Jump to content


Photo

2 精誠 Jingcheng The sincerity of the essence


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#17 dust

dust

    灰眼胡

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2208 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2014 - 01:09 PM

Exactly...!!! I couldn't agree more.

During the Warring States, 君 was only used as "ruler" in small countries and 帝(天子) was used for "emperor" in the Han Dynasty. 帝 means the supreme ruler of the land which rules all of the 君 under the feudal system.

 

We've been agreeing a lot recently... it's weird ^_^

 

 

 

That is very likely given that modern science is a religion. ;) But that's beside the point. The point is LZ's main subject - the Dao is easily understandable from the mystical POV. What is it from the materialist POV?

 

You're aware of my view that modern science/atheism is very much like a religion?

Some people use science as religious people use religion, yes. Some people claim that science & tech can solve all the world's problems and lead us into a future of peace and happiness. To me, that's clear nonsense... I don't hold modern science, and especially the technology that comes from it, up as some kind of 'answer'. I think the answer lies within each person (which, incidentally, is very much a 'mystic' way of looking at things).

 

Having said that, every conclusion that comes from good science - i.e. every empirically proved conclusion - is more provably true than any conclusion that comes from waving one's hands around or throwing sticks in the air.

 

Mysticism, from Google:

belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender

 

(my bold). Removing the 'Deity', this is not incompatible with modern science or my idea of Daoism.

 

The rationale behind any system believing in deities is that there's some invisible dude over there doing crazy shit that we can't understand. How can anyone support that?

 

As far as Dao is understandable, it's understandable from your so-called 'materialist' point of view -- because a materialist point of view is concerned with the material world, which is everything that exists.

 

Nowhere in the TTC does it say that gods created anything. What it does say is:

 

又壯蟲成                                   Something great gave way to all form;

先天地生                                   Born before Heaven and Earth,

敚綉蜀立不亥                            Morphing and hazy, singular and limitless,

可以為天下母                            It is the mother of all things;

未智丌名                                   Its name is unknown,

字之曰道                                   We refer to it as the Way

 

This is not entirely incompatible with modern physics.

 

It's also interesting to note that the Greek, Norse, Taoist, and a number of other creation stories begin with a chaos/void/singularity. Even the Biblical creation story begins with a void. The Taoist one, as seen in ch.25 above, is simply one of the more sensible, avoiding the mention of big bearded men falling fully-formed out of nowhere and zapping things.

 

 

i recommend this article, very witty.

 

 

http://www.lewrockwe...c-of-darwinism/

 

Firstly, the theory of evolution isn't claimed to be 'proven'. It's widely acknowledged that we don't know how life as we know it began. That doesn't mean that creator gods like Cronus or Ymir are real.

 

Secondly, proponents of Darwinism don't claim to know how life began -- only that it evolves. And that life evolves is patently obvious to anyone paying attention. So, evolution doesn't really have anything to do with what we're talking about, if you ask me.

 

I also don't know how life on Earth began. The loveliest answers to me, though, are

- that it formed by accident from this primordial 'soup', evolving from a simple combination of chemicals into more and more complex combinations

- that it was brought to Earth from elsewhere, having evolved to a certain stage elsewhere

 

This doesn't contradict the idea of Dao, and is (to me) far more reasonable than saying "Well, probably some invisible guy rubbed his hands together and said 'Abracadabra!' "

 

(Where did the invisible guy come from?)


  • Taoist Texts said thanks for this

I'm just trying to be somebody I can talk to in the morning with a smile


#18 dawei

dawei

    Dao Bum

  • Admin
  • Pip
  • 8228 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2014 - 01:17 PM

As far as Dao is understandable, it's understandable from your so-called 'materialist' point of view -- because a materialist point of view is concerned with the material world, which is everything that exists.

 

Nowhere in the TTC does it say that gods created anything. What it does say is:

 

又壯蟲成                                   Something great gave way to all form;

先天地生                                   Born before Heaven and Earth,

敚綉蜀立不亥                            Morphing and hazy, singular and limitless,

可以為天下母                            It is the mother of all things;

未智丌名                                   Its name is unknown,

字之曰道                                   We refer to it as the Way

 

This is not entirely incompatible with modern physics.

 

It's also interesting to note that the Greek, Norse, Taoist, and a number of other creation stories begin with a chaos/void/singularity. Even the Biblical creation story begins with a void. The Taoist one, as seen in ch.25 above, is simply one of the more sensible, avoiding the mention of big bearded men falling fully-formed out of nowhere and zapping things.

 

I'm a little confused why this has now lead to describing western ideas of a transcendent, creative god comparisons...

 

We're talking about 'god' as a word used in daoism, not western religions.  They are quite different than a Creator in the first place.  Only Dao comes close; as does The One.

