The Dao- The Mysteries

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hammersklavier
 
Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2009 05:55 pm
@Pathfinder,
The Dao is the light. The Dao is the dark. The yin and the yang. Kinda like the Force, really, for metaphysical concepts. I don't remember Daoism ever providing an explanation for where we go after death...I don't think too many people really thought about it in classical Chinese thought. There are some interesting bits in the Zhuangzi about how to deal with death, though.

I find the essential mystery of Daoism, and one that really appeals to me, to be the idea that action-in-inaction is the way to Get Things Done. That to do something properly you must do it not because of any other motive than looking at the situation and seeing that it must be done. Like karmayoga, I think. And that direct perception sheds light on the Dao.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2009 09:11 pm
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier;86998 wrote:
The Dao is the light. The Dao is the dark. The yin and the yang. Kinda like the Force, really, for metaphysical concepts. I don't remember Daoism ever providing an explanation for where we go after death...I don't think too many people really thought about it in classical Chinese thought. There are some interesting bits in the Zhuangzi about how to deal with death, though.

I find the essential mystery of Daoism, and one that really appeals to me, to be the idea that action-in-inaction is the way to Get Things Done. That to do something properly you must do it not because of any other motive than looking at the situation and seeing that it must be done. Like karmayoga, I think. And that direct perception sheds light on the Dao.


I do not think I have ever read about a Daoist description of what happens after death. However, there is the concept of the Hun, which would be comparable to the notion of a soul that transcends one physical life (the Daoist notion of Po) and moves through multiple physical lives.

At one time, I decided to have a thought experiment and asked myself, if there is a transcendental soul, then it should have transcendental memory which establishes the uniqueness of the soul. So, in what form would this memory manifest? I then imagined that the memory of the sum of experiences over multiple lives, would manifest in a single, evolving physical life as what we might call instincts, innate capabilities, inherited characteristics, etc. For example, a child prodigy who may have unexplainable skills in music, art, singing, science, writing, spelling, sports, etc.

So, with this, I thought I better understood the Daoist concepts of Hun and Po.

Rich
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 07:27 am
@Pathfinder,
I am open to correction here as it is all a present study for me, but I see Dao as a specific teaching rather than an overall teaching, that is used by various religious factions as one tool among many.

The Tao Te Zing was written as a guide to a specific lifestyle and is used by many different religious persuasions that have varying views on overall ideology, but can still find benefit from the teaching of Dao within their overall teaching.

The buddhists use the Tao Te Zing and so do Hindu and Confucians. And within those religions are many varying factions or schools of thought if you will.

The Buddhists acknowledge a cycle of lives through reincarnation, but they do not see it as a transcendance of identity or soul. They view it as more of a continuance of the karma of a soul which does not require identity between incarnations and only gains identity as it becomes united with a new incarnation. The actual identity of a soul is not realized until that soul can reach the state of Nirvana.

Although I am not entirely familiar with this teaching it does follow a little closer to my thinking that the human as a species is evolving toward a sort of Nirvana as a whole. And I would presume that as the individual of the species reaches higher enlightenment, bringing the whole of the species along in the wake, one person at a time, that each individual would also attain this state as well, so what the Buddhists teach is compatible to a degree.

I will have to look more closely at this, but from what I understand the Buddhist teaching has many variations, and I am not sure which is which.

.
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 09:50 am
@Pathfinder,
Just a bit of nitpicking:
In Wade-Giles it's Tao Te Ching.
In Hanyu Pinyin it's Daodejing.

Other than that I agree with what you're saying. But remember that Taoism also has a strongly anti-Confucian element as well. In TTC 17 it states:
Quote:
When there is no love in the family,
filial piety appears.
When there is no peace in the country,
patriotism is born.


Remember that one of the animating factors of Taoism is that it positions itself as an anti-Confucianism, intellectually speaking. It eschews all this talk about jen and li and yi (etc.) and instead focuses on a form of action, wei-wu-wei, which is not tied to ritual but rather to the idea that there is an inherent inaction in all action.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 10:21 am
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier;87121 wrote:
Just a bit of nitpicking:
In Wade-Giles it's Tao Te Ching.
In Hanyu Pinyin it's Daodejing.

