Recommended Posts

@silent thunder

 

You seem to be spinning a convoluted story out of a need to explain good and bad in less anthropocentric terms.

 

6 hours ago, silent thunder said:

What is beneficial to us is considered merit filled.  But this is not applicable cross species. 

 

Patently false. Selflessness and altruism exist universally. Just recall all those stories about mother dogs letting kittens to suckle and so forth.

 

6 hours ago, silent thunder said:

If you don't agree, then you are not seeing undistorted reality and it is then my obligation to correct this in you.

To let it go would be lacking in merit.

 

Well, isn't it fabulous that at least one Bum has truly realized the Dao and knows certainly what is the undistorted reality?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ReturnDragon said:


I though I had a strange feeling about you.  

 

Ad HominemAd VerecundiamAd Ridiculum: three fallacies in one assumption about him being a westerner. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, virtue said:
7 hours ago, silent thunder said:

If you don't agree, then you are not seeing undistorted reality and it is then my obligation to correct this in you.

To let it go would be lacking in merit.

 

Well, isn't it fabulous that at least one Bum has truly realized the Dao and knows certainly what is the undistorted reality?

 

In your partial quote, you either misrepresent what I was saying 180 degrees, or didn't understand this statement I made exemplifying the perspective of one imbedded in Naive Realism... not my perspective.  To atribute it to me, is to misread, or misrepresent what i wrote.

 

what was said was. 

Quote

It's usually a derivative as well, of Naive Realism.  Assuming one has the perspective to see reality in total and without any distortions, makes one the innate Arbiter.  What I see is reality as it is...

 

If you don't agree, then you are not seeing undistorted reality and it is then my obligation to correct this in you.

To let it go would be lacking in merit.

 

That is subjective assumption, projective and naive realism in action, in my experience.

 

Well, isn't it fabulous that at least one Bum has truly realized the Dao and knows certainly what is the undistorted reality? explained his take on Naive Realism.

 

fixed it for clarity.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going back to the topic of morality, isn't morality the primary approach of Confucian Qigong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, ReturnDragon said:

Hi, Rara
What made you to think so?
 

 

Because that's how it translates in Tao Te Ching.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the late reply, but I had a vacation and forgot about this.

 

On 4/10/2020 at 5:06 AM, silent thunder said:

In your partial quote, you either misrepresent what I was saying 180 degrees, or didn't understand this statement I made exemplifying the perspective of one imbedded in Naive Realism... not my perspective.  To atribute it to me, is to misread, or misrepresent what i wrote.

 

The tone of your short paragraph felt too unhappy and self-conscious so I deemed it important to make a bit of fun out of it if it would help lighten the mood. Apparently not.

 

I didn't follow the intellectual arguments you wrote concerning realism and such because I am not interested in that conversation.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, virtue said:

Sorry for the late reply, but I had a vacation and forgot about this.

 

 

The tone of your short paragraph felt too unhappy and self-conscious so I deemed it important to make a bit of fun out of it if it would help lighten the mood. Apparently not.

 

I didn't follow the intellectual arguments you wrote concerning realism and such because I am not interested in that conversation.

All is well.

 

I'd have to reread the thread to know what is up, but have no interest either.

 

Peace.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I, for one, thought it was an interesting discussion.

 

But just any discussion that really matters - it raises strong responses and difficult questions.

 

I don't think there are easy answers here.

 

Coming from a largely Quanzhen-based background - which absorbed aspects of Buddhism and Confucianism, I've been instructed in ethics and ethical behaviour.

 

Now whether this is a flavour of the Quanzhen line or just my teachers' particular approach - I don't really know. But ethics from my teachers' perspective is not to do with good and bad - it's far more 'mechanistic' and pragmatic than that. It follows the law of cause and effect...

 

Act a certain way for long enough and it will create a certain quality in your body/mind/nature.

 

We follow specific ethical constraints not because they're 'good' - but because they create the correct conditions for growth in a certain direction.

