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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Taoism

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  #11  
Old 23-06-2016, 04:35 PM
IAmNemo IAmNemo is offline
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Others have covered this, but just to point out a few things, the concepts behind Taoism greatly predate the concepts behind "ego" and therefore one should probably take that into account when trying to understand the Way.

Now remove yourself from the concept of ego entirely. Are you happy playing the cello in front of others? Does it come naturally too you? If so, then why do you question it? The Tao is the natural order of the universe, what drives you to follow it is entirely irrelevant.

But the questions you have will remain. You are probably not 'entirely' happy playing the cello only for people, or else you never would have questioned it to begin with.
Using Within Silence's metaphor, one does not simply wish to keep watering the plant to make it grow. One wishes to find the plant's true home so that it grows entirely on its own without assistance. So that it has all that it needs to flourish for the rest of its life.
That is wu-wei. Action through inaction. The finding of the Way.

You are seeking that path now? So I will tell you how to find it.
To bring 'ego' back into this, you should follow your ego, if it brings you more fulfillment than anything else, because it has led you here and you have already grown. Following this path leads you to question it. Questioning this path leads you to finding your true place in the Way. Thus, if you wish to find that path you are merely to continue this path until it naturally comes to a conclusion. This is wu wei.
And if something else, even doing nothing at all, brings you more fulfillment than your ego, then simply follow that path instead.
Ultimately, do what you think is best, but not by forcing them to be best, but simply by choosing what is truly best.

One more thing.
One thing that Taoism tries to negate is the concept of good and bad, right and wrong. All things change and they flow from one to another, and this is the natural order of things. Without the light there is only darkness, but without darkness there is only light. Both will blind you.
As such, sometimes doing what is truly right is not that which makes you happy, as well as that which makes you happy is not always what is right. One must achieve balance. Balance is the natural order.
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  #12  
Old 23-06-2016, 08:02 PM
Within Silence Within Silence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmNemo
Others have covered this, but just to point out a few things, the concepts behind Taoism greatly predate the concepts behind "ego" and therefore one should probably take that into account when trying to understand the Way.

Now remove yourself from the concept of ego entirely. Are you happy playing the cello in front of others? Does it come naturally too you? If so, then why do you question it? The Tao is the natural order of the universe, what drives you to follow it is entirely irrelevant.

But the questions you have will remain. You are probably not 'entirely' happy playing the cello only for people, or else you never would have questioned it to begin with.
Using Within Silence's metaphor, one does not simply wish to keep watering the plant to make it grow. One wishes to find the plant's true home so that it grows entirely on its own without assistance. So that it has all that it needs to flourish for the rest of its life.
That is wu-wei. Action through inaction. The finding of the Way.

You are seeking that path now? So I will tell you how to find it.
To bring 'ego' back into this, you should follow your ego, if it brings you more fulfillment than anything else, because it has led you here and you have already grown. Following this path leads you to question it. Questioning this path leads you to finding your true place in the Way. Thus, if you wish to find that path you are merely to continue this path until it naturally comes to a conclusion. This is wu wei.
And if something else, even doing nothing at all, brings you more fulfillment than your ego, then simply follow that path instead.
Ultimately, do what you think is best, but not by forcing them to be best, but simply by choosing what is truly best.

One more thing.
One thing that Taoism tries to negate is the concept of good and bad, right and wrong. All things change and they flow from one to another, and this is the natural order of things. Without the light there is only darkness, but without darkness there is only light. Both will blind you.
As such, sometimes doing what is truly right is not that which makes you happy, as well as that which makes you happy is not always what is right. One must achieve balance. Balance is the natural order.

Excellent explanation IAmNemo! Very nicely worded and easy to understand, which I can get too complicated with at times.
Spot on as I see it! :)
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  #13  
Old 23-06-2016, 09:57 PM
confusionsay
Posts: n/a
 
Necromancer, IamNemo, (its "Omen" backwards right?)

