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Author Topic: MasterMischief Explores Taoism  (Read 14502 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #75 on: April 16, 2011, 02:39:20 PM »
Uncle is awesome anyways.  Exposure to Taoism just makes him more so.  ;)

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #76 on: April 16, 2011, 06:52:57 PM »
He was an amuzing character on his own and at a superficial level.

What I appreciate is I find him an excellent example since I can not seem to find Taoists in my area that I can pester with all my questions.  And by example, I do not mean someone to follow, just and example of one possible path.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #77 on: May 04, 2011, 07:20:11 PM »
There is dark and light in all of us.  Should we embrace the dark just as we would the light?  How much do we embrace it?  Do we try to deny it?  Push it into the recesses of our mind?  Deny what we are?

I am suddenly reminded of weeds.  Maybe we should not embrace or try to hide the darkness, but plant over it.

Offline Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #78 on: May 04, 2011, 07:38:15 PM »
The herbalist in me would have pointed out that many herbs are 'plants of opportunity' - also known as weeds.  Mint, if left untended, can take over any space it has access to.  Bamboo, so useful in so many ways, will as well.  I've seen bushes choked out by grapevine, which could have produced fruit if properly managed.  I wonder if perhaps our negative thoughts can also have 'good uses', as long as we don't let them over-grow their usefulness.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #79 on: May 04, 2011, 09:22:17 PM »
I can see that.

However, to play with that idea, let us take it to an extreme.  How can wanting to inflict harm upon another have a 'good' use?

Offline Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #80 on: May 04, 2011, 09:44:53 PM »
In that case, I would say that the 'weed' has overgrown its use.  With a few exceptions, thoughts of wanting to harm someone don't come out of nowhere - there's a (pardon the pun) root cause for reaching that extreme.  That is where one decides to properly tend the weed or to let it run rampant. 

Let's take a random example:  A man sees a co-worker get a promotion.  He can let the weed take over and stew in thoughts of wanting to do away with his rival and get the job that way, or he can tend it properly, and use those thoughts as incentive to improve his own performance on the job, thereby earning a similar promotion on his own merits.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #81 on: May 04, 2011, 09:56:59 PM »
Well played, m'lady.  I believe you are on to something there.

Offline Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #82 on: May 04, 2011, 11:11:54 PM »
It made me think in order to see if my initial reaction could still fit, I'll admit. 

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2011, 07:51:42 AM »
I was thinking today I see two premises:

Everyone has a different perspective
All perspectives are valid

Your choice of the word, "valid" is an interesting one. Valid does tend to be used interchangeably with "true," but in formal logic and argument, they are not the same thing. Validity is a necessary condition for a true argument, but not a sufficient condition. A person can have a perfectly valid argument where the conclusion(s) follow(s) from the premise(s), but still be wrong.

In addition, you used the word perspective, which is another term loaded with multiple meanings. I'm assuming that you mean it in the sense of a point of view, a context for evaluating and synthesizing beliefs, opinion and experiences.

I'm not sure I agree with a statement that I understand to mean, "All points of view are equally reliable measures by which to assess reality." Because validity, as I said, is not a sufficient indicator of truth.



Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #84 on: May 05, 2011, 09:33:37 PM »
We would have to agree on what 'reality' means.  I used 'perspective' because, from an individual stand point, how else can one define 'reality'?

Are you familiar with the story of The Blind Men and an Elephant?  Which blind man's reality is more real?  We know that our senses can deceive us.  We know that we do not know everything.  So how can we be sure we are more than a blind man feeling only a part of the elephant?

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #85 on: May 05, 2011, 09:39:54 PM »
The biggest flaw with the story you mention is that when the three men get together to compare notes, the story ends with its little Aesop. Why didn't they return to the elephant to explain how they had come to their impression and try to demonstrate the nature of the elephant to each other, and come to a consensus?

As an empiricist, that's what I would do if I came to a different interpretation of the same data reviewed by my colleagues.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 09:55:26 PM by Pointless Digression »

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #86 on: May 05, 2011, 09:44:40 PM »
I'm afraid I can not help you then and my premise, from your perspective, is false.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #87 on: May 08, 2011, 05:23:04 PM »
The Universal Unitarian church that I found offers Tai Chi during the week.  I am very interested in taking it.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #88 on: May 19, 2011, 09:07:40 PM »
I am finding it easier and easier to just let go.  Granted, this may be the 'wisdom' of age, but I find difficult times easier to ride through and I find much peace in my life.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #89 on: December 30, 2011, 06:07:25 PM »
I have been neglecting my Taoism studies.  At least I do not have to enter a confessional and admit my lapses to some strangers.

Wait.  I think I just did.

Anyway, despite neglecting my studies, Taoism has given me a useful perspective to apply to my everyday life.  It has not helped with the recent passing of one of my feline family members.  I realize that death is merely part of life but I still miss her.

It has helped me see that extremes are not a good path for me.  That is something that I am beginning to really appreciate about Taoism, its apparent lack of absolutes.

Offline Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #90 on: December 30, 2011, 06:11:13 PM »
I have been neglecting my Taoism studies.  At least I do not have to enter a confessional and admit my lapses to some strangers.

