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Mair 5:4

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Duke Ai of Lu inquired of Confucius, saying, "In the state of Wey there was an ugly man called Nag the Hump.  The men who lived with Nag doted on him so much that they could not stand to be away from him.  Of the women who had seen him, more than ten petitioned their parents, saying, 'I would rather be his concubine than another man's wife.'  No one had ever heard of him advocating anything; all he did was follow along with others.  He did not occupy a lordly position whereby he could succor those in distress.  He had no accumulated salary whereby he could fill people's stomachs.  Furthermore, he was ugly enough to terrify all under heaven.  He always followed along and never took the lead.  And his knowledge did not extend beyond his immediate surroundings.  Yet male and female alike congregated before him.  Surely there must have been something that distinguished him from other men.

"I summoned him to me and saw that, indeed, he was ugly enough to terrify all under heaven.  When he had lived with me for less than a month, I began to take notice of his personality.  Before a full year had passed, I began to put my trust in him.  As the state was without a prime minister, I offered the control of the country to him.  After a while he responded inarticulately, as though he were vaguely declining.  How embarrassed I was!  Finally, I handed the state over to him.  Before very long, however, he left me and went away.  I was distressed and felt as though bereft, as though there was no one with whom to enjoy my state.  What kind of person was he?"

"Once when I was on a mission to the state of Ch'u," said Confucius, "I happened to see some little pigs suckling at their dead mother.  After a short while, they all abandoned her and ran away hastily.  It was because they no longer saw themselves in her and because they no longer sensed her to be their kind.  What they loved about their mother was not her physical form but that which animated her form.  When men die in battle, they are buried without the feathered fans that normally adorn coffins.  When a man's feet are amputated, he no longer has a reason to be fond of his shoes.  In both cases, it's because there's no basis - coffins or feet - for the fans and the shoes.

"The palace ladies of the son of heaven do not trim their nails nor do they pierce their ears.  Men who are newly married must stay outside of the court and may no longer perform their official duties.  If the wholeness of physical form is sufficient to make the ruler be so finicky, how much more should he be attentive to people whose integrity is whole!  Now, Nag the Hump spoke not but was trusted, accomplished nothing but was loved.  He caused someone to hand over a state to him, fearing only that he wouldn't accept it.  He must have been a person whose abilities were whole but whose integrity was not evident in his physical form."

"What do you mean by wholeness of abilities? " asked Duke Ai.

Confucius said, "Life and death, preservation and loss, failure and success, poverty and wealth, worthiness and unworthiness, slander and praise, hunger and thirst, cold and heat - these are all the transformations of affairs and the operation of destiny.  Day and night they alternate before us, but human knowledge is incapable of perceiving their source.  Therefore, we should not let them disturb our equanimity, nor should we let them enter our numinous treasury.  To make the mind placid and free-flowing without letting it be dissipated in gratification, causing it to have springtime with all things day and night uninterruptedly, this is to receive and engender the seasons in one's mind.  This is what I mean by wholeness of one's abilities."

"What do you mean by integrity not being existent in physical form?"

"Levelness is the equilibrium of water at rest.  We may use it as a standard, preserving it within so that without we are not ruffled.  Integrity is the cultivation of complete harmony.  We can tell that a person has integrity, even though it may not be evident in her physical form, because she is indispensable to all things."

On another day, Duke Ai related this conversation to Master Min, saying, "At first, I sat on my throne facing south and ruled over all under heaven.  I held the reins of government and worried over the welfare of the people.  I considered myself to be the ultimate enlightened ruler.  But now I have heard this account of an ultimate man and am afraid that I lack substance.  Heedless of my body, I may lose my state.  The relationship between Confucius and me is not one of ruler and subject.  We are simply friends in integrity."
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 But now I have heard this account of an ultimate man and am afraid that I lack substance.  Heedless of my body, I may lose my state.  The relationship between Confucius and me is not one of ruler and subject.  We are simply friends in integrity."

 

 

 

This is like 3 non-sequiturs in a row.

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This is like 3 non-sequiturs in a row.

Yeah, but I never suggested that Mair's translation is my favorite.

