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 Tao Te Ching 25

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Tao Te Ching 25   Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:18 pm

Does this verse sound Panendeistic to you?

Quote :
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.

(Lao Tzu 25)

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:19 pm

Here's another translation.

Quote :
Dao De Jing Chapter 25

There was a fully developed form that was indistinguishable from anything else.
It preceded the birth of the universe.
Silent. Vacant. It stood alone and was unalterable.
It had the ability to become the source of the world.
It hadn't yet been perceived by a name.
The word we use for it now is Dao.

By its powerful actions we can call it Great.
What's great is said to be overflowing.
What's overflowing is said to be constantly on the move.
What's constantly on the move is said to eventually reverse its movement.

The heavens are great.
The earth is great.
Dao is great.
The king of his realm is also great.
Within the confines of a nation there are four 'greats', as the king must be considered one of them.

A person follows the mandate of the earth.
The earth follows the mandate of the heavens.
The heavens follow the mandate of Dao.
Dao follows the mandate of that which is naturally so.

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:13 pm

Another translation that I like. Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English.

Quote :
Twenty-five
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and Earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows
It flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.

Therefore, "Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
The king is also great."
These are the four great powers of the universe,
And the king is one of them.

Man follows Earth.
Earth follows heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural.

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Beowulf



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:26 pm

Now here is thought I can get my mind around.
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Paul Anthony



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:50 pm

Aaron wrote:
Another translation that I like. Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English.

Quote :
Twenty-five
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and Earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows
It flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.

Therefore, "Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
The king is also great."
These are the four great powers of the universe,
And the king is one of them.


Man follows Earth.
Earth follows heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural.

All except the part I put in bold. This is more evidence that all religions are eventually used to support the power structure - whatever form that structure may take. I refer to the merging of Religion and Government as "The Unholy Alliance". There is evidence of it throughout history, and it never brings peace.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:11 pm

Well it's our ancestors of long ago and their attempt to shed light on the sacred, and as such deserves our respect.
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Paul Anthony



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:04 am

Helium wrote:
Well it's our ancestors of long ago and their attempt to shed light on the sacred, and as such deserves our respect.

I mean no disrespect. I respectfully disagree with them. Some of our ancestors believed the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. I disagree with them, too. Respect has nothing to do with it.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:15 pm

Sorry PA, in this case I was referring to the original verse and not your remark. Sorry for confusion.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:04 pm

Here's another interpretation that I like...

25
There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.

Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.


Notice it leaves out mention of "kings". Wink

I also think it does a wonderful job of describing the way I define god.

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Negoba



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:32 am

No man, even Lao Tse, can contemplate or even touch the whole Truth or whole Dao. Each of us simply describes the view from a little window we are given through experience. I love this work and part of this verse, but there's nothing wrong with picking and choosing. It's just recognizing the part of the truth that's in common visible from your window and the window of the author.
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:35 am

That's why I get confused about "tradition" and "dogma." My faith is a thinker's faith, but what separates man from beast is culture. The ability to communicate so that each new generation does not have to relearn the same lessons.

There is wisdom in the Tao Te Ching, the Bible. Does it make me a theist to learn from this wisdom as I use my own mind to explore this realm?
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:36 am

I don't think so.

I think a theist is someone who follows tradition out of conformity. A deist is someone who looks to tradition for inspiration but is not bound by it.

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:01 pm

Negoba said
Quote :
There is wisdom in the Tao Te Ching, the Bible. Does it make me a theist to learn from this wisdom as I use my own mind to explore this realm?

I think anyone would be smart, be they deist or theist, to draw upon the religious heritage of mankind! In the same way a modern scientist would be respectful and stand on the shoulders of all scientists of previous ages.

Unfortunately many deists are unable to do this because they can't see past the gross abuses of some modern day versions of theist orthodoxy, especially those deists who have been victim.

And of course some theist sects cannot do it because of their perceived exclusive claim to God or the truth.

But I'm with Neboga. I think wise is the person who can tap into and mine all the gold from mankind's religious heritage, be they deist or theist.

