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Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
#26

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
"Zhang Sanfeng was a legendary Chinese Taoist who invented T'ai chi ch'üan and was purported to have achieved immortality. According to various accounts, he was born in Shaowu, Nanping, Fujian during the Southern Song dynasty and lived for over 307 years until the mid-Ming dynasty. Wikipedia"
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#27

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-30-2021, 05:44 PM)Aroura Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 05:41 PM)Aegon Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 02:52 PM)mordant Wrote: I quit shopping for a belief system almost thirty years ago. When I left the Christian faith, I went through a phase where I evaluated other religions on the assumption that surely they can't all be the same. But I found that, at bottom, they actually were. It was all unsubstantiatable assertions, and the details weren't ultimately even all that different when you really unpack them. Taoism and Buddhism were the only ones that stood out as different to me, but that is because they are more practical self-help systems than dogmatic religions. I have borrowed ideas and concepts, but not rituals or cosmology, from both.

I would push back on the idea that Christianity and Buddhism are not all that different when you unpack them. One immense, glaring difference is that Buddhism encourages pulling back from one's ego and developing a degree of self-awareness that is rarely taught in secular western society, while Christianity operates from the assumption that the ego is real and is actually all that matters (i.e. you must sculpt your soul to be a certain way to achieve salvation, humans are at the center of attention in the universe, etc). Of course that's just one major difference but they are such fundamentally different outlooks on life and our place in it. I used to see them as the same because they're both religions, but I've recently found that is far from true.

I'm pretty sure he said that Taoism and Buddhism were the only ones that stood out as different from Christianity.  Thumbs Up

He said that they are but also that they aren't.
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#28

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-30-2021, 07:06 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: "Zhang Sanfeng was a legendary Chinese Taoist who invented T'ai chi ch'üan and was purported to have achieved immortality. According to various accounts, he was born in Shaowu, Nanping, Fujian during the Southern Song dynasty and lived for over 307 years until the mid-Ming dynasty. Wikipedia"

Yeah, sure.  Wasn't Noah something like 500 years old when he built his boat?
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#29

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-30-2021, 02:52 PM)mordant Wrote: I quit shopping for a belief system almost thirty years ago.

When I read this first line of your post I thought... What sort of religion bans people from shopping ffs. Then I read on a bit. Big Grin
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#30

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-30-2021, 06:50 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 05:20 PM)Free Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 09:04 AM)Sanfeng Wrote: Hey some of you are chinese spirituality inclined and follow the Tao? (living in harmony with oneself and nature). 

I find the concept very interesting, there is no right or wrong but just consequences to our actions. The purpose being to leave the least track of our passage on earth...

No thanks.

Any type of belief system regarding spirituality is nonsense.

I agree.  Our mind and body is made up of materials/chemicals which react to the information around us.  There is no woo-hoo spirit wafting around in the body. It's funny to me that trillions of neutrinos pass through the human body every second and science has been able to indirectly measure them but somehow science can't find any "spirit" in the human body.  Probably because it doesn't exist.

I do think one can control, to a certain extent, how the intake of information effects the body.  It's often called mindfulness and I can do this a little bit by listening to classical music or sitting in a warm sunny window or diverting my attention elsewhere.


There are some valid medical uses for some parts of some religions - like meditation or yoga.
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#31

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
In a word:  "No."
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#32

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
In general it's probably wise to live in moderation and not be a dick but these are the kind of things that are properly labeled "advise" and "suggestions for good living" as opposed to religious maxims.
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#33

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
Freedom isn't free.
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#34

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
Chinese Tao mysticism is, in the end, very similar to agnostic atheism, and various aspects of European Christian mysticism, (as expressed in the Christian Medieval "Cloud of the Unknowing", and various other writings, (Teresa of Avila, the "Interior Castle", and John of the Cross's "The Dark Night of the Soul"), and as such, the similarity for those interested in Comparative Religions and Mythology, is very interesting. We used to have other people here, (GirlyMan and HoC) who agreed with me about this. Unfortunately they are no longer here.

