• frank
    1.1k
    "If you drop your keys in the lava, let them go. Because they're gone."

    -Deep Thoughts about Hawaii
  • MiloL
    23
    Chronicles of Tao...don't recall the author
  • Moliere
    1.2k
    Well, thanks to this thread I listened to the Tao te Ching -- it was my first exposure to it. There was a reasonably decent reading on youtube, and the speaker also gives a preface.

    I never really had the inclination before and I don't know why. I really enjoyed it.
  • T Clark
    3k
    I never really had the inclination before and I don't know why. I really enjoyed it.Moliere

    Although, as I said in a previous post, I have downloaded a spoken word version, I've never actually heard the Tao te Ching anywhere but in my head. I guess it's about time.
  • T Clark
    3k
    We don't need to get too deeply into this, but it's something that's had a big effect on my understanding of the way things work. I've discussed it elsewhere on the forum.

    The thing that has struck me the most in the TTC is the concept of the Tao (yes, yes, I know) as an alternative to the concept of objective reality. It has lead me to believe that thinking of reality as a seamless interaction between what's inside me and what's outside me is the most enlightening, least misleading way of seeing things. And by "seamless interaction" I mean they are one thing, completely inseparable.
  • frank
    1.1k
    Interesting view.
  • 0 thru 9
    559
    Well, thanks to this thread I listened to the Tao te Ching -- it was my first exposure to it. There was a reasonably decent reading on youtube, and the speaker also gives a preface.

    I never really had the inclination before and I don't know why. I really enjoyed it.
    Moliere

    Wow, that’s great to hear! :smile: :hearts: Whenever I mention the TTC here or elsewhere, I always hope it will make someone curious about it, or remind them if they haven’t read it in a while. All while trying to avoid annoying the heck out of people by knocking on their door and handing out pamphlets about the Tao. :blush:
  • Moliere
    1.2k
    Oh, I don't know if it's better that way or whatever. After work I find it hard to concentrate, so it was nice to have it read to me. Plus the translation used in the video I linked had a lyrical quality to it which did make it nice to hear out loud.

    Haha. Well, to be fair I don't think I would have liked it at another point in my life. Like a lot of spiritual literature you have to already sort of be in the right frame of mind or at least thirsty for it before it can work its magic. There was one verse that described me well --

    When a superior man hears of the Tao,
    he immediately begins to embody it.
    When an average man hears of the Tao,
    he half believes it, half doubts it.
    When a foolish man hears of the Tao,
    he laughs out loud.

    Immediately upon hearing it I was like "Well, I was a foolish man, and now I'd say I'm an average man"
  • T Clark
    3k
    Oh, I don't know if it's better that way or whatever. After work I find it hard to concentrate, so it was nice to have it read to me. Plus the translation used in the video I linked had a lyrical quality to it which did make it nice to hear out loud.Moliere

    As I said, I am listening to "Pragmatism" right now. I thought it might be difficult to really dig in, but I've been surprised how how natural it is.
  • T Clark
    3k
    "Well, I was a foolish man, and now I'd say I'm an average man"Moliere

    Well, I'd like to say I am a superior man, but it's clear I'll never get above average.
  • 0 thru 9
    559
    Governing a large country
    is like frying a small fish.
    You spoil it with too much poking.

    Center your country in the Tao
    and evil will have no power.
    Not that it isn't there,
    but you'll be able to step out of its way.

    Give evil nothing to oppose
    and it will disappear by itself.

    - chapter 60. Translated by Stephen Mitchell.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Governing a large country
    is like frying a small fish.
    You spoil it with too much poking.
    0 thru 9

    I'm ambivalent about the political verses. Telling someone how to govern seems a little inconsistent. Why would a person who follows the Tao want to rule a country?

    Give evil nothing to oppose
    and it will disappear by itself.
    0 thru 9

    Sometimes I get this. We make our enemies by making them enemies. On the other hand, isn't it necessary to fight back at some point?
  • frank
    1.1k
    Im going to give your comment some space. :razz:
  • 0 thru 9
    559
    Sometimes I get this. We make our enemies by making them enemies. On the other hand, isn't it necessary to fight back at some point?T Clark

    Thems fightin’ words! En guardè! :nerd: But seriously, I would agree that there is a time to fight. Personally, I admire the instincts of animals, who mostly run away if possible, before considering fighting. Barking or growling is also an option. I have almost stepped on skunks in the dark several times, and they ran off without even spraying me. (Thank goodness)

    I'm ambivalent about the political verses. Telling someone how to govern seems a little inconsistent. Why would a person who follows the Tao want to rule a country?T Clark

    Maybe mentally replace “governing a country” with “managing your business”? (BTW, when quoting me here it looks like I am the author of the quotes. I wish!)
  • Pattern-chaser
    112
    Taoism was originally written down in the form of instructions on how to govern. I'm not sure of the details, but that's the essence of it. Which is why it's sometimes phrased in that way. There is also an oriental tradition of saying what a wise man might or should do. And I suppose some of these wise men were rulers?

    Just my two penny-worth. :smile:
  • unenlightened
    2.4k
    Sometimes another translation is illuminating by comparison. Legge is old-fashioned and clunky, but sticks more closely to what is there than some more poetic versions:

    "Governing a great state is like cooking small fish.

    Let the kingdom be governed according to the Tao, and the manes of
    the departed will not manifest their spiritual energy. It is not that
    those manes have not that spiritual energy, but it will not be
    employed to hurt men. It is not that it could not hurt men, but
    neither does the ruling sage hurt them.

    When these two do not injuriously affect each other, their good
    influences converge in the virtue (of the Tao)."

    Manes? Beards? legacy? Perhaps it is the residue of resentment from old battles, old wrongs that is being considered. To oppose it is to reawaken it. Or as we philistines have it, 'don't pick your scabs.'
  • T Clark
    3k
    Im going to give your comment some space.frank

    Which one of us is evil?
  • frank
    1.1k
    Probably neither. It's not like you were advocating child molestation.
  • frank
    1.1k
    Throw away holiness and wisdom,
    and people will be a hundred times happier.

    Throw away morality and justice,
    and people will do the right thing.

    Throw away industry and profit,
    and there won’t be any thieves.

    If these three aren’t enough,
    just stay at the center of the circle
    and let all things take their course.

    TTC 19
  • 0 thru 9
    559

    Dang, that’s a good one. Just let it go. If it’s there and real, it’s not going anywhere. Less is more.
    But I’ve experienced how one can feel drowned out by the noise, lost in the crowd. So you amp it up, try to get louder and brighter. Who can be “on” all the time without feeling drained? Another verse says to dim your brightness, and to wear your gold and jewels under common clothing.
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