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About CosmoGeek

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  1. Laziness

    Great post, lotusbud. Laziness is my biggest issue, and I think what you wrote may help me. I'll put some things into practice starting right now.
  2. Jakara, I enjoyed your post. You explain very eloquently why the "red flags" go off. Hundun, What you wrote is interesting. Are you suggesting that Max's followers intentionally made Kunlun appear to be bogus? Perhaps to screen out people with well-developed reasoning skills?
  3. I hear ya. My wife went for the no-drug midwife approach for the last couple of kids, and that was a much better experience for her than the drugged up M.D. approach. As for doing it alone and in the dark... I don't know... Childbirth is very tough on human females compared to other mammals. They typically can use some help in getting the babies out! Anyway, I agree that it seems natural that the child delivery process be "womens' work." But in the old times, the midwife and her helpers would be very familiar to the mother (probably living in the same small village, etc.). These days, it is probably better for the mother to have a supportive husband present than to be completely surrounded by strangers while giving birth. A woman giving birth is truly amazing. You are lucky to be female and have had the experience!
  4. Why Taoism is different

    Exactly. Richard Dawkins comes to mind as I read this. It's amazing the number of Scientists who seem to think that Nature follows the rules that we make up for it! Of course, something similar is also probably true for other systems of thought, including Taoism. What you speak of, I would call the "reductionist" point of view. This is the most prevalent POV in Western science, and is responsible for most of our modern technology. There is also a trend toward more "holistic" systems approaches in Western Science, directly or indirectly influenced by Taoist thought.
  5. So How does One Get Started?

    Follow your instincts and forget the anus-squeezing stuff for now. Try (as others have suggested) some simple, practical Zen meditation. I felt that the following book by Suzuki was pretty good: I think this book will answer a lot of your questions about your frame of mind during mediation etc. As for Taoism, check out the Seven Taoist Masters. Fun reading!
  6. Why Taoism is different

    Cool. It's interesting to know that people are using systems approaches in the social sciences similar to what we are doing in the physical sciences. On a deeper level, the notion of cause and effect is perhaps overly simplistic. For example, increased CO2 causes global warming and global warming causes increased CO2. Each one causes the other just as both yin causes yang, and yang causes yin. In the physical sciences, we are calling this "feedback systems." To say simply that one thing causes another thing would give one an incomplete picture (and in the case of global warming, the consequences of misunderstanding can potentially be disastrous for the planet!).
  7. I'm a man who's been married for over a decade and has three kids. Here are some thoughts: * Marriage is a tough son-of-a-bitch and isn't for wussies! * Family life severely limits your freedom, money and time. * Family life forces you to grow up and develop yourself just for the sake of survival. * If you don't grow up in time, you end up in divorce land like the other wussies. * Marriage teaches you that love is more than just being horny. * Having kids teaches you what unconditional love is all about. * Your children are a guide to self-knowledge. Each one carries a random assortment of 50% of your genetic code. With two kids, 75% of your genetic code is represented among your offspring, 87.5 % with three, etc. Each child is a mirror that tells you something about the nature/nurture aspects of your personality. * Your children teach you at least as much as you teach them, on many levels. * I can't think of anything that builds character more than being a family man. * A baby coming out of a vagina is the most amazing magic trick you will ever see.
  8. Why Taoism is different

    Nice post! What you call "standard science," I would call "Western science" since it is clearly rooted in western philosophy. Taoism as a science would be mostly a "subjective" science as you describe. I think both involve systematic study in order to develop understanding of Nature. However, western science requires that results be reproducible to other workers in the field. This requirement for reproducibility eliminates most of (or at least much of) the BS and sloppy science from the collective knowledge base. Western science is obviously extremely powerful, as it has made possible most of the tremendous wonders of the modern world. (Taoist science has also been successful, yielding gunpowder, TCM, Chinese acupuncture, etc., but has had less of a dramatic impact on the modern world overall). But the requirement for reproducibility has its limitations. As an advanced practitioner of western science, it is very clear to me that much (if not most) of the phenomenon in the universe cannot currently be systematically studied in a reproducible, objective way (for example, the idea that violins sound better if you play music for them - purely subjective). This is obvious to many scientists, but not to some others (such as some physicists who think they know everything! ). As powerful as western science is, it is not very good for some things, so there is a need for subjective systems of science. The problem with subjective systems are that it is harder to weed out the BS and sloppy science. How is this accomplished in Taoism? Any thoughts? There has been some interesting cross-pollination between Western and Daoist schools of thought in the 20th century. Some of the smarter Chinese masters of the early 20th century became impressed with the power of openly sharing knowledge as done in Western science. Hence, there was movement that continues today away from a guarded "ancient Chinese secret" mentality toward a more open "there are no secrets" attitude. This movement is probably the most important factor contributing to the flourishing of Taoist ideas in the Western world. In Western science, there is a movement toward "holistic" systems-based approaches (i.e. the whole is more than the sum of its parts) such as Earth System Science (aka the Gaia Hypothesis) in addition to the traditional "reductionist" approaches (i.e. the sum of the parts is the whole). This movement is directly influenced by Taoist philosophy.
  9. Introducing Myself in the Lobby

    Hello! I've been lurking here off and on for a few years, and I finally registered for an account. I've been practicing taijiquan (37-posture form) and zhan zhuang for about 4.5 years now. The best thing about this stuff so far is that it gives me the energy to get off my ass and start lots of new good habits (like flossing my teeth, etc. ). I'm a western scientist by profession. I'm interested in Daoist scientific philosophy and methods, and practical applications. Spiritually, I'm at the place where I'm taking responsibility for what happens in my communities, and am becoming a community leader on a number of different levels.