By Robert E. Allinson
This booklet deals a essentially new interpretation of the philosophy of the Chuang-Tzu. it's the first full-length paintings of its sort which argues deep point cognitive constitution exists underneath an in a different way random choice of literary anecdotes, cryptic sayings, and darkish allusions. the writer rigorously analyzes myths, legends, vast characters, paradoxes, parables and linguistic puzzles as strategically put concepts for systematically tapping and channeling the religious dimensions of the brain.
Allinson takes factor with commentators who've taken care of the Chuang-Tzu as a minor foray into relativism. bankruptcy titles are re-translated, textual fragments are relocated, and inauthentic, outer miscellaneous chapters are rigorously separated from the transformatory message of the actual, internal chapters. all the internal chapters is proven to be a construction block to the subsequent in an effort to simply be understood as forming a developmental series. finally, the reader is gifted with a transparent, constant and coherent view of the Chuang-Tzu that's extra in accord with its stature as an enormous philosophical paintings.
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Extra info for Chuang-tzu for spiritual transformation: an analysis of the inner chapters
By understanding the proper function of relativizing statements we will be able to understand how Chuang Tzu can seemingly say that which cannot be said and at the same time can lead us in a certain valued direction. I will argue that certain semantic and literary forms are chosen not simply because they paralyze the analytical or conceptual mental functions, but also because they at the same time empower the intuitive or aesthetic cognitive functions. Let us return briefly to the passage regarding the chirping of birds.
Relativism is ultimately self-defeating; as Spinoza once put it, the consistent skeptic must remain dumb. We could, nonetheless, argue that coherent or not, the Chuang-Tzu is an exercise in relativism. If relativism is philosophically incoherent, then so much the worse for the Chuang-Tzu. The problem with this approach is that it makes the Chuang-Tzu out to be the product of a third class mind. While this is logically possible, the richness of the text and the high regard in which the Chuang-Tzu has been held by both Chinese and Western scholars argues strongly against the possibility.
The Chuang-Tzu satisfies the test of general textual coherency when it is applied either internally to the passage in question or externally with regard to the previous and subsequent passages to the passage in question. The seeming contradictoriness of phrases which do not cohere with the direct textual evidence or the intention or the conclusion of a passage in the text will be fully explained in later chapters in this volume. It is not difficult to find a case of direct textual evidence in the case of the chirping of birds.