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  1. [TTC Study] Chapter 80 of the Tao Teh Ching

    I’ve just reread my copy of Stefan Stenudd’s translation and commentary of the Tao Te Ching. Here’s his version of chapter 80. Let the country be small, And the inhabitants few. Although there are weapons For tens and hundreds of soldiers, They will not be used. Let people take death seriously, And not travel far. Although they have boats and carriages, There's no occasion to use them. Although they have armor and weapons, There's no occasion to wear them. Let people return to making knots on ropes, Instead of writing. Their food will be tasty. Their clothes will be comfortable. Their homes will be tranquil. They will rejoice in their daily life. They can see their neighbors. Roosters and dogs can be heard from there. Still, they will age and die Without visiting one another. I was reading his commentary on this chapter and this is a small part of it- I have some problems with this chapter. It describes what Lao Tzu regards as a dream society, but I find it kind of boring. No travel, no visions, no aspirations, and no curiosity. Nothing but the routine of everyday life. It's certainly peaceful and secure, but isn't it also dull? What Lao Tzu is describing is almost my lifestyle! And I love it! I live on acreage in the sticks, near a very small country town. I lived here for almost a year before I knew the name of any neighbour. We had a very bad flood event thirteen months ago and the people from the district would go to the local sport ground beside the pub to meet and share information about food drops, road conditions, weather reports and communication issues. I met other people from my street that I had not even seen in the four years I had been here! And they were saying they were meeting neighbours for the first time in years! Everyone keeps to themselves but will give a hand whenever it’s asked for. Now I’m great mates with one neighbour, even though we only speak to each other every few months. My wife, on the other hand…well, she sometimes agrees with Stefan! You can find a PDF copy of his book on his site, http://www.stenudd.com/
  2. Poll: Why do you keep visiting the Taobums website ?

    I looked at a few other Tao forums but they were either filled with combative posts or members only posted once in a blue moon. I like the array of different world-views here and there are (comparatively speaking) very few self-declared experts. Most posters, I think, are quite humble. The thing I like most about this site is Marblehead's chapter by chapter discussions of the Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu. Reading everyone's opinions and ideas is better than reading any single author commentary!

    That's not very anarchistic of you. I got my invite when White Wolf Running On Air posted in an open forum.

    G'day all. I don't usually get involved in politics until voting day but I just want to say I was so relieved when Obama got elected in 2008. So relieved... The world would no doubt be a very different place if a Republican had have gotten elected in 2008. And I don't mean that in a good way! ralis mentioned that White Wolf Running On Air might be an Australian and what about Australian politics. I don't know if White Wolf Running On Air is Australian or not but I can tell you that our current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, reminds me a lot of George W. Bush. I don't like either of them as men, politicians or leaders. And I am yet to find anyone who will admit to voting for the Liberal National Party. Funny that... That's my two bob worth.
  5. Instant Win 7 screen blanker (not a timed saver)

    Cool! It also works with XP. The file scrnsave.scr can be found at C:\WINDOWS\system32 Thanks for that 3bob.
  6. taoism enlightenment?

    Hi DAO rain TAO. I think the biggest problem you're going to have is deciding just how original a Daoist transmission you're willing to settle for. For example, do you know who started the first Daoist Daojiao school? Was it a schism of a school that was both Daojiao and Daojia? Did your 'original' school use a text more like the one discovered at Guodian or more like the Mawangdui? Did they even use a text or were the teachings of the founder circulated orally? I'm basically an atheist (with some pantheism thrown in), partly I suppose because no gods have bothered introducing themselves to me. Are you looking at following Daoism in a religious sense, following even their gods? This is just personal opinion, but some of the Daojiao gods are pretty far out. But then maybe that’s just how gods are supposed to be… I’m not writing this to put you off your search. I just think that if you are looking for something, you need to have a pretty good idea of just what it is you’re looking for. Don’t suspend logic when searching for the natural because the natural is logical, not supernatural. The DaoDeJing is all about naturalness and being natural. But then all searches of your sort are personal, so who am I to say what is right or wrong? LOL! Maybe you will receive your enlightenment somewhere down the track (or Path...). Good luck on your search. I've just reread Robert Henricks’ book on the Guodian Tao Te Ching and he has an interesting note on a Daoist god you may be interested in. The god is Taiyi, the "Great One", a Daoist (pre-Daoist?) creation god. He is writing about a short book called the "Taiyi shengshui" which was found in the Guodian tomb. I'll quote it. It's from page 123 of Henricks' "Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching". ...Taiyi, the "Great One". Does this mean that the "Great One" is the 'name' (ming) of what we 'refer to as' (wei) or 'designate' (zi) the "Dao"? Not necessarily. Relevant here are the lines in chapter 25 of the Laozi, where speaking of the source of heaven and earth, the author explains: "I do not yet know its name[ming]; I simply 'call it' [zi zih] the Dao. Were I forced to give it a name, I would say it's 'The Great' [da]." Lines 10-12 make the same distinction between what something actually is , that is, its "name", and how we "refer to" that thing, what it is "called" (wei), that is, its "designation" (zi).
  7. taoism enlightenment?

