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About Zhongyongdaoist

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  1. different kabala trees

    It's been a long time since I bothered with untangling Qabalah in its purely Jewish sense, not since the early 80s, but first of all, your dating of anything relating to Abulafia is wrong, since he was a medieval Qabalist, and anything that is his should be dated to the Thirteenth Century. Beyond that I don't have more to say now, since I would need to really rummage through my prodigious memory to say anything more than speculation based on some things that immediately come to mind. ZYD
  2. (-:

    The best news I have had in a long time. Welcome back! ZYD
  3. Daozang for non-chinese speakers?

    Also available at: Archive.org Daozang The material in the books is an excellent guide, but you really need to bring knowledge to it, to know where to mine more knowledge out of it. At some point I will have to make a recommended reading list, but Saso's work would be on it, as well as others. ZYD
  4. Silly hats of religion

    Move as per the above request. After thinking about it a bit I decided that because of its humorous slant this might be better in the Rabbit Hole then General Discussion. Zhongyongdaoist, Concierge
  5. Four Dragons Institute

    I checked on his site and then came back here to reread the posts. Patrick Lovett, is a member of the Dao Li Jiao, an inner school related to the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association, founded by Dr. Her Yu Wong. Back in the mid Seventies I study with Michael A. Brown, Dr. Wong's Number One Student, so while I have never met Dr. Wong, I have first hand knowledge of these organizations. The Ching Yi Gung Fu Association and Dao Li Jaio, are both legitimate Organizations with ties to Taiwan and mainland China, and have included such students and members as the late Giovanni Maciocia, whose TCM textbooks have been the backbone of the TCM curriculum in English since their publication, and Professor. Jerry Alan Johnson, whose work has practically created the field of medical Qigong in the U.S.. When I last corresponded with Michael Brown he specifically mentioned some Daoist Priests of the Quanzhen school who were members/associates and were doing some excellent work within the Organizations. That's all I know of the matter at present, but based on these associations I see no reason to be skeptical of his claims. I hope this is helpful. ZYD
  6. Jen Wu (sp?) and the Five Dragons

    You're asking about Zhenwudadi, "True Warrior Great Emperor", the Dark Emperor of the North: as the article continues: Xuanwu, or Zhenwu, is one of the Five Directional Emperors of Ritual Daoism, and his Five Dragons are important in his Cult, and for Daoist Ritual in General. For example, this invocation is used in Daoist Rituals for Purification of the Sacred Space: Also the article at the FYSK Daoist Culture Centre Database is very useful: The Great Perfect Warrior Emperor I hope this information is helpful. ZYD
  7. Taoist Temples?

    Looks beautiful. Q. What do they do there? What kind of programs.. worship?? The site link doesn't mention much beyond history. Technically these are Temples of the Chinese popular religion, not strictly Daoist temples. Kuan Tai is a Temple of Guan Di (I prefer using his "emperor" title rather than one of the lesser honorifics.). This picture from its linked website: Has Guan Di, seated in center, his son is on his left, and his trusted Lieutenant stands holding a halberd on his right. It is a traditional depiction and I have the same scene painted on glass. According to Wikipedia the Thien Hau Temple, Los Angeles is: As you can see this Temple also venerates Guan Di, who is not a "god of war", but a god of righteous and just war, but also literature, culture and wealth. He is also a very popular character in Chinese Opera, and one of the most popular gods in the Chinese gods in the Pantheon of Chinese popular religion. It is easy to imagine a temple to Mazu, who would protect fisherman, but also trade by Sea and Guan Di, a protector of merchants as part of being a god of wealth, in a Chinese community in Los Angeles, since they would be connected to, and separated from homeland and loved ones by the Sea, and they would want to maintain a healthy trade with the homeland to keep their culture and traditions alive. I hope this is helpful. ZYD Edit: Changed line spacing.
  8. Taoist logic?

    No, youre meant to Understand Daoist reasoning.Koans present paradox rather than irony. A good point Stosh.
  9. Taoist logic?

