Working languages:
Korean to English
Korean to Esperanto
English to Esperanto

Gary Rector
Learning never ends.

Seoul, Soul-t'ukpyolsi, South Korea
Local time: 01:28 KST (GMT+8.5)

Native in: English (Variant: US) Native in English
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Portfolio Sample translations submitted: 1
Korean to English: Foreword to a Commentary on the Doctrine of the Mean
Source text - Korean
| 머리말 |

나는 공자님을 사모하는 마음에 공자님이 제자들과 더불어 활동하던 중국 산동의 곡부를 몇 차례 여행하였다. 갈 때마다 나 등을 읽으며 음미하기도 하고 담론하기도 하였다. 집에 돌아와서도 거듭거듭 숙독과 음미, 담론, 실천해온 지 수십 년이 되었다.
에는 대성자인 공자의 일상생활이 여과없이 기록되어 있다. 제자와의 대화, 가르침, 정치적인 견해와 탄식, 인생에 대한 견해와 태도, 자신의 내면적인 심정 등이 잘 수집되고 표현되어 있다. 아마 논어가 결집될 때는 공자님의 사상이 체계적이거나 어떤 표준에 의하여 의도적으로 기록되지는 않았던 것 같다. 그래서 꾸며지지 않은 그대로, 가공하지 않은 보석처럼 순수한 성자의 일상생활이 느껴진다.
반면에 은 공자님의 사상을 종횡으로 연마하여 기록한 듯하다. 혹 에 기록되지 않은 다른 구전된 말씀이나 발견하지 못한 기록 등을 수집하여 제작되지 않았을까 하는 추측을 해본다.
은 나의 인격을 향상시켜 가는데 커다란 등불이 됨을 간절히 느껴 독서라기보다는 인격탁마의 교과서를 대하는 심정으로 구절마다 직역을 하고 또 그때마다 생각나는 해설을 적어 보았다. 이런 과정은 나의 정신을 성장시키는데 큰 힘이 되고 거름이 된 셈이다.
성현의 말씀에 성자가 나기 전에는 도가 천지에 있고, 성자가 나시면 도가 성자에 있으며, 성자가 가신 후에는 도가 경전에 있다고 하였다.
은 성자가 밝힌 도의 혼이 배어 있는 조각품과 같은 것이다. 자고이래 수많은 성인 현인이 이 에 의하여 배태되었을 것이다.
그런데 요즈음 을 해설한 책이 수없이 많이 있으나 ‘중용의 도’를 실천하는 인물은 누구인지 알 수가 없다. 아마도 내 눈이 밝지 못한 탓일 것이다. 중용의 도리(道理)를 해설하는 것도 중요한 일이지만 도리(道理)를 실천하는 정성스런 구도자, 적공을 하는 수도자, 그리고 통달한 달도자가 그립다.
그러나 일상생활이 중용 그 자체가 된 달도자적인 인물을 찾기만 할 것이 아니라 스스로 성자로 만들어 가는 것이 참으로 중요한 일이다.
에서는 공자의 도죂仁죃가 실천되어 보여준 인격과 생활 그리고 효와 정치, 도를 이루기까지의 성(誠)에 대한 말씀이 너무 간절하다. 또한 그 성(誠)으로 인하여 성인의 인격으로 변모한 모습이 매우 구체적으로 적시되어서 구도자의 목적지가 뚜렷해지고 공부를 촉진시키는 촉진제가 되며 또한 성인을 판가름하는 척도가 되기도 한다.
따라서 수도에 매진하고 있는 우리 법동지들의 공부에 다소 도움이 되지 않을까 하는 간절한 염원이 있어서 책으로 펴보았다. 막상 인쇄를 하려고 생각하니 잘 연습되지 않은 노래를 부르는 듯한 느낌이 없지 않다. 혹 부족한 점이 있다면 언제나 충고를 기다린다. 그리하여 다음에 수정본을 낼 때는 더욱 완성도 높은 책이 되어 사바세계를 낙토로 만드는 제생의세의 교화에 큰 이정표가 되기를 염원한다.

