel like retreating, otherwise the issuing will have no effect."
I render this as, "But the one receiving the issue must as a prerequisite have an understanding of sticking, adhering, and other energies. Thus immediately following the "ha," he at once retreats as a result of his conscious feeling. Otherwise the issuer's [action] will have no effect."
Again, Chen is telling us that this "airborn skill" is a result of a sort of mental agreement between the two -- the issuer and the issuee. This is what my friend Jan Diepersloot, in his book, The Tao of Yiquan, has called a "game of perception."
If you can listen, you will be able to identify. This is indeed a fixed principle. But if your listening is not accurate, you will not be able to perfectly identify. Thus the method of identifying energies is extremely difficult.
"When you can listen, then you can understand. This is indeed a regular principle. However, if your listening is not accurate, you cannot then entirely understand. Thus, the subject of understanding energy is also extremely difficult."
'' [quote但學者可不必深求。僅作遊戲觀可耳][/quote]it is not something you ardently need to strive for, for it is really just a parlor trick
Since the quotation is in the section  TRAVERSING EMPTINESS which deals, presumably, with non-contact energy, your point and translation are probably more appropriate here. Note that this section also states: “Although this energy is subtle and invisible, it is not something you ardently need to strive for, for it is really just a parlor trick.” I take this to indicate that it is not “a result of a sort of mental agreement between the two,” but is more likely the issuer taking advantage of a startle or fear response by the receiver.
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