How many of you have read the Tao Te Ching?
Did I pass the audition?
What did you think of the Tao?
Paraphrasing John Lennon after live take of “Get Back” on the roof for “Let it Be”:
“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition”
What did you think of the Tao?
From my favorite Taoist / Ch’an / Zen text:
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such
erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
Consider too how the mountains contain a wonderful illustrated record of life on earth - beautiful relief sculptures, or impressions, of long-vanished species - the whole story of life’s progression spelled out for us in the rocks - strata after strata down through the ages, all written out for us in such detail that we can count the scales on a fish that vanished 20 million years ago. The rocks themselves, without the need for a priest or prophet, only waiting for the light of science, ‘expounding to all people the unsurpassed ultimate truth.’
While I agree with you, my concern about Yuansou’s phase “subtle, precious sound” is that it suggests either anthromorphiziation or a religious revelation or both.
Agreed. Yuansou’s phrase suggests that nature is talking to humans, and that for the person who hears what it is saying, it is, (or could be called) a religious experience. However, since language or thought isn’t the means of communication, it isn’t possible to repeat the ‘message.’ Pantheism doesn’t explain it either - it isn’t nature worship and it isn’t secret knowledge. Maybe it’s a feeling of being home again, or being where you belong; being among kindred spirits; being among those that you grew up with; by that I mean, being among those that you grew up with for the last billion years.
I’m tempted to call it a kind of ‘genetic memory’ - memory transmitted live via the gametes in the mingled strands of DNA - memory from past ages or epochs; not the relatively recent memories of the past ten thousand years (wars, slavery, agricultural tedium that the Lakota, for example, considered anathema to the human spirit -not the cruel memories of civilization and religious superstition that has plagued humanity for the last ten thousand years.
I think this unspoken communication, this memory, is why Thoreau said, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” - Maybe he was referring to a kind of ‘psychic bond’ that exists between living things and the environment that nurtured them for a billion years.
True, millions are happier in a church than they are in the woods. If a casino in Las Vegas built a plastic forest with an artificial stream rushing over plastic boulders, and played bird sound-effects from hidden speakers, millions of people would pay to go there and have a bug-free picnic in a ‘beautiful’ setting. Millions would probably be happy to live in a space-station where all the ‘comforts and pleasures’ of life were available. And billions are happy to get ‘God’s word’ out of a book.
Is human evolution sending out an exploratory new branch here? Trying out a variation that can thrive in an artificial environment? Or, like domestic animals, has the branch already sprouted and succeeded? Are the Yuansous and Thoreaus a backwater species?
I say it’s better to be like the domestic cat. If the plastic forest falls apart - c’est la vie!
“Wood mice are better than Friskies anyway!” Is the Bible religion in a can? Is it philisophical pickles and preserves as opposed to something alive and fresh? Yet, many prefer the canned goods, with all the added sugar, nitrates, and BS!
You build good bridges. Thanks for that. I like to cross these bridges and live in other peoples’ worlds for a little while.
neither the affirmation nor the denial is true.
I don’t understand your point. If one accepts the common definition of God as an actual being, then there are only two options - either God exists or God doesn’t exist.
If one defines God as a metaphor for some philosophical concept, the metaphorical definition rules out God being an actual being.
Scientist define god as metaphor so do most christains except religous funidmentalist and republican voters they truly beleive god crated adam and eve. monkeys( copy cats)> humans(copy cats and learners, menu plative) > Gods or imortals ( menuplative,Knowing)
excellent topic, but one that unfrotunately usually gets overlooked when it comes to the question: “Does God exist?”, despite the fact that it should be unavoidable.
Personally, and this is far from original, I would say that what is referred to as “God” is the same as the “universal Tao”, Brahman, Buddha nature, etc. Ultimately God is not a concept to be believed or denied, and it doesn’t matter whether one believes in God or not, what matters are the practices that can have very real and practical effects on each of us, such as prayer (when done properly), confession, meditation, helping others etc.
The problem lies in the preconceptions that people have about God, and what were originally spiritual practices (based on spiritual empiricism), but in some cases have become empty religious rituals.
You used the word Being. Can you explain what you mean by that?
Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. However, Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature. But don’t seek to grasp it with your mind. Don’t try to understand it. You can know it only when the mind is still. When you are present, when your attention is fully and intensely in the Now, Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally. To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of “feeling-realization” is enlightenment.
When you say Being, are you talking about God? If you are, then why don’t you say it?
The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as “My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false,” or Nietzsche’s famous statement “God is dead.”
The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something.
Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?
Here is the full length version of “Primacy of Consciousness”. Just to state, it is the above linked section which is being referenced. The ideas in the “Primacy of Consciousness”, although [in many respects] are quite interesting, they are not scientifically verified.
“God”. Its a noise.