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7 微明 Weiming The illumation of the minuscule


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#1 Taoist Texts

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 09:02 PM

21 微明:      

中黃子曰:天有五方,地有五行,聲有五音,物有五味,色有五章,人有五位,故天地之間有二十五人也。上五有神人、真人、道人、至人、聖人,

次五有德人、賢人、智人、善人、辯人,

中五有公人、忠人、信人、義人、禮人,次五有士人、工人、虞人、農人、商人,下五有眾人、奴人、愚人、肉人、小人,上五之與下五,猶人之與牛馬也。聖人者以目視,以耳聽,以口言,以足行。真人者,不視而明,不聽而聰,不行而從,不言而公。故聖人所以動天下者,真人未嘗過焉,賢人所以矯世俗者,聖人未嘗觀焉。所謂道者,無前無後,無左無右,萬物玄同,無是無非。

 

The Old Master of the Central Yellow once said: the Heaven has 5 sides, the Earth has 5 directions, music has 5 tones, things have 5 tastes, the spectrum has 5 colors, the humans have 5 positions; that is why there are 25 kinds of people between the Heaven and Earth.

The highest five are the spirit people, the true people, the Dao people, the utter people, the sages;

Next are the possessors of De, the worthies, the wise, the kind, the discerning;

The middle ones are the fair, the loyal, the trustful, the dutiful, the ritualistic;

The lower ones are officials, workers, overseers, peasants, peddlers;

The lowest ones are the hoi-polloi, slaves, the stupid, the meat-lumps, the insignificant.

The highest ones are to the lowest ones as what humans are to cattle.

Of the highest ones:

       The sages look with eyes, listen with ears, speak with the mouth, walk on feet;

       but he true people do not look yet see, do not listen yet hear, do not walk yet go, do not speak yet are heard;

       That is why -

the sages are the movers and the shakers of the Under Heaven, but the true people do not get involved in it;

the worthies improve the mores of the commoners, but the sages do not see to it.

This is what is called the Dao (of the sages and the true ones): to be nor behind nor in front, nor on the right nor on the left; letting all things to be in the Heavenly togetherness, without rights or wrongs.


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。


#2 dust

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 04:26 AM

Is 中黄子 supposed to be Laozi?


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#3 Taoist Texts

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 06:07 AM

Is 中黄子 supposed to be Laozi?

I would say it is either LZ himself or a LZ's superior deity. He is not mentioned anywhere in ctexts besides this one mention.

 

Otherwise, he is supposed to be One of the 5 Old Masters of Sky Opening, who are the avatars of the Three Pure Ones; the other 4 being 三清,再化五老:东华木公、西华金母、南华火精、北华水精、中华黄老; Eastern Duke Wood, Western Golden Dame, Southern Pure Fire, Northern Pure Water.


Edited by Taoist Texts, 12 December 2014 - 07:31 AM.

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#4 dust

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 07:21 AM

Hmm. Well, either way, the categorizing of people is elitism. Not something I care to partake in.

The Laozi talks of governance, obviously, but never to such an extent... it talks of impartiality, not ranking people by class or intellect.


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#5 Taoist Texts

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 07:33 AM

What about high and low De, or 3 types of 士 in TTC?Is not it the same idea?


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#6 dust

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 07:57 AM

Chapter 38?

 

Failing Tao, man resorts to Virtue.
Failing Virtue, man resorts to humanity.
Failing humanity, man resorts to morality.
Failing morality, man resorts to ceremony.
Now, ceremony is the merest husk of faith and loyalty;
It is the beginning of all confusion and disorder.

 

 

This doesn't discriminate based on social background or intelligence or position or anything. It judges people, sure, but as a whole, and based on behaviour rather than title. It doesn't presume to say that slaves and peasants and peddlers and stupid people are incapable of virtue, or Tao, or being kind and "worthy"....

 

edit: It also places morality and ceremony (actions, not people) at the bottom, whereas in the Wenzi here the fair, loyal, trustful, dutiful, and ritualistic (people, not actions) are placed in the middle.


