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Do you Tao?

SneezerSneezer Registered User
edited May 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
I am a Taoist, I meditate, read the Tao Te Ching (Dhow Day Jing) and Zhuangzhi and try to follow some of the teachings of Lao-Tzu and Zhuangzi. What i'm asking is when someone mentions Taoism, what do you think of? Ying-Yang, bunch O' monks or a crazy patch of people following a non-existant 'code'?

Sneezer on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I think of the Wudangquan. But that's because I played 9Dragons for a while. :?

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Yep. I think of the Yin and Yang, and that's about it. However Taoists, as far as I know, have never supressed the rights of another group of people so they're ok in my book.


    Also how does one meditate?

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Like all relgions Taoism invovles circular logic. Unlike most others it admits this and says circular thinking is fabulous. As a result it very undogmatic. I can admire that.

    I meditate as well but do something closer to buddhist technique.

  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Yep. I think of the Yin and Yang, and that's about it. However Taoists, as far as I know, have never supressed the rights of another group of people so they're ok in my book.


    Also how does one meditate?

    By not doing. Taking some time to release everything and by being.

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  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Herm.

    Is there like beginner instructions?

  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Herm.

    Is there like beginner instructions?

    There's a 'Tao for dummies' I beleive

    Though that kinda negates the what I wouldn't like to call rules

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  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I don't, but I knew a guy that did once.

    What I dig is that its more a philosophy to aspire to - you find your own path - they write you the rules on right and wrong.

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  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Fallingman wrote: »
    I don't, but I knew a guy that did once.

    What I dig is that its more a philosophy to aspire to - you find your own path - they write you the rules on right and wrong.
    It's 'not' a religious philosphy, nor is it a philisophical religion. It just is.

    I'm full of the cryptics.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Tao that is spoken is not the true Tao?

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    I've fallen in love with some of the writings in the Tao Te Ching, but I can't call myself a taoist, as I am not clear on what all that would entail.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    I've fallen in love with some of the writings in the Tao Te Ching, but I can't call myself a taoist, as I am not clear on what all that would entail.

    Congrats you're a Taoist then

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I heart Taoism. I studied it in depth for years in high school, and I fucking rocked my professors' worlds when I did World Religions and Eastern Philosophies in college.

    A good "Tao for Dummies" is The Tao of Pooh, even though it is a bit poppy.

    Fritjof Capra's The Tao of Physics is pretty awesome.

    As far as the Tao Te Ching goes, read as many translations as possible. Get your hands on a translation made by a Westerner who knows Chinese and one by a Chinese person who knows English. Get your hands on a translation made by a female. And so forth. Read them all and compare and think about it.

    In addition to the Masters you've mentioned, Ancestor Lü is totally tits.

    Wei Wu Wei would be my suggestion as the core concept to meditate on. Doing Without Doing. It manifests in many ways, one of the most basic being essentially "a stitch in time saves nine." Less is more, though it goes deeper than simply saying that.

    Wu Wei Wu is also the assumed name of a Taoist that I frequently quote in my sigs. He is the fucking man.

    Just remember that the Way Eternal has no name. If one man asks about the Tao and another answers, then neither of them know (yes, I fully realize that includes me as I am an answerer here). The Tao suffers from a sort of philospohical Heisenberg: to even attempt to put it into language necessarily cripples its truth.

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    I've fallen in love with some of the writings in the Tao Te Ching, but I can't call myself a taoist, as I am not clear on what all that would entail.

    Congrats you're a Taoist then

    I'm a Taoist in the sense that I believe in the teachings surrounding what is called the Tao. However, I personally feel I am not on the correct tao. So, I don't consider myself a true Taoist. (Though, thinking of it, I suppose you don't have to be Christ to be a Christian.)


    Edit: The Tao of Pooh was a fun read. I've also picked up the Te of Piglet, though I've never gotten around to reading that one.

  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I personaly, am more inclined to read the Zhuangzhi, he's alot more straigtforward in his saying and doesn't talk about contradiction and paradox's (what is the plural of paradox?)

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  • NickleNickle Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Hooray, I'm not the only one! Everytime I try to bring up Taoism in a 'religious' discussion I get laughed at. Which would be understandable, considering I don't really think of it as a 'religion' persay, but I feel that those who dismiss the ideals presented by it seem a bit close-minded. I can respect the ideas that the bible represents, even if I don't believe it, or respect a few of it's more 'devout' followers.

    In any case, as mentioned above, 'The Tao of Pooh' and 'The Te of Piglet' are pretty decent introductions to Taoism, if a bit 'simplistic' (that's not the right word, considering the subject, but it's the best I have). Tao Te Ching, obviously, is one of the 'must reads'.

