Walker

Translated commentaries of the DDJ in English?

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Hi all, 

 

I'm doing some research into Daodejing translation and am wondering if any bums have read translations of the countless classical Chinese commentaries on this text? From what I can tell there is this translation of Wang Bi's early commentary, and then Red Pine's more recent of his two DDJ translations, which includes selections from numerous commentaries, but is not a complete translation of any of them. Then there's this old, obscure translation of a translation of the He Shang Gong commentary, which you can find for free on JStor if you're interested and have a way to log on there. 

 

Can any of you think of any others?

 

And, if anybody happens to have Red Pine's or the Wang Bi commentary in their collections, would you be willing to photograph/scan the introductions and first chapters as a favor to a fellow wanderer?

 

Thanks...

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Hi Walker.  A personal opinion which I cannot fairly support:  Any translation based on Wang Bi's rendering of the Tao Te Ching is biased by Wang Bi's Buddhist mentality.  Translations based on the Ma-wang-tui texts are more true to the original writings that became the Tao Te Ching because they are the Chinese thoughts prior to Buddhism entering China.

 

I like Red Pine's (Bill Porter) translation but it must be considered that he is a Mystic and an Alchemist.  But he does a good job of supporting his reasons for translating the Chinese the way he does.

 

He reminds me of our member "Flowing Hands".

 

I have no knowledge of He Shang Gong.

 

I speak kindly of Robert Henricks' translation but he offers little commentary to his translation.  It was, after all, a scholastic effort.

 

 

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BTW  I will suggest that you can't go too far wrong with Derek Lin's translation.

 

Even though, IMO, he must be considered a Religious Taoist and some of his commentary may lean that way, he does include excellent commentary including perspectives for our every-day life in the today/now.

 

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After becoming enlightened, People can understand the difficult contents in DDJ.

Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Marblehead... I'm not at all concerned with accuracy or lack thereof in whomever's eyes; rather I'm trying to figure out how many classical commentaries have been translated into English in full. 

 

By the way, Wang Bi is usually criticized for putting a Confucian slant on the DDJ, not a Buddhist one. What Buddhist ideas are you speaking about? 

 

 

18 hours ago, dosa said:

After becoming enlightened, People can understand the difficult contents in DDJ.

Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

 

I see, no need to apologize, but may I ask, do enlightened ones surpass the realm of tautology, or is that a thing on the other shore, too?

Edited by Walker
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38 minutes ago, Walker said:

I see, no need to apologize, but may I ask, do enlightened ones surpass the realm of tautology, or is that a thing on the other shore, too?

 

Enlightenment is actually nonexistent, and the name is called Enlightenment.
So it's hard to understand with language.
For this reason, you can't find the DDJ you want.
I didn't mean to hurt your feeling.

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7 hours ago, Walker said:

Thanks Marblehead... I'm not at all concerned with accuracy or lack thereof in whomever's eyes; rather I'm trying to figure out how many classical commentaries have been translated into English in full. 

 

By the way, Wang Bi is usually criticized for putting a Confucian slant on the DDJ, not a Buddhist one. What Buddhist ideas are you speaking about? 

I can't speak to your question.  My opinion was formed many years ago and it would be too difficult to find individual examples that caused me to form my opinion.

 

But we all have our individual opinions, don't we?

 

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There are a few in English:

The Tao Te Ching by Ellen Chen

Revealing the Tao Te Ching by Hu Xuezhi (Mt. Wudang Taoist priest)

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu by Ni, Hua-Ching

Esoteric Tao Teh Ching by Ni, Hua-Ching

Lao Tzu: My words are easy to understand by Cheng Man-ching

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

There are a few in English:

The Tao Te Ching by Ellen Chen

Revealing the Tao Te Ching by Hu Xuezhi (Mt. Wudang Taoist priest)

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu by Ni, Hua-Ching

Esoteric Tao Teh Ching by Ni, Hua-Ching

Lao Tzu: My words are easy to understand by Cheng Man-ching

 

Thank you, but aside from the Cheng Man Ching volume, these are all modern commentaries written in English for English speakers by people who understand/understood the modern, western mind quite well; Cheng's work is modern, too. I'm interested in commentaries written in China for Chinese audiences before the fall of the Qing Dynasty.  

 

22 hours ago, wandelaar said:

 

Great link, many thanks! Its bibliography seems to have answered my question... There really aren't many translations of the commentaries to choose from in English. 