Edited by dustybeijing, 12 December 2014 - 07:59 AM.

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#7 Taoist Texts

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 08:15 AM

道德經:

 

上士聞道,勤而行之;中士聞道,若存若亡;下士聞道,大笑之。Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Dao, earnestly carry it into practice. Scholars of the middle class, when they have heard about it, seem now to keep it and now to lose it. Scholars of the lowest class, when they have heard about it, laugh greatly at it.


Edited by Taoist Texts, 12 December 2014 - 08:31 AM.

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#8 dust

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 08:35 AM

Wu, Legge, and Addiss all translate 士 as scholar. Feng translates as student. The character basically means a person of learning, with some status: a scholar (or originally a great warrior). That scholars exist is a fact. That Laozi calls some 上 and some 下 places judgement on their understanding of 道, no more.

 

If Laozi was talking of people generally, dividing us into 3 classes, he would've used 民 or 人. Using 士, he's dividing only learned people, those who consider themselves scholars, and saying that some will 'get it' and some won't.

 

And even if we translated 士 as 'men', all we'd have is classes of people divided based on their understanding of Tao -- not based on their birth or rank or even necessarily their intelligence.


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#9 ChiDragon

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 10:57 AM

Scholar is 學士, 學子 or  學人.
These are the ones who study and learn to obtain a high level of knowledge. Would you say that scholars are students also....???
Laozi uses 上(upper level), 中(mediocre), 下(lower level) to classify the scholars in their levels of understanding about Tao.
 

Warrior is 武士, 勇士(brave man).


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#10 nestentrie

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 06:12 PM

Hmm. Well, either way, the categorizing of people is elitism. Not something I care to partake in.

The Laozi talks of governance, obviously, but never to such an extent... it talks of impartiality, not ranking people by class or intellect.

 

I don't think one needs to worry that there truly are stupid insignificants and that the author is calling them out as such and giving a final judgement. What's important is that at any time we, anyone, could fall into the trap of being stupid cattle.

 

 

It judges people, sure, but as a whole, and based on behaviour rather than title. It doesn't presume to say that slaves and peasants and peddlers and stupid people are incapable of virtue, or Tao, or being kind and "worthy"....

 

edit: It also places morality and ceremony (actions, not people) at the bottom, whereas in the Wenzi here the fair, loyal, trustful, dutiful, and ritualistic (people, not actions) are placed in the middle.

 

.

What if it's just a set of attitudes? It's possible for anyone to be an obstinate meat-lump from time to time, and yet that same meat-lump would have it that others recognise their Te (for the good or bad).

 

I think one could read the text from the point of view that it's drawing out a sense of shame. Do you want to be a person of Tao? A sage? 'Don't be of the herd!' Look with your eyes, sure, but be aware that your sight doesn't depend on them. Use your ears for hearing, but hear the truth while understanding that it's not your ears that are telling you that truth.

 

As for ritual; it's the same lesson. Just because you can prefer to do something in a predefined way doesn't mean there is something inherently meaningful in that order. Just because we can say 'there are 25 types of people' and we order them into rankings doesn't mean there's an inherent truth to that and that we should hang our pride on it. 

 

It becomes like work in that sense, and while i'm reiterating the scheme, work is lower than ritual. Is it one's duty to work? Is ritual dutiful also (and yet higher than work)? Engender Te; be of Tao; the rest just falls away. Engender what is true now; Tao will complete it for tomorrow.

 

I do think you can take or leave this chapter. The shame need not take from your relief.


Edited by nestentrie, 14 December 2014 - 06:23 PM.

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#11 dust

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 02:43 AM

I don't think one needs to worry that there truly are stupid insignificants and that the author is calling them out as such and giving a final judgement. What's important is that at any time we, anyone, could fall into the trap of being stupid cattle.

 

Yes...I'm not sure that anyone is particularly 'significant' in the first place. But I know what you mean.