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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Paradoxen? LAWL.

    Personally I find that a journey through Taoism needs a good long wrestle with quite a bit of paradox.

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    Yar wrote: »
    Paradoxen? LAWL.

    Personally I find that a journey through Taoism needs a good long wrestle with quite a bit of paradox.

    I like this quote because it fits so well with an easy change. "Personally I find that a journey through life needs a good long wrestle with quite a bit of paradox." And I think that is what endears me to Taoism.

  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Yar wrote: »
    Paradoxen? LAWL.

    Personally I find that a journey through Taoism needs a good long wrestle with quite a bit of paradox.

    Surley a pardox in itself?

    One of my fav verses from the TTC
    Laozi wrote:
    Those who stand on tiptoe are unsteady.

    Those who take large strides, tire quickly.

    Those who think they know, never learn.

    Those who want to stand out, don't value others.

    Those who are self-important are never respected.

    These ways are like unnecessary baggage, or food left over after a feast.

    To the followers of Tao, they have no use


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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

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  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    I read the Tao Te Ching in college. Thought it sounded nice, but it wasn't especially helpful to me - there was a whole lot shrouded in poesy (though it could have been my translation), and what I could get out of it (elimination of all sentimentality?) seemed like it was probably kind of bad.

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  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    Out of genuine curiousity, what parts did you find flawed?

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Ikepe getitgn confused on names cuz my Eastern Philosophy teacher uses the other romanization method

    Zhunagchi is Chuang Tzu correct?

    I read his stuff. He'd be a decent place to start. a little less cryptic and makes frequent use of analogies and humor ot get his point across.

    I also loved Lao Tzu

  • NickleNickle Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    That's pretty much where I'm at too. I don't really proscribe to any particular 'religion', I just try to recognize that there are good ideas presented by most every text, which unfortunately sometimes get overshadowed by the bad (Zealots, Fox News, etc).

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    Out of genuine curiousity, what parts did you find flawed?

    The bits that veer into... I suppose you could call it overspecificity, I can't think of a better word. The bits that are clearly more strongly linked to cultural norms at the time of writing - a fair chunk of the instructions for ruling type stuff, and the gender-essentialism evident in a few other passages, basically.

    tmsig.jpg
  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Ikepe getitgn confused on names cuz my Eastern Philosophy teacher uses the other romanization method

    Zhunagchi is Chuang Tzu correct?

    Correct.

    It is said that Zhuangzhi was Laozi's pupil, but no-one is sure.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    Like I said Taoism is unique in that it acknowledges it's inherently flawed nature. So instead of the "This is the truth!" ideal it more of a "We've got a sense of something that hard to put into words" sensiblity.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Sneezer wrote: »
    Ikepe getitgn confused on names cuz my Eastern Philosophy teacher uses the other romanization method

    Zhunagchi is Chuang Tzu correct?

    Correct.

    It is said that Zhuangzhi was Laozi's pupil, but no-one is sure.

    It's also debatable if half these guys existed at all or wrote the stuff arttibuted to them ;)

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    Like I said Taoism is unique in that it acknowledges it's inherently flawed nature. So instead of the "This is the truth!" ideal it more of a "We've got a sense of something that hard to put into words" sensiblity.

    Yeah, well the bits that bother me are pretty much the bits where it obviously strays from that ideal in favour of spouting good old fashioned confucianism.

    tmsig.jpg
  • RandomtaskRandomtask Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Sneezer wrote: »
    I am a Taoist, I meditate, read the Tao Te Ching (Dhow Day Jing) and Zhuangzhi and try to follow some of the teachings of Lao-Tzu and Zhuangzi. What i'm asking is when someone mentions Taoism, what do you think of? Ying-Yang, bunch O' monks or a crazy patch of people following a non-existant 'code'?

    Whenever people mention Taoism, I always want to burst out with "HAY, HAVE U SEEN THE TAO OF STEVE OMG LOLO!?!?!?!"

    Which sounds retarded, but it's SUCH a good movie about dating, and actually explains some interesting taoist principles.

    Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
    - Soren Kierkegaard
  • RandomtaskRandomtask Registered User
    edited May 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    Like I said Taoism is unique in that it acknowledges it's inherently flawed nature. So instead of the "This is the truth!" ideal it more of a "We've got a sense of something that hard to put into words" sensiblity.

    Yeah, well the bits that bother me are pretty much the bits where it obviously strays from that ideal in favour of spouting good old fashioned confucianism.

