enuffing

Videos about Zhuangzi Stories

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Thank you  @enuffing for the link. Moeller's excellent philosophical insights shaped my initial understanding of the worldview that is sometimes referred to as classical Daoism. It's a worldview that very much resonates with me. I have read all his books on Daoism and also his two books on Luhmann's systems theory. I highly recommend them all. 

 

The other video Moeller has posted on his YouTube channel gives his insights into the Butterfly Dream:

 

 

Not long after I joined Dao Bums I started a topic on this based on Moeller's interpretation:

 

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Wow, thank you Yueya, you started a great discussion there! 

 

It sounds like you are interested in Moeller's interpretations... Be sure to subscribe because he has quite ambitious plans for this YouTube channel ^_^

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Subscribes. When I find time to watch the videos, I'll be back :)

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And what are other people opinion about his interpretation? Is this his own interpretation or is this interpretation based on traditional scholar studies?

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Posted (edited)

I’m not sure if what is presented are the authors personal opinions as much as they are potential or likely possible meanings based on his own scholarly study of the text history and opinion, where one or all interpretations could have been intended. 
 

The zhuangzi is at times a mess of perspectives and emphasis. I don’t think anyone is certain why that is. I don’t think there is commentary on zhuangzi until hundreds of years after it was supposed to be written. There  are many interpretations of any given story in it. These interpretations are informed by our perspectives..so I think theres a lot of reading any number of ideas into some of these stories. Translation  is yet another hurdle for interpreting. 
 

I think it is very good to know zhuangzi relationship to The philosophy of the time and historical background of Chinese society at the time. It likely puts some things into light that many would otherwise not understand. It opens up potential interpretations. 
 

I like the videos. For whatever reason when I read or hear the butterfly story told I never think of the idea of not holding to static identity. I’m usually just reading or hearing it and thinking..that’s cute.. you know.. who knows what’s real? next. That’s probably because zhuangzi does a better job,in my opinion, hammering these things out plainly in those beginning chapters. Some of the concepts zhuangzi speaks of are just hard for me to read into the little stories.  So yeah now the butterfly will remind me of that deeper meaning. Awesome. 

Most of the ideas being discussed are taken from zhuangzi whether it’s what he actually meant to say with these given stories, I don’t know. I think reading zhuangzis ideas into his sometimes vague stories is not a bad way to go. 
 

These are good videos because they explore perspective, which is very zhuangzi. Hell if one man actually wrote the whole book then he really could’ve held/entertained/was ambivalent to multiple points of view on a number of subjects.   I don’t think anyone can know the full intentions. 
 

 

Edited by lrn2livorlive2lrn
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I've haven't seen these videos, but I thought Moeller made some strong arguments for his case based on traditional sources in his Daoism Explained. Even the way the story is translated reflects Western concepts. 

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The zhuangzi talks about how ancient knowledge would often be useless without the perspective or conditions of the time the knowledge is from. To only be exposed to a western perspective translation which is deaf to the perspective/conditions of the time is kind of like case in point . Even the Chinese commentaries hundreds of years after differ on their opinions. It’s an exaggeration I guess in this case that it’s useless but it definitely could be misleading. 
 

 I think if you find an outlook to be true to you you go with that and your experience, leaving yourself open to change. I don’t get the feeling from that inner chapter zhuangzi that he wants you to follow him as much as he wants to free himself and others from BS. 
I do read western translations of this ancient Chinese book that has already been edited many times , over many years. I can only make of it what I can. It is funny to me trying to nail down what zhuangzi is saying or trying to sort out other confusing aspects of the text 

because how dismissive he is about everything.  It is strangely fitting that the situation is so garbled. 

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Posted (edited)

The butterfly video is great. 

 

As far as understanding it goes, the required perspective in this case is the non-dual perspective. This is the perspective seen in Daoism, Buddhism, Sufism, etc., often described with seemingly different or incongruous conceptual frameworks, though this is illusory as they are wholly compatible.

 

In the non-dual perspective there is ONLY awareness present.

 

If "your" hand is seen, there is "hand awareness".

 

If a butterfly is seen there is "butterfly awareness".

 

If there is looking in a mirror, there is "figure in the mirror (insert name here) awareness. 

 

Self is not the "observers" point of view... the self is just another object that awareness inhabits. Awareness is always where it is sensed, not from any central viewpoint, and is ultimately empty of any appellation or qualities.

Edited by stirling

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