 

 

 

As for ritual; it's the same lesson. Just because you can prefer to do something in a predefined way doesn't mean there is something inherently meaningful in that order. Just because we can say 'there are 25 types of people' and we order them into rankings doesn't mean there's an inherent truth to that and that we should hang our pride on it. 

 

Right, but then why mention these 25 at all? Clearly someone thought the ranking was worth mentioning..?


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#12 dust

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 02:43 AM

Looking at the chapter as a whole, which I should have done in the first place, I've satisfied myself  ( :blush: not like that).

 

The whole chapter is comprised of:

 

老子曰: [...blah blah...]

Laozi says... [...blah blah...]

老子曰: [...blah blah...]

Laozi says... [...blah blah...]

老子曰: [...blah blah...]

Laozi says... [...blah blah...]

 

until, near the very end of the chapter, we have:

 

昔者中黃子曰...

Once, Zhonghuangzi said...

 

So it would seem that Laozi is quoting Zhonghuangzi. And on sites other than ctext, it's suggested that the quote finishes before the end, and Laozi continues, saying:

 

 

上五之與下五,猶人之與牛馬也

The top 5 to the bottom 5 seem like people to cattle

 

[...]

 

故聖人所以動天下者,真人未嘗過焉

So the 'true' men have tried nothing that the sages have

 

賢人所以矯世俗者,聖人未嘗觀焉

Sages have seen nothing of the 'worthy' men improving the world

 

所謂道者,無前無後,無左無右,萬物玄同,無是無非

Anything that is Dao is neither in front nor behind, neither left nor right; all things come together, neither right nor wrong


Edited by dustybeijing, 15 December 2014 - 02:44 AM.

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#13 ChiDragon

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 07:41 AM

So it would seem that Laozi is quoting Zhonghuangzi. And on sites other than ctext, it's suggested that the quote finishes before the end, and Laozi continues, saying:

 


May I clarify...???

In the TTC, everything was said by Lao Zi, it seems to me that he had never quoted anybody.

Zhonghuangzi, 中黃子, 传说中开天五老之一,又称勇猛黄老。据明末清初人徐道所著历代神仙通鉴

中黃子 is a fictional character
 


Edited by ChiDragon, 15 December 2014 - 07:41 AM.

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#14 dust

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 08:21 AM

OK. Cool. Well whoever 中黄子 is, I don't suppose it really matters; we can see that 老子 is not supporting this speech about the 25, but saying that it goes against Dao.

 

所謂道者,無前無後,無左無右,萬物玄同,無是無非


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#15 ChiDragon

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 11:28 AM

OK. Cool. Well whoever 中黄子 is, I don't suppose it really matters; we can see that 老子 is not supporting this speech about the 25, but saying that it goes against Dao.

 

所謂道者,無前無後,無左無右,萬物玄同,無是無非
Here is why it was called Tao,  no front and back, no left no right, all things are being balanced within time and space, no right no wrong.


FYI It supports the third line.
有物混成
先天地生。
寂兮寥兮(no sound, no form)
獨立不改,
周行而不殆,


Edited by ChiDragon, 15 December 2014 - 11:34 AM.

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#16 dawei

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 01:26 PM

I would say it is either LZ himself or a LZ's superior deity. He is not mentioned anywhere in ctexts besides this one mention.

 

Otherwise, he is supposed to be One of the 5 Old Masters of Sky Opening, who are the avatars of the Three Pure Ones; the other 4 being 三清,再化五老:东华木公、西华金母、南华火精、北华水精、中华黄老; Eastern Duke Wood, Western Golden Dame, Southern Pure Fire, Northern Pure Water.

 

One has to look at the deities of the five viscera in The Central Scriptures of Laozi... and compare that to the central theme of the 'red child' ... and how this yellow and red relate... which is an alchemic visualization of the spirits... of Laozi.

 

Also as: 中極黃老 or 中黃真人

 

Also a location (as 中黃) which ties to The Central Scriptures (think 'yellow court' in alchemic process).  

 

In talking on Baopuzi methods of ingestion, Pregadio says one ascends to be an assistant of the Great Man of Central Yellow.   


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