Marblehead

[TTC Study] Chapter 10 of the Tao Teh Ching

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Don't you think we can debug them here....??? :)

 

I like Steve Bokenkamp's post on Mark's blog. Have you read that? It is well-written. I especially like Steve's characterization of the Dao De Jing as a hatrack on which "many fine minds have hung their hats". Perhaps, a fly-paper plastered with insects would be a my choice of a metaphor instead of a hatrack full of hats.

 

Seriously, and aside from the entertainment the world have gotten from the outrageous performances from Daoists of all shades on this wonderful platform of a Broadway stage that the Dao De Jing has provided through the ages, are you not a little flabbergasted? After all, it is rather heavy reading even for the scholarly elite of Imperial China. How come even the village idiot is now able to grasp the eternal Dao?

Edited by takaaki

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After all, it is rather heavy reading even for the scholarly elite of Imperial China. How come even the village idiot is now able to grasp the eternal Dao?

 

By the individual idiocy, many people tried to interpret the TTC by the individual meaning of the characters rather than the definition that was defined within context from line-to-line and chapter-to-chapter.

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The village idiot doesn't have as much to undo as the rest of us.

 

I came to the conclusion years back that the best way to uncover the secrets of the TTC was by triangulating the translations of many translators. Because the tome is so ambiguous due to the various translations, the commonality of essence is only found by triangulation, IMO. And then, the translation by any particular person is completely contingent on the spiritual adeptness and capacity for abstractness of the individual translator.

 

It's nearly impossible - and yet we spend much time and energy dancing around the void that can't be expressed. But we are getting closer all the time.

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The village idiot is closer to the newborn child mentioned in the chapter.... there is less to "eliminate" in order to return to that child-like state.

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The village idiot is closer to the newborn child mentioned in the chapter.... there is less to "eliminate" in order to return to that child-like state.

 

So, idiocy is better than scholarship? Then, may your lineage be blessed with down syndrome.

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The village idiot doesn't have as much to undo as the rest of us.

 

What is your idea of a village idiot? We need to define this silly, little bugger, needn't we?

 

Dawei suggested he is closer to the newborn child. Would you consider tiny tots idiots because they have not been stuffed with our Daoist triangulation techniques yet?

 

You are not suggesting that scholarly types like Professor Bokenkamp is mentally-challenged compared to two-year olds, are you?

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>>Yours is a great blog site. How come it does not have a discussion forum to draw in the bugs?

 

Thank you very much. I'm not sure if the village idiot is me, or Steve though.

The blog is pretty new. I may create forums (fora?) at some point, but for now I figure people can discuss posts in the comments below each one. That seems to work pretty well on most sites (except for the idiot spammers who post fake comments to show ads. Luckily, akismet does a good job of weeding these out.)

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What is your idea of a village idiot? We need to define this silly, little bugger, needn't we?

 

Dawei suggested he is closer to the newborn child. Would you consider tiny tots idiots because they have not been stuffed with our Daoist triangulation techniques yet?

 

You are not suggesting that scholarly types like Professor Bokenkamp is mentally-challenged compared to two-year olds, are you?

 

 

What a strange discussion this will turn out to be. Are you serious in your questions?

 

the village idiot as used in the context of this thread is probably used for only one purpose; one considered the village idiot will not be manipulative, will not be arrogant in his belief that he has the answers, will not be Machiavellian. He is close to the newborn child, in this sense, because his motives remain clear and he has been undefiled by the mechanations of life.

 

Obviously this won't work for a village idiot that also has a passive-aggressive side, or a sociopathic side. I think it's the innocence that is the thing here. Hopefully Professor Bokenkamp shares the non-judgment and innocence of a young child and *some* village idiots.

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Seriously, and aside from the entertainment the world have gotten from the outrageous performances from Daoists of all shades on this wonderful platform of a Broadway stage that the Dao De Jing has provided through the ages, are you not a little flabbergasted? After all, it is rather heavy reading even for the scholarly elite of Imperial China. How come even the village idiot is now able to grasp the eternal Dao?

 

What is your idea of a village idiot? We need to define this silly, little bugger, needn't we?

 

What is your idea of a village idiot? We need to define this silly, little bugger, needn't we?

Edited by ChiDragon

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What a strange discussion this will turn out to be. Are you serious in your questions?

 

the village idiot as used in the context of this thread is probably used for only one purpose; one considered the village idiot will not be manipulative, will not be arrogant in his belief that he has the answers, will not be Machiavellian. He is close to the newborn child, in this sense, because his motives remain clear and he has been undefiled by the mechanations of life.

 

Obviously this won't work for a village idiot that also has a passive-aggressive side, or a sociopathic side. I think it's the innocence that is the thing here. Hopefully Professor Bokenkamp shares the non-judgment and innocence of a young child and *some* village idiots.

