Monday, September 30, 2013

491: Daoism continued

Lao-Tze and Zhuangzi later (3rd century BC.), developed the concept of the Dao. The Dao denotes something that is both the source and the driving force behind everything that exists.

 It is ultimately ineffable: "The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao."

It is a model for humanity, the enumeration of all things, which exist and change. The Tao is the way of the universe. 

The world turns in endless cycles of change and variety, constantly increasing and then decreasing again, expanding and shrinking. Within this universal cycles are differences and contradictions.

The yin-yang symbol expresses the dualistic but balanced principles of Tao. The yin is the dark side, the breath that formed the earth. 

The yang is the bright side, the breath that formed the heavens. The interaction between the two can be seen in the universe: 

male and female, hot and cold, rich and poor, light and dark, good and evil. This principle is by Lao-Tsze explained as follows: "The Tao brought the One, the One brought the Two."

Taoism has developed from a rigorous ethical philosophy to a popular religion. During the course of the centuries 

According to Taoism everything is in perfect harmony that is not static, but in constant change. The balance changes and still nothing can exist without its opposite. 

Who goes with the flow of change can become the perfect man. Another important theme is the immortality of man. 

Using magic and alchemy are attempts to achieve this goal. Living in harmony with nature was the original ideal. 

The classic Taoist scholar withdrew back of human society and lived as a hermit in the wilderness  as pictured in many prints.

As I said before: "The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao." Thence all I say here is not THE DAO, but what I can say, is, that for me it fits into a pattern of human behavior.

Ancient writings mainly about ethical matters and metaphysics and about how we have to live form the basis of the organization of a society and a way to keep it under control.

Certain individuals come forward with the claim, that they much better than the general population KNOW what the meaning of the ancient writings are.

One way or another they gain a higher status in the community and so on. An institutionalized religion is born. In Western culture we see exactly the same processes.

Is Daoism a religion or a philosophy? Both I would say, but for a philosopher this question is actually irrelevant. 

Philosophically interesting is how Ancient China dealt with moral questions, ethics and metaphysics. It is interesting to study its historical development and we can compare it with our own history of ideas.

However, through time Daoism also has become a religion, but that kind of Daoism has may faces and can not be defined in terms of a single organized religion.

Both aspects of what began more than 2500 years ago still play a role in our world. Do a Google search in the term "Taoism" and in less than 0.34  seconds you get 3.550.000 hits. And when you switch to "Images" you get the most beautiful pictures.

