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Author Topic: MasterMischief Explores Taoism  (Read 14485 times)

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Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #150 on: June 19, 2012, 12:27:36 PM »
Well, creating a chart, I'd rank small as the least little, and minuscule as the littlest.

Using apartments as an example, I'd probably use small as "livable, but smaller than average." 

Tiny I'd give to this guy: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44004150/ns/business-real_estate/t/new-yorker-pays-month--square-foot-apartment/#.T-C1pBdYsm8

Minuscule would be this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsule_hotel

It was Mark Twain who said that the difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

[Edit: Wrong guy.  Corrected thanks to Llama love ^_^]
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 12:32:26 PM by AndyZ »

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #151 on: June 19, 2012, 12:31:10 PM »
I think it was Ben Franklin who said that the difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Mark Twain

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #152 on: June 19, 2012, 12:32:33 PM »
ty ^_^

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #153 on: June 19, 2012, 12:35:18 PM »
He also said he did not give a damn for a man who could spell a word only one way.  So I get the impression ole Clemens  was not so hung up on rules.

Offline Sure

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #154 on: June 20, 2012, 01:05:34 AM »
Quote
I am reading the Watercourse Way and the author is just now talking about how one goes about romanizing Chinese.  It seems the scholars can not agree, so I do not worry about it.  When it comes right down to it, I am only interested in what the Tao can do for me.  I do not care if it wants to be called The Tao or The Dao or The Way or even The Golden Chicken. 

Ah, names: The Three Bags of Rice Way of Daosim probably has the funniest, in my opinion, name. Then again, the Way of Peace Daoism scores points for irony, since they were extremely militant and touched off over a century of warfare.

Anyway, thank you for your answers. If I may ask another question, if you mainly base your beliefs off of 'making sense', how do you tell what 'makes sense'? As in, what are the methods you use?

Also, perhaps I am wrong, but I believe that it is the conceit of Daoism that life is inherently good, and one of the goals of Daoism being eternal life. I distinctly recall one of the issues of Buddhism and Daosim coexisting in some philosophies was that Buddhism saw death as a good thing and Daoism saw it as a bad thing. Furthermore, within folk beliefs I know individuals can be raised up to Gods and one is supposed to make sacrifices to ancestors to help them get along in the afterlife.

If nothing else, I know that the Vinegar Tasters imply that Daoism believes life to be the 'natural' state and inherently good, as opposed to Buddhism's belief life is dominated by pain or the Confucian belief for the need for rules to correct, create, and maintain goodness.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #155 on: June 20, 2012, 08:53:54 AM »
Quote from: Sure
If I may ask another question, if you mainly base your beliefs off of 'making sense', how do you tell what 'makes sense'? As in, what are the methods you use?

Does it seem to explain my previous experiences and does it seem to work when applied to new experiences.  Furthermore, does it require some special circumstance (supernatural) which clashes with my current understanding of the world.  If it does, is this new belief more likely.

I am not sure I am including everything that goes into my thinking process or that I am even expressing it very well.  For instance, Jesus' do unto others concept (although I believe, now that I have explored outside of Christianity that Lao Tzu beat him by a few hundred years)...if I treat others well, they tend to treat me well.  I also do not risk breaking laws and finding myself imprisoned.  Despite Jesus' other claims, I can believe in this tenet without accepting supernatural beliefs.  So I accept it not because god said so, but because it just seems good policy.

Quote from: Sure
Also, perhaps I am wrong, but I believe that it is the conceit of Daoism that life is inherently good...

It seems to me that Taoism really questions the whole concept of good and bad.

When people see some things as beautiful,
 other things become ugly.
 When people see some things as good,
 other things become bad.

--Tao Te Ching Chapter 2 Stephen Mitchell translation

How do you measure what is good without comparing it to that which is bad.  In this way, one can not exists without the other.  How do you define living without defining non-living?

