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Taoism.

Taoism.
January 27, 2012, 06:12:17 AM
I am a taoist. Sort-of.
I say 'sort-of', because there are a lot of 'taoists', online, that are nothing at all like anything to do with taoism.
They take the timeless wisdom of Lao Tzu (who predated Jesus by a half-millennium), and 'interpret' it, so that dumbasses like you and me will understand what he was talking about. And so what you get is a left-wing rendering of exactly what Lao Tzu didn't mean.
Like I said: I am a taoist. Which is a nice, safe thing to say you are, unless it is to a Christian, who immediately takes you for something between a pirate and a maniac, and thoroughly evil, to boot.
Which is a shame, really, because taoists are the friends of anyone who is not overtly hostile to them.
Which pretty much sums me up.
Other than being a crow.
Which means, if you are not familiar with animal-totems, that I am charged with a great responsibility.
I will not say what that responsibility is, just yet, in case there are women and children present.
And being shot with arrows is not my favourite thing.

A taoist may be just about anything.
Except dishonest.
And that is not because a taoist is 'moral', but because he knows better than to sabotage his own life.
He is true to his design-specification, resisting any and all attempts to mutate him into anything trendy or cool, shady or crooked.
He is - you could say - his own man.

If you haven't already, you might want to explore a bit about taoism, since to be here at all must mean you wish to be somewhat 'edgy'.
Which is a good start to discovering that edginess isn't at all what you may think it is, but has a whole lot to do with being like almost nobody else is.
Human.
There's nothing to it.
That's why it goes right by almost everyone.


Re: Taoism.
January 27, 2012, 10:25:52 PM
After I read The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley, I decided to read the Tao Te Ching, and I'm glad I did.

Re: Taoism.
January 27, 2012, 10:51:22 PM
Now read it again. And again.
Notice how every time you re-read it, it says something quite different to each preceding reading.
Something funny going on, there (:>

Phoenix

Re: Taoism.
January 27, 2012, 11:18:48 PM
Which means, if you are not familiar with animal-totems, that I am charged with a great responsibility.
I will not say what that responsibility is, just yet, in case there are women and children present.
And being shot with arrows is not my favourite thing.

Just between you and me, what is that responsibility?

Re: Taoism.
January 28, 2012, 02:21:29 AM
Which translation of the Tao Te Ching would you recommend, by the way?

Re: Taoism.
January 28, 2012, 04:18:16 PM
After I read The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley

Best all-around introduction for Westerners. Short introduction to the introduction:

http://www.amerika.org/texts/the-perennial-philosophy-aldous-huxley/

Re: Taoism.
January 28, 2012, 06:48:32 PM
Which translation of the Tao Te Ching would you recommend, by the way?

My favorite is by Stephen Mitchell. Because it seems the best bridge between East and West. Clear and simple. 
Others often have the unfortunate side effect of brain-engagement, in an attempt to understand/interpret  the content.
Brain engagement is the antithesis of taoism.

Re: Taoism.
February 01, 2012, 02:56:55 AM
I enjoy your blog, so as a fanboy, I will advertise on your behalf.

http://taoteachings.blogspot.com/

Great to have you here, will freshen this place up a bit.

Re: Taoism.
February 01, 2012, 06:43:39 PM
Which leaves me wondering why you posted this thread?


Strange as it may seem, I was invited to (:>
It wouldn't have occurred to me, otherwise.
I mean: who cares WTF I am, anyway..?

Re: Taoism.
February 01, 2012, 07:06:16 PM
I enjoy your blog, so as a fanboy, I will advertise on your behalf.
http://taoteachings.blogspot.com/
Great to have you here, will freshen this place up a bit.


Well. Thank you (:>
I admit, though, I did look a bit askance at your 'name'.
No doubt there is a story behind it.

Re: Taoism.
February 02, 2012, 12:25:18 AM
I'm pleased you don't discriminate against crows. Most people do, for some reason.
But I'm not sure what you mean by 'taoist motivations'.
Taoism is more about not having motivations than having them.
I am a lot less motivated, these days, than I was in the past, about almost everything.
Motivation would imply - to me - making an effort to do something.
When you are able to be that something, rather than do it, that something is addressed, but without the resistance, or effort, to/of doing it.
Subtle shifts in outlook, leading to great rewards.
Great difficulty seeing underlying simplicity.
Paradox.


Re: Taoism.
February 02, 2012, 04:25:28 AM
Subtle shifts in outlook, leading to great rewards.
Great difficulty seeing underlying simplicity.

Sounds a lot like leaving the Platonic cave -- leaving behind human projections, and seeing reality itself instead, or at least a clearer version of it.

Re: Taoism.
February 02, 2012, 11:52:15 AM
 

Well. Thank you (:>
I admit, though, I did look a bit askance at your 'name'.
No doubt there is a story behind it.

[/quote]

RE: the name, childish exuberance meets antisocial tendencies.

Re: Taoism.
June 02, 2013, 06:19:01 AM
Since the subject of animal-totems appears in this thread, here's some more on that...

I went out on the back deck, tonight, to sit, with just the bug light on.
A shadow flitted across it. And again. Again and again.
A large bat made a number of close passes by me, as I sat, often inches away from my face.

Bats are heavy medicine, and this is not the first time they have woken me up from my human state.
Lately, the social abyss has been devouring me, and pulling me away from balance.
This was just the reminder I needed that socializing is the closest thing to a vacuum, outside of a vacuum.
I'd been wondering what several big herpes-attacks in a row were trying to tell me: 
To stay the hell away from humans, and make full use of that five acres of forest.

An example of what bat offers...

"Bat embraces the idea of shamanistic death. The ritual death of the healer is steeped in secrets and highly involved initiation rites. Shaman death is the symbolic death of the initiate to the old ways of life and personal identity. The initiation that brings the right to heal and to be called shaman is necessarily preceeded by ritual death. Most of these rituals are brutally hard on the body, mind, and spirit. In light of today's standards, it can be very difficult to find a person who can take the abuse and come through it with their balance intact.

The basic idea of ancient initiations was to break down all the former notions of "self" that were held by the shaman-to-be. This could entail brutal tests of physical strenght and psychic ability, and having every emotional "button" pushed hard. Taunting and spitting on the initiate was common, and taught him or her to endure the duress with humility and fortitude. The final initiation step was to be buried in the earth for one day and to be reborn without former ego in the morning."


Not for the faint-of heart :)

Re: Taoism.
June 05, 2013, 12:16:51 PM
I've read in another thread you commenting how animal stories a lot of times have no similarity to what the  animal really is like (the fox).

In the case of the bat being a symbol, what does it do for you? Why do you agree it is the idea of shamanistic death?

Mind you, I have my own ideas and I DO think animals can be used in this way, representing an idea.

But I'd like to see your take on this bat-symbol thing.