Vmarco

Is anything truly Ineffable?

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To answer the title...

 

Yes, Tao and Chi are ineffable.

So are the three Taoist treasures: 精, 氣, 神(Jing, Chi and shen)

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To answer the title...

 

Yes, Tao and Chi are ineffable.

So are the three Taoist treasures: 精, 氣, 神(Jing, Chi and shen)

 

No,...The Tao is not ineffable. If The Tao was ineffable, Lao Tzu would not have been able to discern The Tao to write about it.

 

It is a matter of context. Buddha told the ignorant that the self is impermanent,...and yet he said the Other Self, the Tathagata, is permanent. Of course the ego self of the six senses is impermanent.

 

The ignorant cannot understand The Tao. This is simply because the six senses can only know motion. To understand the Tao, one must observe The Tao from beyond the six senses. To understand the Tathagata, one must transcend the six senses.

 

If you think The Tao is ineffable, then you allowed religious indoctrination to blind you, and for you, The Tao will be ineffable. To understand stillness, one must uncover the stillness upon which their motion persists.

 

V

Edited by Vmarco

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I do agree that Tao is explainable but with difficulty because Tao comes in many forms. However, it is still ineffable. Yes, let's see how many chapters that Lao Tze took to define and explain how to discern Tao.

Edited by ChiDragon

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i might add chidragon that the yin and yang of dao, that being energy/matter and consciousness, seem also ineffable.

 

but i wouldn't, because i think vmarco believes that nothing is ienffable and he probably just started this thread to argue with people who have opinions of their own.

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i might add chidragon that the yin and yang of dao, that being energy/matter and consciousness, seem also ineffable.

 

but i wouldn't, because i think vmarco believes that nothing is ienffable and he probably just started this thread to argue with people who have opinions of their own.

 

 

If you have an opinion that, as you suggest, yang-yin is ineffable, yes, you probably would not feel confortable articulating your point of view on this thread, if you are strongly attached to it,...most people don't want to know if what they think is meaningful, is meaningless.

 

Not only is Yang/Yin quite effable, but the fundamental essence of Buddhism is about understanding Yang/Yin,...although they call it by other names such as Form and Empty, or Dependent Origination. Of course, very few understand the inseparableness of Form (yang) and Empty (yin), and thus resign themselves to the concept of their ineffability.

 

Buddha seldom offered information regarding what beyond the phenomena of Yang/Yin, because the simple goal is understanding Yang/Yin, so any further discussion would just confuse the ignorant (defined as those who only observe by way of the six senses).

 

So, I do empathize with you for believing in ineffability as you do,...after all, science does not even understand Form/Empty, energy, mass, time, or the nature of light. Scientists, like most people, have been so indoctrinated in Aristotelian logic that it is a surprize humanity is even here. For those attached to Aristotelian logic, anything to do with the nature of perceived reality, like the spiritual value of zero, upsets their rationale, and six senses.

 

V

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No,...The Tao is not ineffable. If The Tao was ineffable, Lao Tzu would not have been able to discern The Tao to write about it.

 

It is a matter of context. Buddha told the ignorant that the self is impermanent,...and yet he said the Other Self, the Tathagata, is permanent. Of course the ego self of the six senses is impermanent.

 

The ignorant cannot understand The Tao. This is simply because the six senses can only know motion. To understand the Tao, one must observe The Tao from beyond the six senses. To understand the Tathagata, one must transcend the six senses.

 

If you think The Tao is ineffable, then you allowed religious indoctrination to blind you, and for you, The Tao will be ineffable. To understand stillness, one must uncover the stillness upon which their motion persists.

 

V

 

V Marco,

 

I think you've misunderstood what Lao Tzu was saying. The fact that he clearly defines this in the first two lines of the beginning of the Tao Teh Ching and that you've missed this point leads me to believe that you need to study the text a bit more before you comment on the philosophy.

 

Chapter One

 

Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao.

Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name.

 

As the origin of heaven-and-earth, it is nameless:

As "the Mother" of all things, it is nameable.

 

So, as ever hidden, we should look at its inner essence:

As always manifest, we should look at its outer aspects.

 

These two flow from the same source, though differently

named;

And both are called mysteries.

 

The Mystery of mysteries is the Door of all essence.

