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HHC study background and criticisms


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#17 konchog uma

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:41 AM

lol sister religions

 

its common in ancient spiritual literature (from the times and places where there actually were barbarians to deal with) to see those who had not been given teachings in that lineage referred to as barbarians.  I think that instead of picking out one of the many possible english translations of the title, it would be better to actually read the text and evaluate whether or not it promotes elitism and intolerance. In my reading of the text, i do not remember finding that, but we are all free to interpret it differently.


Edited by konchog uma, 16 July 2013 - 08:58 AM.

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#18 Seeker of Wisdom

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:59 AM

You're assuming 'conversion of the barbarians' means 'people with other beliefs are barbarians, we should convert them'.

I haven't read the text so I don't know, but perhaps the 'barbarians' being referred to are aspects of the cultivator's own nature.

If there's one phrase or passage that suddenly seems outrageous and contrasts with the rest of that text, or even a whole text antithetical to the related tradition as a whole - that makes me think of skilful means and crazy wisdom.

If tolerance is everywhere, then suddenly 'burn them on the stake' or something is thrown in randomly, that's probably supposed to provoke and make a point.

#19 konchog uma

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:05 AM

its a lovely text, i recommend the versions mentioned in this thread (Ni and Walker).  Considering the culture and time period it came from, tolerance is everywhere.

 

and i don't think anyone gets burned alive!  it even has a happy ending



#20 hydrogen

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:06 AM

The Hua Hu Ching 化胡經 is a Buddhist-inflected version of the TaoTeChing. Some of its concepts conflict with classical Taoism. The title alone conflicts with classical Taoism.

 

The title translates as "Conversion Of The Barbarians" - a religious conversion text. It suggests coercive conversion, cultural imperialism and self-aggrandizement, not really the Way of Lao Tzu. The title is uncomfortable for me.

 

Again, it might have something to do with the nature of language.

 

The word "hu" can also be translated into "ignorance". The title could also be translated into "the book of chaning ignorance". 

 

Also it's a common theme to become "realized human" in taoim. Before we can claim that we're "human", we are actually "hu" (ignorant) man.

 

My mom always say "you can find bones in an egg".  it's somthing one should consider.


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#21 hydrogen

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

 What a great saying! I never heard it before.

 

Is it like 'big oak trees from little acorns grow'?

 

Deep down, it's the same metaphor as the idea of everything is a mirror to reflex back what's in ones own mind.

 

Obviously there is not any bone inside an fresh egg. A similar Chinese proverb describes a extremely picky person as "someone who's looking for bones inside an egg".

 

My mom's borrowed this line to show the idea "if you're looking for trouble, you'll find trouble eventually." It takes a team of talented engineers, designers to create an "fool proof" system, while it takes a fool five minutes to render that system useless :)

 

A book is tool just like a knife. What one can do with the book/knife is up to each individual.

 

Another polite way to say in Chinese proverb is "reading the same book, a wise person see wisdom in the book, a loving person see love in the book."


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#22 Stosh

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:49 PM

hu chooses not to read the book?



#23 Mal

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:49 PM

Derek Lin's HHC article address this https://sites.google.com/site/taoismnet/home/articles/hua-hu-ching  basically 

In short, the Hua Hu Ching is a hoax created many centuries after Lao Tzu's time, for the specific purpose of "proving" the superiority of Taoism over Buddhism. This is the fundamental wrongness of the book: it is a lie, and not a white lie either. It represents not only falsehood but also arrogance - something no true cultivator of the Tao would ever support.

and thats perhaps the most prevelent view of the HHC, but not the conclusion I come to from from reading it.


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#24 konchog uma

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:52 PM

yeah the text itself is actually useful and beautiful.. i got a lot from it, but i dont consider it the work of master Lao either


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#25 gendao

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:02 PM

Hu's the real "barbarians?" :D

0283w500.jpg

conan-the-barbarian-poster.jpg?cdn=13741


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#26 Jainarayan

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 05:41 AM

I'm glad I searched on Hua Hu Ching instead of starting a thread I might get my ass handed to me for it. :P Nah, just kidding... I don't think anyone here would do that. Anyhowzz... I stumbled across the HHC in my friendly local B&N and started flipping through it. I landed on chapter 47 which says: 

 

Dualistic thinking is a sickness.