My own feelings on life and immortality are, to steal from President Obama, evolving.  The more I have thought about it, the more I am leaning away from wanting immortality.  I think life would become boring at some point.  Life is only prized because it is fleeting.  We have such a short time we want more.  But if we had more time would we want more or would we long for an end?  Hard to know without actually experiencing it.

Quote from: Sure
...and one of the goals of Daoism being eternal life.

Some branches of Taoism, perhaps.  The more I have explored, the more I have found Taoism just as splintered as say Christianity.  When I first started exploring, I ran into a bunch of talk of gods and immediately dismissed it as yet another polytheistic religion.  Then I found there were two schools...religious Taoism and philosophical Taoism.  So I looked into philosophical Taoism.  But now it seems that is not quite a clear distinction and that it really is a matter of which branch you go down.

I really do not have much interest in the I Ching or acupuncture which seem tied to Taoism in some branches.  There may be something to acupuncture, which I do not think has supernatural elements, but it seems that it is an example of the placebo effect.  Reading Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, I have seen nothing that talks about believing in gods or that eternal life is the ultimate goal.  The goal seems to be to enjoy life by working with it instead of fighting against it.  'Bad' things happen.  'Good' things happen.  Minimize the 'bad', delight in the 'good'.  In fact, there seems to be an unspoken goal of learning to enjoy the 'bad'.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #156 on: June 20, 2012, 11:26:59 AM »
I was reading some more of the Watercourse Way and something else hit me.  How useful is a house with no doors or windows?  And what are doors and windows but a way to create a void?  That void is useful.

What is death but the void of life?  Imagine a world where everyone lives forever.  How long before we need a void...somewhere to put all the new life?  Without access to some other void (like a new frontier, space) we need death.

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #157 on: June 20, 2012, 11:55:33 AM »
Personally, I think acupuncture 'works' by stimulating endorphin and possibly inflammation responses in 'appropriate' places - slightly more measurable than the placebo effect, but I'm not sure by how much.  Acupressure, on the other hand, I haven't figured out, but I have friends who swear by one pressure point or the other to relieve minor symptoms like headaches or nausea.

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #158 on: June 20, 2012, 03:06:51 PM »
I was reading some more of the Watercourse Way and something else hit me.  How useful is a house with no doors or windows?  And what are doors and windows but a way to create a void?  That void is useful.

What is death but the void of life?  Imagine a world where everyone lives forever.  How long before we need a void...somewhere to put all the new life?  Without access to some other void (like a new frontier, space) we need death.

There's a game set upon similar philosophies (Mage the Ascension Euthanatos Revised) where they explain their policy about life by comparing existence to a birthday party.  What would happen if you have a birthday party where the guests never leave?  They'd eat all the food, continue to make a horrible mess, break your toys, etc.  Can't seem to find the book to give a better definition.

Never thought about the prospect of a new frontier, though.  I've read stories where immortality becomes available and the old never leave their positions to make room for the young.  Space travel would at least delay the inevitable in that prospect.  (Assuming the universe is finite; an infinite universe would not delay but solve that problem if world-hopping exists.)

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #159 on: June 22, 2012, 09:22:45 PM »
When a country is in harmony with the Tao,
the factories make trucks and tractors.
When a country goes counter to the Tao,
warheads are stockpiled outside the cities.
 
There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than having an enemy.

Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.


When I first read this, I thought about where I was just a few months ago.  I would have called 'rubbish' on this instinctively.  Everyone has enemies.  Expecting the world to just be some kind of utopia is naive at best and dangerous at worse.

Now, I do not think that is what it means.  Of course you can protect yourself.  But how many of your enemies are born of your own actions?  If you really dig down far enough.  Osama bin Laden did not just attack us out of the blue.  We screwed him over during the Russian occupation.  I am not trying to justify his actions, but his terrorism did not happen in a vacuum.

How much of our fear is imagined?  How much could we let go of?  Everyone can not be our friends and we will have to defend ourselves at some point, but aren't the rewards greater in making friends than making enemies?

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #160 on: June 22, 2012, 11:55:54 PM »
This is really just for me: Am I trying too hard?

