Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Saengnapha
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:55 am

Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:05 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:24 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:10 pm
Daoism is much more poetic (and therefore confusing, to me at least), which I feel is reflected here.
IMO translations of Daoist scripture are poetic and confusing.
I am reading the Tao Te Ching with the comments of each verse. and Taoism seems more organized.

some explanations of the Tao resemble the explanations of Nibbana.

this butterfly story is very beautiful and can help any practitioner of any path to understand the illusion of this life.

:namaste:
I would imagine that the study of Daoism is a much more complex undertaking than the simplistic translations of its two most famous masters.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:05 am

Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:05 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:24 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:10 pm
Daoism is much more poetic (and therefore confusing, to me at least), which I feel is reflected here.
IMO translations of Daoist scripture are poetic and confusing.
I am reading the Tao Te Ching with the comments of each verse.
Whose commentary, if you don't mind me asking?

I would suggest this one, but it may be too expensive.

It has both modern commentaries and a translation of a traditional commentary (the Héshànggōng 河上公, ~50AD) with extensive translator's notes on those commentaries. It is a very good critical edition, but the scholar involved in the modern commentary might have an overly critical tone(!).

http://editoraunesp.com.br/catalogo/978 ... ao-de-jing
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

chownah
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by chownah » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:54 am

In reading the tao te ching I think that referring to commentaries too much tends to blunt the meaning.....because a meaning which one finds through ones own thoughts and contemplations will benefit one best. The eternal tao brings forth the 10,000 things with names but is itself nameless.
chownah

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:05 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:54 am
In reading the tao te ching I think that referring to commentaries too much tends to blunt the meaning
Certainly, an over-reliance on the perceived authority of commentary might as well be blind faith in an infallible teacher.

But it seems to me most translations of the Dàodéjīng one will encounter on the bookshelves are very idiomatic and individualistic renderings. Frequently no two have substantial correspondence between them. This is due to a tendency to want reconstruct the inner meaning of the Dàodéjīng and render it into English, which involves a lot of interpretation on the part of a translator, which, rightly or wrongly, leads to a very individualistic interpretation and final rendering into English by necessity.

It can help to know what the received tradition of Daoist literature thinks of a given passage, even if that received tradition textually originates in approximately 50AD, far after Lǎozǐ's time.

That being said though, even if one does not consider it highly authoritative or anything of the like, I think Héshànggōng is a fascinating sage in his own right, and he is much less often read than Lǎozǐ. The Héshànggōng is a different sort of 'commentary' than, say, the Mahāṭṭhakathā. I would recommend Héshànggōng to anyone interested in Lǎozǐ, regardless of if they wanted to treat it as "orthodoxy" or something like that.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:17 am

DDJI, English rendering by John H. C. Wu:


道可道,非常道。名可名,非常名。
Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao.
Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name.

無名天地之始;有名萬物之母。
As the origin of heaven-and-earth, it is nameless:
As "the Mother" of all things, it is nameable.

故常無欲,以觀其妙;常有欲,以觀其徼。
So, as ever hidden, we should look at its inner essence:
As always manifest, we should look at its outer aspects.

此兩者,同出而異名,同謂之玄。玄之又玄,
These two flow from the same source, though differently named;
And both are called mysteries.

衆妙之門。
The Mystery of mysteries is the Door of all essence.


HSGI, commentary:

常名當如嬰兒之未言,
The always present name is like a child who has not yet spoken.

雞子之未分,
Like an egg, not yet opened.

明珠在蚌中,
Like the bright pearl in the clam.

美玉處石間,
Like beautiful Jade in the centre of stone.

內雖昭昭,
Although inside it is bright and shining,

外如愚頑。
its outside is stupid and dull.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:17 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:05 am
Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:05 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:24 pm


IMO translations of Daoist scripture are poetic and confusing.
I am reading the Tao Te Ching with the comments of each verse.
Whose commentary, if you don't mind me asking?

I would suggest this one, but it may be too expensive.

