rene

Standing in two worlds

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In a post in this thread Jeff describes the blended perspective,  

 

Quote

 

While I would agree that the differentiation is in polarity (transmission-reception), it is really more than that.  The Tao Te Ching describes it like this, from chapter 28...

 

...

Being the stream of the universe, 

Ever true and unswerving, 

Become as a little child once more. 

Know the white, 

But keep the black! 

Be an example to the world! 

Being an example to the world, 

Ever true and unwavering, 

Return to the infinite.

...

 

The differentiation that is being describes is that after you are the "stream of the universe" (light level), you need to relearn (become a child once more), and "know the white" (differentiated stuff), while you "keep the black" (always know the truth). What we are talking about is a state of being, and that being expands to all. More like you can feel your finger tips, but know you are the entire body.

 

(my bolding)

 

The unboundaried nature of Tao means that the source is present in all things at all times, and can be perceived easily, everywhere, all the time!

 

Along with the DDJ, other traditions' sayings also point to this 'Both, same time' perspective:

 

One of them is:

Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water.

After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.

 

First take might be: If nothing changes, why bother chasing enlightenment?

 

There's more to it though...and my favorite saying is:

 

First there are mountains

Then there are no mountains

Then there are mountains again

 

First there are mountains: Life is lived on the base level, coming and going, interacting with the manifest.

Then there are no mountains: The unboundaried nature is realized, the idea of separateness falls away.

Then there are mountains again: Life is again lived on the base level, coming and going, interacting with the manifest - but with the new blended perspective, the view of the numinous comes down the mountain with us.

 

The joys and sorrows that life brings are mitigated, balanced, and life is lived fully; not while stuck only at the base level, or stuck up on the mountain with a misguided rejection of half of the whole, but fully - without the need to turn our back on one world or the other. We dwell in Both. Same time.

 

All thoughts welcome. (-:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Along with many “Thank You’s” the response was…………silence.  It seems that many of us who relate to Daoism love silence; or at least shy away from extensive analysis. I personally like both -  which is exactly what this topic is about.

 

“Standing in two worlds” as you've described it is, in part, what Scott Bradley in his excellent commentary on the Zhuangzi calls "walking two roads". But the totality of his usage is far too nuanced for me to summarise. Hence I highly recommend his book All is Well in the Great Mess.  (It’s available at minimal cost as a digital download.)  

 

Here’s a very small sample from his book.......

 

In a nutshell, walking two roads suggests that we can simultaneously participate in two points of view, the view from Dao, a ‘higher’, more transcendent perspective, and the view from humanity, a more circumspect perspective. The view from Dao is to “understand the piping of Heaven”; the view from humanity is to “understand the piping of earth and man” [ZZ chpt 2]. One does not supersede the other, but since the view from Dao is not our default perspective and is remedial, it becomes necessary to prioritize it so as to allow it to inform our ‘normal’ everyday perspective. Contrasting examples of these two points of view are: the amorality of Nature versus the morality of humanity; the ‘all is well’ of the Whole versus the dysfunction of humanity; the indifference of Nature versus the caring of humanity; the goodness of death versus the desire to live; the happiness that depends on nothing versus the happiness that depends on circumstances. In each case, the human is affirmed while opened-up into the freedom of the all-affirming Totality.

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Yueya, hi and thanks for the reply! And thanks for the pointer to Bradley's book. (-:

 

The passage you shared well describes a blended perspective; it's a gift to find writings that do at all, let alone nicely (if the excerpt is any indicator).

 

The only part that is a bit different for me is:

 

 

2 hours ago, Yueya said:

One does not supersede the other, but since the view from Dao is not our default perspective and is remedial, it becomes necessary to prioritize it so  as to allow it to inform our ‘normal’ everyday perspective.

(my bold)

 

To me, it seems both are always present, with whichever is most needed at the fore; with the other still there, unboundaried, in full support. Sorry, that was unclear. What I mean to say is: No active prioritizing seems necessary.

 

All is Well in the Great Mess - is now on my winter's read list. Thanks again!

 

warm greetings

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, rene said:

To me, it seems both are always present, with whichever is most needed at the fore; with the other still there, unboundaried, in full support. Sorry, that was unclear. What I mean to say is: No active prioritizing seems necessary.

 

It seems to me yours is just a slightly different perspective on the same thing. In this particular passage Scott talks about prioritizing because he says, "the view from Dao is not our default perspective."  Hence we need to remedy our normal conscious human-centred (anthropocentric) perspective by cultivating connection with Dao.  (He expands his meaning greatly in the book.) 

