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[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 2

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Thanks for the offer, but I gotta be honest, I wont be reading what Mr Chan has to say. He cant hear me back. Whatever youd like to express and endorse of it however , would be of interest.

It might seem irrational , to refuse such direction, on my part, but the reason is this,, if I did not agree with something he just isnt there to dicuss it!.He isnt putting his own ass on the line. You do, I do, a redirect to some disembodied speaker isnt something I chase. So whatever he has to say is pontification from an unassailable retreat and Im not going to put myself in that kind of position by a redirect. Perhaps I too will be more convincing when Im dead, by virtue of not being able to answer either :)Picking two people at random, Marblehead and Ralis, they are willing to voice their beliefs ,in front of perhaps thousands of readers, stand their ground ,make their point, And defend why they said what they did ,honestly by what they believe. I respect that. There is no higher authority than that, certainly not the unattended comment or paper.

Edited by Stosh
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Stosh, you said it was your desire to understand Laozi’s intent. I gave you a deeply researched reference work that gives an overview of 2000 plus years of insights into this very complex and multifaceted subject -  and you refuse to read it. My question to you is, “what is your intent in engaging in this discussion.” 

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I have an elementary question: When you are talking about the understanding of each chapter, is it based on the English translation or the original interpretation from Daoist Chinese scholars. Is it paraphrasing each chapter?

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I have an elementary question: When you are talking about the understanding of each chapter, is it based on the English translation or the original interpretation from Daoist Chinese scholars. Is it paraphrasing each chapter?

 

Good question.  I hope others reply but I wish to make my own reply as I think it is valid.

 

When I look at each chapter, study, if you will, I try to find as many ways as possible each chapter relates with my life today.  I really don't care too much about what the ancients thought about it.

 

Sometimes one translator presents a clearer picture than all the others do.  I think that this is why we should read as many different translations as we can.  Some people just talk better to us than do others.

Edited by Marblehead
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The Dao in words can never be the eternal Dao. Translations of the Daodejing must also always be interpretations. And these interpretations are on top of the original interpretation of Dao written in ancient Chinese script by Laozi. 

 

Hence, I totally agree with Marblehead that it’s good to “read as many different translations as we can” not only because “some people just talk better to us than do others” but also because by doing so we can gain some insight into the various biases of each translator. That’s why I also find it valuable to read what the ancients and many others have written on the Daodejing over the last two millennia. 

 

According to Daoism, Dao is eternal and unchanging.  The Dao the ancients experienced is not different from the Dao of today.  Basic human nature has not changed much if at all over the last few millennia; it’s only our conditioned reality and environment that’s changed.  My personal cultivation aims at experiencing reality beyond conditioning. This is also the aim of many spiritual traditions and a multitude of methods are employed to this end, as I’m sure anyone who frequents this forum knows.  For me, it’s proving to be an ongoing decades long gradual process of connecting with increasingly subtle ‘invisible’ reality – a reality outside and beyond words and concepts. 

 

For us educated contemporary people, one of the most basic and mundane yet essential and effective ways to gain some insight into the pervasive web of conditioned reality we are all immersed in and continually experience through the forms of our culture and societies is to read Daodejing commentary of those who lived in different cultures and in different societies.   Of course, they too lived within their own conditioned realities, but referencing ourselves to their outside standpoint gives us some possibility of insight into our own conditioning. The patterns of our human behaviour and thought that continually reproduce themselves in all cultures and at all times also become apparent.  These patterns, as well as the patterns that shape our natural environment, reflect the unconditioned Dao.

 

To my observation, the current dominant Western worldview is Christian-Humanist, hence English translations of the Daodejing operate within this cultural framework; some much more so than others.  For me, it’s particularly meaningful to note where that differs from the classical Daoism of Laozi. (And it’s also meaningful to note how these so-called Christian-Humanist ideas were present in seed form in ancient China - but that's another subject altogether.) 

Edited by Yueya
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In answer to this, I would say leave any commentary out, it is someone else's opinion who is on the whole not qualified to make commentaries.