 

 

Where does god(s) come from in the eastern [Taoist] sense?  

 

 (feel free to replace god with spirits or ghosts as all three have the same origin)



#19 dust

dust

    灰眼胡

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2208 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2014 - 02:09 PM

Argh...I'd written a response to you dawei but my browser went funny.

I'd done a partial translation of this Wenzi chapter and didn't save it!!

 

Basically, you're right: I went a little overboard with my defense of Laozi's Daoism as not creationist nonsense. Sorry.

There's no mention of any gods creating anything in the TTC, and that's all I need to know.

 

The end of this chapter could be translated:

 

故大人與天地合德,與日月合明,與鬼神合靈,與四時合信,懷天心,抱地氣,執沖含和,不下堂而行四海,變易習俗,民化遷善,若生諸己,能以神化者也

So if great men unite their De with Heaven and Earth, unite their brightness with that of the Sun and Moon, unite their spirit with that of ghosts and gods, unite their faith with the four seasons, embrace Heaven's heart, hold Earth's breath, follow harmony, travel the four seas without ever leaving paradise, change their customs, and convert the people to goodness, when their allotted lifespan is over they can merge with the gods


  • dawei said thanks for this

I'm just trying to be somebody I can talk to in the morning with a smile


#20 ChiDragon

ChiDragon

    無為道人

  • Banned
  • Pip
  • 7466 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:A Semi-Taoist, understand Chinese fluently, who practiced Tai Chi and Chi Kung with noticeable significant results. Especially, interested in acupressure and had performed on myself and wife to cure minor body pains. Study the true meanings of the Tao Te Ching by doing its translation into English.

    Interested in finding and demystify ancient ambiguous ineffable concepts in correlation with modern scientific knowledge.

Posted 05 December 2014 - 02:47 PM

Dustybeijing...

Finally, we do have a little disagreement. I see it to read them this way:
不下堂而行四海,變易習俗,
Not leaving one's home but can see the events within the four seas and change the old traditions;

民化遷善,若生諸己,能以神化者也
Educate the people to be kind. If one lives on selfishness, then one may elevate oneself to be recognized as god.

Anotation:
民化: 教化人民 (to educate the people)
神化: 是指把一個人高舉至的地步(to elevate oneself to be in the same level as god); to impersonate god.

Ref:神化 = impersonate god
 


Edited by ChiDragon, 05 December 2014 - 09:46 PM.

  • dust said thanks for this
靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

               Posted Image

#21 dawei

dawei

    Dao Bum

  • Admin
  • Pip
  • 8228 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2014 - 08:28 PM

2 精誠 Jingcheng The sincerity of the essence

 

Lao-zi said: the Heaven sets up sun and moon, puts in order the constellations, extends the 4 seasons, regulates the yin-yang. The day is for exposure, the night is for rest, wind is for dryness, rain is for wetness.

 

Very reminiscent of the Tai Yi Sheng Shui, the oldest cosmology... so that would be good text to know.

 

       Thus things are born, nobody sees how they are being nourished yet they grow’; thus things are killed, nobody sees how they are being ruined yet they perish. All of it is done by the bright spirits.

 

While LZ simply says in CH. 51 that Dao produces and De nourishes, Wenzi shows the cosmology and DaoDe of 51 are a result of the spirits (carried out by spirits).  

 

There are many ancient texts saying the same thing but one example is the Book of Rites says

"The mountains, forests, rivers, valleys, and hills which can send out cloud, make wind and rain and cause to appear strange phenomena are called spirits (Shen).   -- Puett

 

That is imitated by the sages, who raise blessings, nobody sees how yet blessings arise; who remove calamities, nobody sees how yet calamities are removed.

Not based on observation of the omens or signs, nor by calendrical calculation, but rather by preserving silence – one word (of the sages at the right moment) greatly moves the Under Heaven, because it comes out of Heavenly heart.

Because the sages have fine sincerity inside, their qi moves in sync with Heaven, auspicious stars are seen, yellow dragons descend, phoenixes arrive, sweet springs well up, bountiful crops grow, rivers do not overflow, sea-storms do not surge. If not so, then Heaven will harm things, the sun and moon will eclipse, 5 stars will lose way, four seasons will overlap, the daylight will shine at night, mountains will fall and rivers will dry, there will be thunder in winter and frost in summer.

 

This is reminscent of Zhuangzi talking of Zhen Ren or Xian Ren.   The Neiye, Inner Cultivation, says:

Floating Between Heaven and Earth is what we call spirits and ghosts; stored within one's chest we call it a Sage".

 

Puett remarks himself, "Human sages , in other words, contain within themselves the same substance found in spirits. "

 

For Heaven and people are in communication: (for, example) when an established kingdom is about to fall, there are Heavenly omens, the world comes to disorder, rainbows are seen, all things are in strife, the fine qi depletes – all of these are doings of bright spirits. These changes can not be caused by human cunning nor force.

