wandelaar

Guodian Lao tzu

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8 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

http://www.daoisopen.com/guodianlaozi.html

 

Are these found texts relevant for our understanding of the Tao Te Ching as we know it?

I bought it a long time ago.  I found nothing that would change the flow of concepts in the Ma-wang-tui texts.

 

Yes, there are some variations but nothing significant, IMO.

 

 

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3 hours ago, wandelaar said:

Are these found texts relevant for our understanding of the Tao Te Ching as we know it?

 

For me the relevance is in seeing how prevalent the various texts must have been. Its remarkable that these texts surived the infamous book burning in 213 BCE. For a tomb to be found with these texts suggests that the ideas in the TTC must have been in wide circulation at the time. This is the main point of Dan Reid's The Thread of Dao. 

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In my interview with Livia Kohn, I posed a question to her that she seems to have various dates on the Laozi... she said:

 



Rhythm schemes suggest the first transmissions may date to 500 BC.  Its rhythm scheme is similar to the Shi Jing (Book of Poetry) which dates back to 800 BC.   It is definitely a southern style (ie: Chu) as all evidence points there, but not necessarily more similar to another well know Chu writing, Songs of Chu, than say the Book of Poetry.    I don’t know enough about that to give any more detailed comparison to being a southern style.    There was of course Shamanism with spiritual connections to nature where it is not as cold in the south that influenced the political thinking

 

 

Guodian version likely 320 BC

 

The writing style of the finished version suggests around 250 BC

 

I won’t be surprised if something turns up later that changes some of this. 

 

Hendricks is the main translator of the Guodian and I would recommend it but it gets quite technical.

 

One main takeaway is that the Taoist slam on Confucianism is less revealed in the Guodian, it is much less tempered view.

 

There are some very subtle changes which can be debated but I think word debates don't change the overall meaning too much, which I think MB suggests. 

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My recall of Henricks' notes is that Confucian and Daoist thoughts were used together for teaching purposes.  I doubt the Guodian texts were meant to inspire argument but rather as tools for teaching.

 

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7 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

My recall of Henricks' notes is that Confucian and Daoist thoughts were used together for teaching purposes.  I doubt the Guodian texts were meant to inspire argument but rather as tools for teaching.

 

 

There is some talk that the tomb is a court teacher and thus had no beef between the teachings.  I think there is much to be learned from that idea :)

 

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Yep, it has been my understanding for a long time that the Chinese used Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism in tandem.

 

Buddhism for the spiritual

Confucianism for public conduct

Daoism for private conduct

 

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18 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Yep, it has been my understanding for a long time that the Chinese used Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism in tandem.

 

Buddhism for the spiritual

Confucianism for public conduct

Daoism for private conduct

 

 

very curious... have not heard that before...

 

So if I re-write it:

 

Buddhism for ritual self

Confucianism for public self

Daoism for inner self 

 

I've never thought on this point before, so just my first instinct. 

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3 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Buddhism for the spiritual

Confucianism for public conduct

Daoism for private conduct

 

 

I am not as well read as many of you but I have long felt that Confucianism addressed public/social conduct where Daoism deals with inner/personal conduct. This notion in spite of Laozi and Chuangzi being critical of Confucianism. When I read about Confucianism it seems like there is sort of an assumption of Daoist ideals as a common foundation. I could be way off base here.

 

As for Buddhism, I don't see it as incompatible with Daoism in terms of methods but in end goals. From an historical point of view I understand that there was a lot of conflict between Buddhist and Daoist schools as they competed for influence in court. Probably much to the discredit of both systems of belief. Politics is always aa nasty business.

 

 

Edited by OldDog
Misspelled word
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2 minutes ago, OldDog said:

 

I am not as well read as many of you but I have long felt that Confucianism addressed public/social conduct where Daoism deals with inner/personal conduct. This notion in spite of Laozi and Chuangzi being critical of Confucianism. When I read about Confusicanism it seems like there is sort of an assumption of Daoist ideals as a common foundation. I could be way off base here.

Yes, there are a lot of roots of what became Daoism in Confucian philosophy.  It's just that after the branches started growing they grew in separate ways from Daoism.

 

Remember, Lao Tzu didn't criticize Confucianism.  Confucius was still a teenager when Lao Tzu wandered off into the unknown.

 

It was Chuang Tzu who opposed Confucius.  Understandable considering the philosophy of the two. 

 

2 minutes ago, OldDog said:

 

As for Buddhism, I don't see it as incompatible with Daoism in terms of methods but in end goals. From an historical point of view I understand that there was a lot of conflict between Buddhist and Daoist schools as they competed for influence in court. Probably much to the discredit of both systems of belief. Politics is always aa nasty business.

