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#1 Marblehead

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 02:44 PM

Duke Ai of Lu inquired of Confucius, saying, "In the state of Wey there was an ugly man called Nag the Hump.  The men who lived with Nag doted on him so much that they could not stand to be away from him.  Of the women who had seen him, more than ten petitioned their parents, saying, 'I would rather be his concubine than another man's wife.'  No one had ever heard of him advocating anything; all he did was follow along with others.  He did not occupy a lordly position whereby he could succor those in distress.  He had no accumulated salary whereby he could fill people's stomachs.  Furthermore, he was ugly enough to terrify all under heaven.  He always followed along and never took the lead.  And his knowledge did not extend beyond his immediate surroundings.  Yet male and female alike congregated before him.  Surely there must have been something that distinguished him from other men.

"I summoned him to me and saw that, indeed, he was ugly enough to terrify all under heaven.  When he had lived with me for less than a month, I began to take notice of his personality.  Before a full year had passed, I began to put my trust in him.  As the state was without a prime minister, I offered the control of the country to him.  After a while he responded inarticulately, as though he were vaguely declining.  How embarrassed I was!  Finally, I handed the state over to him.  Before very long, however, he left me and went away.  I was distressed and felt as though bereft, as though there was no one with whom to enjoy my state.  What kind of person was he?"

"Once when I was on a mission to the state of Ch'u," said Confucius, "I happened to see some little pigs suckling at their dead mother.  After a short while, they all abandoned her and ran away hastily.  It was because they no longer saw themselves in her and because they no longer sensed her to be their kind.  What they loved about their mother was not her physical form but that which animated her form.  When men die in battle, they are buried without the feathered fans that normally adorn coffins.  When a man's feet are amputated, he no longer has a reason to be fond of his shoes.  In both cases, it's because there's no basis - coffins or feet - for the fans and the shoes.

"The palace ladies of the son of heaven do not trim their nails nor do they pierce their ears.  Men who are newly married must stay outside of the court and may no longer perform their official duties.  If the wholeness of physical form is sufficient to make the ruler be so finicky, how much more should he be attentive to people whose integrity is whole!  Now, Nag the Hump spoke not but was trusted, accomplished nothing but was loved.  He caused someone to hand over a state to him, fearing only that he wouldn't accept it.  He must have been a person whose abilities were whole but whose integrity was not evident in his physical form."

"What do you mean by wholeness of abilities? " asked Duke Ai.

Confucius said, "Life and death, preservation and loss, failure and success, poverty and wealth, worthiness and unworthiness, slander and praise, hunger and thirst, cold and heat - these are all the transformations of affairs and the operation of destiny.  Day and night they alternate before us, but human knowledge is incapable of perceiving their source.  Therefore, we should not let them disturb our equanimity, nor should we let them enter our numinous treasury.  To make the mind placid and free-flowing without letting it be dissipated in gratification, causing it to have springtime with all things day and night uninterruptedly, this is to receive and engender the seasons in one's mind.  This is what I mean by wholeness of one's abilities."

"What do you mean by integrity not being existent in physical form?"

"Levelness is the equilibrium of water at rest.  We may use it as a standard, preserving it within so that without we are not ruffled.  Integrity is the cultivation of complete harmony.  We can tell that a person has integrity, even though it may not be evident in her physical form, because she is indispensable to all things."

On another day, Duke Ai related this conversation to Master Min, saying, "At first, I sat on my throne facing south and ruled over all under heaven.  I held the reins of government and worried over the welfare of the people.  I considered myself to be the ultimate enlightened ruler.  But now I have heard this account of an ultimate man and am afraid that I lack substance.  Heedless of my body, I may lose my state.  The relationship between Confucius and me is not one of ruler and subject.  We are simply friends in integrity."

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#2 Taoist Texts

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:35 AM

 But now I have heard this account of an ultimate man and am afraid that I lack substance.  Heedless of my body, I may lose my state.  The relationship between Confucius and me is not one of ruler and subject.  We are simply friends in integrity."

 

 

 

This is like 3 non-sequiturs in a row.


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#3 Marblehead

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:37 AM

This is like 3 non-sequiturs in a row.

Yeah, but I never suggested that Mair's translation is my favorite.


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#4 Taoist Texts

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:40 AM

Now that I have heard that description of the Perfect man, I fear that my idea is not the real one, and that, by employing myself too lightly, I may cause the ruin of my state. I and Kong Qiu are not on the footing of ruler and subject, but on that of a virtuous friendship.'

 

 

Legge is more coherent except for the last sentence.


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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。

#5 Marblehead

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:48 AM

 

Legge is more coherent except for the last sentence.

Yeah, wre I picking I would likely have Legge over Mair.

 

I wish Lin Yutang would have done the Outer and Miscellaneous Chapters as well.

 

Mair may have done his work in order to support his thought that The Chuang Tzu is more important because of its writing style over being a philosophical document.


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#6 Taoist Texts

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 12:12 PM

My understanding would be that because Confucius was so helpful, the duke promotes him to the rank of a personal friend now, which is an improvement over a mere minister.


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#7 Rara

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 12:54 PM

Is there more to the moral of this section other than the point that the "ultimate man" is highlighted for being worthy to rule over those that appear to be worthy to rule?

