Liezi - Wikipedia
The Book of Lieh-Tzu: A Classic of the Tao [A. C. (translator) Lieh-Tzu; Graham] on thebluetones.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This alone is strong evidence in favour of the priority of Lieh Tzu, for there is no doubt that the breach 50) is a typical one of this class. .. our universe must obey the natural law of disintegration, and at some distant date disappear altogether. The Lieh-tzu is a collection of stories and philosophical musings of a sage of the same name who lived around the fourth century BCE. The I Ching or Book of Changes by Anonymous Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu The Analects by .. The most accessible of the Taoist classics. Ce receuil d'anecdotes date de l'antiquité.
This indicates a later dating of much, if not all, of the text. On the contrary, it shows signs of reconciliation of Ruist and Daoist ideas: Incidentally, that one of the chapters of the text is named after Confucius should not, by itself, be taken as significant. The chapter is so named, solely because the name of Confucius appears at the beginning of the first story. This eclectic reconciliation of Ruism, Daoism, and on occasion Mohism, is indication of the post-Qin provenance of the relevant passages.
Stories here and there resonate with some of the tenets of Sanlun the Chinese form of MadhyamakaWeishilun the Chinese form of Yogacaraand Huayan. The resonances are highly suggestive, but the evidence is not decisive enough to be sure of any influence, either of Buddhist ideas on the Liezi, or vice versa. If the conjecture of Buddhist influence is correct, it would also place the relevant passages of the text well into, if not after, the Han dynasty.
Liu Xiang, the Western Han scholar, says in his preface that he edited and collated material from twenty chapters distributed in other collections, and reduced them to eight by eliminating excess materials. Each chapter contains a series of stories, each developing some theme whose antecedents can often be discerned from the Laozi or the Zhuangzi.
Most of the text contains material of philosophical interest. However, myths and folk tales based on similar themes, but with no apparent philosophical value, can be found side by side with stories that have profound philosophical significance.
Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living
While the earliest reference to the text Liu Xiang lists a chapter with the title, the currently extant version of this chapter has little to nothing in common with the rest of the book, and indeed espouses a hedonist philosophy of pleasure seeking that is inconsistent with the cultivation of indifference toward worldly things that is characteristic of much of the rest of the book, and of the Zhuang-Lie approach to Daoism in general.
Their claim is that the textual material was compiled, edited, and written by a single author who intended to deceive readers into believing that this was an ancient text. Certainly, the text is an eclectic compilation consisting of early materials which can be found in other texts, together with original material dating from well after the time period from which its supposed author is said to have lived.
Moreover, it is not clear why this should be considered sufficient reason to reject, and neglect, the Liezi as a philosophical text. Moreover, from a purely philosophical point of view, whoever wrote the text, and whenever it was written, it contains much material that expresses distinctively recognizable strands of Lao-Zhuang thought, with sufficient complexity and sophistication to warrant serious study as the third of the important Daoist philosophical texts.
Central Concepts in the Liezi a. In particular, while the formulations suggest an asymmetric relation of dependence—namely, that a realm beyond the conditions of existing things is itself a necessary condition for the existing, changing, things that we encounter, and not vice versa—it does not clearly and explicitly assert it as a necessarily asymmetrical relation.
Still, this chapter goes much further than the Laozi or the Zhuangzi toward articulating anything like this sort of transcendence, and so if we are going to claim to find anything like it in the Daoist tradition, our best bet is with the Liezi.
Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living by Liezi
The chapter begins with an account of something that is the condition of the existence of living and changing things. At first glance, this appears to define a metaphysical beyond that can only be hinted at negatively: It is the unborn that is able to produce the living, and the unchanging that is able to change the changing.
This strongly suggests a dependence of the living on the unborn, of the changing on the unchanging. Thus, the passage can still be read as entirely consistent with the typical Daoist claim that the stages of living and not living, and of change and not changing, are interdependent contrasts, each giving rise to the other.
The chapter also contains an explicit cosmology a philosophical account of the basic makeup of the worldand, asks about the beginnings of heaven and earth.
The text postulates several great beginnings, taiyi, taichu, taishi, taisuwhich successively mark an undifferentiated stage, a stage of energy qia stage of embodied form xingand a stage of intrinsic stuff zhi.
Taoist teachings from the book of Lieh Tzu;
The energies or perhaps forms, or stuff, the text is not explicit divide into two kinds: There follows an intriguing passage in which it is stated that that which produces, shapes, and colors, has not yet tasted, existed, or appeared.
Here, an attempt is made to articulate a distinction between a realm of form that has perceptible properties, and a realm prior to form, shape, smell, etc which is responsible for these, and which itself does not have these perceptible properties. This passage is significant, because in this case, an asymmetry is for the first time explicitly articulated.Full Audio Book Taoist Teachings: The Book of Lieh Tzu A Timeless Spiritual Classic
However, the asymmetry is not asserted as a necessity, but merely as a contingent fact, thus still leaving room for interpreting the producer and the produced as interdependent. After considering the cosmic beginnings, the chapter ends with a discussion of the possible end of the world.
If the heavens and the earth are accumulated qi, then why might they not eventually come apart? Several answers are considered: It is beyond our knowledge whether they could ever come apart.
While the logic of this answer is left incomplete, it reminds us of the logic of the Sanlun philosophy of Madhyamaka Buddhism.