    The problem is that probably 95%+ of people who are involved in this type of study and practice in the West have as a fundamental presupposition, the post Romanticist meme that logic and reason are bad for your spirituality. That is part of the reason why I have this quote from the Seventeenth Century in my signature: To point out that anti-rationalism in Western spirituality is a recent phenomena, well relatively recent, and owes itself more to crypto-Protestant thought patterns and reactions against late Eighteenth Century materialism than to the actual historical development of Western thought. The historical root of all of this is the "Reason vs. Revelation" debates of the Hellenistic period. The above just opens a tiny peephole into the results of research into intellectual history that goes back decades, but simply put, there is no real reason why either Wisdom or "spirituality" should be divided from reason, only the wish of people who want to hold on to what they already believe. ZYD
  10. Origin of the Chinese Zodiac

    Thank you Mudfoot and Michael, I have quickly scanned the article and it seems well reasoned and very strong in its arguments about the Jupiter cycle. Though it was written in the late forties, I am not sure how influential it was. Walters bases his discussion primarily on Han Dynasty sources which are considered canonical, and if I were interested in going back to do scholarly work on the subject I would be interested to review Needham to see his discussion. The one thing that cannot be doubted about the Chinese adaptation of this material whatever its source, is the richness, creativity and the way in which, while being different, it in many ways seems to compliment its Western counterpart as if some larger pattern were being realized in the development of the two structures. ZYD
  11. Origin of the Chinese Zodiac

    It's been a while but as I remember it the animal names of the "Chinese Zodiac" were a relatively late addition to an already established Chinese system called the Earthly Branches and not only based on Sun/Moon Conjunctions, but more fundamentally, on a twelve year cycle of Jupiter's stations in its retrograde/direct cycle. Thus in Chinese Astrology Jupiter is the Year Star and the fundamental sign is ones year sign. This was then combined with a Solar cycle of the Twelve Earthly branches which is 180 degrees out of phase with its Western counterpart. In other words the Chinese Solar Earthly Branches begin in the middle of the Western Zodiac signs. For example the "Solar Rat" begins at fifteen degrees of Sagitarius, which makes a direct correlation between the Western and Chinese yearly cycle impossible, which further undermines any attempt to make the Chinese system dependent on the Western one. To my mind there is no good reason to believe that the Chinese system has a Western origin, but instead bases itself on observations of different planetary cycles, in particular the importance of the Ten Heavenly Stems cannot be underestimated. While I have never read about their possible origin in the Sun/Venus cycle, I think this is a highly likely, but apparently undocumented, possibility. For those not familiar with the Sun/Venus cycle it consists of the alternation of Venus being the Morning and Evening Stars, where basically as the Morning star, Venus is ahead of the Sun in the zodiac and rises before the Sun, while in the case of Evening Star, Venus is later in the Zodiac than the Sun and sets after it. Going around the Zodiac this creates a cycle of five Morning Stars and Five Evening stars, or Ten events which alternate like yin and yang and trace out a five sided or pointed figure in the Zodiac. The Ten Heavenly Stems are just such a cycle of the five elements through Five Yin/Yang cycles for a total of Ten divisions, and seems to link fundamentally with Five Element theory. The Ten Heavenly Stems and the Twelve Earthly Branches then creates the Sexagenary, or Sixty year Cycle of the combinations of the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches, the "Jiazi", named after its first member "jia" the first Earthly Branch and "zi", the first Heavenly Stem. This sixty year cycle then ties in with three conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn, which form a triangle in the sky, and this in turn is related to the cycles of the Nine Stars, all of which I don't want to get into, but my understanding is that this was all well in place and had been for centuries, by the time that the Twelve Animals were introduced and associated with the Earthly Branches. So the fundamental patterns and cycles from which Chinese Astrology arises are very different than those of Western Astrology and the Western Zodiac and the animal names have been documented as a late addition to an already existing system. This is mostly based on my reading years ago of the books of Derek Walters, and others even earlier than his works, though his were the most comprehensive of the popular books. ZYD
  12. Lao tse and the Socratic Method

