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In a new translation and commentary on the ancient Chinese text Daodejing (also known as Tao te Ching), Cunningham draws together two generally unrelated spiritual traditions--esoterica and Daoism--to show where, in the vast panorama of occult interpretations of world history, ancient China plays its critical part.
Deng Ming-Dao's collection relies on three major sources: the Daodejing, given in its complete translation; the Yiying, said to have been written by Confucius; and examples from the Chinese poetic tradition.
(I would also argue that this kind of knowing not-knowing is, as presented in Lao Tzu's Daodejing, an essentially Daoist mode of thinking.)
Contrary to the apparent lack of relation between Laozi's metaphysics and ethics, an important hint of their intimate connection lies in the title of Laozi's text, the Daodejing, literally the classic text (jing) of the Dao (Way) and the De (Virtue).
Section five further highlights the role of leaders and CEOs as philosophers, deep thinkers, and followers of the daodejing, (1) whose calligraphy and linkage to the central government are crucial to the goodwill of corporations.
In main text of Daoism The Daodejing the idea is cultivated that the Dao is "forever nameless" and "hidden" (Ivanhoe 2002: 32, 44).
In the course of many centuries the meditative and socially oriented Daodejing [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was combined with both the ecstatic and individualistic mysticism of the Zhuangzi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (369-286 BCE), with its beliefs and practices for longevity, and Buddhist insight on meditation, mind analysis, and doctrines of karma and reincarnation.
Also included are Aesop's Fables, Plato's Symposium, Catullus's poems in a new translation, new selections from book 1 of Ovid's Metamorphoses, a new tale from the Indian Jataka, the Chinese Classic of Poetry, Daodejing, the Chinese Songs of the South, and selections by Zhuangzi and Han Feizi.
The Hanford culture workers may have been familiar with the Daodejing, in which the metaphor of the unhewn log refers to the natural state of the Tao; this familiarity with the text in translation could easily have resulted in a cultural translation wherein a display of an unhewn log in the temple was seen as intelligible and appropriate.
The thematic approach is not entirely unique; for example, Hans-Georg Moeller follows a similar approach in his recent, more specialized work, The Philosophy of the Daodejing. (Moeller's text compliments Wang's book well in an advanced course).
One could argue that many texts include nature, but the texts are not exactly "environmental texts" in the modern sense, so particularly when we read early literature, like The Works of Mencius or the Daodejing, we cannot assume that Mengzi and Laozi were thinking in modern environmentalist ways.