lazy cloud

wuji and tao

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Hello Taobums. I have been enjoying this site from afar.

Many taoist ideas resonnate with me. Many buddhist ideas resonnate with me.

In fact i am interested in all ancient beliefs.

I am a newbie , so please excuse my ignorance :blush:

What distinguishes tao from wuji?

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Hello Taobums. I have been enjoying this site from afar.

Many taoist ideas resonnate with me. Many buddhist ideas resonnate with me.

In fact i am interested in all ancient beliefs.

I am a newbie , so please excuse my ignorance :blush:

What distinguishes tao from wuji?

 

Welcome, Lazy Cloud.

 

The traditional view I've been taught maintains that tao has manifest and unmanifest aspects, stillness and motion, being and nonbeing. Wuji refers to the unmanifest aspect of tao, tao-in-stillness. This state oscillates into taiji, tao-in-motion, manifestations, phenomena. Taiji (aka yin-yang polarization) proceeds to create all manifestations ("the ten thousand things"). Ten thousand things revert back to the unmanifest after completing the cosmic cycle of Conception, Growth, Fruition, Consummation (aka the four seasons of being). The transformations of being into nonbeing and nonbeing into being are understood as a non-linear, circular, cyclical process, i.e. there is no "before" and "after," no "progress," only "unfolding" and "return," followed by, um, more of the same -- ad infinitum. Wuji to taiji, taiji to bagua, bagua to the 64 cosmic moments (situations or configurations of reality), the 64 situations back to no situations, to wuji. And again. And again...

 

This is crucially different from the Indo-European modalities that postulate a "goal to reach" -- e.g. a paradise, or nirvana, or the luminous void, or some father in heaven or other, or what have you. In taoism (not in pop taoism to which you will be exposed along the way I'm sure :lol:) you don't see the manifest as "samsara" and the unmanifest as "nirvana" or any such good tao/bad tao opposition that ultimately belittles and negates life and glorifies death. Being born is not a punishment for a crime in taoism; it's part of the natural cycle. Failing to be born is not a reward for good deeds either; it's merely an unfortunate obstacle -- visualize a seedling blocked by a boulder -- which you seek to overcome so as to grow and complete the cycle... and return. Tao is not opposed to any of its manifestations and doesn't seek to become unmanifest. Therefore a taoist's interests encompass rather than negate one's humanity, and one seeks to manifest it fully rather than to find a way to not manifest it.

 

So "wuji" is not a goal and not a destination, anymore than a good night's sleep is the goal and destination of your waking hours. You need a good night's sleep, no arguing with that, but you don't live your life in order to "get there." Similarly, you need wuji -- but it's not the holy grail, you don't practice taoism so as to "get there." (Many westerners are very confused on this point, however.)

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Welcome, Lazy Cloud.

 

The traditional view I've been taught maintains that tao has manifest and unmanifest aspects, stillness and motion, being and nonbeing. Wuji refers to the unmanifest aspect of tao, tao-in-stillness. This state oscillates into taiji, tao-in-motion, manifestations, phenomena. Taiji (aka yin-yang polarization) proceeds to create all manifestations ("the ten thousand things"). Ten thousand things revert back to the unmanifest after completing the cosmic cycle of Conception, Growth, Fruition, Consummation (aka the four seasons of being). The transformations of being into nonbeing and nonbeing into being are understood as a non-linear, circular, cyclical process, i.e. there is no "before" and "after," no "progress," only "unfolding" and "return," followed by, um, more of the same -- ad infinitum. Wuji to taiji, taiji to bagua, bagua to the 64 cosmic moments (situations or configurations of reality), the 64 situations back to no situations, to wuji. And again. And again...

 

This is crucially different from the Indo-European modalities that postulate a "goal to reach" -- e.g. a paradise, or nirvana, or the luminous void, or some father in heaven or other, or what have you. In taoism (not in pop taoism to which you will be exposed along the way I'm sure :lol:) you don't see the manifest as "samsara" and the unmanifest as "nirvana" or any such good tao/bad tao opposition that ultimately belittles and negates life and glorifies death. Being born is not a punishment for a crime in taoism; it's part of the natural cycle. Failing to be born is not a reward for good deeds either; it's merely an unfortunate obstacle -- visualize a seedling blocked by a boulder -- which you seek to overcome so as to grow and complete the cycle... and return. Tao is not opposed to any of its manifestations and doesn't seek to become unmanifest. Therefore a taoist's interests encompass rather than negate one's humanity, and one seeks to manifest it fully rather than to find a way to not manifest it.