 

- Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching, tr. John C. H. Wu

 

So, Lao Tzu was saying that the Tao was ineffable and could not be discerned through the senses, but the tao (notice small case) of the world that we perceive can be talked about. If it helps think of Tao as translating roughly into "way".

 

In regards to your religion and philosophy comment and your knock about my comment regarding chopping wood and carrying water, I think you're clearly being hypocritical here, what you really mean to say is that everyone is wrong except you.

 

As far as the "enlightenend man" who snapped his fingers and brought a fish back from the dead, well that's a neat trick, but I'm sure David Blaine could pull it off flawlessly. Since a lot of modern illusion has been gleaned from Indian "mystics", it would be a safe bet that they knew how to pull this off too. For instance Blaine can levitate on the street with nothing around to support him. He can tear things up into bits after they've been written on and cause them to reappear, writing still intact. These were the staples of the "siddhas" of the time. Nothing remarkable, in fact anyone could probably pull off the fish trick with a little training.

 

As far as ineffable goes, I would have to remind you that it is subjective, thus it has little meaning in the light of experience.

 

So I say again, throw away Buddhism, Taoism, and all the other religions and philosophies, and start from scratch. Examine your life, what is you, where you began and what you were before you began and then you will begin to get some answers to your questions.

 

Aaron

 

edit- ChiDragon, I thought you would've been the first to quote Chapter 1, you must be getting rusty.

Edited by Twinner
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Let's be careful here.

 

The Tao that can be spoken of is yo (Manifest reality) and Chi (Yin and Yang).

 

The Tao that cannot be spoken of is wu (the Mystery, potential). While it is true that wu can be experienced it cannot be spoken of as it has not yet taken form. Similar to the thought that has not yet been thought.

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Of course the Tao is neither. The Tao is nor object or subject, yin or yang etc. All duality is the manifestation of Tao. You are murdering the Tao selfishly into millions of tiny little pieces just to justify a fruitless point. I feel sorry for such a self proclaimed and a self appointed preacher. Tricky is not proof of enlightenment nor is it how well you can intellectually conceptualize it. Anyway using references and quotes isn't getting out of the fish bowl. It might be academic but isn't going to free oneself.

 

When you experience the simplicity of truth Tao it is just what is. But even this isn't knowing, what is can not be known.

 

Have you ever steped out between your ears? Cause clearly you are stuck in a fish bowl.

Edited by Z3N

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If you have an opinion that, as you suggest, yang-yin is ineffable, yes, you probably would not feel confortable articulating your point of view on this thread, if you are strongly attached to it,...most people don't want to know if what they think is meaningful, is meaningless.

 

oh i don't have that opinion. And if i did i wouldn't be strongly attached to it.

 

i said they seem ineffable, i dont even personally care what is or isn't ineffable according to you, or to anyone else. I just find matter/energy and consciousness wherever i look, hence my statement that they seem ineffable.

 

maybe they is and maybe they amn't, but i don't see any point in theorizing about it. Far be it from me to think i know whats ineffable or not.

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Have you ever steped out between your ears? Cause clearly you are stuck in a fish bowl.

 

All that is clear, is your obsession with fish bowls.

 

Actually, there is no fish bowl.

 

Visualize a keyhole for a moment, one of those slotted holes that can be peeped through, as in old Colonial and Victorian homes. Now, describe that hole. Some may say that it has the shape of a circle with a rectangle whose width is smaller than the diameter of the circle aligned on the bottom; others could respond that the hole is surrounded by a brass plate that is attached to the door, which is connected to the wall, etc. Perhaps the hole could be looked through, so one could remark about what is seen on the other side. However, none of that actually describes the hole; all of the preceding descriptions are narratives about what is around or can be seen through the hole. Nevertheless, that is how most persons, especially yourself, perceive their own wholeness: by what is around it.

 

People who see fish bowls everywhere, like yourself, are clinging to the illusion of your six senses for your identity. And thus have no clue as to the nature of Wholeness.

 

This is not being offered as a teacher (as you've ridiculously peg me to be), but merely a response to your post. There is no teacher at this IP; actually loathe students, and have no desire being diverted with petty philosophies. My communion on this forum is non-competitive, non-religious, and certainly with no intent to teach. There is a joy dialoguing with admirable people, of which you are surely not.

 

Perhaps you would have better luck diatribing on a Paul Klee forum where people are more into fish bowls.

 

V

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I think...

 

 

This is probably...

 

The only...