Thank you……

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you……
[13:23] xtc yonimyxtc: interesting.
[13:23] xtc yonimyxtc: ty
[13:23] Gemma Allen: i looked at the wiki philosophy article
[13:23] herman Bergson: The floor is yours :-)
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:23] Gemma Allen: and found it is very compllex!
[13:23] herman Bergson: And what did you learn Gemma?
[13:24] Gemma Allen: from what the person was saying last week that you just did it or not
[13:24] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:24] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: the yin and yang stuff i understand 100 % at least
[13:24] Gemma Allen: i thought it would be very simple
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: that's the most familiar thing with this i guess
[13:24] Gemma Allen: I had to leave early so don't know how that was resolved
[13:24] Gemma Allen: i did not check the blog
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: that they are opposites balancing each other out
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita...this yin - yang thinking is also familiar to us....
[13:25] Gemma Allen: one thing i got is they recommend just live naturally
[13:25] herman Bergson: we love to think binary...
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: just like computers
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:25] xtc yonimyxtc: i also find it interesting that all people who practice eastern 'philosophy' and eastern 'religions' are, but for the influence of the west, still generally cruel.
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: not really maybe
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: :9
[13:25] Bejiita Imako:
[13:25] Gemma Allen: that is a major part of the philosophy
[13:26] herman Bergson: In a way Gemma it makes me think of Rousseau....the back to nature idea....
[13:26] Gemma Allen: cruel??
[13:26] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:26] Gemma Allen: ah
[13:26] Gemma Allen: and does contain the yin yang balance
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes XTC...what do you mean by 'cruel'?
[13:27] Gemma Allen: was going to ask that too
[13:27] Gemma Allen: most buddhists are very peaceful most i say
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:27] Gemma Allen: there are radicals everywhere
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: see no cruelty in general here
[13:28] herman Bergson: yes even among buddhist monks :-)
[13:28] Gemma Allen: yep
[13:28] herman Bergson: pretty amazing tho
[13:29] Gemma Allen: xtc not seeing all your typing
[13:29] herman Bergson looks at xtc
[13:29] Gemma Allen: not arriving
[[13:29] xtc yonimyxtc: i have read many books lately, e. g. 'oil lamps for china' 'anna and the king' 'footsteps in india' which were all written about life in those places generally in the last 100 - 125 years and the cruelty they observed traumatized my senses - i understand from current news reports, it is still happening
[13:29] herman Bergson: I kpet on typing myself a sec ago while I wasn't at all
[13:30] Gemma Allen: ah i see
[13:30] ἀρετή: the cruelty is happening...
[13:30] herman Bergson: ahh....interesting observation....Xtc
[13:30] ἀρετή:
[13:30] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:30] Gemma Allen: in india now there is a lot of cruelty
[13:30] xtc yonimyxtc: *as a cultural thing rather than via individuals who are mentally disabled
[13:31] Umae Ying: could it be that there are people who live a life which believes in good... but that, like here, there are MANY corrupt people
[13:31] Gemma Allen: for example the treatment of women by some
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:31] Umae Ying: and one might choose to judge or write about either group
[13:31] herman Bergson: Maybe there is an answer to it....
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: like in saudi arabia where they are looked upon as objects woth no rights
[13:31] Gemma Allen: it is true cant blame the philosophy for those who do NOT practice it
[13:31] xtc yonimyxtc: corruption does not necessarily equally physical cruelty
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: that's cruelty id say
[13:32] herman Bergson: our culture is highly individualistic.....
[13:32] Gemma Allen: that is the problem
[13:32] herman Bergson: the number one here is the individual....
[13:32] xtc yonimyxtc: the majority of people in the east and middle east are not atheists
[13:32] Gemma Allen: no they are not
[13:32] herman Bergson: That is not the case in Chinese culture for instance
[13:33] Umae Ying: as Gemma said... the ones who do not practice the philosophy
[13:33] herman Bergson: the system transcends the individual....
[13:33] xtc yonimyxtc: actually, their lives are in mortal danger if they admit to atheism
[13:33] Umae Ying: that does not mean that the good ones do not exist
[13:33] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:33] Gemma Allen: true some places
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:33] ἀρετή: could it be that it comes down to a lack of balance.. like that advocated in Taoism?
[13:33] xtc yonimyxtc: *even atheism of philosophical views held by the ppl in power
[13:33] herman Bergson: Therefor the individual has to subjugate to the system or die
[13:34] herman Bergson: to put it bluntly
[13:34] Gemma Allen: true
[13:34] Gemma Allen: or go to prison for a long time