I dont have words, that could thank you both. There is a lot to think about here....and/or meditate on.

IamNemo, it is NOT natural for me to play for others. and even for myself. This is not flowing like water. It is in fact one of the reasons I am questioning it. Because it is so unnatural for me to do, it is fighting my nature. I never had a stage career because of my phobia, not just stage fright but literally a phobia. I would say thats about against my nature as possible. as has been said, I thought maybe doing nothing for time, might create that vacuum. which would attract that which i love to do that comes naturally. because i know two things about my nature-1. i dont like doing nothing all the time, and 2. I dont like doing things all the time unless it was something I like/love doing, which I have not found yet if that makes sense...ugh.

Thats where I am at. I do not really want to play any more. as a player im ok, maybe good, but not great. I wanted to be able to give expression to what i played. But I will never be that good. thats a cold truth. I am however ok with this truth. its just not my path, or it would all come with ease. and your correct I wouldn't question it.

Ill be vulnerable here again.

I feel like, I have either missed my calling, or I have not found it yet. I am almost 50. time is running out. I am a very aware person. I do not fall asleep any more. I went through a great change this winter a permanent awakening. I am not boasting. I am one of those people who knows who they are. I am very observant, and self aware. I have a powerful compassion for all life- because I suffer, I easily understand others that others suffer too. i cannot kill even an insect. I hate driving because I dont like killing the bugs or anything else I might accidently hit. I have went through many experiences of connection to nature so profound it left me changed and I did not seek them out. but I do not fit in anywhere. I have not found my place in the field. I have been saying lately, a line from the green mile...

"Im tired boss"

so the tao, right now for me, is to do nothing in hopes that a vacuum can be created then filled. I am greatful for the input so far. there is a LOT of stuff to sift through in whats been said on this thread so far, and I am dearly greatful...my "way" is not balanced, and I have no idea how to solve that. It is back to that, I cant do nothing but nothing is all i can do. I will take some time to go over all that has been said...
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  #14  
Old 24-06-2016, 06:01 AM
wstein wstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionsay
so the tao, right now for me, is to do nothing in hopes that a vacuum can be created then filled.
There is no need or cause to fill any vacuum. what is it that you really want? Seems to me you think there is some 'purpose' to your life and you are expecting that to be revealed. Clearly that would be in opposition to doing no-thing or nothing.

I am working on not-doing. It comes from 'just being who you are'. Rather than doing stuff to accomplish things, simply observe that things are a certain way even if that is not the way they are 'now'. If you are expecting things to change because you said something, that won't happen. By stating observations without trying or wanting to change anything, what you observe is the way it is now. Note that it doesn't 'change', it is just not the way it was. Basically its the same as having miracles happen. This is more or less the 'externalization' of doing no-thing.

As a side note, its really appalling how tied we are to cause and effect. Its so hard to observe things a different way than they are 'now', without referring to a change from the old to the new. Language assumes cause and effect, and so makes it even harder to state an observation without reference to it.
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  #15  
Old 24-06-2016, 12:20 PM
Within Silence Within Silence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wstein
As a side note, its really appalling how tied we are to cause and effect. Its so hard to observe things a different way than they are 'now', without referring to a change from the old to the new. Language assumes cause and effect, and so makes it even harder to state an observation without reference to it.

Yes, language is the necessary evil for us humans, for, most of our "problems" are caused by words, which are the very same "things" we use to try and solve our problems with. And so we get stuck in this viscous cycle of words, the trap of mind, using words in an attempt to solve words, which is like trying to put a fire out using gasoline. And so, we try to help people, even ourselves and what do we use...words, words words! To solve a problem, which is really an imbalance, we must apply an opposite, and thus return what is imbalance to a balanced state. If words are the problem, then what is the solution? What are words but abstractions of reality, in fact, words take us away from actuality, from what is in fact beyond description, beyond words, what is..wordless. Hence, it is silence which reveals truth, in silence we can hear Tao speak clearly, silence is an impartial teacher, which teaches without saying a thing, as it reveals truth which at the same time dispels illusions. Silent observation is the greatest source of wisdom.

