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Lecture 8

Lecture 8-10.pdf


Department
Religious Studies
Course Code
RELG 253
Professor
Victor S?gen Hori
Lecture
8

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Daoism
Introduction
No idea when Lao was born
But around Confucius
Text tradition/founders
Lao Tzu (Laozi)
No idea what he looked like
Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)
The definition and description of Daoism in Western textbooks doesn't actually exist in
China
Chinese conception
Lots of temples that have ghosts and spirits
Other worlds (like Heaven and Hell)
Rituals
Shamanistic visitations
Philosophical Daoism and Religious Daoism
PD: Tao chia
RD: Tao chiao
Lao Tzu
Means aged teacher
No biography, no information about the person
May be a single or many people
Shih Chi
63 cites and 3 legends in which Lao Tzu appears
First history of China
Legend that Lao Tzu left the western pass on a water buffalo
The pass leads for India or the Mediterranean
Claim that he left China, went thru the western pass to India, and became the
buddha
Legend
Mother was pregnant for 72 years
Then he was born from his mother's right side
Influence of Buddhism (part of the legend of Buddha's birth too)
Born as an aged man
Live several hundreds years
Never dies
When he went through the pass, the gate keeper made him write down his teachings
Belief in immortality
Through yoga, alchemy, good nutrition
The Text
"5000 characters"
More than that
81 short chapters
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No proper names of people or places
Mixed rhyme and prose
Repeated or similar passages
Called Tao Te Ching
First half starts with Tao (the way) et second is with Te (virtue)
Ching = the sutra
Tombs
Mawangdui's tomb
163 BCE
Silk texts of the Tao Te Ching
The two halves were reversed
The Tao
The Way
Metaphysical reality
Chapter 1: Nameless
Tao called Tao is not Tao
Talking about the Tao, describe the pristine of the Tao
Names can name no lasting name
Nameless: the origin of heaven and the earth
Naming: the mother of the 10,000 things
Chapter 56
Those who know don't talk, those who talk don't know
Unity of Opposites
Ch.2 recognizes beauty and ugliness is born
Idea of yin and yang
Opposites are human constructions
But the opposite is the same
What's someone misfortune can be interpreted as fortune by someone else
FIVE
Too much is not better
Must focus on one sense at a time
Heaven
Heaven hates what it hates - who knows why
Not necessarily nice to people
In Confucianism, Heaven is kind to men
Punishes people that are mean to other men
In Daoism, Heaven and Earth are not kind
Once the use of human is over, they're just thrown in fire
Before Heaven and Earth, there was the Dao
Do not contend
"Combattre" "Lutter"
"Best to be like water"
You shouldn't try to be better than everyone else
e.g. Martial arts --> you do not try to be stronger than your opponent; you use the
other person's strength against him
Non-action
Wu wei
The sage is devoted to non-action
The sage does without trying
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