“Belief in the Tao”?

Enriched by the above thoughts about The Way, I cannot help a somewhat provocative comment. Is the fact that we are communicating, using words, not counter too the very essence of the teaching?
Of course, we cannot sit together under the stars, looking into the fire in silence for hours, while the stars slowly traverse the night sky overhead. But that seems to me to bring one so much closer to Tao than a mere exchange of words.

But do keep on posting, it is inspiring

Comments

  • edited June 2008
    I was browsing over at the Tea House and saw that...
    [cite] Derek:[/cite]Taoists tend to be individualistic, so there aren't many unified beliefs other than the belief in the Tao.
    “Belief in the Tao”? I suspected it, but now I must face it; I’m not a Taoist either. Either? Well, I've never identified with any group as far back as I can remember. So about twenty five years ago I finally submitted to the notion that I was, or must be, a Taoist. After all, I’d already been pondering the Tao Te Ching for twenty years by then.

    Calling myself a Taoist now feels like [chref=32]claiming its allegiance[/chref] which just feels illusory. Not that doing this is bad; rather, what’s the point? Like a [chref=14]shape that has no shape[/chref], it feels better to be a taoist that has no tao. Even so, the Tao Te Ching resonates as deeply as ever with me.

    And yet the Tao Te Ching refers to the tao. Still, that’s understandable; tao is part of its title. Yet, naming it the tao feels off somehow, e.g., [chref=1]The way that can be spoken of is not the constant way[/chref]. But, naming it tao names it, doesn’t it? Perhaps I am an itist rather than a taoist. Still, doesn’t naming it it name it? If I can name it it, then it isn’t the constant it, is it? What does it mean anyway? I mean it. What a fascinating word; it I mean. What is it? Do I believe in it? I 'believe' not!

    I know this all sound kind of silly, or does it? [chref=25]I know not its name, so I style it the way[/chref] sounds reasonable up to a point. Still, I feel like any attempt to even style it as something diminishes it. In a way this feels like the word, nothing. If nothing is the absence of something, that is ‘something’, even if it is nothing. And here I am, back at something that feels like [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref] once again. No wonder the Tao Te Ching has a dim view of [chref=23]words[/chref] and [chref=32]names[/chref]. Names and words just lead the mind around in circles... well at least mine. :roll: The only remedy is to just [chref=16]do my utmost to attain emptiness and hold firmly to stillness.[/chref]
  • edited December 1969
    The word "belief" doesn't resound with me either. And yet it's so hard for me to conceive of anything I can't name, in my head, that is. My thinking is dependent on language and so belief is dependent on language.

    But maybe that's a narrow view of the word belief.

    Like you (but with lots less experience), the Tao resonates with me. That feeling is below thinking (below/deeper/non-thinking). Maybe that can be called a "belief."

    My brain is usually a little befuddled and that makes it easier to let go of and to stop trying to figure it all out. You could say I am losing my mind! :D A mind is a wonderful thing to lose!
  • edited December 1969
    The word 'it' seems to try and indicate where the buck stops. i.e. 'Thats it', yet that also suggests an ending, which of course only [chref=58]transforms again into[/chref] something else.. even if that is a return to 'nothing' from whence 'it' sprung. Wheeeeee!!!!! the buck never stops.

    When I was a very young child and was being encouraged to pray I would start by thinking of one word in my head which seemed to pull me into, what felt to me to be the 'right' frame of mind - "The"
    That's my favorite word... and i guess it was my own name for God.
    it is said as a reference before indication of a subject matter :shock: ... it points to... yet it embodies.
    it speaks generically (The Camel can survive without water for long periods)
    yet it indicates uniqueness (The Sun)

    Speaking of names...
    I kinda wish that when I signed up to this wonderful site that I had just used my name... :roll: silly boy... which reminds me...

    Im a UK fellow and my name is Laurie, and few times in here I have been referred to as a 'her'
    It interested me to observe my emotional reactions to this, and my urge to correct, or to be cool and blase' by not correcting.
    Quite odd indeed is the ping-pong affect that goes on when faced with a stereotype, where we initially have a thought and then edit our thoughts as 'presumptuous' or politically incorrect in an attempt to [chref=38]keep [/chref] to virtue and be groovy.
    I suppose these [chref=70]affairs[/chref] must [chref=63]needs have their[/chref] roots in our tribal instinct and our need to establish convention. After all, our brain's like zeros and ones.. so the need to box things using names and words seems to be the counter-balance to the comfort that language gives us, the illusion of control.
  • edited December 1969
    Well, well, :idea: I take it that Laurie is short for Laurence in England. Not so here, which explains part of the mix up. Although, your gender really changed when my boys did a google search for TheNowSeeker (I forget why) and landed upon a woman’s blog or something and thus you became her. Now that really is a non invasive sex change. For my part, I’m not too good at keeping such details straight; I just go along for the ride. On main reason for that may be that from a correlations point of view male is female on the inside, just as female is male on the inside - sort of :yy:

    Re "The": I enjoy the fact that Chinese has no ‘the’ and no capital letters either. Smoothes out things a little.
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Lynn Cornish:[/cite]The word "belief" doesn't resound with me either. And yet it's so hard for me to conceive of anything I can't name, in my head, that is. My thinking is dependent on language and so belief is dependent on language.

    But maybe that's a narrow view of the word belief.

    Like you (but with lots less experience), the Tao resonates with me. That feeling is below thinking (below/deeper/non-thinking). Maybe that can be called a "belief."
    Belief is entwined with thought. Perhaps like a ‘I think therefore I believe... I am', or whatever. The less real thought feels, the less thought can function as solid belief. Perhaps just a place holder for this moments thoughts. It really comes down to trust: if you trust your thoughts are real you believe them; if you suspect that your thoughts are but figments of your imagination (illusion), then perhaps the inner animal – your original ‘self’ – is peeking though. :D
  • For me Taoism and being a Taoist requires no belief, in fact just the opposite it requires one give up belief and discover ones own Universal embedded truth. Belief requires, as you correctly point out, some "thing" to believe in. The Tao is the Way" of energy an action, not a thing. This action is constantly changing and morphing and re-creating and so therefore requires one to be vigilant, remaining constantly aware of ones inner connection and submersion in the Way and thus "at one with the Universe".
  • You say "Tao is the Way" of energy an action...". Tao actually translates simply to 'way' or 'path'. Whether one sees the 'way' as one of action, or not, depends a lot on the 'I' of the beholder. Another 'I' could just as easily say, "Tao is the way of stillness and non action". I imagine the 'way' we see merely reflect the 'way' we need to see the 'way'.

    Words are shifty little devils aren't they! They pretend to represent an 'out there' while in truth they are merely reflecting what is 'in here'. Or so it seems from in here.
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