-_sometimes

What is virtue in daoism, can Shen be developed through it?

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Can virtue according to daoism be a way to enlightenment? Not making life about oneself, acting mindfully in all ways, dissolving aversion and distaste towards all that one encounters, could this lead to a developing of Shen (in a stable integrated fashion that doesn't break the system) without going through the alchemical process? Or at least assist in the movement towards moving out of samsara in this life?

 

I would be very happy for some discussion around this. I am fairly young (20s), and have very little time to dedicate to practice, as I am building a career, study in my spare time, have people I care about who I wish to spend time with, exercise so I don't end up stagnant, etc. and this all takes up a great deal of time, where half an hour even of dedicated practice a day can be very difficult. In 10 years I will have time for 2 hours a day maybe, but I hear even that is very little if one wishes to really make strides in one lifetime, and not only that, but I could die before then, and likely that death will be confused and uncertain, very much adrift.

 

I feel very mournful about this, I wish to develop spiritually and make meaningful progress, but I have too much doubt to drop my future for what I only see now as a potential. So in a similar vein - perhaps there are alternate ways - can a layman ultimately develop their Shen, to a significant, ideally irreversible, level, without specifically dedicating large amounts of time to quiet sitting?

Edited by -_sometimes
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I've realised an issue with that, mainly being, if you're cultivating virtue to be enlightened, or 'saved' from samsara or whatever, it's not really virtue is it. More like desire masquerading as goodness.

 

In the event that virtue can lead to development of the spirit, or towards the ultimate perhaps, would choosing to cultivate it, eventually purify the mind from the above?

Edited by -_sometimes
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1 hour ago, -_sometimes said:

Can virtue according to daoism be a way to enlightenment? Not making life about oneself, acting mindfully in all ways, dissolving aversion and distaste towards all that one encounters, could this lead to a developing of Shen (in a stable integrated fashion that doesn't break the system) without going through the alchemical process? Or at least assist in the movement towards moving out of samsara in this life?

 

I would be very happy for some discussion around this. I am fairly young (20s), and have very little time to dedicate to practice, as I am building a career, study in my spare time, have people I care about who I wish to spend time with, exercise so I don't end up stagnant, etc. and this all takes up a great deal of time, where half an hour even of dedicated practice a day can be very difficult. In 10 years I will have time for 2 hours a day maybe, but I hear even that is very little if one wishes to really make strides in one lifetime, and not only that, but I could die before then, and likely that death will be confused and uncertain, very much adrift.

 

I feel very mournful about this, I wish to develop spiritually and make meaningful progress, but I have too much doubt to drop my future for what I only see now as a potential. So in a similar vein - perhaps there are alternate ways - can a layman ultimately develop their Shen, to a significant, ideally irreversible, level, without specifically dedicating large amounts of time to quiet sitting?

 

In the Buddhist tradition it's generally advised for laypeople to begin with making merit by being generous and giving donations to the monks and the community. After that the focus is on building morality. This is mainly done through the 5 precepts. The monks have the vinaya which I believe is something like 227 rules. Building morality in and of itself isn't enough to enlighten somebody but it is a very good way to build a foundation for further practice. Also if the average lay person doesn't have enough time in this life for more dedicated practice living a life of virtue and morality and merit making will help to lead to a life that's possible in the future.

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3 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

Can virtue according to daoism be a way to enlightenment? Not making life about oneself, acting mindfully in all ways, dissolving aversion and distaste towards all that one encounters, could this lead to a developing of Shen (in a stable integrated fashion that doesn't break the system) without going through the alchemical process? Or at least assist in the movement towards moving out of samsara in this life?

 

I would be very happy for some discussion around this. I am fairly young (20s), and have very little time to dedicate to practice, as I am building a career, study in my spare time, have people I care about who I wish to spend time with, exercise so I don't end up stagnant, etc. and this all takes up a great deal of time, where half an hour even of dedicated practice a day can be very difficult. In 10 years I will have time for 2 hours a day maybe, but I hear even that is very little if one wishes to really make strides in one lifetime, and not only that, but I could die before then, and likely that death will be confused and uncertain, very much adrift.