Religion is a distortion.

Materialism is cruel.

Blind spirituality is unreal.

Chanting is no more holy than listening to the

     murmur of a stream; counting prayer beads no more

     sacred than simply breathing; religious robes no

     more spiritual than work clothes.

If you wish to attain oneness with the Tao, don’t get

     caught up in spiritual superficialities.

Instead, live a quiet and simple life, free of ideas and

     concepts.

Find contentment in the practice of undiscriminating

     virtue, the only true power.

Giving to others selflessly and anonymously, radiating

     light throughout the world and illuminating your

     own darkness, your virtue becomes a sanctuary for

     yourself and all beings.

This is what is meant by embodying the Tao.

 

This really strikes me. The reason is that I am becoming disillusioned with the 100s of pontifications, rules, regulations, do-s and don't-s, and general superstitious silliness (as I call it) of Hinduism. I'm beginning to go my own way and develop my own belief and devotional system. That may very well render me "non-Hindu", but what the hell. It's just a label. The verses above go hand-in-hand ("in my opinion", a phrase not used nearly enough on the internet ;)) with a paraphrase from the Buddha:

 

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.  

 

The point is, apart from this post being nothing more than a brainfart and my desire to contribute nothing, er I mean something to discussions, I haven't read much more of the HHC, but if the rest is anything like that, I don't care who wrote it or what it's in response to. Wise words are wise words, if they fit one's paradigm, and so far that fits mine. If anyone cares.

 

That's all... flame on! 

 

250px-Human_Torch.png

 


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#27 woodcarver

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 12:11 PM

I just got this recently and there's some good content in it! I read this thread and did some more research before reading it and I was surprised. It's welcome in my book collection and I hope to have some good discussions.

 

Edit: Though I can see how destructive it can be if one reads it and is unable to point out parts that the author of the TTC would never write.


Edited by woodcarver, 02 October 2014 - 12:19 PM.


#28 Marblehead

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 01:28 PM

Edit: Though I can see how destructive it can be if one reads it and is unable to point out parts that the author of the TTC would never write.

I think I have done a fairly good job of doing this for others.  Hehehe.


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#29 woodcarver

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 06:35 PM

I think I have done a fairly good job of doing this for others.  Hehehe.

This should be interesting :)



#30 Marblehead

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 01:17 AM

This should be interesting :)

Hehehe.  Well, this is a topic that is dear to me and plus the fact that I am a Steward of these sub-forums I do try to read all posts and respond where appropriate.

 

I actually have no problem with the HHC nor with its contents.  It is a very nice mix of Taoist and Buddhist thoughts.  I'm sure everyone can learn something from it.

 

But to suggest that Lao Tzu wrote it is way off base.  If there ever was a Lao Tzu he was already dead a couple hundred years before Buddhism entered China and the HHC was written. 


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#31 woodcarver

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 01:35 AM

Hehehe.  Well, this is a topic that is dear to me and plus the fact that I am a Steward of these sub-forums I do try to read all posts and respond where appropriate.

 

I actually have no problem with the HHC nor with its contents.  It is a very nice mix of Taoist and Buddhist thoughts.  I'm sure everyone can learn something from it.

 

But to suggest that Lao Tzu wrote it is way off base.  If there ever was a Lao Tzu he was already dead a couple hundred years before Buddhism entered China and the HHC was written. 

Yeah but even with buddhism and laolao aside, some of the stuff in there seems just odd. But hey, people in that era and place have probably studied the TTC more than I have.



#32 Marblehead

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 01:50 AM

Yeah but even with buddhism and laolao aside, some of the stuff in there seems just odd.

You got that right, IMO!


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