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Posted (edited)

I’m about ready to throw in the towel on the Tao.  When I first came here (Dao Bums) I said I was looking for a purer form of the Tao.  Something free of Buddhist teachings about Karma, Dharma, reincarnations, Suffering and the eight fold path.  I also asked if someone could tell me what a Tao Sage was and if there were any still around that I could meet.  Now I walked into this conversation knowing full well that I would encounter people trying to be clever, and others being true believers of their interpretation of the Tao trying to convince me that their way was THE way.  But what I did not expect to find was nothing.  There doesn’t seem to be any serious cannon beside the 81 verses.  I find parts of the verses helpful, but they kind of echo ideas that I have already come across.  I suppose my experience would be much more meaningful had I found a mentor.  Forget a Sage, just a knowledgeable person.

Recently I purchased a book call “Taoist Meditation” translated by Thomas Cleary and was disappointed at what I read.

Example:

Human life is the ultimate; when the ultimate goes into action it produces positive energy as fire.  Fire is spirit.  When the ultimate becomes quiescent it produces negative energy as water.  Water is vitality.  The fire of spirit and the water of vitality combine subtly and congeal between the two kidneys to constitute the root of original energy.

You would have to search far and wide to find a bigger load of horse-pucky than that.

 

That Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland CA, “there is no there there”, sums up my current experience with the Tao.  but just maybe that is the point of the Tao.

Edited by Stewart
Changed OaklandCA to Oakland CA

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Posted (edited)

Gain..Loss

Disappointment.. Satisfaction

The Tao takes these in stride and

does not get so attached to them.

 

also we tend to be more bum then Taoist sage here. 

Edited by thelerner
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Posted (edited)

In your hunt whether it be here or elsewhere, I figure it would be helpful to look for a source who speaks your language, since its true , this place has a wide variety.  Its eclectic, I like that, but not everyone will. 

No one here was of the brand you could get behind , but who Is that? I dunno. 

I do know that the opinion prevails here , that this really isn't the venue in which a serious master is wishing to be serious , and even then, they will be reluctant to broadcast what they have to say.

I hope you find this leadership you want to find ,and keep a kind thought for those of us whom did not meet expectation. 

But I would add that there are some who are connected or aware of groups that might be interesting to you if you privately post them. 

 

Edited by Stosh
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Failure is an excellent teacher. Whether on this forum or in life you will meet disappointment, but that does not mean you cannot learn from it. I suggest you exercise patience in this matter.

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32 minutes ago, Stewart said:

There doesn’t seem to be any serious cannon beside the 81 verses.

 

Why not add Chuang tse and Lieh tse? Philosophical Taoism becomes much easier to understand if you study all three.

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Your name is stew Art

So you know to prepare

Irish stew?

 

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Well Stewart, I have been here all along.  Some threads I read, some I don't.  Of those I read I often make comment to but not always.

 

Disappointments occur when we have unrealistic expectations.  That's a fact.

 

I have always recommended reading a few translations of the Tao Te Ching, read at least one translation of the Chuang Tzu, then go back and re-read those translations of the Tao Te Ching that we previously read.

 

I won't disagree with you regarding what you said about Thomas Cleary.  All too often we want to complicate simplicity when we see it.

 

I am not a Taoist Sage but I did mention to you that I would discuss Philosophical Taoism with you any time.  I am online often.  I don't miss many threads I could speak to.

 

It might be that you are looking for something that simply doesn't exist.  Or if it exists, you have missed it because you really didn't know what you were looking for.

 

Perhaps you first need to empty your cup?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Stewart said:

I’m about ready to throw in the towel on the Tao.  When I first came here (Dao Bums) I said I was looking for a purer form of the Tao.  Something free of Buddhist teachings about Karma, Dharma, reincarnations, Suffering and the eight fold path.  I also asked if someone could tell me what a Tao Sage was and if there were any still around that I could meet.  Now I walked into this conversation knowing full well that I would encounter people trying to be clever, and others being true believers of their interpretation of the Tao trying to convince me that their way was THE way.  But what I did not expect to find was nothing.  There doesn’t seem to be any serious cannon beside the 81 verses.  I find parts of the verses helpful, but they kind of echo ideas that I have already come across.  I suppose my experience would be much more meaningful had I found a mentor.  Forget a Sage, just a knowledgeable person.

