• javi2541997
    595
    For example, what are your thoughts on the recent debate regarding which metaphor is more useful or helpful - the ladder or the cascade ?Amity

    To be honest, I choose the cascade method because for me it is more useful. Probably because I saw explained it in the video you shared with me so I literally see TTC as cascade since that day. Ladder could be more difficult because steps could mean one phrase or verse are above or higher to another but I do not see it as that way. Also, I remember the conversation of Lao-Tzu with Tu-Fu. Here is when Lao explained that TTC, as water, flows over us during our lives. I guess this is why cascade metaphor is more accurate.

    Is that why you picked out the final verse ?Amity

    To be honest I picked the final verse because there is a strange phrase (supposedly from Lao-Tzu) that I wanted to share but I don’t know their origin neither if it is verified. The phrase literally says: I have finished. Perhaps, you will find my discourse so rough, not subtle neither wisely.

    This phrase randomly appears in my version but surprisingly I do not see it along internet so I don’t know if it is true at all...
  • Amity
    1.3k

    Yes. Perhaps we should join hands and sing the verses. Connecting :sparkle:
    Seriously, thanks for all your input, even if sometimes I struggle, it is worth the effort.
  • Amity
    1.3k
    Here is when Lao explained that TTC, as water, flows over us during our lives. I guess this is why cascade metaphor is more accurate.javi2541997

    Yes, I can see it as more in keeping with the natural flow.
    However, I think the ladder can be useful too.
    In a certain verse where levels or hierarchies are being described. Descending from some Good Ideal, degenerating to the Bad Non-Ideal. Or ascending...from a lower self to a higher one ?

    I was thinking not only of the material rungs but also the spaces between the rungs.
    The rungs need the flow of space as well as the strength of the joints.
    If the rungs are wide enough, they can hold more than one aspect of a type.
    We are multifaceted beings - connected in space -
    Oh, I'm getting carried away...

    The phrase literally says: I have finished. Perhaps, you will find my discourse so rough, not subtle neither wisely.

    This phrase randomly appears in my version but surprisingly I do not see it along internet so I don’t know if it is true at all...
    javi2541997

    How interesting is that !
    Can you copy the whole verse out to show where it appears in context ?

    [Edit re ladder metaphor: https://theladderofeducation.weebly.com/the-ladder-metaphor.html ]
  • Amity
    1.3k
    Ladder could be more difficult because steps could mean one phrase or verse are above or higher to another but I do not see it as that way.javi2541997

    Understood.
    This brings in the issue of connectedness.

    Tim Chilcott talks about it in his Introduction and how he gets over the problems created by disconnection in the text.
    http://www.tclt.org.uk/laozi/Daode_Jing_2011.pdf

    I scribbled some notes or quotes:
    So, sometimes there are small jumps between different ideas but other times there are bigger illogical steps. He chooses to avoid the false connections made by other translators when they introduce the joining words, like 'hence' or 'and so'.
    He presents the separate sayings as separate. He prefers real incongruity to contrived cohesiveness.

    I like this kind of KISS - keeping it short and simple :kiss:
  • javi2541997
    595
    I was thinking not only of the material rungs but also the spaces between the rungs.
    The rungs need the flow of space as well as the strength of the joints.
    If the rungs are wide enough, they can hold more than one aspect of a type.
    We are multifaceted beings - connected in space -
    Amity

    This point is so interesting! I didn’t notice it as this way. Now, as you explained the space between the rugs I see it differently too. It could be more complex ladder metaphor because somehow It passes to my mind the act of “climbing” and then, I thought that every paragraph was different p. But now, it is more clear about the space example or metaphor.

    He presents the separate sayings as separate. He prefers real incongruity to contrived cohesiveness.Amity

    Yes. Agreed. Tao used to put this criteria to explain balance or equilibrium, etc...
  • javi2541997
    595
    How interesting is that !
    Can you copy the whole verse out to show where it appears in context ?
    Amity

    Look, here appears in my book. It is Spanish. But you can see it is in different context or probably he is saying goodbye because it is in parentheses... and then is when the verse starts. I refer the first paragraph, when the parentheses ends.

