Some Wei Shuren

Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:53 am

I followed the link posted today in the other thread and found the folowing statment that might be of interest:

~~~

In English we use one word to mean "emptiness", but in Chinese the idea of empty or nothing has many different meanings:
"KONG" – empty or free
"DIU" – empty, lost or without any firm structure or spirit
"MEI YOU" – without, nothing
So the problem for foreign students learning Wushu or the Chinese language itself is how to understand what real emptiness is, as in the state of "Wu Ji".
We must realize that emptiness is not just nothing, but that it is emptiness and fullness combined. It is nothing and everything in complete harmony.

~~~

[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 10-26-2006).]
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Postby bamboo leaf » Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:44 pm

(We must realize that emptiness is not just nothing, but that it is emptiness and fullness combined. It is nothing and everything in complete harmony.)

(So the problem for foreign students learning Wushu or the Chinese language itself is how to understand what real emptiness is, as in the state of "Wu Ji".)

not really IMO, the understanding is reached through feeling of what it is and is not through others who use this word to describe it. the problem for anyone including native speakers is the letting go, in order to understand and feel empty. How to reach the state and maintain it is the problem, which through much practice becomes less and less as time goes by and the mind / sprit accepts and comprehends it.

the practice of the form can be said to be a practice of refining, understanding the interaction of the body and mind state, then later actively controlling it. so that empty is not really empty, full is not really full.


[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-26-2006).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:05 am

//the problem for anyone including native speakers is the letting go, in order to understand and feel empty.//


David, in that context, as I see it, he isn't speaking about the body. He is speaking about a mind state. So let's talk for awhile about the mind only (suppose we already have accepted the difference in the approaches to the body method and jin developing ).

As I understand it "nothing and everything in complete harmony" just means "the awareness is still there but its free not locked in any shape or fixed idea." So I cannot figure out the reason why you see some contradiction between the words above and what you are trying to say. Maybe it's just a trap of words (misinterpretation of them)?
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:56 am

mmm, had to read your post a couple of times. Still not quite sure I understand the point of it.

(So let's talk for awhile about the mind only)

okay
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:10 am

Sorry for my English , I'll try again Image I would like to make the context in which we are discussing emptiness narrower. You speak about the emptiness in the body. OK. Some may admit it, some may not. Lets leave it for awhile. Let's make clear our understanding of the mind state.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(So the problem for foreign students learning Wushu or the Chinese language itself is how to understand what real emptiness is, as in the state of "Wu Ji".)

not really IMO </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

and he continues

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">We must realize that emptiness is not just nothing, but that it is emptiness and fullness combined. It is nothing and everything in complete harmony.</font>



To me "nothing and everything in complete harmony" (words above) just means "the awareness is still there but its free not locked in any shape or fixed idea." (what you said) So I cannot figure out the reason why you see some contradiction between that words and what you are trying to say. (Dont you disagree with his statment -" not really IMO"?) Maybe it's just a trap of words (misinterpretation of them) and what you said and his words mean the same?




[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 10-28-2006).]
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:25 am

my english, is not so hot either, never was even being from the US. Image


edited: got it, yes i think we are meaning the same things.

[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-27-2006).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:37 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
got it, yes i think we are meaning the same things.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Then it's nice Image



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 10-27-2006).]
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Postby Audi » Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:50 am

Greetings all,

Louis, thanks for the clarifications. I will have to do much thinking on "creativity," because I find the Zhongyong to be quite difficult going. Your explanation of ti and yong also is quite helpful. I think I can see the shift in meaning now.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"the awareness is still there but its free not locked in any shape or fixed idea."</font>


Yuri, I think this is a very good statement of what I have been taught, but I think I get there by a different route and have a different understanding of the significance.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In English we use one word to mean "emptiness", but in Chinese the idea of empty or nothing has many different meanings:</font>


