Old River

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About Old River

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    Part-Time Eremite

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  1. Fluoride

  2. Do you believe in telepathy?

    It doesn't really mean anything-- I'm just referring to the typical everyday chatter that I'd in my own mind (the so-called "monkey mind"). I wouldn't go so far as to say that the paranormal doesn't exist, but I've had no experience with anything like that-- it has never made much sense to me.
  3. Do you believe in telepathy?

    I have enough difficulty "reading" my own mind-- how in the world would I be able to "read" someone else's mind?
  4. Wondering on the Way v. Zhuangzi

    I have Watson's Essential. I'll be out of town and internet-less all next week, but beyond that, count me interested.
  5. Enlightened movies

    A film I cherish: Kurosawa's Ikiru ("To Live")
  6. Poll inspired by BKA's "karma" thread

    "Other" for both poll questions... My motivaton is largely to cultivate a sense of peace in myself and in my local environment (wherever I might be). That's my short answer, at any rate.
  7. Transgender Problem

    No one should be surprised about this... Here come the bathroom vigilantes: https://www.yahoo.com/news/bathroom-bill-supporters-police-public-restrooms-222212246.html Next up, lynch mobs, or maybe a pogrom. I'm not joking. It isn't history that repeats itself, but distorted human nature.
  8. Do you have a blog or a website?

    I have two blogs - one specifically Daoist-related, the other a bit more tangential: http://way-and-wayfarer.tumblr.com ... this is my work-in-progress of my version of the Dao De Jing. and http://onceness.tumblr.com ... this is my journal interspersed with my poetry. Many of the posts bear some relation to Daoism, though not always so obviously. This blog doesn't get updated as regularly as the DDJ one.
  9. Transgender Problem

    As is New Zealand... Meet Georgina Beyer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgina_Beyer And she was elected in 1995. New Zealand has often been ahead of the curve on a lot of issues. I consider it more home to me than the US (I only lived there three months, but desperately tried to emigrate there in 2007. I've gone back to visit a few times since then).
  10. The Daodejing and its Tradition

    Fascinating, Dawei... I see how Red Pine's redaction in his translation also uses heng in chapter 1 instead of chang. He doesn't go into near as much detail, but he does say this much, echoing your own findings: "...In lines two and four, I've used the Mawangtui heng (immortal) over the standard ch'ang (eternal), which was introduced to avoid an emperor's personal name. Heng also means "crescent moon," a not accidental change in light of Lao-tzu's emphasis on lunar images when talking about the Tao..."
  11. The Daodejing and its Tradition

    Oh, don't talk to me about bad memory -- I'm too well-acquainted with that fellow. --And thanks for catching my slip -- fixed!
  12. Thank you for this, Spotless -- this is something I should take to heart also. Finding myself on the far left side of the spectrum, I only allow myself to get needlessly riled up just as well. My response-ability begins with my own responses.
  13. I've only read Anti-Intellectualism in American Life and I thought it was spot on. Worth a read for sure.
  14. Evangelical self defence

    Sorry, can't resist....
  15. The Daodejing and its Tradition

    There's so much that is lost in translation with Greco-Roman philosophy because so many of the words used either don't translate over into English well, or the English word works well, but the meaning of the word has changed so much over the years, and so it is easy to misinterpret anachronistically. This was a stumbling block for me when I first started delving more deeply into Greco-Roman philosophia, especially Stoicism which interested me for a time. Even the names of the schools imply something different from the original meanings -- Stoic, Epicurean, Skeptic, Cynic. The Greek "Logos" was a metaphysical principle, not "reason" in the modern sense of the word. The Greek word "nous" is often inaccurately translated as "mind" or "intellect" which is entirely misleading. Eudaimonia doesn't quite mean "happiness," and so on. "Apatheia" is entirely misunderstood if literally translated as "apathy." It is not quite correct to equate the "passions" with "emotions" per se. The possibility for anachronistic errors are at every turn. In the case Stoicism, their motto, "Live according to nature" meant to live according to the whole rather than a resisting ego. Pierre Hadot's study on Marcus Aurelius (The Inner Citadel) explains in detail how the ancient Stoics accomplished this. Of course, the methods are imperfect, but empiricism, as we understand the term today, was a foreign concept to them. A lot of this is due to Hadot's painstaking philological work, because scholars for centuries superimposed their own notions of "reason" anachronistically. It is through this anachronistic lens that Marcus Aurelius was thought of as morbid or gloomy. The Meditations was never a book of philosophy intended for public reading, nor was it a personal journal. Framed as such, there is much in the Meditations that simply don't make sense. Rather it was a "workbook" intended, through the act of writing, to induce a shift toward a cosmic perspective and a loosening of apprehensions which cause only more anxiety. This may still be an imperfect approach (it certainly has its flaws and isn't always convincing), but it is also a far cry from the kind of arid speculation that later philosopher assumed about the ancient world. It's all very fascinating, though my interests have moved on since then. Here's an all-too-brief overview of Pierre Hadot: http://www.iep.utm.edu/hadot/