    CdDyaUb.jpg
  • Possibility
    2k
    For example, what are your thoughts on the recent debate regarding which metaphor is more useful or helpful - the ladder or the cascade ?
    — Amity

    To be honest, I choose the cascade method because for me it is more useful. Probably because I saw explained it in the video you shared with me so I literally see TTC as cascade since that day. Ladder could be more difficult because steps could mean one phrase or verse are above or higher to another but I do not see it as that way. Also, I remember the conversation of Lao-Tzu with Tu-Fu. Here is when Lao explained that TTC, as water, flows over us during our lives. I guess this is why cascade metaphor is more accurate.
    javi2541997

    My own use of ‘cascade’ was in reference to its secondary meaning: a process whereby something, typically information or knowledge, is successively passed on; a succession of devices or stages in a process, each of which triggers or initiates the next. The idea I didn’t want to lose in simplifying the metaphor to ‘ladder’ was that of the results of the previous stage also being part of each subsequent stage in the process, as much as the sense of flow that the word conveys.

    I also wanted to get away from any sense of hierarchy, as I think this is more to do with the human condition of affect (desire) than with the Tao.

    Personally, I understand the structure as more of a dimensional relation - like rendering a tessaract, but the metaphor is maybe not so pretty.
  • Amity
    1.3k
    somehow It passes to my mind the act of “climbing”javi2541997

    Yes. I edited my post to include that upward path. Underlined.
    Descending from some Good Ideal, degenerating to the Bad Non-Ideal. Or ascending...from a lower self to a higher one ?Amity
  • Amity
    1.3k
    I refer the first paragraph, when the parentheses ends.javi2541997
    Thanks :up:
    I will try to resist the temptation to go on an Easter egg hunt. That's over :smile:
  • javi2541997
    595
    Personally, I understand the structure as more of a dimensional relation - like rendering a tessaract, but the metaphor is maybe not so pretty.Possibility

    This one sounds so interesting but I don’t get it because I don’t understand what is a tessaract. When I search in internet appears this: Tesseract is an optical character recognition engine for various operating systems. It is free software, released under the Apache License.Originally developed by Hewlett-Packard as proprietary software in the 1980s, it was released as open source in 2005 and development has been sponsored by Google since 2006

    I guess I am in the wrong way because that is literally tech :rofl:
  • javi2541997
    595
    Thanks :up:
    I will try to resist the temptation to go on an Easter egg hunt. That's over
    Amity

    You are welcome :up:
    I don’t think it is an Easter Egg because I guess it is just a random phrase by the author who translated. I start losing credibility in the book I have...
  • Amity
    1.3k

    I googled. First thing that came up was from wiki:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesseract
  • Possibility
    2k
    This one sounds so interesting but I don’t get it because I don’t understand what is a tessaract.javi2541997

    Sorry, spelling error: I meant tesseract.

    There’s no need to get into the technical stuff. Basically, the tesseract (4D) is to a cube (3D) as the cube is to a square (2D), as the square is to a line (1D), and as the line is to a point.
  • javi2541997
    595
    I googled. First thing that came up was from wiki:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesseract
    Amity

    Thanks I misspelled previously this is why a random tech word appeared.
  • javi2541997
    595
    Basically, the tesseract (4D) is to a cube (3D) as the cube is to a square (2D), as the square is to a line (1D), and as the line is to a point.Possibility

    I understand it now. I really like your metaphor and it reminds me the cascade one but yours is more technical and specific. So I guess it is pretty to use too.
    Well, inside TTC we can use as many as metaphors we could imagine because it is a really free interpretation poem.
  • Amity
    1.3k

    I copied and pasted. I think the search engine corrected the spelling. Clever :nerd:
  • javi2541997
    595


    Wow that’s so cool the machine thinking and acting cleverly than the human :100:
  • Amity
    1.3k
    Audio versions of the TTC on YouTube

    English:
    Tao Te Ching - Read by Wayne Dyer with Music & Nature Sounds (Binaural Beats) 1hr 5 mins
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73_Voet2fnc
    I like it. Gentle sounds. But might get irritating...
    From Comment below the video:
    You don't need to start with the beginning. You can literally play this from any point in the video and still gain something. I have a special liking for the second half which covers leadership and governance.

