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  • Taoist Literature or the lack thereof

    Verdana 14 All All

    All

    I was a bit suprised when I jumped to this forum and found only Doc's post. Of course, there must always be a first to everything but considering the numerous comments and discourses pertaining to Taoism put forth in many of the other forums, one would think that this forum would be filled with discussions regarding at least some of the massive body of Taoist literature, much of which has been translated into English making it accessible to anyone and not just sinologists. Be that as it may, I would like to suggest a book for those individuals who are interested and wish to delve a bit deeper into the many aspects of Taoism. I chose this particular work for a number of reasons, one being that the text is is a mere 103 pages making it terse enough to not daunt the prospective reader. Secondly, the translator is Thomas Cleary. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Professor Cleary, aside from the fact that he holds a doctorate in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and has translated over thirty major works of Taoism and Buddhism, he possesses an unusual innate talent for translating not just the words of the writer but the spirit and intent as well. The book I would suggest to kick off this first entry is Awakening To The Tao [ISBN: 0-87773-447-X]by Liu I-ming who was an 18th century Taoist adept and scholar of Buddhism and Confucianism. The third reason for chosing this work is to provide some insight into how Indian Buddhism (which had already been influenced during it's passage through Tibet) underwent a transformation when it came into contact with indigenous Taoism and Confucianism. Should anyone wish to propose some other Taoist work instead of this one, please do so as this work isn't definitive by any means.

    "A parrot can be taught to speak, a monkey can be taught to act; they are able to do these
    things not because of their original natures, but because people gradually teach them. What
    I realize as I observe this is the Tao of seeking teachers and finding companions." "Ignorant
    students follow their own minds and act arbitrarily. Indulging in guesswork, they consider
    themselves bright and will not humble themselves. Thus they misapprehend the road ahead.
    Though they are said to deceive others, in reality they are deceiving themselves."

    Liu I-ming

  • #2
    Correction, far from "much" of the daoist canon has been translated to english or other languages.

    Comment


    • #3
      "And you said that to say what? The forum is supposed to be a place to discuss Taoist Literature, so why don't you lay out some jewels instead of clouding the waters"


      Okey =). Ive read quite a few books about daoism, not enough tho =(.

      To grow intrest in daoism i would recomend the following books in this order:


      1, Chronicles Of Dao by Deng Ming-Dao. You would love daoism in your heart mind after this one, it is very beutiful (daoist biography).

      2, Dao De Jing, translated by henricks to build a foundation of intrest built on more than an a epic tale and beuty,

      3, Taoist Master Chuang by Micheal Saso, to realize life as a dao shi doesnt have to mean breathtaking cloudy peaks at Huashan, to still you heart.

      4, Road to heaven: encounters with chinese hermits, to really clear what separates different types of buddhism and daoism apart.

      6, DO NOT READ TAO OF POOH OR WHATS IT CALLED, DO NOT READ ANY BOOK CLAIMING THERES RELIGIOUS
      DAOISM IN CHINA AND A PHILOSOPHICAL TYPE OF DAOISM THAT THE BOOK IS GOING TO TEACH YOU!

      Then? Maybe the Zhuang Zi?
      Last edited by sunbird; 06-28-2003, 11:02 PM.

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      • #4
        For starters, read the Dao de Jing. Then read the Zhuang Zi or Chuang Tzu. After that, burn all your books and go walking in the forest. Then maybe you'll find the way.
        Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Suggested Reading

          Re: Sunbird's choice of Taoist works.

          OK, some good choices there. If you liked Deng's Trilogy then check out this one:
          Opening The Dragon Gate by Chen Kaiguo & Zheng Shuchao; Charles Tuttle Pub. ISBN:0-8048-3098-3. The subtitle on this one is: "The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard" and somewhat follows the same plot lines as Deng's books did.

          As regards the reading of the Tao Te Ching, I'm not familiar with this "Henricks" person. I have six or seven separate translations and each one has a different POV. By reading several translations, assuming that you don't read Chinese, you can get a better "feel" for what the original text was actually saying. My choice for the beginning student would be based on how that person wished to approach the subject. One of the more poetic translations was done by Feng Gia-fu & Jane English [Vantage Press ISBN: 0679776192];a more authoritative translation with comments on each section was written by the late Cheng Man-jan (better known for his painting and modification of Yang Style Taiji under the name of Cheng Man-ch'ing) in a book called Lao-Tzu: My Words Are Easy To Understand North Atlantic Books 1981 ISBN: 0913028916; another small book which was translated by Thomas Cleary has both the Tao Te Ching and the Inner Chapters of the Chuang Tzu; The Essential Tao HarperCollins Pub. 1991 ISBN: 0062501623. There is also the one translation that Doc posted by James Legge.

