dawei

[DDJ Meaning] Chapter 5

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 force you to deal with the ugly ramifications of what you were saying, that the advice was to treat everyone as stupid pawns. And while that is gracefully sidestepped , 

I solemnly swear to answer. Got hit by a rush work order. By Jove i will answer.

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Ok, where were we...
 

Dismiss the word humane , not use it , and use an appropriate one , OR use the word humane as it is used in English.
Its not Chinese, and you don't get to reassign what it means in English. Just like , suffering is an English word , and either suffering is what is meant in its basic connotations ..or it is not. Just go ahead and pick a term which matches the sentiment in Chinese and you are actually doing translation ,, as compared to perpetuating a bad translation and replacing the definitions that the word has. 

Yes, i agree  that i knowingly created a problem with redefining that word. 

 

 

But as you've rendered this ',,, The sentiment is to treat everyone as pawns since the universe doesn't give a crap about you either. That this is in fact wisdom. The sage does this???

 

Lets start with whether or not the Heaven cares. Turns out it does, in a way. TTC81 says 天之道,利而不害  "The heavenly Dao is always beneficial and never harmful." Now about the sage. You see being a sage means to be a much  wiser and better person than the others. You know whats good for them, they don't. Compared to you they are fools. So if you deal with them at all you have to manipulate them as pawns, for the common good.

 

This is what you think is wise , and its the attitude of a spiritually advanced person, and this is worthy of passing on to the next generation ? 

 

Yes. Its for the common good, remember.)

 

IMO its the attitude of a despot or dictator, and though I am sure you have spent some quality effort coming to this , I don't think that its what the author was getting at., but maybe he Was indeed  a Machiavellian prick.

 

 

Yes, he was a Machiavellian prince. (fixed a typo for ya)

 

I dunno. But as I've said before, often these things can be read with two opposing sentiments , so yours may in fact be a very well done interp. as long as you correct the word humane to something else. 

 

Thanks i will try.

 

One could go with much of your translation and figure the meaning to be that heaven doesn't act for the benefit of particular individuals , but is egalitarian.

 

Totally. Its just some take better  advantage of his actions than the others, also there are those who go counter the Heaven's dao.

 

You couldn't leave the aristocracy to do the work themselves , delegate , to keep your hands clean, if you think they have no volition and can only do what they are told. So bringing this back to a comparison with the Heavens , the king would have no volition , and this advice could not be followed if it were the correct view. 

 

Why not?

 

The reverse sentiment , that the universe is egalitarian , and doesn't favor particular individuals -cronyism, means that the king could also act impartially ,should or could follow rule of law , and can follow the advice which should work.

 

You see, TTC says the wise kings do not follow, they lead. From behind the curtain.

 

Also the populace , can follow this advice treat folks with general respect rather than only respect and concern for some , effecting a public unifying sense of commonly held concern fate and patriotism , and downplaying the tendency for warlords and internal strife constantly cropping up.  This lays the foundation for the modern nation-state, civil society , meritocracy , human rights , rule of law and so forth.

 

The modern nation-state is largely over. It was a short lived experiment, which was fun for a few decades while it lasted. It is now in its flameout stage, with a crash and burn next.

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Yes, i agree  that i knowingly created a problem with redefining that word. 

Ok , but I would prefer you to pick for yourself next time.

Lets start with whether or not the Heaven cares. Turns out it does, in a way. TTC81 says 天之道,利而不害  "The heavenly Dao is always beneficial and never harmful."

Well clearly that's bullshit. Have you ever seen a typhoon or hurricane? You could say that any eventuality presents possibilities both nice and nasty , or , you could say that goodness and badness are illusion based on perspective . but the hybrid statement is false.

 

Now about the sage. You see being a sage means to be a much  wiser and better person than the others. You know whats good for them, they don't. Compared to you they are fools. So if you deal with them at all you have to manipulate them as pawns, for the common good.