At some point we must find a silent location, preferably without any distraction, without sounds, without light even (I sat in my closet and put sheets over the door to block out all the light) so that there is nothing to see and nothing to hear, so there is no-thing for mind to "do", and just sit there meditating, not chanting, not thinking, "not doing", not trying to achieve anything, no intention, no nada, just let yourself go completely, and eventually all the energy that is spent on seeing, hearing, inner dialogue, thinking, labeling, judging, etc. will be right with you, eventually ones observation will be wordless, silent, just be-ing, one will see through the veil of words, the limitations of words, and it will have itself a great giant belly laugh at having been so spellbound, so enchanted by mere words, which ultimately have no absolute reality whatsoever. This process of "sitting & forgetting" is called "letting your mud settle" like muddy water when left alone (not disturbed) all the mud/thoughts/words eventually settle out of it, and the water/mind returns to its natural pure and clear state. Upon this real-eyes-ation, one sees clearly that all the problems its had, are between its ears, in the form of words. And I am not talking physical problems but psychological, the ones we create in mind.

Thus the teaching; "From the bathtub (birth) to the bathtub (death), I have said much nonsense"

In order for the cup/mind which is overflowing to be returned to its original natural state, to its original capacity it must be emptied, for, when is a cup/mind at its most highest capacity to receive new insights? when it is empty. Empty yourself of all words/thoughts, empty yourself of all concepts, and just be.

Verse 16 -Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.
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  #16  
Old 24-06-2016, 01:45 PM
confusionsay
Posts: n/a
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wstein
There is no need or cause to fill any vacuum. what is it that you really want? Seems to me you think there is some 'purpose' to your life and you are expecting that to be revealed. Clearly that would be in opposition to doing no-thing or nothing.

I am working on not-doing. It comes from 'just being who you are'. Rather than doing stuff to accomplish things, simply observe that things are a certain way even if that is not the way they are 'now'. If you are expecting things to change because you said something, that won't happen. By stating observations without trying or wanting to change anything, what you observe is the way it is now. Note that it doesn't 'change', it is just not the way it was. Basically its the same as having miracles happen. This is more or less the 'externalization' of doing no-thing.

As a side note, its really appalling how tied we are to cause and effect. Its so hard to observe things a different way than they are 'now', without referring to a change from the old to the new. Language assumes cause and effect, and so makes it even harder to state an observation without reference to it.
A light bulb just went on- clearly I have misunderstood wu wei. SO basically this is really not anything new. its no formula, for "getting" its just a state of mind. It doesnt solve the problem because there was none, except we created it. by overanalyzing. which is the bane of my existance.
It seems to be what we would call simplicity here in the west re-worded as the way. literally its just a personal path, a journey?...the way then is what I choose it to be with no regrets, that sums it up.?
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  #17  
Old 24-06-2016, 01:50 PM
confusionsay
Posts: n/a
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Within Silence
Yes, language is the necessary evil for us humans, for, most of our "problems" are caused by words, which are the very same "things" we use to try and solve our problems with. And so we get stuck in this viscous cycle of words, the trap of mind, using words in an attempt to solve words, which is like trying to put a fire out using gasoline. And so, we try to help people, even ourselves and what do we use...words, words words! To solve a problem, which is really an imbalance, we must apply an opposite, and thus return what is imbalance to a balanced state. If words are the problem, then what is the solution? What are words but abstractions of reality, in fact, words take us away from actuality, from what is in fact beyond description, beyond words, what is..wordless. Hence, it is silence which reveals truth, in silence we can hear Tao speak clearly, silence is an impartial teacher, which teaches without saying a thing, as it reveals truth which at the same time dispels illusions. Silent observation is the greatest source of wisdom.

