The fish are biting and I’m reeling ’em in, I’m just not posting ’em. Posting requires so much clean up to make ’em fit for reading.
Finishing the last chapter of the Tao Te Ching was the catalyst I guess I needed to reevaluate things. I’ve wondered for a while now why I post in the first place.
I mean, the Taoist point of view has to be among the oddest and most ironic subjects to speak on. After all, he who knows does not speak, he who speaks does not know.
So I have to ask myself, if I don’t know, why reveal my ignorance? On the other hand, if I do know, why am I speaking? To be fair, that pithy “He who knows…” statement is not the whole story. On the positive side, trying to write coherently is a fascinating challenge for me, and my observations do appear to benefit a few people. Simply put, I am composing and performing ‘music’, as seen from a mysterious sameness point of view anyway. Now certainly, my ‘songs’ are music to nearly no ones ears, but that is just as it should be. Meaning, a Taoist ‘song’ seeks to poke through the bio-hoodwink and sing it as ‘it’ is, not as we want ‘it’ to be. Popularity would just be symptomatic of singing it off-key, Taoist-wise.
Tao Te Ching, Word for Word
I just ordered a handful of my just completed translation (see below). We’ll use it here at our monthly meeting along side D.C. Lau’s translation. I think having the nearly literal version to refer to along side D.C. Lau’s version will be helpful. I notice that all translations bear an inherent problem due to relative word meaning. Meaning, when translating the Chinese to English, one must choose one word among several related meanings. Each of these can mean something different in the mind of the beholder – translator and reader alike. On top of this tenuous situation, rest an even fuzzier one for pseudo translations (like Steven Mitchel’s for example), which are actually interpretations of authentic translations. The benefit of correlations is that the process bears none of these problems. The whole responsibility of discerning meaning lies with the bewildered mind of ‘correlator’. Maybe that accounts for its great ‘popularity’. 😉
I will continue to reevaluate my translation over time to make it more readable when possible, yet with any luck, also more accurate. Still, that may just amount to moving the furniture around the room. Now, with that disclaimer, anyone wishing a copy can buy direct from the printer Lulu. Lulu doesn’t ship abroad, so if anyone outside the USA wants a copy we can work something out. I’d really appreciate any comments, questions and criticisms with an eye to making it better. Great perfection here we come.
Is redundancy the name of the game?
I feel like I’ve said it all before, ad nausium. Still, a constant echo seems to be useful to counteract the bio-hoodwink. Reviewing the view I see in my most balanced moments helps anchor me in my less balanced ones. From what I can tell, that is a common human practice. Forgetting what we truly want of life is all-too-easy!
Adventures of aging
I never remember any old people telling me how fascinating aging was or would be, although if they had, it probably wouldn’t have registered, i.e. one can only understand what one already knows. I seem to be having increasing difficulty remembering things. My mind is becoming blanker. That has some interesting effects; insight seems to flow like water through the void my mind is becoming. This ties into the sleep on it and blind spot issue John Clease spoke about.
On the other hand, I could just be seeing myself more as I actually am rather than the ‘genius’ I once liked to think I was. Yes, that old ‘Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty‘ issue. That offers a twist on the idea of a ‘self fulfilling prophecy’. What you think is so prevents you from seeing what is actually so, which make it more like a ‘self fulfilling prophecy bubble‘.
Another possibility is that I could be experiencing the beginnings of Alzheimer’s and the hole it produces in memory lead to my final days of insight before the mind’s curtain falls. Speculating is such fun, especially given how life usually turns out differently from anything we think. It is an adventure, that’s for sure!