Discussion in 'Tao' started by iBrian, Mar 7, 2004.
The Master points to the moon, do we stare at his finger?
we do if we want to know what ring he's wearing
welcome to the forum, Paladin, enjoy your stay.
It sounds very much towards what some theists would refer to as God - God the One and Infinite.
Except some theists give it gender, emotions, has god speak, etc... This is not tao.
indeed, as MV points out, the Tao is qualitively different than how a god is typically described.
i suppose if you were to describe a deity with the same words as the Tao, then you might have something...
the Tao is not "knowable" in the same sense that deity typically is viewed. the Tao is not "personal" though it is closer than your juglar, to borrow a phrase. please pardon my inability to explain what it is... of course.. that's sort of what we're on about
Indeed, and to some theists this would not be God - merely simplified anthropomorphism of a more complex concept.
Indeed, though I figure there are a lot more subtleties in Tao worth considering anyway...
An integral being may not see the Supreme Ultimate as merely anthropomorphized though I suppose many Deists do. All I can attest to is what insights I have had over the years. There is in my experience a great vast ocean of reality, both intelligent, loving, and everpresent, that expresses itself in myriad forms. With a little age and a little wisdom gained I now understand that I do not fully understand, yet everything is incredibly and awesomely clear. I think now that this is what is expressed in the Tao Te Jing, and the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate. I often use the word "God" to describe this reality that to me is more intuitively apprehended though at times intellectually expressed.
I thought Tao meant Way ( as there is no "the " or "a" in chinese, you can interpret it as you like). It does not even state itself as "way of salvation". It is a way of pondering over harmony.
Can you tell me more about Tao harmonising on nature?
There is a way to philosophically connect certain ways of experiencing Christianity with the Tao. But you are right that it involves an understanding of Christianity that completely sheds the more "western" concepts of "God" as a personification of deity or as an independent creative identity.
My first post here:
I am usually pretty hesitant to equate concepts from one religion into another. The Hebrew G-d is NOT Allah, nor is the Buddha a Christ.
But, there are some great similarities between Tao and some Christian concepts of God. The mystics spoke of the via positive (what we can say about God) but tended more toward the via negative (what we cannot say about God.) This is very similar to the tao that cannot be tao'ed. We can only know God, says the author of the Cloud of Unknowing, if we UNKNOW god. The more we hold to our concepts about God, the less we know about god. This seems rather consistant with the Tao.
Also Christianity and Taoism both share the concept of wu wei. Strength, in the Christian tradition, (well the biblical tradition at least) is in weakness. Christ shows his power by being silent before Pilate, and by dying.
I read through parts of this book, and found it mostly said what i already thought.
Christ the Eternal Tao (Paperback)
by Hieromonk Damascene, Lou Shibai (Illustrator), You Shan Tang (Illustrator)
Also, in The Abolition of Man C. S. Lewis makes a strong comparison between the Bible and the Tao Te Ching.
I will end with this: Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3 but anyone who loves God is known by him. (Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter Eight, verses 1b-3.)
Thanks for letting me weigh in.
Welcome to CR, mysticpastor.
Thanks for the reading suggestions. That's one C.S. Lewis book I haven't read. I'm ordering it right now, along with "Christ the Eternal Tao."
Great to have you aboard.
This is my belief as well. The Tao Te Ching describes very well for me, as a Christ-follower, what it is to "know" God. The more I try to put God in a box, in a format I can understand, the less I actually am experiencing God, because God is not in a format I can understand. God is far beyond comprehension. As I let go of my expectations, I come to a place where I am silent before the Great Incomprehensible Something that is God. And in this place of silence I can receive a glimpse, recognizing that it is not the whole. Strength is found, for me, in an admission and acceptance of my weakness- that I am limited and therefore cannot "know" God, but I can still find peace and joy in my experience of this incomprehensible Being.
