What is Taoism (Daoism)?

Discussion in 'Tao' started by sunwukong, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Active Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    80
    My Mandarin is even worse than my Spanish, but I think we may view it the same. One day I realized that the me I thought was me was just a construct in the same way I can construct a fictional character when writing. It then occurred to me that if there isn't really a me then there is only this constant relativity going on. Therefore, the ideas in my head about, well everything, could be suspect. So I think now, there is something happening all around, but my ideas about it and what it really is are two different things. There is a gap between my understanding and what is really there.
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,273
    Likes Received:
    999
    Is awareness a thing, in the context you are speaking about here? Is the identification with a "me" or "a story" a thing in this context?

    Are the thought models about reality part of reality?
     
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    1,114
    I believe the I Ching (rather than the Tao Te Ching) is the true sourcebook for Taoism:
    https://www.labirintoermetico.com/09IChing/Wilhelm_R_The_I_Ching_or_Book_of_Changes_(abriged).pdf
    But I strongly believe that to study I Ching it is necessary to own an unabridged copy of the actual (paper) book.

    [​IMG]


    More Tao stuff here:
    https://www.hermetica.info/OriginalDao.html
    The Other Original Dao
    The Path, before Kongzi and Laozi Paved It
    © Bradford Hatcher 2012, Version 12.8

    Valuable I Ching links to different versions and translations:
    https://www.hermetica.info/K-YiLink.htm

    Check out this brilliant website for lots more:
    http://www.hermetica.info/

    And a lot of valuable Tao information and discussion here:
    https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/11355/

    Tao Te Ching comparative versions by Boston University pdf
    https://www.bu.edu/religion/files/pdf/Tao_Teh_Ching_Translations.pdf
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
    Cino likes this.
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,833
    Likes Received:
    68
    The following is an analysis and translation by a Theosophist named Jon Fergus.

    Here is the first line of the Tao Te Ching by the great Chinese philosopher Laozi (Lao-Tzu) from the fourth century BC.

    道可道,非常道。

    The first term is 道可道. These three Chinese characters are 道 (dào) 可 (kě) 道 (dào).

    The first character is tao (道 dào), which is described as the uncreate, unborn, and eternal energy of nature, which manifests periodically.

    The second character is 可 (kě). This means can or be able to. This refers to that part of the Tao which is only a potential; the unmanifested, immutable Tao.

    The third character is the same as the first character, tao (道 dào).

    The second and third characters (可道 kě dào) combine to mean “the potential to become Tao”.

    The term 道可道 (dào kě dào) can therefore be translated as “the unmanifested, immutable Tao”.

    -----

    The second group of three Chinese characters is 非常道 (fēi cháng dào). The two characters 非常 (fēi cháng) translate in everyday conversational Chinese as “very”. But in this context they mean “change” or “non-eternal”. The idea is that this aspect of the Tao is manifesting and mutable.

    The three characters combine to mean The Tao which is manifesting and mutable.

    -----

    Here, then, are the six characters in the first line.

    道可道, 非常道。 (Dào kě dào, fēi cháng dào, )

    The eternal, unmanifested, immutable Tao, the manifesting and mutable Tao.


    source: https://universaltheosophy.com/articles/tao-te-ching-new-translation/
     
  5. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Active Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    80
    Awareness, pure awareness is the only thing. When we talk about relative and absolute it's easy to get confused and create misunderstandings. What I'm saying in so many words is that there is a raw open experience of life that can only happen right now. Taoism is a map of reality in a way, the same way as most systems of philosophy. It is an interesting model, but it is still just a model. Human beings have always come up with ideas about how the universe works. Taoism is a particularly handy model because it takes into account the continuing phenomenon of duality. But in the end it is still just an idea, a raft, a boat. When a person seeks to understand the universe and life it is vital to come face to face with it. If all we do is discuss our cleverly designed models that is all we have. The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao. If you want to understand it involves surrendering all the ideas and constructs and face life with bare awareness.
     
  6. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Active Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    80
    Thank you. Most comprehensive!

