thelerner

What Daoist religious practice might the philosphical daoist/cultivator benefit from?

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For people more knowledgeable then me.  Any religious Daoist practices that would benefit other cultivators?

 

I don't see others creating things like altars.  A major part of religious Daoism.  I should probably re-read Brock Silvers book "Manual of..Daism' (I forget the actual tittle).. which broke down many parts of the religion.  Including the practices done, before the practices inorder to get you into the proper state of mind/body/worthiness.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, thelerner said:

A major part of religious Daoism

is   chinese gods being real)

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I think the religious aspect is tied to the culture. For Chinese there wouldn't be a blur between the philosophy and religion. For westerners it doesn't come so easy. I would find it difficult to adopt Chinese gods, in much the same way as Shinto is in Japan and the gazillion of Hindu deities.

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I have small statues of Buddha, Lao tzu and Confucius. Not to pray to them, but as a reminder of the human (not supernatural) wisdom they brought to this world. One doesn't have to be religious to recognize the value of some spiritual accomplishments. Further I think that simple meditation (just sitting/mindfulness) is generally healthy.

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4 hours ago, thelerner said:

Any religious Daoist practices that would benefit other cultivators?

 

Not sure it’s religious as such but...

 

Yi Jing study.

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Actually I’d say Yi Jing study is a must if you really want to get into the mindset of Daoism.

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39 minutes ago, freeform said:

Actually I’d say Yi Jing study is a must if you really want to get into the mindset of Daoism.

 

That's true as regards religious Taoism and it's many superstitious practices. Neither Lao tzu nor Chuang tzu promotes studying the I Ching. It's perfectly possible to be a philosophical Taoist without studying or using the I Ching. And personally I don't even want to get into the mindset of religious Taoism. I have had enough of make-believe: western or eastern.

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12 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

 

That's true as regards religious Taoism and it's many superstitious practices. Neither Lao tzu nor Chuang tzu promotes studying the I Ching. It's perfectly possible to be a philosophical Taoist without studying or using the I Ching. And personally I don't even want to get into the mindset of religious Taoism. I have had enough of make-believe: western or eastern.

 

Actually I think you’d really like it.

 

it is the ‘mathematical’ underpinning of Daoism.

 

You don’t need to be doing divination or using it as an oracle.

 

Its a theoretical model of the ‘movement’ and changes around every moment.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@ freeform

 

It sure looked promising, and that's why I devoted quite some time to reading books about the system of the I Ching as some kind of model for the changes in the world. But when you look at what the model actually delivers in the sense of adding to our understanding of change, than nothing of any substance remains. The modern scientific approach by means of differential and/or difference equations or the applications for integral transforms and operator calculus for the description and understanding of processes of change is hugely superior. I think it's a pity that this is so, because it would have been very interesting when the I Ching did in fact present a worthy alternative to modern science in understanding change, but unhappily this doesn't appear to be so. 

 

Nevertheless as an oracle the I Ching could very well work, but not because of any supernatural or synchronistical underlying mechanism. 

 

But this discussion has already been had some time ago, and I don't like to repeat what has already been said.

 

Edited by wandelaar

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26 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

The modern scientific [...] understanding of processes of change is hugely superior.

 

30 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

I Ching [doesn’t] in fact present a worthy alternative to modern science in understanding change

 

Does science present a superior understanding of human behaviour than say Shakespeare?

 

Does science have a ‘truer’ understanding of emotions than music?

 

If so - why don’t we get rid of music and Shakespeare!?

 

This search of ultimate truth is a hangover from Aristotelian logic and Christianity and it’s colouring our perception without you realising it.

 

The Daoist view is that human kind can’t begin to fathom the full complexity of the ultimate truth... so there’s no point in trying to... but you can study its actions and you can certainly gain insight from it using tools such as your body, your consciousness and your intellect and the Yi Jing...

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A nice collection of red herrings....

 

If you have some actual examples of the usefulness of the I Ching in understanding processes of change then please post them here:

 

 

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4 hours ago, freeform said:

... Yi Jing study is a must if you really want to get into the mindset of Daoism.

 

I tend to agree with this statement. To me the Yijing is like the scientific arm of Daoism.  But, it is not an easy text to master. It requires a lot of study, reflection and discussion ... since it is through discussion that we test and confirm our understanding.

 

In my own experience, I had always had some misgivings about the common simple interpretation of Yang and Yin. That is, as being a simple dichotomy understood through common real world exmples like light/dark, heat/cold, masculine/feminine. Those example, while valid, seemed to me to be only qualitative. They seemed to lack explanation of the motivation for change. It was not until I went to the Yijing ... specifically investigation of Qian, Kun, Li and Kan both as trigrams and as hexagrams ... that I began to see Yang and Yin as being not only equally motivational of change but each dynamic in itself. My understanding of this is still developing. My point though is, here is an example of the Yijing being capable of providing valuable insight which, at least for me, which would not have been otherwise available. So, there is real value in the Yijing.

 

As for the Yi being a suitable model, I think the evidence is there in the examples of martial arts and medicine that systems can be based on the Yi.