I do not find so much that Chinese has different meanings, but rather that the philosophy behind the meanings is different. In English, you have "empty," "void," "space," and "insubstantial" that can correspond to kong and xu; while "nothing," "absence," "without," "non-existence," can correspond to meiyou or wu. To me, English seems as rich as Chinese in this type of terminology, or even richer. What I find difficult is the term wuji ("the limitless," "the non-polar," or "the uncontrasted"), because it is a concept absent from traditional western discourse.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So the problem for foreign students learning Wushu or the Chinese language itself is how to understand what real emptiness is, as in the state of "Wu Ji".</font>


I am surprised by an attempt to link "wuji" with "emptiness." Is this a traditional definition? For me, "wuji" is a concept different from any meaning of "emptiness" I can imagine.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">We must realize that emptiness is not just nothing, but that it is emptiness and fullness combined. It is nothing and everything in complete harmony</font>


For me, this is a statement of "taiji," rather than "wuji." As I understand it, "taiji" as conceived by Zhuxi was not dualistic. "Harmony" implies distinction and contrast, which are what I think define "taiji."

I should also say that I think "taiji" is an absolutely essential concept to Yang Style Taijiquan and in no way subordinate to "wuji." There are many correlative pairs that are important, such as empty/full, soft/hard, mind/body, and internal/external. While some people advocate that it represents better technique to eliminate the second member of each pair, I think this would require a radical reworking of Yang Luchan's legacy.

I know some also argue to "rise" above such "limitations," but I find such arguments difficult to square with my understanding of "taiji." The whole point of the concept is that it represents an ultimate limitation on reality. If we pass beyond mere reality, then maybe we can talk of "wuji." Also, even though "taiji" is a concept of limitation, it includes all of reality in its myriad forms and so can hardly be thought of as "limiting."

I also understand "taiji" to be of acutely practical significance that would be impossible if it could simply be superseded at will. If you touch your partner's arms and detect that they are full, you know, without touching them, that his legs are empty. If you touch your partner's left and detect that it is empty, you know that her right is full. You know these things because, regardless of skill or lack thereof, regardless of intent, your partner is limited by the "supreme limitation," i.e., "taiji." You see one side of the piece of paper and know that the other must equally exist, even without turning the paper over.

Take care,
Audi

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 11-05-2006).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:43 am

Greetings everyone,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

In English we use one word to mean "emptiness", but in Chinese the idea of empty or nothing has many different meanings:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I do not find so much that Chinese has different meanings, but rather that the philosophy behind the meanings is different. In English, you have "empty," "void," "space," and "insubstantial" that can correspond to kong and xu; while "nothing," "absence," "without," "non-existence," can correspond to meiyou or wu. To me, English seems as rich as Chinese in this type of terminology, or even richer. What I find difficult is the term wuji ("the limitless," "the non-polar," or "the uncontrasted"), because it is a concept absent from traditional western discourse. </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Audi, I agree here with you. I think that practically every language has enough means to express different planes of such basic concept as emptiness, both in everyday and philosophical planes. The word plus its context is what determines the word. The word alone is not explicit to the full degree.
Yes, it's not easy to find an analogy for the word wuji. This word was born in the depth of the Chinese culture, that's why one should look at its original cultural-philosophical context anyway.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So the problem for foreign students learning Wushu or the Chinese language itself is how to understand what real emptiness is, as in the state of "Wu Ji".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am surprised by an attempt to link "wuji" with "emptiness." Is this a traditional definition? For me, "wuji" is a concept different from any meaning of "emptiness" I can imagine.

We must realize that emptiness is not just nothing, but that it is emptiness and fullness combined. It is nothing and everything in complete harmony
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For me, this is a statement of "taiji," rather than "wuji." As I understand it, "taiji" as conceived by Zhuxi was not dualistic. "Harmony" implies distinction and contrast, which are what I think define "taiji."