But yes, your question is welcome, and most interesting.
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#35

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-31-2021, 04:02 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: Chinese Tao mysticism is, in the end, very similar to agnostic atheism, and various aspects of European Christian mysticism, (as expressed in the Christian Medieval "Cloud of the Unknowing", and various other writings, (Teresa of Avila, the "Interior Castle", and John of the Cross's "The Dark Night of the Soul"), and as such, the similarity for those interested in Comparative Religions and Mythology, is very interesting. We used to have other people here, (GirlyMan and HoC) who agreed with me about this. Unfortunately they are no longer here.

But yes, your question is welcome, and most interesting.

Yes, although there is a pantheon of "gods" in Taoism, it can be approached more as a philosophy of life than a religion. (the religious side obviously has no meaning on this forum...)

Quote:There is no hierarchy, no rules and a lack of will to convince in Taoism. Each human being is responsible for his existence, his emotional, social, spiritual and health development.
For the Taoist, the violation of natural laws inevitably leads to sanctions: lack of harmony, isolation and afflictions.
⚠️ Words and actions have consequences, this implies responsibility and it is necessary to be careful about what is done and what is said, the ideal being to leave as few traces as possible of our passage.
become-a-taoist



I find the idea of the "responsible anarchist" interesting and quite compatible with atheism.
“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.”
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#36

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
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Good book. Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#37

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-30-2021, 05:41 PM)Aegon Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 02:52 PM)mordant Wrote: I quit shopping for a belief system almost thirty years ago. When I left the Christian faith, I went through a phase where I evaluated other religions on the assumption that surely they can't all be the same. But I found that, at bottom, they actually were. It was all unsubstantiatable assertions, and the details weren't ultimately even all that different when you really unpack them. Taoism and Buddhism were the only ones that stood out as different to me, but that is because they are more practical self-help systems than dogmatic religions. I have borrowed ideas and concepts, but not rituals or cosmology, from both.

I would push back on the idea that Christianity and Buddhism are not all that different when you unpack them. One immense, glaring difference is that Buddhism encourages pulling back from one's ego and developing a degree of self-awareness that is rarely taught in secular western society, while Christianity operates from the assumption that the ego is real and is actually all that matters (i.e. you must sculpt your soul to be a certain way to achieve salvation, humans are at the center of attention in the universe, etc). Of course that's just one major difference but they are such fundamentally different outlooks on life and our place in it. I used to see them as the same because they're both religions, but I've recently found that is far from true.
Then you would be pushing back on something I didn't say. Taoism and Buddhism were exceptions -- or at least the basic tenets of them divorced from florid cosmologies and invisible beings were.
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#38

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
Sanfeng's link to How to Become a Taoist? [the Tao is a spiritual path] should be considered as
proselytising, and as such breaches the rules of the forum. I'm also of the opinion that Sanfeng is
not here to debate other issues, or generalised religious issues, but is simply "flogging the product".   Dodgy
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#39

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-31-2021, 03:35 PM)SYZ Wrote: Sanfeng's link to How to Become a Taoist? [the Tao is a spiritual path] should be considered as
proselytising, and as such breaches the rules of the forum. I'm also of the opinion that Sanfeng is
not here to debate other issues, or generalised religious issues, but is simply "flogging the product".   Dodgy

Where in the rules does it say anything about proselytizing?
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#40

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-31-2021, 03:35 PM)SYZ Wrote: Sanfeng's link to How to Become a Taoist? [the Tao is a spiritual path] should be considered as
proselytising, and as such breaches the rules of the forum. I'm also of the opinion that Sanfeng is
not here to debate other issues, or generalised religious issues, but is simply "flogging the product".   Dodgy

Linking to a religious text relevant to a discussion is not proselytizing, and if he didn't write the book, it's not self promotion either.
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#41

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-31-2021, 01:42 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 05:41 PM)Aegon Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 02:52 PM)mordant Wrote: I quit shopping for a belief system almost thirty years ago. When I left the Christian faith, I went through a phase where I evaluated other religions on the assumption that surely they can't all be the same. But I found that, at bottom, they actually were. It was all unsubstantiatable assertions, and the details weren't ultimately even all that different when you really unpack them. Taoism and Buddhism were the only ones that stood out as different to me, but that is because they are more practical self-help systems than dogmatic religions. I have borrowed ideas and concepts, but not rituals or cosmology, from both.