    I claim no rights to the content in this audio reading. This video is not being monetized. It is a gift to you. I put this together only because I found NO OTHER source on YouTube that has put this Wayne Dyer reading to Binaural Beats and nature sounds, and I felt like we really needed this version. Listen before bed. Listen in the morning. Listen when you just need to slow down and gather your thoughts before making an important decision.


    Mandarin:
    Tao Te Ching - Full Edition with Cartoon 中国国学-老子Laozi 道德经-动漫版全 dào dé jīnɡ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSk8yZaZRaA

    This is a bit...er...lively and I have no idea where the actual TTC starts and ends. 1hr 52 mins.
    Not feeling it.

    Can't find what I want :sad:
    A meditative and gentle Chinese version of the TTC with subtitles. To drift along with...

    One with no music. No distraction.
    Tao Te Ching or The Book Of The Way by Lao Tzu Translation by S. Mitchell.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2UYch2JnO4

    Has anyone listened to the TTC - bought an audio book - any recommendations ?
    Help ?!
  • javi2541997
    595
    Mandarin:
    Tao Te Ching - Full Edition with Cartoon 中国国学-老子Laozi 道德经-动漫版全 dào dé jīnɡ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSk8yZaZRaA
    Amity

    It started with the story/legend of Tu-Fu! Pretty good. I liked it. I don’t know what it says but it is so interesting and beautiful lol.

    Tao Te Ching - Read by Wayne Dyer with Music & Nature Sounds (Binaural Beats) 1hr 5 mins
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73_Voet2fnc
    I like it. Gentle sounds.
    From Comment below the video:
    You don't need to start with the beginning. You can literally play this from any point in the video and still gain something. I have a special liking for the second half which covers leadership and governance.
    Amity

    Thanks for sharing this links. Appreciated. :100:
  • Amity
    1.3k

    You are welcome :smile:
    But I now have a problem.
    When I went to Google Translate - everything but everything is written in Chinese characters :roll:
    No idea how to change this :brow:
    Help ?!
  • javi2541997
    595


    I checked it again and I see that, sadly, the opened text for translation or subtitles is not available. So I do not know how to help
  • Amity
    1.3k
    Thanks - my google translate problem now fixed.
  • Possibility
    2k
    Well, inside TTC we can use as many as metaphors we could imagine because it is a really free interpretation poem.javi2541997

    I find it’s like a written piece of music. The notes are presented in a formal structure, and each note, bar, melody and movement has a certain quality that is laid out for the musician in the text. But each musician interprets it in their own way, and is under no obligation to even follow the formal structure precisely.

    For those of us who can’t read the original score, we have a wide variation of musician performances available to draw from. Some versions speak to us more than others, but it is in the variability between them all that we recognise none of these performances is equal to the original score.

    If we attempt to follow the original score alongside these various performances, we can start to see where each musician has taken liberties with the score structure, to suit their personal performance style or instrument, or to convey a particular sentiment. It is their prerogative, after all.

    I guess the question becomes: why are we exploring an interpretation of this piece of music? Is it to forge our own personal performance of it, our own interpretation among the many, or is it to help others connect with the truth of the composition, with what the score was reaching towards?
  • javi2541997
    595


    I find it’s like a written piece of music. The notes are presented in a formal structure, and each note, bar, melody and movement has a certain quality that is laid out for the musician in the text. But each musician interprets it in their own way, and is under no obligation to even follow the formal structure precisely.

