Author Topic: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom  (Read 1584 times)

Offline kao1306

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How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« on: September 16, 2014, 11:10:08 pm »
Commentary On Chuang Tzu (part 2)--How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom

From This, It Can Be Seen That: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom.  @ChuangTzu   The Ruler of the Southern Ocean was Shu, the Ruler of the Northern Ocean was Hu, and the Ruler of the Centre was Chaos. Shu and Hu were continually meeting in the land of Chaos, who treated them very well. They consulted together how they might repay his kindness, and said, 'Men all have seven orifices for the purpose of seeing, hearing, eating, and breathing, while this (poor) Ruler alone has not one. Let us try and make them for him.' Accordingly they dug one orifice in him every day; and at the end of seven days Chaos died.

http://ctext.org/text.pl?node=2769&if=en

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 12:41:18 am »
The Shu-King, one of the Confucian classics (edited, not composed, by Confucius), begins, like Livy, with legendary accounts of princes whose virtues and vices are intended to supply edification or warning to subsequent rulers. Yao and Shun were two model Emperors, whose date (if any) was somewhere in the third millennium B.C. "The age of Yao and Shun," in Chinese literature, means what "the Golden Age" mean with us.

It seems certain that, when Chinese history begins, the Chinese occupied only a small part of what is now China, along the banks of the Yellow River. They were agricultural, and had already reached a fairly high level of civilization—much higher than that of any other part of Eastern Asia. The Yellow River is a fierce and terrible stream, too swift for navigation, turgid, and full of mud, depositing silt upon its bed until it rises above the surrounding country, when it suddenly alters its course, sweeping away villages and towns in a destructive torrent.

Among most early agricultural nations, such a river would have inspired superstitious awe, and floods would have been averted by human sacrifice; in the Shu-King, however, there is little trace of superstition. Yao and Shun, and Yü (the latter's successor), were all occupied in combating the inundations, but their methods were those of the engineer, not of the miracle-worker. This shows, at least, the state of belief in the time of Confucius. The character ascribed to Yao shows what was expected of an Emperor:

He was reverential, intelligent, accomplished, and thoughtful—naturally and without effort. He was sincerely courteous, and capable of all complaisance. The display of these qualities reached to the four extremities of the empire, and extended from earth to heaven. He was able to make the able and virtuous distinguished, and thence proceeded to the love of the nine classes of his kindred, who all became harmonious. He also regulated and polished the people of his domain, who all became brightly intelligent. Finally, he united and harmonized the myriad States of the empire; and lo! the black-haired people were transformed. The result was universal concord. [1]

The first date which can be assigned with precision in Chinese history is that of an eclipse of the sun in 776 B.C. [2] There is no reason to doubt the general correctness of the records for considerably earlier times, but their exact chronology cannot be fixed. At this period, the Chou dynasty, which fell in 249 B.C. and is supposed to have begun in 1122 B.C., was already declining in power as compared with a number of nominally subordinate feudal States.

The position of the Emperor at this time, and for the next 500 years, was similar to that of the King of France during those parts of the Middle Ages when his authority was at its lowest ebb. Chinese history consists of a series of dynasties, each strong at first and weak afterwards, each gradually losing control over subordinates, each followed by a period of anarchy (sometimes lasting for centuries), and ultimately succeeded by a new dynasty which temporarily re-establishes a strong Central Government. Historians always attribute the fall of a dynasty to the excessive power of eunuchs, but perhaps this is, in part, a literary convention.

What distinguishes the Emperor is not so much his political power, which fluctuates with the strength of his personality, as certain religious prerogatives. The Emperor is the Son of Heaven; he sacrifices to Heaven at the winter solstice. The early Chinese used "Heaven" as synonymous with "The Supreme Ruler," a monotheistic God; [3] indeed Professor Giles maintains, by arguments which seem conclusive, that the correct translation of the Emperor's title would be "Son of God." The word "Tien," in Chinese, is used both for the sky and for God, though the latter sense has become rare. The expression "Shang Ti," which means "Supreme Ruler," belongs in the main to pre-Confucian times, but both terms originally represented a God as definitely anthropomorphic as the God of the Old Testament. [4]

As time went by the Supreme Ruler became more shadowy, while "Heaven" remained, on account of the Imperial rites connected with it. The Emperor alone had the privilege of worshipping "Heaven," and the rites continued practically unchanged until the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1911. In modern times they were performed in the Temple of Heaven in Peking, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The annual sacrifice in the Temple of Heaven represented almost the sole official survival of pre-Confucian religion, or indeed of anything that could be called religion in the strict sense; for Buddhism and Taoism have never had any connection with the State.