I would push back on the idea that Christianity and Buddhism are not all that different when you unpack them. One immense, glaring difference is that Buddhism encourages pulling back from one's ego and developing a degree of self-awareness that is rarely taught in secular western society, while Christianity operates from the assumption that the ego is real and is actually all that matters (i.e. you must sculpt your soul to be a certain way to achieve salvation, humans are at the center of attention in the universe, etc). Of course that's just one major difference but they are such fundamentally different outlooks on life and our place in it. I used to see them as the same because they're both religions, but I've recently found that is far from true.
Then you would be pushing back on something I didn't say. Taoism and Buddhism were exceptions -- or at least the basic tenets of them divorced from florid cosmologies and invisible beings were.

Quote:I went through a phase where I evaluated other religions on the assumption that surely they can't all be the same. But I found that, at bottom, they actually were. It was all unsubstantiatable assertions, and the details weren't ultimately even all that different when you really unpack them.

To me you're saying "they're different but also they're not" so I'm confused.
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#42

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-31-2021, 07:59 PM)Aegon Wrote: To me you're saying "they're different but also they're not" so I'm confused.

I believe what's meant is that what differences exist are differences without distinction.  You have a mob with a common overarching intent, that fact that their clothes aren't uniform or their ethnicities are varied are differences without distinction - except, of course, much of humanity believes such differences are material and so religion winds up badly splintered.
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#43

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-30-2021, 09:04 AM)Sanfeng Wrote: Hey some of you are chinese spirituality inclined and follow the Tao? (living in harmony with oneself and nature). 

I find the concept very interesting, there is no right or wrong but just consequences to our actions. The purpose being to leave the least track of our passage on earth...

Any philosophy that claims there is no right or wrong is self-defeating. How could one ever determine if such a philosophy was right or wrong?
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#44

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
With so many ways to do something, why should anyone follow a single way?
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#45

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(01-31-2021, 07:59 PM)Aegon Wrote:
(01-31-2021, 01:42 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 05:41 PM)Aegon Wrote: I would push back on the idea that Christianity and Buddhism are not all that different when you unpack them. One immense, glaring difference is that Buddhism encourages pulling back from one's ego and developing a degree of self-awareness that is rarely taught in secular western society, while Christianity operates from the assumption that the ego is real and is actually all that matters (i.e. you must sculpt your soul to be a certain way to achieve salvation, humans are at the center of attention in the universe, etc). Of course that's just one major difference but they are such fundamentally different outlooks on life and our place in it. I used to see them as the same because they're both religions, but I've recently found that is far from true.
Then you would be pushing back on something I didn't say. Taoism and Buddhism were exceptions -- or at least the basic tenets of them divorced from florid cosmologies and invisible beings were.

Quote:I went through a phase where I evaluated other religions on the assumption that surely they can't all be the same. But I found that, at bottom, they actually were. It was all unsubstantiatable assertions, and the details weren't ultimately even all that different when you really unpack them.

To me you're saying "they're different but also they're not" so I'm confused.
I then went on to say that the only exceptions I found were Taoism and Buddhism. So .. .rule .. exceptions. Not confusing at all.

Buddhism in particular is not dogmatic ... or at least the Buddah's writings were not. One is invited to make their own determinations. I find some of the teachings helpful, in the same way that I find aspects of psychology and philosophy helpful. I am not as enamored of meditation as most seem to be, but it was never central to lay Buddhist practice until the past 100 years or so anyway.
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#46

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-01-2021, 01:56 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:
(01-30-2021, 09:04 AM)Sanfeng Wrote: Hey some of you are chinese spirituality inclined and follow the Tao? (living in harmony with oneself and nature). 

I find the concept very interesting, there is no right or wrong but just consequences to our actions. The purpose being to leave the least track of our passage on earth...

Any philosophy that claims there is no right or wrong is self-defeating. How could one ever determine if such a philosophy was right or wrong?

You seem to be equivocating between right and wrong in the moral sense in the first, with right and wrong in the sense of instrumental utility in the second.
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#47

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
Why the fuck would anyone think that atheists would be following a religious belief system?
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#48

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
(02-07-2021, 07:13 PM)Free Wrote: Why the fuck would anyone think that atheists would be following a religious belief system?

Just spam. People will put their beliefs where they wouldn't put their dicks.
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#49

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
The Tao that can be spoken of is not the Tao.
- Lao Tzu
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#50

Does anyone follow the "Way"? ☯
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