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6 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 6:41PM #11
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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6 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2008 - 2:01PM #12
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707
Awesome!
Just think, if you had the opportunity to read a book penned by Jesus, wouldn't you want to read it rather than just talk to others who had read it?

The Tao of Pooh is pretty cool, but is like a candle in comparison to the Sun that is the Tao Teh Ching.

I'm really happy for you, Alyosha. It hadn't occurred to me at first that you had not read it. I think that if you really pay attention, it will serve you far better than I have tried to.

Take care
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 9:14PM #13
Leonette
Posts: 26
Your response about the Pooh book was far more tactful that mine was going to be, I guess it is good that I bit my tongue and waited to see if anyone else would comment. :)
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2008 - 1:49PM #14
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707
Yeah... your mellowness serves you well!

The Tao of Pooh was a nice and in retrospect, fortunate introduction for me into Taoism. But if you know about the Tao Teh Ching and you have both in your hands, and time is an issue, my pure heartfelt advice is to read the Tao The Ching first!

Timewise, the Tao Teh Ching goes much quicker anyway and packs much more "wisdom". see the candle/Sun analogy.

I could work on some more and come back with them...

Eye dropper/Ocean
Desktop personal fan/Category 5 Hurricane
What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2008 - 10:34AM #15
alyosha77
Posts: 148
[QUOTE=EyesoftheWorld;794681]Awesome!
Just think, if you had the opportunity to read a book penned by Jesus, wouldn't you want to read it rather than just talk to others who had read it?

The Tao of Pooh is pretty cool, but is like a candle in comparison to the Sun that is the Tao Teh Ching.

I'm really happy for you, Alyosha. It hadn't occurred to me at first that you had not read it. I think that if you really pay attention, it will serve you far better than I have tried to.

Take care[/QUOTE]

Thanks. Can't wait. Haven't talked awhile. How are you? It been crazy around here trying to get a handle on what is going in the world economy. Do find in the midst of this darkness, there is light, from a Taoist perspective? You mentioned Jesus. Do you yin/yang in the death and resurrection?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2008 - 10:39AM #16
alyosha77
Posts: 148
[QUOTE=Leonette;804279]Your response about the Pooh book was far more tactful that mine was going to be, I guess it is good that I bit my tongue and waited to see if anyone else would comment. :)[/QUOTE]

Hi Leonette. How are you? What is you perspective on loss? I ask this in terms of what has been happening in the world economy but also getting old and loosing loved ones, etc?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 19, 2008 - 2:09PM #17
MengTzu
Posts: 110
Hi Alyosha77,

    I especially agree with what one poster said -- there's no need to shun anything.  When we find a need to shun labels and categories, we are giving them a lot of power over us.  Rather, we see them exactly as they are -- labels, constructs, things that categorize reality but are not reality itself.  As long as we keep in mind what they really are, there is no need to shun them.

    Too much of an effort to shun them might, in fact, re-create the same problem of treating label as reality -- only that this time around, one would be treating a label-free world as reality, but this "label-free" world is no more and no less a construct than the constructs that one had attempted to shun.  This is why the Qing Jing Jing says, "'Seeing emptiness' is itself empty."  The idea of "emptiness" ("kong" in Chinese; "sunyata" in Sanskrit) refers (at least in Daoism) to the notion that nothing is absolutely existing in itself -- things neither absolutely exist nor non-exist.  Everything is in the context of everything else.  Accordingly, "this" is not absolutely "this," and "that" is not absolutely "that" -- what one calls "this" and "that is only constructive categorization of reality, and none of the perceived objects are permanent, absolute, individualized objects or "selves".  However, holding on to the notion of emptiness as a true representation of reality in turn mistakes construct with reality.

    Some have used the word "negation," which is different from "shunning."  To negate something is not to completely throw it away, but to realize that it is not absolute and truly determinative.  In addition, this process of negation also means that one is to negate even negation itself -- that is, to negate the negation of labels, thereby coming full circle back to the labels and categories, except this time around, one no longer sees them as reality, but as constructs of reality (even the idea that "there is a reality" is a construct).  One can in fact say that this process of negation continues to the point where the very notion of negation is completely negated.  It is perhaps at such a state of mind that one achieves attainment to Dao.

