How many characters are there inside the whole 內業 Nèiyè (Inner Cultivation) text?
I really don’t care, do u? We are just in the beginning of rewriting all vocabularies for all chapters and the emendations from the Harold D. Roth edition (1999) will be included. So some characters will go out, some characters will be changed in writing and some of them will sound different.
How many characters are there in the first part?
I really care, don’t u? And answer is easy: 8 lines multiplied by 4 equals 32. These 32 characters are truly magic if you read them every day and care after them using your pen or brush, or brain, or heart, or all put together to enjoy ancient ideas and your precious time guaranteed to be spent properly.
Can you place all 32 characters from the first part in the alphabetical order?
I thought you’ll never ask! Watch the magic:
藏 cáng store up, reserve, hoard; keep safe; hide away, secrete
此 cĭ this, these, here
地 dì earth, soil, as land
凡 fán in general, overall, in every case of, whenever, whatever, whoever, whichever, all of
穀 gŭ grain, cereal, common food crops
鬼 guĭ returning spirit of the dead, revenant, ghost, specter; often associated with the carnal-soul (魄 pò) that is tied to the earth; 鬼神 guĭ shén gods and demons (Roth translates it like ‘ghostly and numinous’, others follow ‘ghosts and spirits’)
間 jiān NB This graph a medieval development of 閒 xián, interstice of space, interval, space between, in between, among, in the midst of
精 jīng essence; purest, most highly concentrated element; germinal essence, life-germ contained in the Dao; the energy that nourishes the human body and is esp. attached to sexuality (semen, menstrual fluid); seminal; vital; seed(ling)
列 liè to array, arrange in ranks or sequence; sign up, align(meant); set out; enlist(meant). 列星 liè xīng star alignment (in astrology)
流 liú flow, drift, course, glide, run, stream; circulate, distribute, spread
人 rén person, human being, man, mankind, others, the other one(s)
上 shàng on top, on high, above, higher, up(ward)
神 shén spirit(ual), god(ly), divine, deity; sacred, etherial, holy; natural order, law of nature
生 shēng life; live, be alive, exist; emerge, come forth, appear; to grow, develop
聖 shèng possessing wisdom, judgment, and moral excellence; profoundly wise and virtuous; sage(ly), sagacious. 聖人 shèng rén saint, sage
天 tiān the sky, the heavens, celestial; 天地 tiān dì heaven and earth, world
為 wéi do; make, contrive; effect; carry out
五 wŭ numeral five; fifth. 五穀 wŭ gŭ five crops (millet, sesame, soya beans, barley or wheat, rice or other variants), all crops, all grains
謂 wèi speak to; speak about, address, say, tell of; to call, term, refer to as, to mean
物 wù things, matters, material things, phenomena, the exterior world, human beings
下 xià below, low(er), under, at the bottom; down(ward), go down, decline, to go down, fall
星 xīng star; astral, star-like
胸 xiōng breast, chest, as seat of affections; inner mind; 胸中 xiōng zhōng one’s mind
於 yú in, at, on, to, from, with regard to
則 zé standard, norm, precept; rule, example; usual, follow a law; VB-phrase conjunction, occurs between two VB-phrases subordinating the former to the latter, specifically with the meaning ‘if VB-phrase 1, then VB-phrase 2’
之 zhī to go; pronouns: this, that, these, those, him, her, it, them; demonstrative adjectives: this, that, these, those; marker of noun-phrase modification; possessive marker; marker of sentential nominalisation
中 zhōng in, inner, innermost, inside, among; centre, central, middle, in the midst of
How many different characters are there in the first part we should learn soon?
If you will memorise 27 characters you can read the first part in 32 characters without teacher’s presence. And believe me, nobody cares what you read, right?