An Interview With Dr. Jan Jekler, the Translator of
“I Discovered How True Every Page Was… And I Decide to Translate This Book”
What is life and how one should live to “live well”? Life seems to be a long journey that one takes to solve these questions. For many years, Dr. Jan Jekler had been searching for answers. He began to read books related to God and he was fascinated by Eckhard Tolle who wrote the book ‘The Power of Now’ because in that book, Tolle explained why we must get rid of our minds. However, he did not have a method to actually throw away. In 2013, Dr. Jan Jekler found out about Ma-Eum Su-Ryun meditation. To his surprise, there was a method in this meditation. He started to empty out his mind through that method and he realized what Truth is, why we are living the way we are now, and how we should live from now. Naturally, his attention was directed towards Teacher Woo Myung, who founded this method, and towards his books.
“At first, there was a lot that I didn’t understand. When I reached the higher levels of meditation, I read it again, and that is when I discovered the beauty of Teacher Woo Myung’s words. I discovered how true every page was, and I decided to translate this book.”
He had to go through a great deal of difficulty because he was a dermatologist, not a professional translator. However, many years of his hard work paid off; in the Summer of 2018, he received the most beautiful book in the world.
Q. When was the first moment that you found this book
It was 2013, while I was doing level one of Ma-Eum Su-Ryun meditation. I began reading it very early after starting the meditation, and after about 100 pages I put it aside – I thought it was a bit boring; now I realize there was a lot that I didn’t understand. When I reached the higher levels of meditation, I read it again (and again!) and that is when I discovered the beauty of Teacher Woo Myung’s words. I discovered how true every page was.
Q. You mentioned that Teacher Woo Myung’s writings are beautiful and true. Can you elaborate?
Today, everybody lives with a lot of unhappiness and anxiety. However, Teacher Woo Myung gives us hope. In simple, yet powerful language, he is telling us that all of us live in a fake world. He is telling us that we have just entered a new era, an era when eventually everybody will come to live in the true world and be happy. That is really inspiring! And such good news!
Q. So it can be said that those things are the characteristics and appealing points of this book.
Yes. This book tells us what Truth is and how one can reach it. The language is as simple as it can get (even though it can be difficult to understand anyway – but that is not the author’s fault). To me it is very different from the books I have seen that discuss this topic. Teacher Woo Myung’s book is simply beautiful and obviously he is the first one that understands how the Universe works and what Truth is.
Q. We heard that you translated English to Swedish. Did you have any difficulties because you could not directly translate from the original Korean version?
Just translating from English would not have gotten a good result, because obviously for each translation there are valid points that get lost. Fortunately, I had the helpers in our center to help me. There were many occasions when I was uncertain what the text of the English version meant, and I felt the need to get deeper into the text of the original version. In many cases, it had big impact on the translation. I am very grateful to the helpers in our center. Of course, it would have been the best if I was able to read Teacher Woo Myung’s original Korean words.
Q. What was the most difficult while translating?
The most difficult part was that there are so many words that don’t exist in the Swedish language or do exist but are not used. Korean, I understand, is very rich in words that are appropriate to Teacher Woo Myung’s writings. In some cases, I had to create a Swedish word, a word that still sounded Swedish. In other instances, I had to check what was written in the Swedish version of the Bible, since Teacher Woo Myung makes references to the Bible many times. I was fortunate to be able to discuss these matters with a Swede who coincidentally started meditating the same day I did, and who is now a helper.
Q. These days in Korea, Swedish ‘lagom’ is a big trend. Words such as ‘lagom life’, ‘lagom Happiness’, etc. are often used and even a book called ‘lagom’ is published. What do people think about ‘lagom’ in Sweden?
The word “lagom” is difficult to translate to most other languages, but the essence of it is “neither too much, neither too little”. It has been used in the Swedish language since the 17th century, so the root of the word is quite deep, and in Sweden, it is not something “big”. I think the word fits well with the psyche of the average Swede, but in Sweden it is not viewed only in a positive way. For many people, it has somewhat negative connotations, since many people don’t want to live “lagom” – they want to live a life where they achieve a lot, and they want to possess a lot. Addition is their motto. In this book, Teacher Woo Myung talks about mind subtraction as a “good” thing, the true thing, not addition. Teacher Woo Myung knows what he is talking about. Maybe one could call it the true lagom, a lagom in the sense of everything being in balance; simply, nature’s flow. So I think – and hope – that the book might contribute to promoting this true lagom.
Q. which part of this book do you think can appeal to the Swedish readers?
People will be able to learn about Truth and the Universe, and they will also find out about mind subtraction. Most people seem to think that addition is the answer to a happy life, but this is not true. Reading and hearing about subtraction sounded true to me from the very first day, and I think it will for many other people as well.
Q. How do you wish the Swedish people to be influenced by this book?
I hope that this book has a big influence. I also hope that more and more people in Sweden start meditating and come to realize what Truth is and how it can be achieved.
Q. What was the biggest change you experienced after starting meditation?
I have come to realize what Truth is and the fact that we live in a false world, a world that only exists in our own minds. Meditation is not for some selected people – it is important to each and every one of us living on Earth. Please start meditating!
Dr. Jan Jekler was born in Czech Republic in 1955. He moved to Sweden in 1965 with his family and studied dermatology in Medical School of Göteborg in Sweden. After receiving Doctor’s degree, he has been working as a dermatologist while also devoting himself to pro bono service. Dr. Jekler had always had questions about life, and this is what propelled him to start meditation. While doing meditation, he solved all the questions he had about life and he deeply empathized with, and began to follow, Teacher Woo Myung’s philosophy which presents a path to human completion and true happiness.
Writings edited by _Cham Publishing Corp. Editorial Department
Pictures provided by_Stockholm Meditation Center in Sweden