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Switch to Forum Live View Need Very Concise Answers about Taoism
9 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 9:10AM #1
alyosha77
Posts: 148
Attention all Taoists!

I am looking the most concise, accurate answers you can provide about your religion. 4 questions:

(1) Who (or what) is God?

(2) Who is Man?

(3) What is the Problem? (Why is there evil, suffering, etc.?)

(4) What is the Solution?
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 9:10AM #2
alyosha77
Posts: 148
Attention all Taoists!

I am looking the most concise, accurate answers you can provide about your religion. 4 questions:

(1) Who (or what) is God?

(2) Who is Man?

(3) What is the Problem? (Why is there evil, suffering, etc.?)

(4) What is the Solution?
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2008 - 11:09PM #3
koala972
Posts: 879
[QUOTE=alyosha77;711321]Attention all Taoists!

I am looking the most concise, accurate answers you can provide about your religion. 4 questions:

(1) Who (or what) is God?

(2) Who is Man?

(3) What is the Problem? (Why is there evil, suffering, etc.?)

(4) What is the Solution?[/QUOTE]

god just is

????

you assume there is good, therefore there is evil.  And that with all its other attending assumptions and swords is the problem.

don't think you can find a solution, because the solution wouldn't exist without a problem, so to make a solution you are validating the problem.  Only way to not validate the problem is to refrain from having a solution to it.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2008 - 11:43AM #4
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Hi. Here are two excerpts from the Tao te Ching which I think help.

It (the Tao) is hidden but always present.
I don't know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.
(from Section 4)

The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.
(from Section 25)

So, God comes into the picture after the Tao. Maybe God is just a construct of the human mind trying to comprehend the Tao?

Man, to me, is an opportunity for the embodiment of consciousness in an agent. Why this happened is unclear. I have said elsewhere that the Unity, maybe my word for the Tao, is boring and uneventful. The creation of division, particularly individuals, creates separation and tension, but also allows the chance of dissolution with the Unity in a small dose at the moment of orgasm when both lovers climax (called a "little death" in French), and a full dose at death.

The problem, as you help frame it with suffering is that 1) any living organism deteriorates, gets injured, sick etc. It's the price we pay for having the chance to be conscious and have agency and with evil, 2) free will and individual consciousness allow the possibility of evil, which is obviously bad in the sense that evil is usually characterized by one or more individuals exploiting, hurting or killing one or more other individuals. Again, it's the price we pay for being embodied in physical form. Physical form exposes us to freedom and restriction. Free will allows us to help, hurt or do nothing.

The solution is tricky. That I think is an entirely individual thing. My POV is to not hurt, to help as much as I can without overextending or exhausing myself or my resources, to take care of myself, to enjoy myself and to learn and experience as much as I'd like, without interfering with anyone else's journey. I also try to not let things aggravate me.

So, how does that sound to you?
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2008 - 2:08PM #5
alyosha77
Posts: 148
[QUOTE=EyesoftheWorld;723778]Hi. Here are two excerpts from the Tao te Ching which I think help.

It (the Tao) is hidden but always present.
I don't know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.
(from Section 4)

The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.
(from Section 25)

So, God comes into the picture after the Tao. Maybe God is just a construct of the human mind trying to comprehend the Tao?

Man, to me, is an opportunity for the embodiment of consciousness in an agent. Why this happened is unclear. I have said elsewhere that the Unity, maybe my word for the Tao, is boring and uneventful. The creation of division, particularly individuals, creates separation and tension, but also allows the chance of dissolution with the Unity in a small dose at the moment of orgasm when both lovers climax (called a "little death" in French), and a full dose at death.

The problem, as you help frame it with suffering is that 1) any living organism deteriorates, gets injured, sick etc. It's the price we pay for having the chance to be conscious and have agency and with evil, 2) free will and individual consciousness allow the possibility of evil, which is obviously bad in the sense that evil is usually characterized by one or more individuals exploiting, hurting or killing one or more other individuals. Again, it's the price we pay for being embodied in physical form. Physical form exposes us to freedom and restriction. Free will allows us to help, hurt or do nothing.

The solution is tricky. That I think is an entirely individual thing. My POV is to not hurt, to help as much as I can without overextending or exhausing myself or my resources, to take care of myself, to enjoy myself and to learn and experience as much as I'd like, without interfering with anyone else's journey. I also try to not let things aggravate me.

