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Author Topic: MasterMischief Explores Taoism  (Read 14493 times)

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Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #175 on: July 13, 2012, 05:05:00 PM »
Goal: Stop being so judgmental and reactionary.

Simple, right?   ::)

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #176 on: July 18, 2012, 10:58:46 AM »
Yesterday, I bumped into the co-worker who originally introduced me to Taoism.  It was nice to see him again and I really miss talking to him.  We used to walk around our building during breaks.

He mentioned a poem he had read recently that ended with something to the effect, "I trust my enemy to kill me."  We had been talking about viewing someone who points out our weaknesses as the most benevolent teachers.

He considers those who point out his faults
 as his most benevolent teachers.
 He thinks of his enemy
 as the shadow that he himself casts.


He said that the original translation 'kill' was more 'destroy' and it makes sense if you put it in the context of destroying one's ego.

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #177 on: July 18, 2012, 09:36:10 PM »
I tried living by a similar philosophy about ten years ago, but found that for most people, emotions got too much in the way.  It can be better to try to live in harmony between emotions and logic, and try to find nicer and more polite ways to handle matters.  Now, that doesn't mean I'm good at it...

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #178 on: July 19, 2012, 07:38:42 PM »
I am not sure polite is always the best way.  Generally?  Sure.  But that probably deserves more thought and better arguments than I am prepared for right now.

Today it occurred to me...

I find it increasingly difficult to communicate with others because their vocabulary, which is based upon their life experiences, is vastly different than mine.

I am not suggesting I should become a hermit or that I am dysfunctional and anti-social.  This is just something that has frustrated me for some time and only today a big lightbulb went off for me.  I have spent so much energy trying to get people to use my vocabulary.  One only has to peruse some of my posts in Politics, Religion, and Other Controversies to see some of my transgressions.

How much of this frustration could I remove by focusing on understanding other's vocabulary?

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #179 on: July 19, 2012, 08:10:16 PM »
The vocabulary issue is a primary problem associated with the Internet.  Normally, people speak in whatever manner best befits their region, and regions develop their own dialect.  Put this into the Internet and many different dialects are forced to clash against one another while remaining at comparative odds within the offline region.

With only one region (which would be offline for the majority of existence), people end up simply meshing together, with a few "indigestible" words sticking around from the native language due to the habitat's language (in our case, English) lacking the proper word.  Thus we get bits like naivete, and in France, the word for grenade is grenade.

The general populace is not forced to come to terms with questions like Football, Soda, and so on.  Both sides are pretty content to keep using their own words and phrases, and visitors to the areas can switch to words like "American Football" and "Pop" when it becomes necessary.

I would be curious if you had some sort of technique for handling this issue, though.

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #180 on: July 19, 2012, 09:04:01 PM »
I am not sure polite is always the best way.  Generally?  Sure.  But that probably deserves more thought and better arguments than I am prepared for right now.

Today it occurred to me...

I find it increasingly difficult to communicate with others because their vocabulary, which is based upon their life experiences, is vastly different than mine.

I am not suggesting I should become a hermit or that I am dysfunctional and anti-social.  This is just something that has frustrated me for some time and only today a big lightbulb went off for me.  I have spent so much energy trying to get people to use my vocabulary.  One only has to peruse some of my posts in Politics, Religion, and Other Controversies to see some of my transgressions.

How much of this frustration could I remove by focusing on understanding other's vocabulary?

When I come up against an unfamiliar term - or a term that someone is using in an unfamiliar way - I try to take the opportunity to learn a new word/usage from it.  Sometimes, that's just a Google to make sure that it is being used in a correct manner, sometimes it takes some conversation.  When it's all said and done, I come away with more than I walked in with - either in vocabulary, or in understanding.

And on top of that, it can help with crossword puzzles.  ;D

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #181 on: July 20, 2012, 09:28:44 AM »
Andy, you bring up good points about regional dialects. Internet communication also completely lacks body language which is a large part of communication. But I think those issues are often harmless and/or easily resolved. For me, a thick accent including a liberal dose of new words or familiar words used in new context only takes about 15 minutes before I can follow along reasonably. In fact, I often find myself using regional colloquialisms soon after encountering them even when no longer exposed. I enjoy word play. I was thinking more of things which you and I would both recognize and, if forced to define in our own words, those definitions would match closely. However, there would be connotations to those words which would affect how we use them and how we subconsciously understand their meanings. As an example, big and large have similar meanings. I am sure you and I would agree to the same definitions for both words. However, I always see 'big' as a less formal word. I would be unlikely to use it in a technical document. There is also a feeling of slow and clumsy for me with that word. Something I rarely think about consciously. More of a mental image at the invocation of 'big'. Large, for me, is a more 'proper' word. I would use it in a technical document and there is not the same feeling of slow or clumsy automatically attached to it. Honestly, I could not tell you why I have those added meanings/feelings that distinguish those two words for me. I certainly would not insist they are true for others. But they are very real for me. I can only assume that other people have the same kind of non-spoken 'baggage' attached to words. Liberal might be a label of pride for one person and a slur for another. This can get really interesting when you start tossing words like 'good' and 'right' around.
 