The Dao has no boundaries, cultural, perspective or otherwise, it is the same in all cultures and can be found in all cultures. It is the lack of proper translation and understanding of the original text that is the problem more than words. Words can be found to describe things in all languages. We have then a problem that we do not have the original text, nor in its entirety. My transmission was the  reason I was taught it. Having been taught the techniques and practices that Li Erh's words are based on, I was then given a true understanding of what he wanted to say.

Jesus wasn't around until 600 years later and he was probably not heard of for many hundreds of years in those parts after he died. Where Li Erh lived I doubt very much whether the old testament and its stories really had any bearing on a very sound and ancient culture that had existed for many thousands of years, even if they had heard of it. ;)

 

 Li Erh was not fond of Confucius and his moralistic opinions, so I don't think he would have any truck with stories from the old testament, even if he had heard them.

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You say some insightful things Flowing Hands. No doubt about it. However, I have trouble with your apparent dismissal of most all – if not all - other people interested in the Daodejing as unqualified.  To me, yours is just another one of many perspectives on this ancient and ambiguous text.  Your claim to have the ‘real’ Daodejing revealed to you by Laozi in spirit form is interesting. I don’t doubt you are channelling something of value – but how do you know it’s Laozi? It seems to me from reading your translation and from other comments you’ve made that you’re channelling a much more recent source of wisdom. 

 

(BTW If your comments against Christianity were directed at me, you have totally misunderstood my reference to the so-called ‘Christian-Humanist worldview’ in my above post. One of my main interests in this topic is to separate out those Christian-Humanist biases in Daodejing translations. These are not what classical Daoism is about, however the thought patterns that shape such worldviews also flow from Dao; that is, Dao in the greater sense than the conditioned teaching of Daoism. )

Edited by Yueya

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Stosh, you said it was your desire to understand Laozi’s intent. I gave you a deeply researched reference work that gives an overview of 2000 plus years of insights into this very complex and multifaceted subject -  and you refuse to read it. My question to you is, “what is your intent in engaging in this discussion.” 

There are portions I don't get fully , but that's not the real reason,, Not reading ancient Chinese, I will always have doubts about what words are really contained in the text expressing the intent of the author. As Fh was planning to be comparative anyhow, I figure that its ok to use this comparison as a device to determine who isn't sticking to the script as far as meaning goes. 

There are details which one can fairly gloss over,figuratively,  whether a bird is a partridge or parakeet may make some difference as far as folks in antiquity being that they may have been helped to certain associations regarding the difference by such device, though such isn't likely pivotal. This thing about the therefores as I see it is majorly pivotal in that it more than suggests the author was going to lengths to explain , so none of the wild interpretations should be considered as a final word on the meaning of a chapter. Either its a crappy translation or we're supposed to really understand what he is saying in the way its being described. We aren't supposed to be left saying , Wow that sure is mysterious! and pretend we got the point. 

Out of courtesy I did in fact back up and at least scan Mr Chan's stuff, He does indicate that sentiment , the Wow its so great not to understand this sentiment.And so I take him at his word that he doesn't really get what has been told to him (regardless of how intelligent he is or how much he knows about Chinese history). As I see it, getting the point isnt much about being able to learn and store large amounts of data , its about sincerely trying to connect with a mindset we don't ordinarily employ. 

He says himself  ! he doesnt understand it , he writes it off as mystical clap trap, pretty , engaging , teasing etc but not having a valid point of its own. 

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Hi Yueya

 

Don't take this as an insult, but you show me that you have very little experience and understanding about what you are talking about.

I am a blessed and accepted Holyman, I didn't pay £200 and get some mumbo jumbo in return. I went to a temple in Malaysia of my own volition when I was young, because it was my time and like all genuine shamans, as a child I could see sky people in the sky. I knelt down on my knees at that temple, I didn't even know the proper names of those Immortals, nor the prayer and within twenty minutes of me begging the Immortal master came. I had no idea of what to expect I was from a different country and culture, but I had a great belief and longing in my heart that had been with me since I was very small. So the Immortal Master  came so powerfully that the brush that I was holding flew across the temple and it was another Holyman who was there, who raced across the floor and picked it up and put it back into my hand to finish off the talisman. Once I had finished the holy water and given my thanks. This other holyman said to me he had never seen someone accepted so quickly and powerfully in all his life. He was truly shocked. This temple was an open eye and blessed temple that still happily sits in Malacca. No false spirit would ever come near the place.To judge what I say and where it comes from you certainly must be an expert, far more qualified than I. Given this, I have much doubt to your qualification to judge who is my teacher or not.

