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Neiye - Introduction - Multi-authors

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This study and review of the Neiye will use five six translators and I will give the chinese in a spoiler. Linnell's and Dan Reid's version.  Dan uses characters that differs at times based on there are five manuscripts and it is not easy to know which translator is following which one.

 

One main observation will be how translators treat 'Xin', as either "heart" or "mind" or "heart-mind", or something else in context.   Here is an example for the first use of Xin in an exceedingly challenging brief line:

凡 心 之 形 - Always XIN of Form

 

Section 2:

Linnell:  Always : the form of the heart/mind is

Eno: The form of the heart is

 

Section 3:

Roth: All the forms of the mind

Shazi Daoren: All forms of the Heart

Yueya: All the forms of the heart-mind

Reid:  Invariably, the heart-mind’s decisions (based on text: 凡心之刑)

 

Reid notes the use of 刑: 

“Xing 刑 punishment/decision” is often replaced here with “xing 形 forms” in accordance with line 103 of the Nei Ye, believing 刑 to be the typo. However, 刑 appears more consistently in related lines of the Nei Ye and Xin Shu Xia. See also, line 115-120 of the Xin Shu Xia.

 

 

~~~ Changes were made to the sections by now following Eno (18) instead of Roth (26). ~~~

 

As a further reading, first read Kirkland's VARIETIES OF TAOISM IN ANCIENT CHINA: A PRELIMINARY COMPARISON OF THEMES IN THE NEI YEH AND OTHER TAOIST CLASSICS1

https://faculty.franklin.uga.edu/kirkland/sites/faculty.franklin.uga.edu.kirkland/files/VARIETIES.pdf

 

Here are my excerpts of their introductions:

 

Linnell: While available for millennia, the Nei Ye has just started to receive serious scholarly attention in the last few decades. It describes how to build up and store various spiritual forces such as Qi and “essence” (there is no indication that “essence” refers to reproductive fluids, which appeared later in Chinese thought), and how to control one‟s heart/mind. It shows no influence of any school of Chinese religious or philosophical thought, other than using a few basic Confucian terms. It does have a few concepts in common with the work by Mencius, but as they were probably both written about the same time it is impossible to tell who influenced who (or if they were both influenced by something else).


While the Nei Ye has many similarities, including writing style, with the Dao De Jing, it also differs significantly in its perspective. For instance, there is no social commentary, no political or military advice, nor any explanation of how the universe was created or how it works. There is no mention of yin and yang, “non-action” or “non-being”, nor does it advocate a feminine/receptive attitude. It does not criticize Confucianism, nor does it present the sage as a person with some kind of better understanding of reality. Even the terms Dao and De apparently don‟t mean the same thing in the Nei Ye as they do in the Dao De Jing – for example, both Dao and De are described in some passages as being able to “arrive” and “settle” in a person.

 

Eno: It is particularly interesting in that it attempts to rationalize general practices of self-cultivation, meditational techniques, dietary rules, and so forth, by linking them to a portrait of nature and of metaphysical forces. Looking at the practical aspects of the text, if the author was a devotee of texts such as the Dao de jing then “The Inner Enterprise” may give us some insight into Daoist-style practices which lay behind murky texts such as Laozi’s. On the other hand, given the discussions of Nature and the forces of the universe, the chapter could also be read as a Naturalist text composed by someone devoted to certain traditional meditative and dietary practices assignable to no one school (we will be discussing Naturalism later on).  The typographical arrangement of the text has been made in an effort to make the meaning easier to grasp – the text is not a poem. Still “The Inner Enterprise” is also a text dominated by rhymed sequences, and so a verse-like structure is especially fitting.


Bear in mind that the term repeatedly translated as “heart” actually combines the functions that we generally separate into the heart (affective powers) and mind (cognitive powers). In one particularly clear instance where the cognitive aspect is stressed, the term is translated as “mind.”
When you read the chapter, see whether you can arrive at a theory as to which parts of the texts a) indicate the concrete practices which Daoists undertook, B) suggest the types of rewards which people undertaking those practices may actually have discovered, and c) serve primarily as legitimizing theory to rationalize these practices. See also whether you can spot on your own some passages which resemble Confucian ideas (one particular passage will leap out at you, but look for others, too).

 