There are other places in the Liezi where these hints of Sanlun emerge more explicitly, suggesting the possibility of Buddhist influence, and thereby a later dating of the text or at least of these passages.
Full text of "Taoist teachings from the book of Lieh Tzu;"
It is worth noting, however, that the anti-metaphysical stance of Madhyamaka Buddhism is inconsistent with the positing of a realm of transcendence—thereby complicating the issue still further. Huang Di The Yellow Emperor The Daoists are known for extolling the marvellous abilities of people with extraordinary skills, and the Liezi is no exception. Stories abound of people who perform breathtaking, sometimes life-threatening, feats with tranquil ease and flawless artistry. While these people are not directly called sages, they are nevertheless looked up to as exemplary of the ideals of the Daoist way of life.
What they have is extraordinary ability, but it is not to be understood mere daring or bravery; nor is it to be understood as qiao, skill, dexterity, or craftsmanship, in the ordinary sense of those terms. It is not simply a matter of technique, but rather of inner cultivation. These abilities arise when one understands and follows the natures or tendencies of things, and it is an understanding that cannot be put into words.
As such, it is not something that one consciously knows: In other cases, or for other people, years of fasting, training, and discipline are necessary to cultivate such abilities. To engage successfully with things requires penetrating through to the inner tendencies of things, to that which lies at the root of things, beyond their observable shape and form.
The sage unifies his nature xingenergies, and potency, with a single-minded concentration on the task at hand, aware of nothing except the circumstances and the goal, and is subtly in tune with the innermost core of things. What is the relation between them?
From an idealist perspective, the difference is less radical. It is, to a large extent, a difference in degree, rather than in kind. Waking experience is simply more coherent and more enduring, and is shared by others. What, then, if there were a kind of dream experience that was more coherent and more enduring?
How would we draw the distinction then? What if there a kind of dream experience that could be shared with others? Would this not constitute a radical challenge to the distinction between waking and dreaming?
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It is notable that the term huan is used to talk of the status of dreams, and thereby also of our waking experience to the extent that it too is considered to be dreamlike. In some sense, all experience is for us a magnificent, magical display, a phantasmagoria of sensory delights and horrors. Seen in this light, dream and waking experience become equalized: From an idealist perspective of this sort, waking experience is ultimately no different from a dream.
This is reminiscent of the Vedanta conception of maya, and indeed it is noteworthy that huan is the word standardly used to translate the Buddhist concept of maya. Zhong Ni Confucius In the opening of this chapter, Confucius is found lamenting his lack of success in life, and his beloved disciple Yan Hui reminds him to cultivate indifference.
Confucius responds in a manner that attempts to provide a reconciliation of Daoist virtue and cultivation with Ruist social involvement.
Thus, coming to terms with tian and ming means more than simply accepting everything that happens to us with equanimity or indifference. Equanimity means rejoicing in nothing, but to rejoice in nothing requires rejoicing equally in everything. And to rejoice equally in everything requires being fully immersed in each and every one of our concerns, in our successes and failures.
This is a very clever reinterpretation of the Daoist cultivation of equanimity that makes it compatible with care and concern for social ventures. It takes Daoist logic that leads us away from worldliness, and follows it through so that it leads us right back into the thick of things. In doing so, it anticipates the Chan Zen response to Huayan Buddhism.
The problem is posed, and different answers are suggested, but I think it would be a mistake to try to find a consistent metaphysical position asserted as the correct one. Rather, the text engages in a literary-philosophical exploration of some possibilities. Also, several implications are explored, drawing together concepts from other chapters: As we move from region to region throughout its boundless extent, we meet up with increasingly strange varieties of things.
My body is in accord with my mind, my mind with my energies, my energies with my spirit, my spirit with Nothing. Whenever the minutest existing thing or the faintest sound affects me, whether it is far away beyond the eight borderlands, or close at hand between my eyebrows and eyelashes, I am bound to know it.
However, I do not know whether I perceived it with the seven holes in my head and my four limbs, or knew it through my heart and belly and internal organs. It is simply self-knowledge.
Therefore he can win out over things and not hurt himself. The Liezi is most similar with the Zhuangzi. They share many characters and stories; Graham The Zhuangzi also mentions Liezi in four chapters and Lie Yukou in three. For example, this famous passage: As far as the search for good fortune went, he didn't fret and worry. He escaped the trouble of walking, but he still had to depend on something to get around. If he had only mounted on the truth of Heaven and Earth, ridden the changes of the six breaths, and thus wandered through the boundless, then what would he have had to depend on?
Watson The final two chapters have heterogeneous contents that differ from the Daoism elsewhere in the book. Chapter 7 records the Hedonist philosophy of "Yang Zhu" Yangziinfamous for the criticism of Mencius that he, "believed in 'every man for himself. Muller Zhang Zhan speculates that this chapter, focusing on indulgence in physical and temporary pleasures, was from Lie Yuko's earlier years as a hedonist, before he became a Daoist.
The well-known scholar of Chinese philosophy, Wing-Tsit Chan After translating Lieziwhich Barrett He discovered many cases where the Liezi is clearly secondary to other texts, but none where it is the primary source for a passage. The Preface to the revised Liezi translation Although in most scholars in China already recognized the late date of [Liezi], most Westerners were still disinclined to question its antiquity.