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I seem to have found a nice Taoist haven for me to while some time away finding out more about this 'way'.


I have studied the main eastern religions Hinduism and Buddhism in particular before setting my sights on Taoism. I was heavily into Buddhism during my degree doing alot of comparisons in my essays of it with Existential philosophy.


After a while, though, I grew quite a violent aversion towards these Indian traditions as at their CORE they seemed to be DENYING life and fundamentally wanted to transcend it all. I found this way morbid and depressing and drew me into spurts of heavy nihilism. Although the life of social conditioning I would agree is 'unsatisfactory' it does not lead me to conclude that ALL of life is unsatisfactory, I see that as a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So I ended up having a sort of 'hatred' for these ascetic traditions and a vehemence towards anyone trying to 'persuade' me of their merits. My intially violent reaction has somewhat subdued now however my reasons for the reaction still stand.


I then found or rather looked back upon Taoism and realised it appeared to be the perfect mix of what I was looking for. This doctrine/set of ideas did not seem to be denying or condemning this life, seeing it as fundamnetally flawed to be 'attached to', but, rather, to be embraced and celebrated not as 'lesser' but as the correct 'way' if taken in the proper spirit of the Tao (and not of the average socially conditioned TV idolising slob). This is very much my kind of thing.


I see it as stupid to want to 'caste off' this life completely as the Buddhists seem to want to do in their first 'noble truth' of 'life is suffering'. To me, then, if I thought this to be the case, the easiest way out of this suffering, as Camus has quiried, would be to kill myself and be done with it (leaving the karmic issues aside), this too would bring me back to the eternal in two shakes of a lamb's tail, or, rather, two swings of the noose.


I feel Taoism, at least for me, to be the true 'middle way'. I have no desire to totally 'do away' with my ego, however living without some form of spirituality is and has been torture for me. I don't think I need to totally blast my ego into extinction in order to experience the spiritual, but, rather, cultivate a more modest amount in tune with my embracing of 'worldly pleasures'.


I feel the materialism of the West is one extreme yet the asceticism of the East (in Buddhism and Hinduism) is another, neither are satisfactory for myself to achieve a acceptable state of being; Taoism seems to agree and thus I heartily jived with it.


I am still sketchy on alot of this and I'm sure I will have made some overgenerisations of the respective traditions mentioned although it cannot be denied that each respective tradition has a more predominant focus than another and so it is to Taoism that I now turn as my main guiding philosophy.


I hope others on here can help me to mature my thoughts and expand my knowledge on the issues raised here and many more.


I will finish with a quote I found the other day on Taoist meditation:


'In Taoism, meditation doesn't have anything in common with yoga practice. There are no postures (asanas), nor inner concentration or fusional feelings. In this respect, Alan Watts wrote:


Contemplative Taoists will be happily to sit with yogis and Zennists for as long as is reasonable and comfortable, but when nature tells us that we are 'pushing the river' we will get up and do something else, or even go to sleep. (From Tao: The Watercourse Way).


Basically, Taoist meditation is more like a sort of wisdom achieved by close observation of the things and phenomena in the world surrounding us. Such wisdom should help us go alongside with things and not against them, and is surely related to the wu-wei (nondoing) concept.'




Edited by Agape

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