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #182 on: July 20, 2012, 04:44:42 PM »
The closest thing I could guess is that you've read a lot of things where big and large are used in very different ways, and those differences have left an impression.  However, I'll admit that I don't fully understand for the big and large stuff, other than the lightning and lightning bug quote.

As far as words like liberal, I think that connotations arise purely because so much of the nation has lost the ability for civil discourse.  The two party system allows for pure demonization in order to feed more power to their respective sides.  It's like, you know I'm not a Socialist, but I have respect for people who wear the label openly and stand by their beliefs.

About a month ago, I tried to tell someone that I'm closer to Libertarian than anything else, and he immediately assumed I was for all sorts of things like "going Galt" and all such.  This is a big part of the issue: the inherent nature of a political party suggests that people are going to all agree with one side or the other, despite that this goes against human nature.  Combined with the way parties have an easier time tearing the other down instead of building up, it's natural to immediately think of the worst part of a system.

The GBLTQA Community has an interesting way of handling this: they have a label they use and a support group.  While this may be necessary in parts of society where people are openly hostile, I wouldn't want this method to become the norm for every sort of behavior which doesn't follow the cultural mandate.  The hard part about pushing people into groups is that they don't always agree, as I think I already mentioned with political parties.

I think that's really the sad part about the federal government.  We can't have federal laws without forcing both sides across the entire country to abide by them.  But, that's a tangent.

This is why I'm not big on some of these cute names that are thrown around for bills and laws.  I can disagree with the PATRIOT Act and still be a patriot.  The whole argument with the Affordable Care Act is that Republicans claim that it isn't affordable care.  Abraham Lincoln talked about how if you call a tail a leg, a dog has four legs, and calling a tail a leg doesn't make it so.  Civility is long dead in politics, and I'd be against an attempt to force it to return, but I'd much rather see names where people can agree on what it's about rather than having to resort to coming up with their own little monikers.

May have run off the rails on this post...

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #183 on: August 27, 2012, 08:32:07 AM »
If you can talk about it,
it ain't Tao.
If it has a name,
it's just another thing.
 
 
Tao doesn't have a name.
Names are for ordinary things.
 
 
Stop wanting stuff;
it keeps you from seeing what's real.
When you want stuff,
all you see are things.
 
 
Those two sentences
mean the same thing.
Figure them out,
and you've got it made.


Tao Te Ching, Ron Hogan translation


I remain skeptical of the first line of the Tao Te Ching.  However, through my journey, I have found a new perspective.  The Tao will be different for each person.  Perhaps that is why it is so difficult to name.  No person can tell another person what to do.  We all have to decide for ourselves.

Focusing on outcomes leads to frustration.  Frustration often leads to blame.  The origination of this frustration is within oneself, yet we seek to place the blame elsewhere.

Life happens to us.  Much of it is outside of our control.  However, we possess the remarkable ability to choose how we respond.  Therein lies our power.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #184 on: September 01, 2012, 08:27:24 AM »
I am still judging.  Still working on that.  I find it scarey how easy it is to become the very thing I hate.  We all are really the same.

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #185 on: September 03, 2012, 04:14:15 PM »
Would you like some practice exercises?

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #186 on: September 03, 2012, 08:30:18 PM »
 XD  My life is a practice exercise.

Offline AndyZ

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #187 on: September 06, 2012, 04:44:06 PM »
If you can talk about it,
it ain't Tao.
If it has a name,
it's just another thing.
 
 
Tao doesn't have a name.
Names are for ordinary things.
 
 
Stop wanting stuff;
it keeps you from seeing what's real.
When you want stuff,
all you see are things.
 
 
Those two sentences
mean the same thing.
Figure them out,
and you've got it made.


Tao Te Ching, Ron Hogan translation


I remain skeptical of the first line of the Tao Te Ching.  However, through my journey, I have found a new perspective.  The Tao will be different for each person.  Perhaps that is why it is so difficult to name.  No person can tell another person what to do.  We all have to decide for ourselves.