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Now that I have heard that description of the Perfect man, I fear that my idea is not the real one, and that, by employing myself too lightly, I may cause the ruin of my state. I and Kong Qiu are not on the footing of ruler and subject, but on that of a virtuous friendship.'

 

 

Legge is more coherent except for the last sentence.

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Legge is more coherent except for the last sentence.

Yeah, wre I picking I would likely have Legge over Mair.

 

I wish Lin Yutang would have done the Outer and Miscellaneous Chapters as well.

 

Mair may have done his work in order to support his thought that The Chuang Tzu is more important because of its writing style over being a philosophical document.

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My understanding would be that because Confucius was so helpful, the duke promotes him to the rank of a personal friend now, which is an improvement over a mere minister.

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Is there more to the moral of this section other than the point that the "ultimate man" is highlighted for being worthy to rule over those that appear to be worthy to rule?

 

I see that a lot of ideas are repeated/recycled in The Chuang Tzu so I want to check if you all find this too, or whether I may be missing something subtle...

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That is a difficult question for me to answer.

 

The "ultimate man", the sage, would be the best ruler but (s)he would not want to rule..

 

Occasionally we see the label "prefect man".  It is he who would be the best ruler.

 

And you are correct, many of the concepts in The Chuang Tzu are repeated numerous times, most often from a different perspective.

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So do y'all think Confucius is being promoted by this passage ? or is this passage showing that the advice of Confucius is problematic , (since the once secure and good ruler now is worrying about his ability to maintain authority and aloofness proper for kingship).

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Good question Stosh.  I can't honestly answer it.

 

The points Confucius made are valid.

 

Were they helpful to the Duke?

 

Seems to me they only inspired self-doubt.

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Right, Duke.So, one should therefore conclude that...what?This passage doesnt belong with the rest? Its been contaminated? Chuang has finally decided Confucius knows the right path? or that his own philosophy will fill you with self doubt?

Edited by Stosh
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Right, Duke.So, one should therefore conclude that...what?This passage doesnt belong with the rest? Its been contaminated? Chuang has finally decided Confucius knows the right path? or that his own philosophy will fill you with self doubt?

 

I'm not going to compare the section with any other translation.  That will be up to others if there is a desire to do that.

 

Again, I can't answer your questions. 

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So do y'all think Confucius is being promoted by this passage ?

 

Of course, he is the one who does all the explaining

 

 

 or is this passage showing that the advice of Confucius is problematic , (since the once secure and good ruler now is worrying about his ability to maintain authority and aloofness proper for kingship).

 

 

But thats a good thing. "A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved." - Dorothea Brande

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Clarify for me Tt, is this an excerpt from Cz, and the subject is Confucius , and the Duke is feeling insecure, and this is an 'uncontested' passage. So you feel Cz is indeed promoting Confucius' idea of an ultimate man , doesn't that ride against the ordinary antagonistic stance between the two personages? and if this is from the Analects or something ,  why is the unease of the Duke 'not a potential detractor for one considering 'ultimate man' habits. 

Edited by Stosh
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Clarify for me Tt, is this an excerpt from Cz, and the subject is Confucius , and the Duke is feeling insecure, and this is an 'uncontested' passage. 

http://ctext.org/zhuangzi/seal-of-virtue-complete/ens#n2750

 

So you feel Cz is indeed promoting Confucius' idea of an ultimate man , doesn't that ride against the ordinary antagonistic stance between the two personages?

 

 

Well CZ uses Confy as an alter-ego for himself, often as a foil, but equally often as someone who learned from Lao-zi himself and had doubts resolved. So if he is not an ultimate man, but at least he is the second best to it.

 

In this story Duke met an ultimate one

 

Before very long, however, he left me and went away.  I was distressed and felt as though bereft, as though there was no one with whom to enjoy my state. 

 

 

but he left. Now Confucius fills his shoes.

 

 

 and if this is from the Analects or something ,  why is the unease of the Duke 'not a potential detractor for one considering 'ultimate man' habits. 

 

 

The unease WAS coming from recognizing his inadequacy when Confy explained him whats what. But NOW with Confy at his side he has a friend and feels better.

