Saturday, May 14, 2011

No entries

Due to Blogger's problems, there are no entries for May the 13th and the 14th.

I am sorry, my friends.

Naoto Matsumoto


VZ said...

Could you please explain why 芻狗 (straw dogs) could not have meanin 野狗 (stray dogs). IMHO "stray dog" better fits general idea of the text ("do not own", "do not manage").

NaotoMatsumoto said...

Hello, VD-san. Thank you for your question.

It could.

Personally, I prefer "straw dogs", though. For the act of throwing away the straw dogs symbolizes the detachment of the sage.

One can argue that there is too much of intention in the act. He is right. As for non-possession and non-control, "stray dogs" can express them better.

Nevertheless, I like the contrast of the ways people treat the straw dogs before and after the ritual.
The true mercy is merciless.
To avoid the conventional connotation of "mercy", the indifference towards the straw dogs after the ritual might serve us much, I suppose.

(For other readers) Would you please see Tao by Matsumoto site / 5a Straw Dogs ( There is the translation of the concerned paragraph in Chuang Tzu Book 14 Chapter 4.

At True wisdom 5-2 in this blog, you will find the concerned text and the link to the page mentioned above.

Naoto Matsumoto

VZ said...

Thank you for your answer and for your great web-site.
I would like to ask some more questions concerning some terms and phrases, for example, about the term 仁 (mercy?). Can we continue discussions here in the blog?

NaotoMatsumoto said...

No problem, VZ-san.

Just one thing. In order to share the ideas with other readers, do you mind if I ask you to find a corresponding article to your question either in this blog or in YouTube?

It might help others with the same questions, I suppose.

Naoto Matsumoto

VZ said...

Thank you.

Let's conider the phrase :
"Heaven and earth have no mercy. They treat everything as straw dogs. The sage has no mercy. He treats everyone as straw dogs."

The phrase contains the word "仁" (translated as "mercy" here). English is not my native language, and it is hard for me to understand meaning of the word "mercy". "Mercy" could be interpreted as: (1) in common sense like in the phrase "Don't kill me! Please, mercy me!", or (2) like it is used in the Bible (Old Testament), Hebrew meaning, (3) like it is used in the Bible (New Testament), Greek meaning, (3) like in Slavic, etc., translations of the Bible (for example, Slavic meaning of "mercy" is "generosity").

Due to that, the statement above could be interpreted starting from "Heaven and earth do not have pity to anything..." (i.e. they are ready to kill anything), up to "Heaven and earth are not generous to anything" (they do not want to feed anything).
(By the way, how heaven and earth could be [not] merciful to such things like stones, trees or cars?)

In my opinion, better interpretation of the phrase comes from the pictogram of the kanji "仁" (translated here as "mercy"). The kanji consists from parts: "a man" and "two". Among other interpretations of the kanji, it could be intetrpreted as "two human beings merged into one" or "two entities merged into one", or "two entities considered as one". Some esoterical schools calls such "merge" as "identification".

So, we could translate
"天地不仁,以萬物為芻狗;聖人不仁,以百姓為芻狗。" as:
"Heaven and earth do not identify themselfself with anything, they treat all things as stray dogs; The sage does not identify himself with people, he treats all people as stray dogs."

Because heaven and earth are not identical:
"Between heaven and earth, isn't it a bellows?", etc.

What do you think about that? :)

NaotoMatsumoto said...

Excuse me, VZ-san.

I did not make myself understood. I apologize.

What I meant was:

"Would you please find a corresponding article either in this blog (not this entry here) or in YouTube?
And please post the question at the corresponding article. (Not right here)".

Other people interested in the article/blog entry can read our comments more easily this way, I suppose.

Would you mind?

Besides, in order to have a fruitful exchange of thoughts, do you mind if I ask you to watch a few videos concerning the subject of your question beforehand?

For example, «Is a bellows a hologram? 5-3» and «Restructured World 15-12» will tell you about holograms.

«Object 21-2» and «Formed Object 21-3» will tell you about "common sense".

Then, you will find out my standpoint about "common sense" and "heaven and earth".

I hope you will enjoy my Tao Te Ching videos and have a bit of laughter.

Thank you and have a nice day, VZ-san.

Naoto Matsumoto

VZ said...

Thank you, Matsumoto-san,
Now I found the link for the comment in the topic and posted a comment there.
Concerning hologram: I am a technical man and know about holograms from inside. It requires some time for me to understand interpretation of hologram term in the comments.

Thank you.