Detachment?

Discussion in 'Tao' started by theocritus, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. theocritus

    theocritus New Member

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    I've always had strong tendencies towards Eastern philosphy and as of late Taoism seems the most right for me from what I've read. Not studying terrible much yet I have a newbie question that may only be answered by my own discovery but I'll pose the question any way.

    From what little I've read Taoism goes with the law of nature with love and/or tolerance for all things. Diminishing ones desires also seems to be a belief. Would this not include emotion as well? If so how is one to have a loving relations with another and detachment?

    Again still very new to this and am continue my own study. Also, does any one know of a good translation of the Tao Te Ching? I've got one I'm reading now but am curious if there is one better than another.
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Theocritus,

    thank you for the post and welcome to the forum.

    the salient bit regarding emotions is attachment, for the most part, depending on your particular tradition of Taoism.

    as for translations... the Watson translation is quite good... and so Cleary translation... in fact, i would recommend Clearys' The Complete Tao as a good starting place.




     
  3. theocritus

    theocritus New Member

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    Thank you for the reply.

    I found this title "The Essential Tao : An Initiation into the Heart of Taoism Through the Authentic Tao Te Ching and the Inner Teachings of Chuang-Tzu" with Thomas Cleary as the translator. Is this the one you are referring to?
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    yes, that is the title of the book exactly!
    :D
     
  5. Tungp'o

    Tungp'o New Member

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    I admit that depending on the form of Taoism you study the question of detachment from emotional desire may vary. Detachment plays heavily in Buddhism and especially the in the teachings of Buddha. Taoism was influenced by Buddhism in regard to theories about emotional detachment and reincarnation. Taoist and Buddhist both seek enlightenment, though the methods vary. The following is a good example between the differences between the two methods.

    Two thousand years ago the Buddhists taught the philosophy of achieving Buddhahood or enlightenment through meditation and spiritual cultivation and ignored the physical part of the training. Therefor, most of the monks had weak physical bodies and poor health. Naturally their lives were short and very few of them actually reached the goal of their cultivation. It was not until the classics of Do Mo did the monks have a means of physical training and strengthening. This lead to the Shaolin martial art styles and temples. Buddhist sect at that time were very resistant to changes within their sacred teachings and martial arts was no different. One monk was even thrown out of his order for trying to add new martial art techniques to the standard Buddhist martial art forms.

    The fundamental theory and philosophy of the Taoist were very different. The early sects of Taoism believed that "what will happen will happen." It was pointless to obey a tradition or doctrine, but it was equally pointless to rebel against it. Taoists monks did not have all the rules of the Buddhists did. They did not have to cut their hair like the Buddhists, and they were allowed alcohol and meat. They married and had sex, and the Buddhist monks were forbidden to do so.

    As a result the Taoist where more open-minded than the Buddhists carried over into how they worked for enlightenment.

    So instead of a teaching of emotional detachment the Taoist advocated emotional independence to gain a balanced life. It does not mean that one avoids all emotional relationships, or that you must live absolutely alone. It means that whether you associate with others or not, you remain independent.
     
  6. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Certainly turns upside down the typical idea of a monk! Interesting. :)

    How, exactly, were they distinguished as monks from the rest of Taoists?

    cheers,
    lunamoth
     
  7. Kelcie

    Kelcie Kelcie

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    Hi theocritus,

    Desires, emotions and attachments are aspects of our ego. When we are able to detach ourselves from these attributes we are letting go of the ego's understanding of them and embracing the higher (for want of a better word) understanding. They do not cease to exist they are just understood in their entirety. This understanding therefore allows us experience the true nature of our emotions, desires, and attachments, the roots from which they have sprouted and more often then not we will discard that which does not nuture our spiritual unfoldment.

    I myself dont think one translation is better than another, it is highly dependent on how you are able to grasp the inherent message and only you can determine what translation will do that for you. Hope you find one that speaks to your heart.

    Have a great journey
    Kelcie:)
     
  8. theocritus

    theocritus New Member

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    Kelcie,

    Thank you for your post. That makes a lot of sense and helps greatly.

    -theo
     

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