Roth: (Kirkland, Introduction): The Neiye seems to be the earliest extant text that explains and encourages self-cultivation through daily, practiced regulation of the forces of life. Those forces include *qi ("life-energy" — the universal force that gives life to all things); and *jing ("vital essence" — one's innate reservoir of qi). (There is no trace here of the much later Chinese concept that jing referred to reproductive fluids.) Like Mencius, the Neiye suggests that the xin was originally as it should be, but now needs rectification (zheng). The xin becomes agitated by excessive activity, which leads to dissipation of one's jing, resulting in confusion, sickness, and death. To preserve one's health and vitality, one must quieten (jing) one's xin. Then one can then attract and retain qi, and other vaguely interrelated forces, such as shen ("spirit" or "spiritual consciousness"), and tao (a vague term, apparently interchangeable with shen and ch'i). (Such concepts are explained more intelligibly in passages of the Huainanzi: see Roth 1991).

 

In the Neiye, shen and tao are external realities, which one must learn to draw into oneself by purifying the body/mind/heart. Since such forces come and go, one must work daily to keep the body well-regulated (e.g., by dietary moderation and proper breathing). But, again like Mencius (and Daode jing 55), the Neiye warns against forceful efforts to control the qi: one cannot make it arrive or stay by an act of will, but only by purifying and realigning oneself. One's ability to achieve those ends is a matter of one's te, "inner power" (cognate with homonym te, "get/getting"). If one's te is sufficient,one will attract and retain qi/shen/tao. Here, te retains its general archaic sense of "a proper disposition toward the unseen forces of life," so it also carries moral overtones. (Mencius, for his part, taught building up one's qi by acts of "correctness," yi.) A person who does these things well is called a "sage" (shengren) — the term for the human ideal shared by the Daode jing and by Neo-Confucians like Zhu Xi. One finds nothing gender-specific about any of the Neiye's concepts, and it is quite conceivable that women as well as men may have engaged in such practices.

 

Shazi Daoren:  A long-overlooked text of classical times, the Neiye ("Inner Cultivation" or "Inner Development") is a text of some 1600 characters, written in rhymed prose, a form close to that of the Daode jing. It sometimes echoes that text and the Zhuangzi, but it lacks many of the concerns found in those works. Generally dated to 350-300 BCE, it is preserved in the Guanzi (ch. 49), along with two later, apparently derivative texts, Xinshu, shang and xia (ch. 36-37). The Neiye had extremely profound effects on Taoism and Chinese culture. It seems to have influenced (1) the form, and  certain contents, of the Daode jing; (2) the self-cultivation beliefs and practices of many later Taoists (from the Huainanzi and Taiping jing to the 20th-century); and (3) certain fundamental concepts of traditional Chinese medicine. It may also have influenced Neo-Confucian ideals of self-cultivation, by way of Mencius' teachings on cultivating the heart/mind (xin) and building up qi (Mengzi 2A.2).

 

The Neiye seems to be the earliest extant text that explains and encourages self-cultivation through daily, practiced regulation of the forces of life. Those forces include *qi ("life-energy" — the universal force that gives life to all things); and *jing ("vital essence" — one's innate reservoir of qi). (There is no trace here of the much later Chinese concept that jing referred to reproductive fluids.) Like Mencius, the Neiye suggests that the xin was originally as it should be, but now needs rectification (zheng). The xin becomes agitated by excessive activity, which leads to
dissipation of one's jing, resulting in confusion, sickness, and death. To preserve one's health and vitality, one must quieten (jing) one's xin. Then one can then attract and retain qi, and other vaguely interrelated forces, such as shen ("spirit" or "spiritual consciousness"), and tao (a vague term, apparently interchangeable with shen and ch'i). (Such concepts are explained more intelligibly in passages of the Huainanzi: see Roth 1991)."

 

Yueya: The Neiye 內業 (Inward Training) is a lesser known elder cousin of the Daodejing. It is part of a set of texts on techniques of the heart-mind (xinshu 心術) in the Book of Master Guan (Guanzi 管子) from the period of classical Daoism (480 B.C.E. to 9 C.E.), and provides detailed principles and instruction for inner cultivation.

 

