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Taoism FAQ's

To: alt.philosophy.taoism
From: Jew)
Subject: Re: Taoism FAQ's (was Questions from ...)
Date: 22 Mar 2000 18:09:16 GMT wrote: 
DoctorNine wrote:
Musician wrote: 
>(CT is) Probably older than TTC too...
>maybe the original Taoist tome.
>Hey D9,
>This is the first I've heard of this, so naturally I'm inclined
>to ask for some more info....

>IIRC, A.C. Graham was the first to put forward the theory that
>Lao tzu (Laozi) was partially or wholely 'invented' by Chuang
>tzu (Zhuangzi) as a rhetorical tool.  

In my way of seeing this, there's definitely a mutual sense to
this whole plethora of *practical tools*, if we position this by
contextual means. First of all, during this ancient time of great
crisis-driven tribal warring --(opportuned) for *civilizing*--
"intuition" entered to distill (it's) expansiveness into it.
However it dropped --by affect-ion of mental "rhetorical tools",
or healing, or what have you-- yet, distilled in. That both
Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu were members of an "esoteric circle. Them,
having disciples, to each having passed on a collection of
ancient Taoists teachings" (Cleary) --became available that
aspect, of humankind's 'special-ity'.   

Hence, for scholars, trying to fit Chuang Tzu into a Lao Tzu
"Ching" social-political pattern, or the later's oft presented
Huang-Lao tome, is to find it much more diverse than necessarily
positing it for a time frame for fact unfolding, but it may have
been just *timely*. The "rhetorical tool" dwelt with by the
"Chuang Tzu(s)" or "Lao Tzu(s)" were also practicing instructions
to would-be students, whom would be capable of realizing one's
True nature/Self/*Xin*, from heart-aching artificialities.  

>The redundency of many of the stories in the CT and Lieh Tzu
>(LT) lead me to suspect that much of the original material now
>encoded into the ching, was really a continuous stream of oral
>tradition, that was written down and codified at various stages,
>so as not to be lost.

Yes. In getting back to "Graham"'s "Chuang Tzu: The Inner
Chapters", we have --besides the many scholar's acceptances of
your note, originaly pre-scribed by "oral tradition"-- "they did
not write books, they jotted down sayings, verses, stories,
thoughts and by the third century BC composed essays, on bamboo
strips which were tied together in sheets and rolled up in


"Chuang Tzu: The Inner Chapters". tr. Graham
"Wen-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries: Further Teachings of Lao
Tzu" tr. Thomas Cleary

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