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Marblehead

Mair 10:1

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In guarding against thieves who ransack coffers, {{Boxes or covered baskets for storing treasure.}} search through bags, and break open cupboards, people are sure to bind them with ropes and cords, secure them with clasps and hasps.  This is what common opinion calls being wise.  But if a giant thief comes, he will put the cupboard on his back, pick up the coffer, carry the bag on a pole over his shoulder, and run away with them, fearing only that the ropes and cords, the clasps and hasps may not be secure enough.  This being so, is not he whom I just referred to as wise merely collecting things for the great thief?  Therefore, let me try to explain.  Is not he whom common opinion calls wise collecting things for the great thief?  Is not the so-called sage a guardian for the great thief?  How do we know this is so?  Of old, in the state of Ch'i, neighboring villages gazed across at each other and could hear the sounds of each other's chickens and dogs.  The area over which they spread their nets and which they plowed and cultivated was more than two thousand tricents square.  Within their four boundaries, whenever they erected an ancestral temple or altar to the gods of the land and grain, and in carrying out the government of their villages, households, townships, neighborhoods, districts, and hamlets, they always modeled themselves after the sages.  Of a sudden, however, Viscount Fieldborn {{A grandee of Ch'i, his real name was Ch'en Heng.}} murdered the ruler of Ch'i and stole his state.  But was it only the state that he stole?  Along with it he stole the laws of sagely wisdom.  Therefore, while Viscount Fieldborn may have had the name of a robber and a thief, he was ensconced as firmly as Yao or Shun.  The small states did not dare to find fault with him, the big states did not dare to punish him.  For twelve generations, his family has possessed the state of Ch'i.  Hence, not only did he steal the state of Ch'i, along with it he took the laws of sagely wisdom and used them to guard his robbing, thieving person.

Let me try to explain.¬† Is not he whom common opinion calls ultimately wise collecting things for the great thief?¬† Is not the socalled ultimate sage a guardian for the great thief?¬† How do we know this is so?¬† Long ago, Lungp'ang was beheaded, Pikan had his heart cut out, Ch'ang Hung {{A worthy official of King Ching of the Chou dynasty who was executed by the sovereign over a difference of opinion concerning strategy.}} was disemboweled, and TzuhsŇ≠'s {{A loyal adviser to kings of the state of Ngwa (Wu) who was forced to commit suicide because of a difference of opinion concerning relationships with the state of Viet (Yiieh).¬† His body was sewn inside a sack of horse leather and thrown into the Yangtze River.}} corpse was left to putrefy.¬† Therefore, even four worthies such as these could not escape such horrible deaths.¬† Therefore, the followers of Footpad inquired of him, saying, "Do waylayers also have a way?"

"Wherever one goes," said Footpad, "there is always a way.  By shrewdly surmising that valuables are stored in a room, the robber shows his sageness.  By entering first, he shows his bravery.  By going out last, he shows his righteousness.  By knowing whether the robbery may be attempted or not, he shows his wisdom.  By dividing the spoils equally, he shows his humaneness.  There is no one under heaven who is not possessed of these five qualities that can become a great robber."

Viewed in this light, a good man who does not attain the way of the sages cannot establish himself.  And Footpad could not have pursued his course without the way of the sages.  But the good men under heaven are few and the bad men are many.  Thus the benefits of the sages to all under heaven are few and their harms to all under heaven are many.  Therefore, we have the sayings:  "When the lips are missing, the teeth will get cold."  "The diluted wine of Lu led to the siege of Hantan"; {{The capital of the state of Chao.  The people there were said to have a stylishly distinctive strut.}} "When a sage is born, great robbers arise."  If we were to assault the sages and release the robbers and thieves, all under heaven would begin to be governed.  When the rivers run dry, the valleys are empty; when the hills are leveled, the chasms are filled in.  When the sage dies, the great robbers do not arise.  Then all under heaven will be at peace and without event.

If the sage does not die, there will be no end to great robbers.  The more emphasis is placed on the sage in governing all under heaven, the greater the gain for Robber Footpad.  If bushels and pecks are devised for measuring, then he will steal by the bushel and the peck.  If weights and steelyards are devised for weighing, then he will steal by the weight and the steelyard.  If tallies and seals are devised for verifying, then he will steal by the tally and the seal.  If humaneness and righteousness are devised for reforming the world, he will steal by humaneness and righteousness.  How do we know that this is so?

He who steals a belt buckle is executed;
He who steals a state becomes a feudal lord.
It is within the gates of the feudal lords
That humaneness and righteousness are preserved.

Is this not stealing humaneness and righteousness, sageness and wisdom?  Thus those who follow after the great robbers and exalt the nobles, who steal humaneness and righteousness together with all the gains from bushels and pecks, weights and steelyards, tallies and seals - even the reward of carriage and crown will not dissuade them, even the threat of the executioner's ax will not constrain them.  This increasing of the gain to Robber Footpad, making it impossible to constrain him, is the error of the sages.