A.C. Graham, a renowned scholar of Chinese intellectual history, has commented, “'Inward Training'...is important as possibly the oldest ‘mystical’ text in China. And in reference to verse two, “This may well be the earliest Chinese interpretation of the experience of mystical oneness.” Moreover, Harold Roth believes that “Inward Training assumes a significance that has not hereto been appreciated: It is the oldest extant expression of the distinctive mystical practice and philosophy that is the basis of the entire Daoist tradition from its obscure origins to the time of the Huai-nan Tzu [Huainanzi] in the mid-second century B.C.” Inward Training represents one of the key “foundations of Daoist mysticism.” It very possibly links the methods of early Chinese Shamanism with what later emerged as a distinctive Daoist approach.

 

Reid: The Thread of Dao: Unraveling Early Daoist Oral Traditions explores the ancient medical and spiritual culture that blossomed into China’s most celebrated book of wisdom: "The Classic of Dao and Virtue (Dao De Jing, circa 500 BC)."  Instructions in the “art of the heart-mind” are said to have been transcribed and taught long before the time of Confucius, Lao Zi, and the Buddha, with the "Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine," the mythical stories of Zhuang Zi, and indigenous Chinese mindfulness traditions all sprouting from China’s longstanding “heart-mind techniques.”

 

Dan G. Reid translates all four “art of the heart-mind” texts traditionally attributed to the famous advisor, Guan Zi (720-645 BC), along with an early Daoist commentary, and accompanies these translations with his own commentary and textual contrasts based in various Daoist, Buddhist, Confucian, and ancient Chinese medical texts. Reid’s commentary serves to underline the links between early Chinese schools of thought, while highlighting their shared approaches to ”the art of the heart-mind,” nourishing internal energy, and restoring “spiritual intelligence.”

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22 hours ago, dawei said:

The Neiye had extremely profound effects on Taoism and Chinese culture.

If would have been quoted more often, if so. At any event, the main idea of it is simple: 'if you clean it - they will come'.

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very nice text, I didn't even know about it, thanks for sharing

 

The form of the heart is
Spontaneously full and replete,
Spontaneously born and complete.
It loses this form through
care and joy, pleasure and anger, desire and profit-seeking.
If are able to rid itself of
care and joy, pleasure and anger, desire and profit-seeking,
the heart returns to completion.

 

The sage adapts with the times but is not transformed,
follows along with things but is not moved by them.
He is able to be balanced and tranquil
and so he is settled.

 

Not letting things disrupt the senses;
not letting the senses disrupt the heart –
such is called inner grasping.

Edited by Toni

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20 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

If would have been quoted more often, if so. At any event, the main idea of it is simple: 'if you clean it - they will come'.

 

Interesting point... so something I'm looking at.

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Dawei, are you planning to post all the chapters below and make this one long thread? Or were you going to start a new topic for each of the chapters? My strong preference is for the latter option.  I mightn’t add many comments, but I’ll be actively reading it all with interest. 

 

The Neiye is a very significant text for me. Could also be called The Art of the Heart-Mind, or even The Way of the Numinous Xin.  It may not be much quoted directly as a text in other Chinese works but to my mind it concisely expresses core aspects of foundational Chinese cognition. 

 

Dan G Reid’s The Thread of the Dao is also an excellent on the Neiye with extensive commentary. But perhaps left until after the whole text is read and personally meditated on before reading such detailed interpretation by someone else. I find these types of discussion helpful, yet also somewhat paradoxical: 

 

Considering the disposition of this Dao,
How can it be conceived of or discussed?
Cultivate the heart-mind and still your thinking;
The Dao may then be realized.
 

Edited by Yueya
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3 hours ago, Yueya said:

Dawei, are you planning to post all the chapters below and make this one long thread? Or were you going to start a new topic for each of the chapters? My strong preference is for the latter option.  I mightn’t add many comments, but I’ll be actively reading it all with interest. 

 

The Neiye is a very significant text for me. Could also be called The Art of the Heart-Mind, or even The Way of the Numinous Xin.  It may not be much quoted directly as a text in other Chinese works but to my mind it concisely expresses core aspects of foundational Chinese cognition. 

 