The history of China is known in some detail from the year 722 B.C., because with this year begins Confucius' Springs and Autumns, which is a chronicle of the State of Lu, in which Confucius was an official.


Notes:

[1] Legge's Shu-King, p. 15. Quoted in Hirth, Ancient History of China, Columbia University Press, 1911—a book which gives much useful critical information about early China.

[2] Hirth, op. cit. p. 174. 775 is often wrongly given.

[3] See Hirth, op. cit., p. 100 ff.

[4] On this subject, see Professor Giles's Confucianism and its Rivals, Williams & Norgate, 1915, Lecture I, especially p. 9.


Source: "The Problem of China" by Bertrand Russell
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13940/13940-h/13940-h.htm

Offline t

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 05:57:41 am »
And the relationship of Zhuang Zi with Mahayana Buddha Dharma is....

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 12:30:39 pm »
Zhuangzi was, after Laozi, one of the earliest thinkers to contribute to the philosophy that has come to be known as Daojia, or school of the Way. According to traditional dating, he was an almost exact contemporary of the Confucian thinker Mencius, but there appears to have been little to no communication between them.  He is ranked among the greatest of literary and philosophical giants that China has produced.  His style is complex—mythical, poetic, narrative, humorous, indirect, and polysemic.

Zhuangzi espoused a holistic philosophy of life, encouraging disengagement from the artificialities of socialization, and cultivation of our natural “ancestral” potencies and skills, in order to live a simple and natural, but full and flourishing life. He was critical of our ordinary categorizations and evaluations, noting the multiplicity of different modes of understanding between different creatures, cultures, and philosophical schools, and the lack of an independent means of making a comparative evaluation. He advocated a mode of understanding that is not committed to a fixed system, but is fluid and flexible, and that maintains a provisional, pragmatic attitude towards the applicability of these categories and evaluations.

The text through which we know his work was the result of the editing and arrangement of the Jin dynasty thinker and commentator Guo Xiang (Kuo Hsiang, d. 312 CE), who reduced what had been a work in fifty-two chapters to the current edition of thirty-three chapters, excising material that he considered to be spurious.  Zhuangzi’s version of Daoist philosophy was highly influential in the reception, interpretation, and transformation of Buddhism in China.

more info here >>> http://www.iep.utm.edu/zhuangzi/

Offline t

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 06:14:57 pm »
Why of course, the link fails to recognise the sublime distinction of the vital differences & the long forgotten but outright ancient hostilities between the native Daoists and foreign import of Buddhism plus forgetting especially that whilst there were those who didn't mind syncretist blends, there are those who preferred to keep tirthika teaching & practice out of the Buddha Dharma huh?

Reminds me of some modern Hindus & confused New Agers of today who love citing Sankaracarya & his failed attempts to co-opt parts of the Buddha Dharma into Advaita Vedanta (which ended up being criticised and condemned by his own camp and later conservative Vedantists themselves) and the ancient San Jiao movement which started as early as the Tang and flourished way into the Qing which confused the people up until today on what is Buddha Dharma from the Chinese tirthika teachings in the name of alleged 'pragmatism'?     

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 05:05:24 am »
Why of course, the link fails to recognise the sublime distinction of the vital differences & the long forgotten but outright ancient hostilities between the native Daoists and foreign import of Buddhism plus forgetting especially that whilst there were those who didn't mind syncretist blends, there are those who preferred to keep tirthika teaching & practice out of the Buddha Dharma huh?


Out of curiousity, is that the argument you want to stick with? :quq:

The reason I'm asking is because such an argument tends to be the equivalent of Pandora's Box, where the opening of the box would be the easy part of any given discussion, but I suspect that you're probably not going to like the contents that you'll find staring back up at you LOL

Although the veracity of your statement might suffice for the typical or common every-day practitioner, it wouldn't hold water or pass the metaphorical limpus test of proper scholarship --- so there's no misunderstanding, my words are not intended nor imply that only an uneducated person would acceptance such an argument as you've suggested, but that it comes with one hell of a built-in Achilles Heel, not only as it relates to the potential of confirmation bias, but also when it comes to the degree of circumspection required from within the purview of academic standards.

There's a great deal of empirical evidence which supports the premise that confirmation bias is extensive, as well as that it appears in many different guises, not to mention the evidence which also supports the view that once a person has taken a position on an issue, their primary purpose becomes that of defending or justifying that position, where regardless of whether the person's treatment of evidence was evenhanded before the stand was taken, it can become highly biased afterward. This evidence is actually well-established and frequently cited throughout the various journals of the academic community at large, as well as confirmed through the research studies that were undertaken by Dr. Raymond Nickerson on the behalf of Tufts University, especially when it comes to preferential treatment of evidence that would support a person's existing beliefs.