 

Remember the Dao is for the past for the present and for the future. In this way it remains eternal.

Edited by flowing hands

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Hi Yueya

 

I do not 'channel' that's for new age mediums who give séances for their friends. Nor am I a tang ki, the modern word that incorporates a multiple array of people who do all sorts of things in Chinese temples. I am a traditional shaman taught in the traditional way, completely by the Immortal masters and not affected by any outside cultural influences or inferences that one might encounter in places like Malaysia. The Immortal masters are people just like you and I but they are now living in energy form although they can be physical form if they like. So how do I know that I am taught by Lao Shi as opposed to any other spirit master? Because they can come physically and what he has taught me all those years ago, I have begun to understand far more deeply and why he said those things. When he first taught me each verse I only had some understanding, but as I have been taught more and more and practiced more and more and after 30 years those verses now hold their true meanings. I said in a post to Dawei that to fully understand the meanings of some of the verses one had to be in the processes and for the last thirty years since I was taught those verses I have been in that process. To be honest some of the verses he taught me he wanted to change completely from anywhere near what has been received through manuscripts. He wanted it to be accessible to modern peoples. It wasn't till some years ago that he told me he had written many more verses and that he would teach me some of them, which he has. So as I have said the Dao is for the past, for the present and for the future, therefore it remains eternal.

 

Traditional Daoism is of the feminine, most perspectives are of the masculine, Lao Tzu addresses the world and uses the masculine, (he) so that his words are taken seriously by others who are less understanding. So his words are valued even though they are of the feminine. Remember Lao Tzu is a great Immortal and that when he was last mortal when he wrote down his teachings he was a incarnate Immortal. He had already in his heart the Dao before anyone taught him anything. Christians will see God everywhere and in the DDJ and translate it with their perspective. The Christian viewpoint affects everything even though we may not know it or realize it and it is very masculine. So although Lao Tzu has used mostly 'he' in my version, he actually said to me that it had been translated so many times using the masculine that my version to gain any acceptance would have to be used as 'he' to describe a sage etc. because of the overriding Christian influence of treating women as second class citizens and men came first.

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Thanks for your reply, Stosh.  However, it’s apparent once again how different our perspectives are to the extent that it makes finding common ground on which to build discussion difficult. 

 

For instance, you write, “He [Alan Chan] says himself  ! he doesnt understand it , he writes it off as mystical clap trap, pretty , engaging , teasing etc but not having a valid point of its own.” 

 

I’m not sure how you got this impression from an essay that opens with, “The Daodejing, commonly translated the "Classic of the Way and Virtue," must be ranked as one of the most important classics in world literature” and ends with, “…...but the study and practice of the Daodejing, in the final analysis, remains a lifelong task”. To my reading Alan Chan does not favour or frown upon any of the many great and diverse traditions that the Daodejing has inspired, but treats them all with respect, whether spiritual, philosophical or religious.  

Edited by Yueya

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Thanks for your longer reply, Flowing Hands. There's much in your words I agree with, especially that classical Daoism is of the feminine. That's a point I've made many times on this forum. I also agree that, "The Christian viewpoint affects everything even though we may not know it or realize it and it is very masculine." I'd expand it so it reads, "our conditioning affects everything even though we may not know it or realize it, and most all of our conditioning is very masculine".  Hence the feminine flavour of classical Daoism makes a most welcome relief, for me at least. That's why I so greatly value it. 

 

(Edit: As an aside I'd add that mysticism in all traditions depends on the feminine, even if it's not acknowledged as such.) 