At some point we must find a silent location, preferably without any distraction, without sounds, without light even (I sat in my closet and put sheets over the door to block out all the light) so that there is nothing to see and nothing to hear, so there is no-thing for mind to "do", and just sit there meditating, not chanting, not thinking, "not doing", not trying to achieve anything, no intention, no nada, just let yourself go completely, and eventually all the energy that is spent on seeing, hearing, inner dialogue, thinking, labeling, judging, etc. will be right with you, eventually ones observation will be wordless, silent, just be-ing, one will see through the veil of words, the limitations of words, and it will have itself a great giant belly laugh at having been so spellbound, so enchanted by mere words, which ultimately have no absolute reality whatsoever. This process of "sitting & forgetting" is called "letting your mud settle" like muddy water when left alone (not disturbed) all the mud/thoughts/words eventually settle out of it, and the water/mind returns to its natural pure and clear state. Upon this real-eyes-ation, one sees clearly that all the problems its had, are between its ears, in the form of words. And I am not talking physical problems but psychological, the ones we create in mind.

Thus the teaching; "From the bathtub (birth) to the bathtub (death), I have said much nonsense"

In order for the cup/mind which is overflowing to be returned to its original natural state, to its original capacity it must be emptied, for, when is a cup/mind at its most highest capacity to receive new insights? when it is empty. Empty yourself of all words/thoughts, empty yourself of all concepts, and just be.

Verse 16 -Tao Te Ching by Stephen Mitchell

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

Thats why he also states- The way that can be spoken is not the way!..first verse. ok, its pretty simple, its not miraculous. its not going to solve my issues. other than its just acceptance of what is. its that simple. I choose my path, the message seems to be dont "overanalyze". let go etc. we have the same thing in my culture, simplicity. the heart. so basically its almost a political treatise on not adhering to others ideas thoughts, manipulations etc. which I have always avoided anyway. i was probably doing the way, then tried to over think it. still does not solve my issue, it just lessens the impact.?

ugh see im doing it again...(laugh).

I dont meditate. what I do is listen to nature. we actually call it the sacred silence. I am fortunate to have been born in a great place where water is everywhere, in fact I hold the water in my area to be sacred because it is what has taught me, given me peace, ad also commanded great insight and knowedge from. I live on the shores of the Great Lake, Huron. Its waters are crystal clear. I should mention I am half anishaanabe(ojibwe) and half irish. But I have only known the culture here, and water is sacred, because it teaches us to breathe, to just exist. I guess maybe thats why I like the Tao, because we have almost the same symbology, we use a circle with red(to represent the male aspect), and blue (to represent the divine feminine) these are represented as the Thunderbird(red) and the water panther(blue). Both living in separate elements. yet balanced perfectly. Btw not many of my own people know these teachings of the tao in native american understanding. but its is a universal theme. I should post this symbol for you to see. When I first saw it, I was blown away, but it is so perfectly clear. balance. I understood then that there was no difference in the teachings here as from the far east, this is why I identify as taoist, because trying to explain to someone the concept (words again) to another, is difficult, and confusing for them. it must be understood intuitively.
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  #18  
Old 24-06-2016, 02:27 PM
Within Silence Within Silence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionsay
Thats why he also states- The way that can be spoken is not the way!..first verse. ok, its pretty simple, its not miraculous. its not going to solve my issues. other than its just acceptance of what is. its that simple. I choose my path, the message seems to be dont "overanalyze". let go etc. we have the same thing in my culture, simplicity. the heart. so basically its almost a political treatise on not adhering to others ideas thoughts, manipulations etc. which I have always avoided anyway. i was probably doing the way, then tried to over think it. still does not solve my issue, it just lessens the impact.?

ugh see im doing it again...(laugh).

