• Valentinus
    1.6k

    I am not a hater. Maybe you are not either. Proof is in the pudding.
  • hope
    216
    you write books. What are they called, and where can we can get them?Apollodorus

    Then I would have to reveal my real name, which is against the rules and a violation of my privacy.

    duh
  • hope
    216


    Attack the argument, not the person making it.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k

    I thought I was observing that principle.
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k


    So, then what's the point telling us that you write books???

    I'm not criticizing you. I actually agree with some of the things you're saying.

    What have you got to hide or fear if what you're saying is true?
  • hope
    216
    I thought I was observing that principle.Valentinus

    Stop talking about me, and stop talking about yourself. and start talking about the ideas being presented. Get it?
  • hope
    216
    What have you got to hideApollodorus

    Like I already said: my true identity in the real world.

    On here I am Neo, in the real world I am Mr. Anderson.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k

    I get it. But there you are, doing other stuff.
  • hope
    216


    If you want to talk about people then host a talk show like Oprah lol
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k


    I fully respect everyone's privacy, that's not an issue for me.

    However, you write books but you don't want people to know that you write books.

    Then why are you telling people that you write books?
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    It doesn't sound like you read much of the thread you commented upon.
  • hope
    216
    It doesn't sound like you read much of thread you commented upon.Valentinus

    It doesn't sound like you read much of thread you commented upon.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k

    But I know what was said by reading it while you stand outside knowing nothing.
  • hope
    216
    But I know what was said by reading it while you stand outside knowing nothing.Valentinus

    But I know what was said by reading it while you stand outside knowing nothing.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    Ah, the mirror.
    Use it for yourself.
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    Verse 23

    I always enjoyed this discussion. Putting my thoughts about the Tao Te Ching into words has helped me gain an understanding about what it means to me. The thread sort of ran out of steam along the way, so it has been dormant for almost a year. I’ve been thinking about starting it up again, for at least a verse or two. I’m not sure how much I’ll carry it on.

    I find Verse 23 a bit perplexing. As I see it, it has three subjects:

    • Don’t talk too much. Put everything you have into what you say, then stop.
    • Something confusing about our relationship to the Tao, Te, and loss.
    • If you don’t trust, you get no trust in return.

    I’m not sure how these three subjects are related. The translations I looked at all address the first subject in similar ways, but the second and third are handled differently in different translations.

    The first translation of Verse 23 in this post is one I found fairly recently, so I haven’t used it in past posts. It seems like a useful translation. Best of all, for me, is that it includes specific verses from the Chuang Tzu that are relevant to some of the Tao Te Ching verses. Here’s a link to a downloadable PDF version:

    https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.189060/page/n3/mode/2up

    Lin Yutang

    Nature says few words:
    Hence it is that a squall lasts not a whole morning.
    A rainstorm continues not a whole day.
    Where do they come from?
    From Nature.
    Even Nature does not last long (in its utterances),
    How much less should human beings?

    Therefore it is that:
    He who follows the Tao is identified with the Tao.
    He who follows Character (Teh) is identified with
    Character.
    He who abandons (Tao) is identified with abandonment
    (of Tao).
    He who is identified with Tao—
    Tao is also glad to welcome him.
    He who is identified with Character—
    Character is also glad to welcome him.
    He who is identified with abandonment—
    Abandonment is also glad to welcome him.

    He who has not enough faith
    Will not be able to command faith from others.


    Addiss and Lombardo

    Spare words; nature's way.
    Violent winds do not blow all morning.
    Sudden rain cannot pour all day.
    What causes these things?
    Heaven and Earth.
    If Heaven and Earth do not blow and pour for long,
    How much less should humans?

    Therefore in following Tao:
    Those on the way become the way,
    Those who gain become the gain,
    Those who lose become the loss.
    All within the Tao:
    The wayfarer, welcome upon the way,
    Those who gain, welcome within gain,
    Those who lose, welcome within loss.

    Without trust in this, There is no trust at all.


    Stephen Mitchell

    Express yourself completely,
    then keep quiet.
    Be like the forces of nature:
    when it blows, there is only wind;
    when it rains, there is only rain;
    when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.

    If you open yourself to the Tao,
    you are at one with the Tao
    and you can embody it completely.
    If you open yourself to insight,
    you are at one with insight
    and you can use it completely.
    If you open yourself to loss,
    you are at one with loss
    and you can accept it completely.