</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here we have a play of words. Wuji has a tint of emptiness as a state that doesn’t contain any particular form. It's not that simple to describe this word alone. The better way is to follow the logic chain of such great works as Zhou Dunyi's discourse on taiji or other old daoist texts describing these notions. To me, its philosophical meaning is not as important as a practical approach that it describes when we talk about taiji-quan. From that standpoint these two terms – wuji and taiji are practically inseparable to me. And I think that once you get the state, the definition becomes your own.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I should also say that I think "taiji" is an absolutely essential concept to Yang Style Taijiquan and in no way subordinate to "wuji." There are many correlative pairs that are important, such as empty/full, soft/hard, mind/body, and internal/external. While some people advocate that it represents better technique to eliminate the second member of each pair, I think this would require a radical reworking of Yang Luchan's legacy.</font>


What do we (you and me) know about Yang Luchan's legacy? Some people stated that there was a document in the Yang family (Yang Jianhou had it) that graphically presented thirteen (!) stages of the art.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I also understand "taiji" to be of acutely practical significance that would be impossible if it could simply be superseded at will. If you touch your partner's arms and detect that they are full, you know, without touching them, that his legs are empty. If you touch your partner's left and detect that it is empty, you know that her right is full. You know these things because, regardless of skill or lack thereof, regardless of intent, your partner is limited by the "supreme limitation," i.e., "taiji." You see one side of the piece of paper and know that the other must equally exist, even without turning the paper over.</font>


I think nobody talked about replacement of taiji. We just played around the phrase "taiji is born of/in wuji". You said excellently - " You see one side of the piece of paper and know that the other must equally exist, even without turning the paper over".

Take care,

Yuri.




[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-07-2006).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:41 pm

Audi, I seem to better understood what you meant by saying "I also understand "taiji" to be of acutely practical significance that would be impossible if it could simply be superseded at will." I agree that taiji is not "emptiness" in terms of definition. Here I am more inclined to agree with those, who see jin as something combined of soft and hard.

[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-06-2006).]
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Postby ZMS » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:41 am

hey brother BL, you made a valid point. Its one thing to translate word for word with a dictionary and another matter to be able to understand what one is translating. ultimately i feel that one's understanding of the material may affect the quality of the translation especially when venturing into the abstract area posed by shen, yi, qi. still its a good effort by yuri
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Postby ZMS » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:15 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by bamboo leaf:
<B>Three rings of qi that surround the hips, waist and shoulders. Their use in the exercises are effective and in addition allow more fluid accurate movements.

· Form a bell. Imagine the body as a bell, divided into 5 points:
1. The hoop that maintains the bell. Which corresponds to the neck. Is movable.
2. The point located between the previous point and point. This corresponds to the chest, and is unmovable ("dead")

3. The central point corresponds to the waist, which is movable.

4. The point located between point 3 and 5 corresponds to the midpoint between the waist and the coccyx (base of the spine). It is unmovable ("dead")

5. The clapper of the bell corresponds to the coccyx which is movable.


i dont have the web link for this but thougth it might help in illumanating some of the practices. The emphasis of this practice seems to be different then most


edited: only to refreance the 3 rings of qi


[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-16-2006).]</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


hi brother BL, we seem to have a slight difference in practice here. our clapper is normally much lower than the coccyx - its more of an intention thing than correspondence to an actual body part. still interesting to note the difference :-)
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:19 pm

I didn’t write that it was a translation from another site describing some of Wie shurens working theories that very much fit into my own understanding. The clapper for me using this idea would be ones own center in the ground. One moves it first by intent allowing the kua to fallow. this is done by tilting the kua the rest of the body will follow all actions arise from this. the idea of the clapper allows it to be still while the rest of the body moves or it moves while the rest of the body is still. mind froward body back, body forward mind back.

In either case it cancels the bodies own momentum while allowing it to move retaining its feeling of emptiness.




[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 11-10-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:58 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ZMS:
hey brother BL, you made a valid point. Its one thing to translate word for word with a dictionary and another matter to be able to understand what one is translating. ultimately i feel that one's understanding of the material may affect the quality of the translation especially when venturing into the abstract area posed by shen, yi, qi. still its a good effort by yuri</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greetings Zenmindsword,

I would just like to point out that it would be a mistake to think that one could translate difficult taijiquan materials “word-for-word with a dictionary.” Anyone who thinks that is what foreign language translation consists of has probably never done any.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:17 pm

It's also a mistake to think that you have to be a chess master yourself to translate a book by a chess master. You need a good grounding in the subject, but the rest is knowing the languages involved.
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