People tend to seek information that they consider supportive of favored hypotheses or existing beliefs and to interpret information in ways that are partial to those hypotheses or beliefs. Conversely, they tend not to seek and perhaps even to avoid information that would be considered counter indicative with respect to those hypotheses or beliefs and supportive of alternative possibilities (Koriat, Lichtenstein, & Fischhoff, 1980). Beyond seeking information that is supportive of an existing hypothesis or belief, it appears that people often tend to seek only, or primarily, information that will support that hypothesis or belief in a particular way.

Closely related to the restriction of attention to a favored hypothesis is the tendency to give greater weight to information that is supportive of existing beliefs or opinions than to information that runs counter to them. This does not necessarily mean completely ignoring the counter indicative information but means being less receptive to it than to supportive information—more likely, for example, to seek to discredit it or to explain it away. Preferential treatment of evidence supporting existing beliefs or opinions is seen in the tendency of people to recall or produce reasons supporting the side they favor on a controversial issue and not to recall or produce reasons supporting the other side (Baron, 1991, 1995; Perkins, Allen, & Hafner,1983; Perkins, Farady, & Bushey, 1991).

Review of General Psychology, 1998, Vol. 2, No. 2, 175-220
Confirmation Bias: A Ubiquitous Phenomenon in Many Guises
Raymond S. Nickerson, PhD (Tufts University)



Offline t

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 05:28:53 am »
My fundamental questioning of posting Zhuang Zi in a Zen/Ch'an/Thien/Seon Forum which is essentially Mahayana Dharma remains unanswered besides an academic link thrown in here for some reason when this thread could have been shoved to the Comparative Religions section to maintain cohesiveness of each sub forum rather than turn it all into some kind of a 'free for all'.

Oh, btw I have a long list of academic stuff that I can use to support the alleged 'Pandora's box' but why bother? This sub forum is not even an academic forum and yes, it's meant for the average joes and janes who come here interested in what Zen/Ch'an/Thien/Seon has to offer than what Zhuang Zi's opinions are for which there are splendid Daoist Forums which are more than capable of handling him...

Again my Q: And the relationship of Zhuang Zi with Mahayana Buddha Dharma is....

Oh hi Wonky, long time no see  :suit:     
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 05:32:52 am by t »

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2014, 02:07:42 pm »
Let's try this again...  :)

First of all, the OP originated within the Buddha Basics section of the forum, the one particular place where it most certainly didn't belong, so I moved the thread into this section and then notified kao1306 of its relocation. 

As for why it was placed within this section, instead of Comparative Religion as you've suggested...  well, the answer to that would be quite simple: the thought of doing so never crossed my mind at that time, so it wasn't even an option to begin with, not to mention that there's nothing unusual about finding Ch'an and Daoist material side-by-side:

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/HistoricalZen/ChangTzu_and_Chinese_Ancestry.html

Offline kao1306

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2014, 04:16:07 am »
My fundamental questioning of posting Zhuang Zi in a Zen/Ch'an/Thien/Seon Forum which is essentially Mahayana Dharma remains unanswered besides an academic link thrown in here for some reason when this thread could have been shoved to the Comparative Religions section to maintain cohesiveness of each sub forum rather than turn it all into some kind of a 'free for all'.

Oh, btw I have a long list of academic stuff that I can use to support the alleged 'Pandora's box' but why bother? This sub forum is not even an academic forum and yes, it's meant for the average joes and janes who come here interested in what Zen/Ch'an/Thien/Seon has to offer than what Zhuang Zi's opinions are for which there are splendid Daoist Forums which are more than capable of handling him...

Again my Q: And the relationship of Zhuang Zi with Mahayana Buddha Dharma is....

Oh hi Wonky, long time no see  :suit:   

Mahayana Buddhism is the hybrid from Taoism and original Buddhism.

be happy!
kao1306

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2014, 11:18:24 am »
Mahayana Buddhism is the hybrid from Taoism and original Buddhism.

There are various views on this topic and no one agrees with the other person, so it would be better to have those type of discussions in the Danger Zone area of the forum if you want to discuss such an issue.

Offline kao1306

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Re: How Frightening Is "To See, Hear, Eat, And Breathe" Without Wisdom
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2014, 10:36:33 pm »
Mahayana Buddhism is the hybrid from Taoism and original Buddhism.

There are various views on this topic and no one agrees with the other person, so it would be better to have those type of discussions in the Danger Zone area of the forum if you want to discuss such an issue.
acknowledged.
be happy!
kao1306

 


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