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #161 on: June 23, 2012, 01:55:37 AM »
When a country is in harmony with the Tao,
the factories make trucks and tractors.
When a country goes counter to the Tao,
warheads are stockpiled outside the cities.
 
There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than having an enemy.

Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.


When I first read this, I thought about where I was just a few months ago.  I would have called 'rubbish' on this instinctively.  Everyone has enemies.  Expecting the world to just be some kind of utopia is naive at best and dangerous at worse.

Now, I do not think that is what it means.  Of course you can protect yourself.  But how many of your enemies are born of your own actions?  If you really dig down far enough.  Osama bin Laden did not just attack us out of the blue.  We screwed him over during the Russian occupation.  I am not trying to justify his actions, but his terrorism did not happen in a vacuum.

How much of our fear is imagined?  How much could we let go of?  Everyone can not be our friends and we will have to defend ourselves at some point, but aren't the rewards greater in making friends than making enemies?

I would actually recommend that we have to stop oscillating between ignorance and terror.  Rather than falling into the extremes of paranoia and naivete, so that anyone who doesn't like us only has to wait until we fall asleep again in order to take another shot.  The USA has dealt with Muslim Extremists since Thomas Jefferson.

People are desperate to look to the government to protect them, and the government (meaning both parties) is all too happy to pass madness like the PATRIOT act, the NDAA, and create groups like the TSA.  I think we'd be better off getting milder security measures which can be in effect in perpetuity.

I also don't agree that there's no greater misfortune than having an enemy.  Enemies can be of our own making, but placating evil rarely causes it to be content.  However, there are certainly better ways to handle matters.  JFK and Reagan showed themselves as masters of staring down an enemy without escalating to a war, and I'd much rather be known as the embodiment of the paradox of power than the world police.

There's a pendulum effect with which you're most likely familiar.  After we hit one extreme, we escape that only to jump to the alternate extreme.  I feel as though that this particular [stanza?  poem?  whatever the word is] hit the pendulum to speak to a society in which there is far too much security and to suggest to jump straight to a society in which there is not enough security. 

This kind of jump can hurt its own cause, because it itself calls for something extreme.  As you said, of course you can protect yourself.  A similar example would be the regulation talk from earlier: we might be able to come to an agreement that there's too much regulation, but it would be complete madness to drop to no regulation whatsoever.

Balance and moderation once more lead the day.

As far as making friends, it entirely depends on how we go about the process.  When I was a child, I'd invite other kids to come over and play with my toys, read my books, and eat my snacks, thinking that this somehow made them my friends.  The opposite actually took place, since they had no respect for someone so desperate to buy friendship.  True alliances should come out of mutual respect, and any political favors should be based on an exchange between equals instead of a gift.

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #162 on: June 25, 2012, 09:14:46 AM »
I would actually recommend that we have to stop oscillating between ignorance and terror.  Rather than falling into the extremes of paranoia and naivete, so that anyone who doesn't like us only has to wait until we fall asleep again in order to take another shot.  The USA has dealt with Muslim Extremists since Thomas Jefferson.

I really agree with your post (and to keep the relevance, I believe that the Tao talks about avoiding extremes in general).  I'm curious about this bit here, though:  What 'Muslim' terrorists were we dealing with in Jefferson's time?

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #163 on: June 25, 2012, 01:33:18 PM »
Here's a Snopes rundown: http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/jefferson.asp

Also a Time Magazine article: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,994562-1,00.html

I'd throw in the usual bit that you can be against the Crusades without being against Christianity (and I can easily throw in half a dozen similar examples) but we likely all know already that it's not all Muslims.  We need a better term than "Muslim Extremist" but I don't know one.  Perhaps Jyhadist?

I brought it up partly because it well predates anything with Osama bin Laden, and if we want to look back to American/Middle East relations, we should look back as far as possible.  Otherwise, it makes it far too easy for someone to just look back a little further and say, "Well, X happened first."