But Tao also can not be understood with words, so if Tao and God are one, the bible does no good. Tao is emptiness, it is effortless action, it is nature. There is no good or evil in Tao. That I believe is a HUGE difference between Tao and God. God is good, loving. Tao is not.
i have often thoght there was a striking resemblance between the 42nd chapter of the tao te ching and the beginning of the bibles genesis, especially in reguards to "god" and the beginning. the tao te ching states:"first there was the tao; the tao gave birth to the one; the one gave birth to the two; the two gave birth to the three; three gives birth to all things. all things are held in yin, and carry yang: and they are held together in the chi of teeming enery."
i enjoyed finding this (coming from a christian upbringing) because it so simply connected not just christianity and taoism but the genesis of all living things. cell division and bifurcation models of any kind fit into these two seemingly different doctrines.
anyhoo, thought i'd through that out there. and as they say "the tao that can be spoken is not the true tao" perhaps just as it is a sin to use the lords name in vain?
welcome to CR
may i inquire which translation that you used of Tao Te Ching?
The biblical God is an intelligent being that intervenes in the world and choses sides. If you compare tao to God, it's rather the pantheist view on God, as an abstract, omnipresent force that doesn't intervene.
I view it as an omnipresent force that is constantly intervening. Everything that happens is Tao, everything that is, is Tao. It just isn't an intelligent being, it is the encompassment of all things.
What if God is man's perception of Tao. Not to say the Christian God does not exist. When I say God; I mean God for all religions with deities. Man tried to define what could not be defined. We understand ego so we gave Tao ego (i.e. God, Krishna, Shiva, take your pick).
With this thought God made nothing in his image. Man made God in his image.
## the Christian God does not exist. When I say God; I mean God for all religions with deities.
** The christian God Has a human-like form
** this is the statement of very beginning of the Bible
** this is the description of Solomon Of the Supreme Lord who is sitting on the throne surrounded and worshiped angels.
### Vedic texts also describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead having a human form
### Krishna and Rama are both the One Supreme Lord in different manifestations, both having humanlike form
### They both walked on this earth planet
### for that there are Historical, scriptural, astrological and archaeological proofs
### the greatest revelation of God to man is when one attains perfection of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra
### at that time Krishna in His original human like form reveals Himself to His pure devotee
### at that time one can speak, associate and have loving relationship with Krishna
### mental speculators who don't practice the path of devotion to God will never understand this devotional perfection of life
### God is understood only with devotion
### at the time one understands God through revelation one also understands His activities, form, qualities and glories
** Man tried to define what could not be defined.
# God describes Himself in the scriptures. That's a perfect definition.
# there is no need for speculating but for sincere practice by which one can realise God
** God made nothing in his image. Man made God in his image.
# IOW you want to say that God doesn't exist?
# all those who accept God's existence are nuts?
# you also say that God is not a creator of man but man created God
# but you should consider the following things
# Whatever exist in the universe has a great complexity
# complexity implies plan, intelligence and consciousness
# planing, intelligence and consciousness belongs only to a person
# we can plan and make small things
# big things can be planed and made only by some superhuman
# that superhuman is called God
# we have a form
# God is the greatest and is nothing less then us
# He is complete and perfect
# therefor He has also a form
# He existed in the very beginning of everything
# according to his forms we have similar form like Him
# in the spiritual world He likes to associate with other persons
# for that reason others have similar spiritual form like God
# our material human forms are the perverted reflection of our original spiritual form in the spiritual world
# these material forms were made possible to come to existence by material nature
# material nature is a dull mater and so it needs a mover
# that mover and primary cause of creation is therefor God
# material nature is only the secondary cause of our existence
I believe this is not enough for you
# to refute your statement that God doesn't exist we need to open a whole knew forum where the proofs of existence of God should be discussed
# anybody likes to start that?
Thank you for your reply.
I do not question the existence of God (or what ever you want to call it); my personal choices are source or the way. God denotes sex and personality in Christian faiths; can't speak for others. Islam's word for God is asexual if I'm not mistaken.
I only question the existence of a form that man interacts with on this physical plane. Source is found in things through all physical senses. More importantly source is found in us. We are all a part of source therefore all responsible for and in control of our own lives (whether conscious or not). Faith in my opinion should give way to source and searching with in your self.
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