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Welcome to Wenzi

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Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenzi

The Wenzi (Chinese: 文子; pinyin: Wénzǐ; Wade–Giles: Wen-tzu; literally: "[book of] Master Wen"), or Tongxuan zhenjing (Chinese: 通玄真經; pinyin: Tōngxuán zhēnjīng; Wade–Giles: T'ung-hsuan chen-ching; literally: "Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery"), is a controversial Daoist classic allegedly written by a disciple of Laozi. Although generations of Chinese scholars have dismissed the Wenzi as a plagiarism or forgery, in 1973 archeologists excavating a 55 BCE tomb discovered a Wenzi copied on bamboo strips.

 

In 742 CE, Emperor Xuanzong of Tang canonized the Wenzi as a Daoist scripture (along with the Daode jing, Zhuangzi, and Liezi) honorifically called the Tongxuan zhenjing 通玄真經 "Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery". The emperor posthumously styled Wenzi as the Tongxuan Zhenren 通玄真人 "Authentic Person of Pervading Mystery".

 

Although the Wenzi has traditionally been considered a Daoist text illustrating Laozi's thinking, it contains elements from Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, andSchool of Names. The Wenzi represents the "Huang-Lao" philosophy named after the legendary Huangdi 黃帝 "The Yellow Emperor" and Laozi 老子 "Master Lao" (see Peerenboom 1995).

The textual format records Laozi answering Wenzi's questions about Daode jing concepts like Wu wei. Besides citing passages from Daoist classics like Zhuangziand Huainanzi, the Wenzi also cites others like the Yijing, Mengzi, Lüshi Chunqiu, and Xiao Jing.

 

Chinaknowledge: http://www.chinaknowledge.de/Literature/Daoists/wenzi.html

 

Contents

 

1 道原 Daoyuan The origin of the Way
2 精誠 Jingcheng The sincerity of the essence
3 九守 Jiushou The nine observances
4 符言 Fuxin Words from registers
5 道德 Daode The virtue of the Way
6 上德 Shangde The virtue of the ruler
7 微明 Weiming The illumation of the minuscule
8 自然 Ziran Nature
9 下德 Xiade The virtue of the people
10 上仁 Shangren The kindheartedness of the ruler
11 上義 Shangyi The righteousness of the ruler
12 上禮 Shangli The propriety of the ruler

 

 

Works by Thomas Cleary:

Translation by Thomas Cleary

 

Translation by Thomas Cleary

 

 

Works by Paul van Els:

Wenzi Source Text:
Chinese Text Project - Does not have all the chapters above.
Wenzi Chapters - This has all the chapters above and is the source for Taoist Text translation.
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Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenzi

The Wenzi (Chinese: 文子; pinyin: Wénzǐ; Wade–Giles: Wen-tzu; literally: "[book of] Master Wen"), or Tongxuan zhenjing (Chinese: 通玄真經; pinyin: Tōngxuán zhēnjīng; Wade–Giles: T'ung-hsuan chen-ching; literally: "Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery"), is a controversial Daoist classic allegedly written by a disciple of Laozi. Although generations of Chinese scholars have dismissed the Wenzi as a plagiarism or forgery, in 1973 archeologists excavating a 55 BCE tomb discovered a Wenzi copied on bamboo strips.

 

In 742 CE, Emperor Xuanzong of Tang canonized the Wenzi as a Daoist scripture (along with the Daode jing, Zhuangzi, and Liezi) honorifically called the Tongxuan zhenjing 通玄真經 "Authentic Scripture of Pervading Mystery". The emperor posthumously styled Wenzi as the Tongxuan Zhenren 通玄真人 "Authentic Person of Pervading Mystery".

 

Although the Wenzi has traditionally been considered a Daoist text illustrating Laozi's thinking, it contains elements from Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, andSchool of Names. The Wenzi represents the "Huang-Lao" philosophy named after the legendary Huangdi 黃帝 "The Yellow Emperor" and Laozi 老子 "Master Lao" (see Peerenboom 1995).

