Conscious Movement

Postby JerryKarin » Mon May 01, 2006 1:58 am

ting has some connotations of 'pay attention to' or 'heed' (as in tingcong - compare tingdao) which are absent in words for looking and touching in Chinese. The English listen/hear dichotomy does not map well to Chinese, but ting is somewhat more like listen...
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon May 01, 2006 2:03 am

In this case I think we can consider the usage of ting to be idiomatic. I seem to even remember hearing people say 'ting ting ta de gongfu' : 'check his gongfu'.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon May 01, 2006 6:36 am

Greetings Jerry,

I think that this connotation of paying attention to, and even of “complying” (tingcong) or waiting in attendance is very close to the idiomatic taiji usage of ting.

Chen Yanlin wrote about tingjin in his “Discussing Jin” essay. The Tingjin explanation is the second passage, right following the “Zhan Nian Jin” explanation. “Sticking” and “adhering” by the way, might well be called artful terms for “touch.” Stuart Olson translates the opening sentences of the Listening Energy passage as follows:

“Listening is like hearing with your whole skin, a heightened tactile sensitivity [zhou shen pifu ganjue zhi ting]. You listen, without using your ears. Before you train in listening energy, you must first train adhering and sticking energy.”
—Olson, Intrinsic Energies of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, p. 52

The line translated “you listen, without using your ears” is more like “it’s not the ordinary kind of listening by using your ears” [fei tongchang yong er zhi ting ye]. Olson’s rendering, though, brings to mind a passage from Zhuangzi. In Chapter Four, in an imaginary conversation between Kongzi and his favorite student, Yan Hui, Confucius says that Yan Hui must learn how to train in “xin zhai”—fasting of the mind. Yan Hui says What’s that? Kongzi explains:

“Unify your attention. Rather than listen [ting] with the ear, listen with the heart [xin]. Rather than listen with the heart, listen with the energies [qi]. Listening stops at the ear, the heart at what tallies with the thought. As for ‘energy’ [qi], it is the tenuous [xu, ‘emptying’] which waits to be roused by other things” [qi ye zhe, xu er dai wu zhe ye].
—A.C. Graham, Chuang-tzu: The Inner Chapters, p. 68

Back to the “Adhering and Sticking Energy,” there is a nice section in there about the sensitivity one trains in push hands:

“When you first train this energy and practice t’ui-shou your hands are insensitive [bu zhi sho jue], like wooden sticks. Gradually, through the repetitious practice of t’ui-shou, the hands, arms, chest, spine, and the entire body and skin will become ever more sensitive [sui jian sheng you ganjue]. Once there is sensitivity, then and only then can you acquire adhering and sticking energy.”
—Olson, p. 46

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 05-01-2006).]
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 01, 2006 2:17 pm

“Unify your attention. Rather than listen [ting] with the ear, listen with the heart [xin]. Rather than listen with the heart, listen with the energies [qi]. Listening stops at the ear, the heart at what tallies with the thought. As for ‘energy’ [qi], it is the tenuous [xu, ‘emptying’] which waits to be roused by other things” [qi ye zhe, xu er dai wu zhe ye].
—A.C. Graham, Chuang-tzu: The Inner Chapters, p. 68

Very insightful, well expressed notion...Thanks for sharing this quote Louis.

Best wishes,
Pamela
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon May 01, 2006 6:11 pm

Greetings Pamela,

Here’s another translation of the same Zhuangzi passage by Burton Watson.

‘Confucius said, "Make your will one! Don't listen with your ears, listen with your mind. No, don't listen with your mind, but listen with your spirit. Listening stops with the ears, the mind stops with recognition, but spirit is empty and waits on all things. The Way gathers in emptiness alone. Emptiness is the fasting of the mind."’
—Burton Watson, Complete Works of Chuang-tzu, Ch. 4

Every translation of Zhuangzi tracks a bit differently. Neither Graham’s “energies” nor Watson’s “spirit” really get to the Zhuangzi’s meaning of qi (although Graham’s notes add some clarity). One modern commentator has said that the meaning of qi in the warring states period and in later philosophical contexts could be said to be “psychophysical stuff.” That’s kind of a funny way of putting it, but it captures the meaning. It’s not something nebulous like spirit or vapor or energies; it’s tangible. I think the Zhuangzi passage bears on our discussion, because it refers to a diffused or suffused model of consciousness or awareness that is not tied to any specific locus or organ.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 01, 2006 7:19 pm

Hello Louis,

This is very interesting stuff for me.

Yesterday I was experimenting with perceiving anothers thoughts,
as it was mentioned in another post that we can perceive such emissions,
before the opponent even consciously realizes his/her own intentions of physical act.
This experimenting really concretized the truth of this for me.
When I did not think with mind...when my response was simultaneous to the others delivery or PRIOR to it, I found success repeatedly. The instant, I paused, even a second, thought or tried to visualize in depth or superficially, of the others thoughts, I failed...repeatedly.
Empty mind really does remove the "interference" the mind and heart imposes on..."the spirit",
or wuji's no minddness...which really is very efficient.

