Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
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31-08-2013, 05:38 AM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2013 06:31 AM by HU.Junyuan.)
Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
I think I am old enough to rethink about the very "software" foundation of my existence, i.e., my view of life, my view of the world and my view of value. So I think it is a good time to study some philosophy. And I plan to carefully study the three most classical books of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, which play a critical role in shaping the characteristics of the Chinese people.

And I begin with Dao De Jing, alleged to be written by Laozi, the first important thinker of the Taoism school. I will be studying the ancient prose and also an English translation version by a well-known literati in the early 20th Century. And I am going to combine my understanding with the English version I found, and put it in the replies below. At least one chapter per week, I hope, in case someone will be interested in a discussion.

Thus my journey begins.

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31-08-2013, 05:51 AM
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
To boldly go..,

I'm already looking forward to it.

Have a sage journey.

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31-08-2013, 05:59 AM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2013 07:38 AM by HU.Junyuan.)
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
【Chapter One】

The Way is able to be told of, yet what is able to be told of is not the permanent Way;
the Name is able to be given, yet what is able to be given is not the permanent Name.
Nil is the Name of the beginning of sky and earth;
Being is the Name of the mother of all existence.

Therefore, oftentimes experience Nil, in order to observe the fine wonderfulness;
oftentimes experience Being, in order to observe the boundaries.

Nil and Being are from the same origin,
but come with different Names.
This truth is profound in profundities,
and is the doorway to see the various fine wonderfulness.

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31-08-2013, 06:05 AM
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
I knew this would happen!

Chapter One and I've lost my Way already.

Sad

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31-08-2013, 06:20 AM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2013 06:35 AM by HU.Junyuan.)
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
(31-08-2013 06:05 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I knew this would happen!

Chapter One and I've lost my Way already.

Sad

Not that hard. Smile

You can treat Laozi as an old gentleman who had a career as the chief of the Central Library in the Spring and Autumn Period of the Zhou Dynasty more than 2500 years ago, when the central government's authority was falling apart and the warlords were rising. This old gentleman very like had taken his advantage to have read many books and started to have some plain (yet perhaps exciting to him) thoughts about Dialectics. And Chapter One is all about this.

As we grow up, this world is no longer either black or white (either bad or good) to us, and has turned into a unbalanced mixture of both (and other stuff). We know this. Simple truth.

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31-08-2013, 05:05 PM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2013 05:09 PM by unsapien.)
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
(31-08-2013 06:20 AM)HU.Junyuan Wrote:  
(31-08-2013 06:05 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I knew this would happen!

Chapter One and I've lost my Way already.

Sad

Not that hard. Smile

We know this. Simple truth.

What this tells us is that "know", "simple", and "truth" should never be used in the same sentence...and I just did, crap.

"I am a knowledgeable man, I have knowledge. If I knew how I knew what I know, I would know half as much, because it would be clogged up with where I knew it from...that is why I cannot always cite my sources. - David Mitchell
"If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." - Captain Picard
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31-08-2013, 06:20 PM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2013 06:28 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
(31-08-2013 05:59 AM)HU.Junyuan Wrote:  【Chapter One】
Seems clear to me, I have experienced all of these in my meditations and I can tell, the relationship between these Names is correct.

However, I had to meditate for seven years and educate myself a great deal to be able to do so. The great philosopher probably already was born great. Hopefully I can offer some insights. (spoilers) I come from a tradition saying, that most great traditions share the common ancestor, that is ancient and universal.

As Jesus would say, we are in a time when secrets are being shouted (and digitally broadcasted) from rooftops and so there's nothing wrong with me providing my perspective on the old man.

"The Way is able to be told of, yet what is able to be told of is not the permanent Way;" - Yep, I am walking the Way, but all traditions call it differently, in different jargons. The straight and narrow way, the golden middle path, the path of initiation, the Tao, the pursuit of white rabbit v. 2.0, Names like that.

