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About Zedd

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  1. Why Taoism is different

    Folks, It really sucks working 24 hours of the 36 hours between writings! You guys have discussed and closed a really interesting thread and I didn't even get to put my 2.4 cents in! Marblehead's response was mine almost verbatim. Then I see other responses pointing out the details of subsequent schools of thought with a distinct religious intent. And if someone wants to develop a religious system based on Taoism, more power to them. At least it is based on a rational paradigm.Hey, there is nothing wrong with that, I am LDS and find Taoist philosophy a tremendous help. I simply do not believe the teachings of Taoism argue for a supreme divine being approach to what I see is an ontological argument for religion. And Kant?! I remember reading The Critique of Pure Reason and thinking what a load of crap. Still, it remains one of the most influential books ever written. If you were able to get away with not reading it, good for you. Finally, I believe Stigweard to be correct if I am inferring correctly that Taoism did not develop in an areligious environment. Certainly the principles were developed over a long time, I suspect the strongest influence being the shaman roots.
  2. Why Taoism is different

    That being said, and after much rambling, what makes Taoism different is that other belief structures are active seekers, whereas Taoism is an active be-er. Anybody for a good India Pale Ale (double hopped of course)!
  3. Why Taoism is different

    To reiterate, there are no commands because Taoism is not a religion per see. It is a philosophy dealing primarily with metaphysics, ontology, and ethics. I understand Buddhism uses the Gods as symbolic structures to teach man, Taoism does not have any of that. It leaves the concepts in language so clean as to be difficult to interpret. The ramifications of Taoism are easily hidden because the ideas are in plain view. Someone in this thread wrote that Taoism was refreshingly open. That is too true. When the Tao began to be integrated into my life, the sheer simplicity of it was like winters first wind in summer. It blew away many of the dogma's that had plagued me all my life. That is the seduction of the truth. I think human desire to experience the happiness the Tao philosophy hints at paradoxically leads us to actively seek that which is un-seeable. And then the more we seek, the harder it is to find. Yet without seeking, we can't find it. It took me a reallllllllly long time to understand that it is how one seeks that is as important as what one seeks. One writer mentioned it was unimportant whether Schrodinger's cat was black or white, only that it caught mice. And very sublty, one can add that it was noticed the cat caught mice. Leaving it there is where the problem begins. Our innate curiosity leads us to ask the question how many mice does the cat eat what does it eat first do black cats catch more than white cats if so why are there any black/white cats at all how does it jump so far why are cats always around when it rains?
  4. Why Taoism is different

    This is a great question and worthy of the long going discussion. I appreciate the invite (though it sounds like a fairly standard thing, to be invited to the "Why Taoism is Different" thread). My general observations of the discussion so far...There appears to me to be two primary ways the Question is being answered: 1) Taoism is different based on a dogmatic religious perspective; 2) Taoism is different based on a subjective/objective, science/non-science (mystical), eastern cognition patterns/western. Regarding the first, it is my opinion the strength of the Taoism has to do with its separateness from any religious thread. I think the ontology outlined in the Tao Te Ching (or however you want to spell/say it) is so sound that any religious structure can absorb the philosophy into its argument without losing the structure of the religion. (Sort of like saying water is wet, I believe in water, therefore my beliefs are true). I have seen much talk in this thread where the Tao is used to rationalize a specific faith (i.e., "The existence of a much bigger , everlasting Mind outside us , in the universe , or even as the Creator of this universe , is the common belief of most of the religions . However, only Taoism explains it in the context of the jing- qi -shen framework", courtesy exorcist 1699; discussions involving 'emancipation' (a word implying a freeing from bondage, restraint, etc...); and a lot of discussion about Buddhism, specifically about the similarities. In my opinion this is not relevant because Taoism is philosophical ontology discussing existence and lending suggestions how we should approach our existence. It is valid both subjectively and objectively. I think using Taoism to verify Buddhism or any other 'faith' is a logical fallacy of cum hoc. Specifically, because Taoism teaches x, y, and z; and '[insert religious dogma here]' also has beliefs; there is then a natural correlation between the two. Sort of like the aforementioned 'water is wet' analogy, just because the ontology of Taoism is sound, does not mean the faith (pick your belief structure) is true as well. My understanding of the History of Taoism is that Buddhists used the Taoist doctrine of the Unknowing Way, to help proselyte Buddhism into China. (This information based on the readings of Dr. Chad Hanson, Chair Professor of Chinese Philosophy, University of Hong Kong). However, just because the Taoist ontology teaches that there is no way to understand or even name the Way, that Buddhism is true (NOT to say it isn't mind you), is false. Regarding the latter, while the west does have a stronger history of affirming the 'objective' Cartesian method (to the detriment of our society) than the east, clearly the Tao Te Ching understood the Chinese were just as tempted by the same type of thinking. It is my opinion the Taoist bases his orientation to the world based on sound, logical Taoist thinking found in the philosophy. On a distinctive ontological basis, the Tao is without peer. I think the western society's Cartesian approach has been disproven, while the Tao is becoming more and more affirmed. It is very late, my writing is rambling. If any wish to discuss this further or allow me to correct my thinking, please feel free to comment. It is a subjective I love to discuss.
  5. Howdy from Dallas, TX

    I have read Legge's version, it being on line. What other suggested translations would you make.
  6. Howdy from Dallas, TX

    I have read the Tao Te Ching many times in many translations (currently reading Chen's commentaries) and still grapple with some of he basic ideas. Sort of like trying to hold air in my hands. Anyway, by background I am LDS (Mormon), I hope ya'll don't hold that against me. I do not find any of the Taoist principles to be in conflict with my religious beliefs, and in fact feel the Taoist 'world' view helps me in my faith. My ability to meditate, and pray has grown tremendously. One more twist, I have discovered that through shamanism techniques I can interact in this world in an amazing way. I hope to find assistance here with some of my questions.