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Teaching the Daode Jing$
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Gary Delany DeAngelis and Warren G. Frisina

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195332704

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332704.001.0001

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The Dao and the Field

The Dao and the Field

Exploring an Analogy

(p.31) The Dao and the Field
Teaching the Daode Jing

Gary D. DeAngelis (Contributor Webpage)

Warren G. Frisina (Contributor Webpage)

Robert G. Henricks

Oxford University Press

For many years Robert Henricks has used the image of an untended field to help his students understand what the DDJ means by the Dao. Henrick's field is not a farmer's field but rather a natural field that is “barren and deserted in the winter but filled with a host of different wildflowers throughout the spring and summer.” This analogy leads naturally into discussion of such central Daoist themes as: the Dao's rhythmic cycles from tranquility to activity and back; the need to remain “rooted” in the Dao; the true nature of morality; and what the DDJ might mean by immortality.

Keywords:   Daode jing, Tao Te Ching, Laozi, Lao Tzu, Daoism, Taoism, Chinese religion, nature, yin and yang, tranquility and activity

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