    So in a nutshell, don't worry about having to stop using labels.  Labels have their usefulness, and they won't harm you as long as you recognize them for what they are -- constructs.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2008 - 8:42AM #18
alyosha77
Posts: 148
[QUOTE=MengTzu;907005]Hi Alyosha77,

    I especially agree with what one poster said -- there's no need to shun anything.  When we find a need to shun labels and categories, we are giving them a lot of power over us.  Rather, we see them exactly as they are -- labels, constructs, things that categorize reality but are not reality itself.  As long as we keep in mind what they really are, there is no need to shun them. [/QUOTE]

MengTze, thank you so much for your time! You'll have to bear with me. You sound like you have been studying a long time (a lifetime maybe) and taking stabs at to appreciate it more. Took  up, Eyes..., challenge to read Tao Te Ching and finding it fruitful. The closest I've come to understanding think (I think) was writing to  friend to try explaining a life-changing experience while listening to a particular piece of music. On one hand, using words (aren't words nothing more than labels and categories) were necessary to communicate it to my friend. On the hand, I realized words just could not capture the experience, no matter how hard I tried. Was it wasted effort? I don't think so. The words, though inadequate,  pointed to right direction and that is better than nothing

    Too much of an effort to shun them might, in fact, re-create the same problem of treating label as reality -- only that this time around, one would be treating a label-free world as reality, but this "label-free" world is no more and no less a construct than the constructs that one had attempted to shun. 

In my point of view, labels point to something "out there" though they do a poor job. But, like I said, labels are better than nothing. To shun them would denying that communication between ourselves is futile. The construct is not something to appears out of thin air. It is a reaction to something that exists outside of our consciousness, in the same way consciousness reacts to trees, gravity, people and such

This is why the Qing Jing Jing says, "'Seeing emptiness' is itself empty."  The idea of "emptiness" ("kong" in Chinese; "sunyata" in Sanskrit) refers (at least in Daoism) to the notion that nothing is absolutely existing in itself -- things neither absolutely exist nor non-exist.  Everything is in the context of everything else.  Accordingly, "this" is not absolutely "this," and "that" is not absolutely "that" -- what one calls "this" and "that is only constructive categorization of reality, and none of the perceived objects are permanent, absolute, individualized objects or "selves".  However, holding on to the notion of emptiness as a true representation of reality in turn mistakes construct with reality.

    Some have used the word "negation," which is different from "shunning."  To negate something is not to completely throw it away, but to realize that it is not absolute and truly determinative.  In addition, this process of negation also means that one is to negate even negation itself -- that is, to negate the negation of labels, thereby coming full circle back to the labels and categories, except this time around, one no longer sees them as reality, but as constructs of reality (even the idea that "there is a reality" is a construct).  One can in fact say that this process of negation continues to the point where the very notion of negation is completely negated.  It is perhaps at such a state of mind that one achieves attainment to Dao.

    So in a nutshell, don't worry about having to stop using labels.  Labels have their usefulness, and they won't harm you as long as you recognize them for what they are -- constructs.[/QUOTE]

I accept the principle of what you are saying. Thanks again.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2011 - 8:42PM #19
Eisenhans
Posts: 54

Sep 20, 2008 -- 9:19AM, alyosha77 wrote:

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?



Whoa.... o_o  Where is all of this "dualism" / "nondualism" philosophy coming from?  It's so foreign to Taoism that I think it must be from somewhere else, but..... where......?


And there is no passive "go with the flow" in Taoism.  We create our own flows and sometimes fight against the "flows" of others (e.g, against people who try to harm us).


Taoism is very active!  If you just passively accept stuff that comes your way, you're forfeiting the responsibility you have for your own life and betraying some of your most basic instincts.  You must actively create momentum toward what you want, and that ain't gonna happen by sitting around on your butt, haha!


Eisenhans

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