 

Who was the Heaven-Earth intercessor?  The Shaman.    

 

So we have the spirits and ghosts floating between and the Shaman as the intercessor.  The shaman was a sage who possess the same substance as the spirits.  

 

Ancient texts which mention Qi relate how there is a spirit which resides within each person and the basic goal is to give it a calm residence; to keep the spirit within.  This is sometimes described as self-divination but this is to be understood as much more ancient than later religious arisings.   Spiritual understanding was well established before religions.

 

 

Therefore (the only optimal way) is for the great men to join the De of Heaven and Earth, to join brightness of sun and moon, to join the numinosity of ghosts and spirits, to join the regularity of 4 seasons, to have the Heavenly heart in their bosoms, to embrace the earthly qi, to hold to the middle and to contain harmony, not exiting the palace travel between the 4 seas, to change the customs, to convert people onto the good ways, if so, when the allotted life span is over – they can become spirits themselves.

 

I will say that I like DustyBeijing's version which suggests "unite their [ ] with".  Nice alternative idea... but it seems to fall apart at this...

 

與鬼神合靈

Together | Ghosts | Spirits | Unite | LING

 

Ling - 靈 - Picture of a Shaman calling down the rains  

 

The Ling Shu states:

"The jing qi of yang is called shen; the jing qi of yin is called ling.

 

LZ said in 39:  神得一以靈 

- Through possession of the One, the gods were spiritualized, - Lin Yutang

- The Spirit by Unity has become spiritual; - Chu Ta-Kao

- Gods realized primal unity and so came to spirit.  - Hinton

 

IMO, Wenzi is saying the same thing as LZ 39 only in a different way. 

 

 

不下堂而行四海,[變易習俗]- Does not go into the hall yet travels the four seas.   [goes with next section]

 

I prefer 堂 as its often simple rendering, "Hall", where one welcomed their visitors.  It is one of two places important in the house, along with the kitchen.


Heshang Gong on commenting on LZ 27:1 (a good traveler leave no tracks) uses 不下堂 to say:

The good traveler of the Way seeks himself; He does not go down to the hall or out the gate; he leaves no track.

 

3. 變易習俗, 民化遷善,若生諸己,能以神化者也 - You become different with changes in customs/traditions.  The people transform along to Betterment.  One births a spiritual self.

 

I don't like 'convert' the people; 'Educate sits better but feels too Confucian; I think one needs to tie in the previous few characters which point out that one needs to change with [changing] customs/traditions;  

 

Wenzi says elsewhere that the day changes and there is something better which results.  The similarity in the lines tells me that 遷善 is not simply really about human virtue.


  • Taomeow said thanks for this

#22 dust

dust

    灰眼胡

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 2208 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 December 2014 - 02:25 AM

Perhaps this should be discussed in ttc39 but for now just wanted to point something out, based partly on your point about 靈 dawei

 

昔之得一者:天得一以清;地得一以寧;神得一以靈

[...]

神無以靈,將恐歇

 

If we take ling 靈 to mean shaman, this is essentially saying "... gods came about by way of shamans [...] without shamans there are no gods"


I'm just trying to be somebody I can talk to in the morning with a smile


#23 ChiDragon

ChiDragon

    無為道人

  • Banned
  • Pip
  • 7466 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:A Semi-Taoist, understand Chinese fluently, who practiced Tai Chi and Chi Kung with noticeable significant results. Especially, interested in acupressure and had performed on myself and wife to cure minor body pains. Study the true meanings of the Tao Te Ching by doing its translation into English.

    Interested in finding and demystify ancient ambiguous ineffable concepts in correlation with modern scientific knowledge.

Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:10 AM

神得一以靈
Deity has gained One will be efficacious.

The contextual meaning of 靈, in the phrase, is most difficult to comprehend or translate.

Annotation:
靈, here, means efficacious.
神: deity; god
一: One; it is Tao

Deity has supernatural power. However, the power is useless without the assistance of Tao(One). The super power will become effective as soon it was blessed by Tao. So, to speak.

This also has an indication that Tao is above all which corresponds to:
吾不知誰之子,象帝之先
I don't know who's son it is, but it seems to be existed before god.


Edited by ChiDragon, 06 December 2014 - 07:41 AM.

靜觀其變 以靜制動
Beware of the unexpected silently
Handle adversity with calmness

               Posted Image

#24 dawei

dawei

    Dao Bum

  • Admin
  • Pip
  • 8228 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:16 AM

Perhaps this should be discussed in ttc39 but for now just wanted to point something out, based partly on your point about 靈 dawei

 

昔之得一者:天得一以清;地得一以寧;神得一以靈

[...]