    It's not hidden. All of the different Daoist schools exist only because they are different. It's what happens when something like religion evolves from a text as simple as the DaoDeJing. Sects and schisms... No-one knows what Laozi meant except the expert you're currently talking to. And if anyone says otherwise, they're heterodox and can't be trusted. I'm only writing as someone who believes Laozi wasn't a religious Daoist or that there was even a religion based on Daoism at the time the DaoDeJing was composed. I'm no expert though... I found the following quoted text at http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/chin/hbcanondaw-u.html The names of Daoist Schools that come up most commonly are: Língbǎo 灵宝 (靈寶) "Spiritual Treasure." A sect of Daoism, apparently having its roots in Hàn dynasty local religious practitioners. Lóngmén 龙门 (龍門) "Dragon gate." A sect of Daoism, centered around Nánjīng and in Jiāngsū province. Sometimes classed as a subdivision of Quánzhēn 全真. Quánzhēn 全真 "Total Reality." A sect of Daoism widespread today. There are some Quánzhēn temples in the United States. Shàngqīng 上清 "Consummate Purity." A sect of Daoism that is associated with Mount Máo or Máo Shān 茅山 ("grass mountain") in Jiāngsū province, and therefore sometimes also called Máoshān Daoism. It particularly stresses use of the Yellow Court Scripture or Huángtíng Jīng 黄庭经) (黃庭經. The founder was a woman named Wèi Huácún 魏华存 (魏華存) (251-334), who married and raised a family but was subject to visions of immortals. Shénxiāo 神宵 "Spirit Night." A sect of Daoism possibly originating around Mount Lú or Lú Shān 庐山) (廬山) (also called Lǘ Shān 闾山) (閭山). The liturgical forms used are of a "popular" nature, i.e., derived from non-canonical sources, and considered "heterdox" by many Daoist priests. Sometimes also called Lúshān Daoism. This is the only major liturgical group whose texts are not secretly transmitted. Zhèngyī 正一 "Orthodox Unity") (Also written Zhèngyǐ 正乙). A sect of Daoism, founded by Zhāng Dàolíng 张道陵 (張道陵) and today the principal orthodox sect. Because the head of the sect, always a descendant of the founder, is referred to as the "Celestial Master Zhāng" (Zhāng Tiānshī 张天师 [張天師]), this is sometimes called the "Celestial Master Sect."
  8. taoism enlightenment?

    I was just blown away by Lao Tzu's (or whoever's...) down to earth writing. For example, chapter eleven. Everyone I read that to goes, "Wow..." It's just so obvious but who ever gives it a thought? And the simple truth of if you treat every task as potentially difficult, then you can prevent a seemingly simple task becoming difficult in the future. You just have to be aware that every difficult task was once simple in its beginning. There is just so much in so little.
  9. Study shows Tai Chi can lower blood sugar and pressure.

    Tai Chi and ballroom dancing both require a tremendous amount of concentration to learn. I felt like an uncoordinated baby when I was trying to follow an old man's moves while learning Tai Chi. People three times my age were gracefully going through the moves while I looked like...I don't know what. And trying to coordinate two feet, two legs, two arms and keep in time to a beat while holding onto another person is also frustratingly difficult to get the hang of. I wonder if being totally mindful of what you are doing is the key to the success of both activities in the management of diabetes, weight and depression. Perhaps people just have to be taught mindfulness?
  10. Study shows Tai Chi can lower blood sugar and pressure.

    I read a few books on meditation a few months ago and one had information on studies from around the world that showed meditation and tai chi can lower blood pressure and improve overall health. Two of the books were "Seeking silence in a noisy world : the art of mindful solitude" and "Simple Zen : a guide to living moment by moment". I'm sure it was one of them. I found it really fascinating, though, that a simple (well, difficult really!) set of exercises could have such a profound affect on the body as it does on the lowering of blood sugar levels.
  11. G'day all. I just had a read of this news article and thought it would be of interest to a few of the members here. An Australian-developed tai chi-based exercise program has helped people reduce their blood sugar and blood pressure, according to a new study. ... The gentle nature of the program makes it attractive to people unable or fearful of participating in conventional types of exercises. ... Dr Liu said the program, known as SMILE Wellness, could be the first to scientifically demonstrate significant benefits of exercise alone for the management of diabetes, weight and depression. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/2014/01/28/14/29/tai-chi-program-reduces-blood-sugar-study
  12. [TTC Study] Chapter 4 of the Tao Teh Ching

    Thanks ChiDragon. I know Laozi was only personifying the Dao, giving it female attributes, not saying it was literally female.
  13. An End to Killing Taoist Movie.