Thus, there is the saying, "Fish cannot be removed from the watery depths; the profitable instruments of state cannot be shown to the people."  The wisdom of the sage is the profitable instrument of all under heaven and is not something that should be revealed to all under heaven.  Therefore, abolish sagehood and abandon wisdom, then the great robbers will be stopped.  Throw away jade and smash pearls, then the petty robbers will not arise.  Burn tallies and break seals, then the people will be simple and unsophisticated.  Crush bushels and snap steelyards, then the people will not contend.  Annihilate all the sagely laws under heaven, then it will be possible to begin to reason with the people.  Confound the six pitch-pipes, melt down the mouth organ, and do away with the zither, stop up Maestro K'uang's ears, and all the people under heaven will begin to repossess their keenness of hearing.  Eradicate patterned ornaments, disperse the five tints, glue shut the eyes of Spidersight, and all the people under heaven will begin to repossess their keenness of vision.  Destroy bevel and ruler, abandon compass and L-square, crush the fingers of craftsman Ch'ui, {{A famous artisan who supposedly lived during the time of Yao and was said to be the deviser of the compass and L-square.}} and all the people under heaven will begin to repossess their cleverness.  Discard the conduct of Tseng Shen and Shih Ch'iu, clamp shut the mouths of Yang Chu and Mo Ti, cast aside humaneness and righteousness, and the integrity of all under heaven will begin to display its mysterious identity.  When people repossess their keenness of eyesight, then all under heaven will no longer be glittery.  When people repossess their keenness of hearing, then all under heaven will no longer be cacophonous.  When people repossess their wisdom, then all under heaven will no longer be deluded.  When people repossess their integrity, then all under heaven will no longer be perverse.  Tseng Shen, Shih Ch'iu, Yang Chu, Mo Ti, Maestro K'uang, Craftsman Ch'ui, and Spidersight were all individuals who established their virtues outside of themselves and thereby disrupted all under heaven, useless to the law.
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Its logical, I like its mendacity  , is there a question about this passage that needs more explaining? 

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14 hours ago, Marblehead said:

individuals who established their virtues outside of themselves and thereby disrupted all under heaven, useless to the law.

what?

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IMO -   they adhered to artificial virtues,  breaking with the daoist principles , and therefore failed to uphold true virtue. 

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19 minutes ago, Stosh said:

Its logical, I like its mendacity  , is there a question about this passage that needs more explaining? 

The passage posits that the artificial values enable the kings, whom it calls the giant thieves. Which is well and good.

The weakness of the passage lies in glossing over the fact of nations actually needing kings. Kings are the leaders without which a society can not exist, the alternative being the hobbesian war of all against all.

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

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18 minutes ago, Stosh said:

IMO -   they adhered to artificial virtues,  breaking with the daoist principles , and therefore failed to uphold true virtue. 

 Men like Zeng (Shen), Shi (Qiu), Yang (Zhu), Mo (Di), Shi Kuang (the musician), the artist Khui, and Li Zhu, all display their qualities outwardly, and set the world in a blaze (of admiration) and confound it - a method which is of no use!/ Legge/

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I don't see question marks, does that mean we are in agreement? :)  Or are you looking to reconcile another interp by the first, ?

OK, assuming you mean that,  I say, The 'method of no use' is to try bring about virtue by trying to define it , create just the virtuous affirmative aspect of the polemic.

The artists , by being great, make folk art,  relatively diminished , so the sum total of virtue , in this case beauty valuation , remains the same, and so it is a method of no use. ( zero sum) 

Sociologically , if you were to establish many unnecessary rules in your kingdom , you'd end up making all your citizens into criminals and bringing on either headache if you try to enforce it all, or failure if you define these crimes and dont enforce them. 

Edited by Stosh
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individuals who established their virtues outside of themselves and thereby disrupted all under heaven, useless to the law.

 

1 hour ago, Taoist Texts said:

what?

Don't blame me, I didn't write it.

 

Let's forget "useless to the law."

 

The phrase is valid.  That is, when we establish our virtue based on laws that have been established by others we are likely disrupting our inner essence (nature) and thereby all that we interact with and potentially all under heaven.

 

Our virtues should be based on doing the right thing.  Not only for our self but for all we encounter.

 

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1 hour ago, Taoist Texts said:

 

The weakness of the passage lies in glossing over the fact of nations actually needing kings. Kings are the leaders without which a society can not exist, the alternative being the hobbesian war of all against all.

 

But the king should not steal from the poor and give to the wealthy which is what always happens.

 

And I will agree again, social anarchy is not possible.  That is because far too many people will not do "the right thing".

 

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1 hour ago, Taoist Texts said:

 Men like Zeng (Shen), Shi (Qiu), Yang (Zhu), Mo (Di), Shi Kuang (the musician), the artist Khui, and Li Zhu, all display their qualities outwardly, and set the world in a blaze (of admiration) and confound it - a method which is of no use!/ Legge/

Things haven't changed.  Look at all the money people give to athletes, movie stars and musicians today.  This is because people have placed them in ivory towers to be worthy of such compensation for what they do.