 

We all have our favourite conceptualizations. For me, this "walking two roads" perspective resonates with Jung's ego / self theory that I recently referenced in my Zhenren thread. Ego, as defined by Jung as our centre of conscious, is our human-centred perspective; 'self' (as Jung defines it), is, using Daoist conceptualization, the view from Dao.  

 

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But it is my opinion that life sometimes throws shit at us such that we need to have both feet on one side or the other.  I think tha t flexibility is very important here.

 

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"Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see, one chance out between two worlds, fire walk with me"

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9 hours ago, Yueya said:

 

It seems to me yours is just a slightly different perspective on the same thing. In this particular passage Scott talks about prioritizing because he says, "the view from Dao is not our default perspective."  Hence we need to remedy our normal conscious human-centred (anthropocentric) perspective by cultivating connection with Dao.  (He expands his meaning greatly in the book.) 

 

You're right, it is different, indeed! It might be that the 'view from Dao' actually is our default perspective (at birth, the 'can you be like a newborn babe'). This bell does not un-ring. It can be muffled though, until maybe unheard, or drowned-out, by the anthropocentric perspective...but it's still there, in full resonance. Likely the cultivation Scott refers to is unmuffling, No objections there, for those still at the base of the mountain - but once the unboundaried is perceived... none needed. imo. (-: I look forward to reading his book, to see what he really thinks!

 

Quote

 

We all have our favourite conceptualizations. For me, this "walking two roads" perspective resonates with Jung's ego / self theory that I recently referenced in my Zhenren thread. Ego, as defined by Jung as our centre of conscious, is our human-centred perspective; 'self' (as Jung defines it), is, using Daoist conceptualization, the view from Dao.  

 

 

I need to go read/re-read your thread!

 

There might be just semantic issues going on here... highlighted by Marblehead's post below. Wish we could just ring bells at each other, leaving words behind. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Marblehead said:

But it is my opinion that life sometimes throws shit at us such that we need to have both feet on one side or the other.  I think tha t flexibility is very important here.

 

 

Thanks for this post,Marblehead; it shows the wrong impressions that can be created by not choosing better words!

 

These 'roads' are not side by side, like train rails running down a track. Better to consider them as being on top of each other, like a surface we walk on (manifest) on top of a foundational base layer (Dao). You are very right that straddling them, if that was how it was set up, would very often not be useful. Life is always throwing shit at us, lolol, and dealing with whatever comes is made a helluva lot easier with both roads under our feet at the same time.

 

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Yueya, I re-read your thread, yes! This post of Steve's stands out & fits here nicely, too.

 

 

On 9/2/2017 at 8:18 AM, steve said:

 

Thank you for sharing that perspective.

I think it is very valuable and true.

 

Taking it a step further:

Once meditation begins in earnest, it is extended beyond the cushion and brought into the whole of life.

At that point, the limits we previously determined through living can be revisited and, perhaps, transcended?

Even on the path of meditation, that same advice to engage in life in all its richness and explore limits is equally valid, perhaps more.

The difference being that there is a broader perspective, perhaps a bit more wisdom and compassion - one foot in the game and one firmly rooted deeper. 

 

Thanks for those words, Steve. Sometimes words do work. Yay!

 

warmest regards

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On 10/11/2017 at 8:50 AM, rene said:

In a post in this thread Jeff describes the blended perspective,  

 

(my bolding)

 

The unboundaried nature of Tao means that the source is present in all things at all times, and can be perceived easily, everywhere, all the time!

 

Along with the DDJ, other traditions' sayings also point to this 'Both, same time' perspective:

 

One of them is:

Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water.

After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.

 

First take might be: If nothing changes, why bother chasing enlightenment?

 

There's more to it though...and my favorite saying is:

 

First there are mountains

Then there are no mountains

Then there are mountains again

 

First there are mountains: Life is lived on the base level, coming and going, interacting with the manifest.

Then there are no mountains: The unboundaried nature is realized, the idea of separateness falls away.

Then there are mountains again: Life is again lived on the base level, coming and going, interacting with the manifest - but with the new blended perspective, the view of the numinous comes down the mountain with us.

 

The joys and sorrows that life brings are mitigated, balanced, and life is lived fully; not while stuck only at the base level, or stuck up on the mountain with a misguided rejection of half of the whole, but fully - without the need to turn our back on one world or the other. We dwell in Both. Same time.

 

All thoughts welcome. (-:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neither is to be rejected. The sun shines, the light spreads far beyond. The sun cannot deny it's radiance any more than it's "being". The radiance is part of the being and light and heat are it's manifestations. Similarly with Dao.

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