    Open yourself to the Tao,
    then trust your natural responses;
    and everything will fall into place.


    Stanza by stanza discussion:

    First stanza:


    As I noted, the first stanza is generally handled the same by all of the translators. Wind and rain are nature’s speech. There is power in the way “heaven and earth” express themselves. Express yourself briefly, powerfully, then be quiet. This is a common theme in the TTC - act spontaneously, from the heart, without regard for success, failure, acclaim, or blame. “Wu wei,” act without acting. Then let it go.

    Second stanza:

    This one confuses me and different translators give it somewhat different interpretations. First off, it seems as if the contents of this stanza are considered direct results of what is stated in the first. I don’t see that connection. The main confusion I have is with the idea of loss. Addiss and Lombardo say:

    All within the Tao:
    The wayfarer, welcome upon the way,
    Those who gain, welcome within gain,
    Those who lose, welcome within loss.


    This makes is seem as if it’s a good thing to lose. On the other hand, Lin Yutang writes:

    He who follows the Tao is identified with the Tao.
    He who follows Character (Te) is identified with
    Character.
    He who abandons (Tao) is identified with abandonment
    (of Tao).


    This makes it seem like it is a bad thing. Most translations hint at least that loss, or at least identification with loss, is a good, or at least neutral, thing. I like the way Stephen Mitchell puts it:

    If you open yourself to loss,
    you are at one with loss
    and you can accept it completely.


    This makes sense to me and is consistent with my experience. Similarly, Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English write:

    When you are at one with loss,
    The loss is experienced willingly.


    Third stanza:

    This seems pretty straightforward, although, as I noted, I’m not sure of it’s connection with the previous two stanzas. Lin Yutang writes:

    He who has not enough faith
    Will not be able to command faith from others.


    Is this a reference back to the need for a ruler to trust the people? Similarly, Ellen Marie Chen writes:

    When you don't trust (hsin) (the people) enough,
    Then they are untrustworthy (pu hsin).


    Taking a different tack, Mitchell writes:

    Open yourself to the Tao,
    then trust your natural responses;
    and everything will fall into place.


    This interpretation seems to refer back to the first stanza.

    Commentaries from Lin Yutang and Ellen Marie Chen are included in the hidden section.

    Reveal
    Commentaries on Verse 23

    Lin Yutang’s selected verse from the Chuang Tzu.


    23,1, DESCRIPTION OF A STORM. MUSIC OF THE EARTH

    'The breath of the universe,” continued Tsech'i, "is called wind. At times, it is inactive. But when active, all devices resound to its blast Have you never listened to Its deafening roar"?

    *'Caves and dells of hill and forest, hollows in huge trees of many a span in girth—some are like nostrils and some like mouths, and others like ears, beam-sockets. goblets, mortars, or like pools and puddles. And the wind goes rushing through them, like swirling torrents or singing arrows, bellowing, sousing, trilling wailing, roaring, purling, whistling m front and echoing behind, now soft with the cool blow, now shrill with the whirlwind, until the tempest is past and silence reigns supreme. Have you never witnessed how the trees and objects shake and quake, and twist and twirl?'' (1:4)


    Ellen Marie Chen’s commentary:

    First stanza:


    Squalls and rainstorms as works or speech of heaven and earth do not last; once they are uttered, they are gone. Human rulers would do well to imitate heaven and earth. Having accomplished their deeds, they should retire without claiming merit, just as heaven and earth let go their works.

    Second stanza:

    Here we are given three ontological states. Tao is the creative ground of all beings. Te as the natural world includes heaven, earth, and all creatures. Shih stands for the conscious works of human beings in alienation from the works of nature. While te literally means to receive (ch. 39), shih means to lose. Humans, through the development of value consciousness, step outside the safe limits of nature (ch. 24), thus becoming cut off from the life of the round (ch. 38).

