Saturday, August 27, 2011

Zen & Tao Poetic 2 - Come and Go

前赤壁賦: 蘇軾 (節錄)

客 亦 知 夫 水 與 月 乎 ? 逝 者 如 斯 , 而 未 嘗 往 也 ; 盈 虛 者 如 彼 , 而 卒 莫 消 長 也 。 蓋 將 自 其 變 者 而 觀 之 , 而 天 地 曾 不 能 一 瞬 ; 自 其 不 變 者 而 觀 之 , 則 物 于 我 皆 無 盡 也 。 而 又 何 羨 乎 ? 且 夫 天 地 之 間 , 物 各 有 主 。 苟 非 吾 之 所 有 , 雖 一 毫 而 莫 取 。 惟 江 上 之 清 風 , 與 山 間 之 明 月 , 耳 得 之 而 為 聲 , 目 遇 之 而 成 色 。 取 之 無 禁 , 用 之 不 竭 。 是 造 物 者 之 無 盡 藏 也 , 而 吾 與 子 之 所 共 適 。

Extract from "Former Red Cliff Rhapsody" (My translation):

My friend, do you understand the nature of river and moon?  The former continuously leaves us but it never ends, the latter blooms and withers, but it always maintains its size.  If we look at nature's changing aspect, nothing remains the same, but if we look at its unchanging side, me and nature becomes immortal.  Why should we envy?  Moreover, everything in nature belongs to their respective owners.  If anything doesn't belong to me, I won't take a single bit.  But the soothing breeze over the river, and the bright moon among the mountains; they become our private music through our ears and become our private pictures through our eyes. We can appreciate as much as we can, without diminishing them a single bit.  There are nature's everlasting treasures, for you and me to take and enjoy.

"Former Red Cliff Rhapsody" painting (Chen Chun - 1537)
Osaka Municipal Museum of Art


  1. The nature of the river and moon - soaking in their beauty, doesn't take away from that eternal beauty. Its a delightful translation! Cheers :)

  2. You certainly got into the heart of the aesthetics!


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