    Interesting interpretation. I guess this happens with the most of the art that are so complex and abstract. When a piece of work can be interpreted furthermore than the original structure tend to pass a lot of generations or centuries because it can be interpreted depending in the era and social circumstances.
    Nevertheless, we also have to keep in mind the original one.
  • T Clark
    4.8k
    It does have a ‘cherry-picking’ feel to it sometimes, but then I’m reminded that your approach was always going to be personal, and that my criticisms come across as quite uncharitable in this context, so I do apologise.Possibility

    It's not really cherry-picking. I don't take any of the translations as right or wrong. I'm using them to build up a collage of the Tao. I see myself as a forensic sketch artist trying to make up a picture of it based on witness descriptions.

    I don't think you have been uncharitable.

    I think you misunderstand where I was going with this, but I have to say that I disagree with your first sentence here. The Tao does not need to relate to anything, sure - but WE do. The point of the TTC is that we CAN relate to the Tao, and in fact that is ALL we can do with it - we can’t fully understand it or define it or describe it. All we can do is build relational structures as scaffolding, enabling us to relate to the Tao, in a qualitative sense, with all that we are.Possibility

    I'm trying to decide whether I agree with this or not... Ok. I'll agree with a stipulation. I still think "relate" is the wrong word, but I'm not sure what the right word is.

    I’m not suggesting that ‘sincerity’ as a word cannot fit - only that the way we understand the concept of sincerity consolidates the relational quality so that it stands in isolation, as one of the ‘10,000 things’. There is some ‘unpacking’ that needs to occur to allow its quality to flow freely. For me, there is a noticeable energy flow difference between sincerity in or of the Tao (which is not the Tao), and faithfulness as qualitative relation to the Tao.Possibility

    I think this is responsive to what you've written. I hope so. The Tao gave birth to the 10,000 things. That is the relation between them. I guess the only one. I have not resolved for myself how we get from the Tao to the 10,000 things. What I always told myself was that it was people naming things that did it, without putting any more thought into it than that. I still think that makes sense, but I'm pretty sure it's not what Lao Tzu had in mind. That's as close as I have come to recognizing a relationship between the Tao and the world. I think the idea of "te," which comes up later in the TTC, has something to do with it.

    I recognise that it’s a metaphor, but that’s not really an excuse - what we refer to as ‘metaphor’ in an English translation of ancient Chinese is a recognition of the qualitative uncertainty and subjectivity in relational structure, which the English language (and even modern Chinese) attempts to conceal by consolidating concepts - this is why our language doesn’t work that well when it comes to the Tao.Possibility

    I don't understand what you're trying to say. No language works that well when it comes to the Tao.
  • T Clark
    4.8k
    I think with some of our fixation on the meaning of words we are taken away from this element.
    We might be in danger of losing our way, if we cannot also take time to appreciate the sounds.
    Amity

    I don't disagree with you, but I just don't know what to do about it.
  • T Clark
    4.8k
    Has anyone listened to the TTC - bought an audio book - any recommendations ?
    Help ?!
    Amity

    Libravox, a wonderful free audio book site, has the Tao Te Ching in English. I don't know if it has it in Chinese.
  • Amity
    1.3k
    I find it’s like a written piece of music. The notes are presented in a formal structure, and each note, bar, melody and movement has a certain quality that is laid out for the musician in the text.

    I guess this happens with the most of the art that are so complex and abstract. When a piece of work can be interpreted furthermore than the original structure tend to pass a lot of generations or centuries because it can be interpreted depending in the era and social circumstances.
    Nevertheless, we also have to keep in mind the original one.
    javi2541997

    I agree the original is important to keep in mind. However, I think the original TTC is a problematic concept. Originally music was played naturally by ear. I imagine the voice would be the first instrument.
    To sing, to express joy or emotion...to send a message of love ?

