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Saturday, May 1, 2010

An Education

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM
 

天鈞

 

Made famous by Ursula K. Le Guin
as the book title "Lathe of Heaven,"
this Chinese phrase, tianjun, apparently
means something more like "Scales of Heaven"–
an appropriate image for Law Day 2010.

Image--Scales (the legal symbol)

An anonymous forum user says that

"…if you switch the two characters around,
you get: 鈞天, which is one of
the nine heavens, more specifically,
the middle heaven."

This is supported by a
non-anonymous source:

"I follow A.C. Graham’s translation of
Juntian as 'Level Heaven (the innermost
of the nine divisions of heaven)';
he renders Juntian guangyue as
'the mighty music of the innermost heaven.'"

— "Music in the World of Su Shi (1037-1101):
Terminology
," by Stuart H. Sargent,
Colorado State University,
Journal of Sung-Yuan Studies 32 (2002), 39-81

The Nine Divisions of Heaven–

Image-- Routledge Encyclopedia of Taoism, Vol. I, on the Nine Heavens, 'jiutian,' ed. by Fabrizio Pregadio

Some context–

The 3x3 ('ninefold') square

"This pattern is a square divided into nine equal parts.
It has been called the 'Holy Field' division and
was used throughout Chinese history for many
different purposes, most of which were connected
with things religious, political, or philosophical."

The Magic Square: Cities in Ancient China,
by Alfred Schinz, Edition Axel Menges, 1996, p. 71

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