So, how does that sound to you?[/QUOTE]

Doesn't the word Tao literally mean "THE Way" as opposed to "many ways including the opposite way." This would constitute a contradiction? Of course, a nondualism can get around this by "opposites are matter of perception." Right?
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2008 - 2:17PM #6
Sakhaiva
Posts: 942
alyosha, is this thread to help with homework? I'm curious due to the wording you chose to use in the op (specifically the words 'I need to know')

To help you understand what something is - nothing beats reading

http://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/index.htm

http://www.religionfacts.com/taoism/index.htm

these sites should help you (here is a hint: the Tao pervades all.)

Peace and good grades to you. :)

on another note, has anyone here been able to visit Mt Huashan?
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 3:00AM #7
woody666
Posts: 6
[QUOTE=alyosha77;711321]Attention all Taoists!

I am looking the most concise, accurate answers you can provide about your religion. 4 questions:

(1) Who (or what) is God?

(2) Who is Man?

(3) What is the Problem? (Why is there evil, suffering, etc.?)

(4) What is the Solution?[/QUOTE]


1 - God is a story made up by man to help cope with suffering & death.

2 - One of the limitless manifestations of the Tao.

3 - No problem. In life there is pain & suffering just as there is love & joy. Such is the nature of life.

4 - There is no solution except death which removes pain & suffering, but also love & joy.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 12:32PM #8
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Alyosha, "Tao" has no perfect translation. "The Way" is pretty close. But here's how I think you're getting confused.

I think you're seeing "Way" as in a path; through the woods, so to speak or even a railroad. The problem with that is it necessarily brings in the idea of a specific direction which is already laid out for you which you just need to stay on.

This is how I understand it. Picture the biggest tsunami you can imagine. Now, this also brings in the idea of direction, so maybe you could try to imagine a circular tsunami, moving out from the center in all directions equally. I can see myself taying pitfalls talking about moving away from the center, but this is just to make a point.
Everyone is "caught" in the flow. You cannot get out of it. You can try to fight it or get really into trying to control what the people around you who are also caught in the flow, but my advice is to reduce friction, become streamlined, use the force of the flow to move you instead of fighting it. Beware of "obstacles" which the flow may send you towards; use its momentum (Judo) wisely and steer around them. The idea is to be elastic, not rigid.

Now, to backtrack, the tsunami/wave idea is a metaphor. Try to imagine your life as riding on a flow. Being centered in that flow means not exhausting yourself trying to fight or control everything. You need obviously to
look both ways when crossing the street and stop for cars that may hit you.

I think I"m going to create that Unity thread now. See you there.
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2008 - 12:32PM #9
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Alyosha, "Tao" has no perfect translation. "The Way" is pretty close. But here's how I think you're getting confused.

I think you're seeing "Way" as in a path; through the woods, so to speak or even a railroad. The problem with that is it necessarily brings in the idea of a specific direction which is already laid out for you which you just need to stay on.

This is how I understand it. Picture the biggest tsunami you can imagine. Now, this also brings in the idea of direction, so maybe you could try to imagine a circular tsunami, moving out from the center in all directions equally. I can see myself taying pitfalls talking about moving away from the center, but this is just to make a point.
Everyone is "caught" in the flow. You cannot get out of it. You can try to fight it or get really into trying to control what the people around you who are also caught in the flow, but my advice is to reduce friction, become streamlined, use the force of the flow to move you instead of fighting it. Beware of "obstacles" which the flow may send you towards; use its momentum (Judo) wisely and steer around them. The idea is to be elastic, not rigid.

Now, to backtrack, the tsunami/wave idea is a metaphor. Try to imagine your life as riding on a flow. Being centered in that flow means not exhausting yourself trying to fight or control everything. You need obviously to
look both ways when crossing the street and stop for cars that may hit you.

I think I"m going to create that Unity thread now. See you there.
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2008 - 8:48PM #10
Leonette
Posts: 26
[QUOTE=alyosha77;711321]Attention all Taoists!

I am looking the most concise, accurate answers you can provide about your religion. 4 questions:

(1) Who (or what) is God?

(2) Who is Man?

(3) What is the Problem? (Why is there evil, suffering, etc.?)

(4) What is the Solution?[/QUOTE]

There isn't a specific "god" who is worshiped. There are gods who are worshiped regionally or within different sub-sects of Taoism, but there isn't a supreme diety. There is the Tao which is the force, the energy of the universe, but it is not a thing to be worshiped like a god.

Man is all of us. We are here and our actions effect everyone and everything directly or indirectly.

There really isn't a problem. Evil and suffering exist because if they didn't exist, there would be no good or happiness.

The solution is to just go with the flow. Relax. Don't over analyze. Be humble. Moderation is good. Accept that if we want good, we sometimes have to take bad too. Learn. Love. Live.
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