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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Taoism

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  #11  
Old 15-04-2020, 01:23 AM
Starjumper7 Starjumper7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ketzer
The first time I read the book I liked it even though I had no idea what the heck it was talking about. Over time, you start to feel like you get some of it but other parts remain a mystery.

That was my experience as well, and I think most people have the same thing.

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I think I would rather keep those other parts blurry and mysterious rather than have someone else come in and tell me what that cloud up there looks like. Once someone says it is a elephant up there, the mind will start to spend its time trying to make out the elephant in the clouds, when in fact, there is no elephant. The elephant was in their mind, not in the clouds.

With experience you begin to see more and more. I started in tai chi before becoming interested in Taoism. The way tai chi embodies Taoist principles in a way it is learning via body, what the book is saying to people's minds. It helps with seeing some parts of it.

Even more important to know is that Lao Tzu was a Nei Kung master, and the more advanced I became in Nei Kung, the more things I recognized that the book was referring to. They are called 'sign posts along the Way', and, just like driving, you don't see the signs until you drive by them. A lot of what is in the book can be looked at in terms of spiritual development that comes from cultivating in the Taoist internal arts. For example, when the book mentions government or emperor he is talking about a persons brain or mind, and the people are the body. In this way you can see that he is talking about aspects and benefits of meditation. The book also explains some of the very high level abilities that a sage develops as a result of nei kung. Some chapters talk about the physical and mental attributes of an immortal, for example.

There's another Chapter that says something along the lines of "the sage can sit in his room and know what is going on in the world". To people with low awareness this would seem a mystery, while those with more awareness will say it means that since the sage knows the ways of man so well that he knows what people will always be like. In fact it is referring to the super psychic abilities that a master can develop. I learned this when I found out that my teacher was so psychic that he knew everything I was thinking while I was with him at his house, and he knew what I was thinking and doing while I was at my house. I leanred that he was so highly psychic that he was functionally omniscient. So this then is the highest level meaning of "the sage can sit in his room and know what is going on in the world".

That's one example.
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  #12  
Old 15-04-2020, 10:28 PM
Starjumper7 Starjumper7 is offline
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Originally Posted by ketzer
Good question. Given that the first verse more or less warns you that the Tao that can be written, spoken, thought, is not the true Tao, about the only thing we know is no matter who translates it or doesn't translate it at all, it is going to be wrong......well at least as far as describing the Tao.

I think there is some confusion here. Chapter one says that the name of the Tao is not the eternal name. This simply means that words and names, as well as the words used for explanations, change with time, and will be interpreted differently. However the book in general does a pretty god job of desicribing how the Tao functions.

but your in luck! I have devised the best explanation for what the Tao is, so here goes, are you ready"

Tao is the way the universe works.

You could say it is the set of operating instructions for how the universe works, which includes the known and unknown laws of physics and spirit.

It has no personality, no feelings, no desires. It appeared prior to the big bang. Tao begot one (the big bang) The one differentiated into two (matter and energy, with matter being Yin and energy being yang) The two interacted to create the ten thousand things. Out universe and everything in it.
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  #13  
Old 16-04-2020, 01:05 AM
ketzer ketzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjumper7
I think there is some confusion here. Chapter one says that the name of the Tao is not the eternal name. This simply means that words and names, as well as the words used for explanations, change with time, and will be interpreted differently. However the book in general does a pretty god job of desicribing how the Tao functions.

but your in luck! I have devised the best explanation for what the Tao is, so here goes, are you ready"

Tao is the way the universe works.

You could say it is the set of operating instructions for how the universe works, which includes the known and unknown laws of physics and spirit.

