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9 years ago  ::  Sep 20, 2008 - 9:19AM #1
alyosha77
Posts: 148
I commented in my last thread on what I find puzzling and attractive about Taoism  (At least the little the know about it). First, what I find it puzzling is, it seems so much at odds with the physical world we experience.  My new friend  Eyesontheworld is doing his best to explain how, in Taoism, we are to shun categorizing and labeling things. But the external word is dualistic. Therefore, categorizing and labeling is necessary. One practical example is male/female. Since this duality exists, we need to categorize "girl" and "boy" clothes. We need to label restrooms "Men" and "Women." If we don't do this we get into trouble. As I said before, labels save our lives like "DANGER; POISON!" How does this square with those who take the radical stance that ultimate reality is nondualistic? (I'm not saying my new Taoist friends subscribe to the radical position).

On the other hand, here one of the things I find attractive. Taoism's idea of "going with the flow."  Nature is  going in certain direction  and we experience the good and bad thrown at us everyday. Why fight it? Just relax and move with the current. Delight with in. Life is a dance. But why nondualism? Why not relish the differences of things in the dualistic physical universe. Perhaps I reading this wrong. Eyesontheworld seems to appreciate the beauty of opposite things fitting together. I forgot his examples. The obvious one is male and female.  What I REALLY have a problem with good/evil. There is evil in the world we must fight. Child molesters. Those who torture innocents for fun. Those who practice genecide. The list goes on and on. Why do you think?
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2008 - 11:54AM #2
Crystal_Blue
Posts: 1
[QUOTE=alyosha77;772951]I commented in my last thread on what I find puzzling and attractive about Taoism  (At least the little the know about it). First, what I find it puzzling is, it seems so much at odds with the physical world we experience.  My new friend  Eyesontheworld is doing his best to explain how, in Taoism, we are to shun categorizing and labeling things. But the external word is dualistic. Therefore, categorizing and labeling is necessary. One practical example is male/female. Since this duality exists, we need to categorize "girl" and "boy" clothes. We need to label restrooms "Men" and "Women." If we don't do this we get into trouble. As I said before, labels save our lives like "DANGER; POISON!" How does this square with those who take the radical stance that ultimate reality is nondualistic? (I'm not saying my new Taoist friends subscribe to the radical position).[/quote]

Taoism isn't about shunning categorizing and labelling things - it's not about shunning anything, per se, not about actively resisting, it's about non-doing and letting be. Which is to say, things necessarily appear dualistic whilst ultimately being non-dual, and the trick is remembering that labels are mental constructs, no more, no less.

[QUOTE=alyosha77;772951]On the other hand, here one of the things I find attractive. Taoism's idea of "going with the flow."  Nature is  going in certain direction  and we experience the good and bad thrown at us everyday. Why fight it? Just relax and move with the current. Delight with in. Life is a dance. But why nondualism? Why not relish the differences of things in the dualistic physical universe. Perhaps I reading this wrong. Eyesontheworld seems to appreciate the beauty of opposite things fitting together. I forgot his examples. The obvious one is male and female.[/quote]

The funny thing is, non-dualism also involves rejecting the discrimination between dualism and non-dualism.
- ;)

Again, affirming that everything is ultimately non-dual in no way prevents an appreciation of the appearance of duality.

[QUOTE=alyosha77;772951]What I REALLY have a problem with good/evil. There is evil in the world we must fight. Child molesters. Those who torture innocents for fun. Those who practice genecide. The list goes on and on. Why do you think?[/QUOTE]

We generally label what the majority finds attractive as 'good', and what the majority finds repulsive as 'evil'.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2008 - 4:29PM #3
paulisue
Posts: 9
My understanding is that when looking at the yin/yang symbol that in taoism there can is a tendency to see opposites, but to be reminded that in each opposite is little bit of the opposing entity.  So when I think of your example of male/female: yes this dualism exists or does it (does the hermaphradite (sp?) recognize this dualism? Does a transgender or transexual individual recognize this dualism?)  I don't know, but then I hear of  someone who was born with both male and female gentitalia having a lot of confusion as to what bathroom to use or what to label themselves.  To go even further, one can be male or female, but be a woman with masculine characteristics or behave "manly" or be a man and be in touch with his "feminine side"  As I understand, the Tao and reality are nondual, it is our human mind that creates these things.  Which you have stated can be a chance to celebrate the differences, but can also cause problems when not able to completely fit within that definition
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 8:15AM #4
alyosha77
Posts: 148
[QUOTE=Crystal_Blue;774619]Taoism isn't about shunning categorizing and labelling things - it's not about shunning anything, per se, not about actively resisting, it's about non-doing and letting be. Which is to say, things necessarily appear dualistic whilst ultimately being non-dual, and the trick is remembering that labels are mental constructs, no more, no less.