 

I feel very mournful about this, I wish to develop spiritually and make meaningful progress, but I have too much doubt to drop my future for what I only see now as a potential. So in a similar vein - perhaps there are alternate ways - can a layman ultimately develop their Shen, to a significant, ideally irreversible, level, without specifically dedicating large amounts of time to quiet sitting?

 

Yes.  Basically .  - I do have 'wonderings' about your use of terms and what you exactly mean by those terms  ( eg .  virtue , enlightenment , shen ) , but putting that aside  because I am being basic ;

 

Virtue can cultivate spirit .  There are all different ways of doing it .

 

Not making life about oneself, acting mindfully in all (or even some ) ways, dissolving aversion and distaste towards all that one encounters, could lead to developing and  cultivation 'spirit' .  Even one of those things would , to an extent .  Its still an 'alchemical process' , but subtle and within the psyche  and most probably unconscious .

 

Being   fairly young, . building a career, studying  , caring about people  and exercising are all virtuous . Approached the right way and done with balance , that will develop your spirit  too .

 

To me , yes you do sound young  ('cause you admitted it :D but also , as you mature , you will realise your path to 'enlightenment'  will have ALL SORTS OF THINGS , some obscure, contributing to it  - and some might not be apparent until years later when you put the bits together   )  but you also sound smart , you probably realise for your tower to rise to heights , it will need a firm foundation .   Giving all that up now IMO is not the way to go . Certain things  are done at certain times of life . 

 

Specifically dedicating large amounts of time to quiet sitting is for old men .  ;) 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashrama_(stage)

 

Old men spends vast amounts of time 'sitting'   you can do that later  .... Oh, but you are worrying about dying early  .  What, you think you only get one shot at  it ?    There will be plenty of time . 

 

I think you should enjoy the miracle of life and being alive more .  Practice what and when you can , continue to  build up your earthly foundation and support    , practice virtue, care for others  -  then  even if you enter  the realm of death uncertain and confused you will receive guidance .

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

I've realised an issue with that, mainly being, if you're cultivating virtue to be enlightened, or 'saved' from samsara or whatever, it's not really virtue is it. More like desire masquerading as goodness.

 

In the event that virtue can lead to development of the spirit, or towards the ultimate perhaps, would choosing to cultivate it, eventually purify the mind from the above?

 

:D I was going to mention that but didn't . 

 

Its like doing it to secure De (  good fortune in the bank of virtue ) .

 

But I didnt think you where working, studying, exercising and specifically , having some people you care for was so calculated ? No, it just happened and you are doing that as it has become your 'way ' .   Virtue builds in the heart (from virtuous thoughts and acts ) and expresses itself without 'lust of result ' - its 'pure will' in other words .

 

Doing things to secure good fortune seems valid though in some Chinese philosophy .   But, as you point out , is it really virtue ?  Virtue should be expressed  ' without  lust of result  or  'for its own sake ' .  There is a wonderful Sufi parable about this  but  I will offer this instead ;

 

11. Do good unto others for its own sake, not for reward, not for gratitude from them, not for sympathy. If thou art generous, thou wilt not long for thine ears to be tickled by expressions of gratitude.

 

https://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/lib30.htm

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6 hours ago, Nungali said:

your use of terms and what you exactly mean by those terms  ( eg .  virtue , enlightenment , shen ) , but putting that aside  because I am being basic

I'm not entirely sure what I mean by virtue, but by enlightenment I mean the full blown, whole thing, a la celestial immortal, Buddha, the furthest reach of the spirit. By Shen I mean the end goal of qigong - the Shen 'layer' has been reached, a solid foundation has been built, allowing for actual spiritual development, neidan I believe is this process after this that would traditionally work on Shen in daoist circles?

Edited by -_sometimes

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9 hours ago, dmattwads said:

Building morality in and of itself isn't enough to enlighten somebody but it is a very good way to build a foundation for further practice

How does it help build this foundation?

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11 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

I feel very mournful about this


Why?

 

11 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

I wish to develop spiritually and make meaningful progress


Why?

 

When I ask this I’m not asking for an answer - but maybe something for you to think about?

 

What does making spiritual progress do for you? Why is it important for you?

 

Sometimes we want something like this because we imagine spiritual progress to be a certain thing… we have a tendency to see spiritual stuff as something that will benefit the self.

 

Our mind has a way of placing itself in the middle of everything.

 

Like in another thread someone said that becoming a heavenly immortal and being able to come and go as you please would be the ultimate ego trip.

 

And it is because he places his mind in the middle of it‚Ķ thinking that ‚Äėcoming and going as one pleases‚Äô is a function of a personal mind.

 

And I suspect most people reading something like that imagine themselves as some sort of omnipotent, completely free being having adventures in the heavenly realms.

 

But that’s not quite right. It’s impossible to imagine what it really means from the perspective of your personal mind. Everything we imagine will invariably have this mind at the centre of things.

 

In many ways the truth is the exact opposite.

 

From the perspective of spirit things are very different.

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And in reply to the main question…

 

Developing virtue is always a good idea.

 

It may not result in spiritual transformation in one lifetime, but it does set up a causation for slow but consistent evolution.

 

Most spiritual cultivators won’t become celestial immortals in one lifetime… not even close. 
 

For most spiritual systems, developing virtue is a prerequisite for spiritual development anyway.

 

Nothing wrong with setting up the practicality of a good life, taking care of the people you love and doing something of benefit.

 

True Virtue is in many ways a very lofty ideal. Start by being a good person - always looking to benefit others… create value for people… be of service… overcome your reactive tendencies etc etc.

 

Spirituality is not an escape from the difficulties of life - in many ways it’s about meeting the reality of this and growing and developing in the face of it.

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12 minutes ago, freeform said:

What does making spiritual progress do for you? Why is it important for you?

Although you ask this for me to ask myself, I can tell you somewhat. I'm not looking for special abilities to traverse a multitude of dimensions.. this mind is what I can best describe as very confused, uncertain, and with no apparent foothold or certainty in things. If I were to be placed in solitary confinement I would likely lose my sanity, and I ask myself what is the use of sanity with conditions.

 

Under certain conditions, I could completely dissolve into something that could hardly be called a free being, completely bound by concepts that have no basis in reality, but completely delude me. Ultimately, I wish to be so certain of things, that the fabric of reality tearing apart in front of me would not cause a complete psychical breakdown.

 

I understand that spirituality is not about escaping, this is aversion, and clearly not the way. I am not wanting to escape my life, I am willing to undergo much suffering and I understand it as part of the process, the suffering is not what I am averse to, it is the uncertainty of my existence, the not knowing, the fact that deep down I don't know what is up and what is down, what is truly appropriate and what isn't. I operate based on what appears to be a set of deeply layered views, which seem to ultimately stand on absolutely nothing. 

 

I continue to operate on these views because the alternative would be to sit down, cease all such actions based on these views, and perhaps this will allow some form of higher truth to emerge; for genuine, non-contrived action to arise. But the sacrifice required for something so uncertain as 'higher order truth' is not something I am willing to make at this point. I believe I should first settle my affairs, develop financial stability, and then perhaps, 15-20 years from now, be able to ask these fundamental questions, and if nothing comes of it, so be it, I would return to a world I have built, nothing so bad there.

 

But as I mentioned earlier, I could die before this, and I can't feel happy with myself just letting time pass, leaving open the opportunity to lose myself in the fun of self-indulgence, no longer caring for this when I do have the ability, and eventually, when the time to pass comes, realise the mistake I have made, but of course, too late.

 

This is why I ask about virtue. I want to know what I can do in the meantime, how I can leave myself open to change from the outside, grace or whatever that may be, so that even if I cannot have a dedicated practice, I am nonetheless open to the arising of wisdom, and so that, as time passes, I develop in a genuine way, not building more delusion, but lessening it.

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28 minutes ago, -_sometimes said:

I believe I should first settle my affairs, develop financial stability, and then perhaps, 15-20 years from now, be able to ask these fundamental questions, and if nothing comes of it, so be it, I would return to a world I have built, nothing so bad there.


That can also be a form of cultivation.

 

A form of taking responsibility for creating a good life for you and for others.

 

Progress in these arts happens much more smoothly when it arises from a strong base.
 

Take some time to build a stable base by being kind and strong and reliable for people that count on you. 
 

Some teachers I’ve come across don’t take in young students… some don’t take in students that aren’t completely financially stable. So I think taking care of the practical aspects of life is just as important.

 

Dont worry about dying too early - the very act of taking responsibility for your and others wellbeing creates the sort of merit that will be of benefit for your next lifetime.

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2 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

 

I'm not entirely sure what I mean by virtue, but by enlightenment I mean the full blown, whole thing, a la celestial immortal, Buddha, the furthest reach of the spirit. By Shen I mean the end goal of qigong - the Shen 'layer' has been reached, a solid foundation has been built, allowing for actual spiritual development, neidan I believe is this process after this that would traditionally work on Shen in daoist circles?

 

That is a good question, and there is more than one way to answer that.

 

The first answer would be that if you don't feel that in your life as it is you are in a place to devote that kind of time and energy to serious cultivation, then the traditional approach for most lay Buddhists throughout most of history has been to make enough merit in this life so that in the future they can be in a situation where they do have more time and the mental capacity to do more serious cultivation. So for example if you are a simple farmer and have kids and have to make a living you don't really have time to do hours of mediation and other cultivation methods. On the other hand if you are a farmer what commodity do you have? food. So you feed the monks, you do good deeds, you make merit and so then in your next life perhaps you can become a monk too. On the other hand lets say you perform non-virtuous acts and harm others then it increases your likely hood of being born in a bad state of affairs where you are unable to cultivate and most likely experience a great deal of suffering. 

 

Another way to look at it is it is generally thought that in order to have the mindset to understand dharma and have the inclination to want to cultivate this requires merit. This is why often you can try to explain dharma to some people and they just don't understand or have no interest. They simply don't have the merit that would incline their minds to such teachings. So the affect merit has on the mind is important to consider as well. I was speaking to a Zen monk one time and he said that he believed that the reason that many Americans didn't progress far in meditation was because they did not practice morality and didn't understand how it affected their meditation practice.    

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I don't resonate with the modern use of and definition of virtue.  To me the word virtue was co-opted some time ago and has been laid over morality to become synonymous with it.  This colors its use in translations of more ancient tomes and writings in an unuseful manner, to me.

 

I do not equate virtue with morality at all, (morality being a set of fluid behavioral descriptors that are desirable to a society as it exists now).  It is incongruent from society to society and person to person.

 

Virtue to me is a word that represents the properties and inherent expressions of an object or organism; these can be beneficial, harmful or neutral depending what is co-reacting or relating to them.  It is a virtue of fire to melt skin.  In rereading the tao te jing with this realization, some formerly troubling verses rang harmoniously with my shift in perception.

 

To me, virtue is a word that represents an aspect of manifestation, and a description of the properties exhibited by an organism or object.  It is a virtue of stone to be resistant to change.  The virtues of grass are that it is green and pliable.  Human virtues are myriad and range from the incredible to the deplorable.

 

In Taoist cultivation virtues are not goals to achieve, but descriptors of inherent nature and sign posts of where the cultivator is along the way.

 

 

I have a similar view of the ten commandments.   After my realization of the word virtue, it became apparent to me that perhaps the 10 commandments were never intended to be laws of unbreakable punishment.  But orignially were descriptions of virtues (properties) observed in those who walk in the presence of source (god).  Perhaps they were meant as path markers, not a threat.

Edited by silent thunder
refined wording in a sentence
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4 hours ago, freeform said:

Dont worry about dying too early - the very act of taking responsibility for your and others wellbeing creates the sort of merit that will be of benefit for your next lifetime

That would highly depend on the motive, I would imagine?

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If you mean De then it is your inherent nature you are uncovering through practice.

 

If you don't have time to practice then Buddhist mantra could be a way to go or self-inquiry during the day.

 

Some Taoist systems have a  sleeping qigong practice.

 

Some Buddhist systems have a dream practice so you can cultivate in your sleep. Good for lay people with busy lives.

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9 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

 

I'm not entirely sure what I mean by virtue, but by enlightenment I mean the full blown, whole thing, a la celestial immortal, Buddha, the furthest reach of the spirit. By Shen I mean the end goal of qigong -

 

 

Are you in  a rush to get to the top of the mountain ?  There are some great things along the way , that often make the journey more worthwhile  - dont pass them over by too much focus on the destination .

 

 

9 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

 

the Shen 'layer' has been reached, a solid foundation has been built, allowing for actual spiritual development, neidan I believe is this process after this that would traditionally work on Shen in daoist circles?

 

yes, but I think actual spiritual development  occurs  WHILE one is travelling to the goal .

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8 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

Although you ask this for me to ask myself, I can tell you somewhat. I'm not looking for special abilities to traverse a multitude of dimensions.. this mind is what I can best describe as very confused, uncertain, and with no apparent foothold or certainty in things. If I were to be placed in solitary confinement I would likely lose my sanity, and I ask myself what is the use of sanity with conditions.

 

Under certain conditions, I could completely dissolve into something that could hardly be called a free being, completely bound by concepts that have no basis in reality, but completely delude me. Ultimately, I wish to be so certain of things, that the fabric of reality tearing apart in front of me would not cause a complete psychical breakdown.

 

If you seek certainty then maybe try a different source *   ( maybe the type of certainty you seek is not offered by Daoism ? )  ;

 

* Maybe 'Nuit'  :

 

" I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice. "

 

 

8 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

 

I understand that spirituality is not about escaping, this is aversion, and clearly not the way. I am not wanting to escape my life, I am willing to undergo much suffering and I understand it as part of the process, the suffering is not what I am averse to, it is the uncertainty of my existence, the not knowing, the fact that deep down I don't know what is up and what is down, what is truly appropriate and what isn't. I operate based on what appears to be a set of deeply layered views, which seem to ultimately stand on absolutely nothing. 

 

Bravo !  Well done .  First good 'secure' steps upon the path .

 

" Yet, oh aspirant, let thy victories bring thee not Vanity, for with increase of Knowledge should come increase of Wisdom. He who knoweth little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much hath learned his own ignorance. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool, than of him. "

 

8 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

 

I continue to operate on these views because the alternative would be to sit down, cease all such actions based on these views, and perhaps this will allow some form of higher truth to emerge; for genuine, non-contrived action to arise. But the sacrifice required for something so uncertain as 'higher order truth' is not something I am willing to make at this point. I believe I should first settle my affairs, develop financial stability,

 

You have a rare sensibility for a 'seeker'  .

 

 

8 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

 

and then perhaps, 15-20 years from now, be able to ask these fundamental questions, and if nothing comes of it, so be it, I would return to a world I have built, nothing so bad there.

 

Or you might find that the last 15 - 20 years you have moved along the path to what you seek .

 

8 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

 

But as I mentioned earlier, I could die before this, and I can't feel happy with myself just letting time pass, leaving open the opportunity to lose myself in the fun of self-indulgence, no longer caring for this when I do have the ability, and eventually, when the time to pass comes, realise the mistake I have made, but of course, too late.

 

This is why I ask about virtue. I want to know what I can do in the meantime, how I can leave myself open to change from the outside, grace or whatever that may be, so that even if I cannot have a dedicated practice, I am nonetheless open to the arising of wisdom, and so that, as time passes, I develop in a genuine way, not building more delusion, but lessening it.

 

I would suggest what you can do is  not rush it .  What can you do in the meantime   ( considering other  commitments )  ?

 

I  made some suggestions above from 'The Book of the Balance ' ( or Liber Librae or 'Guidance for the development of the soul '  - or development of virtue  )

 

I will repeat them here  and  some more

- they should be able to be practised ALONG with your other commitments ;

 

Learn first ... that Equilibrium is the basis of the Work. If thou thyself hast not a sure foundation, whereon wilt thou stand to direct the forces of Nature?

 

Worship and neglect not, the physical body which is thy temporary connection with the outer and material world. Therefore let thy mental Equilibrium be above disturbance by material events; strengthen and control the animal passions, discipline the emotions and the reason, nourish the Higher Aspirations.

 

Do good unto others for its own sake, not for reward, not for gratitude from them, not for sympathy. If thou art generous, thou wilt not long for thine ears to be tickled by expressions of gratitude.

 

Remember that unbalanced force is evil; that unbalanced severity is but cruelty and oppression; but that also unbalanced mercy is but weakness which would allow and abet Evil. Act passionately; think rationally; be Thyself.

 

Remember that this earth is but an atom in the universe, and that thou thyself art but an atom thereon, and that even couldst thou become the God of this earth whereon thou crawlest and grovellest, that thou wouldest, even then, be but an atom, and one amongst many. - . Nevertheless have the greatest self-respect, and to that end sin not against thyself. The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.

 

Fixed thought is a means to an end. Therefore pay attention to the power of silent thought and meditation. The material act is but the outward expression of thy thought, and therefore hath it been said that "the thought of foolishness is sin." Thought is the commencement of action, and if a chance thought can produce much effect, what cannot fixed thought do?

 

Be thou therefore prompt and active as the Sylphs, but avoid frivolity and caprice; be energetic and strong like the Salamanders, but avoid irritability and ferocity; be flexible and attentive to images like the Undines, but avoid idleness and changeability; be laborious and patient like the Gnomes, but avoid grossness and avarice.

 

... Ask and ye shall have! Seek, and ye shall find! Knock, and it shall be opened unto you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Quoting from damo Mitchell's work: 

Quote

The virtue that a person brings out through their practice is very functional within Daoism. Daoism is not inherently interested in the ‚Äėmorality‚Äô behind being a compassionate and wise human; however, this state helpfully brings about in a person exactly the right internal environment for internal advancement. Therefore, attaining a state of true compassion and wisdom is to be strived for, so as to find this internal point within the body. Another element within Daoism is the Xin (ŚŅÉ), often translated as ‚ÄėHeart‚Äô or ‚ÄėHeart Mind‚Äô, as the two are interchangeable. It is through the Xin that the purest expression of information can be expressed: the De. If a person manages to sustain and express this level of purity, their expression of pure consciousness shines through in their speech and actions. As a by-product of the generation of De a person is said to begin eroding the influence of cause and effect upon their being, a process simply termed Ye (ś•≠) ‚Äď the Daoist approach to the concept of Karma.

 

Quote

... Within Daoism, every one of your thought processes and actions has an energetic mechanic behind it, so one way to change your internal landscape is to change your external actions. Therefore, the external rules in Daoism are designed to retrain your mind through consciously changing your behaviour, to eventually change your Xing. Once this is accomplished, the energetic mechanics behind your thought processes and actions will more efficiently lead you towards higher states within your practice. This directly affects the quality of your Jing, Qi and Shen. This is absolutely key and the basis for many understandings when people first encounter Daoism. Daoism does indeed have teachings on how you should be, how to act and how to deal with others. As with other traditions, the basis of this is to do others no harm and to live in accordance with a humble and compassionate view of life. But, the main reason for this was because it set up a certain resonance within the centre of a person’s consciousness that would help bring them closer to Dao

Quote

... It sounds simplistic, but creating or ‚Äėshaping‚Äô your intention correctly towards certain behavioural patterns aids that change to occur naturally within your Xing.

 

I will read further.. but, it seems, at least according to Damo Mitchell, that conduct can definitely play an important role

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11 hours ago, freeform said:

True Virtue is in many ways a very lofty ideal

if you don't mind the question, how would you personally describe true virtue?

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2 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

Quoting from damo Mitchell's work: 

 

 

I will read further.. but, it seems, at least according to Damo Mitchell, that conduct can definitely play an important role

 

Its like a 'biofeedback' mechanism .

 

In the past on DBs I wrote a bit about what I like to call 'ancient' Zoroastrianism .  That is IMO, before  the ideas and processes talked about morphed into  angels and demons  and such  ' externals ' .  This all centres around the simple concept of translating the term 'mainyu'  as 'mind   ( which is one of the valid interpretations of that term  anyway )  ;  spenta mainyu and agra mainyu - good mind, bad mind .