Dan G Reid’s The Thread of the Dao is also an excellent on the Neiye with extensive commentary. But perhaps left until after the whole text is read and personally meditated on before reading such detailed interpretation by someone else. I find these types of discussion helpful, yet also somewhat paradoxical: 

 

Considering the disposition of this Dao,
How can it be conceived of or discussed?
Cultivate the heart-mind and still your thinking;
The Dao may then be realized.
 

 

Separate threads for each chapter.   Thanks for the comments and also looking forward to the comments it raises.

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The way to eternity discusses this topic as well an excellent work. Here are a few things that may be interesting.

 

Nowadays, most people spare no effort in advocating democracy, yet few people know they are just inwardly the victims under the dictatorship of their yin pre-heaven mind-wills, like a puppet.

Your pre-heaven nature is taken captive by your worldly heart while your life force at the mercy of your physical form. All you senses come from yin pre-heaven mind-wills, which occasion your life force to be encumbered with your physical form. On account the heavy encumbrances by your physical form there come the death and birth for your life; on account of slavery in which your pre-heaven nature is taken by your worldly heart there come the comings and goings of pre-heaven nature. Hence you know your physical form and your heart are places in which your life force and pre-heaven nature take residence, respectively.
 

letting your heart follow the example of the heaven you will become emptier and emptier, and letting your physical form follow the example of the earth you will fall deeper and deeper in the depths of stillness. So long have you remained in this state that something divine will arise, which comes from the Mysterious Pass---the very center of the heaven and the earth and in which the Great Unification takes residence.

 

The eight kinds of yin pre-heaven mind-will will dominate over you from your cradle to your grave. As a result, your yang pre-heaven mind-will, coming from infinite emptiness and holding the birth and death of all things at its mercy, will become obscure and be buried in oblivion from time to time. The yang pre-heaven mind-will, in general, hardly presents its existence in man's daily life except when people are having sexual intercourse and climaxing---people will get excited mostly because yang pre-heaven mind-will is stirring.

 

 

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I think we should take more seriously what buddhists and daoists teach: ideas and concepts are empty, and theories too. So we better forget them

Edited by Toni

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The emptiness and stillness of all things, Including the heart of this topic

 

the problem is after birth mind- will most take this as their master.

 

only before birth mind- will can penetrate the mystery it has no form, no birth and no death. Only emptiness and stillness combined can open the gate.

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Looking forward to this study.

 

I think care needs to be taken that later influences ... Buddhism and the developed esoteric schools of Daoism ... be identified if we are going to reference their technic and concepts. I have come to consider Neiye as foundational texts that later traditions drew on as their practices evolved. Many of us are not familiar with these later traditions. I think it were better to keep as close to the Neiye texts as possible.

 

 

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Some additional comments on the Neiye:

 

1. If you want a full chinese text on it, see ctext:  https://ctext.org/guanzi/nei-ye

 

2. Several phrases are used by daoist and confucians in well known latter works:

Flood like Qi… used also by Mencius.

losing onself, sitting and forgetting,  fasting of the mind… ZZ

Dao that cannot be spoken… LZ

Guarding/embracing the One… Taiping texts and LZ

 

3. A work like this shows a very close adoption of meaning:

 

Classic of Inner Contemplation

 With always empty Heart and tranquil Shen

The Dao naturally arrives to its residences

 

4. The Jade Inscription on a block is the other oldest mentions of breathing and reads as:

 

To circulate Qi;

Deepen then store,

Store then extend;

Extend then descend,

Descend then settle;

Settle then stable,

Stable then sprout;

Sprout then grow,

Grow then retreat;

Retreat then (return to) the Heavens.

The secret of the Heavens is above.

The secret of Earth is below.

Follow (this principle) then (you will) live (a long life),

Go against (this principle) then (you will) die (as a normal person).

 

Can compare to the Neiye as:

 

For all [to practice] this Way:
You must coil, you must contract, 
