wandelaar

Unfitting pieces of the Chuang tzu?

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Does the Chuang tzu in its current form contain pieces that don't fit in with the general philosophy of Chuang tzu? What do the Bums think about it?

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Interesting question.  I will remain silent but will read all posts to this thread.

 

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Lots, starting with all the things Conf. Is attributed.

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23 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Interesting question.  I will remain silent but will read all posts to this thread.

 

Maybe you could give your opinion after you have read the posts of the others?

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Just now, wandelaar said:

 

Maybe you could give your opinion after you have read the posts of the others?

I normally can't stop myself from doing that.  Hehehe.  I just want to see opinions without my having first stated mine.

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4 hours ago, wandelaar said:

Does the Chuang tzu in its current form contain pieces that don't fit in with the general philosophy of Chuang tzu? What do the Bums think about it?

 

I am not sure, what is the 'general philosophy' of Chuang Tzu? For every piece of sagely wisdom, there is a complementary one viable under certain circumstances. ;)

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9 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

I am not sure, what is the 'general philosophy' of Chuang Tzu? For every piece of sagely wisdom, there is a complementary one viable under certain circumstances. ;)

 

I am asking this question because I consider it a waste of time to endlessly contemplate pieces of the Chuang tzu that don't derive from the philosophy of Chuang tzu. Such could be the case with pieces of text that accidentally became part of the collection called the Chuang tzu. Not recognizing those pieces for what they are could sabotage my understanding of Chuang tzu. I am not going to point at any pieces of text now because I want to read what pieces of text others consider doubtful and why they do so.

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I am just getting into a more thorough reading of Chuangtse. So I guess my viewpoint is limited.

 

That said, as one begs the question, its worth asking how is it to be decided what is Chuangtse-ian and what is not. The Chuangtse we have has already filtered down the millennia through the minds of many who are eminently more qualified the translate, interpret and judge than many of us today. Even if we were to accept that a passage was sufficiently less Chuangtse-ian than the rest does that mean it is not worthy to be considered as a valid part of the broader taoist view. What would be the point of separating it out ... either figuratively or literally.

 

I think we have to accept it for what it is ... and is not. Ultimately, each of us has to decide whether there is any meaning in it. 

 

Still, in the spirit of open discussion, I would like to hear which passages are suspect and why.

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This thread seems to have withered on the vine.

 

On 6/4/2018 at 5:03 AM, wandelaar said:

Such could be the case with pieces of text that accidentally became part of the collection called the Chuang tzu.

 

Well, this sorting of relevant texts already been done. There is already recognition of inner chapters, outer chapters and miscellaneous writings, which represent decreasing reliability of attribution to the historical figure. Have you looked at those and compared them?

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, OldDog said:

This thread seems to have withered on the vine.

 

 

Well, this sorting of relevant texts already been done. There is already recognition of inner chapters, outer chapters and miscellaneous writings, which represent decreasing reliability of attribution to the historical figure. Have you looked at those and compared them?

 

I recently (re)read the whole of Chuang tzu, and it appeared to me that some of the more inspired pieces came relatively late in the book...

Edited by wandelaar
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In my personal search of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu there is a section titled "Imaginary Conversations between Lao Tzu and Confucius".

 

I did not record who the translator was or in what publication it is in.  But it is supposed to be extracts from various places in the Chuang Tzu.

 

The selections give a very nice compare/contrast between the philosophy of Lao Tzu and Confucius.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

... it appeared to me that some of the more inspired pieces came relatively late in the book...

 

So, do you feel that those later pieces " ... sabotaged [your] understanding of Chuang tzu." or have they enhanced your understanding? 

 

Not trying to be facetious here at all. You, seemed to be rather concerned that passages not reliably attributable to Chuang tzu might distort understanding. So, now, having read beyond the inner chapters into a less reliable passages, are you seeing any break in continuity of philosophy? I am asking becuase I have just entered the later passages myself.

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4 minutes ago, OldDog said:

So, do you feel that those later pieces " ... sabotaged [your] understanding of Chuang tzu." or have they enhanced your understanding? 

 

Enhanced it.

 

4 minutes ago, OldDog said:

Not trying to be facetious here at all. You, seemed to be rather concerned that passages not reliably attributable to Chuang tzu might distort understanding. So, now, having read beyond the inner chapters into a less reliable passages, are you seeing any break in continuity of philosophy? I am asking because I have just entered the later passages myself.

 

The problem is that it's a mixed bag. Some later pieces seem to be from Chuang tzu himself while some earlier look like the work of others.

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Posted (edited)

Actually I have already moved on from reading the Chuang tzu to reading the following modern commentaries on the Chuang tzu:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Hiding-World-Discourses-Zhuangzi-Philosophy/dp/0791458660

 

https://www.amazon.com/Skepticism-Relativism-Zhuangzi-Chinese-Philosophy/dp/0791428923

 

https://www.amazon.com/Experimental-Essays-Zhuangzi-Victor-Mair/dp/1931483159

Edited by wandelaar

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1 hour ago, Marblehead said:

In my personal search of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu there is a section titled "Imaginary Conversations between Lao Tzu and Confucius".

 

I did not record who the translator was or in what publication it is in.  But it is supposed to be extracts from various places in the Chuang Tzu.

 

The selections give a very nice compare/contrast between the philosophy of Lao Tzu and Confucius.

 

This?

 

https://www.quora.com/What-was-the-conversation-between-Lao-Tzu-and-Confucius

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4 hours ago, wandelaar said:

No.  

 

This:

 

IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN
LAO-TZU AND CONFUCIUS
 
By Chuang-tzu

(Chuang-tzu fictionized.  He said of his own works that nine-tenths were allegories.  His way of expounding a philosophical idea was often to select a few characters, historical, legendary or outright fictitious, and let them talk, and his works abound with conversations that were never intended as literal records. This is clear enough from such stories of conversations between General Clouds and The Great Nebulous, between Light and Ether, between the Yellow Emperor, Do-Nothing and No-Beginning, and the dialogues of persons like “Muddle-head No-such-person”, “No-toes Shusham”, etc., etc.  The conversations between Lao-tzu and Confucius which he wrote must therefore be taken as frankly imaginary, although they sometimes contain references to historical facts in the life of the two philosophers.  By common tradition, Lao-tzu was the older man and Confucius saw him in his lifetime.  Naturally, in these stories by the Taoist philosopher, Confucius was always pictured as receiving advice rather than giving it.
 
Confucius appears forty or fifty times in different conversations in Chuang-tzu’s works, and sometimes Confucius’ disciples, especially Yen Huei and Tsekung, had encounters with Taoist sages.)
 
 
There are seven different conversations in what I have.
 
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