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I ask your thoughts on this... (Tao) (Your reponse is valued, whatever your belief!!)

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ESP
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0 posted 01-28-2004 08:38 PM       View Profile for ESP   Email ESP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ESP

I am reading a book about the Tao. Just wondering what you all think about the few following quotes. Just out of interest.

"Religions fight each other over the conceptual level of life. Once you formalize God with a certain shape and colour and robe, you fight over what is in your mind as opposed to what is in someone else's mind. At the true spiritual level, conceptual vision is both all right and all wrong, until you reach the subtle essence."

"Because things in the world change there is no reason to hold tightly on to any teaching or establishment that began two or three thousand years ago. Only the helpful principles that were taught should be followed, because principles do not change. All good principles merge together as one good unified principle that exists prior to any of the momentary teachings that were developed. It is Tao."

"Tao is the potency of the universe. It includes all Gods, all deities, all divine beings, all spirits, and all souls. This means that all things have Tao as their deep root. [...]One can ask, "is God the source?" If so, then God must have some shape. If he is formed, then he is no different than we are; he is only one of the offspring. Tao is  the final source, the unformed origin of all things."

Just wondering what you think?
Thanks,
Liz.
Grover
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1 posted 01-28-2004 10:26 PM       View Profile for Grover   Email Grover   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Grover's Home Page   View IP for Grover

Well, Liz, that's a loaded question you're asking. At one time, I too "looked into" Taoism. But the lie behind it is the same one Satan has told since the Garden of Eden encounter with Eve. Read Genesis in the Bible before you make any decisions. You'll find that not only does God love you, but He is a jealous God. God bless you! Grover.
Ringo
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2 posted 01-28-2004 11:42 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

ESP- A few points.
Religions fight each other over the conceptual level of life. Once you formalize God with a certain shape and colour and robe, you fight over what is in your mind as opposed to what is in someone else's mind
There have been wars and criminal acts, too many to count done for this very reason. As a matter of fact, we have had many, many discussions on Christianity, and everyone's differing views that show this statement to be 100% true.

If He is formed, then he is no different than we are; He is only one of the offspring.
Which is why Christ called Himself the Son of Man... Because the Father sent His son to Earth in human form rather than spiritual form.

To Grover-
I, also, have visited Tao on the way to discovering more about my own beliefs and faith, and I find your statement to be completely off base. (NOT you.. just the statement you made).
the lie behind it is the same one Satan has told since the Garden of Eden encounter with Eve.
This is completely off base, in my views, and my reading of Tao. There are a few basic precepts of Taoism that fall COMPLETELY in line with the way that Christ has instructed us to live.
For example:
A Taoists is kind to other individuals, largely because such an action tends to be reciprocated... This sounds a great deal like "Do unto others, does it not? No, the Bible didn't say it that way. I believe that it says something to the effect of  "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Leviticus 19:18)

One should plan in advance and consider carefully each action before making it.
What Chrisitan DOESN'T have some kind of  WWJD memorabilia?

Development of virtue is one's chief task. The Three Jewels to be sought are compassion, moderation and humility.
These are three VERY Christ-like virutes, aren't they?

Taoists generally have an interest in promoting health and vitality.
Better said as "Your Body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19)

I defy you to find ANYWHERE that Satan allows ANY of his followers to fulfill any of these beliefs. Maintaining that Taoism is akin to the same lie that Satan has told for the past few million years is flat out wrong.
I feel that you are actually taking arms against the fact that Lao-Tse (the founder of "the Way" was himself revered as a diety after his death. Or that Taoism views many gods as manifestations of the Tao. Perhaps I am wrong, and I sincerely apologize if I am. These are just the two largest exceptions that most Born Again Christians have against the Tao.
There are, however,a few other things that taoism has to offer that are very much in line with Christianity.
In Tao, each believer tries to become one with the Tao... just as every Christian tries to become one within the Body of Christ.
Those who follow the path also feel that Tao is the first cause of the Universe, and that it is a force that flows through life. To my ears, that sounds very akin to G-d creating the Universe, and that His spirit flows through all things.
Taoists are also taught that the Tao surrounds everyone and therefore everyone must listen to find enlightenment.
This is very much like the Crisitan belief that one must listen to the Word of the Lord, or must have been saved by the Spirit to find Heaven. Or perhaps it follows the same logic as the phrase "I am what am..."
No, Taoism is not Christianity. And Christians firmly believe that there is NO salvation without Christ. ( I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6) However, I do have one last point to make. I mentioned earlier that a Taoist is kind to other individuals... Matthew 25:40 states "Whatever you do unto the least of my brothers, you do it unto me." Are we to believe that a Taoist who is nice to others, and thereby is being nice to Christ, who is- in turn- following His laws, will be forsaken on the Day of Judgement?

Cause in my dreams it's always there
The evil face that twists my mind
And brings me to despair.

Stephanos
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3 posted 01-29-2004 12:32 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

ESP
& Grover,

I agree with Ringo, that there is much similarity between the early teachings of Taoism, and Judeo-Christian ethics.  But there are also some important irreconcilable differences to be noted too.  I'll try to explain.


The "Tao" was initially taught as a universal standard of proper behavior, a "way" to live in moral and physical harmony with nature.  I think it is dead on here.  I do think there is a standard in this universe which flows either from it, or through it (that's another discussion as to which is tenable).  This standard was not seen as volitional.  It was imposed by the universe upon those who inhabit it.  This is absolutely harmonious with the Judeo-Christian belief that God has created physical, moral, and spiritual laws to govern his created Universe, and that we are subject to them.  


