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Author Topic: MasterMischief Explores Taoism  (Read 14499 times)

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Offline Lux12

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #200 on: November 24, 2012, 11:58:25 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.

Very true.Humans often mislabel that which they do not entirely understand.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #201 on: December 06, 2012, 10:23:11 AM »
My mother really disappointed me today.  I do not want to get into what she did as that is not what I want to discuss in this post.  What I do want to discuss was that I was able to let go of that disappointment.  Or, at least, mostly let it go.  I think a little is still lingering.  But for the most part I have moved on.  My exploration of the Tao has given me the perspective needed to do this.  To recognize what is going on and how it is affecting me.  And what to do about it.  It brings me a great deal of peace in my life.

I still consider myself an atheist which I do not see as a contradiction for someone following the Tao.  I do not know if the philosophy of the Tao would stand up to the scrutiny of scientific examination.  I have noticed that applying it to my own life brings me some measure of clarity and the aforementioned peace.

This has been a delightful journey and I hope that it last a while longer.

Online Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #202 on: December 06, 2012, 11:50:47 AM »
As I understand it, the Tao does not make claims one way or the other about a Supreme Being.  As a result, it should be compatible with either belief, non-belief, or uncertainty in that respect.

Offline Driskoll

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #203 on: December 15, 2012, 02:38:22 AM »
As I understand it, the Tao does not make claims one way or the other about a Supreme Being.  As a result, it should be compatible with either belief, non-belief, or uncertainty in that respect.

Yes and no I think. In the few times that I've studied the Dao De Ching the question of what exactly the Dao is has come up a lot. This quote in particular has always made me think it's more than simply a belief or way of life.

Quote
And yet this ineffable Dao was the source of all spirit and matter, and being expressed was the mother of all created things.

Of course this doesn't make the claim that it is some kind of higher being, only that it created all things. This seems to be somewhat undermined though by other parts of the Dao De Ching.

Quote
Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

This part here could really be referring to any subject, including the understanding of the Dao itself. So according to Daoism, those with an understanding of the Dao would not share it openly, and those who do speak of it, like me, don't really know what the hell they're going on about. 

Online Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #204 on: December 15, 2012, 12:21:00 PM »
Quote
And yet this ineffable Dao was the source of all spirit and matter, and being expressed was the mother of all created things.
Of course this doesn't make the claim that it is some kind of higher being, only that it created all things. This seems to be somewhat undermined though by other parts of the Dao De Ching.

I admit, I haven't studied the Dao - I've picked up bits and pieces from various places, but I hope that my cup is not already full.  ;)

The thing that stands out to me in the quote you gave here is that 'being expressed [it] was the mother of all created things.'  It made me think of the difference between things that are expressed, and those that are unexpressed.  I can be happy, but if I don't express that happiness, it doesn't 'create' a smile.  I can have an idea for a story, but until I express it, the story isn't created.  Having something in your head, but not acting on it, creates nothing.

Oh, interesting bit - and very 'Dao-ish':  The word 'ineffable' literally means 'incapable of being expressed' in its first definition.  So, the Dao is incapable of being expressed, and when it is expressed, it creates all things.  Koan?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 12:23:52 PM by Oniya »

Offline Driskoll

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #205 on: December 15, 2012, 05:28:13 PM »
The thing that stands out to me in the quote you gave here is that 'being expressed [it] was the mother of all created things.'  It made me think of the difference between things that are expressed, and those that are unexpressed.  I can be happy, but if I don't express that happiness, it doesn't 'create' a smile.  I can have an idea for a story, but until I express it, the story isn't created.  Having something in your head, but not acting on it, creates nothing.

Oh, interesting bit - and very 'Dao-ish':  The word 'ineffable' literally means 'incapable of being expressed' in its first definition.  So, the Dao is incapable of being expressed, and when it is expressed, it creates all things.  Koan?

Interesting. I hadn't thought about this quote in those terms before. I do know that the concept of dualism is brought up throughout Daoism though, so perhaps here what we're really talking about are the differences and similarities between expression and creation. 

To take your example, if you are happy but don't outwardly express it, that happiness would still exist, but not in any observable way like a smile. I argue that in some sense you would have already created that happiness, but it would be a happiness that only you knew existed. The same could be said for a story, for it could be a story you had already created in detail, but also a story that wasn't expressed anywhere outside of your subjective frame of reality.

I bring this up because there have always been thoughts and beliefs that certain parts of Daoism relate very well to certain theories within quantum physics. There is the theory that whatever one perceives doesn't actually exist until one is there to perceive it. In other words, our own consciousness creates our subjective reality, but doesn't express our reality in an objective, physical way for others to see.

Getting back to the concept of the Dao, if the Dao truly is ineffable, I don't know that it must also mean that the Dao is incapable of creation. Perhaps the Dao was simply the first consciousness to create it's own subjective world just by existing, through which all other conscious beings came into existence to create their own subjective worlds. If that was the case I could see how the Dao could earn the title of "mother of all things" without ever having to outwardly express itself.

I hope I made some sense there. I tend to ramble and jump from place to place when I talk about stuff like this. I'm also not sure if I really believe in this either, but this is my best attempt at making some sense out of the rather abstract concepts in Daoism. If the quote really is a koan though, then applying logic to it as I've tried to do is kind of pointless :P
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 12:25:23 PM by Driskoll »

Online Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #206 on: December 16, 2012, 02:43:40 PM »
I bring this up because there have always been thoughts and beliefs that certain parts of Daoism relate very well to certain theories within quantum physics. There is the theory that whatever one perceives doesn't actually exist until one is there to perceive it. In other words, our own consciousness creates our subjective reality, but doesn't express our reality in an objective, physical way for others to see.

