Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the DeTao Masters Academy's online course, Taoism and Western Culture. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds About 10 years ago, with my graduate students at the University of Hawaii, we did a retranslation of the Dao De Jing,

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds and we live in very exciting times for people who want to look at these classical Chinese texts. In the 20th century we had the discovery of the oracle bones,

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds and then later, we had these archeological finds that are making available to us new versions of a text like the Dao De Jing that date back way into Chinese history. If we were translating the Dao De Jing a generation earlier, we would have to rely upon a Song Dynasty manuscript, but in 1973 at a place called Mawangdui in Hunan, they discovered a new Dao De Jing. More recently, in 1993, in a place called Jinmen, they’ve discovered what they call the Guodian Dao De Jing.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds The Guodian Dao De Jing was entombed 300 BCE, and so now, what we’re doing is we’re working from versions of the Dao De Jing that date to 1,300 years earlier than the text that were available to us a generation ago. How are these texts different? Well, one of the things that we’ve learned from these new recent archeological finds is that thinking of this tradition in terms of competing schools is probably anachronistic. It’s a way of thinking that we’re pushing back onto a tradition that was much more open. That in the same tomb that we find the Dao De Jing at Mawangdui at Guodian we also find text that come from a proto-Confucian tradition, a Ru tradition.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 seconds And so, just like in the library of a professor at a University in Beijing today, you have Daoism and you have Confucianism and you have Buddhism, so in these tombs, these early thinkers were not fixated on limited ways of understanding culture. They had a much broader compass. They had a much broader way of thinking about how to use these traditions. And so what does that tell us that is important for the modern world? When we look at the Abraham religions, when we look at Christianity, Judaism, Islam, that these traditions are conflicted. These traditions are a source of fighting in the world.

Skip to 3 minutes and 33 seconds That each one of them begins from the idea that there’s some kind of an absolute truth, and even though they go back to the same God, they fight over what is that truth. But when you think of the relationship between the Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism in the Chinese tradition, you have San Jiao Wei Yi You have the idea that these three traditions are aspectual. They’re mutually inclusive.

Skip to 4 minutes and 7 seconds In the daytime I go to class and I teach my students. I’m Ru In the evening I go home. I write a poem. I have a glass of wine. I listen to some good music. I’m Dao. In the morning, the Dao dies and I have to do something about this old friend of mine. I become Fo I become Buddhist. But in the Chinese tradition, these schools, these lineages that we call Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, are mutually accommodating. that a person can be Dao Fo and Ru all at the same time.

The Yijing Process Cosmology: The interpretive context (Part 2)

Despite originating from the same God, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, have always been fighting over the so-called absolute truth. However, in China the Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, mutually accommodating and inclusive, have always been coexisting.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Taoism and Western Culture

DeTao Masters Academy