Chinese Philosophy

Discussion about Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, etc.
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Chinese Philosophy

Post by DCHindley »

There has been some buzz about eastern religions being represented in Alexandria and Rome.

(Chan, wing-tsit) A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (1963) ... -tsit_chan

1. The Tao (Way) that can be told of is not the eternal Tao;
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
The Named is the mother of all things.
Therefore let there always be non-being so we may see their subtlety,
And let there always be being so we may see their outcome.
The two are the same,
But after they are produced, they have different names.
They both may be called deep and profound (hsüan).
Deeper and more profound,
The door of all subtleties!

Comment. While ancient Chinese philosophical schools differed in many respects, most of them insisted on the correspondence of names and actualities. They all accepted names as necessary and good. Lao Tzu, however, rejected names in favor of the nameless. This, among other things, shows the radical and unique character without names, and when names arise, that is, when the simple oneness of Tao is split up into individual things with names, it is time to stop.

5. Heaven and Earth are not humane (jen).
They regard all things as straw dogs.
The sage is not humane.
He regards all people as straw dogs.
How Heaven and Earth are like a bellows!
While vacuous, it is never exhausted.
When active, it produces even more.
Much talk will of course come to a dead end.
It is better to keep to the center (chung).

Comment. The term "not humane" is of course extremely provocative. It may be suggested that this is Lao Tzu's emphatic way of opposing the Confucian doctrine of humanity and righteousness. Actually, the Taoist idea here is not negative but positive, for it means that Heaven and Earth are impartial, have no favorites, and are not humane in a deliberate or artificial way. This is the understanding of practically all commentators and is abundantly supported by the Chuang Tzu. To translate it as unkind, as does Blakney, is grossly to misunderstand Taoist philosophy.

The two Taoist ideas, vacuity (hsü) and non-being (wu), later employed and elaborated by the Buddhists, were taboos to Confucianists. To them, these ideas are charged with a great danger of nihilism, even if Taoism is not. The Neo-Confucianist Chang Tsai (Chang Heng-ch'ü, 1020-1077) called Reality "Great Vacuity" (T'ai-hsü), Chu Hsi (1130-1200) characterized man's nature as hsü and intelligent, and Wang Yang-ming (Wang Shou-jen, 1472-1529) described the original mind of man in the same terms. But Chang's Vacuity is equivalent to material force (ch'i), which is real and active. To Chu and Wang, as to other Confucianists, vacuity means purity, being devoid of selfish desires, impartiality, and so forth. Even then, they used the term sparingly and with great care.

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Re: Chinese Philosophy

Post by theeternaliam »

I've thought about doing a comparison between Lao Tse's teachings and Jesus's. I kinda think, as others have said, that He travelled to the East to learn from Chinese Indian n other eastern sages.
That or theres something to the concept of the collective unconscious. His teachings seem to me to be a synthesis of Israeli, Greek, Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu ideas
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