False assumption there about the sage, if he takes after nature, and nature doesnt employ wisdom, nor make value judgements, so  , he is not wise. Nor is he better than anything else, he is what he is. Ask one , see if he says he is better than everyone else. 

What makes the guy with a crown think he is so freekin smart? Ill tell you, he has enough power to threaten anyone who might burst his bubble. 

Prince ..  prick, its as likely as a camel going through the eye of a needle that one could avoid being both. Thanks for the typo correction. 

 

Why would not the king have volition? you said that the relationship between the aristocracy was one where  the lower guys had no volition like a straw dog, and that heavens were the same to the king , so he too would not have power of free will to overcome whatever reflex impulse that carried him along. He isn't actually any better than anybody else , you know that right. He is just some guy , like any other. 

 

Well , the Kings are almost all gone and rule of law is becoming the standard , if nation states also pass , that could be for the best. 

 

But despite this obfuscation-al flurry , you're standing behind the idea that the text  means, that one should be a manipulative sneaky, disrespectful and inconsiderate user. Since you think this is wise then I gotta figure that you'd consider this as wise advice for yourself as well , when in any kind of position of power.

 

All things being considered I cant trust you to be honest or convey legit information about the TTC anymore . You think it would be foolish to have that guide your hand. I might as well assume that your intent is to undermine the document , interfere with the understanding of it , and hide behind a veil of innocence. You said as much literally. And anyone else who reads your words should likewise assume that the is no intent or presumption supporting  intellectual honesty. Its a shame. 

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Yes, i agree  that i knowingly created a problem with redefining that word. 

Ok , but I would prefer you to pick for yourself next time.

 

Deal.)

 

Lets start with whether or not the Heaven cares. Turns out it does, in a way. TTC81 says 天之道,利而不害  "The heavenly Dao is always beneficial and never harmful."

Well clearly that's bullshit.

 

May be, but thats what TTC says.)

 

Now about the sage. You see being a sage means to be a much  wiser and better person than the others. You know whats good for them, they don't. Compared to you they are fools. So if you deal with them at all you have to manipulate them as pawns, for the common good.

False assumption there about the sage, if he takes after nature, and nature doesnt employ wisdom, nor make value judgements, so  , he is not wise. Nor is he better than anything else, he is what he is. Ask one , see if he says he is better than everyone else. 

 

If he is no better how come he is called a sage?

 

 

What makes the guy with a crown think he is so freekin smart? Ill tell you, he has enough power to threaten anyone who might burst his bubble. 

 

Well you know what they say "ipsa scientia potestas est" ('knowledge itself is power') Bacon's Meditationes Sacrae (1597).

 

 

Why would not the king have volition? you said that the relationship between the aristocracy was one where  the lower guys had no volition like a straw dog, and that heavens were the same to the king , so he too would not have power of free will to overcome whatever reflex impulse that carried him along. He isn't actually any better than anybody else , you know that right. He is just some guy , like any other. 

 

 People used to believe that kings are divinely anointed or mandated from above, because they are better than others.

 

 

 

Well , the Kings are almost all gone 

 

 The One who matters is still with us, he just left the building.

 

 for yourself as well , when in any kind of position of power.

 

 

Eh, i am afraid that ship has sailed.

 

  your intent is to undermine the document , interfere with the understanding of it , and hide behind a veil of innocence. 

 

Yeah, that was my dastardly plan all along.

 

And anyone else who reads your words should likewise assume that the is no intent or presumption supporting  intellectual honesty. Its a shame.

 

Is this where i ask you to lighten up...please?)

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You may ask me to lighten up , and that's fair, but you're still dodging the spirit of the thing, as I see it. You cant support the despicable reading without being self incriminating, I would prefer if you choose not to support the stuff ,simply because you're a decent human being . Power poverty secrecy corrupt , not only on the scale of the mighty but on the regular guy scale too. I am aware that much of what is written in the texts can be spun 180 degrees and it takes soul searching to finally break one way or another on what is truly meant. ANd I think one needs to consider whether what is being said is true , supported independently from ones own experience. If the translation ends up saying garbage , stuff that is wrong , or untrue then the problem is in bringing the intended meaning to us ,over thousands of years later. 