[13:34] Umae Ying: in many cases you get extremists... who "lay down the law" within a philosophy or religion... distorting it
[13:34] xtc yonimyxtc: yes, professor Bergson, exactly
[13:34] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:34] Gemma Allen: to that too
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:34] Gemma Allen: but we are trying to look at the basic philosophy
[13:35] Gemma Allen: or the way it should be
[13:35] herman Bergson: You could see that principle rule under Stalin for instance clearly....
[13:35] xtc yonimyxtc: yes
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:35] herman Bergson: the individual life doesn't count....the community does...the system does
[13:35] Gemma Allen: look at some of the african nations now
[13:35] herman Bergson: and confucianism is like that....
[13:36] herman Bergson: in that sense Daoism was a counter movement...
[13:36] Gemma Allen: that is why we have such a hard time looking at eastern religions
[13:36] Gemma Allen: we look from our perspective all the time
[13:36] Corronach: exactly, Gemma
[13:36] herman Bergson: To me they show the same characteristics as western religions to me Gemma
[13:37] Gemma Allen: they do in some ways
[13:37] herman Bergson: If you look from a behavioral point of view, in my opinion , the Chinese didn't act different from us in the West
[13:37] Gemma Allen: but the practices are different
[13:37] Gemma Allen: you think not??
[13:38] Gemma Allen: the belief in the ancestors ??
[13:38] Gemma Allen: so strong in every day life?
[13:38] herman Bergson: What becomes the dominant philosophy or religion is an arbitrary matter influenced by all kinds of cultural aspects of a society
[13:38] ἀρετή: all the western influence :)
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: indeed the tricky think here is that we look from our view right into another and then we have a hard time understanding
[13:39] Umae Ying: someone mentioned the treatment of women... Schopenhaur wrote his view of women and it sounded not too distant from the views of those who repress them today
[13:39] ἀρετή: I'm starting to the think the west knows more about eastern philosophies.. and the east.. the western views..
[13:39] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:39] Gemma Allen: lol
[13:39] ἀρετή: -the
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:39] herman Bergson: Nice point Umae :-))
[13:39] herman Bergson: But not really correct I would say
[13:40] xtc yonimyxtc: i read somewhere recently, that the sexual act of a man who follows taoism is considered by him to be a form of 'food' for his body and if his partner does, or can not 'full-fill' him, it is the partners energy who's lacking thus the need for concubines in the ancient and not so ancient times
[13:40] herman Bergson: In case of Schopenhauer we talk about the psychological constitution of an individual...
[13:40] Umae Ying: and the way the white man treated the native americans...
[13:40] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:40] Gemma Allen: good excuse
[13:40] Umae Ying: not everyone was cruel
[13:41] Bejiita Imako:
[13:41] herman Bergson: in case of Indian or Muslim culture we talk about a whole society...a culture
[13:41] Gemma Allen: right
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: yes¨
[13:41] xtc yonimyxtc: not 'indian' rather hindu or sihks
[13:42] herman Bergson: ok xtc..indeed
[13:42] xtc yonimyxtc: as there are many muslims in india
[13:42] Umae Ying: i believe Schopenhauer represented the view of some/many of his contemporaries
[13:42] xtc yonimyxtc: and pockets of christianity from st paul who went to the southwest of india
[13:43] herman Bergson: true xtc...
[13:43] Umae Ying: my in laws did not believe women should have an education...
[13:43] herman Bergson: IN that respect iIndia is a divers country...
[13:44] Umae Ying: german
[13:44] Gemma Allen: well they are not alone
[13:44] xtc yonimyxtc: granted, the hindu culture, or religion if you like, encompasses the majority of india
[13:44] Gemma Allen: even now
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: hinduism is what you think about of india
[13:44] herman Bergson: that is why I used the ter 'Indian culture'
[13:44] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:45] Gemma Allen: when you look at each country west or east there seems to be a minority sthat is hardly accepted
[13:45] Gemma Allen: anywhere
[13:45] herman Bergson: The big question we have seen the first movements of chinses it so different from ours?
[13:45] Gemma Allen: well
[13:46] Gemma Allen: aspects of it no
[13:46] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:46] Gemma Allen: other aspects
[13:46] herman Bergson: That is my feeling too Gemma....
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: the concepts and views are different but have an analogy on our culture i think
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: in some way
[13:46] Gemma Allen: right
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: its just a different view
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: way different
[13:47] Umae Ying: human beings seem to come up with similar questions... no matter where they are... do they answer them
[13:47] herman Bergson: indeed Umae
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:47] Gemma Allen: one thing i have learned in this class
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: very true
[13:47] ἀρετή: by looking outward...
[13:47] Gemma Allen: there are always more questions than answers ever
