Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby jonesthecurl on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:15 am

Crazyirishman wrote:
Haggis_McMutton wrote:
Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.


So, if we're to take this literally then, if today all world governments were to simultaneously collapse and the whole world would be submerged in anarchy then everything would become just swell.
Really ?


Anarchy is not the goal, from what I read is if you let go of human laws, as they are artificial and are a cause for dispute, you will have less dispute if people follow the Dao instead of laws.


Anarchy is a worthy goal if you understand it properly. ANarchy means "without rules". It does NOT mean "break all the rules just for the sake of it". It does not mean "f*ck your rules I'm all right Jack". It means "I will examine your rules and I will decide if they are worth following. Make a new rule and I will obey it if I feel it's moral. "
The anarchist will not obey an unjust law, nor will they justify an immoral act just because there's no law against it.
Anarchy works and is the ideal state if you have decent people.
If you don't have decent people you need laws. Unfortunately you then need to have decent people making the laws, which is why I'm an anarchist.
And remember what the poet said – “in booty there is loot, and in loot booty.” Or sump’n like that.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby jonesthecurl on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:15 am

Oops, got too serious. But I mean it.
And remember what the poet said – “in booty there is loot, and in loot booty.” Or sump’n like that.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby jonesthecurl on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:19 am

Incidentally a prime example of an anarchist statement is "No taxation without representation".
That was noble idea, in opposition to all the laws at the time, but which seemed morally obvious.
It was not obvious to those who had made the laws up to that point.
And remember what the poet said – “in booty there is loot, and in loot booty.” Or sump’n like that.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:29 am

I think Jonesy could be my father.

-TG
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby Army of GOD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:02 pm

TA1LGUNN3R wrote:I think Jonesy could be my father.

-TG


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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby jonesthecurl on Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:07 pm

TA1LGUNN3R wrote:I think Jonesy could be my father.

-TG



If you can cook and you can't drive, I'll check back in my diary to see where I was at about the right time.
And remember what the poet said – “in booty there is loot, and in loot booty.” Or sump’n like that.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby Nola_Lifer on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:07 pm

jonesthecurl wrote:
Crazyirishman wrote:
Haggis_McMutton wrote:
Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.


So, if we're to take this literally then, if today all world governments were to simultaneously collapse and the whole world would be submerged in anarchy then everything would become just swell.
Really ?


Anarchy is not the goal, from what I read is if you let go of human laws, as they are artificial and are a cause for dispute, you will have less dispute if people follow the Dao instead of laws.


Anarchy is a worthy goal if you understand it properly. ANarchy means "without rules". It does NOT mean "break all the rules just for the sake of it". It does not mean "f*ck your rules I'm all right Jack". It means "I will examine your rules and I will decide if they are worth following. Make a new rule and I will obey it if I feel it's moral. "
The anarchist will not obey an unjust law, nor will they justify an immoral act just because there's no law against it.
Anarchy works and is the ideal state if you have decent people.
If you don't have decent people you need laws. Unfortunately you then need to have decent people making the laws, which is why I'm an anarchist.


I think you either misinterpret CI or taking anarchy comment to serious. What I think Lao tzu is saying in this chapter is to let go of clinging. You can punish people for breaking laws but you may find that you are making martyrs. Also, saying don't do this because it's not right, you make people want to do it more or you give them the idea.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby Haggis_McMutton on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:18 pm

daddy1gringo wrote:I think the idea is that ignorant formlessness has to be trained by rigid form before it can advance to enlightened formlessness, but that enlightened formlessness is the goal, at least for Lao-tzu. It's like when I used to study Chinese martial arts: you come into the class ignorantly formless -- all over the place. Then you get rigid training in how to move your body effectively, a lot like Japanese-style karate, but the goal is to escape the rigid form and become spontaneous and flowing, that is, formless again, but now an educated formlessness.