 

Relevant...

 

Response to this whole shenanigan we refer to as a thread...

 

 

 

or topic.

 

Agreed. What we have here is a teacher's aide with delusions of omniscience, masquerading as the Scholar in Residence. Kind of amusing if it weren't so pathetic.

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My point of view regardind Wu, is that it is not spoken and cannot be spoken from Wu. Wu does not embody the six senses to dialogue.

 

We are not too far apart from agreement. You do use funny words later though. Hehehe.

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Hahahahaha ......well! Who cares vmaro! You should be a lawyer!

 

Anyway have fun in your bowl. Eventually you will have to return to the sea. It's okay golden fishy, someone will flush you down the toilet when you die.

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2010-08-07.gif

 

Sinfest!

 

You seem to have the most humorous response, even if it is not original with you. Congratulations. There is only one problem. As the whole Platonic tradition from Plato's Parmenides, through the abiding, procession and return of Plotinus' interpretation of Plato's thought, up the dialectical ladder of Proclus' commentary on Plato's Parmenides and down the propositional ladder of his Elements of Theology, the Platonists have conclusively demonstrated that the one is eminently, if tediously, effable.

 

To find something truly ineffable we need to dig deeper and find out what is really meant by ineffable. Obviously one meaning, the inability to simply utter the word, cannot be what is intended because one, syllablelistically speaking at least, is an example of itself, which is a complex and convoluted way of saying that it is just a dime a dozen one syllable word, not even a twenty-five cent four syllable one, and thus, it is eminently utterable. One, One, One, you just uttered in your mind, easy. Now try saying out loud, One, One, One, see easy too, no problemo.

 

You could even compose a love song, well I could, I don't know about you, to it, which could be full of easily uttered ones, including crypto-ones, such as "Oh sweet and wonderful, one (did you catch the crypto-one there?), my praise for you has only just begun...", full of nice rhymes too. Sing it, sing it out loud now right now, to your favorite hummable tune or piece of toe tapping music. A hymn of praise I tell you, to the oh so very effable one. There is more to the song by the way, but you have to come to my $10,000 a spot weekend retreat. Here's a teaser, "I say you're name out loud oh one of wonder, a blinding flash, the sound of thunder... oh sweet, sweet effable one."

 

So quid pro quo, oops, sorry, I got my Latin quotes which no one is supposed to know the meaning of anyway mixed up, so quod erat demonstrandum, simple utterance is not what ineffable means, but rather something more, like the opposite of the long drawn out account of the one which those tedious aforementioned Platonists provide, so that if something is a "no-account" then then maybe it is ineffable, because no account can be given of it. This I suspect is the original meaning of "there's no accounting for taste", seldom quoted in its original Latin these days because,well it would be pretentious and over the heads of most people reading this, but that has never stopped me, no siree, not ever, so here goes: de gustibus non est disputandum, which by the way rhymes with quod erat demonstrandum, Latin is so regular that way, no need of laxatives here, it may not scan though, at least not without a little work. I suspect that the real origin of this is not taste like, "wow, Lady Gag-ahs meat dress was in really poor taste", but rather more along the lines of "wow, this tastes awesome!" So here is an experiment for you, describe in twenty-five words or less the taste of a strawberry. Go ahead, it should be easy, after all this is a common everyday experience, no grand mystical attainments are needed here, but if you have never tasted a strawberry, how about a banana? By the way do you know what to do if someone comes at you with a banana? I sure don't, years of martial arts and the thought still FREAKS ME OUT.

 

Well here is one clue, strawberries or bananas for that matter, don't taste at all like chicken! That said, is there a problemo here? Even if you use words like it is sweet, or it is sour, that essence of strawberry which separates it from the sweetness of banana, or the essence of raspberry which separates it from the sourness of strawberry, is that a problemo? Si problemo, It's almost like those strange occult virtues about which I have written at some length elsewhere, which cannot be known by reason, but only by experiment. And what, heaven forfend, if you find someone who hasn't experienced sweet or sour, much less strawberries? Maybe the lack of an argument in taste is because there is no way to describe it in words, it must be experienced, the experience itself escapes a simple recap, an easy description, strawberries are all a bunch of no-accounts. Well I guess they don't come in bunches, bananas do, so bananas are a bunch of no-accounts and strawberries are ...a box of no-accounts! Well at least that's the way I buy them, in boxes.