Agreed. Thanks for explaining it.

Edited by dawei

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What is your idea of a village idiot? We need to define this silly, little bugger, needn't we?

 

 

It seems to me, based on responses from Dawei and Manitou, that Tao Bums in particular have a different idea of the village idiot and the scholar. The former, to them, being far closer to the eternal Dao than the latter. I guess, I am not a Tao Bum because my idea corresponds to that of the world of Wikipedia:

 

"The village idiot in strict terms is a person locally known for ignorance or stupidity,[1] but is also a common term for a stereotypically silly or nonsensical person. The term is also used as a stereotype of the mentally disabled.[2] It has also been applied as an epithet for an unrealistically optimistic or naive individual.[3]"

 

Looks like we need to define the Imperial Chinese scholar too. According to Manitou and Dawei, He is manipulative, Machiavellian, arrogant and defiled by the "mechanations" (machinations?) of life. Here again, I beg to be different. My idea of the scholar corresponds with that of Confucius as set out in Wikipedia:

 

"He (Confucius) puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study, and it is the Chinese character for study () that opens the text. Far from trying to build a systematic or formalist theory, he wanted his disciples to master and internalize the old classics,.." and

 

"One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior. His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules."

 

So, my dear ChiDragon, what is your idea?

Edited by takaaki

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What a strange discussion this will turn out to be. Are you serious in your questions?

 

Of course, it's serious. Based on your clarifications, I now understand why you have such an astonishingly different take on what I commented earlier. You are, of course, entitled to your views just as Flowing Hands is entitled to practise Mao Shan Daoism even if it is black magic.

 

All too often, we presume that our personal view is the objective view and therefore, the view of others. This is only true in science because there are painful consequences for those who don't get it right. In the matter of the Dao De Jing, there are no consequences. It's like playing with Barbie and each one is entitled to a personal, different one. You can brush her hair, dress it up anyway you want and even poke needles in her.

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"He (Confucius) puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of study, and it is the Chinese character for study () that opens the text. Far from trying to build a systematic or formalist theory, he wanted his disciples to master and internalize the old classics,.." and

 

"One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior. His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules."

 

So, my dear ChiDragon, what is your idea?

 

Mr. Takaaki...

From a scholastic point of view, you had said it precisely. BTW We were in sync to begin with.

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Of course, it's serious. Based on your clarifications, I now understand why you have such an astonishingly different take on what I commented earlier. You are, of course, entitled to your views just as Flowing Hands is entitled to practise Mao Shan Daoism even if it is black magic.

 

All too often, we presume that our personal view is the objective view and therefore, the view of others. This is only true in science because there are painful consequences for those who don't get it right. In the matter of the Dao De Jing, there are no consequences. It's like playing with Barbie and each one is entitled to a personal, different one. You can brush her hair, dress it up anyway you want and even poke needles in her.

 

 

Jeez.

 

No chance of the village idiot comment being passed off as a bit of humor? And please forgive my mispelling of machinations. This thread is tending toward anality. Probably no such word, and if there is, I probabaly misspelled it.

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Jeez.

 

No chance of the village idiot comment being passed off as a bit of humor? And please forgive my mispelling of machinations. This thread is tending toward anality. Probably no such word, and if there is, I probabaly misspelled it.

Hehehe. I knew you guys were just being humorous but some might not have gotten the joking atmosphere.

 

I looked it up - anality is a valid word and you did spell it correctly.

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Of course, it's serious. Based on your clarifications, I now understand why you have such an astonishingly different take on what I commented earlier. You are, of course, entitled to your views just as Flowing Hands is entitled to practise Mao Shan Daoism even if it is black magic.

 

All too often, we presume that our personal view is the objective view and therefore, the view of others. This is only true in science because there are painful consequences for those who don't get it right. In the matter of the Dao De Jing, there are no consequences. It's like playing with Barbie and each one is entitled to a personal, different one. You can brush her hair, dress it up anyway you want and even poke needles in her.

You seem to take on board 'truths' that have never been said or even discussed. Who said here that I practice "black magic", you are making a very large presumption and might I say a very great mistake in your thinking! I would even say you are being overtly provocative!

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Lin Yutang wrote The Importance of Living - he spends much time glorifying the scamp; goes so far as to say that the scamp is the hope for mankind; the one who does not fit into the mold, follow the rules, disregards convention. This truly was my thought of the village idiot - really sorry if I offended anyone's sensibilities.

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Of course, it's serious. Based on your clarifications, I now understand why you have such an astonishingly different take on what I commented earlier. You are, of course, entitled to your views just as Flowing Hands is entitled to practise Mao Shan Daoism even if it is black magic.