    Third stanza:

    The last two lines, returning to the theme in the opening line, already appear in chapter 17.2 with the same message. Nature speaks little. One who follows heaven and earth, trusting his people, also speaks little. Moral consciousness as shih, born from loss of the wholesomeness of nature, is self-validating: The ruler who belongs to te trusts his people and they thereby prove to be trustworthy; the ruler who belongs to shih distrusts his people and they thereby prove to be untrustworthy.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    [1] The ground of being
    [2] The Tao that cannot be spoken
    [3] Oneness is the Tao which is invisible and formless.
    [4] Nature is Tao. Tao is everlasting.
    [5] The absolute principle underlying the universe
    [6] That in virtue of which all things happen or exist
    [7] The intuitive knowing of life that cannot be grasped full-heartedly as just a concept
    T Clark

    Sounds like the eternal but still timeless absolute reality of the quantum vacuum, on whose higher dimensional structure time and space emerge in a big inflation.
  • javi2541997
    1.5k


    This thread brings me a lot of nostalgia. Thanks for sharing all these comments on verse n⁰ 23. Yeah I remember that we had many debates about this one back in the day.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    Thanks for firing up this thread again. Hope I can clear some time to take a closer look at this fascinating book. One I always felt a kinship to.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    The Tao that can be Named is Not the Eternal Tao

    I'm, well, speechless! :chin:
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    Sounds like the eternal but still timeless absolute reality of the quantum vacuum, on whose higher dimensional structure time and space emerge in a big inflation.Hillary

    One of my favorite verses is Verse 4. This is from Ellen Marie Chen's translation:

    Tao is a whirling emptiness (ch'ung),
    Yet (erh) in use (yung) is inexhaustible (ying).
    Fathomless (yuan),
    It seems to be the ancestor (tsung) of ten thousand beings.
    It blunts the sharp,
    Unties the entangled,
    Harmonizes the bright,
    Mixes the dust.
    Dark (chan),
    It seems perhaps to exist (ts'un).
    I do not know whose child it is,
    It is an image (hsiang) of what precedes God (Ti).


    If the Tao precedes God, it also precedes the quantum vacuum and any higher dimensional structure.
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    Thanks for firing this thread up again. Hope I can clear some time to take a closer look at this fascinating book. One I always felt a kinship to.ZzzoneiroCosm

    Any thoughts will be welcome. They help me understand better and give me incentive to keep going.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    If the Tao precedes God, it also precedes the quantum vacuum and any higher dimensional structure.T Clark

    Sounds like a poetic description of the quantum vacuum structure preceding the big bang, and which is still around us! Damned,T Clark! A revelation!
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    Sounds like a poetic description of the quantum vacuum structure preceding the big bang, and which is still around us! Damned,T Clark! A revelation!Hillary

    Agreed, it is a poetic description, but then "vacuum" and "big bang" are used metaphorically. I'm not clear on what the revelation you're so excited about is. If you mean that the Tao is the quantum vacuum, that's not how I see it.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    If you mean that the Tao is the quantum vacuum, that's not how I see it.T Clark

    Tao is a whirling emptiness (ch'ung),
    Yet (erh) in use (yung) is inexhaustible (ying).
    Fathomless (yuan),
    It seems to be the ancestor (tsung) of ten thousand beings.
    It blunts the sharp,
    Unties the entangled,
    T Clark

    That's the quantum vacuum! Whirling emptiness: whirling virtual particles. The entangled particles disentangled during inflation. The sharpness blunted: uncertainty relations. Must I continue?

    The whole universe coming from it! Inexhaustable.
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    That's the quantum vacuum! Whirling emptiness: whirling virtual particles. The entangled particles disentangled during inflation. The sharpness blunted: uncertainty relations. Must I continue?Hillary

    Again, that's not how I see it. The quantum vacuum, virtual particles, that's physics. The Tao is metaphysics. It's one useful way of seeing how things are, not the only way.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Again, that's not how I see it. The quantum vacuum, virtual particles, that's physics. The Tao is metaphysics. It's one useful way of seeing how things are, not the only way.T Clark

    Yes. I just noticed the striking similarities. I don't think there is any real reference to the physical world.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    It seems to be the ancestor (tsung) of ten thousand beingsT Clark

    Now it truly gets scary...
  • Clarky
    9.1k
    It seems to be the ancestor (tsung) of ten thousand beings
    — T Clark

    Now it truly gets scary...
    Hillary

    The ten thousand things, or ten thousand beings, refers to the multiplicity of the world. All the individual things that exist once we cut the Tao into pieces.
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    The ten thousand things, or ten thousand beings, refers to the multiplicity of the world. All the individual things that exist once we cut the Tao into pieces.T Clark

    Ah, alright. I again saw the connection with the vacuum and the bang coming out of it. The "ancestor" of all. The resemblance getting scary!

    The quantum and the Tao, so often exploited...
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