Have You Read the Tao Te Ching? | INFJ Forum

Have You Read the Tao Te Ching?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by NeverAmI, Aug 22, 2010.

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  1. Yes, I have read the Tao Te Ching

    10 vote(s)
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  2. No, I have not read the Tao Te Ching

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  1. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    I am curious as to who has read it and who hasn't

    If you have, did it have any impact on you?

    If you have and you remember, who was the translator?
     
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  2. durentu

    durentu Regular Poster

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    NeverAmI

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    Wow, that's a great online version, thanks!
     
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  4. corvidae

    corvidae ohai internets
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    Not yet, as of now I'm reading the Art of War
     
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    VH Variable Hybrid

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    I have yet to read the Tao Te Ching all the way through, but I have read the Tao of Pooh, and would suggest it to anyone. A great paradigm shift.

    I'm currently re-reading the Art of War myself. It's an amazing collection of wisdom. I think it should be required reading in college.
     
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  6. durentu

    durentu Regular Poster

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  7. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    I've read a couple of online translations as well as [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Dao-Jing-Philosophical-Translation-Mandarin/dp/0345444191"]this[/ame]. I read all the introduction and commentary in the philosophical translation (for pleasure). I will say that you need to be very careful what translation you choose because translators often misconstrue concepts and impose their own culture upon the translation. At worst, this turns into a problem where the author makes Tao into something similar to God. The main issue is the difference between a process ontology and the (much more widely in Western society) subject/predicate dichotomy as the basis for ontology.

    Most translations are bad because they cannot escape the subject/predicate way of thinking. To be honest, you can't actually understand the Dao de Jing unless you learn Chinese.

    When I first read it, it had a lot of impact on me, but I can't say now. I've struggled significantly with Taoism because I find it so wise yet completely impractical. My basic worldview is too clouded with the view of the world being a cruel, competitive, warlike place to ever really accept Taoism. I tend to think that the Taoists weren't ignorant of how terrible the world can be but that they persisted in their methods in spite of this. To the point that they could accept death peacefully.
     
  8. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    Do you know Chinese?
     
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    NeverAmI

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    You don't understand the Tao Te Ching through reading. :D

    What is the problem with accepting death peacefully?
     
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  11. basic

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    This is cool. Hopefully this can help me improve my chinese.

    It's interesting how the chinese seems to be in much simpler language, but can be looked at very deeply; a lot can be inferred. In english, the translation is a lot more detailed; a lot is inferred for you. I feel like there is less interpretation in english.
     
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    NeverAmI

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    I agree, pretty much all of Western society wants intuition done away with. Intuition seems to be respected and admired in the East whereas it seems to be a problem in the West.

    Every word must be carefuly define, details, details, details. From a programming standpoint that is important, though.

    However, there is also the subtle cultural hints and idioms that get lost in any translation, no matter the language. Not saying those are present in the Tao though.
     
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  13. basic

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    Yeah. Even tough I am pretty much illiterate in chinese and can only read a small handful of characters, by reading the pinying (romanization, basically) I can read it aloud to myself (slowly). From what I can comprehend, I get a very different feel from what is written from any of the translations.

    I think if I went through this entire translation it would help me increase my chinese vocabulary and help me recognize more characters :p
     
  14. Barliman

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    Tao Te Ching

    I often read from it.
    Little phrases have great impact. It is more a book to open and reflect on from time to time.
    The paradoxical statements gradually undercut your belief in the world of the ten thousand things.
     
  15. youhemmein

    youhemmein awkward turtle
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    Reading it right now, actually.
    This is the one I have borrowed:
    [​IMG]

    Haven't gotten much into it due to time constraints, but I've been wanting to read it for quite some time now.
     
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  16. Jack

    Jack Community Member

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    I read it in one of my philosophy courses...


    Prof: "Sooo what is the Tao" Classmate answers: "the Tao is everything..." (pauses then thinks about it, drops his head and adds) "and nothing." Bwa ha ha ha haaaaa.
     
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    Not at all.


    It itself is the problem.
     
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    It reminds me of the freedom in nothingness.

    In a place where the absolute does not truly exist, you are free.
     
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  19. The Vizier

    The Vizier Newbie

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    Yeah I've read the Tao Te Ching. Unfortunately, I can't apply all of it yet and I struggle to grasp the meaning of certain passages. I suppose it would take the rest of my life before I could apply its teachings naturally. Still, I try my best to live my live in accordance with the Tao. I always make it a point to observe the times and circumstances of any situation and tailor my actions accordingly.

    Another interesting book you might want to consider with regards to the Tao is the Yijing. The Yijing helps me to extend my intuition so that I can act in accordance with the times and circumstances. In doing so, I learn a little more about the Tao of different situations.
     
    #19 The Vizier, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  20. mooseman

    mooseman Local Claviger
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    Tao Te Ching is a very important book for me. It is the book that made me realize that eastern philosophy can be something real and not just another set of nice stories. Don't ask me to explain it because it resonates within me on a level that I wish I had words to describe, but at this point in my life, unfortunately I don't.

    The Stephen Mitchell translation is by far the best (and I have skimmed through quite a few of them.)

    http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html

    It is not some kind of code that can be cracked. It speaks directly to our intuition. If you don't understand some part, don't try to figure it out. Just leave it and maybe you will see it in a new light when you reread it two years later.
     
    #20 mooseman, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
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