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About Muqtada

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    Dao Bum
  1. Random thought about Dao that can not be spoken

    Are we still talking about the Tao or politicians?
  2. Tao, Taoism, Motivation, and Reality

    Just wanted to thank the OP for the argument--it's an interesting thought, that the same name can be used to refer to many different sub-groups. I believe this should be true in Chinese the same as English, and can be demonstrated in the ancient rise of Catholicism or the disparate Protestant groups that all fly under the flag of 'Christianity' as easily as it can describe Tao or Taoism. It is a common practice of BEING HUMAN to use one or two words to describe many different groups and it is a common practice of BEING HUMAN for many people in any religious or philosophical group to have many varying opinions on different topics regarding to their beliefs. I'm sorry if this has already been said by someone else. Even on a topic as short as two pages, arguing semantics between 'westerners' and 'easterners' put me off and made me want to leave, but I wanted to give props to OP for the thought. The argument is clearly about a much larger context (although details on relative comparisons to the Eastern world are always helpful). It does not matter what the words are in Chinese if you can acknowledge that there are different sub-groups that fall under the same word. That's the point. I don't care if Tao is a Western construct because there are two words in China--to me, two words does not seem nearly enough to cover all the varying practices. So my point is that I think it's an interesting thought, and I agree that our responsibly is to sample different practices to see what resonates with us personally to see which, if any, sub-group fits us best. Each sub-group is a different path to the same goal, and though there's only one or two that will work for me, I'm sure they will not be the same paths that work for you. Thus the many sub-divisions of Tao practice. Anyway, once again I'm sorry if any of this has already been said, I didn't read probably half of the replies.
  3. Entry-level Taoism?

    Thank you for all the suggestions! I have already read the Tao of Pooh (although I hear there's the Te of Piglet which I haven't looked at yet) and a couple translations of the TTC but it would appear I have plenty more reading ahead of me It would seem the Chuang Tzu one is pretty important but I'm excited that there are so many places I could start. I'm sure my local bookstore doesn't carry most of these but that's the wonderful thing about the internet... you can always find it somewhere! Are there any notorious translations that I should stay away from when looking at the classic texts? Or are they all pretty good, with some just better than the others?
  4. Entry-level Taoism?

    I've read some Tao philosophy but the area I live in is devoid of such things. Are there practices, like forms of meditation, that accompany Tao? How do I go about learning about Tao philosophy or practices further? Do you have any good resources for a Tao beginner? I've been lurking through the forums on and off since I joined and it would appear that I don't know even a quarter as much as I thought I did. Any help would be appreciated, Thank you
  5. I found out that nobody I ask anywhere has the answers I want anyway haha but it was worth a shot. And it's not stealing if they know why I'm asking for it
  6. I'm planning for a fantasy novel which I am beginning to write on November 1st but I haven't been able to think of a good system of magic to use. The problem is that so many novels these days use a generic magic system akin to the Force and I want to stay as far away from that as possible. I was thinking about the 'mentor' in my novel, a woman who has been around for hundreds of years but will slowly begin to die when she teaches another, and it hit me. I've been thinking this whole time about how I want her to have a Tao outlook on life and the long, isolated wait she's had anyway (although I don't know if I'm well-versed enough in the Tao to pull that off) and I started thinking... what if magic was FROM her belief in the Tao? This original idea might not impart the same meaning to you as it did in my mind, at least not written in those words. But I continued thinking. I also wanted a couple other magic users left--these would be the last 'witches' in existence, and I was thinking maybe they could have Eastern beliefs as well. Perhaps one is Confucian, and one is Buddhist. I was thinking about how when I meditate on the Tao I feel the edges of vast... things. Pure emotion, or ideas that just fit with how I think. I was thinking to myself, "Maybe in this world, it's that earnest belief that opens you up to using magic." The setting begins in a technologically advanced society where everyone is constantly plugged into 'the Hub' (which is their internet) and no one really believes anything. I was thinking to myself, maybe this is why there are so few magic users in this world. Maybe in this world, all you need for magic is true belief. I continued thinking and imagined a perfect scene where the main character gets frustrated at his teacher for constantly spouting Tao parables and demands to learn the rules of magic, to which the teacher responds that you can't learn magic until you've mastered your philosophy (or something along those lines). Obviously I would not call these philosophies Taoism, Confucianism, or Buddhism, but the stories they teach would parallel some of the teachings for these religions. Which leaves me with just one problem: What would their magic do? I want each philosophy to allow the use of magic differently, but what sort of magic would Tao be? Would it be the ability to shapeshift, or see very far away, or always know which direction is north? Each philosophy would have to have a distinct ability, different from the other philosophies, although they could all share one or two common abilities. For example, maybe all philosophies allow the believer to leave his/her body for a short time while meditating, but someone taught a Buddhist philosophy could shapeshift while a Confucian couldn't shapeshift but instead could fly (or something). Any ideas? If Taoism/Confucianism/Buddhism were magic, what would it do?
  7. Another generic "Hello" thread

    Nevermind this reply, it is not important
  8. Another generic "Hello" thread

    Hey! I'm new-ish to the forums and my selective reading doomed me to a week of lurking and not understanding why I couldn't reply to any threads! (I'm not going to lie, when I saw this forum tonight I was quite embarrassed) I picked up a fair amount of information though... I ran into Tao a few years ago at a local bookstore. I randomly met a friend there and they picked up a book called "The Way of the Tao" and then I didn't hear from it again. A year or two later I was in the middle of a falling out with a Christian Church where I had been trying to believe in God for months but was not making any progress and my friend mentioned the book he picked up and that I should grab a copy if I could. Maybe it would help. About a year later I was visiting my friend and saw the book on his bookshelf. I read the first chapter or two and was amazed. My friend gave me the book (later, I gave it to someone else. It just seemed right) and from there I've been slowly accruing more information. Taoism matches what I already believe. Indirectness matches how I already think. It was love at first sight I can't say I know a whole lot about the Tao. From the threads I've lurked on I believe I'm classified as a Western Philosophical Tao or whatnot. Basically I've read a couple of books, and what I read right. No one where I now live knows of the Tao or talks about it so I figured I way try online. ANYWAY this was probably much longer of a post than it probably ought to have been. Just making up for lost time