Parrots and Monkeys

Discussion in 'Tao' started by Vajradhara, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    Parrots and Monkeys:

    A parrot can be taught to speak, a monkey can be taught to act; they are able to do these things not because of their original natures, but because people gradually teach them.

    What i realize as i observe this is the Tao of seeking teachers and finding companions.

    Parrots are birds, monkeys are animals; when birds and animals are guided by humans, they can speak human speech or dance human dances. How much more so can humans, the most intelligent of creatures, ascend to the realm of lofty illumination if they have the guidance of enlightened teachers and the aid of good companions.

    If you know enough to submit to enlightened teachers, associate with good companions, sincerely concentrate on clarification of truth, borrow their knowledge to break through your own ignorance, borrow their lofty vision to expand your own ignorant views, then even if you are ignorant you will become enlightened, and even if you are weak you will become strong. Then there is no reason why you cannot become a spiritual immortal and a buddha.

    Ignorant students follow their own minds and act arbitrarily. Indugling in guesswork, they consider themselves bright and will not humble themselves. Thus they misapprehend the road ahead. Though they are said to deceive others, in reality they are deceiving themselves. This is looking on the great matter of essence and life and child's play. It is no wonder they strive all their lives with no attainment. Is this not a pity?

    Liu-I Ming (1737 C.E. - ? )


    in my view, these words are as true today as they were some 250 years ago.

    in some respects, it is perhaps worse today than it was when this was written.. for, today, we have the wonderful internet with nearly all the information one could desire about a given topic. thus, that beings remain ignorant of their own traditions, not to mention that of others, seems to be more a deliberate, willful sort of ignorance.... which, to my mind, seems all the more the shame.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  2. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    On the other hand the internet offers the individual access to scholarly learning in a way never before possible. But there is a world of difference between accepting the teachings of a single master, or faith, from being able to sift through them all and garner some notion of what the 'greater' truths are.

    For a moment lets imagine that your post was posted specificly in regard to me. After all in many respects I fit the description, I do resort to guesswork and tend to follow my own mind. This is my make-up, this is what I am and where I am on my journey. What you may see as wasted possibility, foolishness and a lack of humility in the shadow of much more astute minds can be viewed another way. The great scholars of the ages, the Bhuda, the Krishna, the Christ, Mohammad have all failed miserably to unite mankind. The religions of the world seem ever more intent on division than unity. They have failed to deliver equality, freedom from oppression, an end to starvation, war, criminality, greed etc etc etc. If these scholars had the answers, had provided the solutions then I would know who to listen to. Since they have not I can but sift through and try to find the gems.
    To question a master, like a child exposing some hippocracy in his father, will more often than not illicit the charge of ignorance or disrespect. All to often it is nothing of the kind, all too often its a rational observation. I do not want the thoughts of someone else as my mind, I was born with a brain and I will use it.

    Your reference to parrots and monkeys even shows the difference between someone like yourself, with a system of inheritted beliefs almost cast in concrete, and my own open mind ready to speculate possibilities on the basis of observation. You state that they can be taught, what amounts to circus tricks, "not because of their original natures, but because people gradualy teach them." Well study of parrot communities in the wild are showing that they are able to learn our language because they have a very evolved and elaborate language of their own. It is taking us the use of sophisticated proccessing of thier language through use of computers to even recignise this fact yet they are able, without technology, to learn to not just mimic but communicate with us with their own thoughts. So who is the master?

    All religions are anthropocentric, virtualy all individuals are even more so. I think we could learn more from the Tao of the animals than we can from many a self-appointed scholar.


    Regards

    David
     
  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Tao_Equus,

    thank you for the post.

    indeed. as the First Nations people say "if you chase two rabbits you will lose them both."


    ok.

    you realize, of course, that this being is not Lui, the author of the quoted text, yes?

    the "h" comes after the "DD" in Buddha, by the by.

    it is, in your opinion, a fact that "all failed misrably". that is, of course, something you are free to hold as a view.

    that is a matter of perspective, to be sure.

    naturally, i would disagree. then again, my view is not so human-centric or earth-centric to presume that humans are the only sentient beings in the multiverse.

    that humans do not follow the moral and ethical postulates of the various world religions is more of an indictment of human ego than said religious systems, in my estimation.

    how many scholars of these traditions have you visited and dialoged with?

    as well you should. both Buddha Dharma and Tao require a being to engage their critical thinking facilities to arrive at the Truth.

    first and foremost, this is a quote from a Taoist Text. secondly, religious beliefs are not set in concrete, especially Buddha Dharma and Tao, they are subject to change and the capacity of the individual beings which uphold the praxis.

    you do realize that this is a text that i'm quoting, yes?

    and that said text is using monkeys and parrots as allegory?

    naturally, i disagree.

    one cannot "self" appoint oneself to be a master of Tao. that is not how it works, i'm afraid.

    i am often left to wonder why beings react so negatively to seeking instruction from a learned being. i suppose that ego will manifest in all manner of ways and will certainly create a feeling in a being that is resistent to having their views clarified.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  4. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Oh dear Vajradhara, I do believe I am owe you the most humble appology. For I did percieve only the final paragraph prior to its credit as being a quote. You may not be aware that I have posted on other threads on parrots and apes and this may well be the reason I have reacted rather defensively to your post. I ask you forgive my misunderstanding. and in future I will endeavour to read your posts much more carefully.

    Regards

    david
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Tao_Equus,

    thank you for the post.

    do you prefer David?

    apology accepted :) no worries :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  6. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Thank you:)

    As to my name I really dont mind, Tao_Equus is a name I have used for some time before finding this site and not one I thought of when joining. In chinese astrology I am a fire horse, and thats how the name came about really. I am not a Taoist but of all the philosophies I have looked at I feel the greatest affinity with Taoism. So david or tao...I have no preference, perhaps david when you dont agree with what I'm saying and Tao when you do?? :p Lol, my mother would only call me david when I'd done something I should'nt have :D

    Regards


    davto (thats welsh version where v is pronounced f :p)
     

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