 

23 hours ago, Marblehead said:

I can't speak to your question.  My opinion was formed many years ago and it would be too difficult to find individual examples that caused me to form my opinion.

 

But we all have our individual opinions, don't we?

 

 

Yes, like assholes, we all have opinions. And like anuses, opinions need to be freshened up and polished from time to time, lest one start to exude that stubborn old fart smell.

 

Of all the people on this forum, you're the least able to claim to be too busy to do a bit of due diligence, broski.

 

Edited by Walker

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4 hours ago, Walker said:

Of all the people on this forum, you're the least able to claim to be too busy to do a bit of due diligence, broski.

Hehehe.  But then, I never said I was too busy to do it.  And I like my opinions - see no reason to change any of them right now.

 

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That's a shitty attitude to have for a guy who inserts himself into literally thousands of conversations to spout off opinions about Daoism.

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4 minutes ago, Walker said:

That's a shitty attitude to have for a guy who inserts himself into literally thousands of conversations to spout off opinions about Daoism.

 

You seem to assume that Marblehead doesn't know what he is talking about. Why is that?

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He's blithely saying he doesn't give a damn if what he's saying about Wang Bi has any basis in fact or is just some random misrememberance--it's his opinion, he likes it, and it would be "difficult" to go to Google and do five minutes of reading. Therefore he won't change it.

 

I hesitate to use loaded, controversy-inducing words "sacred," but considering what Daoism transmitted properly has the potential to mean in people's lives, I see it as problematic for a man who by sheer force of volume dominates one of the internet's most trafficked Daoism websites to believe he has absolutely no responsibility to at least to try and do his homework. 

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1 hour ago, Walker said:

That's a shitty attitude to have for a guy who inserts himself into literally thousands of conversations to spout off opinions about Daoism.

Well. you may consider it shitty but I consider it realistic.  I hope you don't have a problem with how often and in which threads I post to.  I have my special interests.  Yours are likely different.

 

I have said before, unless I am quoting someone everything I post here is either my opinion and/or understanding.

 

It takes time to form an opinion if we do it intelligently.

 

And I will continue to insert myself in whichever threads I decide I want to insert myself.

 

Don't be getting on my ass just because I didn't want to do something you were hoping I would do.

 

So my opinion still stands regarding Wang Bi based translations of the Tao Te Ching.

 

I do not need support my opinions.  I don't even need to support my understandings.

 

However, if I state something to be a truth I would expect to be challenged for support of a truth as I understand it.

 

It really doesn't matter to me if some feel that Wang Bi translations are influenced by Confucian thought.  I still do not feel comfortable with them.

 

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it is important to remember that the professional western Taoists are very, very angry. The anger seethes right under the righteous verbiage, now and then blowing the lid off.

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10 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Well. you may consider it shitty but I consider it realistic.  I hope you don't have a problem with how often and in which threads I post to.  I have my special interests.  Yours are likely different.

 

I have said before, unless I am quoting someone everything I post here is either my opinion and/or understanding.

 

It takes time to form an opinion if we do it intelligently.

 

And I will continue to insert myself in whichever threads I decide I want to insert myself.

 

Don't be getting on my ass just because I didn't want to do something you were hoping I would do.

 

So my opinion still stands regarding Wang Bi based translations of the Tao Te Ching.

 

I do not need support my opinions.  I don't even need to support my understandings.

 

However, if I state something to be a truth I would expect to be challenged for support of a truth as I understand it.

 

It really doesn't matter to me if some feel that Wang Bi translations are influenced by Confucian thought.  I still do not feel comfortable with them.

 

 

I see.

 

But I see no reason why I should refrain from publicly disagreeing with you, even strongly.

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32 minutes ago, Walker said:

He's blithely saying he doesn't give a damn if what he's saying about Wang Bi has any basis in fact or is just some random misrememberance--it's his opinion, he likes it, and it would be "difficult" to go to Google and do five minutes of reading. Therefore he won't change it.

 

Are you intentionally trying to piss me off?  You really don't want to do that.  That is a promise.

 

I did not say I don't give a damn.  I said I don't want to go through the various translation in order to support my opinion for your sake.  Do your own fucking work and form your own opinions.

 

I don't need to go to Google and re-reading the many different translations that allow me to establish my opinions would take a lot longer than five minutes.  No, I am not going to go look up someone else's opinion and say, "Oh!, I like that.  I will call it mine."  I know how to think for myself.