끝으로 내가 중용에 대한 조그마한 견해를 갖도록 큰 가르침을 주신 소태산 대종사(小太山 大宗師)님께 한없는 감사와 존경을 바치며 시방세계(十方世界)가 선도량(禪道場)이 되고 불은화(佛恩化) 되기를 축원한다.
Translation - English

Because of my great affection for Confucius and his works, I have traveled several times around Shandong, the region of China where Confucius and his disciples were active. Each time, I would enjoy rereading and discussing such Confucian classics as the Analects and the Doctrine of the Mean. Returning home, I would continue to savor studying and talking about those works and putting the principles they present into practice, as I have done for decades now.

The Analects are an unfiltered record of the daily life of the great sage Confucius. It is a collection of depictions of his conversations with his disciples, his teachings, his opinions and disappointments about politics, his views and attitudes about life, and his inner feelings. It seems that when the Analects were first collected, they were not recorded with some systematized version of Confucius' thought or with a purposeful standard in mind, so it presents us with unadorned, unprocessed, gemlike stories of the sage's everyday life.

In contrast, the Doctrine of the Mean is a thoroughly polished record of Confucian thought. It appears to include information that is not found in the Analects but was passed down orally or in written records that have been lost.

I have always felt that the Doctrine of the Mean was a bright guiding light that served me greatly in improving my character, so rather than merely reading it, I have studied it as a textbook on building character, translating it line by line and writing down any explanatory comments that came to mind. It has fertilized and energized my spiritual growth.

The sages said that before the appearance of holy men, the Way of Heaven and Earth existed; and when a holy man comes forth, the Way is within him; and after the holy man is gone, the Way remains in the scriptures.

The Doctrine of the Mean is like a sculpture that contains the soul of the Way that the holy sages taught. Since ancient times, the Doctrine of the Mean has served as a breeder of sages and other wise men.

These days there are many, many commentaries on the Doctrine of the Mean available, but I don't see many people who have actually put its teachings into practice. Perhaps my eyes are failing me. Being able to explain the teachings of the of the Doctrine of the Mean is important, but I long to see more devoted seekers after the truth, more who consecrate themselves to achieving the Way, and more who have mastered the Way. However, in our daily lives, we shouldn't just be looking around for others who have arrived at the goals presented in the Doctrine of the Mean; the truly important thing is to apply its principles to ourselves.

The Doctrine of the Mean contains strongly focused explanations of how the sincerity gained from putting the Confucian virtue of benevolence into practice results in beneficial effects on one's character, on one's daily life, on one's relationship with parents, on politics, and on one's mastery of virtue and morality. By pointing out specific details of the transformation that leads to acquiring the character of a sage and encouraging proper study, the text makes clear the destination that the seeker of truth should aim for and serves as a standard for judging whether someone is a true sage or not.

Therefore, I have written this book out of an earnest desire to help our Dharma friends who are striving to practice spiritual discipline. Now, as its publication approaches, I can't help feeling a bit like someone singing a song he hasn't practiced enough. I welcome any advice that might help me improve the text. Then, the next edition would come closer to perfection I'd hoped for and could signpost pointing the way to turning our world here below into the kind of paradise it could be.

Finally, I wish to express my boundless gratitude and respect for Founding Master Sotaesan whose great teaching led me to a better understanding of the Doctrine of the Mean, and I pray that the universe may serve as a place where my readers can practice Seon and receive the grace of the Buddha.

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CV/Resume English (RTF)
I have lived in South Korea since 1967, working as a writer, editor, and translator for publishers of magazines, newspapers, dictionaries, and textbooks and for public relations and advertising agencies. In addition to languages, writing systems, and linguistics, my interests include music, science, symbology, genealogy, computer programming—and other new things that keep grabbing my attention.

Profile last updated
Apr 3, 2015