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The Book of Chuang Tzu - Book Discourse

Full of profundity as well as tricks, knaves, sages, jokers, unbelievably named people, and uptight Confucians, The Book of Chuang Tzu perceives the Tao-the Way of Nature- not as a term to be explained but as a path to. Have questions about this item, or would like to inquire about a custom or bulk order?

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The Book of Chuang Tzu (Penguin Classics)

If you are looking for a specif part number, please include it with your message. Translate This Website. International Translation Network. Full of profundity as well as tricks, knaves, sages, jokers, unbelievably named people, and uptight Confucians, The Book of Chuang Tzu perceives the Tao-the Way of Nature- not as a term to be explained but as a path to walk.

The public eye is right there, can we ever not dance for it? If we make a big fuss about not dancing for it then we are still dancing for it, just in a different way. It is a labyrinth of mirrors and since there is no exit we may as well just breathe deeply and close our eyes. Why ask me? Product of things I cannot see and do not understand, ending for reasons I can barely percieve, lasting as long as I last and following rules most of which I can also not see.

Why ask me indeed. And I like this bit on taking action from 'The Old Fisherman' Confucius looked sad and sighed, bowed twice, stood up and said, 'Lu has exiled me twice, I have fled from Wei, they have felled a tree on me in Sung and laid siege to me between Chen and Tsai. I have no idea what I did to be so misunderstood. Why was I subject to these four forms of trouble?

The stranger looked distressed, then his expression changed and he said, ' It is very difficult, Sir, to make you understand! There was once a man who was frightened by his own shadow and scared of his own footprints, so he tried to escape them by running away. But every time he lifted his foot and brought it down, he made more footprints, and no matter how fast he ran, his shadow never left him.

Thinking he was running too slowly, he ran faster, never ceasing until finally he exhausted himself and collapsed and died. He really was a great fool! Although I think I also disagree with it. You might say I both agree and disagree with it, which doesn't seem to be a big problem with Taoism which loves paradox and uncertainty.

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I do think Taoism on politics is interesting interesting and should be taken into consideration. Bluntly - try hard not to do anything, and if you can't avoid doing anything, then try to do as little as possible, or at least, don't shove or warp things out of the way they are already going to go. There seems to be a difference between what I seem to read in actual translated Taoist texts and Western interpretations of them.

The originals seem really, deeply, obsessively moraly neutral and non-interventionist. If we are to follow them as they are written, then it looks like most good works are just out the window.

There is nothing outside the Tao, and this must apply to very bad things as it does to very bad things. Like in this bit from 'The Shores of Dark Waters'; Chuang Tzu replied, 'There is nowhere where it is not. So it must be in rape and earthquakes, murder and mutilation, humiliation, pain, loss and ruin also. After all, it is the Tao, it cannot help but be in those things. The two ways in which people seem to try to square this circle are the idea of 'essential nature' in the Book of Chuang Tzu, which is broadly a primitivist but slightly positive view in which things only go really badly in nature and between people if people stop following their essential nature.

But if we all went and lived on communes or something then all this bad stuff just wouldn't happen. I don't think this is true.

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I think that all the way from Chimps to Neolithic Hunter Gatherers to Nation States, these 'negative' or undesired elements have been there. So either there is an essential nature to humanity and it includes a lot of bad shit, or there is no essential nature. True, the book of Chuang Tzu doesn't directly tell us that this stuff will stop happening if we all become Taoists and follow our essential nature, it just somewhat glides around the issue. Which I think is actually probably a pretty good idea. It's just theoretically stupid, and not what it says on the box, but it does actually work so I can hardly complain too much.

But it is not what it says on the box. It's really, deeply obscure, and very untrusting of any positive human effort.

The Book of Chuang Tzu (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Its not here to make you happy. It's not here to make you anything. It simply is. To be fair, being really depressed, and having Ego Death, and being totally absorbed in the Tao are not the same thing internally.

And being really depressed is bad, probably, Ego Death is arguably one way or the other depending on circumstances, though I do not like the look of it myself, and being one with the Tao is probably good. But the only way to really know which of these is going on with someone is to basically ask them, and if they can be bothered answering you they might say "Yes I was one with the Tao, until you interrupted me and fucked it up. You can't speak of the Tao because it is wordless. You can barely pass it on. Becoming one with it means you basically just hang around doing very little.

It is so seperate from the angst and action of the human experience that there seems very little to link them. Maybe thinking about the Tao is good for you, just don't actually find it or you will become an essentially useless person. Good from the Taoist perspective, now you are like the old tree which does not get chopped down because it has no relation to the world of things which are used. Another thing I don't really have any respect for is the desire to hang on to life and be immortal, but that seems to have become a thing more in later slightly crapper Taoism.

But what's the point or the pleasure of such a life?


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It seems as grey and empty as the sky. Just hang around on a mountain being an immortal to no particular end or reason? Why even care about preserving your body if it has no purpose? Fundamentally, at my anglo materialist core, I do not trust systems of knowing which cannot be exposed to consensus reality. I don't like it.

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Consensus reality might be an absolute load of hysterical paper-thin bullshit, but its better than nothing. Is that it? Just stillness and pigs?