Edited by Yueya
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Some people may consider a work as great because its seen as having had impact, or as a relic of ancient ideas. Even this last quote indicates no specfic meaning or understanding, so, though he makes a magnanimous gesture of not alienating anyones particular take on it,, it doesnt indicate that he feels it has an intended meaning by the author.

If I took the time to craft a long discussion, and you concluded I had no point, Id take it that you werent receptive, or it was poorly written to relate to you.

Neither would I as author consider every possible confusion equal in successfully getting my point.

Taoism is far older than Lao, I see Fh as being in line with that older tradition. Lao went philosophical, and after he or they couldnt maintain this difference , that older tradition subsumed the work, reflavored it with mysticism. Lao wasnt the father of daoism, he was an offshoot. I dont know why traditionalists dont just relegate Lao to the care of the west ,since logical philosophy is a forced fit with immortals and so forth.But that up to them .

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Good question.  I hope others reply but I wish to make my own reply as I think it is valid.

 

When I look at each chapter, study, if you will, I try to find as many ways as possible each chapter relates with my life today.  I really don't care too much about what the ancients thought about it.

 

Sometimes one translator presents a clearer picture than all the others do.  I think that this is why we should read as many different translations as we can.  Some people just talk better to us than do others.

Thanks and I think I understand the way someone may read the translation. The problem I have had is how can you interpret a text not knowing the Chinese culture, language and cosmology behind the original? It is not about what the ancients thought since we don't have resources to capture what was said during those days.

As for this line Note and sound harmonize with each other

all I read is the contrast then I found here in this forum a good explanation by ChiDragon: the human voice combines with the musical tones become in harmony. It 's like singing a song with music.Then that makes me think to elaborate my thoughts and better understand.

Same goes for The high and the low incline towards each other;高 下 相 盈: The nobles and the peasants are mutually encompassing with each other.

 

盈in this phrase means encompass.

 

Annotation:

The high class people(nobles) and the low class people(peasants) are getting along with each other. Then I understand that based on those explanations I understand to learn to appreciate and totolerate those differences and live with them.

Makes sense?

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Hi Mig, yes, it makes sense.

 

We are different in that you are searching for more in-depth understanding whereas I am interested primarily in the philosophical concepts.

 

Of course, this is defined by who we are.

 

For me it's just entertainment if I do get involved in the more in-depth discussions.

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Hi Mig, yes, it makes sense.

 

We are different in that you are searching for more in-depth understanding whereas I am interested primarily in the philosophical concepts.

 

Of course, this is defined by who we are.

 

For me it's just entertainment if I do get involved in the more in-depth discussions.

 

Ha, there's a novel that mentioned about this situation.

 

People are chasing the details of every words.

 

They are so fascinated by these secret words.

 

Everyone learned a lot and forget to go home.

 

Their family think they were stocked in an island.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_to_Gallantry

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Ha, there's a novel that mentioned about this situation.

 

People are chasing the details of every words.

 

They are so fascinated by these secret words.

 

Everyone learned a lot and forget to go home.

 

Their family think they were stocked in an island.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_to_Gallantry

So when you say, you are learning English, aren't you chasing the details of every word? I am not fascinated by words or secret words, I want to understand the meaning of each chapter and how is interpreted by Chinese or Chinese scholars to learn what is meant in Chinese culture, then I read the English version to understand the meaning of each chapter though I find that interpretations are merely subjective point of view. Could you tell us, how did you learn the DDJ in the beginning of your study or practice?

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In the beginning....

 

That is long time ago....

 

I don't remember the detail now...

 

I learned DDJ when I was a university student.

 

I went to classroom and listened to the teacher.

 

I don't remember what he said now.

 

Even how the teacher looked like...

 

 

 

Actually, I don't spent a lot of time in DDJ.

 

But many articles mentioned about DDJ.

 

It is one of the sources of Chinese core culture.

 

It is good for you spent time in DDJ.

 

You have your own way.

What you said is good.

 

If you have any questions in DDJ that I can help, I will do my best to discribe it to you.

 

I am glad you like Chinese culture.

 

I love Chinese culture, too.