          Professor Saso's books are not my first choice for an introduction to Taoism. Of course, that may just be my admittedly bias opinion as Saso and I have a history and I always thought he was just too full of himself. I would be more disposed to direct the reader to works (too numerous to list here) by Michael Strickmann, Professor of Oriental Languages, UC Berkley; and/or Dr. John Lagerway's Taoist Ritual in Chinese Society and History 1987 MacMillan Professional Books {Dr.Lagerway also spent a good deal of time in Taiwan}; and for a good overview of Taoism check out Facets of Taoism Edited by H. Welch & A. Seidel 1979 Yale University Press. Another very interesting person who writes and translates is Eva Wong. She has a number of books out but her book Cultivating Stillness 1992 Shambhala Pub. ISBN: 0877736871; is a translation of a part of the Tao Tsang or Taoist canon as it's sometimes called.

          Anyone out there that has read any decent books on the subject and would like to carry on a dialog, well get busy. I tuned in to this forum in the hope that I might learn something I didn't already know, reaffirm and refresh what I think I know, and to just generally waste some time discussing a subject that's deep and vast beyond mortal knowledge or understanding. Never doubt that I can get mystically inscrutable as the need arises just as well as the next sheng can. Back to you dude.

          Comment


          • #6
            Inane Comments From The Sidelines

            He-Who-Trains-Wu-Nian

            Wu Nian? Five Years? Wu? Without being able to see the characters it's a guess as to what you are trying to say or project as wu can mean a number of things such as five, duty, none, not, thing, bad, mean or dance. I'm trying to discern if your comment was just a mindless utterance or the best evidence of your crude uncouth illbred nihilist approach to life. Only barbarians and nazis burns books, an act that has historically been the mark of surpression and oppression by those who attempt to dominate others by keeping them in ignorance. If you wanted to participate in an intellegent dialog, then put forth a little more effort and choose your words a bit more carefully.

            Words have ancestors,
            Deeds have masters.
            If people don't understand this,
            They Don't Understand Me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Anyone out there that has read any decent books on the subject and would like to carry on a dialog, well get busy. I tuned in to this forum in the hope that I might learn something I didn't already know, reaffirm and refresh what I think I know, and to just generally waste some time discussing a subject that's deep and vast beyond mortal knowledge or understanding.
              I think, if my impression is correct, that you're going to find yourself educating us, more than us educating you, lol....

              And what's this "history" between you and that author? I'm also getting the feeling that there's more to you than what we know.

              doc
              Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

              "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

              (more comments in my User Profile)
              russbo.com


              Comment


              • #8
                [/QUOTE]
                Wu Nian? Five Years? Wu? Without being able to see the characters it's a guess as to what you are trying to say or project as wu can mean a number of things such as five, duty, none, not, thing, bad, mean or dance. I'm trying to discern if your comment was just a mindless utterance or the best evidence of your crude uncouth illbred nihilist approach to life.
                Wu-Nian, Nothing-Thought. A state of no-thought. Often mistranslated as meaning "no-mind" which it certainly does not mean. It's nice to see that you're so close to the way of heaven that you get aggravated by comments you don't understand and proceed to lash out verbally at those who uttered them. Will condemning me help you find peace?

                Only barbarians and nazis burns books, an act that has historically been the mark of surpression and oppression by those who attempt to dominate others by keeping them in ignorance. If you wanted to participate in an intellegent dialog, then put forth a little more effort and choose your words a bit more carefully.
                And Zen monks, and Bodhidharma. And jesus. They all burned books. Nazis burned other people books, I recommended burning your own books. Its quite different. Liberate yourself from the lies you've read. If you want to participate in an intelligent dialogue, please leave your unresolved emotions out of it. Your frustration at not being able to understand what I have written has no business manifesting itself as verbal anger and name-calling in what is supposed to be a dialogue on spiritual matters. Peace be with you my brother.
                Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Doc

                  "He who chases Wu Nian..."

                  Wow. Learned a new word. Gonna have to use that one in church. Might get me further than "bimbo" and "ditz".
                  Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                  "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                  (more comments in my User Profile)
                  russbo.com


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    well

                    piros like burning books to
                    "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

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                    • #11
                      Hehe, a little shaolin trivia. In the book i mentioned above, the one about hermits in china. I read there that the shaolin monks acctually have such a bad reputation among other buddhist temples/monastarys that monks claiming to have studied at Shaolin have a hard time getting into other monastarys! Note: the interviewed monk telling us this in the book (a monk who hade studied at shaolin) was intervied about 5-7 years ago i think.

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                      • #12
                        So Doc, all this skirt chasin in church.............. are you a mormon?
                        Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ignorant students of Tao?

                          Can there be ignorant students of Taoism? Doesn't that statement contradict itself?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by daodejing
                            So Doc, all this skirt chasin in church.............. are you a mormon?
                            You've got to be kidding...

                            Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                            "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                            (more comments in my User Profile)
                            russbo.com


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Shenjen ( is that your phonetic for spirit in chinese?)

                              You should start a few threads with some thoughts, I'll gaurantee some of them revert to chasing mormon girls out of church.. but I'm sure we'll get some good posts along the way.
                              practice wu de

                              Comment

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