"the Name is able to be given, yet what is able to be given is not the permanent Name." - same thing. Some call it god transcendent, immanent, self, cosmos, doesn't make that much difference in a right state of mind.

"Nil is the Name of the beginning of sky and earth;" - this one I experienced just briefly, but the description is apt. Human vanishes, natural things remain.

"Being is the Name of the mother of all existence." - Sure it is Big Grin Nil is literally the experience of non-existence. There is really no other choice Wink I regret to say, my Mom is extremely good at acheving the state of non-existence. I suck at it. She's holier than me, apparently.

"Therefore, oftentimes experience Nil, in order to observe the fine wonderfulness;
oftentimes experience Being, in order to observe the boundaries." - Oh! If only people knew the boundaries! You never really know anything, if you can't Name its boundaries. This ignorant knowledge, ignorance of boundaries is called ideology, isms and similar dangerous bullshit. Nowhere are the boundaries and bullshit more obvious, than from the perspective of Being. That's how I write the forum posts.
However, experiencing the Nil, I could still improve a lot in this department. I didn't really take that good look at it.

"Nil and Being are from the same origin,
but come with different Names." - I suppose so, I don't have that much experience with Nil.

"This truth is profound in profundities,
and is the doorway to see the various fine wonderfulness." - What an understatement. B and N are extremely profound states of insight and they are both united in seeing the pattern of the world, the treasury room from which all great artists steal, as Salvador Dali would say. I have stolen merely a few glimpses from this room, but it left a profound impression.

Basically, Laozi is just showing off at the moment. He drops hints at concepts and states of consciousness that not everyone can understand, and those who can, instantly know what a big dude he is. In my book, he's one of the greatest among mortals, just a few hundred like him at any given time on Earth.
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01-09-2013, 06:06 PM (This post was last modified: 01-09-2013 09:09 PM by HU.Junyuan.)
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
【Chapter One】(Revised)

Dao is able to be told of, yet what is able to be told of is not the permanent Dao;
the Name is able to be given, yet what is able to be given is not the permanent Name.
Nil is the Name of the beginning of sky and earth;
the Being is the Name of the mother of all existence.

Therefore, oftentimes experience Nil, in order to observe the fine wonderfulness;
oftentimes experience Being, in order to observe the key apertures.

Nil and the Being are from the same origin,
but come with different Names.
This truth is profound in profundities,
and is the doorway to see the various fine wonderfulness.

Edit 1: "the Way" is replaced by "Dao". The Chinese character "Dao" means way, road, route, path, channel, line, tract, skill, morality, doctrine, method, course, truth, say, talk, speak, think and suppose, besides to translate the Chinese character "Dao" into "the way" is commonly seen in Buddhism, so it is inappropriate to use "the way" to represent Dao here on my second thought.

Edit 2: "boundaries" is replaced by "key apertures". By switching from experiencing Nil to experienceing Being, with your various feelings and emotions, you might notice the key apectures, like the headrope of a fishing net, when it is pulled out, all the meshes open, like the temple, when it is dealt a blow to, a person might die.

Edit 3: "the permanent Dao" is replaced by "permanent Dao", and "Being" is replaced by "the Being", because Dao and Nil can't be pin-pointed at yet the Name and the Being can.

Edit 4: A picture added. Dialectics is part of Dao.

[Image: 66f2d8f3gabf29f079bcb&690]

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01-09-2013, 06:27 PM
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
I listened to an audiobook of the Dao De Jing (with a different anglicized spelling) about a dozen times a few years ago. I honestly cannot recall a thing it said.

Around the same time, I read The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi. I remember it clearly, because I was laughing at every page.

I'd like to get back to Dao De Jing again. Maybe I can stop after each paragraph and find something to laugh at, so it will stick in my mind.

WWMWAZSKDTVQHTMJD?
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01-09-2013, 06:50 PM
RE: Ancient wisdom: Dao De Jing -- a text about the way and virtue
(31-08-2013 06:05 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I knew this would happen!

Chapter One and I've lost my Way already.

Sad

Put a skirt on it. Tongue

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