 

So "wuji" is not a goal and not a destination, anymore than a good night's sleep is the goal and destination of your waking hours. You need a good night's sleep, no arguing with that, but you don't live your life in order to "get there." Similarly, you need wuji -- but it's not the holy grail, you don't practice taoism so as to "get there." (Many westerners are very confused on this point, however.)

 

 

Taomeow, that was incredible.

 

Sounds like a simplified way to see it would be

 

the acorn = taiji

the oak within the acorn = wuji

 

Is this close?

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As a westerner(mostly) I certainly was confused about this. Thank you so much for this explanation. :)

Does the cycle or circle flow in both directions? Will wuji go to taiji, as well as going from taiji to wuji?

I will suppose that also tao is not a destination or a goal?

Your example of "unfolding" and "return" really struck a chord with me.

It is simple and beautiful.

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Hello Taobums. I have been enjoying this site from afar.

Many taoist ideas resonnate with me. Many buddhist ideas resonnate with me.

In fact i am interested in all ancient beliefs.

I am a newbie , so please excuse my ignorance :blush:

What distinguishes tao from wuji?

 

I think Taomeow did a great job of explaining this!

 

I'll present a dumbed down version of one aspect.

 

We have Wuji, Tai Chi and Yin/Yang. This is the chain of events which is the essence of Tai Chi.

On one end we have Wuji, which is the stillness; to be aware of everything yet focused on nothing. On the other end we have Yin/Yang which is the physical expression of energy. Tai Chi is what happens in between Wuji and our energy expression. So to have Tai Chi you must attain Wuji.

 

One way of looking at it ;)

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I think Taomeow did a great job of explaining this!

 

I'll present a dumbed down version of one aspect.

 

We have Wuji, Tai Chi and Yin/Yang. This is the chain of events which is the essence of Tai Chi.

On one end we have Wuji, which is the stillness; to be aware of everything yet focused on nothing. On the other end we have Yin/Yang which is the physical expression of energy. Tai Chi is what happens in between Wuji and our energy expression. So to have Tai Chi you must attain Wuji.

 

One way of looking at it ;)

Thanks Red Pheonix. I have seen many posts here where folks say that Tai Chi= Yin/Yang. I agree that they are not the same. I have said here that Tai Chi is the parent of Yin/Yang, even if i know that is not exact, but it is the way i understand it.

@ lazy cloud, thanks for the topic.

@manitou, i like how you put it in a "nutshell" :)

@TaoMeow, wow ...well as lazy cloud said "simple and beautiful"

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This is crucially different from the Indo-European modalities that postulate a "goal to reach" -- e.g. a paradise, or nirvana, or the luminous void, or some father in heaven or other, or what have you. In taoism (not in pop taoism to which you will be exposed along the way I'm sure laugh.gif) you don't see the manifest as "samsara" and the unmanifest as "nirvana" or any such good tao/bad tao opposition that ultimately belittles and negates life and glorifies death. Being born is not a punishment for a crime in taoism; it's part of the natural cycle. Failing to be born is not a reward for good deeds either; it's merely an unfortunate obstacle -- visualize a seedling blocked by a boulder -- which you seek to overcome so as to grow and complete the cycle... and return. Tao is not opposed to any of its manifestations and doesn't seek to become unmanifest. Therefore a taoist's interests encompass rather than negate one's humanity, and one seeks to manifest it fully rather than to find a way to not manifest it.

 

 

 

Came across this post from another discussion on Wuji. Excellent post, though I thought I'd clarify a BIG misunderstanding.

Those who claim that there is an either/or proposition involved in the dharma traditions (where you will find the words samsara and nirvana or kaivalyam), just don't understand what these traditions are saying. So, are in effect victims of "pop dharma", just like you warned about "pop taoism". 

 

Samsara and Nirvana are not opposites. Samsara is living without the understanding of what the true nature of being and non-being is. Nirvana is living with the understanding of what the true nature of being and non-being is. Dharma does not glorify death and belittle life. Dharma merely asks us to understand the being that is living in samsara is ignorant of it's True Nature. When the True Nature is understood, being still lives in samsara, but now is free from pleasure and pain caused by attaching to things that are essentially ephemeral in nature.

 

:)

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