 

Note the timing (corrected by me)

 

On another day, Duke Ai related this conversation to Master Min, saying, "At first, I sat on my throne facing south and ruled over all under heaven.  I held the reins of government and worried over the welfare of the people.  I considered myself to be the ultimate enlightened ruler.  But WHEN I have heard this account of an ultimate man and WAS afraid that I lack substance.  Heedless of my body, I may lose my state.  The relationship between Confucius and me is not one of ruler and subject.  NOW We are  friends in integrity."

 

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Of the women who had seen him, more than ten petitioned their parents, saying, 'I would rather be his concubine than another man's wife.'  No one had ever heard of him advocating anything; all he did was follow along with others.  He did not occupy a lordly position whereby he could succor those in distress.  He had no accumulated salary whereby he could fill people's stomachs.  Furthermore, he was ugly enough to terrify all under heaven.  He always followed along and never took the lead.  And his knowledge did not extend beyond his immediate surroundings.  Yet male and female alike congregated before him.  Surely there must have been something that distinguished him from other men.
 
---
 
"The palace ladies of the son of heaven do not trim their nails nor do they pierce their ears.  Men who are newly married must stay outside of the court and may no longer perform their official duties.  If the wholeness of physical form is sufficient to make the ruler be so finicky, how much more should he be attentive to people whose integrity is whole!  Now, Nag the Hump spoke not but was trusted, accomplished nothing but was loved.  He caused someone to hand over a state to him, fearing only that he wouldn't accept it.  He must have been a person whose abilities were whole but whose integrity was not evident in his physical form."

 

@TT... would you comment on the blue sections.

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http://ctext.org/zhuangzi/seal-of-virtue-complete/ens#n2750

 

 

Well CZ uses Confy as an alter-ego for himself, often as a foil, but equally often as someone who learned from Lao-zi himself and had doubts resolved. So if he is not an ultimate man, but at least he is the second best to it.

 

In this story Duke met an ultimate one

 

 

but he left. Now Confucius fills his shoes.

 

 

The unease WAS coming from recognizing his inadequacy when Confy explained him whats what. But NOW with Confy at his side he has a friend and feels better.

 

Note the timing (corrected by me)

I was hoping you would find it easy to just say where you did or didnt agree ,  looking at the text you directed me , I found this part here  "and to pay good heed to the accounts of the people concerned." 

So you think Conf. told the Duke not to pay attention to his people and just ignore them?being buddies with Conf instead? 

 

I don't in fact think Conf is being used as an alter ego , personally, I think he was being used to delineate some fine lines of distinction about the proper interp. of certain aspects of the dao Cz himself was promoting., I cant see why he would set Conf. as a proper example of a sage , Its like saying ,

" Here , Im going to write the philosophy of a wrong guy instead of telling you the right stuff." which doesnt make sense to do. To me.  

 

There is indeed a big difference to the presentations by the two translations, though.

Edited by Stosh
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Father down in the other translation , there seems perhaps to be a return to the advice of Cz , it differs I think from that of Conf. If I can show that theres a difference , would you agree that Conf. is not being set up as a good example , but as a wrong one? 

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I was hoping you would find it easy to just say where you did or didnt agree 

 

Well i do agree with what you say, i am just saying that there are two sides to it)

 

looking at the text you directed me , I found this part here  "and to pay good heed to the accounts of the people concerned." 

So you think Conf. told the Duke not to pay attention to his people and just ignore them?being buddies with Conf instead? 

 

 

 Legge and Mair ('worried over the welfare of the people') mistranslated 执民之纪,而忧其死 which says 'I upheld people's laws and was saddened by their deaths'. In the story Conf does not give any direct advice, he just explained why Nag's non-doing was so efficacious, and what distinguished him from other men:  he has some kind of inner potential, 'wholeness of abilities'.

 

 

I don't in fact think Conf is being used as an alter ego , personally, I think he was being used to delineate some fine lines of distinction about the proper interp. of certain aspects of the dao Cz himself was promoting.

 

 

That is entirely possible, the story is ambiguous enough to be interpreted either way.

 

 

If I can show that theres a difference , would you agree that Conf. is not being set up as a good example , but as a wrong one? 

 

 

Of course i would)

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@TT... would you comment on the blue sections.

Hey). I will try.

 

Of the women who had seen him, more than ten petitioned their parents, saying, 'I would rather be his concubine than another man's wife.' 