It has no personality, no feelings, no desires. It appeared prior to the big bang. Tao begot one (the big bang) The one differentiated into two (matter and energy, with matter being Yin and energy being yang) The two interacted to create the ten thousand things. Out universe and everything in it.
Not bad, not bad at all. The Tao is the way the universe works. I would include include quantum mechanics, relativity, and physics yet unknown and perhaps unknowable along in there as well. However, perhaps there is a bit more inflation in my imagination as I am not so sure that it has no personality, feelings, or desires. I think that perhaps it has all conceivable personalities, feelings, and desires somewhere in there as well. As to the rest of that definition, I actually posted something along those lines myself just a few days ago, only I sort of had me doing all those things, albeit I would be following that set of operating instructions in order to do so. As to whether or not this is the best definition, I still hold that the Tao itself is ineffable and unknowable through thought, so I really can't give that statement a fair hearing as I have no standard of my own to measure against. Anyway, it seems as good as any attempt I have seen so far.
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  #14  
Old 16-04-2020, 08:03 AM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjumper7
I think there is some confusion here. Chapter one says that the name of the Tao is not the eternal name. This simply means that words and names, as well as the words used for explanations, change with time, and will be interpreted differently. However the book in general does a pretty god job of desicribing how the Tao functions.

but your in luck! I have devised the best explanation for what the Tao is, so here goes, are you ready"

Tao is the way the universe works.

You could say it is the set of operating instructions for how the universe works, which includes the known and unknown laws of physics and spirit.

It has no personality, no feelings, no desires. It appeared prior to the big bang. Tao begot one (the big bang) The one differentiated into two (matter and energy, with matter being Yin and energy being yang) The two interacted to create the ten thousand things. Out universe and everything in it.



The concept of ' Wuji ' might interest you..
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  #15  
Old 17-04-2020, 04:43 PM
Starjumper7 Starjumper7 is offline
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Originally Posted by sky123
The concept of ' Wuji ' might interest you..

I'm familiar with some aspects of wuji. Which aspect did you have in mind?
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  #16  
Old 17-04-2020, 07:35 PM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjumper7
I'm familiar with some aspects of wuji. Which aspect did you have in mind?


The Tao in stillness....
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  #17  
Old 08-05-2020, 05:06 PM
keepitsimple keepitsimple is offline
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I always loved Arthur Waley's translation - i found it exactly 50 yrs. ago - i walked into my public library, fresh to the spiritual quest - went to the esoteric section and pulled this book off the shelves, and opened (chance or coincidence?) at Chapter 47 - and here was the text of George Harrison's 'The Inner Light' (B side to Lady Madonna 1969)

... the inner light is on youtube, Arthur Waley's translation is online - google it - but i think you'll find just the translation - the book itself is incomparable because of Waley's background notes, and he has the humility to tell us when he's unsure of what the translation might be.
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  #18  
Old 13-05-2020, 04:04 PM
keepitsimple keepitsimple is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starjumper7
My favorite version is the one translated by Gia Fu Feng and with photos by Jane English.

I has the beautiful poetic and mystical feeling of the original, and it is translated in a way, which like the original, embodiess different levels that can be seen by different people, depending on their awareness of and advancement along the Way.

Many of what are called translations are instead interpretations, and a lot of these interpretations are done by people with not too much advancement. Therefore they lack poetic beauty and interpret the chapterss at a low level of awareness, which can restrict a reader's potential to see deeply into the meanings.

Another thing to know is that the translations or interpretations which are done by Westerners can easily miss the all important inflections which a native Chinese speaker will be aware of. This is another reason why I consider this version to be very good.

Tere is a free online version of the Gia Fu Feng translation which you can find by entering Tao Te Ching Gia Fu Feng in to a search engine, and the site is named Terebess Asia Online

I'd hate to start a scholastic discussion - but i checked your Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English translation. - I read through the first 20 chapters and felt like i was reading an editted version of Arthur Waley's translation ... i usually just get through the first chapter of any new translation, and find it bears no comparison with Waley's.

As I say i have no intention of a scholastic debate, but i just wonder if you know about Waley?

I will copy-paste the first chapter for comparison (and for some reason even though i've over 15 posts i still cant post links as newbie)

Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English - 1989 terebess.hu/english/tao/gia.html#Kap01
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

Arthur Waley - 1934 terebess.hu/english/tao/waley.html
The Way that can be told of is not an Unvarying Way;
The names that can be named are not unvarying names.
It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang;
The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind.
Truly, “Only he that rids himself forever of desire can see the Secret Essences”;
He that has never rid himself of desire can see only the Outcomes.
These two things issued from the same mould, but nevertheless are different in name.
This “same mould” we can but call the Mystery,
Or rather the “Darker than any Mystery”,
The Doorway whence issued all Secret Essences.
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