    The notation systems were added later as guides with notes as reminders - not only what note is to be played but how e.g. andante, accelerando and for how long, when to rest.
    Also the volume - pianissimo ( very soft, gentle), fortissimo ( very strong, loud). Each instrument follows the score but has its own part to play in an orchestra. Each singer in a choir....
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Italian_musical_terms_used_in_English

    To return to the text and the modern ways of presentation and interpretation.
    Clearly there are many; written translations, oral and aural.
    I picked out 3 different ways to listen to the TTC on YouTube. The mandarin lively cartoon style didn't do much for me but @javi2541997 gave it a :up:
    Sometimes the personal appreciation can depend on the mood and energy of the listener - if we need calm or if we want stimulation.
    The message stays the same, only we hear it differently.

    Song writers can sing their own or others cover the original.
    To compare and contrast performance is fascinating. From the Deep Songs thread:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/518043

    The original can be more 'real' or natural. However, it can be enhanced or otherwise - depending.
    The important point here is that the message is accessible to a whole lot more people than the original.

    The poems or verses of the TTC are not the songs as sung by one author. It would appear that they are a collection developed over a period of time by different poets.
    As with any other ancient texts, what we have at best is the oldest manuscripts that have been found.
    There may have been at that time other versions.

    For me, this means finding the best that fits my ears. Even if not the 'authentic' original whatever that might be...
    I want to hear the sounds as well as read the words. I can also learn to appreciate those I am not currently attuned to.
    There is a wisdom within the TTC but written and read by humans it will not be perfect understanding.

    Interesting though to think of the musical term 'Da Capo' which means to return to the beginning.
    From the beginning, from the head...
    Just as in some of the verses, there is a return from the end lines to the beginning...
    Also, the repeated phrases - just as in music, the motifs play the dominant or recurring idea.
  • Amity
    1.3k
    I think with some of our fixation on the meaning of words we are taken away from this element.
    We might be in danger of losing our way, if we cannot also take time to appreciate the sounds.
    — Amity

    I don't disagree with you, but I just don't know what to do about it.
    T Clark

    We can consider whether it matters or if something needs to be done at all.
    We can consider what is it we are fixed on and why.
    We can look to the TTC itself, if we can get past the blockage.

    I think you answered this yourself earlier.
    Fixation can mean an act of concentrating directly on something with the eyes.
    Didn't you talk of using peripheral vision ?
    Couldn't this also include - lifting eyes from textual analysis simply to appreciate the sound and rhythm.
    Another way of looking...
    Someone suggested that we can read it aloud. Actively listen to our own voice - externally rather than the internal chatter...

    Another thing I thought of.
    About a ladder as it happens.
    I have a fear of heights, the manmade type, especially unstable ladders.
    So, why was it I found myself as an inebriated youth climbing up a long ladder to the top of a water tower. Madness. The aim was not a good one. To see the view ? No. Just because my friends were doing it.

    I got stuck half way up, paralysed with fear.
    I couldn't go up or down.
    What was required - help from others both above and below me. Listening to them and taking a few deep breaths. Step by step descending with utmost care and attention.

    Does this apply to the text? Is our aim understanding or what ?

    I guess the question becomes: why are we exploring an interpretation of this piece of music? Is it to forge our own personal performance of it, our own interpretation among the many, or is it to help others connect with the truth of the composition, with what the score was reaching towards?Possibility

    Is there a fear that if we don't understand one bit perfectly, then we stay there. Progress halted.
    If your aim is to make a collage of all different interpretations or bits of texts - then perhaps there can be something of an obsessive desire involved...
    This can sometimes be seen as un-natural. But hang on, if it is natural to you then why not ?
    Generating a novel way of looking by combining ideas, isn't that the sign of genius ? :nerd:
    Ascending...step by step...
    Sometimes it means less attention paid to other aspects. Again, it's all about balance.
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