Recently I purchased a book call “Taoist Meditation” translated by Thomas Cleary and was disappointed at what I read.

Example:

Human life is the ultimate; when the ultimate goes into action it produces positive energy as fire.  Fire is spirit.  When the ultimate becomes quiescent it produces negative energy as water.  Water is vitality.  The fire of spirit and the water of vitality combine subtly and congeal between the two kidneys to constitute the root of original energy.

You would have to search far and wide to find a bigger load of horse-pucky than that.

 

That Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland CA, “there is no there there”, sums up my current experience with the Tao.  but just maybe that is the point of the Tao.

 

"I’m about ready to throw in the towel on the Tao."

 

"You would have to search far and wide to find a bigger load of horse-pucky than that."

 

"But what I did not expect to find was nothing."

 

 

I understand your frustration very well, it sounds to me like you have become disillusioned with fake practices, and that you want something that is actually real. I think most reasonable people investigate spiritual teachers, practices, and beliefs and find nothing but a bunch of delusional hippies. (Please note this comment is not aimed at any member of this community, just at the spiritual community in general.)  Look as far as you like in all directions and it is just more of this same nonsense everywhere.  All of this is just spiritual role-play done to keep people entertained.

 

There are a few real practices out there, they just aren't tolerated very well in communities like this one for whatever reason. This practice has proven to be legitimate, not based on faith but rather objective evidence with scientists and medical doctors present to rule out fraud. This practice can be verified by your own first-hand observation, no faith in anyone or anything is required.

 

 

Edited by Ilovecoffee

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18 hours ago, Stewart said:

 

You would have to search far and wide to find a bigger load of horse-pucky than that.

Sorry, but that is not true. 😁 

Open up any of the traditional Nei Dan books, and you can have your fill. 

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7 minutes ago, Mudfoot said:

Sorry, but that is not true. 😁 

Open up any of the traditional Nei Dan books, and you can have your fill. 

I was expecting at least one disagreement from our membership.  That is part of internal alchemy, after all.

 

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This morning on my walk, I am drawn to watch the water... flowing down the gutter.

 

The sprinklers were on up the hill, predawn, to feed the flowers and the lawn and the trees.

 

The water flows past them nourishing... without intent, care, or worry.  Without malice or thought... without skill, or intent, it generates force enough to carry things along with it.

 

It flows in the lowest channel available and carries dead leaves.. bits of discarded food and food wrappers from our neighbors who litter... it carries a dog turd on this morning, with no mourning.  

 

It flows to the sewer where it saturates these with the mould and the muck and carries them all, without love, malice, intent or skill to the ocean.

 

tao is here...  this saturated turd slowly scudding along leaving skid marks on the gutter.

 

no malice, no intent...

 

just tao.

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19 hours ago, Stewart said:

I’m about ready to throw in the towel on the Tao.  When I first came here (Dao Bums) I said I was looking for a purer form of the Tao.  Something free of Buddhist teachings about Karma, Dharma, reincarnations, Suffering and the eight fold path.  I also asked if someone could tell me what a Tao Sage was and if there were any still around that I could meet.  Now I walked into this conversation knowing full well that I would encounter people trying to be clever, and others being true believers of their interpretation of the Tao trying to convince me that their way was THE way.  But what I did not expect to find was nothing.  There doesn’t seem to be any serious cannon beside the 81 verses.  I find parts of the verses helpful, but they kind of echo ideas that I have already come across.  I suppose my experience would be much more meaningful had I found a mentor.  Forget a Sage, just a knowledgeable person.

Recently I purchased a book call “Taoist Meditation” translated by Thomas Cleary and was disappointed at what I read.

Example:

Human life is the ultimate; when the ultimate goes into action it produces positive energy as fire.  Fire is spirit.  When the ultimate becomes quiescent it produces negative energy as water.  Water is vitality.  The fire of spirit and the water of vitality combine subtly and congeal between the two kidneys to constitute the root of original energy.

You would have to search far and wide to find a bigger load of horse-pucky than that.

 

That Gertrude Stein quote about Oakland CA, “there is no there there”, sums up my current experience with the Tao.  but just maybe that is the point of the Tao.