Long time ago I decided the Sage was a literary tool, a kind of extreme example to demonstrate the logic of a proposition. Wise persons could also be called a sage , a wise king might be called a Sage., but One can never really get all the way to the perfect extent of being a Sage IMO, but I think we can benefit by having this example to draw us in a better direction. 

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That may be but it begs the question: what does the sage want?

 

I think it depends on the type of sage you're referring to.  Would we say that Shamans were sages too ?   Or Buddha's who choose to remain within the world to help mankind?

 

The sage follows heaven and earth in viewing without partiality the arising/returning of the dualistic world.   That is like universal mind at work.  The subset of the local mind understands the manifest life and how people do not understand the universal mind truth.    The sage can bridge the local and universal understanding of mind.

 

 

The Straw Dogs thing originates with the Yellow Emperor.

Could you please explain?

 

I've long wanted to research this further and maybe we can.  I've mentioned it before and recall it was the Celestial Master's commentary on LZ that talks about it.  So it was easier to google and get one link for now:

 

http://bhoffert.faculty.noctrl.edu/TEACHING/REL275/CelestialMasters.html

 

 

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Lets start with whether or not the Heaven cares. Turns out it does, in a way. TTC81 says 天之道,利而不害  "The heavenly Dao is always beneficial and never harmful." Now about the sage. You see being a sage means to be a much  wiser and better person than the others. You know whats good for them, they don't. Compared to you they are fools. So if you deal with them at all you have to manipulate them as pawns, for the common good.

 

Good stuff... so let's discuss it more.

 

天之道,利而不害  "The heavenly Dao is always beneficial and never harmful."
 
I think there are times like in the chapter of discussion (5) and this quote (81) that LZ is citing, clarifying, and countering Confucian ideas... or even his hallmark virtues.   Li (利) is yet another like from this chapter (Ren).
 
Yet, Confucius seems to talk of Li as if it should benefit people.   Mengzi has warned it should not compromise Ren. 
 
I see LZ as setting the record straight that the Way of Heaven is based on benefit in the sense that it is not about profiting a man but steering him in the Way.   
 
Just as "De" means one thing to Confucius and another to LZ... so would Li and Ren.   Without partiality to the human outcome but more as a guiding hand.   
 
Heaven, Earth, Sage, and LZ point to the path.   Confucianism was tied to the necessary outcome OR ELSE.
 
There is no "or else" for heaven, earth, sage, LZ.   It is all arising and returning.  Inbetween is 50 shades of gray that the human condition will encounter. 
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The sage follows heaven and earth in viewing without partiality the arising/returning of the dualistic world. That is like universal mind at work. The subset of the local mind understands the manifest life and how people do not understand the universal mind truth. The sage can bridge the local and universal understanding of mind.

Heaven, Earth, Sage, and LZ point to the path. Confucianism was tied to the necessary outcome OR ELSE.

 

There is no "or else" for heaven, earth, sage, LZ. It is all arising and returning. Inbetween is 50 shades of gray that the human condition will encounter.

(-:

Edited by rene
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I think it depends on the type of sage you're referring to.  Would we say that Shamans were sages too ?   

 

 

Actually yes, in TTC' universe they are, particularly the shaman-kings

 

 

 Or Buddha's who choose to remain within the world to help mankind?

 

Buddha's no, since the individual and personal albeit a universal salvation was irrelevant to TTC.

 

I've long wanted to research this further and maybe we can.  I've mentioned it before and recall it was the Celestial Master's commentary on LZ that talks about it.  So it was easier to google and get one link for now:

 

http://bhoffert.facu...ialMasters.html

 

Yes thanks for that. Xiang-er was produced around 500 years after TTC, and in a different milieu so..., still valuable of course.