Other than that I agree with what you're saying. But remember that Taoism also has a strongly anti-Confucian element as well. In TTC 17 it states:


Remember that one of the animating factors of Taoism is that it positions itself as an anti-Confucianism, intellectually speaking. It eschews all this talk about jen and li and yi (etc.) and instead focuses on a form of action, wei-wu-wei, which is not tied to ritual but rather to the idea that there is an inherent inaction in all action.


Yes, I would agree. Daoism is a natural reaction to Confucianism. There is probably both in this world.

Rich
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 11:07 am
@Pathfinder,
yes, I am definitely struggling to define the areas where TAO may mix messages with Buddha's teaching.

Does anyone know if there are exact areas of concern in that regard?

For instance I know they share the DAO cosmological view but they do not share the afterlife views.

This inaction being the way to get things done is a little confusing but does Buddhism teach a similar form of wu wei.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 11:17 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;87140 wrote:
yes, I am definitely struggling to define the areas where TAO may mix messages with Buddha's teaching.

Does anyone know if there are exact areas of concern in that regard?

For instance I know they share the DAO cosmological view but they do not share the afterlife views.

This inaction being the way to get things done is a little confusing but does Buddhism teach a similar form of wu wei.


I personally haven't gone into Buddhism enough to understand the basic philosophy. My general belief is that they are saying, at the core, pretty much the same thing. However, through history, there has been many modifications to the basic core in order to accommodate different cultures, groups, etc.

Much of the Nirvana concept, which sound very similar to me as Heaven, may have just been introduced in order to better market the philosophy/religion. In the same way that the concept of Hell was added to Christianity.

It's tough getting to the essence of any philosophy since you have to wade through all kinds of language interpretations as well as lots of concepts that have been added throughout history.

I just try to triangulate my experiences, with what I read, and what I see, I try to come up with a cohesive understanding of what life is all about.

Rich
 
salima
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 11:24 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;87097 wrote:


The buddhists use the Tao Te Zing and so do Hindu and Confucians. And within those religions are many varying factions or schools of thought if you will.
.


how do you know hindus use the tao te ching? that's news to me...although a hindu is free to use anything he pleases, it isnt really a religion either but a philosophy if it is understood correctly. to date i havent met anyone who has even read the vedic texts here in india.

ah, that reminds me of something you mentioned in a post about scriptures mirroring each other. i read in the qur'an something that sounded very much like one of the central themes in the gita. not a literal copy of course because given the languages that would be impossible. but both made the point that if a person is truly selfless and following the will of god, submitting to a higher Will, then he has not in fact killed, it is his lord who has killed. i found that interesting because mohammad was illiterate and ignorant of any hindu scriptures, they would have been considered infidels. even if any of his contemporaries were capable of doing so it would have been unthinkable to copy anything our of the books of idolators. so where then did the idea come from?
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 05:26 pm
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;86892 wrote:
Hi Manored,

I have been with you on threads before I recognize the name.

are you suggesting that all of these mysteries may have answers in some sort of afterlife?
Some of then will. We may find out the purpose of human existence when we die, but then we will have the question of what this new form we are in exists for =)

richrf;86896 wrote:
This may be so. But I think there are clues in this life. And the purpose of this life may be nothing more than exploring these clues.

If we analogize this to a game - and game, one can ask: What happens at the end of the game? And the answer may be: We will know at the end of the game. But, we need to play the game first in order to find out.
Not really, the game ends whenever we play it or not.

Its true that there are clues in this life, but there may or may not be certainty, and im under the impression the time we are given is far too short to find the answer before the game ends, so I prefer to focus my attention elsewhere, such as living =)

And, if we are gonna get the answer in the end of the game anyway, there is not really a reason to whack our heads trying to find it out. Better to live.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 05:43 pm
@Pathfinder,
richrf;87145 wrote:
I personally haven't gone into Buddhism enough to understand the basic philosophy. My general belief is that they are saying, at the core, pretty much the same thing. However, through history, there has been many modifications to the basic core in order to accommodate different cultures, groups, etc.

Much of the Nirvana concept, which sound very similar to me as Heaven, may have just been introduced in order to better market the philosophy/religion. In the same way that the concept of Hell was added to Christianity.

