Marblehead

Mair 17:7

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Master Chuang and Master Hui were strolling across the bridge over the Hao River.  {{In Anhwei.}}  "The minnows {{Small fish found in rivers and lakes.  They are only a few inches long with thin, flat bodies that, according to old Chinese texts, are "shaped like a willow leaf."}} have come out and are swimming so leisurely," said Master Chuang.  "This is the joy of fishes."
 
"You're not a fish," said Master Hui.  "How do you know what the joy of fishes is?"
 
"You're not me," said Master Chuang, "so how do you know that I don't know what the joy of fishes is?"
 
"I'm not you;" said Master Hui, "so I certainly do not know what you do.  But you're certainly not a fish, so it is irrefutable that you do not know what the joy of fishes is."
 
"Let's go back to where we started;" said Master Chuang.  "When you said, 'How do you know what the joy of fishes is?' you asked me because you already knew that I knew.  I know it by strolling over the Hao."
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2 hours ago, Marblehead said:

asked me because you already knew that I knew. 

does not follow

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9 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

does not follow

Assumptions are being made here.  "How do you know …" implies that  Master Hui already knew that Master Chuang knows.  Circular logic.

 

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Actually the obscurity of this passage stems from a misunderstanding. The western readers make the usual mistake of not defining the terms before trying to understand. In this case they failed to define what 'to know' means.

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6 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

Actually the obscurity of this passage stems from a misunderstanding. The western readers make the usual mistake of not defining the terms before trying to understand. In this case they failed to define what 'to know' means.

 

Could you explain further...

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sure. The western reader misunderstands the question as "how you know if the fishes are happy or not". But what  Hui really asks is "how you can have a concept of somebody else's state of mind'. And the reason why ZZ constructs such a dialog is because one of his main areas of interest was communication between people, which is the issue of whether one person can 'experience/taste/know/construe of' another's state of mind.https://davidpuder.com/how-to-experience-anothers-state-of-mind/ Which, apparently is a relevant issue even today.

15 hours ago, Marblehead said:

you asked me because you already knew that I knew. 

 

What did Hui knew and how he knew it?

 

When ZZ tells him 'fishes are happy' he lets Hui know that ZZ can operate with with such a concept as 'another's state of mind'. It does not matter if the fishes are actually happy or not. The key issue is can a person even construe of it. Thats why in mid-dialogue, the fishes are dropped and conversation turns to whether one person can construe of another's person mind. ZZ is of opinion that when the state of mind is communicated verbally ('fishes are happy'), it lets Hui know what ZZ's state of mind is. thats why when he asks he 'already knows'.

 

The issue is not trivial, it seems.

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

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Master Chuang way is very similar to                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Bergson philosophy  
Of direct intuition .
Master Chuang is having a direct
Intuition of what is to be happy .
From there he goes on logically
That in nature every creature is happy when he is free to live
According to his own nature .
The fish is happy swimming
Freely in the river ,  and so on
With other examples all over
The book.

Edited by ONE

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16 minutes ago, ONE said:

Master Chuang way is very similar to                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Bergson philosophy  
Of direct intuition .
Master Chuang is having a direct
Intuition of what is to be happy .
From there he goes on logically
That in nature every creature is happy when he is free to live
According to his own nature .
The fish is happy swimming
Freely in the river ,  and so on
With other examples all over
The book.

Master chuang Taoism of direct intuition influenced Zen with the idea
Of direct empirical experience ,
A zen master is pointing on water
And asking , What is that ?
The Zen monk for an answer
Is splashing on him the water .
 

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6 minutes ago, ONE said:

Master chuang Taoism of direct intuition influenced Zen with the idea
Of direct empirical experience ,
A zen master is pointing on water
And asking , What is that ?
The Zen monk for an answer
Is splashing on him the water .
 

What is the taste of water.
You have to drink it to find out .
Any words describing water taste
Wouldn't be sufficient .
 

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On 6/17/2018 at 3:32 AM, Marblehead said:
"The minnows ... have come out and are swimming so leisurely," said Master Chuang.  "This is the joy of fishes."
 

 

On 6/17/2018 at 3:32 AM, Marblehead said:
 
"Let's go back to where we started;" said Master Chuang.  "When you said, 'How do you know what the joy of fishes is?' you asked me because you already knew that I knew.  I know it by strolling over the Hao."

 

ZZ means 'this is MY joy of watching fishes?' Hence Master Hui already knew? Are we getting meta?

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2 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

 

 

ZZ means 'this is MY joy of watching fishes?' Hence Master Hui already knew? Are we getting meta?

Hehehe.  No, I'm sure Chuang Tzu meant exactly what he said.

 

Fish do jump and play when they are happy.  (They also jump when trying to avoid being eaten by a larger fish.)

 

So sure, Chuang Tzu assumed that they were playing.  This is their joy when not hungry or threatened.

 

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In Burton Watson's translation, he notes that Huizi is often employed as a representative of logic, intellect. If one takes the "happiness" or "joy" of fishes as a metaphor for being at one with the Dao, then perhaps it is not too far a leap to view this dialogue as drawing a distinction between what can be known intellectually and what can be known intuitively; ie, the Dao cannot be approached through intellect.

 

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