 

So bananas, bacon, veal saltimboca, at least in so far as we are talking taste here, are no-accounts too, and just about everything else like that. Strange, it seems that all of these simple everyday things which no one pays any attention to are more of a problemo than meets the metaphysical eye. So something which cannot be easily accounted for, defined, or described, is this the sense of ineffable that we are looking for? Description is the beginning of definition and definition is the foundation of reasoning, the problem with the One and what makes it so effing effable is that it has so many logical entailments that if you are a verbose Greek speaking person more prone to splitting hairs than a bad bleach job, then it is easy to make the One very effable. It is in fact way more effable than readable. But those damned strawberries, well, there is no accounting for them, they are nondescripts of the worst sort.

 

Based on the above I propose that for clarity's sake we replace ineffable with something simple and well, English, like indescribable, because indescribable is a simple word which conveys the sense of ineffable that we are looking for, something that escapes easy description. With our simple equation of ineffable is indescribable, my, my, that sounds wrong since we have just shown that ineffable is describable. Oh well, what I am trying to say is that Vmarco was actually wondering if there was something really indescribable. Quick answer the taste of strawberries.

 

So this mystical stuff is supposed to be indescribable, but turns out to be really very describable, well at least if you read these old Greek dudes, but, if it is the indescribable that you want, why bother with mysticism and gurus, when indescribable things are all around us? Oh, but you still need to take my $10,000 weekend seminar, you want to hear my song don't you? I have a really great bass-baritone voice, I'll be singing it myself. By the way, the food is great!

 

All this talk of strawberries, bananas and other delicious things, well I don't really like bananas, but hey, there is no accounting for taste, has made me hungry. I want something ineffably delicious! Glory Hallelujah, I have seen the light! Almond Joy, here I come! Got milk?

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What's truly is ineffable has more then ten thousand names

It's nature nonexistence, existence is it's veil

It hides from us the truth but while hidden it has fame

Gets mocked and power take my uttering its name

Existence cannot break it, so side by side they stand

The veil and secret, all want to know God's name

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Glory Hallelujah, I have seen the light! Almond Joy, here I come! Got milk?

What a very entertaining post!!!!! Thanks. (You actually caused my brain juices to flow a bit. Hehehe.)

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We are not too far apart from agreement. You do use funny words later though. Hehehe.

 

dont look now but the wu is coming thru

and it just ran over a bunch of old greek dudes

Edited by zerostao

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"In the courtyard of a Buddhist monastery. The cynic Sage, nearly naked, was seated on the ground eating fish. As the meal went on, he put down the fish's backbones beside him. However, in order not to defile his cast purity, Naropa was on the point of passing by at some little distance from the eater, when a monk started to reproach Tilopa for parading his lack of compassion for the animals, that is, killing and eating the fish, in the very premises of a Buddhist Monastery; and ordered him to leave at once.

 

Tilopa did not even condescend to answer. He muttered some words, snapped his fingers and the fish bones were again covered with flesh. The fishes then moved as if living and swam away through the air as if it was water. No vestige remained of the cruel meal on the ground."

 

Hmnnn..

Describing Tilopa as one of the last masters and repeating a story about how he could eat a fish, then if someone makes him angry, snap his fingers and have it come alive and swim away(in the air). I am skeptical about these stories. I know they're repeated and give great credence to whatever religion they're based on, but dedicated hard core practitioners can't reproduce these miracles. The ones who've spent there lives in deep study and practice simply can't don't or won't display them when asked. It might be the stories are wrong and to draw your philosophy from them will lead to a dead end.

 

How many people here think they will get so powerful that they can eat a fish, snap there fingers and turn it into super fish? Plus Tilopa seems like a dope in the first place for eating the fish in a monastery that forbids it. Perhaps he could have magicked up some veggies to share and not been so grumpy. From the story he doesn't seem so much a 'master' as magical. And self mastery is hard, magic.. I don't know. I get the feeling 'magical' things can often be done mundanely far easier.

 

Real skills can be learned. Good philosophy makes your life better. Fantasies have you chase after illusion. Sometimes thats not bad, but there are real skills to pick up in this life, chasing the Siddhis, is not probably not the way, though if they come as a side effect, fine.

 

Personally I think there are many masters in the world. But, I don't see performing magic tricks as a litmus test. Compassion and self mastery are though.

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