 

We don't pull out weeds because weeds are bad... we pull them out to allow the slightly weaker, but more bountiful and beneficial (for our aims) plants to grow.

 

It's a very pragmatic and utilitarian use of the Acquired Mind.

 

Because of certain misinterpretations of the classics, many people think of Daoism as a 'natural' approach. The natural approach would surely let the weeds grow, because if nature decided that this is the best thing to grow in that space and in that time - then that is 'objectively good'.

 

But Daoism anything but natural.

 

The natural course of things is to grow old and die. To create an ever more rigid Acquired Self. To develop an ever more frail body and dull mind.

 

I have had a teacher who was very much anti morals and anti ethics... The idea was that any constraint on natural expression can only ever be 'bad'... and good can only ever come from the De - the virtue that originates from the 'pre-acquired mind'... But then again many of his students got into drugs, alcohol, fights etc - until they stopped practice altogether.

 

As I see it - we all have an Acquired Mind - it has its own wants desires, values, and beliefs - these are born in reaction to various causes in life.

 

This is the problematic sort of morality.

 

The ideal situation for a cultivator is to work through layers and layers of the acquired mind until it falls away and True Virtue arises. True Virtue isn't born of 'a reaction to'. It's pure, spontaneous action that's completely untarnished by our Acquired Mind and comes directly from the source of who we are - our Original Spirit.

 

Acquired -> True Virtue

 

The Quanzhen approach agrees with this - but sees it as too great a leap. It's almost impossible. It means that a cultivator is completely free to do as they (or their base nature) want - and act on any whim and desire of the Acquired Mind. Until one day, they transform into a true Saint.

 

This may be achievable for some.

 

It may be possible in certain environments - where the 'purity' of one's day to day life naturally shapes their Acquired Mind in a conducive direction.

 

But for the majority of us there needs to be an extra step:

 

Acquired -> Cultivated -> True Virtue

 

This Cultivation step is where we take on the precepts and ethical guidance of the system or tradition we're following. This is the original 'self' development... where you develop the acquired self in a certain direction. This is where we shape our self towards virtuous characteristics - like patience, bravery, integrity, kindness, humility... But this is not the end - these are just training wheels until True Virtue spontaneously arises - and then all machinations can be dropped.

 

If you live in a pristine environment then maybe you don't need self-development, ethics, and instruction on correct conduct... But if you live in our society - where we (advertisers, politicians etc) learned to expertly pull at the stimulus-response strings that control and condition our behaviours... Then I believe we do need some ethical and moral guidance.

Edited by freeform
  • Like 8
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, freeform said:

This Cultivation step is where we take on the precepts and ethical guidance of the system or tradition we're following. This is the original 'self' development... where you develop the acquired self in a certain direction. This is where we shape our self towards virtuous characteristics - like patience, bravery, integrity, kindness, humility... But this is not the end - these are just training wheels until True Virtue spontaneously arises - and then all machinations can be dropped.

 

If you live in a pristine environment then maybe you don't need self-development, ethics, and instruction on correct conduct... But if you live in our society - where we (advertisers, politicians etc) learned to expertly pull at the stimulus-response strings that control and condition our behaviours... Then I believe we do need some ethical and moral guidance.

That is really good.  I've always found ethical training; listening to wise men, there dharma speeches is a necessary part of spiritual training.  Without it we tend to wobble.  

 

We are like stones in a river, hoping a little of its essence will slip into us.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, thelerner said:

That is really good.  I've always found ethical training; listening to wise men, there dharma speeches is a necessary part of spiritual training.  Without it we tend to wobble.  

 

We are like stones in a river, hoping a little of its essence will slip into us.

 


Or maybe this essence is already within, and we rub and chip away at the stone (we believe we are) until it is able to flow?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, ilumairen said:


Or maybe this essence is already within, and we rub and chip away at the stone (we believe we are) until it is able to flow?

 

As I understand it, we're coming at it from two directions.