Focusing on outcomes leads to frustration.  Frustration often leads to blame.  The origination of this frustration is within oneself, yet we seek to place the blame elsewhere.

Life happens to us.  Much of it is outside of our control.  However, we possess the remarkable ability to choose how we respond.  Therein lies our power.

I think it's important to recognize here that language is a purely subjective construct.  We do not go through life dealing with exactly the same things, in exactly the same way, nor is language uploaded directly into our brains via an identical algorithm for each person.

Now, we can understand each other to a significant degree, but minor fluctuations remain.  I think that this is most telling with first names, how someone can claim that another person doesn't look like a Dana.  Short of the actual definition of the name, this is impossible to judge.  Besides, since names are given at birth, it's practically impossible to tell whether someone will live up to a name until they've already been given it.

I think we went over this with big.

As far as choosing how we respond, another issue is that we do have emotions.  Sometimes I wonder if anger should be handled in that one should accept their anger but not any actions which such an emotion would cause them to take.  I don't know if that makes any sense.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #188 on: September 08, 2012, 12:28:05 PM »
I think trying to suppress emotions only makes them worse.  Acknowledge and direct.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #189 on: November 24, 2012, 08:59:48 AM »
Can one really be a taoist?  Everyone's path is different.  I guess Taoism is just as varied as Christianity.  Or is it that people are varied?

Offline Lux12

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #190 on: November 24, 2012, 01:14:26 PM »
EDIT: I changed the title since I intend to use this thread for more than just the Tao Te Ching.


So we can never fully understand the Tao?
Is the Tao different for each individual?  It seems that it would have to be.
If you think you know, you don't know?  Does this mean you should always question what you think you know?
Is there a point to attempting something that can not be achieved?  I have often heard it say we should strive for perfection knowing full well that we can never achieve it.  However, I could argue that it is not perfection we are striving for, but improvement.  Improvement is possible and surely it is worth striving for.  Is it the same with the Tao?
Is this an easy out?  Should anyone say Taoism is about any one thing in particular, you could always point back to this first line and say, "No, not quite."

Anyone feel like guiding a foolish llama?   ;D

The point of the know is not to avoid thinking about it or not trying to understand, it's about just being the Tao.One becomes the Tao by simply being the Tao.As someone else has said, the Tao is not the same for everyone.It's like trying to find one's own Dharma or similarly in the western occult tradition of Thelema one's True Will.One can make a conscious to move toward these things, but ultimately one has to just be these things.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #191 on: November 24, 2012, 02:00:58 PM »
Should I just let injustice be?

Offline Lux12

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #192 on: November 24, 2012, 02:07:02 PM »
Should I just let injustice be?

You misunderstand just being.If to prevent injustice is part of the Tao or part of your Tao then it should be that way.If you are virtuous then you will be virtuous, there is no need to think about doing the right thing you will just do it.If everyone were actively aware of the Tao then there would be no injustice.Disharmony comes from being out of sync with the Tao, this unbalance causes suffering. However, everyone does not follow the Tao, therefore there is imbalance and injustice.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #193 on: November 24, 2012, 03:50:25 PM »
Right up until you bump into someone whose tao is injustice.

Offline Lux12

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #194 on: November 24, 2012, 03:51:50 PM »
Right up until you bump into someone whose tao is injustice.

You still do not understand.Someone's personal place in the Tao cannot be injustice.Injustice is what occurs when the Tao is gone against.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #195 on: November 24, 2012, 03:53:23 PM »
Someone's personal place in the Tao cannot be injustice.

How can you be certain?

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #196 on: November 24, 2012, 03:59:24 PM »
How can you be certain?

One I've been studying Taoist philosophy for quite some time now and it's pretty much outright stated that bad things happen because people go against the natural balance a.k.a. the Tao.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #197 on: November 24, 2012, 04:04:02 PM »
But I am not convinced that is the only cause of Bad ThingsTM.

Offline Lux12

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #198 on: November 24, 2012, 04:06:32 PM »
But I am not convinced that is the only cause of Bad ThingsTM.

Well according to Taoism that is the reason.It should also be noticed that Taoism does not consider death bad.

"Heaven and Earth are not partial. They do not kill living things out of cruelty or give them birth out of kindness. We do the same when we make straw dogs to use in sacrifices. We dress them up and put them on the altar, but not because we love them. And when the ceremony is over, we throw them into the street, but not because we hate them."

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #199 on: November 24, 2012, 04:08:03 PM »
Death may not be a Bat ThingTM, but I can think of others that are natural.  Perhaps it is that I mislabel them 'bad'.  This requires pondering.