What is Taoism

Here you can talk about the main Taoist topics such as Tao, Yin-Yang, Wu, Wu-Wei.

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laotan
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What is Taoism

Post by laotan »

Taoism is the way of cooperation of man and nature. It is a way of life developed by the ancient Tao masters. Taoism is still actual and may help us find our way in the turmoil of the modern world. See also the short faq.

Joseph
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Re: What is Taoism

Post by Joseph »

Lao Tzu wrote:
“The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have too much
And give to those who do not have enough.
Man’s way is different.
He takes from those who do not have enough
To give to those who already have too much.”

Men haven’t changed in 26 centuries. Men have skillfully used the time to create new technologies and weapons which have served only to accelerate his having his way while he ignores “The Way.”

As we study in light of TAO, especially the interrelationship of opposites, what lessons should we be learning from our apparent unremitting shortcomings?

Danae

Re: What is Taoism/Joseph

Post by Danae »

Joseph wrote:Lao Tzu wrote:
“The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have too much
And give to those who do not have enough.
Man’s way is different.
He takes from those who do not have enough
To give to those who already have too much.”

Men haven’t changed in 26 centuries. Men have skillfully used the time to create new technologies and weapons which have served only to accelerate his having his way while he ignores “The Way.”

As we study in light of TAO, especially the interrelationship of opposites, what lessons should we be learning from our apparent unremitting shortcomings?


Joseph; I'm confused by your post. Which verse of the Tao Te Ching is your quote from? I have great difficulty with understanding the Tao Te Ching. I tend to take things literally instead of figuratively. I also tend to be simple minded. I may be too simple minded to learn from your post. If you wish to help me try to understand, I'd appreciate any response you can give to the following; 1. I don't know what Lao Tzu mean by words "The Tao of heaven". 2. I don't understand why the Tao of heaven, whatever it is, would interfere and take from those who have too much instead of showing them the way and letting them decide if and when to do that themselves. 3. I don't understand what the verse has to do with technologies and weapons. 4. I don't know what unremitting shortcomings are you referring to? Thank you for any help you decide to offer.

Joseph
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Re: What is Taoism

Post by Joseph »

Hello Danae:

Thank you for your interest. I am too seeking guidance in living in light of TAO. So please understand that I’m not qualified to instruct anyone in TAO’s meaning. Please read the article entitled TAOISM by a westerner named Alan Watts intended to enlighten westerners as to TAO’s significance. Although Watts died in 1973, his insights are worth reading and might be helpful to anyone who is new to TAO. However, TAO is not something that can be grasped with our minds. It cannot be learned. No one can give you an understanding of TAO; it is something that must be experienced, such as falling in love. The student of TAO is more concerned with introspection, meditation, observing life’s rhythms and cycles and living in harmony with the natural order rather than mastering and understanding of something. TAO is like water in that you can’t grab at water with your fist but you can float on it if you allow yourself to get wet. It’s not easy, especially for us brought up within the west. I have often felt it is like looking for a smoke signal in a fog. It’s difficult but doable.

The quote is taken from chapter 77. The translation is from Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.

What is heaven? The closest definitive answer that I have read relating to the classical Chinese mind’s view of heaven comes from The Book of Changes, Book II: The Material, Part I, Ta Chuan / The Great Treatise, Ch. VI: “Heaven is the scene of the spiritual, earth is the scene of the corporeal.” For us in the west the definition depends upon our traditions and upbringing… Heaven is where you’ll find God or The Supreme One or The Almighty or That which has no beginning and no end or “the kingdom of Heaven is within you.” I believe we each must come to terms with that and experience it in our own way.

Alan Watts wrote several books on TAO including TAO The Watercourse Way but this article is a good starting point.
Last edited by Joseph on Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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laotan
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Re: What is Taoism

Post by laotan »

This article was already posted in this forum - I don't see why you should post it again in your answer. Please remove it and place a link to it on your post instead.
Also we already talked a lot about Alan Watts... It is that difficult to read the discs? Before you post something in this forum please try to read first what was already posted. Thanks.

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laotan
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Re: What is Taoism/Justauntb

Post by laotan »

When you wish to find something on this forum use the search engine in the corner right of this (or any) page. There you must enter the keywords and hit Search button. This is all.

If you don't wish to start looking for something, then dont do it. If you don't understand what is about, you may ask. It is that simple!

This is a free and open service (that is, questions are not moderated) so we ask our members for decency. If you think our reaction is not friendly it is you matter. You may start your own forum or leave if you wish.

justauntb wrote:
laotan wrote:This article was already posted in this forum - I don't see why you should post it again in your answer. Please remove it and place a link to it on your post instead.
Also we already talked a lot about Alan Watts... It is that difficult to read the discs? Before you post something in this forum please try to read first what was already posted. Thanks.
I have been a member of this forum for only about 1 hour, but, this kind of "tongue lashing" seems a little harsh. Which post above was so long that they needed to remove it and put a link to "Alan Watts on Taoism"? I did go looking for it and found it, but, I would have preferred not to search around for something I had no idea where to even start looking. The brief reply above was short and to the point. As a new member, I appreciated it. ...and thought your reaction was very unfriendly...especially for a "Super" Moderator :o

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laotan
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Re: What is Taoism/Justauntb

Post by laotan »

justauntb wrote:
laotan wrote: You may start your own forum or leave if you wish.
Nahhhhh....I don't think I want to start a forum of my own....I'm not really a control freak. I think I will just stick around and see just how Taoism is shown through this forum ;)
You're welcome.

peggy1

Re: What is Taoism

Post by peggy1 »

i've followed taoism for about 18 years and have looked for like minded friends. this is wonderful. joseph i LOVE what you wrote 12/1.
beautiful. thank you.

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laotan
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Re: What is Taoism

Post by laotan »

rohitsingh_81 wrote:"The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao"

The moment you start defining Tao, you make a mistake.....Tao cannot be explained in words...it can only be experienced...and you cannot "BIND" experience in words...

"Giving name is the originator of Heaven & Earth, the nameless is the mother of all things"

The question is wrong......!!

Many thanks
Rohit
First thing first, one can't experience anything without knowing about it and the knowledge is done through words. It is true also that sometimes one's experience may not be explained in plain words. You can't erxperience the test of water if you don't know of water first. But your experience with water may not be easy to explain to others.

Secondly, Lao Tzu's teachings were provided in a language which is very difficult to grasp - and what it's worst, it has many significations due to the Chinese language which doesn't look like any other known language. So even when you quote from him you may be careful because what you seem to understand it's not what Lao Tzu intended to say.

Therefore you must study Taoism with a master first, and then try to explain yourself what you think about quotes from Tao te Ching.

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laotan
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Re: What is Taoism

Post by laotan »

rohitsingh_81 wrote:"Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped.

Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
Seamless, unnamable,
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that includes all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.

Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,"

Dear Laotan....
Dont try to bind it in words (in any langauge)....in doing so...you are going away from it.

- Rohit
This is exactly what you are doing. Isn't it?

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