 

Beneath our emotional reactivity lies pure spontaneous virtue - so we work to chip away at the impurities until this virtue comes through.

 

But this is a lifelong task - and extremely difficult. The majority of people attempting this task will simply not manage it (how many truly 'saintly' people do we know!)

 

So we create ethical frameworks - they're not perfect, but it's like arranging the stones in the river in such a way that it flows smoothly and doesn't cause erosion and flooding or create issues for fish and other aquatic creatures.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

As I understand it, we're coming at it from two directions.

 

Beneath our emotional reactivity lies pure spontaneous virtue - so we work to chip away at the impurities until this virtue comes through.

 

But this is a lifelong task - and extremely difficult. The majority of people attempting this task will simply not manage it (how many truly 'saintly' people do we know!)

 

So we create ethical frameworks - they're not perfect, but it's like arranging the stones in the river in such a way that it flows smoothly and doesn't cause erosion and flooding or create issues for fish and other aquatic creatures.


I actually find this a fascinating topic. As so much of what I will call “programming” seems to inhibit what we are calling flow - which can include the ethical frameworks employed. And while “stability” may be a lifelong process, it is still difficult for me to fathom finding a “taste” of this “core” to be something so very “set apart” from the experience of being.

 

The ethical frameworks are what one falls back on with uncertainty/instability/doubt of connection to themselves and what here is often called dao.

 

And here is a bit of the fascinating part, sometimes (many/most times?) the use of a framework is actually (successfully?) employed to shed the very uncertainty, instability, and doubt it appears to be a symptom of.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, ilumairen said:

And here is a bit of the fascinating part, sometimes (many/most times?) the use of a framework is actually (successfully?) employed to shed the very uncertainty, instability, and doubt it appears to be a symptom of.

 

I think it may have to do with the fact that the very act of working to follow an ethical framework - in itself instills certain beneficial qualities - something along the lines of integrity.

 

That is, of course, unless we manipulate the framework to fit our own motivations (whether deliberately or not). We can only hope that cultivators are playing a very different game than that.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

I think it may have to do with the fact that the very act of working to follow an ethical framework - in itself instills certain beneficial qualities - something along the lines of integrity.

 

That is, of course, unless we manipulate the framework to fit our own motivations (whether deliberately or not). We can only hope that cultivators are playing a very different game than that.


Thank you for the reply. I have to get ready for work now, and will most likely return to this exploration at a later time - if you are game for continued exploration. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @freeform and @ilumairen.

As the responsibilities of a parent, I have wondered should I let life lead the way for the child (like the river flowing) and be an observer or should the child cultivate virtues so that it forms a framework (in ilumairen's term) to lead life?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Bhathen said:

Thank you @freeform and @ilumairen.

As the responsibilities of a parent, I have wondered should I let life lead the way for the child (like the river flowing) and be an observer or should the child cultivate virtues so that it forms a framework (in ilumairen's term) to lead life?


My father intentionally chose the latter with me, and circumstances led to more of the former with my sisters, and while I certainly “wobble” a bit at times (as thelerner put it), not having my trust in myself and my internal connection brought into question by such an important figure in my formative years, and actually having it been supported, nurtured and respected seems to have made a world of difference between how I and my sister’s related to the world, and our “contentment” in general.

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ilumairen said:

The ethical frameworks are what one falls back on with uncertainty/instability/doubt of connection to themselves and what here is often called dao.

 

I think this is good to expand on.

 

Sometimes people read the DDJ and come across phrasing that seems judgemental, but they miss the pragmatism behind the message. We read words like 'inferior' - and for us, there's an immediate emotional reaction to that word.

 

But if we put judgment aside we get a different reading.

 

 
 
 
 
Quote


38: Discussion of De

 

True De is subconscious, that's why it's the highest De.

Inferior De is contrived, and that's why it's without De.

Inferior De creates distortions because it's a contrivance.

 

[...]

 

When Dao is lost - De arises.