You must uncoil, you must expand,
You must be firm, you must be regular [in this practice].
Hold fast to this excellent [practice]; do not let go of it.
Chase away the excessive; abandon the trivial.
And when you reach its ultimate limit
You will return to the Way and its inner power. (18, tr. Roth 1999: 78)

 

5. Zhengxing 正形 "aligning the body" is a basic Neiye practice, and jing chu qi she 敬除其舍 "cleaning out the lodging place of the numinous" resembles this shen jianglai she 神將來舍 "the numinous will enter its lodging place".

 

In the second Zhuangzi passage, Laozi instructs Nanrong Zhu (南榮) about meditation practices by paraphrasing, if not quoting, the Neiye.

The practice for guarding vitality [衛生之經]:
Can you embrace the One [
能抱一乎]?
Can you not lose it [
能勿失乎]?
Can you not resort to divining by tortoise or milfoil [
能無卜筮]?
Yet know good and bad fortune [
而知吉凶乎]?
Can you be still? Can you cease [
能止乎能已乎]?
Can you quit (seeking for) it in others [
能舍諸人]
And seek for within yourself [
而求諸己乎]?
Can you be casual?
Can you be naive?
Can you be like a child?
The child howls all day but its throat does not become hoarse. (tr. Roth 1999: 159)

 

These Zhuangzi instructions are an almost verbatim repetition of Neiye Verse 19.

By concentrating your vital breath as if numinous, 
The myriad things will all be contained within you.
Can you concentrate? Can you unite with them [
能一乎]?
Can you not resort to divining by tortoise or milfoil [
能無卜筮]?
Yet know bad and good fortune [
而知吉凶乎]?
Can you stop? Can you cease [
能止乎能已乎]?
Can you not seek it in others [
能勿求諸人]?,
Yet attain it within yourself [
而得之己乎]? … (tr. Roth 1999: 82)

 

6. Mencius's description of a sage's qi vital energy as haoran 浩然 "flood-like" was likely taken from this Neiye passage:

 

For those who preserve and naturally generate vital essence 
On the outside a calmness will flourish. 
Stored inside, we take it to be the well spring. 
Floodlike, it harmonizes and equalizes [
浩然和平]
And we take it to be the fount of the vital energy. (15, tr. Roth 1999: 74)

Graham dates the Neiye from the 4th century BCE, and says its practices may predate the hypothetical split between Confucianism and Daoism (1989: 100).

 

7. Another Neiye-Mencius textual parallel exists between "By concentrating your vital breath as if numinous, / The myriad things will all be contained within you [摶氣如神萬物備存]." (19, tr. Roth 1999: 82, see Zhuangzi above) and "Mencius said, 'The myriad things are all here at my disposal in myself [萬物皆備於我矣]. There is no greater joy than to look back into oneself and find integrity'." (7A/4, tr. Graham 1989: 127, cf. Legge 1875: 345)

 

8. Laozi often mentions calming the heart, embracing One... etc.  but pay attention to the chapters 10, 15, 16, 22.

 

Edited by dawei
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@dawei

 

Thanks for listing those similarities, most of which I was aware of. That’s why many of us consider that the Neiye expresses foundational aspects of Chinese cognition. No problems with that. What I thought Taoist Texts was asking was why don’t we find the Neiye as a text referenced in later works like we do with the Laozi, Zhuangzi etc. As far as I know Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji) doesn’t mention it either. 

 

For me, answering this question is not important. It’s something for historians to speculate about. And no one seems to question that the Neiye predates these other better known works.  I like the text because I found in it strong parallels with my own experience. It puts into words and takes further core aspects of what’s important for me.  I find it extremely encouraging to know that people have been working along these lines for thousands of years. These ancient Chinese feel like my spiritual ancestors.  

 

Incidentally, I was surprised to see my version of the Neiye referenced here. It’s something I did for myself and made into a printed booklet so I’d have a hardcopy at hand. Mine is not a translation from classical Chinese like the other four, but a composite based on Roth’s work with reference to other translators, especially Louis Komjathy.  For anyone interested, it’s available for free download here as a pdf file. And it has excellent pictures.  
    
 

 

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5 hours ago, Yueya said:

For me, answering this question is not important. It’s something for historians to speculate about. And no one seems to question that the Neiye predates these other better known works.  I like the text because I found in it strong parallels with my own experience. It puts into words and takes further core aspects of what’s important for me.  I find it extremely encouraging to know that people have been working along these lines for thousands of years. These ancient Chinese feel like my spiritual ancestors.  

 

Hi Yueya,

 