 

 

Firstly here is a thoroughly Confucian idea that a well governed state is based on a well governed patriarchal family. Women flock to Nag because he is an ideal husband and therefore will make a great ruler.

 

When Emperor Yao became old, he became distressed over the fact that his 9 sons were all useless, only knew how to spend their days enjoying themselves with wine and song. Yao asked his administers, the Four Mountains, to propose a suitable successor. Yao then heard of Shun's tales. Wise Yao did not want to simply believe in the tales about Shun, so he decided to test Shun. Yao gave a district to Shun to govern and married his two daughters to him, with a small dowry of a new house and some money. Though given an office and money, Shun still lived humbly. He continued to work in the fields every day. Shun even managed to convince his two brides, the two princesses, Yao's daughters, named Ehuang (Fairy Radiance) and Nüying (Maiden Bloom),[16] who were used to good living, to live humbly and work along the people. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Shun

 

 

Secondly, him being attractive  to the brides hints at his integral virility as a magic De potential. Note further in the story mention of the newlywed husbands who are banned from the palace service, because their virility is not whole. Significantly, Nad is a hunchback, which is a fertility archetype.

 

 

Kokopelli - Wikipedia
Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked...

 

 

 

 

Thirdly, his deformity is an archetypal sign of being a chosen one s, e.g.

 

Among the Chagga in East Africa, the physically handicapped were perceived as pacifiers of the evil spirits. Hence, care was taken not to harm the physically handicapped. Among the citizens of Benin (formerly Dahomey in West Africa), constables were selected from those with obvious physical handicaps.

In some communities in Benin, children born with anomalies were seen as protected by supernatural forces. As such they were accepted in the community because they were believed to bring good luck (Wright 1960).

...

the Ga from Accra region in Ghana, treated the feeble-minded with awe.They believed the retarded were the reincarnation of a deity. Hence, they were always treated with great kindness, gentleness and patience (Field 1937).

http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3197/3068

 

All in all, ZZ's yearning for these magic personas, mutilated on the outside but whole on the inside is the yearning to return back into the golden age, when people were one with the gods. The external mutilation or disability of these ultimate men is just a symbol of the societal corruption in the later times, a visible stigma of the humanity torn from its golden roots.

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为天子之诸御,不爪翦,不穿耳;娶妻者止于外,不得复使。形全犹足以为尔,而况全德之人乎!

 

The palace ladies of the son of heaven do not trim their nails nor do they pierce their ears.  Men who are newly married must stay outside of the court and may no longer perform their official duties. 

If the wholeness of physical form is sufficient to make the ruler be so finicky, how much more should he be attentive to people whose integrity is whole!  

 

 

The palace dames and servants were supposed to keep their bodies whole lest the injury commutes onto the king by way of the vicarious magic. 

How come the mutilated persons are containers of the whole De then?

The logic of it is never explicated by ZZ, being something that goes without saying for him, but a mystery to the modern reader. What happens is that these avatars of De, on their reincarnation into the mundane, De-less world, come into a clash with it, suffering to be either deformed at birth or mutilated as a punishment for being too righteous. That is why their very  deformity is a sign of them being filled with De.

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Tt, taking these things together, ,If I demonstrated the difference, I think you would consider it to be be just another ambiguous rendering from the text. I think the text ultimately was was written to make a point, and so I consider the alternatives red herrings. Why would the duke face the south?

I imagine in a rulers court, traditional virtue is the norm, beauty and physical wholeness,homogenaity, considered to coincide with that. To be distinctive and to clearly show ones specialness is a threat to the ruler, even if it is great in virtue.. so virtue to the court is homogeneity and weak virtue elsewhere.

Edited by Stosh
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And who is it , that is being compared to a dead sow? :)

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  Why would the duke face the south? 

 

 

Traditionally, a dwelling was oriented with entrance in the southern wall to catch more sun, and the indoor space was ranked, i.e the master of the house occupied the pride of place, the warmest and the sunniest, by the northern wall, hence facing south. In political parlance 'to sit facing the south' came to mean the immovability of the imperial macrocosm maintained by the physical position of the king's body. 

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And who is it , that is being compared to a dead sow? :)

 

the regular people

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