When De vanishes -  the need for kindness arises.

When kindness ends - the need for justice arises.

Without justice, we need rituals.
 

 

So for me, there's a certain hierarchy:

 

0:  Dao

1:  True De

2:  Contrived De (like kindness, and the ethical framework)

3:  Justice (the need for law, policing etc)

4:  Rituals (superstitions, taboos etc)

 

We can see that True De is close to Dao - but Dao is beyond True De.

We can also see that following an ethical framework is further than True De - but it's closer to Dao than say just staying within the bounds of the law...

 

Each has a part to play.

Edited by freeform
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree that it is difficult and also dangerous. When I was younger, I had a lot of habits from my Catholic upbringing. After years of practice, most of those habits have been dissolved. The good news is that they don't hamper of slow anything down, but the bad news is that they don't hamper or slow anything down.

 

In the Buddhist world, it is said one should have the view as vast as the sky, but conduct as fine as barley flour. I think this is one of the reasons so many teachers run into problems--- it is not that they aren't far along the path, it is that at a certain point, what would have been a minor issue, in the beginning, can be a disaster.  Once those barriers come down, if anger or desire or whatnot gets in, there's nothing to stop it. 

 

 
 
1
 Advanced issue found
 
 
5 hours ago, freeform said:

 

But this is a lifelong task - and extremely difficult. The majority of people attempting this task will simply not manage it (how many truly 'saintly' people do we know!)

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm reminded of Daodejing Chapter 38, where Lao Tzu says after reading some posts on this thread.

Quote

Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there is ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of the Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.

https://www.wussu.com/laotzu/laotzu38.html

 

Here "De" is being translated as "Goodness". 

 

I think that until one has the ability to truly discern between real and unreal, one has to rely on rules. And Ethics/Morals etc are rules that have been created to provide us with guidelines on "good conduct" until a point when we have uncovered our true nature. At which point, the "Tao has been found" and there will be no need for virtues (in a contrived manner). All action will be naturally 'virtuous'...

Edited by dwai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, dwai said:

I'm reminded of Daodejing Chapter 38, where Lao Tzu says after reading some posts on this thread.

https://www.wussu.com/laotzu/laotzu38.html

 

Here "De" is being translated as "Goodness". 

 

I think that until one has the ability to truly discern between real and unreal, one has to rely on rules. And Ethics/Morals etc are rules that have been created to provide us with guidelines on "good conduct" until a point when we have uncovered our true nature. At which point, the "Tao has been found" and there will be no need for virtues (in a contrived manner). All action will be naturally 'virtuous'...


You have used enough terms and phrasing here which would require further defining that I have been hesitant to respond directly to this post, although indirectly (as relates more to the general discussion) I started a thread on the work Sacred and Profane Love in the museum section of my ppd.

 

First, by what parameters and through what understanding do you present the ideas of “true discernment” between what is deemed real or unreal?

 

Second what is to say this framework of ethical/moral rules, as presented in formative years, isn’t part of what creates distortions in perception (such as a dichotomy of “real” being external values the internal is then measured against)? Or more directly sets up a framework for a continual doubt of one’s true nature, enabling a dependency on outside validation? Perhaps serving to obscure what it is (in what I understand of your presentation) a “stepping stone” towards the realization or actualization of (this being one’s true nature)?
 

And finally as an aside, my intent is conversational, and not to provoke ideas of inadequacy or diminish what has been found to be useful regarding such ideas as societal contracts and such. I certainly recommend such things as stopping at red lights, following the outward rule of such as validation of a sanctity of life, and therefore in it’s own right a bit of a moral/ethical choice and law - although what I would like consider and peruse is “deeper” than such outward forms.

 

A passing thought: Are we actually in some manner discussing the Western paradigm of man’s fallen nature, and (perhaps intercessory in the form of outwardly ethical and moral rules and laws) need for a redemption of sorts? A return to the garden? To a time before “nakedness” was cause for embarrassment?