I dont meditate. what I do is listen to nature. we actually call it the sacred silence. I am fortunate to have been born in a great place where water is everywhere, in fact I hold the water in my area to be sacred because it is what has taught me, given me peace, ad also commanded great insight and knowedge from. I live on the shores of the Great Lake, Huron. Its waters are crystal clear. I should mention I am half anishaanabe(ojibwe) and half irish. But I have only known the culture here, and water is sacred, because it teaches us to breathe, to just exist. I guess maybe thats why I like the Tao, because we have almost the same symbology, we use a circle with red(to represent the male aspect), and blue (to represent the divine feminine) these are represented as the Thunderbird(red) and the water panther(blue). Both living in separate elements. yet balanced perfectly. Btw not many of my own people know these teachings of the tao in native american understanding. but its is a universal theme. I should post this symbol for you to see. When I first saw it, I was blown away, but it is so perfectly clear. balance. I understood then that there was no difference in the teachings here as from the far east, this is why I identify as taoist, because trying to explain to someone the concept (words again) to another, is difficult, and confusing for them. it must be understood intuitively.

That ^^^was beautifully said confusionsay. And you're correct, its not miraculous, its radically simple, which is what makes it seemingly so difficult. ha ha. Just the unconditional acceptance of "what is"

"what I do is listen to nature. we actually call it the sacred silence"
I like that, I didn't choose the name "Within Silence" for no reason. :) I thought it sounded better than calling myself "Without Sound" ha ha

Nice talking with you confusionsay.

Peace
WS
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  #19  
Old 24-06-2016, 05:53 PM
guthrio guthrio is offline
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When nothing does not change

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusionsay


Hi, this is my first post. I may not need to post another. I am a taoist. Not because I sought it out, but because I already understood most its principles so when i learned about it, i realized, "ahhh this is the word for the things i already know"

so a little about me. In saying this I am opening up and being vulnerable.

the dilemma is my situation.

I am 49. I live alone, never married, no kids, i have no friends, no family, no income(i am on a VERY small pension) I am unable to work certain jobs for health reasons, and what i have done before, I hated, or learned that ego is what drove me. I have no real fulfilling path in life. and its painful, i accept it being painful but it still is.


The tao suggests, that I do NOTHING. literally. so I am doing by not doing for the first time in my life i am just being.

I could DO something, IF I knew what that thing is that would fulfill me, but thats the problem. I do not know yet.
[/color]

So, Its checkmate- I know that I must do no-thing, yet I desire to do something, but that something is ego driven and because i know this- I do not want to do anything (yet). this state i am in is NOT fulfilling. it is empty.


So what now? live a life of doing nothing? which seems now almost less fulfilling than when i lived with ego. I guess my worry is, nothing will be the only things that ever happens.

all things change, but thats not entirely true, a mans spine cannot be repaired. or a person cannot grow taller. some people never marry. some never find thier true path.

but what is there to do now? I desire nothing.

I want to desire.
so i can have a fulfilling journey doing something I love, not something based on ego. but I have no insight as to what it might be.

and Ive been trying for years to find it. but to no avail. its so confusing and painful. I accept it, but it does not make it any easier. I wonder if maybe there just is nothing for me and this is a good as it gets, why does only nothing keep happening?
thx for reading
great Peace!

Confusionsay,

I like the play on the words "Confucius says" with your name. A hearty welcome to the forum, with such an excellent post!

Allow me to provide some perspectives which may help resolve the dilemma you've described as "...I wonder if maybe there just is nothing for me and this is a good as it gets, why does only nothing keep happening?"

Nothing does not change....because nothing cannot change....

....if one understands that Tao is no-thing to be changed. Why?

Because if you've recognized that "ahhh this is the word for the things i already know"....it is a short leap to understand that this is also the word to connote the "thing" you already are...Tao.

As expanded in the 1st reference, consider that all the "things" you want to do, and all the "things" you want to be, and all the "things" you want to have...as mentioned in your post are essentially ALL ONE THING: Tao.

Doing without doing is accomplished because Tao, and only Tao, is all there is to do or to be anything. There is no “you” or any “activity” besides Tao to do or to be or to change or to perceive.

