Oven

Chuang Tzu Companions

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Hello all,

 

I've recently begun digging into the Chuang Tzu and am looking for some recommendations for companion material. I'm searching for some extra insight--especially thematically, as the text's purpose often goes over my head--but would be interested in any historical or miscellaneous background content as well. I would really love to have a firmer grasp on what messages appear to be conveyed through the stories. 

 

Any help would be wonderful.

 

Thank you!

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All of the threads in this sub-forum titled "Mair (...)" is a study of the Chuang Tzu.

 

You are more than welcome to join us.

 

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7 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

All of the threads in this sub-forum titled "Mair (...)" is a study of the Chuang Tzu.

 

You are more than welcome to join us.

 

And it's really appreciated... the time and insight shared in those threads.

I'm working my way through them slowly myself.  Read, sift, let settle, revisit. etc.

 

I had never read Chaung Tzu before coming here.  What a treasure!

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Sounds excellent. I know I could use some extra perspectives. Chuang Tzu seems so far to be much less straightforward than Lao Tzu, but is definitely fun material. 

3 hours ago, silent thunder said:

I'm working my way through them slowly myself.  Read, sift, let settle, revisit. etc.

Love this approach.

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14 hours ago, Marblehead said:

All of the threads in this sub-forum titled "Mair (...)" is a study of the Chuang Tzu.

 

You are more than welcome to join us.

 

 

Yeah, the more the merrier. :) 

 

Also, I doubt you'll find a much better commentary, especially since (a) you have the opportunity to ask people questions, (b) you have people such as Taoist Texts who can actually provide decent translations of the Chinese and (c) you have very experienced practitioners as well who aren't just academics (myself not included :P ).

Edited by morning dew
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13 hours ago, Oven said:

Sounds excellent. I know I could use some extra perspectives. Chuang Tzu seems so far to be much less straightforward than Lao Tzu, but is definitely fun material. 

Love this approach.

I read often that Zhuang zi is fun to read and I wonder what it is that is fun material. Comparing with other English translations what is the interest in this book?

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44 minutes ago, Mig said:

I read often that Zhuang zi is fun to read and I wonder what it is that is fun material. Comparing with other English translations what is the interest in this book?

Chuang Tzu was real.  He told it like it was.  But, he did a lot of editorializing so we have to play his game with him in order to understand him.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mig said:

I read often that Zhuang zi is fun to read and I wonder what it is that is fun material. Comparing with other English translations what is the interest in this book?

 

Well, in my limited experience, I tend to view him as a stand-up comedian. I find some of his tales quite funny and fantastic, with lots of colourful characters. I also find he can be quite sarcastic in a funny way (especially against Confucians). Also, I don't tend to find him that preachy; I get the impression he liked to entertain but didn't particularly care if people disagreed with him.

 

That said, there are serious bits in it as well, and some bits which can be mind-numbing such as (some of) chapter 2 lol :wacko: 

Edited by morning dew
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Posted (edited)

 

Zhuang Zi's use of humor, hyperbole, satire and sardonic, biting wit based on his incredible insights are unparalleled examples to me of extreme high skill in observation.

 

I'll echo @morning dew in that ZZ seems like a social commentarian and comedian of his day, using humor to exemplify the oddities of society living. 

 

When I started reading Zhuang Zi, particularly his repeated and unrelenting commentary on Confucianism ways and their myriad inconsistencies; I was reminded of the long form social commentary of the late, George Carlin.  George had a piercing eye for revealing the humorous inconsistencies in modern life.

Edited by silent thunder
fewer words
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On 7/30/2020 at 1:20 PM, silent thunder said:

 

Zhuang Zi's use of humor, hyperbole, satire and sardonic, biting wit based on his incredible insights are unparalleled examples to me of extreme high skill in observation.

 

I'll echo @morning dew in that ZZ seems like a social commentarian and comedian of his day, using humor to exemplify the oddities of society living. 

 

When I started reading Zhuang Zi, particularly his repeated and unrelenting commentary on Confucianism ways and their myriad inconsistencies; I was reminded of the long form social commentary of the late, George Carlin.  George had a piercing eye for revealing the humorous inconsistencies in modern life.

It seems to me that your comments are based on an English translation and I am not sure if those readings are according to the Chinese world or the way is understood by the Chinese mind. Indeed, the humorist side of ZZ is universal but how it is interpreted in the Chinese mind. Just a remark to understand better what an English reader understands reading ZZ

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1 hour ago, Mig said:

It seems to me that your comments are based on an English translation and I am not sure if those readings are according to the Chinese world or the way is understood by the Chinese mind. Indeed, the humorist side of ZZ is universal but how it is interpreted in the Chinese mind. Just a remark to understand better what an English reader understands reading ZZ

Hey Mig.

 

Yea, I have no idea what the Chinese mind, or any other mind understands, I'm just sharing my own.

 

I understand only a few words of Chinese and no Classical Chinese at all, so every word I've ever read about Daoism has been in english, or spanish, the two languages I know a bit, so all daoist ideas have been translated.  So too, interestingly have all the thoughts in my own mind...

 

I find my own cognitive process, when shifting experiences to conceptual notions in the realm of words, is a translation itself, even within my own awareness.  My life as thought about, is interpreted and translated from the subtle into the conceptual, every time I try to formulate words for experiences, or have thoughts arise about them. 

 

C'est la vie. 

 

My process has, interestingly to me, without seeking, naturally unfolded away from literality and certainty and occupies a more poetic sensing...

 

Every experience and perception of life I've ever had, or am having now, when trying to convey them in words seem to equally have been interpreted by my own perceptual translations.  All of spoken life, is a translation to me these daze... and these daze, I allow space for the chinese mind and all others to have their own full take on life, that may or may not be what mine is... but I find I abide in deep comfort with the one seeming certainty that even though we may not be experiencing these concepts the same... we are each of us, having a complete experience in and of it, our self. 

 

Tzujan... of itself. 

 

We all experience life from the center of our own awareness.  ZZ resonates humor and play for me with unparalleled high skill.

 

His words, undoubtedly translated many times (even among the chinese... how many read the classical?), reflected in many mirrors, are at their core, reflective of human experience and in this, there will be resonant harmonies and similarities that instinctively resonate with all humans, each in their own subjective manner.

 

It's interesting to see how my interpretations adjust as i move through life. 

Particularly in revisiting old texts after years away, how differently the same words may be encountered after years of experience.  I wonder how I'll be experiencing the interpreted words of ZZ in another decade?  I know it's remarkable to even reread my own old journal musings. 

 

I see why my masters have prodded keeping journals of thoughts.  It's remarkable to re-encounter my own thoughts and see how they are translated after some time engaged in the shift of life.

Edited by silent thunder

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