 

In my mind it is not a question of whether or not one ... Yijing or modern science based model ... is superior but one of suitability of one method over the other for a particular application.

 

These considerations will be the subject of perennial discussions ongoing, as they should be.

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, OldDog said:

In my mind it is not a question of whether or not one ... Yijing or modern science based model ... is superior but one of suitability of one method over the other for a particular application.

 

Well said.

 

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If the I Ching forms a general model for all processes of change (as it claims to do), than it should be possible to apply it to the understanding of all processes of change. But notwithstanding all the discussion here on The Dao Bums about the supposed extra insight provided by the I Ching into the processes of change we meet in the world, until now not one concrete example of any substance has been provided to actually demonstrate how our understanding of some particular process of change can be improved on the basis of the system of the I Ching.

 

Take Martial Arts for instance: why not show by an example how the system of the I Ching can be used to suggest some appropriate ways of defending oneself in some situation of emergency?

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I’m still even trying to actually make sense of the trigrams themselves. Organizationally i mean, it is a tough nut to approach.

 

OnT:

I’d say religious practices and the strictly philosophical practices that many seem to want are if not overlapping then intermingling to the point that one practice could be of either camp or belong truly in both.

I’ve strayed from philosophical approach long since, i found it hindered me from further understanding by perpetuating a dichotomy that might seem valid but that the closer you get to specific practices and more general developments of realization and understanding seems contraddictory if not completely fabricated. You can extract the juice from a lemon, but Daoism is not a lemon i’m a fraid.

 

2 cents.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

If the I Ching forms a general model for all processes of change (as it claims to do), than it should be possible to apply it to the understanding of all processes of change. But notwithstanding all the discussion here on The Dao Bums about the supposed extra insight provided by the I Ching into the processes of change we meet in the world, until now not one concrete example of any substance has been provided to actually demonstrate how our understanding of some particular process of change can be improved on the basis of the system of the I Ching.

 

Take Martial Arts for instance: why not show by an example how the system of the I Ching can be used to suggest some appropriate ways of defending oneself in some situation of emergency?

 

I think that the I ching system isn’t organized to be readily analyzed with a strict sequence of causality. I read an article once from a philosophy and mathematics scholar who had come to rest that I ching could be approached as a chaos-generator. That change (iirc of the aberrant kind that the I ching treats) is described within a certain area but the specific position at a certain time isn’t predictable.

Now my chaos theory and mathematics understanding is limited by lack of deep study and possibly capacity to understand its intricacies, but as far as observing trigrams and hexagrams and the various sequences they appear in they seem to not be so very linear in how they relate... idk, they sort of ,ake sense but not much. Changey wangy wibbly wobbly.

 

There’s a thread about an approachable description of the 5 Phases in the Daoist forum where user Desmondf did an interesting breakdown meaning the trigrams describe patterns of mental activity. Blew my mind if no one elses at least.

Edited by Rocky Lionmouth

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22 hours ago, thelerner said:

For people more knowledgeable then me.  Any religious Daoist practices that would benefit other cultivators?

 

I don't see others creating things like altars.  A major part of religious Daoism.  I should probably re-read Brock Silvers book "Manual of..Daism' (I forget the actual tittle).. which broke down many parts of the religion.  Including the practices done, before the practices inorder to get you into the proper state of mind/body/worthiness.

 

 

 

There really is no difference between a belief in the Dao and Immortals and an understanding of the Dao De Jing; they are intimately entwined.

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38 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

not one concrete example of any substance has been provided to actually demonstrate how our understanding of some particular process of change can be improved on the basis of the system of the I Ching

 

It would take at least an hour for me to write that up...

 

If there are a number of people really interested then I’ll make the effort.

 

But I’m not interested in doing that just to change your mind about it. :)

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As for the Yi Jing I hear that you should use yarrow stalks instead of coins, but I'm not sure why, is it important?

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29 minutes ago, Miffymog said:

... is it important?

 

That opens ... or should I say reopens ... a whole line of discussion. In the end I think it is safe to say it is a matter of personal choice. 

 

There are a number of methods besides using the stalks. One can examine the mathematics of outcomes ... and that has been done in excruciating detail on this forum. The one thing we could all agree on is that the different methods produce different distributions ... possibilities ... of outcomes.

 

Adherehents to the stalks method argue tradition and a better sense of connection to the Yi. But most agree that the important part lies in the interpretation of the outcome.

 

So for practical purposes. No, it is not important.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, freeform said:

Actually I’d say Yi Jing study is a must if you really want to get into the mindset of Daoism.

 

Is it possible to study and really understand the Yi Jing without a teacher?

 

5 hours ago, freeform said:

 

It would take at least an hour for me to write that up...

 

If there are a number of people really interested then I’ll make the effort.

 

 

Yes, please.

Edited by KuroShiro
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6 hours ago, freeform said:

 

If there are a number of people really interested then I’ll make the effort.

 

Most grateful if you would!

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6 hours ago, wandelaar said:

And so it goes...

 

Oh come on Wan, is it Frustratio Daobummeus Vulgaris or are we driving you up the walls again.

If nothing else i got your back, don’t dispair.

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