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Old 09-21-2009, 02:25 AM   #61
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With all due respect, I would and do.

The basis of Taoist writings, the 'Tao Te Ching' (Taoism's most fundamental teaching) states it as its second chapter. As one translations says;

" Judging beauty creates ugliness.
Defining good creates evil.
All and void arise together.
Hard and soft,
long and short,
high and low,
sound and silence,
now and then.
Opposites exist because of each other."

This is repeated once again in Chapter Five;

"The realm of heaven and earth is indifferent to the myriad creatures.
They appear as straw dogs.
The sage is indifferent to the multitudes of men.
They appear as straw dogs.
The realm of heaven and earth is like a bellows,
both empty and full.
Moving, it brings forth, endlessly."

Again, in Chapter Twenty;

"Between yes and no, is there really much difference?
Good and bad, are they so far apart?
Must I think as others think?
Alas, there would be no end to fear.

Sorry, but I must disagree with you. We do need balance. We do need to accept both parts of the 'issue.' We need to see them not as opposites but as compliments to each other. Classic literature and pulp fiction.

This is at the heart of Chuang Tsu's writings, Kwang Dze's writings, early Confucian writing, as well as Lao Tsu's two classics, 'Treatise on Response and Retrobution' and the 'Tao Te Ching.' It's the second fundamental concept of the Tao.


Stitchawl
I think I misread your usage of "fundamental", taking the colloquial usage of "important" and not the technical as a "background" detail, which I would agree with.

Duality in Daoism wasn't really that big a thing until commentaries written much later and later redefinitions like Zhuangzi. Early on it was simply a part of the Daodejing, a contextual background for understanding the actual teachings. Trying to assign philosophical significance to it compared to anything else in the book like the water analogy is more of a later interpretation, again similar to my taijiquan analogy. I won't comment on Marshall's translation, other than I don't really care for it. Depending on how a person learns to read classical Chinese, their view of how a phrase is rendered is often distorted.

Also note that duality was not unique to Daoism and likely predates it by a significant margin. It was not a new idea to Laozi or his students, which is why I play down the "significance" aspect.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:43 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
I think I misread your usage of "fundamental", taking the colloquial usage of "important" and not the technical as a "background" detail, which I would agree with.
Understood! I should have been more clear and said 'foundation.'

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Duality in Daoism wasn't really that big a thing until commentaries written much later and later redefinitions like Zhuangzi. Early on it was simply a part of the Daodejing, a contextual background for understanding the actual teachings.
I hear you. Attempting to 'take apart' Taoism is antithetical to its prime directive, which give me pause over any of the commentaries!

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I won't comment on Marshall's translation, other than I don't really care for it. Depending on how a person learns to read classical Chinese, their view of how a phrase is rendered is often distorted.
Absotivly! I'm sure that you, as I do, have many different translations of each text at hand. I just picked one that had the least 'inscrutable' translation to post here!

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It was not a new idea to Laozi or his students, which is why I play down the "significance" aspect.
From your use of the name 'Laozi,' do I assume correctly that you are in Japan rather than China?

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:27 AM   #63
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Dan Brown is a very "engaging" writer. He gets his readers engaged with his work and they want to keep reading. This is a good thing, because we need best-sellers. One or two big best-selling authors can support a publisher so they have the resources to try new writers in case they strike it big.
JK Rowling is a good writer and a best-selling author. It doesn't have to be either or. That just happens to frequently be the case. Unfortunate, really.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:52 AM   #64
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All the reading I do gives me pleasure. (I don't read newspapers...) It's relaxation, education, meditation, and sublimation. And it's all good for me. Just as long as I don't read the newspapers.

Stitchawl
A politically active friend of mine berates me because I choose to avoid all current events. (Everything from reality TV to local news to national/world politics)
Getting thru my daily life is hard enough without having to worry about the goings ons of our city, region & world.
Reading, whether learning something or joining the world of a fiction writer is pleasure. It's getting away from the daily existence we find ourselves in. (whatever that daily existence entails)
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:16 AM   #65
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A politically active friend of mine berates me because I choose to avoid all current events. (Everything from reality TV to local news to national/world politics)
Getting thru my daily life is hard enough without having to worry about the goings ons of our city, region & world.
Reading, whether learning something or joining the world of a fiction writer is pleasure. It's getting away from the daily existence we find ourselves in. (whatever that daily existence entails)

The only thing I've ever learned from the news, be it paper, TV, radio, etc., is that the sky is falling!

I can die from Swine Flu, Avian Flu, SARS, etc., should I venture outside without a mask. If I dare to travel, they insist I must learn about the latest bombings, terrorist attacks, et al, as if my knowing about them will somehow keep me safe.

Does the media want me safe, or does it just want me frightened? If they really wanted to do something positive, how about a year-long media blitz, every paper, every news case, every reality show, every day... about drunk driving? More people die from that in just one weekend in one metropolitan city than from all the combined diseases in the news over the last 5 years!

I'll get off my soapbox now... think I'll read a good book! Maybe even a bad book! No mater. I'll enjoy it!

