Friday, October 23, 2009

Reflections on the Hua Hu Ching

At this juncture, I'm going to sign off on the little trip through the Hua Hu Ching. Over the past 17 days, I've covered almost one-half of this work (40 of 81 verses). Throughout the coming days, weeks, months or years, I may return to it from time to time and -- who knows -- maybe at some point all 81 verses will be presented.

In my view, the HHC is a good compliment to the Tao Te Ching. It expands on many of the same themes and adds a few of its own. In my opinion, it places a bit too much emphasis on the issues of sexuality and immortality -- mainly in the verses I chose not to present at this time -- but overall it does provide a lot of good food for thought.

One thing I will say is that I'm not convinced that this is an ancient text. It reads to me like something someone conjured up more recently, but I don't see this as a problem at all. Like any other philosophic tradition, Taoism evolves with time. There are authors writing in the current generation that offer the same depth of insight that Lao Tzu or Chuang Tzu offered thousands of years ago.

One other note. Today I purchased the Book of Wen-Tzu via It is another work supposedly attributed to the mythic figure of Lao Tzu. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the TTC and the HHC.

Who knows? Maybe another series will be in the offing?

This post is part of a "miniseries". For an introduction, go here.


  1. The most recent news on the Wen Tzu is the uncovering of a version on fire damaged / earthquake damaged, long buried, bamboo. Looked at carefully for a PhD the work is unfortunately and selfishly "under embargo" until 2014.

    The Clancy version could be interesting, it would be a version based on what was passed down from China, it is the only translation to English so far and is met with all the typical cynicism over authenticity.

    I hope you find plenty of gems to share in there as we have a while to wait for a book based on the burned, buried, broken bamboo scrolls.

    I'm hoping there is plenty of interest and that it is not just a rework of Taoism by Confucians or anything.

    Here's hoping it's a good one :)

  2. Under embargo? Of all the gall! Gee, looks like we're going have to hope Cleary got it right.

  3. Very cool series... the Hua Hu Ching has become for me my "Bible".


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