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The great paradox of the Daodejing is that it’s 5000 'words' evoking something that can never be known through words. For me, it functions like the finger pointing to the moon. Dao Bums, as a word based discussion forum, tends to favour analysis of the finger; the yang over the yin. The moon can only be experienced inwardly, through silent stillness. 

 

In these discussions I contribute my often clumsy words with sincere intent. That’s our visible medium of interacting here. But my deeper interest lies in the feel of the discussion, the invisible currents, the patterns of conversation; the hidden interior behind the yang exterior. 

 

In that way my participation is an ongoing part of my personal practice. I particularly note how I feel when reading comments. Any strong emotional reaction is an immediate indicator of something hidden within me stirring beneath the surface. I just note the reaction; I don’t consciously try to analyse. I simply allow space and the willingness for new insight to be revealed in its own time. 

 

For me life experience is the greatest teacher. As someone who lives in relative isolation from people (though within an abundance of wildlife and natural process) my participation here has been a great learning experience. Difficult, rewarding, frustrating…..and more. In the back of my mind though, my more recent feeling is that I’m approaching a tipping point where the damage I sustain is being outweighed by the benefits I gain. 

 

I write these words as part of my personal practice in the hope of clearing my personal air surrounding my participation here. It’s not a criticism of Dao Bums in any way; I don’t think it’s realistically possible for a web forum to be any better than Dao Bums. I’m simply expressing a personal quandary.  As the saying goes about life in general, “More will be revealed.”

 

tumblr_ojzvlha0yj1utpbkho1_400.jpg

Edited by Yueya
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The great paradox of the Daodejing is that it’s 5000 'words' evoking something that can never be known through words. For me, it functions like the finger pointing to the moon. Dao Bums, as a word based discussion forum, tends to favour analysis of the finger; the yang over the yin. The moon can only be experienced inwardly, through silent stillness. 
 
In these discussions I contribute my often clumsy words with sincere intent. That’s our visible medium of interacting here. But my deeper interest lies in the feel of the discussion, the invisible currents, the patterns of conversation; the hidden interior behind the yang exterior. 
 
In that way my participation is an ongoing part of my personal practice. I particularly note how I feel when reading comments. Any strong emotional reaction is an immediate indicator of something hidden within me stirring beneath the surface. I just note the reaction; I don’t consciously try to analyse. I simply allow space and the willingness for new insight to be revealed in its own time. 
 
For me life experience is the greatest teacher. As someone who lives in relative isolation from people (though within an abundance of wildlife and natural process) my participation here has been a great learning experience. Difficult, rewarding, frustrating…..and more. In the back of my mind though, my more recent feeling is that I’m approaching a tipping point where the damage I sustain is being outweighed by the benefits I gain. 
 
I write these words as part of my personal practice in the hope of clearing my personal air surrounding my participation here. It’s not a criticism of Dao Bums in any way; I don’t think it’s realistically possible for a web forum to be any better than Dao Bums. I’m simply expressing a personal quandary.  As the saying goes about life in general, “More will be revealed.”
 
tumblr_ojzvlha0yj1utpbkho1_400.jpg

 

It seems almost everyone feels that tipping point sometime. But if I may, without intruding suggest that with time one may, instead of needing to walk away and take a break , may find themselves taking that break all the while. And what a worthwhile accomplishment that would be. 

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Yeah, I occasionally turn my brain and emotions off when I am posting.

 

And what comes out is unknown to me until someone comments to it.

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-Heaven is beyond duality, the world is dualistic

 

I'm curious why you chose to say Heaven is beyond duality instead of saying the Sage is beyond duality?

 

I'm collating my review of posts and see two parts to the chapter:  

1. Dualism explained

2. Wu Wei explained

 

I would suggest that the latter is non-duality explained.

 

Comments welcomed :)

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I would suggest that the latter is non-duality explained.

 

 

I would agree with you.

 

But remember, even the Sage lives within the construct of duality.  Look at Lao Tzu:  this, not that.

 

Even in the state of wu wei, when action is inspired by "this, not that" in most cases.

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