    Here's a great book on that subject I read a few months ago. Burning books and leveling libraries : extremist violence and cultural destruction by Rebecca Knuth. It doesn't just tell of the extremes groups will go to to erase the printed cultural history and heritage of a group, but also how far some have gone to try to protect their libraries from destruction. From memory it deals mainly with 20th century events but ends with the destruction of Iraqi libraries last decade. Books can sometimes be so threatening. Years ago, I read an eyewitness account of Pol Pot's takeover of Cambodia and one of the things that I remember most about the book was the author's description of the deserted streets being covered in wind blown paper from all of the destroyed books and manuscripts. Later, the author was part of a work detail to collect the paper so it could be reused.
  14. [TTC Study] Chapter 4 of the Tao Teh Ching

    A naturalistic pantheist is someone who reveres the entire Universe; all of Nature, including themselves. They don't believe in a god per-se. Here’s a link to part of a website run by a group who see themselves as naturalistic pantheists. If I was to write anything about them it would just be a cut and paste. http://www.pantheism.net/beliefs.htm I agree that there doesn’t seem to be anything in Laozi’s writings to suggest he worshipped the Dao as a creative entity. However, he does give the Dao femaleness and a sense of mothering, so by personifying it I’m not sure he saw it as just a thing in the sense that the sun is just a thing or a rock is just a thing. Also, by giving the Dao a female aspect he is one up on the makers of the Abrahamic religions in that they gave their mothering role to a ‘male’ that acts very much like a male. What do you think Laozi’s definition of ‘atheist’ would be, given the religious beliefs of his culture? It's just an interesting thought... The main point of my post, which probably (obviously, LOL!) wasn’t clear, was Laozi’s view of Dao and De and whether or not his understanding of it would cause him to be in agreement with the website statement of "There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united." Yes, there was no mention of him following a religion as we see it by him in the Dao De Jing and animism was common in ancient China. That’s one reason I find it hard to see him as 100% atheist in the modern sense we see it as. Whether or not he was doesn’t make any difference to me, though, because I don’t see the Dao De Jing as a source of religious inspiration but as a manual for keeping out of trouble. I actually meant naturalistic pantheism in the way that everything is connected because it all arose from the Dao. If there was a way to write pantheism with the theism… Laozi mentions the Dao as a mother, so if there is one mother then everything that issues forth from that mother is related. If you also were to see the mother in a parental role, then you would have a much easier life if you followed the parental rules of that mother. So I guess what my original intention to write was more like- From seeing the Universe in (possibly) the same perspective as Laozi, I have come to better see the inter-relationship of the world around me and I understand that by my following the ‘rules of nature’ (going with the flow) my life will have less moments of stress, and also by following those rules I could be an example to others who may also do the same which could have the knock-on effect of making my life even more trouble free. I have probably muddied the waters even more. But... …O.K, now I’ve had my turn at going way off topic, LOL! I’ll try harder not to next time…
  15. [TTC Study] Chapter 4 of the Tao Teh Ching

    I remember years ago, before my first reading of the Dao De Jing, looking up at the sky and thinking, "Wow, I'm feeling a connection with the Universe! I can see my place in it..." Then some of the latest news stories popped into my head, completely uninvited, and my next thought was, "Oh crap, I don't even want to be associated with this Universe, let alone be one with it!" But since reading Loazi's book (or whoever's; the author or redactor doesn't hold as much importance as the message) I can again say "Wow, I'm feeling a connection with the Universe! I can see my place in it..." and by my actions (or non-actions; funny how everything can be seen from two sides and still make sense after reading chapter 2) I can make a difference and and maybe the people that I interact with will do some of what I do (or don't do) and start a chain reaction and slowly make this a Universe one to feel good about associating with. Or at least the infinitesimally small bit we inhabit. I was just reading the above quotes and thinking, "I wonder if Laozi could have been a naturalistic pantheist..." There is actually a website about naturalistic/scientific pantheism and one of their principles is "There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united." It was just a thought that popped into my head that I thought was worth sharing, based on the talk of Dao, gods and deities.