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About SirPalomides

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  1. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    Yeah, I too find it hard to square the amazing claims made about tantric or Zen practice with the behavior of its enlightened gurus. And the Catholic church could really take some notes from the twisted arguments used to excuse such stuff.
  2. Differences between dualism and non-dualism

    I respect his rigor here but I wonder if Bhikkhu Bodhi would use the same language today, particularly that suggesting the teaching in the Pali scriptures is the true Buddhism. This essay was written in 1998; we know that a few years later he came to live in Chinese-American Mahayana monasteries in an atmosphere of mutual respect, up to the present day.
  3. Benjamin Hoff's "Tao Te Ching"

    I have no idea, but in my experience with oft-retranslated books (Laozi, Bible, etc). usually claims about a new translation blowing open some previously obscured quality of the text prove to be exaggerated, if not entirely empty. Moreover, when we are dealing with an ancient, influential text such as the DDJ, which has taken a life of its own in the hands of numerous scribes and interpreters, the way the text has been carried on and read throughout the ages is more important than trying to uncover the author's true intent, which is probably impossible anyway.
  4. Benjamin Hoff's "Tao Te Ching"

    Haven't read it, but it looks like Hoff is certain that he has found the Real Meaning of the text, unlike all those other sillies, and moreover has seen fit to remove entire chapters. Based on that it sounds like another exercise in self-aggrandizement and marketing in the Tao Te Ching mini-industry.
  5. Ch 3 - a totalitarian dark place?

    I believe the earliest extant commentary on the DDJ is that by Hanfeizi, who indeed interpreted it as advocating his legalist approach to statecraft.
  6. Visualization has been a major part of Daoist magic since, well, forever I guess. Sanskrit and even Buddhist stuff is pretty normal in Daoist practices, especially in the more folksy “heterodox” strands. I don’t believe Maoshan is classified as “red hat” but it seems they are in some respects closer to that spectrum than to Zhengyi, Quanzhen, etc.
  7. Qi Gong and Tibetan Yogas?

    Jade maidens? Or is that more for alchemists?
  8. Not a chapter but he begins with a list of do’s and don’ts for the duration of the training, foods to avoid, optimal times for practice etc. including abstinence from sex. The practice is supposed to extend for a minimum of 21 days and maximum of 50 (I think).
  9. East is East and West is West

    Well they were very civilized, and civilized people are very nasty.
  10. East is East and West is West

    Yeah one of the oldest forms of warfare- still practiced in a few places- is cattle raiding. Cattle raiders are generally attacking, and being attacked by, their neighbors. As a result the casualties tend to be relatively light because no one wants to ignite a blood feud. Though there is always the potential for things to get way out of hand.
  11. Non-random Yijing consultation

    For anyone interested I finally found something from the Plum Blossom method, as explained in Da Liu's book I Ching Numerology and some missing information supplied by Harmen Mesker. I'm not sure if it's quite what Taomeow was taught because it doesn't use yarrow stalks or coins at all. Basically there are two approaches called Earlier Heaven and Later Heaven, and the one I had in mind is the Later Heaven. The hexagram is determined by observing some object and taking note of the hour and direction. The object determines the upper trigram, the direction the lower trigram, and the hour, combined with the numbers of the trigrams, determines the moving line (there is only one moving line in the plum blossom method.)
  12. Teachers and political opinions

    In practical terms what would this look like, and how could I distinguish it from indifference/ apathy? I suspect this kind of detached equanimity is an aspiration whose time has come and gone.I think what Hegel said about stoicism has broad applicability: "…whether on the throne or in chains, in the utter dependence of its individual existence, its aim is to be free, and to maintain that lifeless indifference which steadfastly withdraws from the bustle of existence, alike from being active as passive, into the simple essentiality of thought... As a universal form of the World-Spirit, stoicism could only appear on the scene in a time of universal fear and bondage, but also a time of universal culture which had raised itself to the level of thought." There is of course the question, How can you judge a state of mind you have not experienced yourself? To which I would say, when we are choosing to take this or that path, when we are choosing to follow a teacher apart from other teachers, we necessarily make a judgment that what that path or teacher offers is desirable and valuable. If the goal so unintelligible to us at the start of the path then there is no way for us to reasonably embark on that path- its value is just one bare assertion among so many others. And from the little I know, a state of withdrawal or neutrality, whether attained as a momentary posture or as the result of long meditation, doesn't look like wisdom to me.
  13. Yep. Mostly hideous. This is far from a problem for Hindus only!
  14. Well the purpose of religious art is generally to convey some truth or transcendent ideal, or communicate the presence of the divine. So not being distractingly hideous doesn’t seem like such an unreasonable expectation.