It has both modern commentaries and a translation of a traditional commentary (the Héshànggōng 河上公, ~50AD) with extensive translator's notes on those commentaries. It is a very good critical edition, but the scholar involved in the modern commentary might have an overly critical tone(!).

http://editoraunesp.com.br/catalogo/978 ... ao-de-jing
Tao Te Ching - Wu Jhy Cherng

https://www.saraiva.com.br/tao-te-ching ... e4QAvD_BwE

http://sociedadetaoista.com.br/blog/soc ... yh-cherng/
chownah wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:54 am
In reading the tao te ching I think that referring to commentaries too much tends to blunt the meaning.....because a meaning which one finds through ones own thoughts and contemplations will benefit one best. The eternal tao brings forth the 10,000 things with names but is itself nameless.
chownah
I am practicing the first 5 moves of Tai Chi Chuan Style Chen - Lao Jia Yi Lu




:anjali:
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:21 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:17 am
DDJI, English rendering by John H. C. Wu:
it's very different even

:anjali:
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http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:22 am

Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:21 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:17 am
DDJI, English rendering by John H. C. Wu:
it's very different even
Certainly, but I have to choose one! :spy:
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:26 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:22 am
Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:21 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:17 am
DDJI, English rendering by John H. C. Wu:
it's very different even
Certainly, but I have to choose one! :spy:
or read some and put into practice what you can, preferably what will do you good

:spy:

:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

Saengnapha
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:29 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:22 am
Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:21 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:17 am
DDJI, English rendering by John H. C. Wu:
it's very different even
Certainly, but I have to choose one! :spy:
Have you read any of the books by Nan Huai Chin?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:18 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:29 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:22 am
Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:21 am


it's very different even
Certainly, but I have to choose one! :spy:
Have you read any of the books by Nan Huai Chin?
I haven't actually, but recommendations are always welcome!

I'm working on a rather daunting text at the moment, but will be sure to keep this in mind when I am finished!
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

pyluyten
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by pyluyten » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:36 pm

Coëmgenu wrote: If I may offer some contextualization to the above.

I think that one of the reasons why this parable of the man and the butterfly is so famous in East Asian Buddhism is because it can be construed to be about the artificiality of satkāyadṛṣṭi.

As you mention, there are differences between perception in dreams and perception in the world, such as the nature of the sense objects, or mental objects, one is interacting with.

But consider, have you ever had a dream in which you were an animal? Or perhaps you were simply "another person"?

I dreamt I was a cat one time. To the best of my memory, as reliably as I can recall the dream, I believe my mind did its best to guess what the existence, mentally and bodily, of a cat might be like.

When we are in dreams, we do not always have access to the reflective knowledge to realize that we are in a dream. Sometimes in dreams we are even different people. Sometimes in dreams we are the same person as we are when waking, but we act, behave, or perhaps think very differently.

Some people have dreams in which they go on murderous rampages, only to be horrified upon waking. They would never do that.

But in the dream, when Zhōu was a butterfly, Zhōu really was a butterfly inasmuch as his mind told him. He, surely, was also a sleeping man on a bed. But he was also a butterfly, albeit in mind/dream-only. Consider the ending line in light of that, "Zhōu and the butterfly however necessarily exist divided. This is called reification." The reification, the division, is perhaps between the sleeping man dreaming and his experience of dreams.

When we have a dream, "we" are really in that dream. We are really dreaming. As much as we are "really" driving a car or "really" sitting at a computer reading a web forum.
Thanks, I agree there is a reason this text is popular - even outside of Asia btw - and agree also on your reasonning, the interesting point is about the dreamer being a different person. Where there is something "complient" with buddhism : this Self is rather an idea amongts others. While i maintain my own ideas but we might understand each others better, so :anjali:

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:56 pm

Lucas Oliveira wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:21 pm
Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

昔者庄周梦为蝴蝶,栩栩然蝴蝶也,自喻适志与,不知周也。俄然觉,则戚戚然周也。不知周之梦为蝴蝶与,蝴蝶之梦为周与?周与蝴蝶则必有分矣。此之谓物化。
昔者莊周夢為蝴蝶,栩栩然蝴蝶也,自喻適志與,不知周也。俄然覺,則戚戚然周也。不知周之夢為蝴蝶與,蝴蝶之夢為周與?週與蝴蝶則必有分矣。此之謂物化。 (traditional)

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things.

Image

Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense!

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Zhuangzi


:namaste:



:namaste:
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