[13:47] Gemma Allen: one leads to another
[13:48] herman Bergson: Let me give you one example, which at least puzzles me but which is so common in any religion
[13:48] xtc yonimyxtc: i take exception to that comment about how the white men treated the aboriginals of north america - i can cite many books that point out the majority of it was in self-defense. i don't wish to discuss this, only to point out that i take exception to that comment
[13:48] herman Bergson: Lao-Tze is quoted: "The Dao that can be told of is not the eternal Dao."
[13:48] Umae Ying: death
[13:49] Gemma Allen: oh dear better not i see both
[13:49] Gemma Allen: and it still continues today
[13:49] herman Bergson: Let's stick to the subject :-))
[13:49] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:49] Gemma Allen: lol
[13:49] herman Bergson: That quote gives me the creeps in a way....
[13:50] herman Bergson: there is some one saying that on the one hand you can talk about the Dao, but it is NOT the real thing.....
[13:50] Gemma Allen: well brings me back t o the avatar last week
[13:50] xtc yonimyxtc: i agree, lets stick to the subject.
[13:50] Gemma Allen: who insisted it just IS
[13:50] Gemma Allen: inside
[13:50] herman Bergson: Then tell me...1. how can you know the real thing and 2. if you can why cant you talk about it?
[13:51] xtc yonimyxtc: :-)
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: hmmm
[13:51] Gemma Allen: i have no idea
[13:51] herman Bergson: Time and again we run into people who claim to know more than we know....and we have no means at all to verify that knowledge
[13:52] Gemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:52] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:52] herman Bergson: That is my problem with mysticism....
[13:52] herman Bergson: And the worst thing is...
[13:52] Gemma Allen: ah well as you have said it is a matter of BELIEVING
[13:53] Gemma Allen: they believe and that is the PROOF
[13:53] Gemma Allen: for them
[13:53] herman Bergson: when you say...all you say is bull.. you are called a heretic or even burned:-))
[13:53] herman Bergson: But that is scary Gemma....
[13:53] Umae Ying: there are many things we cannot use words for... except to get close to it... it is like this or like that... but cannot be explicit
[13:53] Gemma Allen: live with it
[13:53] xtc yonimyxtc: professor! burned?
[13:53] Umae Ying: that is what art is for
[13:53] ἀρετή: sunsets...
[13:53] herman Bergson: Because they believe the wear a bomb vest and blow themselves up for instance
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: interesting
[13:53] Bejiita Imako:
[13:54] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:54] Gemma Allen: looks at the terrorists in the mall last week
[13:54] Gemma Allen: amazing
[13:54] xtc yonimyxtc: have we not progressed from such barbarianisms?
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: indeed, , those guys are nuts
[13:54] Gemma Allen: well even buddhist monks burn themselves
[13:54] Gemma Allen: i portest
[13:54] Gemma Allen: in *
[13:54] xtc yonimyxtc: o! sorry, i thought u were speaking of witches
[13:55] herman Bergson: witches were only a European problem xtc :-)
[13:55] Gemma Allen: and usa
[13:55] herman Bergson: But heretics were burned on the stake here too :-)
[13:55] Umae Ying: i ran into witchcraft in Africa
[13:55] Gemma Allen: witches burned not far from UCONN Herman
[13:55] Umae Ying: and among the Navajo
[13:55] xtc yonimyxtc: we have grown being burnings at the stake in the west, i believe
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: hope so
[13:56] herman Bergson: We don't do that anymore , no :-)
[13:56] Gemma Allen: just blow up entire places
[13:56] herman Bergson: What you mean is religion Umae....
[13:56] Gemma Allen: where the "witches" might be
[13:57] Umae Ying: or a con
[13:57] herman Bergson: witches were anti religious...
[13:57] xtc yonimyxtc: who does, Gemma?
[13:57] Umae Ying: seemed like a con to me
[13:57] Umae Ying: in africa
[13:57] Umae Ying: believed among the Navajo
[13:57] xtc yonimyxtc: human behavior and taoism...
[13:58] Gemma Allen: depending on where you are
[13:58] xtc yonimyxtc: afk...
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: oki
[13:58] herman Bergson: yes xtc...and it doesn't differ that much from what we have seen in our cultural history
[13:58] Umae Ying: i think of european "witches" as being individualistic... non-conformists.. among people who required conformity
[13:58] Gemma Allen: the iraqi think the other part of the culture nto in their religion philosophy are
[13:59] Umae Ying: not all... different places different witches
[13:59] Umae Ying: in europe
[13:59] Gemma Allen: the same in aphganistan
[13:59] Gemma Allen: the same in africa
[13:59] Gemma Allen: different countries and cultures
[13:59] Gemma Allen: have their version of witches
[13:59] herman Bergson: We'll come to arabic philosophy in coming lectures Gemma :-)
[13:59] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[14:06] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your good discussion...
[14:06] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[14:06] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[14:06] Bejiita Imako:
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[14:06] Corronach: Thank you
[14:06] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: good as always
[14:06] Bejiita Imako:
[14:06] ἀρετή: Thanks

No comments:

Post a Comment