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Yueya

Mair 2:4

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If we follow our prejudices and take them as our guide, who will not have such a guide? Why should only those who are intelligent make such mental choices for themselves? The foolish do the same thing. If one claims that right and wrong exist before they are established in the mind, that is like saying one sets out for Viet today but arrived there yesterday. To do so is to make something out of nothing. Even Holy Yŭ couldn't make something out of nothing. How could I alone do so?

 

Notes:  Holy Yŭ - The third sage-king of high antiquity.

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  To do so is to make something out of nothing. Even Holy Yŭ couldn't make something out of nothing. How could I alone do so?
 
 

 

why he wants to do that at all?

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Many people declare something wrong before even considering its possible rightness simply because it is not in agreement with what they understand as right.

 

This is creating something out of nothing - a value judgement without value.

 

So the intelligent are no different from the foolish if we prejudge anything in the universe.

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Yep.  That worked.  Thanks.  Concensus in word meaning.  The root af all productive discussions, isn't it?

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Notes:  Holy Yŭ - The third sage-king of high antiquity.

 

He might be;) But the thing is nowhere in the ancient lit. is Yu referred to as holy. Holy Yŭ 神禹 is an obvious scribal error for a 'holy teacher' .

 

This paragraph is an opinion on the limitations of studying under a teacher and advantages of the intuitive knowledge. Compare this to ' I have been thinking a lot to no use, it is better to study (under a teacher) - said by Confucius.

 

Properly translated it goes as follows.

 

There are those who follow their ‘complete heart’ and also have a teacher, but what about those who are alone without a teacher?

Must they understand things by (what they would have learned from a teacher) or can they intuit with their hearts?

Even a stupid person has a heart so he can intuit.

Lets take some one (who learned) what is right and wrong (from a teacher) and present him with a paradox ‘left today – arrived yesterday’. (He will be confused) and will take something non-existing for existing.

But if he does that, even having a god-like teacher will not help him to understand. And somebody alone without a teacher – will not understand at all.

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We translate and interpret 

from our crutch-hungry Dark

we flay Zhuangzi’s mark

 

Oh, and we were gone

We were so turned on

We thought we were kings

Kings of oblivion

In the Dao Bum’s pavilion
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If I were to say Jimi Hendrix, would I be close to understanding this paragraph...?

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I would broke this quote down in two. I'll write how I see it. Please forgive me, I am just no one, I am only trying to understand.
 

If we follow our prejudices and take them as our guide, who will not have such a guide? Why should only those who are intelligent make such mental choices for themselves? The foolish do the same thing.

 
Following our prejudices is following our own blindness thinking/pretending our prejudices are rightful thinking: our neighbor is so and so, our husband/wife shouldn't have talked us this way, Trump/Hillary is better than Hillary/Trump because the  US/world badly need the real deal, etc. it goes on and on and on until we die.

Actually, it seems to tell us that we are not really thinking in a proper way, we are just blind people who consequently miss the Way/Dao because we cherish our own thinking so much, and especially our own thoughts about the Dao.
 
It also means that knowledge is not relevant here. Because prejudices and knowledge are not really opposites. We can be very knowledgeable in a lot of matters (literature, politics, science, Taoism etc.) and still be guided by prejudices.
Knwoledge doesn't protect from prejudices, and in some ways it just reinforces them because knowledgeable people can be very proud and arrogant. They use knowledge in some twisted ways to justify their prejudices. (the well-known 'facts')
 
So the ignorant and the intelligent are just the same idiots when it comes to missing the way. Intelligence won't help.
 
I find interesting to note that following the Way is not becoming ignorant/foolish nor becoming intelligent. It is stopping following our preferences which means having enough lucidity to identify them and abandoning them. Our minute-after-minute contact with reality could be a good way to see where and when our preferences come into play: we don't accept difference (everything/one is different from another) and change (nothing stays identical in time). I would say that Taoism is about developing a specific kind of intelligence built upon awareness/watchfulness.
 

If one claims that right and wrong exist before they are established in the mind, that is like saying one sets out for Viet today but arrived there yesterday. To do so is to make something out of nothing. Even Holy Yŭ couldn't make something out of nothing. How could I alone do so?
 
Notes:  Holy Yŭ - The third sage-king of high antiquity.

I find this part more tricky.

 

Right and wrong are not absolutes. They come from the mind, so they are relatives. The Dao is under the law of right and wrong. Right and wrong are mind rooted viewpoints. Here again, I can't say I know what's right and wrong and judge others, situations and reality as if I had real knowledge about what is right and wrong. What we take as absolutes when it comes to morality or knowledge is the result of mind work.

 

My question is: does it mean that Taoists have no idea of a real good? I find this complex to solve because at some point trying to return to the Dao is having in mind that the Dao is good enough to be pursued, I would say the good that supersedes any other good. The Dao is a way of salvation.

In another line of thinking, does it mean that Taoists have no morality? I may perhaps misread what Mair has in mind using right/wrong. Since I am not a native English speaker, I have limitations here. Is it only related to knowledge or does it also refer to ethics? What would be the ethics of a Taoist?

 

Anyway, no one- even the Holy Yu- can make something out of nothing: even the Holy Yu couldn't make that right and wrong exist outside the mind. Because doing so is like creating right/wrong without any basis since they only come from the mind. So who am I to do so?

 

Here we perhaps find the link with the first part of the quote: right and wrong is a kind of knowledge which is more than once only prejudice. Knowing is a mind thing. The Dao doesn't fit in the mind. The mind should follow the Dao, but instead we want the Dao to follow our mind.

 

Foolish and intelligent are in the same situation. They are know-it-all people, both in their own way, and the Dao doesn't care.

 

Peace.

Edited by smallsteps
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In another line of thinking, does it mean that Taoists have no morality? I may perhaps misread what Mair has in mind using right/wrong. Since I am not a native English speaker, I have limitations here. Is it only related to knowledge or does it also refer to ethics?  

 

right/wrong here means correct/incorrect, fact/non-fact. it is NOT good and evil.

 

 

What would be the ethics of a Taoist?

 

 

Live and let live.

Edited by Taoist Texts

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