Query on Chapter 8 Commentary

I've really been really appreciating Carl's commentary but it seems to need a bit of editing in places. I got stuck on this in Chapter 8 "why does politics place such an important role?" Should this read "why does politics play such an important role?" OR "why does politics place such an importance on role?

I shall be printing off some of the commentary for use by a group I run called Open Space when I introduce them to the TTC over the next couple of months, so it's important to get it right.


  • I'm happy you're finding it useful. But oh my, your reading from commentary I wrote in the 90's on D.C. Lau's translation. I'm afraid both English and writing are not natural skills on mine. So any coherency is either coincidental or won through that proverbial 99% sweat.

    I really value any and all feedback on my writing, but only have time to actually go back and modify current writings, unless it is a monumental boo boo. So anyway, feel free to switch words, punctuation, formatting and such. Considering the taoist point of view of names and words in general, it's pretty hard to go wrong, or perhaps not go wrong ;-). (i.e. "Knower not speak; speaker not know." )
  • Many thanks Carl, for your comments and permissions. There's nothing seriously wrong that I've come across except that I can't make sense of "why does politics place such an important role?" Perhaps it's because I'm English!

    By the way, I'm delighted to come across D.C. Lau. I've been reading John Wu's and Stephen Mitchell's translations. The former looks the more accurate (from an inpert's judgement), the latter is rather querky but quite startlingly revelatory in some places. Do you have views on these translations?

    Like you, I cross-reference with Christian, Hindu and Buddhist writing and find the TTC helps me to make more sense of it all. In the end though, it's not about the words, but what they call up from within me.

  • i have read around &( different translations, and i have found the more translations you read, the clearer they ALL become...including any reading you do in other faiths. one in particular that takes a different and perspective widening view is the chad hansen translation.
  • crap :) that was supposed to be '15 different translations' :)
  • Thanks, but this isn't about translation so much as grammar. As it stands, the sentence makes no sense.
  • BriGB, did you invent the word "inpert" or borrow it from somewhere? It's wonderful anyway, I love clever wordplay, so thatnks for enriching my life with a new word.

    On the subject of correlating scriptures from the various faiths, I've just finished a book called "Jesus Christ and Yoga" by Shyam Sundar Goswami that might pique your interest (although personally I find his interpretation of the Bible to be a bit too literal), and I'd also highly recommend "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra... I assume we can take quantum and relativity theories as being "other faiths", can't we? At least, I know I do.
  • 'other faiths'? i see taoism and quantum theory saying the same thing.
  • BriGB says:
    Thanks, but this isn't about translation so much as grammar. As it stands, the sentence makes no sense.

    I thought I answered this a few days ago, but somehow my reply didn't stick. Anyway, context is all important, especially with Tao Te Ching matters. I might say it differently now, and then differently again in an hour. Here I'm poking into the relationship politics has in human social affairs. So I'd restate the excerpt below this way now: Politics really matters to people (whether family politics, job politics, government... etc.). And when do we get upset about politics? When we aren't getting what we desire.

    ...If, in affairs it is ability that matters, why does politics place such an important role? I guess that in human social affairs, it is politics that matters. And that factor is really only upsetting when the politics isn‘t going my way!...

    Yes, that is a neat word. I missed it the first time, so thanks for pointing it out danjlittler.
    danjlittler says:
    I assume we can take quantum and relativity theories as being "other faiths", can't we? At least, I know I do.

    I know what you mean, although one large difference is that the "science faiths" have a tradition of seeking empirical objective proof for the theory. Religious faiths have a tradition of seeking subjective 'eye of the beholder' proof (which really doesn't qualify as proof I suppose). To my mind, science and religion meet on the common ground of the search for WHY. They are two paths in the search for answers. The mistake they make, in my view, is the both think the answer is out there somewhere in a sort of pristine independence. To paraphrase chapter two, thus question and answer produce, follow, offset, complement each other.

    Ironically, for this reason, I suppose religion gets closer to the reality of it all in that it is less logical in its quest for the truth.
  • Carl, thanks for the clarification. I've 'translated' 'place' for 'play in the hard copy version I'm creating with lots of bits and pieces I've found that are relevant.

    Danjlittler: glad you like 'inpert'. It's not in the dictionary, though it aught to be. Did I make it up? Maybe, but probably I got it from someone else (maybe my Dad). Incidentally have you heard the definition of 'expert': Ex is a has-been and a spert is a drip under pressure.

    Thanks for the book refs. I'll certainly add the physics one to my list. I'm finding Ken Wilber and Terry Pagett's book Integral Life Practise to be interesting just now. It seems to bring together a lot of scientific theory and spiritual practise. Also Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow's Evolutionary Christianity website I found interesting.

    However, I take your point Carl - the answer isn't out there somewhere. I'm coming to regard the work of most intellectual stuff as removing the hides, Meister Eckhart spoke of, from the heart. The trouble is, there's always a danger of it adding more hides - especially if I think it's making me wiser or more enlightened. So maybe the 'somethings' of this world have to do with the 'somethings' and the 'nothings' have to do with the 'nothings'. My job is to discern which is which and what's actually going on.

    Does this make any sense at all, or is it just old man's ramblings? :roll:
  • Does this make any sense at all, or is it just old man's ramblings? :roll:
    completely! For me, curiosity is a joy that never ends.
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