I like this. I think it applies to many things (though I always thought of it as one of those sticks that helps trees grow the right way till they're strong enough to not need it anymore, at which point, if not removed the stick can become a liability).

The question then becomes. Is the tao te ching a description of the world in the "enlightened formlessness" stage or a guide as to how we might reach that stage. Because, while I think it might be a good description I don't see it as an effective guide.(unless perhaps if it's just the very first step of a guide, i.e. the step that gets people to think outside the box and realise there is stuff outside our immediate perception and everyday life)

The main flaw of it as a guide is that, for it to work, something like 95% of the people on earth would have to simultaneously adopt it. Otherwise, if just one nation/group did all of those things it would simply be overpowered and taken over by another nation/group (especially if we take into account the period in which this was written).
This seems similar to the problem communism faces, where it would theoretically work great if everyone suddenly developed the right characteristics(putting the group above the self, etc), but unfortunately, that's not gonna happen.

Disclaimer: Above post contains late night ramblings based on inadequate knowledge of eastern philosophy and communism.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby Crazyirishman on Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:17 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:The question then becomes. Is the tao te ching a description of the world in the "enlightened formlessness" stage or a guide as to how we might reach that stage. Because, while I think it might be a good description I don't see it as an effective guide.(unless perhaps if it's just the very first step of a guide, i.e. the step that gets people to think outside the box and realise there is stuff outside our immediate perception and everyday life)


I feel that Dao functions more as a guide, most likely as a first step, and in a similar fashion to the Buddhist 8 fold path, you eventually have to let go of the thing that taught you how to let go in order to progress to that final stage.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby BigBallinStalin on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:11 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:
I like this. I think it applies to many things (though I always thought of it as one of those sticks that helps trees grow the right way till they're strong enough to not need it anymore, at which point, if not removed the stick can become a liability).

The question then becomes. Is the tao te ching a description of the world in the "enlightened formlessness" stage or a guide as to how we might reach that stage. Because, while I think it might be a good description I don't see it as an effective guide.(unless perhaps if it's just the very first step of a guide, i.e. the step that gets people to think outside the box and realise there is stuff outside our immediate perception and everyday life)

The main flaw of it as a guide is that, for it to work, something like 95% of the people on earth would have to simultaneously adopt it. Otherwise, if just one nation/group did all of those things it would simply be overpowered and taken over by another nation/group (especially if we take into account the period in which this was written).
This seems similar to the problem communism faces, where it would theoretically work great if everyone suddenly developed the right characteristics(putting the group above the self, etc), but unfortunately, that's not gonna happen.

Disclaimer: Above post contains late night ramblings based on inadequate knowledge of eastern philosophy and communism.


Haha, nice disclaimer!

RE: Communism and that 95% adoption rule. Yeah, that's spot-on, but tao te ching is much more humble about the 'path to utopia' because there's no clear, one path to it--a point with which communists would (likely) disagree.

The tao te ching is kind of like a guide, but it cannot give you a 1, 2, 3-step by step program on attaining enlightenment. It can get you somewhat started, but perhaps the main lesson is that you have to take things as they go. So, trial-and-error and marginal changes become optimal and necessary in order to find that middle ground, the balance, the sweet spot.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby Lootifer on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:29 pm

I like this one.

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.


Bit "meh" in modern society however.
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Re: Philsophic Discussion #16- The Dao De Jing

Postby Lootifer on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:36 pm

Oh and interesting in the context of the point scoring discussions that occur around here:

True words aren't eloquent;
eloquent words aren't true.
Wise men don't need to prove their point;
men who need to prove their point aren't wise.

The Master has no possessions.
The more he does for others,
the happier he is.
The more he gives to others,
the wealthier he is.

The Tao nourishes by not forcing.
By not dominating, the Master leads.


Another I liked:

The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.
The best general
enters the mind of his enemy.
The best businessman
serves the communal good.
The best leader
follows the will of the people.

All of the embody
the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don't love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play.
In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.
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