 

 

Oh Dear!! If you can say that you completely understand at least one verse of the DDJ then you are doing well. If you cannot then you lack patience. Of course your understanding and mine may be completely different, depending on our perspectives and experience. But as Lao Tzu says whatever you name the Dao as being is not the constant Dao. This is the Dao's great beauty, so not to know it is really just as valued as trying to find it for the rest of your life. But it can be found and understood.

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20 hours ago, Stewart said:

 I also asked if someone could tell me what a Tao Sage was and if there were any still around that I could meet.

 

How would you recognize a Tao Sage if you met one? Would he have a business card? Would he wear a name tag?

 

In my study of I-Ching, the Sage is an ideal that we are encouraged to cultivate within ourselves. Being ideal, it is always out of reach. Thus we are encouraged to continually grow lest we grow complacent. 

 

You might want to consult the I-Ching. It may help you. There are online resources if you don't have a copy to consult, or you can post your question in the I-Ching sub channel and I will be happy to help you.

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In the Book The Taoist Manual, the writer (Brock Silvers) makes it clear that the DDJ is one amongst 100's of books that a Taoist would study.  It just happens to be the most notable one in the West.  I could look up some of the ones he suggests as the most important, but probably that bird has flown. 

 

When you want to get hardcore into a subject that isn't widespread, you have to be ready to do some travel.  At least to a Taoist Monastery, which may be cross country or around the world if you want to get serious.  Same with many esoteric arts, you want to get deep, don't expect it handed to you over the internet. 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Lost in Translation said:

 

How would you recognize a Tao Sage if you met one? Would he have a business card? Would he wear a name tag?

 

In my study of I-Ching, the Sage is an ideal that we are encouraged to cultivate within ourselves. Being ideal, it is always out of reach. Thus we are encouraged to continually grow lest we grow complacent. 

 

You might want to consult the I-Ching. It may help you. There are online resources if you don't have a copy to consult, or you can post your question in the I-Ching sub channel and I will be happy to help you.

 

How would you recognize a Tao Sage if you met one?

 

Most people claim that being an enlightened spiritual "master" means you have achieved some psychological state of inner peace and tranquility. These people think that a truly physical, tangible, energetic transformation into something beyond human is just fantasy. To me "enlightenment" is a physiological and not psychological transformation. I contend that you could recognize such a "Sage" by them demonstrating abilities before scientists and medical doctors to rule out fraud.

Edited by Ilovecoffee

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Posted (edited)

There  are also ordinary people in the West who manifest aspects of the Taoist sage in daily life without themselves being aware of it (or without even having heard of Taoism). A large part of being a Taoist sage consists of:

 

1. Having a clear picture of the world as it is, and being realistic about what can and cannot be done.

2. Knowing what does and what doesn't contribute to a life well lived.

3. Accepting the impermanence of individual things while they come and go.

4. Being able to live according to such an understanding of the world.

5. Not forcing things.

 

This is basically plain common sense, and one should be able to train oneself in more of less following that road. This mainly consists in clearing away egocentric illusions and in learning healthy and realistic habits. How much work you will have to do depends on the type of person you are.

Edited by wandelaar
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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Ilovecoffee said:

To me "enlightenment" is a physiological and not psychological transformation. I contend that you could recognize such a "Sage" by them demonstrating abilities before scientists and medical doctors to rule out fraud.

 

There is a misunderstanding here. Demonstrating abilities before scientists and medical doctors doesn't rule out fraud. Stage magicians and illusionists can fool even scientists and medical doctors, so to get a scientific proof the demonstration has to take place in controlled circumstances and there have to be professional stage magicians and illusionists present to see whether no conjuring or illusionist tricks are performed.    

Edited by wandelaar
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40 minutes ago, Ilovecoffee said:

Most people claim that being an enlightened spiritual "master" means you have achieved some psychological state of inner peace and tranquility. These people think that a truly physical, tangible, energetic transformation into something beyond human is just fantasy. To me "enlightenment" is a physiological and not psychological transformation. I contend that you could recognize such a "Sage" by them demonstrating abilities before scientists and medical doctors to rule out fraud.

 

This may be true. It may not be true. I don't know.

 

I do know that "ordinary" people have done extraordinary things. For example, a teen girl lifting a car off her father to save his life (1)

 

Quote

"I just did what I had to do, so I don't feel like a big hero or anything," Charlotte Heffelmire said.

