Or, how I’m using chinese characters in All Moments.
Your first introduction is on page 4:
This expression, which I built from my exploration of characters, says -
We dance wingless without shame.
(It may mean other things to native chinese speakers, I’m a ‘beginner’ in this language)
In pinyin it is : Wǒmen wǔdǎo wúyì wúchǐ
We 我们 dance 舞蹈 without wings 无翼 无耻 without shame
In Forms 29 and 43 when I removed the ‘we’ I got 舞蹈无翼 无耻
dance wingless without shame. I should probably have put a ‘to’ in front of it making it
I thought about it, but I was aiming for suggesting the reader embrace an affirmation of the act of dancing rather than giving them an instruction ‘to’ dance.
But why that phrase anyway?
Forms 4 and 45 Deals with its ‘construction’ as follows:
I was exploring fluidity of ‘meaning’ and the idea for the phrase came from the characters. I wasn’t trying to ‘create’ that phrase, it came out of the characters as they emerged. It was while I was trying to work out the many variants of ‘wu’ (before I understood the how tones related to characters in the Chinese written language.) Essentially the idea and the ‘sentence’ emerged from the characters.
舞 池 (dance floor)
无 耻 (Without any sense of shame)
无 持 （wingless）
There are many other characters (tone dependent) which can subtly change the meaning of this, or perhaps express it better - If you know Chinese, please indulge me. If you don’t please go with me. It’s the ‘meaning’ beneath the words/characters which are most importance/interest to me.
For example, my dictionary tells me that ‘to dance,’ (verb) is tiaowǔ 跳舞 whereas dance (noun) (a dance) is wǔdǎo 舞蹈 and (the dance) is wǔhui 舞会
Consistent is the ‘dance’ character wǔ and this interested me because wú is also 无 when it means ‘without’
( the difference is from tone 3 to tone 2 if you're interested)
Going back to the headings sections:
I came across a great video explaining this (which of course I can’t find again just now) but basically I’m taking it to mean as the guy demonstrated, how if you don’t close the circle you’re able to embrace multidimensions. It’s tied up with Wuji.. I shall keep looking for the reference and insert it when/if I find it (which will be when I stop looking!) [nb - paradox accepted]
The five element theory.
(Also sometimes found as wuxin) I first came to this through The book QiGong and the Tai Chi Axis: And Dr Paul Lam’s Qigong for Health.
Is best described as the ‘empty circle’ (the infinite emptiness) and as such related to the ‘open circle’
Suffice it to say that there seems (to me) a lot of inconsistency in sources as to many of the Anglicised versions of Chinese - which is the reason I started learning Chinese, to gain greater insight, but you’ll appreciate it’s not something that can be achieved in weeks or even months - it’s a journey!
At various points in the text you may come across
The purpose of this
Is not is - is to break the narrative space
The character Is 是 shi
And Not 不 bu
Are put together this way when one asks a question such as
Are you [ ] or not?
So are you well or not?
You are not are well?
Ni(you) 你 shi (are/is) 是 bu (not) 不 shi (are/is) 是 hao (good/well) 好 ma [ma makes the statement a question, it’s known as a question particle] 吗
Do you like this book?
You like not like the book?
With [like not like] instead of is not is
So I put IS NOT IS 是不是
To represent the change of dimensions in the narrative.
The question being asked is: Is this one place/space/time or another?
It’s not a complete sentence intentionally because it’s breaking the two parts of the narrative.
In Forms 15 and 44 there is a section dealing with language and thought
Rendered in characters as follows:
Words and ideas
言 和 思想
言 words (lit speech)
思想 ideas (lit thought)
'If you step over them into the cave which houses the walls of discourse on the nature of linguistic meaning, you may find that the only reality of linguistic science is the word. Its embodiment is its reality.'
书不尽 言 shūbùjìnyán
Writing cannot fully express words or (endless books)
言 不尽 以 yánbùjìnyì
Words cannot fully express what is in my heart or (endless words)
I break it down as follows:
尽 Fully express
But again, don’t quote me for purposes of accurate Chinese!
Then in Forms 16 and 51 there is:
by which I mean
Jīng 精 and shén 神
Have many meanings even with the same tone, depending on what characters go before/after them, including ‘fine’ and ‘God’ so it can be translated as ‘spiritual dancing’ or as ‘fine God Dance’ but in my dictionary
精神 Jīngshén together is defined as ‘mind’
Hence ‘mind dance’ (not a standard phrase in any language that I know of!)
And that’s how I used Chinese characters, given my knowledge and understanding at the point in the perspective at which I was working on the text. Another month or year it might have come out entirely different. But understanding what it means to dance wingless without shame, I remain shameless! 我无 耻
Find out more about the theory, process and meanings - an exercise in creating a brain in a virtual vat.