Author Topic: Religious and Philosophical Taoism  (Read 2617 times)

SifuPhil

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Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« on: March 03, 2012, 08:54:21 PM »
I haven't seen a topic on Taoism yet, so thought I would supply a kick-start for anyone interested.

Taoism is an Eastern belief-system that encompasses both religious and philosophical followers. It could be said to be Nature-based since it postulates that Nature is the role-model for its concepts.

Most well-known perhaps is the Yin/Yang symbol, the black and white circular construct that shows the white leading into the black and the black in turn leading into the white. Meant to portray the universal ideal of balance and complimentary natures, it has been co-opted throughout the years for a variety of fields, everything from business to alternative health care. Yet its symbolism is more than just simple opposites: it displays the essential NEED for balance in life, and how nothing is 100% - there is always a little Yang in your Yin, a little Yin in your Yang.

On the religious side there are the expected gods and goddesses, as well as a slew of festivals and observances. There is an emphasis on cleansing the spirit in preparation for death and upon honoring ones ancestors.

The philosophical side seeks to apply Taoist principles to everyday life, without worrying about metaphysical chores. It is a utilitarian philosophy, hence its appearance in so many Western books such as "The Tao of Business" and "The Tao of Physics". Even Winnie the Pooh has been enlisted in explaining the basics of Taoist philosophy - his book, "The Tao of Pooh", was required reading for all of my students. Yes, it was that good of an explanation!

Like other belief systems, Taoism comes in several flavors or schools. Which you choose to study depends upon your world-views, your current beliefs and your philosophical leanings, but each has a wealth of knowledge to impart to the serious student.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 08:56:07 PM by SifuPhil »

writer811

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Re: Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 04:36:43 AM »
This is really informative, thank you. I think the concept of yin and yang is the most important and far reaching of Taoist concepts. Similar concepts can be found in many other religions. Even atheists have a similar idea. It goes along the lines of; evil, ignorance, bigotry and hate must exist because the only way to get rid of them is to sacrifice free will. You can't the good without the bad.

SifuPhil

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Re: Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 10:38:24 PM »
This is really informative, thank you. I think the concept of yin and yang is the most important and far reaching of Taoist concepts. Similar concepts can be found in many other religions. Even atheists have a similar idea. It goes along the lines of; evil, ignorance, bigotry and hate must exist because the only way to get rid of them is to sacrifice free will. You can't the good without the bad.
Exactly. People so often see good and evil as opposites, and that one needs to be destroyed in order for the other to flourish. In fact Taoism maintains that they are complementaries that rely upon each other for their very survival.

DiminishingInsanity

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Re: Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 01:17:18 AM »
One reason why I'm not a Taoist.
Namaste

SifuPhil

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Re: Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2012, 12:36:07 PM »
One reason why I'm not a Taoist.
We miss you at Temple services - please come back! :)

Maybe it's just me and a few hundred million other people, but it just seems to make sense that you cannot have one without the other.

 Every novel needs both a protagonist and an antagonist to make that dynamic tension work; you cannot know how good it feels to drink a cold drink of water unless you've been thirsty, nor appreciate a home-cooked meal unless you've been hungry. Automobiles are wonderful inventions - they allow us the freedom to go where we will, with all the creature comforts we could ever desire. Yet they consume natural resources, add pollution and result in many deaths every day.

We would not even recognize Evil if we first didn't know Good. 

DiminishingInsanity

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Re: Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2012, 06:10:13 PM »
You speak of duality which appears to exist within the boundaries of the physical universe. Heaven is not of the physical. Personally, I see Heaven as not having duality. If it does then it is no better than where we are now. Another way to put it is duality is our idea not God's. To worship it is to worship ego which is the thought of separation and opposites.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 08:42:02 PM by DiminishingInsanity »
Namaste

SifuPhil

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Re: Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 11:38:12 AM »
You speak of duality which appears to exist within the boundaries of the physical universe. Heaven is not of the physical. Personally, I see Heaven as not having duality. If it does then it is no better than where we are now. Another way to put it is duality is our idea not God's. To worship it is to worship ego which is the thought of separation and opposites.
I get your point, and Taoism itself claims there was a One before there was Two.

But even before the One there was Nothingness. See the similarities?

Since I currently exist within the physical universe, I prefer following its rules. When and if I travel to a different ball park, I'll follow their house rules. ;)

DiminishingInsanity

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Re: Religious and Philosophical Taoism
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 05:35:41 PM »
ACIM tells us not to deny our experience. My experience is also that duality and the physical is real. My understanding of ACIM  is that it's a matter of being open minded to the idea and allowing Spirit to do its thing.
Namaste


 

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