I see that a lot of ideas are repeated/recycled in The Chuang Tzu so I want to check if you all find this too, or whether I may be missing something subtle...

#8 Marblehead

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 01:04 PM

That is a difficult question for me to answer.

 

The "ultimate man", the sage, would be the best ruler but (s)he would not want to rule..

 

Occasionally we see the label "prefect man".  It is he who would be the best ruler.

 

And you are correct, many of the concepts in The Chuang Tzu are repeated numerous times, most often from a different perspective.


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#9 Stosh

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 09:03 AM

So do y'all think Confucius is being promoted by this passage ? or is this passage showing that the advice of Confucius is problematic , (since the once secure and good ruler now is worrying about his ability to maintain authority and aloofness proper for kingship).


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#10 Marblehead

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:16 PM

Good question Stosh.  I can't honestly answer it.

 

The points Confucius made are valid.

 

Were they helpful to the Duke?

 

Seems to me they only inspired self-doubt.


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#11 Stosh

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:22 AM

Right, Duke.So, one should therefore conclude that...what?This passage doesnt belong with the rest? Its been contaminated? Chuang has finally decided Confucius knows the right path? or that his own philosophy will fill you with self doubt?

Edited by Stosh, 16 February 2017 - 04:31 AM.

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#12 Marblehead

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:46 AM

Right, Duke.So, one should therefore conclude that...what?This passage doesnt belong with the rest? Its been contaminated? Chuang has finally decided Confucius knows the right path? or that his own philosophy will fill you with self doubt?

 

I'm not going to compare the section with any other translation.  That will be up to others if there is a desire to do that.

 

Again, I can't answer your questions. 


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#13 Taoist Texts

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:53 AM

So do y'all think Confucius is being promoted by this passage ?

 

Of course, he is the one who does all the explaining

 

 

 or is this passage showing that the advice of Confucius is problematic , (since the once secure and good ruler now is worrying about his ability to maintain authority and aloofness proper for kingship).

 

 

But thats a good thing. "A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved." - Dorothea Brande


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#14 Stosh

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 05:44 AM

Clarify for me Tt, is this an excerpt from Cz, and the subject is Confucius , and the Duke is feeling insecure, and this is an 'uncontested' passage. So you feel Cz is indeed promoting Confucius' idea of an ultimate man , doesn't that ride against the ordinary antagonistic stance between the two personages? and if this is from the Analects or something ,  why is the unease of the Duke 'not a potential detractor for one considering 'ultimate man' habits. 


Edited by Stosh, 16 February 2017 - 05:54 AM.

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#15 Taoist Texts

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:17 AM

Clarify for me Tt, is this an excerpt from Cz, and the subject is Confucius , and the Duke is feeling insecure, and this is an 'uncontested' passage. 

http://ctext.org/zhu...plete/ens#n2750

 

So you feel Cz is indeed promoting Confucius' idea of an ultimate man , doesn't that ride against the ordinary antagonistic stance between the two personages?

 

 

Well CZ uses Confy as an alter-ego for himself, often as a foil, but equally often as someone who learned from Lao-zi himself and had doubts resolved. So if he is not an ultimate man, but at least he is the second best to it.

 

In this story Duke met an ultimate one

 

Before very long, however, he left me and went away.  I was distressed and felt as though bereft, as though there was no one with whom to enjoy my state. 

 

 

but he left. Now Confucius fills his shoes.

 

 

 and if this is from the Analects or something ,  why is the unease of the Duke 'not a potential detractor for one considering 'ultimate man' habits. 

 

 

The unease WAS coming from recognizing his inadequacy when Confy explained him whats what. But NOW with Confy at his side he has a friend and feels better.

 

Note the timing (corrected by me)

 

On another day, Duke Ai related this conversation to Master Min, saying, "At first, I sat on my throne facing south and ruled over all under heaven.  I held the reins of government and worried over the welfare of the people.  I considered myself to be the ultimate enlightened ruler.  But WHEN I have heard this account of an ultimate man and WAS afraid that I lack substance.  Heedless of my body, I may lose my state.  The relationship between Confucius and me is not one of ruler and subject.  NOW We are  friends in integrity."

 


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#16 dawei

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:52 PM

 

Of the women who had seen him, more than ten petitioned their parents, saying, 'I would rather be his concubine than another man's wife.'  No one had ever heard of him advocating anything; all he did was follow along with others.  He did not occupy a lordly position whereby he could succor those in distress.  He had no accumulated salary whereby he could fill people's stomachs.  Furthermore, he was ugly enough to terrify all under heaven.  He always followed along and never took the lead.  And his knowledge did not extend beyond his immediate surroundings.  Yet male and female alike congregated before him.  Surely there must have been something that distinguished him from other men.
 
---
 
"The palace ladies of the son of heaven do not trim their nails nor do they pierce their ears.  Men who are newly married must stay outside of the court and may no longer perform their official duties.  If the wholeness of physical form is sufficient to make the ruler be so finicky, how much more should he be attentive to people whose integrity is whole!  Now, Nag the Hump spoke not but was trusted, accomplished nothing but was loved.  He caused someone to hand over a state to him, fearing only that he wouldn't accept it.  He must have been a person whose abilities were whole but whose integrity was not evident in his physical form."

 

@TT... would you comment on the blue sections.






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