 

As an aside, the translator misunderstood a visual derogatory pun here:

黄帝仁圣,知後世意,故结刍草为苟,以置门户上。欲言後世门户,皆刍苟之徒耳。

 The Yellow Thearch was a humane sage and knew the inclinations of later generations, so he plaited straw to make a dog and hung it above the gate, desiring thereby to indicate that within these gates in later generations, all would be straw dogs.

 

The pun is gate=family.  It should be

 

he...hung  a straw dog on the gate, signifying that all the future gates (families) , all would be just a bunch of  wicked straw dogs (之徒 a derogatory particle).

 

Also this is wrong:

When kingly governance turns to destruction and evil, [the Sage] also views the king as a straw dog. 

当王政煞恶,亦视之如刍苟也

 

It is the other way around:

 

Hence, when the king punishes the extreme evil,  he also views it  as a straw dog. 

Edited by Taoist Texts
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500 years, after the Ttc was written, the significance of straw dogs may have changed colloquially, and a meaning could be misconstrued in the false confidence that the reader "knew" what was meant. Even if he read the Ttc the day it was written ! the meaning may have been misunderstood.

While it is an interesting annecdote, its not independently illuminating and shouldnt be considered so ,just because it was another old chinese guy who thought so.

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Best to leave out 'straw dogs' it is leading one astray from the real meaning of the chapter. The chapter is just talking about how the creative forces have made things and yet they don't seem to care about what has been created. This is misleading, because the Dao has no conscience, nor does a sage. The Dao has no rules so therefore a sage has none either. Therefore the Dao creates, but does not strive to rule or control, nor does a sage.

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... because the Dao has no conscience, nor does a sage. The Dao has no rules so therefore a sage has none either. Therefore the Dao creates, but does not strive to rule or control, nor does a sage.

This is important!

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This is important!

It is, very. And it is the foundational understanding of Laozi thought.

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The Dao has rules ,or the universe would be chaotic.

The dao has no brain so it has no intent or morality of its own, whilst men and women do have brains. 

Humans being a component of the Dao , manifest the sentience , conscience or morality possible ,

that otherwise the Dao would not express.

Therefore the sage is not man , he or she ,would be a non-sentient immoral mechanical contrivance , like a bug. 

 

Can you be like a child?
Have no thought of yesterday or tomorrow
no ambitions, regrets , shame , pride?  
Not thought , instinct ,and physical need. 
No concern intrudes , 
should Rome be burning to the ground 
But rather be playing a fiddle by the fire. 
 
And how could this be anything but creature 
compared to compassionate concerns , fears for ones kids 
loyalty to ones people , determination for ones role. 
Memories of young friends , perusal of the end? 
 
In Perfection would lie the demise of mans spirit
its end. Nothing left of purpose , and
all life then being a burden to uptake compared to heaven. 
 
The sage implies only a direction toward greater peace 
more harmony , not a final destination fit for the likes of us.
 
In these other graces which we striving persons possess
are inherent burdens that the child has not grown. 
Doubts ambition fears , 
these are the flip side of knowlege satisfaction joys
we cannot evade without sacrifice. 
Edited by Stosh
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Best to leave out 'straw dogs' it is leading one astray from the real meaning of the chapter. The chapter is just talking about how the creative forces have made things and yet they don't seem to care about what has been created. This is misleading, because the Dao has no conscience, nor does a sage. The Dao has no rules so therefore a sage has none either. Therefore the Dao creates, but does not strive to rule or control, nor does a sage.

 

I agree in regards to the chapter but it may be of interest to simply understand the term, even if vastly earlier than the chapter.

 

I agree what what you said but why not just explain Straw Dog in the Shaman point of view ? 

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I did kind of like re-reading each chapter discussion about 10 times to create a summary but I think I will not do that going forward.  I should not appear to have a last word and should instead let the discussions be read and each come to their own summary and understanding.      

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I did kind of like re-reading each chapter discussion about 10 times to create a summary but I think I will not do that going forward.  I should not appear to have a last word and should instead let the discussions be read and each come to their own summary and understanding.      

 

Well, if you say something I disagree with you won't have the "last word".  Hehehe.

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