The other aspect is the question of alliances with other countries.  Did Jefferson do the right thing?  I'm not familiar enough with the Tao to properly give its stance, although it seems unlikely to me that the Tao would voluntarily suggest creating more force to hold a situation in check.

I would consider paying the tribute to be more upon the stance of buying friends rather than making true alliances, especially when the tribute is not given as a voluntary choice and people are being taken as slaves.  Given the choices of accepting the status quo or defending against the attacks, I would choose the latter.  However, I will accept that there may be another option.

Most likely the balance is between the two extremes of being the world police and submitting to piracy.  With government, however, it is exceptionally common to grow only in one direction, building up rapid inertia until the pendulum swing necessitates a substantial swing in the other direction.  In this case, it can be argued that we put too much into the military, placing troops all over the planet and, as some would say, sticking our noses where they don't belong.  After extensive buildup, the other side of the pendulum would suggest removing the military altogether, which would put us in the situation of being helpless were we to be attacked.

The moderation to this example, if the premises are accepted, would be to shrink the military without removing it altogether.

One hypothesis about how to do this would be to revert to the way things were done before excess overtook moderation.  For an airplane security example, one could look at how airplanes handled security before the TSA.  When new technology necessitates changes, one might instead look at whose authority handled matters, and allow the authority to revert to them.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #164 on: June 25, 2012, 01:49:45 PM »
Quote from: AndyZ
We need a better term than "Muslim Extremist" but I don't know one.  Perhaps Jyhadist?

It is a little hard to follow you here.  Are you speaking about the Barbary pirates here or the present extremists?  Because I would just call pirates pirates.  I am sure there are plenty of Christian pirates.  There are plenty of Christian extremists too, but we tend to just call them extremists instead of mentioning their religion.  The media seems intent on whipping up anti Muslim sentiment.

Quote from: AndyZ
I brought it up partly because it well predates anything with Osama bin Laden, and if we want to look back to American/Middle East relations, we should look back as far as possible.

Maybe.  I was looking for an easily obtainable example of someone most of us consider evil incarnate and seeing if he could be made sympathetic.  I believe he could.  If you just want to point fingers, you have a different motivation than I and I suggest you present it in and of itself.

I do not think the Tao is about laying blame.  It is about recognizing how our own actions have consequences and how we often do not see we can be our own biggest problem.

Quote from: AndyZ
Most likely the balance is between the two extremes of being the world police and submitting to piracy.

Agreed, although I think 'police' is a poor label.  Police are generally not involved in creating the law.  They simply enforce it.  Or foreign policy is about creating and enforcing laws on others and then claiming it all in the name of self defense.

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #165 on: June 25, 2012, 02:43:01 PM »
It is a little hard to follow you here.  Are you speaking about the Barbary pirates here or the present extremists?  Because I would just call pirates pirates.  I am sure there are plenty of Christian pirates.  There are plenty of Christian extremists too, but we tend to just call them extremists instead of mentioning their religion.  The media seems intent on whipping up anti Muslim sentiment.

Maybe.  I was looking for an easily obtainable example of someone most of us consider evil incarnate and seeing if he could be made sympathetic.  I believe he could.  If you just want to point fingers, you have a different motivation than I and I suggest you present it in and of itself.

I do not think the Tao is about laying blame.  It is about recognizing how our own actions have consequences and how we often do not see we can be our own biggest problem.

I believe that we should look into motivation and find out why people do the things that they do.  On this, I think we can agree.  People can argue about whether figures become sympathetic or not, or if you're just assigning blame, but I've always seen those as tangents to the primary issue.

When Jefferson spoke with Ambassador Abdrahaman, the reason was made pretty clear:

Quote from:
"The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners."

This is not isolated to Muslims.  Take a look at the Hutaree, which was constantly labelled a "Christian militia" by the media, as a recent example.

If you try to chalk it up as that they're crazy, or wrong, or just labeling them as pirates or extremists, you end up marginalizing them without taking any attempt to understand.  There may not be a difference in effect for a person who kills out of hatred and a person who kills out of a chemical imbalance, for example, but being able to treat the cause allows for actual healing.

