Is anyone who practices Taoism not a philosopher? :)
Isn't Taoism the practice of acting in accordance with the universe/Tao ? I would certainly agree that it is a very dynamic religion/spiritual path.
How does one find the accordance?
It is a common misperception about Taoism that leads the non-practioner to come to the conclusion that Taosim is the lazy man's religion. I have often heard this in the form of "Taoism is nihlistic in nature" This is due to a misperception about the nature of wu wei. They mistake wu wei for doig nothing because in most translation wu wei is loosely translated into "non-action." But non-action does not mean "do nothing" it means something along the lines of not forcing your will onto your actions, reacting to what is around you instead of forcing what is inside you onto your surroundings. It can also mean no setting expectations for the outcome of your actions. Do and let it take the form it will take, and do not fret about the outcome. Non-action is actually very active in nature because non-action is about reacting, about letting the natural flow move you.
So, i doubt that you will find any practicioners of Taosim that will not feel that Taosim is as dynamic as the universe. It is at its very nature to be so.
(Pet peeve, calling Taosim religion.)
I see the same ignorance in the misconception of others, especially in those schooled academically on the subject.
I do not consider Taoism a religion either, but I do not get peeved over such categorical ignorance.
People just feel uncomfortable being called lazy and nihilistic, because these are charged words.
Is Taoism lazy? Yes. But not exactly as most people understand the term. Taoism is lazy in that it practices wu wei. This means that generally Taoism doesn't create or quest after work. But it doesn't mean that Taoism is inactive; afterall, sometimes the easier way out is to do something than to not. :)
Is Taoism nihilistic. Yes. But not exactly as most people understand the term. Taoism gives one a means of coping with nihilism, without denying it. As such, it is nihilistic, but if done right not destructive.
Also good to remember is that not everyone has finished the process of becoming a Taoist. :P Many lazy people gravitate towards Taoism due to fear of activity, and many nihilists gravitate towards Taoism in hopes of killing it.
I think your ignorance is equaled to hers. You confuse Slothe (laziness) with no-mindedness. A mind with no-thought is dynamic and creates an incredible working environment. A mind full of thought is practically useless in a working envinroment. Example of such would be if a person is thinking, then the person is not listening nor is that person focused on the task in hand.
I agree with you 100%.
wow! ive never heard her perspective before.
good luck. im curious to see what happens at tea.
The path of the sage is the path of the minimal expenditure of energy. One might suppose that this can be called 'laziness'. But when the world moves very quickly, not expending energy can result in a great deal of movement. Thus, the lazy sage is dynamic.
The path is about the proper use of energy, not minimalization of it's expenditure. Maximization in the expenditure of energy can be an exceptionally healthy thing, but it can also make one sick if spent on the wrong things.
Intent of it's use is what is important, to regulate how much is going to be used in what ever undertaking, tends of leave one all over the place, like the voices of a chattering mind.
2005-11-07 10:53 am (UTC)
I've often felt tao as a dynamic but it is how to understand/visualise it..often I return to thinking of flow, rivers, and so on. My local river has swollen in size the last few weeks, I went for walk yesterday and found new waterfalls, vortices, smooth rushing water collapsing into tumults and noise.
hmm.. my thoughts aren't too coherant today, and certainly not philosophical. But it seems to me that it's one thing to think you know what a river does and how water flows and another to go out into the reality of it, so much complexity. A river is not just getting from a spring to the sea. I think about the problems physicists have with getting a grip on turbulance
and I think that anyone trying to understand/feel the tao is facing a similar challenge - it is no way a 'lazy man's religion'.
At the moment I'm fascinated by vortices
and what the 'corresponding' dynamic in the tao might be like... the idea of circles/spirals fits in quite nicely to my feel of the motion. Maybe people/situations can generate a vortex which pulls things/other people in? Or perhaps we can be like a vortex - nothing in the center but activity swirling around into a shape? And you have to have this strong empty center to maintain it? What about the interactions between vortices?
ok just pondering aloud :)
Nor a lazy woman's religion.
What about the healing of a vortex? The sealing of a vortex? The harmonious unity of healthy vortices?
Hmm, maybe turbulance needs a closer look. Knowing thy enemy is really knowing thy self.
I know this is an older post, but I just found this community (much to my delight!) I would not claim to be a practicing Taoist. I hope to not be stepping on any toes, but as a practicing Taoist, which school are you from? Celestial Masters? The Cheng-I?
I think that anyone who would call Taoism as the lazy mans religion would have a poor understanding of how it is practiced - although I suppose this might depend on what country one was living in. The amount of meditation required to refine the chi is mindboggling to me.
I am not from any school, the meditative practices I use are Mantak Chia's. I read just about everything I can in relation to the Tao. I have six different translations of Lao-tse , and six different translations of Sun-tsa I read them all and consider all of them to be authoritative. I approach books like a scroll- I can not comprehend everything in side them, because my mind works by way of blossoms. Just like at this time the way my mind is observing your comment! The more I read it, the more new things unfold. I guess a lazy mind would quickly read what you have here then respond, but the more I read what you have said the deeper my mind goes between the lines. There is nothing lazy about an active imagination as long as one does not get caught up in an imaginary world, unless of course it is One's own imaginary world. A percentage of my business is built on my imagination, another percentage of my business is run on my cultivated energy and another part is maintained with my concept of currency, which are all influenced by my Taoist way of life.
I guess I should ask Her why her education system claims Taoism as a lazy persons religion.
Thanks for the comment.
2006-03-17 06:59 pm (UTC)
How did I get here?
I've wandered into this post at a vary late date. Maybe things have changed but I wanted to mention four things:
Please understand that a teacher is only someone who has decided to spend the duration of their productive adult years learning about a prize interest, and being available to share what they have learned along the way with people who show an interest.
Academia is a place where all sorts of people go about their business. A teacher of Philosophy does not necessarily a philosopher make. Just like someone who studies Taoism may not be able to understand the way for some time, if ever.
In North America, where western religion strongly influenced western philosophy, eastern philosophy strongly influenced eastern religion. Much of what comes here about eastern thought is categorized as religion because of this. The problem is that religion is not the 'in-thing' in many parts of Canada and United States. The history of our modern thinking starts in the enlightenment- the age of reason. 'religion' vs. science was the big debate of that time, and modern science really started to get going after that.
'Religion', that word is loaded. People have used it to do terrible things. No one said people couldn't use the word incorrectly, or only for show. The history of the development of our thinking (if you were raised in NA) is a very long story about so many struggles that are about being a person and living; revolutions, romantics, governing people, providing for others, etc.
The word 'ignorance' in use admonishes, reproves, disproves, means to correct. Otherwise it is a universal statement. But people who say someone else is ignorant, rarely mean to imply themselves as well; to throw themselves in the same lot with the person they've just commented on.
Thank you -_- I wanted to say these things.
What is it called then, someone that is set up as a teacher in a teachers environment, teaching unknown things to students that don't know any better, and then classifying the unknown things under a heading which is at least ignorant to the topic at hand?
This is the post that led me to your journal.
Life infused with tao.
I take my tea steaming with an ice cube in the middle and a bit of honey, thank you.
2008-10-11 04:26 am (UTC)
Well, it is certainly much easier to read and understand Tao Te Ching than reading the Bible! So if you are lazy, I'd vote for Taoism. :)