China did not have a "religion" when Buddhism arrived.  The people embraced it for its spirituality.  And it grew from that.

 

Yes, I think perhaps the Daoists wanted the Chinese to remain with Chinese alchemic and shamanic teachings.  Apparently there was a lot missing that the people needed in their life.  Therefore the acceptance of Buddhism.

 

The Chinese Court wanted structure that they could control.  Buddhism had structure, Daoism did not.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Remember, Lao Tzu didn't criticize Confucianism.  Confucius was still a teenager when Lao Tzu wandered off into the unknown.

 

Yes, while the chronology doesn't fit, the DDJ is not without criticism of ideas that were held in high esteem by Confucius.

 

On the decline of the great Tao,

The doctrines of 'humanity' and 'justice' arose.
When knowledge and cleverness appeared,

Great hypocrisy followed in its wake.
When the six relationships no longer lived at peace,

There was (praise of) 'kind parents' and 'filial sons.'
When a country fell into chaos and misrule,

There was (praise of) 'loyal ministers.'  Ch18

 

 

Therefore:
After Tao is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) humanity,

After humanity is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) justice.
After justice is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) Ii.
Now Ii is the thinning out of loyalty and honesty of heart.
And the beginning of chaos. Ch 38

 

These just probably show that ideas of justice, loyalty and piety already existed as part of the fabric of Chinese society long before Confucius promoted/emphasized them as a means to civil order.

 

3 hours ago, Marblehead said:

Apparently there was a lot missing that the people needed in their life.  Therefore the acceptance of Buddhism.

 

... and probably Confucianism, as well.

 

3 hours ago, Marblehead said:

The Chinese Court wanted structure that they could control.

 

China has had a long history of distrust of religious organizations as a threat to those in power ... and probably not without cause. Sort of a take on ... Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. 

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21 minutes ago, OldDog said:

 

Yes, while the chronology doesn't fit, the DDJ is not without criticism of ideas that were held in high esteem by Confucius.

 

On the decline of the great Tao,

The doctrines of 'humanity' and 'justice' arose.
When knowledge and cleverness appeared,

Great hypocrisy followed in its wake.
When the six relationships no longer lived at peace,

There was (praise of) 'kind parents' and 'filial sons.'
When a country fell into chaos and misrule,

There was (praise of) 'loyal ministers.'  Ch18

 

 

Therefore:
After Tao is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) humanity,

After humanity is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) justice.
After justice is lost, then (arises the doctrine of) Ii.
Now Ii is the thinning out of loyalty and honesty of heart.
And the beginning of chaos. Ch 38

 

These just probably show that ideas of justice, loyalty and piety already existed as part of the fabric of Chinese society long before Confucius promoted/emphasized them as a means to civil order.

 

 

... and probably Confucianism, as well.

 

 

China has had a long history of distrust of religious organizations as a threat to those in power ... and probably not without cause. Sort of a take on ... Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. 

 

Here are other renderings of those parts of Ch18 and Ch38 (F/E) that you quoted.

 

EIGHTEEN

When the great Tao is forgotten,
Kindness and morality arise.
When wisdom and intelligence are born,
The great pretense begins.

When there is no peace within the family,
Filial piety and devotion arise.
When the country is confused and in chaos,
Loyal ministers appear.

 

 

THIRTY-EIGHT

.....

 

Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.

.....

 

Interesting thread wandelaar ^_^

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34 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

What do you people consider the best book on the Guodian Lao tzu?

I believe Henricks' was the first in English.  I bought it.  Haven't found it significant enough to see if anyone else has translated it into English.

 

 

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On 8/7/2018 at 2:56 PM, Marblehead said:

I believe Henricks' was the first in English.  I bought it.  Haven't found it significant enough to see if anyone else has translated it into English.

 

I think that is correct... except for some attempts here ;)

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6 hours ago, dawei said:

 

I think that is correct... except for some attempts here ;)

That's only because I haven't had the time to get my feet dirty.

 

I have a reconstructed version of Henricks' TTC where I removed the Ma-wang-tui lines and inserted the Guodian lines wherever there was any difference at all.

 

It might be interesting to do a comparative of Henricks' original and the version I modified.

 

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10 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

I had not seen that before.  Thanks for the link.

 

His is far more comprehensive than mine is.  He supports his work well.

 

Mine is only the text of the TTC.

 

I only scanned the article but will likely get back to it one day soon and actually read it.

 

Thanks again.

 

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