    As I have mentioned I do not have time to be an active participant in this discussion, in part that is because you both need a lot of work in this type of thing, though wandelaar has at least realized that Stosh's long statements need to be broken up into "bite sized morsels" to be chewed on and digested. I have been thinking since yesterday of how best to best to contribute here and the following from my thread Plato and Platonism 101, from which I have already quoted, seems to be a useful starting point, which is the difference between knowledge and opinion: In order to understand anything about the distinction between Knowledge and Opinion, it is necessary to understand this: As a hint of the direction to go, since all of Stosh's statements represent his opinions and thus his beliefs about "morality", many of the statements that wandelaar has started breaking down into an "edible size", can be simply coated with the my secret sauce and served up in this form the form of questions about beliefs, but it is first necessary to at least define, or attempt to define what it is that you are talking about, thus, "You have mentioned 'morality' in general and then also made references to a 'Standard Morality', can you be more specific about what you, believe these things to be, for example do you believe that 'standard morality', is like "the Standard Model' in physics, something that is agreed upon by a group of specially trained experts in a field, or if not, what do you believe it to be?" Even this is a little advanced and should have been preceded by, What type of subject do you believe 'morality' to be? By which I mean is it a study such as mathematics that confers a specific skill such as accurate calculation? Or a skill such as persuasion such as one learns from studying rhetoric? Is is a study like biology that classifies living things, does it classify things according to certain criteria of similarity and difference? These are the types of things that should be asked at the beginning of a "Socratic Inquiry" into morality. I hope that this is helpful, and also demonstrates why I don't have time to be an active participant in this discussion. As an amusing aside, I will point out that having read all of Plato's dialogues except the Laws, sections of which I have read because of their general importance, I don't ever recall "morality" being mentioned at all, there is a lot of talk about Wisdom, Virtue and Happiness, but "morality" just doesn't seem to come up anywhere. I wonder why that is? ZYD
  13. Lao tse and the Socratic Method

    Wandelaar is essentially correct, but needs to have develop a better sense of what type of questions to ask. I don't have time to be an active participant in this discussion, but I will try to contribute by quoting from my posts that I consider relevant. This was the follow up post to my discussion of "Socratic Method" as cathartic ritual: We all 'ate' a lot of words growing up and a lot of them are there in our hearts and our bellies and the they determine who we think we are and how we act. Maybe we should get to know what they are. and similar sentiments elsewhere on the Dao Bums. This gives some idea of the types of questions that need to be asked and also the importance of words and ideas as influencing our emotions and feelings. Someone who says its OK to do something because it feels OK to them needs to be asked, "and why is your feeling enough of a reason", people will say that they feel it is wrong to do what you say is alright because it "feels" alright to you, given these differences in peoples feelings, how are we to create a general guide to moral action? I will try to post some other pointers from my previous posts that may be helpful. ZYD Edit: Corrected "Someone how says" to "Someone who says" in the penultimate paragraph.
  14. This book was also translated by Arthur Waley in 1931, as The Travels of an Alchemist. I never found it of much use for alchemy, but in the interim I have gained enough knowledge of Confucianism to recognize the first letter ostensibly from Genghis: Is obviously written by someone deeply familiar with Chinese norms based on Confucianism and who is basically claiming for Genghis the Heavenly Mandate to rule. This is something that Genghis himself believed: Which among other things should be a caution to those who believe that only Western Abrahamic religions promote world conquest based on a divine revelation. As I noted above, I never found the book of much interest to alchemy, but as a piece of history and travel it has much to recommend it. I suspect that it was basically created as a piece of pro Daoist propaganda to aid in the Daoist/Buddhist rivalries in China. ZYD
  15. Lao tse and the Socratic Method

    Seems a fair enough comment to me. What you are taking as my "I don't see what your cynical derogatory tone" was not aimed at you, but what I consider sardonic humor, based on decades of hearing people talk about what Plato and Socrates and what they are not or are not, based on next to no real information, and aimed in general, and not at you personally. I am sorry that you took it personally, because I meant my serious comments in support of the idea that you seemed to proposing, the general usefulness of Socratic method to spiritual development, whether Daoist or otherwise. However, Daoist texts are usually interpreted in a strongly anti-rational fashion, and in general people attracted to them are very Romanticists and anti-intellectual in outlook, and consider the type of questioning involved in the Socratic Method as an overly intellectual waste of time, so it is an uphill battle to share these ideas with them, a little humor sardonic and otherwise, is part of my way of dealing with them. I wish you the best in all your endeavors. ZYD