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ilumairen said:

what is to say this framework of ethical/moral rules, as presented in formative years, isn’t part of what creates distortions in perception (such as a dichotomy of “real” being external values the internal is then measured against)?

 

It is. Inferior De creates distortions (extra layers of Acquired Mind).

 

For me that doesn't mean we get rid of this contrived virtue - in fact in my understanding, it is a necessary stepping stone to achieve True De.

 

As part of a child's development, they will test for where the lines of ethical behaviour lie. And they will take on certain ethical assumptions as a result of what they learn from testing them. I think it's a healthy and necessary part of growth - to develop an Acquired Mind.

 

As cultivators, we then work to firstly align the Acquired Mind with the qualities that our chosen tradition has stipulated - in an effort to create the conditions that will make actually disassembling it and reaching Dao more likely.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 
1
2 hours ago, ilumairen said:


You have used enough terms and phrasing here which would require further defining that I have been hesitant to respond directly to this post, although indirectly (as relates more to the general discussion) I started a thread on the work Sacred and Profane Love in the museum section of my ppd.

Thanks for sharing this. I'll check it out :) 

 
 
 
 
2 hours ago, ilumairen said:

 

First, by what parameters and through what understanding do you present the ideas of “true discernment” between what is deemed real or unreal?

By answering this, I'll be raking up controversy. Let me leave it at -- "Real is that which doesn't change. Unreal is that which is subject to change".  

 
 
 
1
2 hours ago, ilumairen said:

 

Second what is to say this framework of ethical/moral rules, as presented in formative years, isn’t part of what creates distortions in perception (such as a dichotomy of “real” being external values the internal is then measured against)? Or more directly sets up a framework for a continual doubt of one’s true nature, enabling a dependency on outside validation? Perhaps serving to obscure what it is (in what I understand of your presentation) a “stepping stone” towards the realization or actualization of (this being one’s true nature)?
 

Good question. But when I say "ethical/moral rules" I mean things like "don't steal, don't lie, don't covet others' possessions", "stay centered", "Don't give in to extreme emotional outbursts" etc etc. These are called "yama" and "niyama" in the Yogic tradition. Similar directives are available to us via Sages who have had realization and found that to not follow those rules results in scattering of the mind, pollution of the mind. To follow those rules allows for a person's mind to become settled, and clean. 

 

Consider this --  If you asked someone to constantly watch extremely gory, violent stuff on the internet, what will their mind be like after a few days of watching that stuff? 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
4
2 hours ago, ilumairen said:

And finally as an aside, my intent is conversational, and not to provoke ideas of inadequacy or diminish what has been found to be useful regarding such ideas as societal contracts and such. I certainly recommend such things as stopping at red lights, following the outward rule of such as validation of a sanctity of life, and therefore in it’s own right a bit of a moral/ethical choice and law - although what I would like consider and peruse is “deeper” than such outward forms.

I think considering ideas outlined in the 'yama/niyama' category will qualify as deeper. In the Yoga context (and I mean real yoga, not form practice), before one starts practicing forms and breathwork, they have to practice the preliminary limbs of yama and niyama. And building on that, the yogi then proceeds on to sense-withdrawal, preparing to meditate and then enter meditation (samadhi). 

 

In the old days, the goal of life was to attain liberation/salvation/moksha/nirvana etc etc. So, one had to live life in a way that would support such an objective. Easier said than done, one might chime in. True that...but nonetheless the system was in place. 

 

In the modern world, such a system is missing. So we see wanton and rampant materialism, sensualism and consumerism. 

2 hours ago, ilumairen said:

 

A passing thought: Are we actually in some manner discussing the Western paradigm of man’s fallen nature, and (perhaps intercessory in the form of outwardly ethical and moral rules and laws) need for a redemption of sorts? A return to the garden? To a time before “nakedness” was cause for embarrassment?

I don't subscribe to the western/abrahamic paradigm, so will refrain from commenting on it. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites