Knightgame15

Unsure where to start

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I've been wanting to get deeper into Taoism as a philosophy for awhile. I started after seeing a video on characters in popular media that seem to fit with Taoist ideals (these characters include Uncle Iroh and Master Oogway for anyone curious). I've listened to the Tao Te Ching a few times on audiobook but I'm unsure where to go and what to do beyond that.

 

I grew up as and am still a practicing and believing Christian and I found what I learned about Taoism to be fitting with what I think a "good christian" should believe and practice, on top of this what I've heard and tried to apply in my own life has been very helpful with my anxiety and depression. Due to these things I want to attain a deeper understanding of Taoism while being humble and respectful of the long history and deep culture at play. I've reached the part of the Dunning-Kreuger effect where I know that I don't know anything and I'm ready to learn from people who know more than me.

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Not sure what to recommend, I have little knowledge of Taoism as a philosophy. Maybe have a browse around some old threads, see what grabs you. My interest is in translating the Tao Te Ching from Chinese characters. I am a practicing and devout Christian and from what I have translated up to now, I have found Laozi’s ideas very compatible with my Christian beliefs. I hope you will enjoy the forum. :) 
 

 

Edited by Cobie

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I haven't read any of them, but there are several books attempting to reconcile Taoism with Christianity that might please you:

  • The Tao of Christ: A Christian Version of the Tao Te Ching ‚Äď A translation from a Christian perspective. Seems to lift language from the KJV and shape it around the polysemy of the Chinese original. You might enjoy it but I expect it's mostly just misleading.
  • Christ the Eternal Tao ‚Äď An Eastern Orthodox Christian essay on Christ and Taoism. I'm sure that the theological differences behind the East‚ÄďWest Schism shine brightly here.
  • The Tao of Jesus: An Experiment in Inter-Traditional Understanding ‚Äď A scholarly work comparing sayings of Jesus with Taoist ones. Seems interesting but superficial to me. (Set up an archive.org account to read this one)

The link between Chinese philosophy and the European mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, facilitated by the Jesuits, will also surely interest you. There is a book and a paper on the subject.

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Hi there Knightgame,

 

Are you familiar with the Gospel of Thomas? This is one of those books that came from the same time and place like other Biblical texts, but -- for whatever reason -- wasn't included in the Bible. As a matter of fact, many scholars believe it to be closer to the source text of the "official" Gospels than the latter.

 

The teachings of the Gospel of Thomas are very much in line with the Dao De Ching in my view. If I were to reconcile a non-dogmatic Christian belief set with Daoism philosophy, this is where I'd start.

 

Cheers 

Michael 

Edited by Michael Sternbach

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we can recognize, appreciate and to some degree benefit from different religions or ways but to try and cross-mix them into something they are not is beyond what is really limited to their basic and common ground principles,  principles that are found in mostly all spiritual teachings,  thus going further than that is greatly risking stepping on one or both and is at least problematic to harmful to peoples.  For example: American Indians having their ways forcefully mixed up with or destroyed by Christian beliefs that don't jive with or are destructive to theirs.  Study some history if you haven't already and you may be shocked to read how various Christian groups, with some of them being violent fanatics following "manifest destiny" spent hundreds (and thousands) of years committing self-justified genocide against American Indians and dozens of other native groups in the world!!   

 

Anyway good luck to you, and I suggest not expecting to find more than doable common ground, beyond that water and oil don't mix.

Edited by old3bob

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48 minutes ago, old3bob said:

going further than that is greatly risking stepping on one or both and is at least problematic to harmful to peoples.

The Taiping Heavenly Rebellion certainly did lead to a lot of harm, but I don't blame that on its Christian‚ÄďTaoist‚ÄďConfucian syncretism. The harm comes down to circumstance. There was some conflict during the spread¬†into China of Buddhism, which was no less alien than Christianity, but for the most part Buddhism has gelled very comfortably with Taoism and to a lesser extent Confucianism.

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On 8/9/2023 at 1:11 PM, Knightgame15 said:

I've been wanting to get deeper into Taoism as a philosophy ..

 

I grew up as and am still a practicing and believing Christian ..

 

My view is that basic mechanics are the same across traditions ...

we all are human, after all.

You might find that JohnDaoProductions.wordpress.com (free, concise) gives a very broad overview quickly, which might help you orient more effectively to various other more detailed avenues.

 

stonewindowcross.jpg

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