Sometime later, the Tao became identified with the monistic "ALL" of pantheism.  From something that had definitive bounds, it was later said to be the transcendent which denies all bounds.  The problem with that is, once you erase bounds, you have simply stepped outside of any prescriptive mode, into a purely descriptive mode.  As someone said, by doing so you are "trying to get a conclusion in the imperative mood out of premisses in the indicative mood".  Put simply, to deny form and definition, is to deny any formula for living.  


Consider the quote you gave ...

quote:
Once you formalize God with a certain shape and colour and robe, you fight over what is in your mind as opposed to what is in someone else's mind. At the true spiritual level, conceptual vision is both all right and all wrong, until you reach the subtle essence.



You would think this writer is trying to describe simple moderation, respect, and prudence in judging right and wrong (which I agree with).  But, if its in the spirit of Eastern Philosophy, it is most likely telling us that there IS no such thing as a real right and wrong.  When you get enlightened, or transcend the temporal, you supposedly get to a place where the good/ evil, and right/ wrong distinctions dissappear altogether.  But if these distinctions are lost, then nothing can be said of a "way".  And the means to this "blissful" loss of distinction in Eastern traditions, Karma, makes no sense if the ultimate ground of reality denies any right or wrong.    


quote:
All good principles merge together as one good unified principle that exists prior to any of the momentary teachings that were developed. It is Tao.



Before I respond to that, I would like to ask;  What would such principles be?  And why should we think them "good"?
  

quote:
Tao is the potency of the universe. It includes all Gods, all deities, all divine beings, all spirits, and all souls.



If Tao is the potency of the universe, then what is the impotency?  What is the disorder that clashes with order?  What is the entropy which is at war with growth?  What is the dishonorable  which is counter to honor?  Already a distinction is made, and a shape is being formed.


  
quote:
This means that all things have Tao as their deep root.


All things?  Or only those things which reflect "potency" or "goodness"?  If it is all things, then it should include all things in it's promotion.  The Hindus were forced to acknowledge this through the godess Kali, whose horrid features displayed death, destruction, and woe.  When the creation is deified, how can we pick and choose among the "ALL"?



quote:
One can ask, "is God the source?" If so, then God must have some shape. If he is formed, then he is no different than we are; he is only one of the offspring. Tao is  the final source, the unformed origin of all things.



This is only insisting that the ultimate ground of reality must be impersonal.  But if it is, then distinctions cannot be attributed to it.  If distinctions cannot be attributed to it, then talking of a "way" doesn't make any sense.  Unless the ultimate source of reality is personal, then principles cannot be anything as binding and necessary as the writer you quoted claims.  Mind you, I believe in the "principles" he mentions, but don't think they can be accounted for without a personal Creator/ Governor of the universe.  

Stephen.
Michelle_loves_Mike
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4 posted 01-29-2004 07:43 AM       View Profile for Michelle_loves_Mike   Email Michelle_loves_Mike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michelle_loves_Mike

With any studies ESP, you need to feel it out,,,don't just go with what it says as the only truth,,,read it, study it, and compare it,,,,,I wish you the best in your studies.

Ringo, the golden rule "do unto others,,,,,,etc" no matter how its worded,,,is a great rule to go by,,,since its used in a lot of writtings, from religious to sef help, it must be good stuff,,,,too bad more people can't follow it.

Michelle

I wish all could find the true happiness I have found,,in the eyes of Mike

wintertao
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5 posted 01-29-2004 10:47 PM       View Profile for wintertao   Email wintertao   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for wintertao

First let me say I consider myself a Christian, I was raised in a Christian household and remain so today. I've been reading the tao te ching and other texts and studying taoism for over 30 years - hence my name. Taoism is kind of the anti-religion religion. I think its possible to be a Christian for example and still learn much from the tao te ching and visa versa. In fact thats what I do....Taoism, at it's core, is about being the best you can be. It's about a strong positive beat. You can "layer" on top of taoism another religion if you like. Taoism has no problem with that. It is about simplicity, empowerment of the individual, harmony with nature, living in the moment, and gives little thought to life after death. Its about Freedom. I will say also the tao te ching is one of the most beautiful books of "poetry" I have ever read, and it is indead a study in contrasts. There is no need to stop and pray, as you are always praying. It is, in the end an observation of the simple/complex thing called life. 'Tis also very old, pre-dating most modern religions. I think we can all learn more about our own faith, whatever that may be, by studying others. Taoism is a peaceful, lovely journey, and whatever your faith you will enjoy the "poetry" in the tao te ching :

"

Stop thinking,
and solve all your problems.

~

Watch the turmoil
of beings-
and contemplate their return.

"


[This message has been edited by wintertao (01-30-2004 01:33 PM).]

Vagabond
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6 posted 02-03-2004 03:42 PM       View Profile for Vagabond   Email Vagabond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vagabond

Can soemone sugest good reading on that(website or book)?
I'm very much intresting in it

Vagabon the Lost One

Ringo
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7 posted 02-03-2004 07:12 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Go to google.com and type in the word Taoism... you should find a few that are good there...

But now the animal is in pain...
And now it's starting to rain...
But I'm still the same.

Brad
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8 posted 02-03-2004 07:39 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

The Tao te Ching is an interesting piece of poetry -- though often it seems quite predictable. However, I find it hard to take it seriously as a philosophy. Every time I get into a discussion about it, I keep picturing a thin, naked man with a scraggly beard, hiding underneath a rock from a lightning storm.

Vagabond
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9 posted 02-04-2004 08:12 AM       View Profile for Vagabond   Email Vagabond   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Vagabond

an odd image

Vagabon the Lost One

 
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