timpani

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  1. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 29

    I really like this chapter. “Do you think you can take over the Universe and then improve it? It can never be done. The Universe is sacred, it can never be improved. If you try to change it, you will ruin it.” I think this is talking about super powers - like controlling the weather or stopping busses with your mind or stopping your body from aging. I think the desire to control comes from a lack of seeing and appreciating things as they are. Harboring dissatisfaction, we lose the way. Better to get an umbrella, look both ways before crossing the street, and appreciate the gray hairs and arthritis. “In the Ten Thousand Things, as well as man, one never feels quite the same everyday. So, sometimes things are ahead and sometimes behind. Sometimes breathing becomes difficult, sometimes it is easy. Sometimes there is strength and sometimes there is weakness. Sometimes one feels up and cheerful, but sometimes one feels down. This is natural; for we are all subject to the Heavenly bodies that influence our lives. The Sage experiences these as well as ordinary men, for he is one of the Ten Thousand Things.” I really like this too. To me, Laozi is saying it’s natural for a person to feel good an uplifted when the winter sun shines on her face and to feel subdued when it’s been overcast for a month. He sees mood and physical feeling as natural phenomona related to day/night cycles, hormonal cycles, seasonal cycles, celestial cycles - things to accept as they are without dissatisfaction or the desire to control.
  2. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 1

    I've begun to appreciate this translation a lot more over the past few days. I liked "trodden" because it felt unmoored, and that felt right in so many ways. But... "What's in a name? that which we call a roseBy any other name would smell as sweet;" -William Shakespeare 🙂 I wonder if this first line is referring in any way to magical thinking - like the belief that you can summon a being by its name... Saying that you can't summon the Dao... You can't know it by its name.
  3. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 40

    I'll try to articulate what Chapter 40 called up in my mind. Reading it conjured up a very clear mental image. I related it more to Laozi's "uncarved block" idea. The Tao moves the other way the Tao works through weakness the things of this world come from something something comes from nothing —-Lao Tzu’s Taoteching Translated by Red Pine I felt/saw a big, formless blob when I read this. The blob, with no structure or strength of its own, receives a transmission and suddenly has a form. Then another form, and another. The form constantly shifts taking on new appearances, new aspects, responding to the signals it receives. Being perfect for the moment, every moment. I have to dip into the Buddhist language a little bit to clarify... The blob, because it knows it has no self-nature, can be anything. Dipping into Christianity... God the Mother, receiving the transmission of God the Father, becomes the world. To me, it seems that Laozi is describing God the Mother. "The Tao moves the other way"... We start out strong and rigid with a clear idea of what we are and where we belong and what we're supposed to do... And then those powerful, rigid, structural purposeful identities start to dissolve and we move backward, becoming more like the baby, drinking from the Dao (mom's milk), dependent only on the Dao, and being shaped by the Dao. I think we have to learn to be the baby before we can learn to be the mom. Christianity is my first language, Buddhism second language. Still learning Daoism, and haven't studied Hinduism yet. My question... Is there a native Daoist way to express the above? Or does this mental construct fit at all in the Daoist framework?
  4. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 40

    That's very cool and interesting. I didn't understand chapter 40 this way but can see it now. It brings to mind a martial artist, accepting and channeling greater and greater forces. It's also very cool and interesting that you assign agency to the valley. I think most people would say the glacier cuts the valley, but you're saying the valley channels the glacier. The valley is lower, and the glacier has no real choice other than to flow there. Awesome 🙂
  5. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 1

    Just looking at the first line... "The way that can be spoken of" and the "Tao that can be told" land in my ears like slightly missed notes. On the other hand... "The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao." and "The way that becomes a way is not the Immortal Way" These words resonate in me. In Legge's translation: "The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao." Laozi is acknowledging our humanity and the limitations of this world. He's telling me that I can do my best to follow the way, but I'm not quite going to be on the centerline all the time. Then he gives clues about what the centerline feels like and what the edges feel like: "Always without desire we must be found, If its deep mystery we would sound; But if desire always within us be, Its outer fringe is all that we shall see." Other chapters, like chapter 18, give clues about our state of affairs when the way is lost. Red Pine's translation is equally resonant: "The way that becomes a way is not the Immortal Way." Here Laozi is telling me that prescriptions don't work. There isn't any set recipe of actions or inaction that will keep me on the Way. I kind of have to follow my nose, follow his clues, and trust.
  6. [DDJ Meaning] Chapter 40

    The Tao moves the other way the Tao works through weakness the things of this world come from something something comes from nothing —-Lao Tzu’s Taoteching Translated by Red Pine This is one of my favorite chapters, and Red Pine’s translation of this chapter speaks to me the most clearly. Though I still keep coming back to it. I think the use of the word “weakness” is just right. Weak, like a baby is weak. Soft. Unformed. Plugged in to mom’s breast and drinking milk. Weak things can become anything. And they come from....
  7. Gospel of Thomas

    Simon Peter saw Mary’s form. Jesus saw her being. 🙂 Jesus is stating an intent to show Mary how to transmit light, and he’s saying to Simon Peter that all women are capable of it.
  8. Hello

    Hello. A friend recommended this site to me, and I'm particularly interested in the women's cultivation topics.