It's tough getting to the essence of any philosophy since you have to wade through all kinds of language interpretations as well as lots of concepts that have been added throughout history.

I just try to triangulate my experiences, with what I read, and what I see, I try to come up with a cohesive understanding of what life is all about.

Rich


This may be of some use to you as well: The Four Noble Truths

Pathfinder;87140 wrote:
yes, I am definitely struggling to define the areas where TAO may mix messages with Buddha's teaching.

Does anyone know if there are exact areas of concern in that regard?

For instance I know they share the DAO cosmological view but they do not share the afterlife views.

This inaction being the way to get things done is a little confusing but does Buddhism teach a similar form of wu wei.


Have a look at this link. It may help address some of your questions regarding Buddhism and Taoism:
What is the Buddhist, Taoist, and Zen Connection
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 06:42 pm
@salima,
salima;87148 wrote:
how do you know hindus use the tao te ching? that's news to me...although a hindu is free to use anything he pleases, it isnt really a religion either but a philosophy if it is understood correctly. to date i havent met anyone who has even read the vedic texts here in india.
Actually, Hinduism is more of a religion than Christianity IMO: it incorporates all three modes of perception of God (or Brahman or whatever). The Upanishads definitely have a mystical flavor; the Gita is definitely devotional. The Gita is exactly as religious as the Gospels; they share the same overarching themes and end in a glory of the avatar in question.
Quote:

ah, that reminds me of something you mentioned in a post about scriptures mirroring each other. i read in the qur'an something that sounded very much like one of the central themes in the gita. not a literal copy of course because given the languages that would be impossible. but both made the point that if a person is truly selfless and following the will of god, submitting to a higher Will, then he has not in fact killed, it is his lord who has killed. i found that interesting because mohammad was illiterate and ignorant of any hindu scriptures, they would have been considered infidels. even if any of his contemporaries were capable of doing so it would have been unthinkable to copy anything our of the books of idolators. so where then did the idea come from?

An excellent observation. Betcha if I looked hard enough I would find in gist the same statement in the Bible.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 06:50 pm
@manored,
manored;87201 wrote:
so I prefer to focus my attention elsewhere, such as living =)


I think it is all part of living and there is plenty of time for everything. Smile

Rich

---------- Post added 08-31-2009 at 07:53 PM ----------

TickTockMan;87205 wrote:
This may be of some use to you as well: The Four Noble Truths


Yes, I have read quite a bit on this and there are all kinds of translations and interpretations. Ultimately, I have to bring my own view into it, so that it all fits together. I don't really have the time at this point to look as deeply into the subject as I have Daoism. I am sure at some central juncture they are share the same tenets, since they are all talking about life - but from different perspectives.

Thanks for the links.

Rich



Have a look at this link. It may help address some of your questions regarding Buddhism and Taoism:
What is the Buddhist, Taoist, and Zen Connection[/QUOTE]
 
manored
 
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 01:22 pm
@richrf,
richrf;87210 wrote:
I think it is all part of living and there is plenty of time for everything. Smile
Well, yes, but there is an infinite amount of living waiting to be lived, if I can administrate my time better I can live harder =)
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 12:05 am
@Pathfinder,
Quote:
"Where there is impossibility, there is possibility; and where there is possibility, there is impossibility. It is because there is right, that there is wrong; it is because there is wrong, there is right...Thereupon the self is also the other; the other is also the self.


[/I][/COLOR]You have mistaken what this says. Taoism isn't saying that right or wrong exist, it is saying that both are the same thing. We invent what is right and what is wrong but in nature there is no distinguishing factor that says right or wrong. Same goes for the self, it is a label that doesn't do anything of itself, a concept that has nothing substantial about itself yet we run around thinking it to be.
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 05:37 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;87554 wrote:
[/I][/COLOR]You have mistaken what this says. Taoism isn't saying that right or wrong exist, it is saying that both are the same thing. We invent what is right and what is wrong but in nature there is no distinguishing factor that says right or wrong. Same goes for the self, it is a label that doesn't do anything of itself, a concept that has nothing substantial about itself yet we run around thinking it to be.



What it is saying is that the second one chooses to see one, the other automatically exists along with it. There cannot be one without the other, because one makes the other exist.