Whether we sympathize with Osama bin Laden or whether we blame ourselves for his attacks thanks to the Russian occupation has less bearing than understanding the reasons and seeking a solution.  Obviously, wiping out all Muslims would not be a moderate solution, even if we could pull off such a horrendous act.

If we look at Christian pirates, then either they're completely ignoring the parts of their religion about not killing and stealing (which means they're not really acting Christian), or they've come up with some reason that they believe that Christians need to do such things, which should be addressed.

Quote
Agreed, although I think 'police' is a poor label.  Police are generally not involved in creating the law.  They simply enforce it.  Or foreign policy is about creating and enforcing laws on others and then claiming it all in the name of self defense.

You caught me: I was reusing a label someone else created and didn't spot it.  Thank you.

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #166 on: June 25, 2012, 03:07:49 PM »
Thank you - I'm not sure what I thought the Barbary pirates were about before, but I hadn't made the Islamic connection.  Jyhadist does carry the appropriate 'violence' connotation (as one can be an extremist and keep to one's self, in theory) - again, if it's really necessary to call a spade more than a spade.  Knowing motives helps in finding solutions, but if knowing those motives shows that there is no negotiable solution, the difference between Jyhadist and Crusader Knight becomes much smaller.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #167 on: June 25, 2012, 03:13:56 PM »
Quote
If we look at Christian pirates, then either they're completely ignoring the parts of their religion about not killing and stealing (which means they're not really acting Christian), or they've come up with some reason that they believe that Christians need to do such things, which should be addressed.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
 
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Matthew 10:34-35

Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
Luke 22:36

And even for believers, Jesus was a bit hard core.

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Matthew 15:4

And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Acts 3:23

Quote
If you try to chalk it up as that they're crazy, or wrong, or just labeling them as pirates or extremists, you end up marginalizing them without taking any attempt to understand.

Maybe they are just taking what they want out of context and using it for their own desires just like many Christians, just like everyone.

Offline Sure

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #168 on: June 25, 2012, 03:45:35 PM »
Quote
For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Matthew 15:4

Honora patrem, et matrem: et, Qui maledixerit patri, vel matri, morte moriatur.

Honor father, and mother: And, who speaks ill of father, or mother, should pass to death.

Quote
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Acts 3:23

Erit autem: omnis anima quĉ non audierit prophetam illum, exterminabitur de plebe.

Moreover it will be: every soul who does not hear that prophet will be sent away from the people.

Exterminare does not mean destroy by any stretch of the imagination. It is formed from ex (out of) and terminus (boundary).

Also, as a note, neither of these are the words of Jesus. The first quote is recounting what God said to the Jews (Matthew 15:3), the second is said by Moses (Acts: 3:22).

As to the rest:
The Matthew quote is slightly out of context: the message, in context, is not "I want you all to fight each other" but "You should value God above anything, including family".

Likewise, the Luke quote is out of context. Jesus is telling his disciples to arm themselves because he knows that he is about to be taken to be crucified. It is not a general command to all followers.


Now, I do agree it's possible that people use these quotes to justify their actions, but they would be revealing their ignorance in doing so. The devil can cite scripture to suit his purpose, after all.

PS: I do hope you don't mind me talking about Christianity in your Daoism thread? If so, I just have to say, I didn't start it. :P

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #169 on: June 25, 2012, 03:58:06 PM »
Thank you - I'm not sure what I thought the Barbary pirates were about before, but I hadn't made the Islamic connection.  Jyhadist does carry the appropriate 'violence' connotation (as one can be an extremist and keep to one's self, in theory) - again, if it's really necessary to call a spade more than a spade.  Knowing motives helps in finding solutions, but if knowing those motives shows that there is no negotiable solution, the difference between Jyhadist and Crusader Knight becomes much smaller.

I am a horrendous teacher.  Apologies, Oniya.