    But the true taoist would just go "meh," and shrug those narsty bits off.

    Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
    - Soren Kierkegaard
  • SneezerSneezer Registered User
    edited May 2007
    A perfect example of what tao is:

    Tao is [insert your own interpretation here]

    I find that this stops people trying to be all high and mighty about what they consider they know *see above post of mine)

    ..or alternativly, ignore me and all my posts about Taoism

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  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    Out of genuine curiousity, what parts did you find flawed?

    The bits that veer into... I suppose you could call it overspecificity, I can't think of a better word. The bits that are clearly more strongly linked to cultural norms at the time of writing - a fair chunk of the instructions for ruling type stuff, and the gender-essentialism evident in a few other passages, basically.

    I think I can understand some of that. (I must admit I had to look up "gender-essentialism." :( ) I'm not clear on what you mean by overspecificity, though. Any examples? (It has been so long since I've read the passages that I don't recall too much of the specifics, so if you'd rather leave it as an excercise for the reader, I'm cool with that.)

  • RandomtaskRandomtask Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Sneezer wrote: »
    A perfect example of what tao is:

    Tao is [insert your own interpretation here]

    I find that this stops people trying to be all high and mighty about what they consider they know *see above post of mine)

    ..or alternativly, ignore me and all my posts about Taoism

    Ouch. ;-;

    Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
    - Soren Kierkegaard
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    taeric wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    taeric wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    I went through a short phase, and then realised its as flawed as any other religious book, its just more poetical. So I'm back to "there's some cool shit in most religious texts, interspersed between bouts of wtf". The Tao Te Ching has a better signal to noise ratio than most though, I''l give you that.

    Out of genuine curiousity, what parts did you find flawed?

    The bits that veer into... I suppose you could call it overspecificity, I can't think of a better word. The bits that are clearly more strongly linked to cultural norms at the time of writing - a fair chunk of the instructions for ruling type stuff, and the gender-essentialism evident in a few other passages, basically.

    I think I can understand some of that. (I must admit I had to look up "gender-essentialism." :( ) I'm not clear on what you mean by overspecificity, though. Any examples? (It has been so long since I've read the passages that I don't recall too much of the specifics, so if you'd rather leave it as an excercise for the reader, I'm cool with that.)

    It means "I didn't know what word to use" :P Basically the bits where it was clearly no longer about oneness/the way/whatever, and instead became "confucian concept #485".

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  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited May 2007
    Sneezer wrote: »
    I am a Taoist, I meditate, read the Tao Te Ching (Dhow Day Jing) and Zhuangzhi and try to follow some of the teachings of Lao-Tzu and Zhuangzi. What i'm asking is when someone mentions Taoism, what do you think of? Ying-Yang, bunch O' monks or a crazy patch of people following a non-existant 'code'?

    I think taoism is a crock of you know what, based on going with the flow in the faith that the flow is inherently benevolent. Which I do not believe it to be.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Chuang Tzu spends half his book calling Confucius a tool.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Hey Cat I realize that you've already mastered the Tao and uncovered all of its wrongs and moved on to superior knowledge by now, but I'd like to suggest this study and translation by Ellen Chen.

    It's not like a "feminist" version or anything, Ellen Chen is one of the best teachers of Taoism anywhere. But it is a less man-focused interpretation. A lot of translations are written a long time ago or by Easterners, or both, which can tend to impart a little bit of "wimminz are subs" into the translation.
    Shinto wrote: »
    I think taoism is a crock of you know what, based on going with the flow in the faith that the flow is inherently benevolent. Which I do not believe it to be.
    Wounds! Also I think benevolent is not the right term there. The Way is neither Good nor Bad.

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    It means "I didn't know what word to use" :P Basically the bits where it was clearly no longer about oneness/the way/whatever, and instead became "confucian concept #485".

    I'm not trying to get a better word, necessarily. Basically, I don't know enough about confucian concepts to know what you mean. So, I was wondering if you had an example or two. And again, I am fine if you are just saying, read some confucianism and see the similarities.


    I do agree largely with what Shinto said about not believing that there is some all powerful benevolent force. I liken this to "natural order," something I just can't bring myself to believe in.

  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    Sneezer wrote: »
    Ikepe getitgn confused on names cuz my Eastern Philosophy teacher uses the other romanization method

    Zhunagchi is Chuang Tzu correct?

    Correct.

    It is said that Zhuangzhi was Laozi's pupil, but no-one is sure.

    "Tzu" is an honorific, right?

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Yeah Tzu or Zi basically translates to "master"

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