Therefore Krump is right to a degree that is is created in the minds of the human perception. But just because it is by our perception that this truth is revealed does not mean that it would not still be a truth without our perception, that is ridiculous.

Darkness will still exist in the absence of light whether man sees it or not.

Likewise, what is evil and wrong doing against another person is exactly that whether the human mind chooses to define the parameters or not. Of course it requires interaction between humans to create the division but our choice to lay down parameter is not what creates the godd and evil of a matter.

I do not need two people to come along and have one punch me in the nose, and than the other to kiss me on the cheek to know that it was wrong for a person to punch me in the face. I would know that a punch in the face is wrong without having ever been kissed.

For a similar discussion on the difference between good and evil I invite you to this page:

http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/branches-philosophy/ethics/4608-goodness-good-person-true-justice-3.html#post87576
 
manored
 
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 10:03 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;87554 wrote:
[/I][/COLOR]You have mistaken what this says. Taoism isn't saying that right or wrong exist, it is saying that both are the same thing. We invent what is right and what is wrong but in nature there is no distinguishing factor that says right or wrong. Same goes for the self, it is a label that doesn't do anything of itself, a concept that has nothing substantial about itself yet we run around thinking it to be.
I dont get the part about the self, it seens obviously substantial to me: I exist, and I am not the only thing that exists. How can I be confunded into the universe?
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Thu 3 Sep, 2009 07:17 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;86961 wrote:
Actually Alan, its funny you say that because I just read on the internet here somewhere that one of the ancient chinese texts is actually almost word for word translated the same way that John 1:1 was written only they speak of the Overall Creation instead of individualizing it as the Logos Incarnate. Do you think that is coincidental in any way? That text would have been written 4 thousand years before John. And I know that the book of Gilgamesh and some oither ancient Mesopotamian writings also mimic the Bible, or should I say the Bible written long after them seems to mimic them.


Hi Pathfinder and others,

I have been away for a few days thus my silence.

John 1.1 In the beginning was the Word and and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Daoism has its roots in Buddhism and Confucianism although they were not authors of this belief system A great topic, however, I think all great religions have very similar core beliefs such as love, honesty charity respect , but the followers sadly never live up to the hight standards set by their masters.

Mahatma Gandhi once said he would have become a follower of Christ if it were not for the bad record of his followers
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 3 Sep, 2009 07:32 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;87572 wrote:

Therefore Krump is right to a degree that is is created in the minds of the human perception. But just because it is by our perception that this truth is revealed does not mean that it would not still be a truth without our perception, that is ridiculous.


The truth is, they are the same thing.

Pathfinder;87572 wrote:

Darkness will still exist in the absence of light whether man sees it or not.


Darkness, so vague of an explanation for what? Bad? Evil? What? Everything that is NOT good? What does any of that say? Nothing, because it is subjective terminology.

Pathfinder;87572 wrote:

Likewise, what is evil and wrong doing against another person is exactly that whether the human mind chooses to define the parameters or not. Of course it requires interaction between humans to create the division but our choice to lay down parameter is not what creates the godd and evil of a matter.


Then what does? A tiger that kills the deer to eat is what? Morally neutral since it does not consider the deer at all or just because it is an animal? Since we have the ability to think about the situation, it now becomes an issue? We kill for profit, we kill for land, we kill for vengence, yet no one seems to care if it is a terrorist that we kill but if it is your neibor, then by all means you are an evil person? Yeah THAT seems logically natural.

Pathfinder;87572 wrote:

I do not need two people to come along and have one punch me in the nose, and than the other to kiss me on the cheek to know that it was wrong for a person to punch me in the face. I would know that a punch in the face is wrong without having ever been kissed.


What if the punch was to get you to realize that the kiss was poisonous? I could punch you in the face to win the trophy. Were they not the same kind of punch? One driven by purpose determines it's evilness?
 
Subjectivity9
 
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 04:34 pm
@Pathfinder,
Pathfiner,

I am afraid that I must go with Krumple on this last issue. Good and evil are both in the eye of the beholder, a subjective decision.

However, I do think, like you said, that we can measure harm, as in something that requires healing.

Subjectivity9
 
 

 
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