DMP89145

Daojia & Daojiao

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Hi .. new here ..

 

Curious about the community's thoughts on the differences between the philosophical Daoism considered in more in the west, Daojia, and the religious side Daojiao. 

 

While the terminology can be debated, at this time do you consider the definitions legitimate and acknowledge the categorizations? 

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Hello and welcome :)

 

The main difference I notice is that "philosophical" Daoism gets interpreted in a way that suits our culture and way of thinking. It can clash with traditional Daoist teachings from the "religious" side of things because they have belief systems that we are totally alien to, and really, have no business getting involved with anyway.

 

Yet everything is Dao. So it doesn't really matter, when you're on your Way, you will integrate what is necessary.

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When the categories of daojia and daojiao were first applied they really didn't mean anything like what moderns mean by "philosophical" and "religious."

 

And then when you really examine what "philosophical" and "religious" are supposed to mean, they don't make much sense or have much application in Zhou, Han, Tang, etc. intellectual circles. It doesn't really make sense in Western intellectual history either. Can you really say there is a clear distinction between "philosophical" Platonism and "religious" Platonism? I don't think you can. So what we are dealing with is more like a value judgment based on the European Enlightenment and its rationalism. So now we can sort currents of Daoism into the "philosophical" (rational, secular, no weird stuff) and the "religious" (superstition, ignorance, obscurantism). But even with this very narrow, arbitrary definition one would have to ignore or distort a lot of stuff in Laozi and Zhuangzi to fit it into this "philosophical" category.

 

So to summarize, I don't think the "daojia" and "daojiao" distinctions have much meaning outside their original bibliographic use, and I don't think the "philosophical" and "religious" distinction has any use at all.

 

Now if someone finds the ideas contained in the Laozi and Zhuangzi appealing and useful, while being less attracted to the very involved Daoist systems of ritual, alchemy, meditation, divination, etc that's perfectly legitimate. People have been picking aspects of Daoist tradition that appeal to them, while overlooking others, for ages. It's fine as long as you don't start pretending your preferred version of Daoism is somehow purer or more authentic than something else.

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3 hours ago, SirPalomides said:

So what we are dealing with is more like a value judgment based on the European Enlightenment and its rationalism. So now we can sort currents of Daoism into the "philosophical" (rational, secular, no weird stuff) and the "religious" (superstition, ignorance, obscurantism). But even with this very narrow, arbitrary definition one would have to ignore or distort a lot of stuff in Laozi and Zhuangzi to fit it into this "philosophical" category.

 

So to summarize, I don't think the "daojia" and "daojiao" distinctions have much meaning outside their original bibliographic use, and I don't think the "philosophical" and "religious" distinction has any use at all.

 

Some members here once upon a time were very strictly "philosophical", and to be quite honest, when I first landed here I was too. I think a lot of this comes from our new way of thinking in the west - questioning religion and their frameworks makes us want to depart from anything that has that label.

 

Said label is the problem. Religion is such a different thing in the far east that it is difficult for us born in the west to comprehend it. It takes some serious cup emptying.

 

As I practiced more, I realised that I didn't just have a philosophy. Everything was a "practice", so therefore I had the theory and application as one. Maybe some of the philosophical types will come to this realisation if they continue on this path.

 

There is no distinction between the two. Only people that want to have a distinction will have one, and will be missing half of their training in the process 😉

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On 8/30/2020 at 12:01 PM, DMP89145 said:

Hi .. new here ..

 

Curious about the community's thoughts on the differences between the philosophical Daoism considered in more in the west, Daojia, and the religious side Daojiao. 

 

While the terminology can be debated, at this time do you consider the definitions legitimate and acknowledge the categorizations? 

 

To my understanding of the two, a most obvious distinction would be the use of the altar. Even if it's not a physical setup, where you can chant and do rituals, etc. So long as it's a "place" one can go, to routinely practice connecting with those already ascended.

 

edit to add:
Also i'm thinking it has most to do with lineage? Whether someone is officially ordained practitioner is a daojiao, a student/teacher of that system, even if the particular group may or may not consider itself a religion . Otherwise the "extended family" daojia are all learning the material and it's up to them to apply or even develop it in as little or as great a capacity to everything.

Edited by Nintendao
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The west only catches on part of the DaoJia, Daojiao argument .  Such controversy was in China for 50-100 years.  One thing to note is all the DaoJia people also worship the same gods in the same manner, go to the same temple as DaoJiao people.   Regarding altar, it is common to have altar of gods and goddess statues, incenses and offerings in almost every home in Chinese communities.

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5 hours ago, Master Logray said:

The west only catches on part of the DaoJia, Daojiao argument .  Such controversy was in China for 50-100 years.  One thing to note is all the DaoJia people also worship the same gods in the same manner, go to the same temple as DaoJiao people.   Regarding altar, it is common to have altar of gods and goddess statues, incenses and offerings in almost every home in Chinese communities.

 

Ah yes, the west does love to dissect and classify things.

So is it almost like how Buddhism is divided into Hinayana and Mahayana?

Different vehicles on the same road.

Or even Sunni and Shiite, Catholic and Protestant. Though there maybe getting into some more fundamental differences. Still it's interesting how there so often arises these kind of bipartisanships in human endeavors.

 

All considered, i am guessing that a strict equivalency of "Daojia/Daojiao" and "philosophical/religious" should be abandoned, as each pair is really reflecting a different set of contrasts.

 

Edited by Nintendao
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1 hour ago, Nintendao said:

 

Ah yes, the west does love to dissect and classify things.

So is it almost like how Buddhism is divided into Hinayana and Mahayana?

Different vehicles on the same road.

Or even Sunni and Shiite, Catholic and Protestant. Though there maybe getting into some more fundamental differences. Still it's interesting how there so often arises these kind of bipartisanships in human endeavors.

 

All considered, i am guessing that a strict equivalency of "Daojia/Daojiao" and "philosophical/religious" should be abandoned, as each pair is really reflecting a different set of contrasts.

 

 

Your examples are more established/organized groups.  Taoist denominations are decentralized, and can mix and merge with each other.  Philosophers worship the same gods as religious, religious also doing inner alchemy, philosopher can know Feng Shui.  Classifying perhaps is western trait, but not seeing eye to eye with each other is Chinese trait, if not universal.  Arguments exist.  My point is, don't be misled by the classification as if they are firm establishments.  The situation is rather fluid.

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“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?”

 

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