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Switch to Forum Live View Are all Taoists nondualists?
9 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 9:08AM #1
alyosha77
Posts: 148
Are all Taoists nondualists? (Just so we are clear, nondualism, rejects the very idea of opposites, such as “right/wrong,” “good/bad, ”black/white,” “wet/dry,” “war/peace,” “beautiful/
ugly”, etc. They claim all contradictions are an illusion.) Do some Buddhists believe in the law of noncontradiction which states that a thing cannot be itself and not itself at the same time or same way.
(For example: A woman cannot be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time, a cat is not a dog, 2+2 does not equal 5.)
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 9:08AM #2
alyosha77
Posts: 148
Are all Taoists nondualists? (Just so we are clear, nondualism, rejects the very idea of opposites, such as “right/wrong,” “good/bad, ”black/white,” “wet/dry,” “war/peace,” “beautiful/
ugly”, etc. They claim all contradictions are an illusion.) Do some Buddhists believe in the law of noncontradiction which states that a thing cannot be itself and not itself at the same time or same way.
(For example: A woman cannot be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time, a cat is not a dog, 2+2 does not equal 5.)
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2008 - 4:40PM #3
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Hi Alyosha77, have you ever read "The Brothers Karamazov"?

Anyway, I'll go out on a limb here and try to put this into words.

The surface level of the material world is suffused with duality; it is a condition of our physical existence, or maybe just a consequence of language or even just concepts. For example, something is rarely totally dry, but we'll call something "dry" when it satisfies our threshold conception to earn that label.

However, our perceptions, through the senses, of this material/physical world are the necessary manifestations (maybe consequences is more accurate) of our consciousness and physical integrity, which seem to be the only way in which we can experience anything.

The Unity of Everything is, to be blunt, rather boring. This world has separation which allows for the chance at the bliss of reunion.

Being "in tune" or "in the flow", to me at least at times, is to be not thinking too much, almost like an Oiuja cursor being moved by an unseen force, which we can call the Tao. When people think too much or try too hard, it's like they are fighting a current.

Obviously, though, the fact I've tried to describe it means I haven't described it. I'm just pointing.

Remember, Alyosha, that when one points at something because they want a dog to look at it, the dog will many times look at the pointing hand.
I'm not saying you're a dog, obviously. I'm using metaphor, which is what most abstract writing is. People sometimes take metaphor literally the way a dog looks at a pointing finger.

Best wishes, and if you haven't read "The Brothers Karamazov", consider it recommended. My favorite character in the book is named Alyosha and at the end, the scene he has is probably the most emotional thing I've ever read. Of course, the buildup of the whole book up to then plays a part, so if you just jump to the last page that won't really be the same.
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2008 - 4:07PM #4
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Hi, I wish I had waited to try that until after I had a chance to re-read the Mitchell translation of the Tao te Ching.
Anyway, I sort of regret the Ouija cursor reference. I didn't mean you'll feel a force moving you; I meant being in the flow, you're more likely to feel effortless, the way you may think an Ouija cursor would feel if it could feel when it was moving or maybe I meant the way I think it would feel when touching an Ouija cursor when it moves. I've never actually touched an Ouija board or a cursor!

I don't know if I even answered your question about if Taoists are nondualists. I don't think I can actually. I can try to express my personal take and did try. Here it is, boiled down: on the surface I perceive and express duality, but I know both extremes are related and ultimately come from the same source.

Here's a quote that I think helps: "Everything is made of nothing, but the nothingness shows through."
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 30, 2008 - 10:28AM #5
alyosha77
Posts: 148
Yes, EyesoftheWorld, I read Brothers K! It is my number 1 favorite book of all time. I'd love to discuss it with you more but I have to go. I hope to pick this up with you again later. Thanks for your thoughtful comments!
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2008 - 2:31PM #6
alyosha77
Posts: 148
EyestotheWorld,

I'm curious, in what ways do you identify with Alyosha character? As you know, a follows Fr. Zossima, a Christian saint. What is your interpretation of Alyosha and the book from a Taoist point of view? I find it fascinating that the Brother K was a favorite people light years apart from each, notably John Paul II, Freud, and self-proclaimed anti-Christ, Nietzsche!

The last part takes place after Ilusha's funeral and school boys cheer "Hurrah for (Alyosha) Karmazov!"  What is it about this that you find so extraordinary? There are so many other parts that would have cited as my favorite?

Nondualism doesn't seem to match reality. How can one even think logically if contrasting categories are juist a matter perception?

Once again, thanks so much for you thoughts!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 12:18PM #7
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
[QUOTE=alyosha77;729424]EyestotheWorld,

I'm curious, in what ways do you identify with Alyosha character? As you know, a follows Fr. Zossima, a Christian saint. What is your interpretation of Alyosha and the book from a Taoist point of view? I find it fascinating that the Brother K was a favorite people light years apart from each, notably John Paul II, Freud, and self-proclaimed anti-Christ, Nietzsche!

The last part takes place after Ilusha's funeral and school boys cheer "Hurrah for (Alyosha) Karmazov!"  What is it about this that you find so extraordinary? There are so many other parts that would have cited as my favorite?

Nondualism doesn't seem to match reality. How can one even think logically if contrasting categories are juist a matter perception?

Once again, thanks so much for you thoughts![/QUOTE]

Alyosha reminds me of Prince Myshkin, from Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot". They're both sort of naively trusting of people, that total strangers, acquaintences and even family are as good hearted and pure of motive as they are. That's like me, ergo I relate to Alyosha.

I'm a big Nietzsche fan. He was not a Nihilist. He completely understood how it came about. It is an effect, not a cause. I can talk to you about this later.

The part that I was referring to was when Alyosha is with the group of boys and say something like "Let us never forget Ilusha". That made me sort of emotional. What were the parts you would have cited? I also thought the trial, especially when Russia is compared to a runaway train or stagecoach, was incredible, by the way.

I plan on starting a thread in which I try to articulate my understanding of the Unity from which Duality had to come for us to even think of a word like "us".

Take care
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 12:18PM #8
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
[QUOTE=alyosha77;729424]EyestotheWorld,

I'm curious, in what ways do you identify with Alyosha character? As you know, a follows Fr. Zossima, a Christian saint. What is your interpretation of Alyosha and the book from a Taoist point of view? I find it fascinating that the Brother K was a favorite people light years apart from each, notably John Paul II, Freud, and self-proclaimed anti-Christ, Nietzsche!

The last part takes place after Ilusha's funeral and school boys cheer "Hurrah for (Alyosha) Karmazov!"  What is it about this that you find so extraordinary? There are so many other parts that would have cited as my favorite?

Nondualism doesn't seem to match reality. How can one even think logically if contrasting categories are juist a matter perception?

Once again, thanks so much for you thoughts![/QUOTE]

Alyosha reminds me of Prince Myshkin, from Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot". They're both sort of naively trusting of people, that total strangers, acquaintences and even family are as good hearted and pure of motive as they are. That's like me, ergo I relate to Alyosha.

I'm a big Nietzsche fan. He was not a Nihilist. He completely understood how it came about. It is an effect, not a cause. I can talk to you about this later.

The part that I was referring to was when Alyosha is with the group of boys and say something like "Let us never forget Ilusha". That made me sort of emotional. What were the parts you would have cited? I also thought the trial, especially when Russia is compared to a runaway train or stagecoach, was incredible, by the way.

I plan on starting a thread in which I try to articulate my understanding of the Unity from which Duality had to come for us to even think of a word like "us".

Take care
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 3:33PM #9
alyosha77
Posts: 148
So much to chew on so little time! Just to let you know, weekends are my best time to give long replies. See you in a few days.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2008 - 12:01PM #10
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Alyosha, have you taken a close look at the Yin/Yang? It does appear to be divided in two halves, black and white, but have you noticed that in each half is a bit of the other?
Is that really duality?
Chew on that!
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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