The labeling issue should likely be addressed, though.  I'll start up another thread to that effect.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
 
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Matthew 10:34-35

Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
Luke 22:36

And even for believers, Jesus was a bit hard core.

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Matthew 15:4

And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Acts 3:23

Maybe they are just taking what they want out of context and using it for their own desires just like many Christians, just like everyone.


I could explain that some of those quotes lose a lot in the translation and others are completely out of context, but your "out of context" phrase suggests you already know that.  If anyone else needs me to explain those quotes, let me know.

If someone went around killing people that had no respect for their parents and gives the explanation of pointing to an out of context quote, I would expect that priests would make sure their congregation better understood about "death of the soul" and the loss of Heaven instead of simply being slain, especially if it was a significant percentage of the flock who fell into this misunderstanding.

Now, it's possible that they point to those quotes after the fact and that it's not the real reason.  If it's not the real reason, then these are not the issues that we need to address.  However, I'd need to know what that is before we can discuss it, and it would have to be something that millions of people would be willing to die and kill for.

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #170 on: June 25, 2012, 04:32:48 PM »
I am a horrendous teacher.  Apologies, Oniya.

No, no - you did fine.  I might drop in on that other thread.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #171 on: June 27, 2012, 07:22:01 AM »
Quote from: Sure
PS: I do hope you don't mind me talking about Christianity in your Daoism thread? If so, I just have to say, I didn't start it.

I do not mind and I did, definitely, start it.  I appreciate your input.

Quote from: AndyZ
If it's not the real reason, then these are not the issues that we need to address.

The real reason was my ego felt the need to defend Islam.  And that is something I need to address.  I also thank you for your input.

The Master has no mind of her own.
She works with the mind of the people.

--Tao Te Ching Chapter 49, Stephen Mitchell translation

This is my problem.  I spend so much energy trying to be understood without first understanding.  It is really quite simple.  I need to stop worrying about what other people are doing or not doing and focus on what I am doing and not doing.  All this external focus is inefficient.  Internal focus is where the real change is.

Internal focus is the new pink.  I wonder if I can make that stick.

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #172 on: June 27, 2012, 03:31:02 PM »
I'll take responsibility for bringing up Christianity.  It might have been better to break Godwin's law and explain that I have enough German ancestry to understand that an entire group of people aren't responsible for a subset.  If asked, I can also explain how, while the actions aren't justified, it can be shown what actions were taken by non-Germans in order to help facilitate WW2, similar to our llama friend's point about Osama bin Laden.  However, for now I'll just drop it and move on.

What I was trying to explain about Taoism is that Taoism is itself an extreme, a push towards internal focus which came about as a response to an overwhelming amount of external focus.  I believe that whoever invented the Tao pushed the pendulum all the way to the other side.  (I could well be wrong, and have no historical proof to back this up, but I just see a pattern.)

I'll use the example of a provocatively-dressed woman who gets raped.  Rape is undeniably evil, but the woman might attempt to use internal focus to understand why it happened to her, which would lend itself to the conclusion that it was her manner of dress which led to the rape.  This would be incorrect; rapists are just evil.

Let's look at the example of a man who is walking down the street and gets mugged.  Internal focus might suggest to the man that it's unsafe to simply walk down the street, and that he should change his habits.  External focus would suggest that it's the fault of the mugger, not of himself, that he's getting mugged, and that he should get some way to protect himself.

While it's easy to argue that it wouldn't have happened if the man never left his house, it creates an imbalance of behavior.  People should certainly be able to walk down the street.

Certainly, internal focus is both valuable and necessity, but one cannot abandon all external focus in order to focus upon internal focus.  This would create an imbalance.

[Edit: Example changed and original crossed out.]
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 03:50:51 PM by AndyZ »

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #173 on: June 27, 2012, 03:41:05 PM »
I do not think you could have picked a worse analogy.   :-\

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #174 on: June 27, 2012, 03:43:18 PM »
Sorry.  Changed it.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 03:51:05 PM by AndyZ »