    Nick, how has the understanding of the Tao influenced your life? Have you found ways to implement your learning?
    For me, simply watching the flow of things around me can be very enjoyable. Studying Taoism in literature and in practice has given me a better way of viewing life. I'm grateful to all the ancestors for passing it down. And thank you for continuing to do so for others.
     
  7. Nasruddin

    Nasruddin Active Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    80
    I think it's pretty cool this thread was started by someone named Sun Wukong, since the monkey king was such a trickster. I understand he caused quite an uproar in Heaven. :)
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,273
    Likes Received:
    999
    He managed to get the monkeys' names erased from Death's bureaucratic paperwork or something to that effect. Quite the life hack.

    The Buddha had to pile a mountain on him to slow him down.
     
    Nasruddin likes this.
  9. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,833
    Likes Received:
    68
    Nasruddin, I am a Theosophist. I find that Taoism and Theosophy agree perfectly. This means that Taoism works for me! I have found that original Buddhism, original Hinduism, original Judiasm, etc., all agree. I can now add Taoism to that list.

    It might help the people here to know that the Monkey King is a very well-known figure in Chinese Buddhist literature, just as well-known as someone like Batman or Spiderman.

    The Monkey King TV series was a very popular TV series in China many years ago. Just for fun, here is the first Monkey King episode. (Many more episodes are available on YouTube.) By the way, the star of the series, the fellow who played the Monkey King, now runs a noodle shop in Shanghai!



    Unfortunately, this version does not include English subtitles. An English-subtitle version does exist.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
    Cino likes this.
  10. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,273
    Likes Received:
    999
    Recommendation for fans of Kung-Fu movies: "Forbidden Kingdom", starring Jackie Chan as an alcoholic itinerant Dao Bum, and Jet Lee in a double role, as Monkey King. Has slightly different angles on the material, but is quite recognizable.
     
  11. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2021
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    what about buddhism or christianity where suffering is seen as a part of life?
     
  12. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2021
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    life is not always happy, thats not what life is all about
     
  13. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2021
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    taoism is just a religion of works dont you think? where you behave good and then you believe you get to heaven.
     
    Nick the Pilot likes this.
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,833
    Likes Received:
    68
    Taoism is more complicated than that.
     
    RJM Corbet likes this.
  15. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2021
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    i know yin and yang, stuff like that, i Know this principle from martial arts. but why should I believe in daoism? explain it to me.
     
    Nick the Pilot likes this.
  16. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    2,273
    Likes Received:
    999
    This forum is for interfaith dialogue, not seeking converts (or seeking to be converted), or looking down on others' beliefs.
     
  17. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    5,616
    Likes Received:
    1,114
    There is a lot of information already in this and other threads here in the Dao forum.
    https://www.interfaith.org/community/threads/11355/page-3
    You could start by reading the Tao the Ching. Here is a link:
    https://www.bu.edu/religion/files/pdf/Tao_Teh_Ching_Translations.pdf

    The pdf contains several different versions, but it's only necessary to choose one
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,833
    Likes Received:
    68
    Taoism is very metaphysical, so it is not for everyone. I don’t know if you are interested in the metaphysical aspects of the creation of the universe. For example, as I posted in a previous post in this thread, the very first line of the Tao Te Ching talks about the manifest vs. unmanifest aspects of our universe (and other aspects of unmanifest reality which are not part of this universe). As a matter of fact, the parts of Tao Te Ching that talk about the manifest vs. unmanifest actually refer to events that happened before our universe appeared.

    Taoism does not emphasize the best way to get to heaven, it emphasizes the metaphysical nature of the universe, the beginning of the universe, the state of things before our universe appeared, etc. Taoism does contain teachings about how to get to heaven, but Taoism first emphasizes the teaching of how you and I came to be here, then it teaches what we should do next in our search for enlightenment and then nirvana. Taoism teaches the amazing steps of the unfolding of the universe (of which the human condition is just one small part). If you want to go straight to the part about ‘how do I get to heaven?’ then perhaps another religious tradition would work for you better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021

Share This Page