I came across Neiye for the first time only last month. Thanks to dawei's many posts on it, Neiye has now caught my attention for good.

 

I had indicated elsewhere before that I am a third generation overseas Chinese and I am poor in my Mandarin. So I can only resort to the English texts on Neiye.

 

I am comfortable with English texts (I grew up with them) ~ so long as they are honestly written. There is not a perfect text for me - as no two writers can ever be living the same Life.

 

I will find a text meaningful/useful... if I can purposefully/honestly relate it to my life experiences and what some fellow travelers are trying to share with others. Experiential alignment is key  for me.

 

Your deference/reference to the ancient Chinese as my spiritual ancestors is moving.

 

5 hours ago, Yueya said:

I was surprised to see my version of the Neiye referenced here. It’s something I did for myself and made into a printed booklet so I’d have a hardcopy at hand. Mine is not a translation from classical Chinese like the other four, but a composite based on Roth’s work with reference to other translators, especially Louis Komjathy.  For anyone interested, it’s available for free download here as a pdf file

 

Thank you for your pdf file - my second Taoism related text. My first is DDJ Chapter 42 ~ introduced to me by Jim (Marblehead).

 

Like Chapter 42, your booklet has comes alive for me - I can almost feel the qi moving in me experientially (some shared common chords/nadis somewhere?)... when reading it for the first time.

 

I will read your composite a couple more times ~ knowing full well that each time my qi may flow differently within.

 

On 5/4/2018 at 8:04 AM, Yueya said:

What first struck me about the Neiye is its simplicity – ... possibly the earliest Chinese attempt to explain the practice of inner cultivation ... of what later became known as Daoism. The terminology lacks the clear distinctions – and the theory lacks the logical refinement and sophistication of latter works – but in its raw simplicity it also says it all.  Sophisticated theory and developed systems of practice are all well and good in their place – but they can also trap us in the realm of our human created theory.

 

Thank you for your simplicity re your contribution.

 

You have indicated ~

In the utter silence

Of a temple,

A cicada’s voice alone

Penetrates the rocks.

 

 Can ~ (a) my mind/body be a temple (b) my qi be a cicada's voice and (c) my chakras be the rocks?

 

- Anand

 

Edited by Limahong
Enhance ...
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5 hours ago, Yueya said:

@dawei

 

Thanks for listing those similarities, most of which I was aware of. That’s why many of us consider that the Neiye expresses foundational aspects of Chinese cognition. No problems with that. What I thought Taoist Texts was asking was why don’t we find the Neiye as a text referenced in later works like we do with the Laozi, Zhuangzi etc. As far as I know Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji) doesn’t mention it either. 

 

For me, answering this question is not important. It’s something for historians to speculate about. 

 

 

I had already started looked gathering connections before Taoist text made his comment anyways, so his comments were leading.  😀

 

Yes, Sima Qian might not of mentioned it but he seemed hung on Huang lao.  Enough Daoist and Confucians were affected by the sensibilities of the Neiye... as has been shown of the metaphysical poet Donne.  I was equally convinced and wasn’t going to get into a full rebuke. 

 

I’ve shifted some of my thought on it already, enough that it’s enough for me to see its position.  But as Guanzi was a legalistic, I find smiles he hide this work among his collected ones. The earliest commentary on laozi was another legalistic, Hanfeizi, so the legalistic deserve their day :)

 

i have in other places raised the legalistic vs daoist groups and glad to add this work as yet another bridge.  As another work states, The Dao produced Law...

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I downloaded and read with some anticipation the VARIETIES pdf offered up in OP as something to get started.

 

Don't  know about y'all but I was fairly disappointed. :(

 

I think what I was anticipating was a discussion that showed how ideas presented as foundational notions in Neiye gave rise to different esoteric schools. It wasn't that at all. It was largely contrast in a ... in a negative sort of way ... of the Neiye to DDJ and Zhuangzi. I have run across Kirkland before and had not thought much of his analyses but gave VARIETIES a read anyway. Again, his interpretations rubbed me wrong.

 

Did anyone else have trouble with the Kirkland pdf?

 

Maybe it was just me.

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6 hours ago, OldDog said:

