Harmen

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  1. When visiting this site as a guest before joining, I encoutered a post that listed links to 4 short articles regarding, I believe, Richard Wilhelm. I believe they were short critiques of his writings and translations. I would very much like to read those. However, I am unable to trace my way back to that posting. 

     

    Can you direct me to those links?

    1. Harmen
    2. OldDog

      OldDog

      Thank you. I enjoyed your writings and found them informative; especially, the swapping of the lesser yin and yang. That sent me to my copy of the Wilhelm/Baynes I Ching. However, my copy is a 3rd edition 17th printing and appears to have been corrected, unless I am misunderstanding the error altogether.

       

      As for my purpose, I have recently read Understanding The I Ching - The Wilhelm Lectures On The Book Of Changes as background material to taking on a renewed study of the I Ching. I have several copies of the I Ching and plan to use all of them. I am not doing this with any intent for academic rigor or for any other purpose than my own personal interest. That said, I have recognized that translations of the Tao Teh Ching, I Ching, etc vary considerably from one translator to the next. So, for this round of study, I decided to look into the translator some as well.

       

      I find Richard Wilhelm's writings to be both information and disturbing. As general food for thought, his lectures raise many ideas that I find worth considering. However, I am also sensing several influences on his writing that are casting a different light than expexcted.

       

      First, there seems to be a German language/cultural thing going on in his manner of expression that I find difficult to deal with. It seems to want to make his writing both verbose and overly, at least to this American ear, dramatic. I studied German in college and had encountered this in other German writers. Tends to make the reading somewhat tedious.

       

      Second, there is a sense of struggle with his Christian roots. I see this in choice of words and phrases that bear a striking similarity to Christian writings. I have noticed this to a greater or lesser degree in other translators as well. In one sense it is helpful to relate taoist ideas to westerners in terms they are probably familiar with. But, on the other hand, makes me wonder if, in doing so, something is not being ascribed to the text that may not necessarily be there. 

       

      Finally, there seems to be a tendency toward a psychological interpretation rather than a philosophical. I was aware that Carl Jung had written a Forward to my edition of the I Ching. I had always assumed this was purely out of Jung's interest in the material. It was not until I began looking at biographical information on Wilhelm that I discovered how close close a relationship he had with Jung, almost colaborative.

       

      At any rate, please excuse the lengthy response. I just felt that I owed an explanation of my interest, since you were kind enough to provide the links to your writings.

       

      Kind regards.

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