神無以靈,將恐歇

 

If we take ling 靈 to mean shaman, this is essentially saying "... gods came about by way of shamans [...] without shamans there are no gods"

 

I am not trying to say that Ling means Shaman; that is the character pictograph.  

 

Shaman's were the intercessor between Heaven-Earth... but the other texts show that it is the spirits floating between H-E; within the chest this is called the Sage.

 

So there is established a connection about what the Shaman did/does and it really relates to the Spirits (Shen); they are of the same substance.   It is in this light that we need to understand what LING means when used in relation to SHEN.

 

And it shows another tie to LZ in regards to spirit (SHEN, LING).



#25 dawei

dawei

    Dao Bum

  • Admin
  • Pip
  • 8228 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 December 2014 - 09:42 AM

Dao endows; De empowers; LING effects the endowment and empowerment between Heaven-Earth.  It points to Spirits and the spiritual; Thus, it points to the intercessory aspect between Dao and the manifest world in a spiritual way.   

 

 

The Returned Spirit (Gui Ling) of Traditional Chinese Medicine - Jarrett
 
The etymology of the character for ling reveals its inner meaning.  Above we have heaven down from which come clouds with four drops of rain. In the middle we have three mouths, and below, two shaman offering jade and dance to heaven. The image here is of a ritual dance for rain. The notion contained in ling is that, through the appropriate performance of ritual, it is possible to effect changes in heaven. Hence, ling has the associated meanings of spiritual, mysterious, supernatural power or
effect, transcendent, and marvelous.  Mathews defines ling as "The spirit of a being, which acts upon others.  In religious Daoism the ling is the aspect of spirit which, after death, manifests itself in an efficacious manner to protect its descendents.
 
The sages "power" (ling) to awaken the highest in others is derived from her internal alignment with heaven and her establishment of ming. When one is in the presence of another who is exactly where they ought to be it is a transforming experience. The sage, perfectly aligned between heaven and earth, is able to create the context in which spiritual
transformation occurs in those receptive to her presence.
 
 
The Spiritual World of a Hakka Village - Carstens
Among the most commonly shared tales are those that demonstrate the miraculous efficacy (ling 靈) of the major protectors of the Pulai community: Guanyin and Maniang, often referred to collectively as Niang Niang (娘娘).

 

 

My only aim is to make clear that LING is not just a dictionary word as 'efficacy'.  It can be translated as such but some background helps to establish the spiritual power being spoken of.   (In a similar vein, if someone translates DE 德  as 'efficacy', they will understand the deepest meaning because of their understanding of DE).

 

Today, we just translate and may forget the pictograph to give us that idea of the efficacy of the Shaman calling down the rains; interceding between Heaven-Earth because he is of the same substance of the Spirits.  Thus, his power (LING) to do so is better understood.

 

 

Added:  TT translation of LING as numinosity when talking about spirits seems to best to convey the meaning :)



#26 Taoist Texts

Taoist Texts

    Joss Beaumont, espionnage et chataigne.

  • The Dao Bums
  • Pip
  • 1976 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Enka

Posted 09 December 2014 - 08:51 PM

13        精誠:    

老子曰:大道無為,無為即無有,無有者不居也,不居者即處無形,無形者不動,不動者無言也,無言者即靜而無聲無形,無聲無形者,視之不見,聽之不聞,是謂微妙,是謂至神,「綿綿若存」,「是謂天地根。」道無聲,故聖人強為之形,以一句為名天地之道。大以小為本,多以少為始,天子以天地為品,以萬物為資,功德至大,勢名至貴,二德之美與天地配,故不可不軌大道以為天下母。

 

Lao-zi said: the great Dao does not act, it not acting means it is immaterial, immateriality means no location, no location – no shape, no shape - no movement, no movement – no words, no words means Dao is silent, mute, shapeless; what is mute and shapeless, can not be seen by sight can not be heard by hearing. As such it is defined as ‘the subtle wonder’, ‘the utter spirit’, ‘continuously guarded’, ‘the root of Heaven and Earth’.

       The Dao being mute, the sages tenuously assign it a shape, formulating it as ‘the Dao of Heaven and Earth’. Similarly as everything large starting from a small root, the numerous takes its beginning from the few – the Son of Heaven makes the Heaven and Earth into his utensils, makes all things into his capital. Thus his meritorious De becomes the greatest, his awesome title becomes the dearest, the best of two virtues, that of the king and his subjects* match like the Heaven and Earth. That is why he can not but follow the rut of the great Dao to become the mother of the Under Heaven.

 

*

明忠:

人君之稱,莫大於明;人臣之譽,莫美於忠。此二德者

明忠


  • dawei said thanks for this

世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users