If foolishly there is no teaching
Kou 3 pu 1 chiao 4
Wrongly not teach
Kou is composed, under its modern form, of 艸 ts'ao vegetation ("艹" in composition) as radical, and 句 chü crooked (line 110) as phonetic. It commonly means if, if only, etc.
Pu is supposed to be a picture of a bird which is circling in the air and will not come down, the upper line representing the sky.
Chiao is composed of 孝 hsiao filial piety (line 41) as phonetic and an obsolete radical meaning to tap (line 43).
[Every translator so far has made the same serious error of rendering the 苟 kou in this line as though it were simply "if." It is elliptical however for 苟且 kou ch'ieh (line 274) wrongly, improperly etc., as carefully stated in Ho Hsing-ssü's commentary.]
the nature will deteriorate.
Hsing 4 nai 3 ch'ien 1
Nature then move
Hsing see line 2.
Nai was originally a picture of vapour struggling forth. It is now a conjunctive and disjunctive particle, with other and more unusual values, demonstrative (line 95) and possessive.
Ch'ien is composed of the walking radical (line 3) and a phonetic which means to ascend. The whole character originally meant to ascend, then to move from a given position, a departure from the norm, etc.
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