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In a version of the Dao De Jing that I found on Gutenberg.org, this character appears: 繟. I've done multiple searches of the web and of several dictionaries online, but wasn't able to find a translation.

Here is the chapter that contains the character:

第七十三章

勇於敢則殺,勇於不敢則活。此兩者,或利或害。天之所惡,孰知其故?是以聖人猶難之。天之道,不爭而善勝,不言而善應,不召而自來,繟然而善謀。天網恢恢,疏而不失。

Does anybody know its meaning? According to MDBG.net, the reading of it is: chǎn, but no definition was provided: http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php?page=worddict&wdrst=1&wdqb=繟 (click the character to expand the information on it)

Your help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  • 繟 chǎn (1) 宽绰, 舒缓 [generous] (2) 又如: 繟然(坦然, 宽舒的样子) more at bkrs – user6065 Jul 18 '16 at 1:06
  • Thank you! If you submit it as an answer, I'll accept it. :) – J.D. Jul 18 '16 at 1:11
  • also try C-C dictionaries:zdic:1. 宽松的丝带。  2. 舒缓;坦然。etc. – user6065 Jul 18 '16 at 1:51
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have a look of the 國語辭典:

http://dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/cgi-bin/cbdic/gsweb.cgi?o=dcbdic&searchid=W00000008412

then, 唐玄宗御製道德真經疏:

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This word means 坦然 in modern chinese. In fact I can't find a right English word to express the meaning. The meaning of sentence is, natural has its own rule.It didn't fight, but it will be the winner. It didn't say anything, but evernthing in the world will answer it. It didn't call anyone, but there are so many animals in the world. So, we just take it easy, just get our own plans, just do what we should do, calmly and indifferently, and the natural will help us to finish everything well.

  • It sounds like you're describing the Daoist concept of 無為 -- acting naturally, in an uncontrived fashion, allowing things to run their course. As mentioned in the Dao De Jing, where I found the character 繟, when one acts with 無為, things naturally turn out for the best. – J.D. Jul 18 '16 at 10:18
  • Quite similar. The philosophy in the Daoist was quite complicated. In my understanding, the word 繟 is more similar to the word 坦然 in mordern Chinese. – JoyceBryant Jul 20 '16 at 1:35

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