While you believe your name is (fill in the blank), as Tao, you have no name (not even “Tao” is your name)!

Consider also this perspective to answer your question above about "is there nothing for you".

As expanded in the 2nd reference: There is nothing for you, because there is only everything as you.

If Tao is the essence of you and all of Creation (including "what you desire"), then it is not desire that causes pain. The pain is caused by mistakenly perceiving that "what you desire" is somehow separate from you and that you are separate from "what you desire"....because you have forgotten that you are already, always what IT eternally is AS Itself.

It is Tao, and only Tao, whose slightest movement...animates our very Being, as Itself, and as the "object of our "desire".

Hope this, and the references below, helps you see that:

All is Tao being Itself, by Itself, as Itself….including the experience of you reading this to yourself.

Do you see ??

Reference: http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/sh...61&postcount=1

Reference: http://www.spiritualforums.com/vb/sh...32&postcount=4
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“Why, that’s true! I am a perfect, unlimited gull!” Jonathan opened his eyes. "Where are we?” The Elder brushed the question aside. “We’re on some planet, obviously, with a green sky and a double star for a sun.” Jonathan made a scree of delight. “IT WORKS!" “Well, of course it works, Jon,” said Chiang. “It always works, when you know what you’re doing...."
http://csermelyblog.tehetsegpont.hu/...ir%C3%A1ly.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8COt1n3jDqA&t=19s
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  #20  
Old 24-06-2016, 06:53 PM
IAmNemo IAmNemo is offline
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Simplification always sounds so... Simple, but for humans it seems to usually be the most difficult thing in the world. Especially within modern societies. More "primitive" societies seem to have a better understanding of simplification. This makes sense given all of these we know about have been given the opportunity to 'advance', Yet they choose not to.

Of course, that isn't to suggest they have no problems. Life is life. No one is always happy. A human being can find happiness or unhappiness in any place or time.

I think what is most important for you to find right now is what it is that is exactly your 'problem' and what it is exactly that you want.

If you wish to flow like the water then you must understand why your own waters are not flowing. Then make a decision for where you want them to flow. Or better yet, to understand why they stopped in the first place, to fix that problem, and to naturally allow them to move again wherever they choose.

Although, understand that the Way does not require you to flow anywhere precisely. A pond settled in to the world is just as valuable as a stream or river or an ocean. The waters in the pond itself still flow around the fish. They still flow into the ground and are still filled by the rains. The pond does not do any of this work on its own, the fish and the ground and the rains do this work, but the pond still moves. Action through inaction.

If you are 'over analyzing' your situation, then you already know what must be done. What then stops you from doing it? Sometimes we confuse over analyzing something with analyzing in the wrong way. If you believe a fish is a monkey, then you might constantly wonder how the monkey swims for so long.

In the Zhuangzi, there is a story of a farmer and a man. The farmer waters his fields by hand, from a stream nearby. He has to carry water in a pot from the stream to his fields, one pot at a time.
One day a man comes by and he tells the farmer there is an invention that can pump the water from the stream to his fields so that he does not have to carry the water anymore and will farm with little work. This man believed that doing less work for more gain is best.
The farmer then laughs at the man and tells him that to do this would not be the Way. He explains that by trying to uncomplicate the matter he is losing sight of the pure simplicity of it and in fact only complicating it instead.

This story is used to explain that the Tao doesn't need to be complicated, nor does it always make everything easier on humanity. That sometimes there are simply just ways of living that are understood and accepted by those living them. They are living in The Tao because they do not feel the need to make their lives 'easier'. They simply do what they know and love to do. And that sometimes our technologies and craftiness gets in the way of our understanding.

So, what is it that you love to do? Simplify your life by not just doing what is easiest or what you think will lead you to where you want to be the fastest. Pursue what seems to be the most natural route and you will arrive where you need to be. A river does not arrive faster by moving stones into its way. It arrives at its own pace and not a moment sooner.
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