And I also caution that it's not quite as simple to place deist above theist, in the way you would put, say, reptile ahead of amphibian on a chart.

And that's because humans are a complicated package!
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Negoba



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:21 pm

I think where some have drawn the line between "orthodoxy" and "traditional wisdom" vs. "science" and empiricism, the point that sticks in most everyone's craw is when some else claims exclusive dominion over the truth. There are many atheists who do this as obnoxiously as Christians or any other philosophical bent.

I've been exploring these topics for at least 15-20 years, but from very different places than are explored here. I'm just starting to read enough to carry on an intelligent conversation with you folks. But I am finding some commonality that I have found all too rarely.

Look forward to more discussion
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Averroes



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:49 am

Helium wrote:
I think anyone would be smart, be they deist or theist, to draw upon the religious heritage of mankind! In the same way a modern scientist would be respectful and stand on the shoulders of all scientists of previous ages.

Unfortunately many deists are unable to do this because they can't see past the gross abuses of some modern day versions of theist orthodoxy, especially those deists who have been victim.

I understand your point of view, but I have a hard time agreeing with it.
I can respect the views of a person whose ignorant of the facts. Thus, I appreciate that most believers in the world believe in what they believe as the true nature of reality.

However, I cannot respect the many (in all parts of the world) who have access to alternative truths and yet they do not spend time to investigate them. Now, I don't mean everyone ought to become a philosopher; but they ought to have a curious and open mind. After all, those who convert (to another religion, or to atheism or Deism) have rarely done much research, albeit, they are used to systematically using their reason--and thats all that can be expected from anyone. Unfortunately, most "believers" in the world actively resist/inhibit this natural impulse; and as such they are (intellectual) hypocrites. They are because they knowingly deny their true nature as rational and inquisitive beings.

Then of course, there is the other issue, about the nature of religion itself. Now, from an strict historical perspective, it is wrong for us to judge religions or their founders as evil, to the extent that those folks really didn't know any better. However, it is equally important that we do criticize the viciousness of religion because from our rational standpoint, those beliefs--when taken literally, as they are by most believers--are very harmful morally or outdated from a scientific point of view; and furthermore, those "believers" that do not take their faith literally ought to be criticized on the previously stated grounds that if they are aware of better alternatives then why act as an intellectual hypocrite if neither their life, liberty, nor property is threatened?

Those who cower behind the excuse that they fear excommunication from their "loved ones" (an oxymoron in this situation) are then second hand perpetrators of falsehood--through their tacit acquiescence.

As it is said: Evil prevails when good men fail to act.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:20 pm

Averroes wrote:
Those who cower behind the excuse that they fear excommunication from their "loved ones" (an oxymoron in this situation) are then second hand perpetrators of falsehood--through their tacit acquiescence.

As it is said: Evil prevails when good men fail to act.

That's a very black and white way of looking at things. Reality is usually made up of various shades of gray.

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Uriah



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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:33 am

What ever happened to Averroes? I liked that guy.
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:56 pm

Some of his posts were really long and drawn out and he could be quite divisive at times. I think he decided to spend his time different on things beyond internet forums.

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Tao Te Ching 25   Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:16 pm

Here's another translation that I came upon that's very secularized but does a good job of describing how I view the nature of god.

Translation by, John WorldPeace
Chapter 25


Before the physical universe existed,
the potential of all things permeated time and space.
It was silent and empty, loud and pregnant.
Solitary in its oneness, crowded in its potential,
static and dynamic, hot and cold, light and dark.

The potential of all things,
for lack of another name,
I call it Infinity.

It permeates all things and non-things.
It manifests realities and disintegrates those realities.
All things are birthed from it and all things return to it.

Infinity is marvelous.
The physical universe is marvelous.
The earth is marvelous.
Human beings are marvelous.

These are the four realities.

Human beings are a manifestation of the earth;
the earth, a manifestation of the physical universe;
the physical universe, a manifestation of Infinity;
Infinity, the potential of all things.

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