treebuffalo

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  1. Raiders of the Lost Chapter 60

    Some translations of Chapter 60 have ghosts swirling around in it. Pretty silly if you ask me, especially after the chapter opens with a cooking metaphor. Here's my best effort at making sense of it (based on Jonathan Star's Definitive Edition): Govern a big country like you would cook a small fish. Use a natural approach, so deceptive thoughts of the world will not have power. Not only will deceptive thoughts not have power over you, but their power will also not harm other people. And just like their power will not harm other people, a wise person will not harm other people. This is why the two of them will not harm each other. Because unified virtue restores where it converges.
  2. Marquises and Kings (Chap 39)

    Who are the other six?
  3. Do you have a blog or a website?

    https://treebuffalo.com
  4. Current Events Discussion

    Since the DDJ is primarily a treatise on government policy, I would love access. We should be talking about stuff (constructively ofc). Access requested.
  5. the training method of Lau zi

    I thought it might be some religious alchemy.
  6. reshuffling - Ch 2

    Is it okay? Of course! That's what makes the DDJ great. The form it creates, and the opportunity we have to fill it.
  7. the training method of Lau zi

    Whats Guan Fu? And where does Lao Tsu talk about it?
  8. Marquises and Kings (Chap 39)

  9. Is Chapter 40 Homeless?

    Does anyone think the very short Chapter 40 is part of another chapter? Henricks says it's usually inserted between 41 and 42. Pine says some authors merge it with other chapters (but doesn't specify who). But most interestingly it ends with language that starts 42. If other discussions about 40 exist please link them.
  10. Marquises and Kings (Chap 39)

    Whenever I see this phrase in the DDJ (or its equivalent, like Dukes and Princes), I interpret it as "powerful people" and "leaders." I don't think a case can be made that Lao Tsu was directly addressing these types of titled people. Which opens the door to other phrases and other interpretations. That's why the DDJ is so great, not because of what it doesn't mean, but of the form that it created for people fill in with their own experience. It opens definitions rather than closing them.
  11. Chapter 38 - Epic Fail?

    Yeah, I know 38 is another anti-Confucian chapter. But the average reader won't know that. Which means most English translations are just a soup of non-sequiturs that don't seem to relate to each other. Losing the way of Nature loses virtue; losing virtue loses kindness; losing kindness loses morality; losing morality loses behavior (ritual). The chapter starts strong (superior virtue vs. inferior virtue) and ends strong (fruit vs. flower, etc), but this interior part is weak. Not to mention Lao Tsu is playing the critic, which is a weak stance to begin with (by his own admission). Critics criticize, where creatives create.
  12. Now Again

    So there's a billion people in China right? And how many are aware of Shakespeare? Probably some. You don't think any of those people are a little confused about something good ole Bill wrote and looked up the definition in English?! Talk about cultural chauvinism. Yeesh.
  13. Now Again

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Tao_te_Ching/bK9PEAAAQBAJ?hl=en This book is the only one I know of that breaks down each character definition.
  14. Now Again

    Yeah, I know desire is bad and the root of all suffering, AND there is probably overlap into the DDJ. But Lao Tzu's is a master of language. He writes a lot of paradox and double meanings. I'm looking for more applicable interpretations than "desire is bad." That sort of translation I think underestimates Lao Tsu's skill with words.
  15. Now Again

    Chapter 37 contains a strange phrase "fu yi" (characters 37 and 38). which don't seem to fit well into the flow of the chapter. According to J. Star it means "truly/now/what follows is true" and "in turn/again/moreover/also," respectively. I tried to ignore them as utility words, until I switched definitions of "yu" (character 41/ 43) from "desire" to "habit." Both are listed among the definitions for "yu" along with "tendencies." So now the sentence might read "now again free of habit," which is a paradox. And as we all know, the DDJ is nothing if not paradoxical. I like this translation better than "desire." We all know desire is a bad thing, but habit? It makes sense to me that forcing habit on the world may just be as bad as desire. The desire to have predictability in an unpredictable world.