 

All too often, we presume that our personal view is the objective view and therefore, the view of others. This is only true in science because there are painful consequences for those who don't get it right. In the matter of the Dao De Jing, there are no consequences. It's like playing with Barbie and each one is entitled to a personal, different one. You can brush her hair, dress it up anyway you want and even poke needles in her.

 

Takaaki,

 

You present yourself as an authority on the Tao Te Ching, but really, what right do you have to claim yourself as such?

 

The three treasures are compassion, frugality, and never striving to be first in the world.

 

Treat other people with respect, do only what is needed, and stop striving to win arguments and that will be your first step towards understanding these treasures. Until then you will only appear to be argumentative, and remember the argumentative man is not good, the good man is not argumentative.

 

Aaron

 

Oh, and correcting people's spelling only makes you look petty.

Edited by Aaron

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You seem to take on board 'truths' that have never been said or even discussed. Who said here that I practice "black magic", you are making a very large presumption and might I say a very great mistake in your thinking! I would even say you are being overtly provocative!

 

I did not say that you practise black magic. You said that you have nothing to do with such matters. I have no reason to disbelieve you even though the internet has nothing good to say about Mao Shan Daoism. I do give you the benefit of the doubt that you practise this form in your own good way.

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Takaaki,

 

You present yourself as an authority on the Tao Te Ching, but really, what right do you have to claim yourself as such?

 

 

Why do you accuse me of this? Please back up your claim with evidence of me claiming that I am an authority on the Dao De Jing. Flowing Hands claims authority based on direct transmission of the Dao De Jing from Li Erh. Can you debunk that? I can't and have not done so. And as long as his claim stands in this forum, there is no other authority on the Dao De Jing except Flowing Hands. I can live with that status quo. Can you?

 

The three treasures are compassion, frugality, and never striving to be first in the world.

 

Treat other people with respect, do only what is needed, and stop striving to win arguments and that will be your first step towards understanding these treasures. Until then you will only appear to be argumentative, and remember the argumentative man is not good, the good man is not argumentative.

 

 

You are making authoritative Dao De Jing pronouncements here. They are contrary to my ethos as an American Taoist.

 

Compassion doesn't work for me. I am not a communist. I believe in self-reliance.

Frugality is for people who are fearful. I focus on gain, not loss. I believe in abundance.

Never striving to be first? What's the matter with you? I am not a shirker. I want to create and bring about a better world.

 

Oh, and correcting people's spelling only makes you look petty.

 

Does it? Does my act make me appear spiteful and small-minded in showing undue concern for a trivial matter? I think we all need to pull up our bootstraps and look smart, brother. Maybe a stint for all Daoists in the US Army would do society a lot of good.

Edited by takaaki

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I looked it up - anality is a valid word and you did spell it correctly.

 

and does it mean what I think it means?

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Takaaki - your view of the essence of the Tao is lacking a little love. The man made of uncarved wood is one that has had his rough edges removed, no longer contends, finds compassion for and in all things. He knows that the man who speaks doesn't know, and the man who knows doesn't speak. You, like many of us, may have remnants of our old Type A-ness, that thing that served us so well when it was our time in life to heap up things in life; and we, the lucky ones, at some point get to find out that the heap of stuff didn't have one iota of bearing on our happiness. We needed to maintain a mental rigidness to obtain what we needed to win.

 

Your reliance on self-reliance fails to realize the wu-wei that does exist when we get our inner selves out of the way. It is a current we tap into, a wave we ride. To insist on self-reliance denies the serendipity required to find the current.

 

Your reliance on abundance is understandable, but fear also lies at the bottom of that pile as well. the trick is to feel no fear when there is no abundance; perhaps its only at this time that the undercurrent of the Tao is found. By actual experience. To deny that your desire for abundance is not based on fear doesn't have a clear ring.

 

Your desire to push ahead and not be a shirker is one that we have all had to get under; those who understand the concept of wu-wei. Wu wei is not to "make things happen", rather, it is to "let things happen". There is a huge difference in the inner human dynamic between the two; can you feel it? To make things happen is to gear up, to be tense, to focus our mind in a limited way on our particular desired result. Can we truly say that we know the very wisest given result? We think we know, but we do not. But, contrarily, to "let things happen" is to acknowledge that our thinking is limited and to tap into the Tao. We instantly relax every muscle we're capable of relaxing at that moment, we empty our minds, if we are touching another human being we realize the state where there is no separation between the touch of their hand and yours. It is in this sense that a cosmic alignment of sorts, a oneness of purpose, takes place.

 

Please consider finding your source of anger, Takaaki - as knowledgeable as all of your posts are, there is an undercurrent of challenge and anger that will aways impede your vision until you can understand it and adjust the lens slightly.

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