The textual format records Laozi answering Wenzi's questions about Daode jing concepts like Wu wei. Besides citing passages from Daoist classics like Zhuangziand Huainanzi, the Wenzi also cites others like the Yijing, Mengzi, Lüshi Chunqiu, and Xiao Jing.

 

Chinaknowledge: http://www.chinaknowledge.de/Literature/Daoists/wenzi.html

 

Contents

 

1 道原 Daoyuan The origin of the Way

2 精誠 Jingcheng The sincerity of the essence

3 九守 Jiushou The nine observances

4 符言 Fuxin Words from registers

5 道德 Daode The virtue of the Way

6 上德 Shangde The virtue of the ruler

7 微明 Weiming The illumation of the minuscule

8 自然 Ziran Nature

9 下德 Xiade The virtue of the people

10 上仁 Shangren The kindheartedness of the ruler

11 上義 Shangyi The righteousness of the ruler

12 上禮 Shangli The propriety of the ruler

 

 

 

Translation by Thomas Cleary

 

Translation by Thomas Cleary

 

 

 

Thanks for starting this, I have had Cleary's translation for years, but knowing about its controversial dating I have not wanted to delve into it. I'll read the papers that you posted and see if they spark anymore interest in me.

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I'm interested to see what comes of this sub-forum.

 

I have asked Taoist Text (TT) to do the translations for each chapter/section.

 

We'll do this similar to the Tao Te Ching section where each chapter can be a thread and people can discuss it.

 

If people show an interest to discuss it, then we'll know we're in the right direction and will continue to do more chapters.

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I have asked Taoist Text (TT) to do the translations for each chapter/section.

 

We'll do this similar to the Tao Te Ching section where each chapter can be a thread and people can discuss it.

 

If people show an interest to discuss it, then we'll know we're in the right direction and will continue to do more chapters.

 

 

Sounds good.

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This is one of my favorites. And I think it's rather unpopular compared to the milder, tamer taoist texts precisely because of its spirit of dissatisfaction, rebellion, seeing-through-BS -- it is, if it is legit (and I would find all discussions as to its legitimacy boring because no one who says it isn't has proof beyond a reasonable doubt, so I go with, innocent unless proven guilty), as I was saying, if it is genuine, it portrays a very different Laozi from the TTC but not so different as to be in conflict with the more popular personage. As different as, say, I am in a conversation with close, friendly, like-minded people from the way I am with the "general public" in writing. More outspoken, far freer, far more radical, energetic, animated with reserved, controlled, but unmistakable passion -- almost revolutionary -- and witty and... well, you know it by now, I love Wenzi. :wub::)

 

I'm not qualified to analyze it character by character, but I'd be interested in seeing those who are do it. But the main thing about it is its spirit, which can't be derived from any one character or combination thereof. I would invite everyone who would participate to meditate on its message so as to capture that...

Edited by Taomeow
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Found myself thinking today that I should buy something, it's cyber-monday. Total B.S., but there it was in my thought-train.

 

So I bought a hard-bound edition of this book, with the paper cover, for $0.01 on Amazon. $4 with shipping, have it by Christmas. Thank you, Santa (total B.S.)

 

I'm excited. I like Cleary's translations.

Edited by Mark Foote
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Meanwhile, per the Wikipedia article, the bamboo strips with the B.C. version of the work have been translated by Paul van Els as part of his doctoral at Leiden University, and a complete PDF can be downloaded from here (image link):

Wenzi-Paul-van-Els-Dissertation.jpg

Edited by Mark Foote
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Meanwhile, per the Wikipedia article, the bamboo strips with the B.C. version of the work have been translated by Paul van Els as part of his doctoral at Leiden University, and a complete PDF can be downloaded from here (image link):

 

I'm glad you brought this up... This work was previously barred from download but it was stated as expiring... seems it is now available. Thanks.

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I will periodically update the first post with resource or reference material.

 

The source text used by TT is: Wenzi Text Link

 

 

CTEXT does not have all the chapters.

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