I downloaded and read with some anticipation the VARIETIES pdf offered up in OP as something to get started.

 

Don't  know about y'all but I was fairly disappointed. :(

 

I think what I was anticipating was a discussion that showed how ideas presented as foundational notions in Neiye gave rise to different esoteric schools. It wasn't that at all. It was largely contrast in a ... in a negative sort of way ... of the Neiye to DDJ and Zhuangzi. I have run across Kirkland before and had not thought much of his analyses but gave VARIETIES a read anyway. Again, his interpretations rubbed me wrong.

 

Did anyone else have trouble with the Kirkland pdf?

 

Maybe it was just me.

 

I find him controversial on some level but I think he said a lot that was correct.

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I also find him interesting. He has more articles on daoism. In one he discusses the importance of altruism in daoism. He knows the tradition well

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14 hours ago, OldDog said:

I think what I was anticipating was a discussion that showed how ideas presented as foundational notions in Neiye gave rise to different esoteric schools

that would have been swell except no one is quite sure what are those foundational notions are exactly

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On 5/7/2019 at 7:56 AM, dawei said:

Linnell: While available for millennia, the Nei Ye has just started to receive serious scholarly attention in the last few decades. It describes how to build up and store various spiritual forces such as Qi and “essence” (there is no indication that “essence” refers to reproductive fluids, which appeared later in Chinese thought), and how to control one‟s heart/mind. It shows no influence of any school of Chinese religious or philosophical thought, other than using a few basic Confucian terms. It does have a few concepts in common with the work by Mencius, but as they were probably both written about the same time it is impossible to tell who influenced who (or if they were both influenced by something else).


While the Nei Ye has many similarities, including writing style, with the Dao De Jing, it also differs significantly in its perspective. For instance, there is no social commentary, no political or military advice, nor any explanation of how the universe was created or how it works

almost all this is patently false, particularly bolded

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7 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

... almost all this is patently false, particularly bolded ...

 

I found it credible enough. At least it matched up with my impressions on reading the Neiye.

 

Would you cite examples from the Neiye text that support your view that Linnell's comments are incorrect?

 

 

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59 minutes ago, OldDog said:

Would you cite examples from the Neiye text that support your view that Linnell's comments are incorrect?

 

 

Sure " For instance, there is no social commentary, no political or military advice,"

 

Quote

 

Linnell:

是 故 民 氣 Thus the Qi of the citizens :

 

This combo minqi is a specific technical term meaning 'the energy of the nation', it  is something that should be gauged, controlled and used for politics=governing the nation. The translators did not recognized it as a political  lingo and confused it with some kind of personal qi. But the latter is only means to an end of controlling the former.

https://ctext.org/pre-qin-and-han/ens?searchu=民氣 &page=2

 

"nor any explanation of how the universe was created or how it works"

 

Umm, the very first verse explains what are stars made of and what makes all things tick.  

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

The translators did not recognized it as a political  lingo and confused it with some kind of personal qi.

 

Yeah, this occurs often, especially in DDJ. There is a running notion that these things can have a dual meaning ... and certainly it's not difficult to take the obvious socio-political  references metaphorically and see meaning in personal practice. Nothing wrong with that unless you insist on a strict literal interpretation. 

 

22 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

the very first verse explains what are stars made of and what makes all things tic

 

I've seen this argument about lack of cosmology before. I can only think that there are those that are looking for a more formal cosmology that can be compared with western notions. I personally, see the underlying Chinese cosmology in most ancient texts.

 

Thanks.

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14 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

almost all this is patently false, particularly bolded

 

I actually agree on most :)

 

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