OK, you are not "shunning" you are accepting.  What does "non-doing" mean to you? Is that the opposite of work?

Doesn't the act of non-doing presume dualism because are it is the opposite of doing something. - ;)  Next point: you believe everything only "appears" dual but it not really. So everything is a big blur of oneness? Crystal blue, are you saying the world around us is all subjective? External reality world is "mentally constructed in our heads?


The funny thing is, non-dualism also involves rejecting the discrimination between dualism and non-dualism.
- ;)

This is like a hall of mirrors.

Again, affirming that everything is ultimately non-dual in no way prevents an appreciation of the appearance of duality.

I should say so. Crystal Blue, NOT appreciating would lead to our deaths. It is not a good idea to deny real things like gravity and dietary laws by leaping off a tall building or drinking some rat poison.

We generally label what the majority finds attractive as 'good', and what the majority finds repulsive as 'evil'.[/QUOTE]

I suggest that's because we observe a dualistic universe where good and evil really exist.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 6:48PM #5
Kalzera
Posts: 262
Firstly, the external world is the physical world, the one we see and interact with, which isn't the ultimate reality. The Ultimate Reality in Toasim is the total of existance, which trascends beyond the external world.

On Duality...

Definition:
1: a theory that considers reality to consist of two irreducible elements or modes
2: the quality or state of being dual or of having a dual nature
3 a: a doctrine that the universe is under the dominion of two opposing principles one of which is good and the other evil b: a view of human beings as constituted of two irreducible elements (as matter and spirit)

a Boy and Girl are two seperate things, but both human. To further show thier 'oneness', early religions saw sexuality between man and women as union of two halves, completion. In Taoism, duality is the 3rd definition above, the Evil/good definition. There is duality through distinciton, but not through good/evil morals. Evil and Goodness doesn't exist, just human emotions and things that have varying degrees of benefit (to humands and the world). Like you said 'go with the flow'... there is no evil/goodness, just 'the flow' 'the way' 'the Tao'.

Now I haven't studied Taoism as deeply as others, and I can't say anything I said was correct, but for the most part, what I said is true based on what readings I've done on the Tao Te Ching and the limited research I've done through books and the internet.
However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2008 - 12:52PM #6
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
What one thinks is good another thinks is evil and vice versa. Another could be indifferent to both. Who is right? Who's to say who is right? Are those who say what is right themselves right? Who's to say that?

Majority rule? Mob rule? See?
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 25, 2008 - 12:18PM #7
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
By the way, Alyosha, have you read the Tao Teh Ching yet?

I'd be surprised if anyone here will be able to communicate what that masterpiece is saying better than its self. You can read it very quickly and find it online even.

I recommend the Stephen Mitchell translation as that resonated with me far more than any other. There well may be "better" translations for me or of you of for anyone else, but I know you could do much worse than read that one.

take care
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 25, 2008 - 7:19PM #8
alyosha77
Posts: 148
[QUOTE=EyesoftheWorld;783881]By the way, Alyosha, have you read the Tao Teh Ching yet?

I'd be surprised if anyone here will be able to communicate what that masterpiece is saying better than its self. You can read it very quickly and find it online even.

I recommend the Stephen Mitchell translation as that resonated with me far more than any other. There well may be "better" translations for me or of you of for anyone else, but I know you could do much worse than read that one.

take care[/QUOTE]

I'd love to read it when I have time.  Thanks for your encouragement and friendship.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 1:51PM #9
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,708
Hi Alyosha, you're quite welcome!

I don't think you know how short it is! You can read it in about an hour or two, though you may want to reflect a bit or a lot.

I think though, that utilizing this forum as your source seems unwise.

All you'll get here is interpretations, which themselves may differ greatly from what yours may be, and then you have to interpret what anyone posts, so there's like three degrees of separation and each degree increases the chances of misunderstanding what Lao Tzu "meant".
Go to the source, go directly to the source.
Reading my thoughts about the Tao Teh Ching is like looking at me casting shadows on the ground, trying to convey what the Sun is all about.
Do you see?
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 6:41PM #10
alyosha77
Posts: 148
[QUOTE=EyesoftheWorld;792501]Hi Alyosha, you're quite welcome!

I don't think you know how short it is! You can read it in about an hour or two, though you may want to reflect a bit or a lot.

I think though, that utilizing this forum as your source seems unwise.

All you'll get here is interpretations, which themselves may differ greatly from what yours may be, and then you have to interpret what anyone posts, so there's like three degrees of separation and each degree increases the chances of misunderstanding what Lao Tzu "meant".
Go to the source, go directly to the source.
Reading my thoughts about the Tao Teh Ching is like looking at me casting shadows on the ground, trying to convey what the Sun is all about.
Do you see?[/QUOTE]

I will I promise. You got me intrigued. i also have that Pooh book laying around the house somewhere.
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