I've recently been educating myself on quantum physics too - if you haven't read it, the Dancing Wu Li Masters is an excellent book, with a touch of the Eastern philosophy that you mentioned.  The duality that something can be in two different states until you test for one or the other does fit in nicely with the idea that something can express itself and yet be ineffable.

Offline Driskoll

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #207 on: December 19, 2012, 10:27:09 AM »
I've recently been educating myself on quantum physics too - if you haven't read it, the Dancing Wu Li Masters is an excellent book, with a touch of the Eastern philosophy that you mentioned.  The duality that something can be in two different states until you test for one or the other does fit in nicely with the idea that something can express itself and yet be ineffable.

Thank you! I'll defiantly have to get that one. There are also quite a few books by Amit Goswami that deal with quantum physics and spirituality. You might like them if you haven't checked them out already. I've heard a lot of good things but I have yet to actually read them myself :-[ 

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #208 on: December 29, 2012, 08:57:11 PM »
I am thinking that the Dao is all things, the universe and whatever may or may not be outside of the universe.  However, my understanding of the universe and your understanding of the universe is different.  It is defined for each of us by our past experiences.  The language we would use to describe it may be very different.  The words themselves may mean different things to each of us.

Therefore, there is no way to truly explain it.

I think there is something to this.  On the other hand, language is an incredibly useful tool and I do not think we simply toss it out for its possible shortcomings here.  The Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu's writing are not the message.  They are meant to lead the reader to the message.  A figure pointing at the moon, if you will. 

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #209 on: January 04, 2013, 06:49:52 AM »
I am responsible only for what I say, not what you hear or understand.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #210 on: January 04, 2013, 06:26:34 PM »
If I do not understand anything, you must be responsible for everything.

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #211 on: January 04, 2013, 06:29:46 PM »
He who knows not, but knows that he knows not knows more than he who knows but knows not that he knows.


Something.

*boing*

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #212 on: January 04, 2013, 06:38:15 PM »
Today was about humility.  It is something I have lost sight of again.  It is too easy to slip back into bad habits.  When I was younger, I feared everyone was 'better' than I.  Now, I find myself all too often thinking I am 'better' than others.  There is no 'better'.  Only different.  And different is a blessing.

Offline Jarick

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #213 on: January 04, 2013, 09:49:21 PM »
An easy trap for Westerners to fall into is to attach a self-referent egotic stake to the notions of better or worse with reference to oneself.

We observe that someone is possessed of a superior skill or talent than someone else.  One thought arises: the perception that the other is more skilled.  The second thought, which follows from the first and is a conditioned, this-is-not-to-be-certain reaction (instilled in us by culture/society/peers), is that the one more skilled is thus better as a human being because of it.  Hold two oranges of differing juiciness in front of a sage and ask them which is better, and the sage will ask you what you mean when you say "better".  Tastier?  To whom?  An animal that likes fruit will judge the juicier orange as better/tastier.  A tiger has absolutely no opinion on which orange is better, nor does the eagle or the mantis shrimp.  By the same token, the sage will also quite readily say that those two oranges are in fact different.  One is juicier, after all.

The mistake that comes with hubris is not in evaluating that one is more skilled or talented than others.  The mistake comes when the prideful soul then uses that data to come to secondary conclusions that do not necessarily follow-- that they are more favored by the divine, that they are to demean those more (or less) [fill-in-the-blank] than they, that their shit glitters gold, that their success in one field predicts success in similar and unrelated fields, or any number of other easy-to-fall-into cognitive traps and illusions.

Keep at it.  Don't take anything at face value, especially your own reactions in things you know you're biased towards.  Habits are particularly insidious that way, especially if you don't have a new habit to replace it with.

When you can acknowledge someone is inferior with the same detachment and compassion that you acknowledge someone is superior, that's generally a pretty decent sign.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #214 on: January 12, 2013, 08:43:35 AM »
Thank you, Jarick.  That was insightful.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #215 on: August 20, 2014, 10:07:09 AM »
This really resonated with me and I wanted to share.

Dualistic thinking is a sickness.
Religion is a distortion.
Materialism is cruel.
Blind spirituality is unreal.

Chanting is no more holy than listening to the
murmur of a stream, counting prayer beads no more
sacred than simply breathing, religious robes no
more spiritual than work clothes.

IF you wish to attain oneness with the Tao, don't get
caught up in spiritual superficialities.
Instead, live a quiet and simple life, free of ideas and
concepts.
Find contentment in practice of undiscriminating
virtue, the only true power.
Giving to others selflessly and anonymously, radiating
light throughout the world and illuminating your
own darknesses, our virtue becomes a sanctuary for
yourself and all beings.

This is what is meant by embodying the Tao.


--Hua Hu Ching Chapter 47

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #216 on: August 21, 2014, 03:35:08 AM »
It is my hope to be able to read through this and  gain knowledge and enjoy opinions within it.
This is very cool to find.
See ya later.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #217 on: August 22, 2014, 04:58:35 AM »
Glad you found something of interest. I look foward to hearing your thoughts.