 

They had codes of conduct and relationship ( to each other , animals and even the  environmental elements ) . Acting the right way develops a 'good mind'  which in turn stimulates one to  act ( eventually )  'spontaneously'  ' good' , which stimulates further good actions and  further develops the mind, which in turn  .... and so on .   The reverse applies as well .

 

In this light it is a very interesting system , but it isnt 'daoism' as such .  But the principles Damo talks about here are valid (evidenced by their cross-cultural applications and successes) . 

 

Of course 'right conduct' needs to have a  personal focus as well -  right conduct to yourself, that is  .  

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Just as an experiment  I looked at the tarot position for 'Virtue'   ;   3 of Wands  ( wands being fire and the expression of the Will ) .

 

 

3-of-wands-thoth.png

 

The Three of Wands is accordingly the Lord of Virtue. The idea of will ( Ace of Wands )
and dominion ( 2 of wands )  has become interpreted in Character.
This card refers to Binah in the suit of Fire, and so represents the
establishment of primeval Energy. The Will has been transmitted to the
Mother, who conceives, prepares, and gives birth to, its manifestation.
It refers to the Sun in Aries, the Sign in which he is exalted.
The meaning is harmonious, for this is the beginning of Spring. For this reason
one sees the wand taking the form of the Lotus in blossom. The Sun has
enkindled the Great Mother. In the Yi King, Sol in Aries is represented by;
 
1200px-Iching-hexagram-11.svg.png - Tai.
 
This following  description seems to go along with what we have been talking about ;    
 
and this ;  

" The Judgement

This hexagram denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth. Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth, and so their powers unite in deep harmony. Then peace and blessing descend upon all living things.

       In the world of man it is a time of social harmony; those in high places show favor to the lowly, and the lowly and inferior is an end to all feuds. ... When the good elements of society occupy a central position and are in control, the evil elements come under their influence and change for the better. When the spirit of heaven rules in man, his animal nature also comes under its influence and takes its appropriate place. ...

https://www.iching-online.com/hexagrams/iching-hexagram-000111.html

 

 

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14 hours ago, -_sometimes said:

if you don't mind the question, how would you personally describe true virtue?


Meaning it’s uncontrived. It’s quite a specific thing within Daoist thinking.

 

We normally function in a stimulus-response world. Contrived virtue fits within this paradigm.

 

You see someone suffering (stimulus) - you help them out (response).

 

This form of virtue is very conditional‚Ķ for instance you see someone suffering but they just stole from you‚Ķ your response will be conditioned by this. Instead of helping out you might feel glad - a sense of ‚Äėthey got what they deserve‚Äô.

 

True virtue is unconditional. Meaning there are no conditions for its expression… they’re like the sun that lights up everything with no differentiation. They are constant - they radiate constantly without needing a stimulus.

 

Theres not specific conduct or action that demonstrates true virtue… meaning someone that has true virtue isn’t always giving for instance. But they create like a kind of auspicious feng shui around them in that they tend to benefit all people.

 

But contrived virtue is still important because it shapes your mind in a particular direction.

 

So you always start with contrived virtue… by following a code of conduct.

 

True virtue is usually the result of cultivation and happens spontaneously.

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Daoist Virtue: wu wei, ziran, carefree, natural. true to your own nature.

De is your power of the Way and its power.

Ability to use your Wu.

Edited by zerostao

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On 10/24/2021 at 7:45 AM, freeform said:

True virtue is unconditional. Meaning there are no conditions for its expression… they’re like the sun that lights up everything with no differentiation. They are constant - they radiate constantly without needing a stimulus.

 

Theres not specific conduct or action that demonstrates true virtue… meaning someone that has true virtue isn’t always giving for instance. But they create like a kind of auspicious feng shui around them in that they tend to benefit all people.

 

This strikes me as instrumental in wu wei. It even sounds like it is describing wu wei in a sense. It lies beyond doing or non-doing in the sense that you can't really do non-doing without it becoming doing. Even perhaps creating "a kind of auspicious feng shui around them in that they tend to benefit all people." Except in this case the auspicious feng shui affects doing without doing. 

 

 

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