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Old 09-21-2009, 08:23 AM   #66
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Absotivly! I'm sure that you, as I do, have many different translations of each text at hand. I just picked one that had the least 'inscrutable' translation to post here!
Yeah I've had to look at quite a few translations, but I also read classical Chinese and have done translations of certain parts myself. Translation of such old works is incredibly frustrating, and commentaries, despite their disadvantages, have the advantage of postulating on possible references in the text to other works. This is especially the case with pre-Qin stuff since a huge amount of possible source material was lost before the Han, and undoubtedly a lot more has disappeared since then. Chinese literature tends to reflect on older Chinese work, and is only occasionally fully self-contained. In Japan, the same can be found in poetry and drama.

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From your use of the name 'Laozi,' do I assume correctly that you are in Japan rather than China?
Nope, I'm in former Taihokushi. Actually, Laozi is the accepted 漢語拼音Hanyu Pinyin Romanized spelling of 老子, and Lao-Tzu is from another Romanization method called Wade-Giles. The latter is still occasionally used, mostly in academia, but China standardized Hanyu Pinyin, and it's being used more and more (much to the chagrin of many Taiwanese who are seeing it adopted for street names in Taipei). I use it because I don't feel like confusing people with apostrophes (WG chi = HP ji, WG ch'i = HP qi, etc.).

Sorry again for my confusion before!
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:44 AM   #67
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Hahaha...I don't work with children, but that was interesting, if a bit of a caricature. Blending the question/reason principles into other styles is advantageous and much less time-consuming. That teacher also looked at it from the perspective of participation and student interest, which is also a somewhat important, but limited perspective and in many places has led to little more than a transformation of the teacher into a clown or entertainer, where job security depends primarily on popularity.
Isn't that how it worked (at least regarding the last part) in universities of olden days?

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I could write a huge post on the way teaching works in Asia, but I'm trying to avoid it, because I think it will just put me in a bad mood.
Be morose! That's a post I want to read.

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Old 09-21-2009, 08:47 AM   #68
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JK Rowling is a good writer and a best-selling author.
Are you sure you don't mean she isn't a [i]bad[/b] writer?

The write quality scale is rather long. Plenty of space between the "good writer" and "bad writer" marks. I'd have imagined she places firmly in between those, however close to the "good writer" mark.

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Old 09-21-2009, 10:01 AM   #69
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:09 AM   #70
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Too often I see pictures of celebrities with books in their hands and these books are almost always 'good for you books' and it makes me wonder if they are actually reading them or just posing. I've rarely seen one with a "trashy" book in their hands.
Just because some overpaid idiot says a book is "good for you", doesn't mean that it is. There is a difference between books that will make you a fuller/richer human being and ones that are popular (and, most often, only make you a more clichédly overemotional one).

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Old 09-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #71
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Just because some overpaid idiot says a book is "good for you", doesn't mean that it is. There is a difference between books that will make you a fuller/richer human being and ones that are popular (and, most often, only make you a more clichédly overemotional one).

- Ahi
So you're saying I should quit Oprah's book club?
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:49 AM   #72
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:53 AM   #73
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:07 AM   #74
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Why have the MOVIE at all? The book came first, and as always was hundreds of times better than the movie.
Twilight is the best book I have ever read, and hundreds of years from now I'm sure other people will be saying the same.
Romeo and Juliet is always praised for being great and its a love story, Yet Twilight also a love story is usually criticized. Only difference is Twilight has its happily ever after while Romeo and Juliet ends in tragedy.
Why are the tragedies usually praised?( By the way I hated Romeo and Juliet!)
My understanding of it is, that the movie made things more campy and isn't quite as good as the books. I am also under the understanding that the books aren't all that well written, but still a fun read. (I've not read them, and so this is based on the opinion of a dozen or so people I know that have read the books and seen the movie). Thinking of it, almost everyone I know that read the books hated the movie.

As far as the criticism, well, it isn't so much the basic premise of that it has a happy ending, but rather that it just isn't that great of a story. Note that enjoyable, and good are two different things. I love watching B movies, yet you'll never see me saying that they're great works of art.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:09 AM   #75
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If there's virtually nothing different between the Twilight movie and the book (and I don't recall there being any real difference), why have the book at all?
Oooh, I missed that one!

Impossible, my dear Watson.

A book is made of words. A movie is made of images and sounds.

How can you by any possible stretch of the imagination say that there is "virtually nothing different" between the two?

If there was "virtually nothing different", the movie would be redundent (not the book, since it was there first). Obviously some people don't feel that way, since presumably a number of them read the book AND saw the movie. Or the other way around.

Even movie/televised versions of theater plays can't be said to have "virtually nothing different" from the written play. I'm sure you can find many versions of most Shakespeare plays made at different times by different people, and -surprise!- they aren't all the same

Making a movie means creating something. Good or bad, 100% original or inspired from another work. It's still a work in its own right. There are even movies made from other movies. You may feel they don't do the original justice, or that they are better. But nobody will ever say that they are "virtually the same".
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