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Everything posted by wandelaar

  1. The Chuang tzu and its modern philosophical commentaries are more relevant to your problem, but of course the Tao Te Ching has its own merits
  2. Or whether the beliefs and criticism of (relevant) others are even worth bothering about.... When you start doubting you have to go all the way, and then your doubt will destroy itself because the necessities of daily life will force you to return to some form of common sense (that is to relative truth). However if the later doesn't happen you will truly become an idiot, and perhaps even a dangerous one if you take the fundamentalist way out.
  3. There is nothing wrong with realising that one cannot be sure about anything. One can just as well find one's way in life without absolute certainty. And this can even be a joyful life, see the Chuang tzu. For more about this see modern philosophical and scholarly interpretations of the Chuang tzu.
  4. What are you listening to?

    CCR - always good!
  5. Unhappily I have no sense of humor...
  6. Good for you, but you should known better than. And I know more about anarchism than you think. You clearly have no idea who I am. I already read Kropotkin, Bakoenin, etc. when I was young. And I liked it very much. But I know better now from watching and studying the real world, and not because of any propaganda. But I know these kind of discussions will lead nowhere, and I will stop following this topic from now on. I have done my part.
  7. @ Song of the Dao You will be put in jail after the democratic system collapses. Anarchism is very beautiful in theory, but it doesn't work. The power vacuum will quickly be filled up by criminals and war lords. And once that happens there the will be a call for a strongmen to restore law and order. After that all free spirits like yourself will either have to shut up, or will be put in jail or be killed. It's a damn pity many people never learn anything from history...
  8. No they are not - conversations about sports are optional and socially irrelevant. The difference is that a democracy without voters couldn't exist, where a democracy where everyone votes could very well exist. So the (pseudo-spiritual and/or irresponsible) mentality of not even taking the minimal trouble to bring out a vote once in a while will wreck the democratic systems of the western world if it becomes even more widespread.
  9. Yes, you are part of the problem. I often wonder whether those people who proudly declare that they don't vote really don't bother about politics and wouldn't care whether they live in a (relatively) democratic society or not. But if you really don't care in what kind of society you live then your position is indeed consistent. However Lau tzu did care about politics and a large part of the Tao Te Ching is about politics.
  10. There is a sense in which one could say that the world is an illusion, but that is not the ordinary sense of "illusion" as being an error in perception. Ignoring a wall because in a certain special philosophical sense walls don't exist will only give one a headache or worse. It's completely useless to discuss this subject without first studying some deep Buddhist philosophy (such as the theory of the two truths) or alternatively some decent philosophy of science. Of course this advise will be ignored as it is to much trouble to follow, and thus this topic can go on forever without reaching any sort of conclusion. Better move on...
  11. Picking "the least worst" is in fact the best thing you could do.
  12. Voting for a random candidate would be no more sensible than not voting at all. The effect of just one vote (your vote!) is not zero, but it is nevertheless for all practical purposes negligible given that there are millions of voters. From the perspective of pure self-interest one should stay at home, and not vote or become politically active in any way. And that's why democracy (or society in general) cannot survive when everybody would act on the basis of pure self-interest. I think one could make a good case that Taoism (of the egoistical type) fails as a social theory, and that Confucius was correct in this matter.
  13. I mostly agree with Taoist scepticism about politics, but not completely. If we value democracy (and I do) than we cannot do without some involvement with politics, political discussions, and elections. There are fanatics on all sides (right, left, religious) who would love to force their country or even the whole world to follow their ideals and to take down the "cumbersome" system of democracy as a perceived unnecessary obstacle to "doing the one right thing". So I see participating in some measure of political activity for us all as a necessary evil to avoid the much worse situation that some form of dictatorship would take over.
  14. I make a difference between using the I Ching as an oracle and considering the I Ching as a system of the world (or rather as a general model of change). Using the I Ching as an oracle is certainly possible, but has nothing to do with the supposed quality of the I Ching as a general model of change. One could just as well use the Tarot or something like it. The value of the I Ching as an oracle depends on the mysterious multi-interpretable (or may I say oracular) character of the text and symbols. Using the I Ching stimulates the unconscious mind to come up with (to our conscious mind) surprising viewpoints. And using the repetitive and time consuming method of the yarrow stalks brings in a meditative atmosphere.
  15. It does make a difference because the probabilities of the results will be different: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching_divination#Comparison_of_yarrow_and_three-coin_method
  16. If the I Ching forms a general model for all processes of change (as it claims to do), than it should be possible to apply it to the understanding of all processes of change. But notwithstanding all the discussion here on The Dao Bums about the supposed extra insight provided by the I Ching into the processes of change we meet in the world, until now not one concrete example of any substance has been provided to actually demonstrate how our understanding of some particular process of change can be improved on the basis of the system of the I Ching. Take Martial Arts for instance: why not show by an example how the system of the I Ching can be used to suggest some appropriate ways of defending oneself in some situation of emergency?
  17. A nice collection of red herrings.... If you have some actual examples of the usefulness of the I Ching in understanding processes of change then please post them here:
  18. @ freeform It sure looked promising, and that's why I devoted quite some time to reading books about the system of the I Ching as some kind of model for the changes in the world. But when you look at what the model actually delivers in the sense of adding to our understanding of change, than nothing of any substance remains. The modern scientific approach by means of differential and/or difference equations or the applications for integral transforms and operator calculus for the description and understanding of processes of change is hugely superior. I think it's a pity that this is so, because it would have been very interesting when the I Ching did in fact present a worthy alternative to modern science in understanding change, but unhappily this doesn't appear to be so. Nevertheless as an oracle the I Ching could very well work, but not because of any supernatural or synchronistical underlying mechanism. But this discussion has already been had some time ago, and I don't like to repeat what has already been said.
  19. That's true as regards religious Taoism and it's many superstitious practices. Neither Lao tzu nor Chuang tzu promotes studying the I Ching. It's perfectly possible to be a philosophical Taoist without studying or using the I Ching. And personally I don't even want to get into the mindset of religious Taoism. I have had enough of make-believe: western or eastern.
  20. I have small statues of Buddha, Lao tzu and Confucius. Not to pray to them, but as a reminder of the human (not supernatural) wisdom they brought to this world. One doesn't have to be religious to recognize the value of some spiritual accomplishments. Further I think that simple meditation (just sitting/mindfulness) is generally healthy.
  21. What is true about mystic states is that in those states our illusion of being isolated autonomous entities temporarily falls away. This falling away is true because we are not autonomous entities, but only small relatively insignificant parts of the universe that are biologically programmed (as a result of human evolution) to worry about their own survival. The step from the fact of this worry about ones own survival to the idea that there objectively is something special and valuable about the part of the universe that constitudes one's own person is a small one, but this step is logically and factually incorrect. Thus mystic experiences might lead to a more realistic humble attitude and a deminishing of egocentric thoughts and behaviour. But it also might leads to spiritual arrogance when one imagines oneself to be in possession of superior knowledge that is beyond the reach of mere mortals. The experience of unity with the universe might even lead to the idea that one is God and as such is completely justified to behave (and misbehave) as a God.