Chinese Li


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What is Chinese Li?

How important is it within the expression of Chinese philosophy?

And what does it state about the nature of divinity and the universe?

A starter for those who know. :)
Namaste Brian,

Thanks for the post.

the Chinese, who use the word Li, to describe nature as organic pattern, translated as the markings in jade, the grain in wood, and the fiber in muscle. All of it is just infinitely beautiful, flowing in all sorts of complicated patterns. There is an order to it, but you cannot put your finger on it. It simply cannot be measured or put into words or symbols. When you look at a cloud, it is not a cube, nor is it circular. It has no specific order to it that we can describe and yet it is perfect. Look at a tree, a mountain, or the foam on water when it hits the shoreline, even the stars; all amazingly beautiful, in all kinds of wild and crazy patterns. All of it has an order to it that we simply cannot measure or describe. This is Li - organic pattern.

The Tao is not something different from nature, the birds, the bees, the trees, or ourselves. The Tao is the way all that behaves. So the basic Chinese idea of the universe is that it is an organism. You cannot find the controlling center of it, because there isn't any. Everything is a system of interrelated components, all interdependent on the other. Like bees and flowers; you will not find bees where there are no flowers, nor flowers where there are no bees or other insects that do their equivalent. Therefore though they look very different, they are in fact inseparable. They arise mutually. There is no cause and effect as we study with such veracity here in the west. Light and dark, high and low, sound and silence - all are only experienced in terms of their polar opposites.

this concept permeates all of Chinese philosophical thought from Lao-Tzu to Kung Fu Tze to Liu Bei and onward. we see examples of the far reaching effect of this concept on Books such as the Art of War and Analects.
Superb - thank you very much for that, Vajradhara. :)

Chinese Li, from what I've read of your comments, is about as close to what I can relate to in terms of Divinity.

Normally I'd consider my spiritual beliefs to be without category - but there's something about Chinese Li that absolutely resonates with my perception of God and the universe.
Namaste brian,

my pleasure :) i'm glad that you found it useful.

i, too, feel that resonance within and the inarticulate inexpressiblity therein.
Just to say that I've removed the crap from this thread. :)