 

Same thing with corporations and charity organizations.  We have things all twisted around.  Lao Tzu tried to tell us and we didn't listen, Chuang Tzu tried to tell us and we didn't listen.  Many more have told us but we still won't listen.

 

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1 hour ago, Stosh said:

I don't see question marks, does that mean we are in agreement? :)   

Yes we are. I just noted that ZZ rallies against the monarchy but does not offer any alternative.

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8 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

Yes we are. I just noted that ZZ rallies against the monarchy but does not offer any alternative.

Chuang Tzu rarely gives advice.  I think you will find that, although being an anarchist himself, he recognizes the need for government.

 

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If all were in accordance with Dao, they would live in peace with each other and no government would be needed.

 

I think, Chuangtzu often paints an ideal world as a model for us to follow.

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2 hours ago, Anastasia said:

If all were in accordance with Dao, they would live in peace with each other and no government would be needed.

 

I think, Chuangtzu often paints an ideal world as a model for us to follow.

True that.  And Lao Tzu spoke to that in Chapter 80.

 

Yes, I think it can fairly be said the Chuang Tzu was an idealist.  But he was also a realist.

 

 

 

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On 18.7.2017 at 0:45 AM, Marblehead said:

True that.  And Lao Tzu spoke to that in Chapter 80.

 

Yes, I think it can fairly be said the Chuang Tzu was an idealist.  But he was also a realist.

 

 

 

I think he could swap perspectives at will. Expressing his mastery of the Dao.

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8 hours ago, Anastasia said:

I think he could swap perspectives at will. Expressing his mastery of the Dao.

Good point.  In a few of his stories it was he who was being chastised by things and people in his dreams.

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On 7/17/2017 at 3:54 PM, Anastasia said:

If all were in accordance with Dao, they would live in peace with each other and no government would be needed.

 

I think, Chuangtzu often paints an ideal world as a model for us to follow.

 

Is it an ideal world or simply his world [view]...   as one in accordance with Dao.

 

It may be ideal to those who are not in complete accordance with Dao ?

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On 30.7.2017 at 3:35 AM, dawei said:

 

Is it an ideal world or simply his world [view]...   as one in accordance with Dao.

 

It may be ideal to those who are not in complete accordance with Dao ?

Of course you could say that someone in complete accordance with Dao lives in an ideal world no matter what.

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Ignorance sheilds either way. The truly ignorant simplefolk live in a world they deem righteous a monist view. Those who are blind to the perverse situation of society ,also deem it all fine. 

Sages reveal whats going on ,and one must come to grips with the dualism that there is a value difference ,but that it is zero sum. 

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So a person who deems right and wrongness as existing ,is healed by understanding the balace of the two. 

And people who are feeling its all ok ,arent disturbed. 

And those who dont even know enough to even consider the morality are not questioning it. 

 

The facts remain whatever they are, unrepairable overall. The sentiments vary, and one must cope.

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1 hour ago, Marblehead said:

Well, sure.  If we don't see a problem we have no reason to find a correction.

 

Yep ,it is that simple, from one attitude. For me, well , I have to be more willing to accept the zero sum total. 

I doubt that anywhere CZ really points at this sort of non-practice as being the truest or best , ( it seems it would be a self contradictory stance ) but I can be wrong about that. 

and as you know, I don't believe Cz was a mystic,so therefore he shared in the fault of sages , and therefore had to also accept the zero sum stance, at least, in part. 

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But remember, Chuang Tzu was also a realist.  He saw that things could be better but also realized that things likely were not going to get better.

 

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Realist , hmm, OK, I was aiming more that he was a rational man giving rational comparisons/ exemplars,  so that one could intuit the rationale that led him there, rather than just pile on stuff with no sense whatsoever , with the idea that one is supposed to magically osmose a superior mindset. Yes difficult and requiring the benefit of the assumption that there was indeed 'method to the madness'.

Realist is fine with me , though ,,, I am not sure what it means in Daoist context. ;) ( all that exists is real , so,  if it isn't real , it doesn't exist ) 

I was ,earlier , thinking about whether one can make a valid argument that mankind has made progress. 

Man as the measure of all things, being unchanged , would leave it all relatively ...non-progressing.

OR, the human condition being the basic standard of what is good bad pleasant etc then , if we would rather live in societies than die quick in a jungle , then , well then there could be said to have been progress for humanity , and the impression of a zero sum scenario being inevitable ,, has a serious flaw. 

If one chooses to accept the way that things are , gives up on making the world more of the 'better place' they desire it to be , then they can back off on being judgmental pushy self-righteous , potential failures , and so forth. If one thinks the world can progress, then all those other uglies still are in force. 

I figure Cz would rather have us conclude that the world is zero-sum or total goodness , rather than have possibility of improvement. ( nothing undone) ,,and in his time , using normal natural and man mediated processes as examples  , this would indeed be the rational paradigm. 

Its an awkward pill to say nothing can be done to make the world a better place overall , or worse place overall , though I imagine the sun 'laughs' at the idea. 

 

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