Wait.  I think I just did.

Yeah, it doesn't get much stranger than us.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #91 on: December 30, 2011, 07:38:10 PM »
I think it is easier to bare one's soul to 'strangers' online.  If they reject you, you can just write them off as jerks and move on.  And E is a very friendly and accepting community.

Offline Aemirys

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #92 on: December 31, 2011, 05:19:02 AM »
*quietly enters the room so as to not disturb anyone and takes up a place in a quiet corner to listen and arranges herself in the Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)*

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #93 on: December 31, 2011, 02:55:11 PM »
*quietly enters the room so as to not disturb anyone and takes up a place in a quiet corner to listen and arranges herself in the Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)*

See, my experience with Taoism has been that it is far less concerned with reverence.  Which suits me.  I do not think life should be taken seriously.  Laughter heals.  Humor makes us think.

I love at the end of Kung Fu Panda when Sifu is trying to mediate and all Po can think about is eating.  Eating is natural.  It sustains life.  What is meditation compared to nourishment?  Not that meditation does not have its place.  I just think we need to not forget about actually living while we contemplate our purpose for living.

You are most welcome and please feel free to join in, Aemirys.

Offline Oniya

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Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #94 on: December 31, 2011, 03:39:44 PM »
Well, there are some of us who sit in the back of class until we figure out what we can contribute.  Once we get to that point, though, it can be hard to shut us up.  ;)

Offline Aemirys

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #95 on: December 31, 2011, 04:28:26 PM »
See, my experience with Taoism has been that it is far less concerned with reverence.  Which suits me.  I do not think life should be taken seriously.  Laughter heals.  Humor makes us think.

I love at the end of Kung Fu Panda when Sifu is trying to mediate and all Po can think about is eating.  Eating is natural.  It sustains life.  What is meditation compared to nourishment?  Not that meditation does not have its place.  I just think we need to not forget about actually living while we contemplate our purpose for living.

You are most welcome and please feel free to join in, Aemirys.


I just thought I would sit back and listen for a bit and while I'm doing that I thought that incorporating some of my yoga poses seemed both appropriate and complementary.


Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #96 on: December 31, 2011, 04:41:51 PM »
Well, there are some of us who sit in the back of class until we figure out what we can contribute.  Once we get to that point, though, it can be hard to shut us up.  ;)

That is my usual approach, except I can not seem to find a 'classroom' in my area.  I found something online, but the leader seems more interested in pushing his vegitarian agenda than teaching Taoism.  I had hoped to find others who could help me in my exploration with this thread, which I have.

I just thought I would sit back and listen for a bit and while I'm doing that I thought that incorporating some of my yoga poses seemed both appropriate and complementary.

Certainly.  As I said, this thread was kind of my own exploration.  I also wanted to create a more positive thread in the Politics and Religion area.  There were too many Christian vs. Non-Christian threads and too much hostility.

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #97 on: December 31, 2011, 07:19:58 PM »
While I can understand and appreciate the utility of Wu Wei, I still struggle with confronting certain issues I see in my life, particularly gay rights.  I admit this may have more to do with my understanding of Wu Wei.  I believe that people should be treated the same and should be afforded the same rights as everyone else regardless of their gender attraction.

What would be the taoist response?  Is there one?  Taoism seems to suggest (to me) that any change I seek should come from within.  I accept gay/queer/transgender.  So what change should I seek from myself?  Is it that I should seek to understand those who do not accept?  Seek first to understand, then be understood?  I admit that is difficult to do without becoming angry.  Then again, nothing worth doing is easy.  If it were easy, everyone would do it already.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #98 on: January 02, 2012, 09:56:02 PM »
Can you elaborate on your understanding of Wu Wei and the conflict you see?

As I understand it, the principle of acting without acting doesn't prevent you from effecting change (in some cases it may even require it) nor does it require that change come from within. The principle is that action should be taken that is harmonious with nature and thereby without effort. To use the classic example: think of water. Water is capable of effecting vast change in the world with great destructive potential, but without doing anything but reacting in accord with the natural world surrounding it. It's the classic paradox confronting most people first encountering tai chi chuan, how can strength, force, and intention come with such relaxed motion? We tend to associate strength and effort with change, but it doesn't have to be. The challenge is pulling it off.

Y'know, Kung Fu Panda isn't a terrible example of a Daoist parable. Especially the second one (although it wasn't as good of a movie).

Offline MasterMischiefTopic starter

Re: MasterMischief Explores Taoism
« Reply #99 on: January 04, 2012, 08:51:08 AM »
Honestly, I am not sure I understand Wu Wei.  Just when I think I have it, it slips away.  Chuang Tzu's waterfall speaks to me.  It seems to suggest that instead of trying to change my circumstances, I should find the benefit of them.  That it is mostly a matter of perspective.

But I have also understood Wu Wei to mean to act with the utmost subtlety and efficiency.  That it is not no action, but easy action.

I happened to enjoy the second Kung Fu Panda just as much as the first.  And Po's insight against the canon balls seems appropriate.  So how do I redirect hatred?