 

We all spend much of our time in frivolous pursuits. We worry about this, we stress over that. Perhaps a Sage is simply someone who has learned to consciously and conscientiously do what "needs to be done", nothing more, and nothing less?

 

1). https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/humankind/2016/01/12/teen-girl-uses-crazy-strength-lift-burning-car-off-dad/78675898/

 

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I don't know whether paranormal phenomena exist, but I just wanted to point out that ruling out fraud is more easily said than done. ;)

 

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2 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

 

There is a misunderstanding here. Demonstrating abilities before scientists and medical doctors doesn't rule out fraud. Stage magicians and illusionists can fool even scientists and medical doctors, so to get a scientific proof the demonstration has to take place in controlled circumstances and there have to be professional stage magicians and illusionists present to see whether no conjuring and illusionist tricks are performed.    

 

In the video above the researchers included: the head of the Mind Science Foundation, a Ph.D. in neuroscience, and a medical doctor. They stripped the subject to his shirt and underwear and used a metal detector to check his body for metal. They received an indoor demo, then went outside for a second demo. They assumed some device on the property was causing the effect, so took the subject to a random location for a third demo.


Could they have missed a device inside his body that was non-metallic?  
YES, that could be what happened, but this is about as good as you can expect to get, short x-raying the subject for devices. 

 

P.S. Gregory V. Simpson, Ph.D.  is a neuroscientist, formerly the Director of the Dynamic Neuroimaging Laboratory at UCSF, Co-Director, Dynamic Brain Activity Imaging Laboratory at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a Senior Scientist at the Brain Plasticity Institute.

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@ Ilovecoffee


I don't say the video is worthless, it is as good as it gets when you want to keep the experiment simple. But it doesn't rule out fraud. Besides, with modern equipment it would be possible to measure where and how the electric charges and field build up. And you could have professional stage magicians and illusionists present to watch out for tricks. That would make fraud much more difficult, and in case no fraud was found would also learn us more about the phenomenon itself.

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37 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

I don't know whether paranormal phenomena exist, but I just wanted to point out that ruling out fraud is more easily said than done. ;)

 

 

"I don't know whether paranormal phenomena exist"

 

Ball lightning used to be considered a paranormal phenomenon, but once documented and proven we realized it was always natural.   In the 1600s if you used radio waves to have a conversation with someone miles away they would have considered it witchcraft. There is only our natural universe, nothing more.  If it exists it must be natural, no matter how bizarre it appears to be.

 

"ruling out fraud is more easily said than done. ;)"

 

You could fly a flat earth theorist to the edge of space, and go around the earth multiple times.  The flat earth theorist could still deny the proof they have seen first hand as a hoax.  They could argue the plane's windows were LCD panels and what they saw was purely a deception. We can only do the best we can.  It is impossible to prove anything to anyone unwilling to accept the proof.

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6 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

@ Ilovecoffee


I don't say the video is worthless, it is as good as it gets when you want to keep the experiment simple. But it doesn't rule out fraud. Besides, with modern equipment it would be possible to measure where and how the electric charges and field build up. And you could have professional stage magicians and illusionists present to watch out for tricks. That would make fraud much more difficult, and in case no fraud was found would also learn us more about the phenomenon itself.

 

"But it doesn't rule out fraud."

 

Ultimately anyone can argue that any evidence is faked and refuse to accept it.   We can only do the best we can do.  What you saw was as good as it gets without x-raying the subject.

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The greatest weakness I find on Dao Bums is that most of us know too much.

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Posted (edited)

@ Ilovecoffee

 

If you go to a magic show where all kind of impossible things seem to happen, you don't believe they actually happen. But why not? Do you know what tricks are used? Probably not. Still you don't believe the things that seem to happen are actually happening. Now the only difference with a paranormal experiment that doesn't rule out fraud is that in case of the magic show no claim is made that the phenomena are real, but in case of your paranormal experiment that doesn't rule out fraud the phenomenon is claimed to be real (that is: not produced by means of tricks). And now you do believe the phenomenon to be real. But why? Because you now know that probably no tricks were used? No - that's not the case: the precautions were such that tricks were still possible. The reason can only be that you already believe the phenomenon in the video could just as well be real and that precautions against fraud thus don't need to be that stringent.

 

But I have delved deep into parapsychology and had many discussions, so I know they usually don't lead anywhere. I have made my point, and I will leave it at that. 

Edited by wandelaar

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