 

So why the fuck would I change something that is working so well for me?  That would be like changing from a conservative to a liberal just because 3bob is a liberal.

 

Therefore, Don't challenge my opinions and I won't challenge yours.  But if you start bad-mouthing me you will get a response and I assure you, you won't like the response.

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1 minute ago, Taoist Texts said:

it is important to remember that the professional western Taoists are very, very angry. The anger seethes right under the righteous verbiage, now and then blowing the lid off.

 

And the amateurs are impish instigators, c'est la vie...

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2 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Therefore, Don't challenge my opinions and I won't challenge yours.  But if you start bad-mouthing me you will get a response and I assure you, you won't like the response.

 

You are welcome to challenge my opinions and disagree with me, even stridently and passionately. 

 

If I see opinions here that I feel strongly need to be challenged, I hope I am free to challenge them. 

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33 minutes ago, Walker said:

I hesitate to use loaded, controversy-inducing words "sacred," but considering what Daoism transmitted properly has the potential to mean in people's lives, I see it as problematic for a man who by sheer force of volume dominates one of the internet's most trafficked Daoism websites to believe he has absolutely no responsibility to at least to try and do his homework. 

You should have hesitated longer before making that post.  And perhaps you should have put a little more thought into what you were saying.

 

I have already done my homework.  Apparently you haven't and you want others to do yours for you.  Well, good luck with that one.

 

Your aggressiveness shows that you have no idea what the middle path concept teaches.

 

I use force?  You've got to be shitting me.  I have never forced myself on anyone here.  I have many discussions with people who respect the fact that I am allowed to have my own opinions.  I am not a Confucian or a Buddhist.  I was a Nietzschean first and Taoist second.  I am a one-of-a-kind.  Accept that or totally reject me.

 

So, I have done my work.  You are trying to make me do your work.  You know where you can shove that, don't you?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

it is important to remember that the professional western Taoists are very, very angry. The anger seethes right under the righteous verbiage, now and then blowing the lid off.

Thanks for trying to moderate.  Yes, as just mentioned, Nietzschean first and then Taoist.  You won't find me anywhere within the confines of any herd and you won't find me following anyone.  I do walk with others at time when they are travelling the same path I am travelling.

 

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10 minutes ago, Walker said:

 

I see.

 

But I see no reason why I should refrain from publicly disagreeing with you, even strongly.

True.  As an Anarchist I must offer you the same freedoms as I demand for myself.  You may strongly disagree with me if that's what floats your boat.  But I have no idea why you wish to disagree with "my" opinion.  Just establish your own and then argue your opinion against mine.

 

I did not start a disagreement with you.  It was you who started a disagreement with me.

 

Yes, I don't argue in secret.  Everything I say is in the streets for the entire world to view.

 

So do me, and yourself, a favor and establish your own opinion (regarding if the Wang Bi translation of the Tao Te Ching was influenced by Confucian or Buddhist thought) and present your argument to me and I will address it politely and respectfully.

 

But remember, it was you who offered the argument based on what others had said.  Do your homework, establish support for your opinion and if then it is contradictory to mine challenge me with at least one piece of support and then I will feel obligated to respond to the challenge with supporting examples that led me to establish my opinions.

 

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18 minutes ago, Walker said:

 

And the amateurs are impish instigators, c'est la vie...

This time it was you who was the instigator.  Don't put your faults on me, I have enough of my own.

 

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13 minutes ago, Walker said:

 

You are welcome to challenge my opinions and disagree with me, even stridently and passionately. 

 

If I see opinions here that I feel strongly need to be challenged, I hope I am free to challenge them. 

Fine.  If you feel you are the rule of the world then go ahead and challenge everyone who has an opinion that differs from your.  That will be a full time job but I'm sure you can handle it.

 

Reminded me of the cartoon where a woman asks her husband if he is coming to bed and he responds that he can't right now because someone on the internet is wrong about something and he has to straighten them out.

 

I don't want to challenge your opinions.  However, if you present something as being a truth I will likely challenge that if I feel the need to do so.

 

Sure,, challenge them.  But make sure you do your homework first before presenting the challenge.  It's not pretty when a challenger proves themselves delusional.

 

And like I said, I offer you the same freedoms I demand for myself.  But please never talk down at me.  You will be disappointed by my response.

 

 

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