I understand what you are saying about spirit...and it's connotations...It is something I continue to ponder. Not an easy entity to define or grasp. For practical use in TaiChi, I simply consider it as the no mindedness we find, once we abandon mental thought...but great dissertation could be had upon this word, I am sure.

These quotes are excellent for ponderation...thank you for sharing them, each time I read them I find a new thought. Image

Great thread! I have been following avidly.

Best wishes,
Pamela
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 01, 2006 7:30 pm

...also...on your last line...

I think the Zhuangzi passage bears on our discussion, because it refers to a diffused or suffused model of consciousness or awareness that is not tied to any specific locus or organ.

I must agree fully...I could not say exactly "where" this emerges from, locus or organ...But feel it is where "I" am not.

The abstract referal to the all being within nothingness.
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 01, 2006 8:09 pm

Oh, and to add even more interest: The experiments I spoke of were carried out with someone hundreds of miles away, through a computer...no room for physical touch, body language, anything of this sort.

So I would say too...that this sense of spirit is far superior in many ways than any of our other more shortsighted, more limited senses.


[This message has been edited by Pamela (edited 05-01-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon May 01, 2006 8:33 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Pamela:
[B]Oh, and to add even more interest: The experiments I spoke of were carried out with someone hundreds of miles away, through a computer...no room for physical touch, body language, anything of this sort.

So I would say too...that this sense of spirit is far superior in many ways than any of our other more shortsighted, more limited senses.


I have to say that I can't imagine what this experiment was or what it entails. Did you touch your keyboard?

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Pamela » Mon May 01, 2006 8:53 pm

Hi Louis,

It was an experiment in sending and receiving thoughts from mind to mind.

No touch upon the keyboard perse...

I was interested in seeing if I could perceive the others thoughts before their conscious perception in the others mind.

Perhaps it is more kin to spirit to spirit, actually.

Or it is when it is perceived prior to the others conscious awareness.

Best wishes,
Pamela




[This message has been edited by Pamela (edited 05-01-2006).]
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Postby Pamela » Wed May 03, 2006 12:10 pm

Hello Louis,

I have a question, please...What does empty, being empty, "emptiness" in a TaiChi player, mean to you?

Thank you,
Pamela
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Wed May 03, 2006 5:19 pm

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Hi All,

Yes, that passage is great. However I think its meaning is too subtle to remain untouched by translation. Image
For example, I am curious about other possible renderings of fu2 (xin zhi yu fu) and why 'ye' follows after 'qi'? Does that connect it (qi ye) to the preceding phrase (about xinzhi)? I mean - probably in the original text there was no punctuation?! So there might be different phrase arrangement. I would appreciate any comments or references.

And excuse me if my question digresses from the main topic.


P.S. Can not figure out how Jerry did characters displaying without switching the encoding on the previous page.



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 05-03-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed May 03, 2006 7:14 pm

Hi Yuri,

I can’t seem to get my browser to read the code for the Chinese that you posted, whether I chose Unicode, GB, or Big 5. I assume it’s the Zhuangzi Ch. 4 passage, correct? (Yes, Jerry, any hints you can give on how you get your hanzi to stick would be great to know!)

Yuri, regarding the character fu2, it means “a tally,” as in a sort of written record, contract, or account, but in the Zhuangzi passage it is verbal, “tallies,” giving it a meaning of “matches up with.” Graham’s translation is therefore quite close to the literal sense: “Listening stops at the ear; the heart [stops] at what tallies with the thought.” Watson gives it a more accessible rendering of “recognition.”

In classical Chinese, the particle “ye” plays the role of a post-predicate copula—linking subject and predicate—as in the form “A, B ye.” “As for A, it is, belongs to the category, or has the quality of B.” It can also mark a word as nominal within a sentence, or serve as a full stop at the end of a sentence.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 05-03-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed May 03, 2006 7:37 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pamela:
<B>Hello Louis,

I have a question, please...What does empty, being empty, "emptiness" in a TaiChi player, mean to you?

Thank you,
Pamela</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greetings Pamela,

In this context, I think I prefer “emptying.” The Zhuangzi quote about fasting of the heart/mind specifically refers to meditative practice. To make one’s mind or consciousness completely empty is, I think, impossible, so the reference there has to do with a process, or if it refers to a state it is a relative state of emptiness or clarity—a clearing away of distracting or pre-occupying thoughts or feelings. In the taiji context, I think it refers to explicitly physiological processes, including the first of the Ten Essentials, as well as to “sinking the qi to the dantian.” In both cases, a clearing away of congestion is implied.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Pamela » Wed May 03, 2006 10:51 pm

Hi Louis,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts...I appreciate your reply.

Best wishes,
Pamela
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