Some of my interpretations of some taoist principles

zntneo
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Some of my interpretations of some taoist principles

So i was talking to my girlfriend on what agnostic means (please lets not devolve to talking about what it means) and i remembered something i learned as a philosophical taoist and something i "believe" in.  The idea is  that reality and also some descriptors can be thought of different poles.

So some examples:

  • yin and yang

    • this is the idea they use as an example and they basically use it to describe almost all expects of humans and reality

      • yin

        • feminine forces of the world

          • basically most passive type forces and ideas such as darkness and receptiveness

      • yang

        • masculine forces of the world

          • active forces:  creativity and light

  • happy and sad


To note unlike most philosophy from the west there isn't a preferred state between these. They are both :

  1.  Cyclical

    1. Meaning that you move between the to ideas

      1. You move from happy and sad you aren't always happy or sad but change between them

    2. Also, the idea is that there is a spectrum of these ideas such as

      1. You can't really be completely happy or completely sad you are mostly happy and a little side

  2. Both are necessary

    1. Such as to understand good evil is necessary to have bad good is necessary

So I'm curious what people here think of these ideas and if i can i'll try to answer questions about how i understand taoism.



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I took a world religions

I took a world religions course in college and for the final, the professor wanted us to write an essay on which religion is closest to our own thinnking and philosophy of life, and I chose taoism.

Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed, I think "wu wei" (go with the flow).  It also means action without action.

Here in the west it's sometimes hard to put two opposing concepts together, but that's what taoism (or daoism) is all about.

Striving causes resistence to the dao (the flow). When you live within the dao, you live in balance.

I think daoism was a response to the confining rules and customs of confusionism, if I'm not mistaken.   

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zntneo
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I really dislike people

I really dislike people calling taoism itself a religion because i don't think it its. (my def of religion is something that includes supernatural something or something that might be considered it).


zntneo
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test

test


jmm
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zntneo wrote: I really

zntneo wrote:
I really dislike people calling taoism itself a religion because i don't think it its. (my def of religion is something that includes supernatural something or something that might be considered it).

i had an argument with a friend the other week about buddhism being a religion.  she insisted that buddhism is not a religion, but rather a set of principles - "it's all about the eightfold path", she said.  

well, it is a religion, and so is taoism.  many westerners have adopted eastern religious and philosophical concepts to supplement their preexisting beliefs, which is fine, but one should at least acknowledge that these beliefs were originally (and still are) eastern religious concepts.  

as a student of existentialism - taoism and a host of other eastern religions have pissed me off as much as they have fascinated me.  i'm drawn to the simplicity and the embracing of paradox, but i'm violently turned off by the seeming dissolution of responsibility.  if suffering is an illusion, then we need to radically redefine "illusion".  as Ergun Caner would say, "our categories are different."


zntneo
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Please explain how taoism is

Please explain how taoism is a religion? Maybe, if you define religion to me for you. I don't see how Taoism dissolutes responsibility, please explain.


jmm
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zntneo wrote: Please

zntneo wrote:
Please explain how taoism is a religion? Maybe, if you define religion to me for you. I don't see how Taoism dissolutes responsibility, please explain.

people practice taoism as a religion as well as a philosophical school.  it's just a known fact.  the philosophical movement came first.  you have texts such as the Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu's Inner Books.  from that sprang the religion of Taoism, characterized by the development of formal rituals connected with the texts and concepts.  

wikipedia defines religion as: 

"A religion is a set of beliefs and practices generally held by a human community, involving adherence to codified beliefs and rituals and study of ancestral or cultural traditions and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.

Religion is often described as a communal system for the coherence of belief focusing on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life."

Taoism fits that definition.  

i believe that taoism, as well as other eastern religions and philosophies dissolute responsibility by adhering to the concept that reality (and all of the joys and sufferings therein) is ultimately an illusion.  i don't know that any Buddhist or Taoist traditions teach such things so simply, i just know that when American's get ahold of these concepts it often leads to irresponsibility and dispassionate living.  it often leads to a mindset of deferment rather than responsibility when faced with hardship, especially in the wrong hands. 

like i said, i'm drawn to the simplicity and the embracing of paradox, but when white, middle class college students get halfway exposed to some of these ideas, they tend to take them the wrong way. 

 


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jmm, my basic contention

jmm, my basic contention with your position on eastern religions, particularly buddhism is that buddhism is essentially not dogmatic; it is essentially questioning the nature of belief, and what if any relationship belief has with reality.

can you read this, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_science

and tell me what you think about it?

Ethics and aesthetics are one
-Wittgenstein


zntneo
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Ok yes i would agree that

Ok yes i would agree that there is Religious Taoism(which i find  borderline retarded) and philosphical taoism. I really don't see how taoism teaches that reality is an illlusion. From what i know of taoism,and i'd like to say is a decent amount, it implies nothing of reality being an illusion. I don't even know if it talks about reality other then how reality has to separate poles :yin and yang.