Thursday, December 4, 2014

let's go tao with tao

kusta saksi, via juxtapoz

sorry, kids, this is a little bit late, but still in time for comments by next tuesday??

from our last discussion, there were different points brought up by pedro's intense but honest exploration of truth. i tried to respond to some of his points straight from the tao te ching. 

wu-wei: to yield is to come back again. 

this is deep: what lao-tzu suggests is that if "acting" means a voluntaristic approach to life, we'll be up for a stringent surprise. simply put: not all our plans bring fruit, the more reasons to yield. perplexity reigns! the process doesn't disappear: it comes back again and again multifariously! 

wu-wei also implies the ability not to "give up," but to "give forth," a mental flexibility. it means as cristopher once said "to be in tune" with tao

what is taonature doesn't have to insist.

i know, too poetic. too abstract. but nature IS poetic. the tao te ching communicates this through and through. 

being in tune with tao yields te:

te: with things, plans, projects? be a parent not a possessor, attendant, not master.

cycles: How can a man's life keeps its course if he will not let it flow?

as per pedro's suggestion: do you want to address our discussion of Bushido? 

go ahead!


Sonicah Sanon :3 said...

The idea of "doing nothing" doesn't necessarily mean to just sit back and watch. We all have a purpose in this lifetime, an instinctual drive, it doesn't mean that you are going out of your way to do those things because that desire to do it is already there. Now if you greatly feel that the load is too much, if the action you are about to take places you in an awkward position or if you don't feel that its right then putting in the effort might end in disappointment. If you go with the flow, take action when you feel compelled and resign when you don't then you've become one with tao. To me, doing nothing is doing what comes natural.

Connil E. said...

We spoke a little--maybe more than a little on the topic of invitation (regarding the bushido). I'm not really sure if I voiced myself on this, oh well, I'll continue anyway. Nearly everyone seemed so enthused on the idea of risk taking and adventurism, almost everyone agreed that "yeah, its totally fine to go where we're not invited". I'm in total disagreement.

I believe, that if someone isn't invited to an event, setting, situation whatever then that lack of invite has logical reasoning. Maybe you aren't ready, you don't deserve it or you're just not meant to be there! think of it as putting on "the robe", if you put on "the robe" ahead of time you merely resemble a filthy swine wrapped in clean satin--it doesn't seem fitting--same with invitation. Not being invited doesn't mean that you will never be, you can be, just have to prepare yourself for it; wash up a bit. But, barging in somewhere you don't belong? impolite, probably will eradicate further potential invites.

Amanda Collazo said...

“Those who never make mistakes are in danger.” I grew up being taught to be high achieving and make little or no room for mistakes. It was an urgency inside me to do so, however enough was never enough and the strong need to strive for perfection was there. It created a warped sense of perception that was very much invested with the results in order to meet high expectations. It did take quite a collapse which became a catalyst to finally begin changing those ways. However “you’re better than yesterday and but not better than tomorrow”. The evolutionary process continues on though some days your progress can falter back. Regardless, die and arise a new.
How unhealthy would it be if a person was ensnared in the same loop repeatedly in efforts to cling to a constant instead of going with the ebb and flow that life is supposed to be like? Everything has its course. Treasure the condition of your blessings and endure the pain and suffering as you go through life. One of my favorite lines from Bushido- “think of serious matters in a light manner, but think of trifles in an earnest and thoughtful way”-it’s almost baffling to me how we take the small things for granted and miss the meaning in all the nuances. It feels natural to tread more slowly and savor life as it comes. There needs to be an acceptance for what is and become fluid as water molding around the shape of a jagged stone.
“Be a blade of grass.”
Also, I recall we briefly mentioned simplicity and complexity-how simple things can be so complicated, why is that? Because we overthink? I want to explore that a bit more.

Anonymous said...

u-wei: to yield is to come back again.
To yield, is accept uncertainty. To come back to that which is our home, which is in effable. Life is a jail with open doors. The bars to me, are our capacity to see the full design behind the divine. To be in tune with the tao, I suppose means to accept that we will never understand this world analytically, rather we will understand the role we play in it. Understanding the difference between our needs and our wants and living according to that understanding, to me, is the most imperative aspect of life. We must chew slowly, breathe deeply, and not let anxiety rush us. Nature doesn't hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Take care of that which you love, love that which you truly value for the purpose of its value. To do this accurately it clearly requires awareness. To accept death means to accept life. Just like to accept losing something, means to know the value of having it. No much analyzing disrupts the let go of the ultimate calculations and embrace the ultimate design that we are blind from.

The world is full of paradoxes and life is full of opposites. The whole art is to embrace the opposites, accommodate the paradoxes and live with a smile. Life is not a simple mathematics, it is a complex mathematics. That's why many things don't appear to be clear to you. So many things don't appear to be clear to so many people, even till the end. They keep asking questions, keep wondering why this, why that, why that.... There is no answer for why this, why that. That is how things are. Are you ready to swallow it? Neem is bitter. Why is neem bitter? It is bitter, just swallow it. Mango is sweet, why is mango sweet? You don't know, swallow it. Accommodate the opposites in your life - health and sickness. When you are healthy you never ask the question, "Why am I healthy?" When you fall sick, then you say, "Oh, why am I sick?" Then you try to find all the reasons. No need to connect the reasons unless its of some use. You can say that you ate some wrong food so you fell sick or you exerted your body too much then you fell sick. It is caused by weather or you caught from somebody else, its okay. Theres no point in analyzing it too much. Just see what you need to do. Too much analysis gets you caught up in your head. Heart transcends reasons. Life transcends reasons. Truth Transcends reason. So, someone who is trying to reason out everything all the time can never find truth. Do you see what I am saying?" - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

- Pedro Sabarots

Anton Martinez-Cid said...

I write this as the room next to me bustles with the energy of Cuban exiles sharing good rum and better company. These men at a glance can be horrible beings mired in subconscious racism and sexism but as I share a good glass of Cardenal Mendoza with an old friend who shares tales of Cuba I realize that Bushido is to die. To let my current perceptions give way and simply accept these men as they are. I realize the Tao is to simply enjoy the experience of others no matter how far from my own reality they be.

Aramis Moreira said...

wu wei - the concept of it sounds to me almost as a let it be action in action . do not invite your self to the situation. to be an onlooker of what is going on and almost to separate yourself to go with the wave …. almost the same way a surfer waits around for a wave patiently and then rides it without hesitation . never going against any stream. but to be part of something bigger than him . this sound kinda corny and to be quite honest I'm hoping I'm on the right track or maybe I'm just problemtizing this .. I blame that on Triff . But getting back on track now wu-wei is to let flow

As far as discussing many of these eastern philosophies they are all starting to sound the same almost. Except for Bushido, Bushid to me sounds almost like the life of a gentleman . a life of respect .. of the ultimate respect and honor and that dishonor was worse than death … it was an extreme ideology and to be completely honest I'm glad these guys aren't around because lord knows i would my girl to one of these guys … but in serious terms i believe that if you were to carry these bushido principles you already live your life in tao … and its more of a matter of going beyond tao …. Its how you live in the. Bushido in almost after taoism …. Its how you conduct yourself after knowing tao … and its that you must an orderly and honorable individual

Christopher Pineiro said...

A concept that we have covered before in the class but that came up again in our discussion of Bushido is the idea that one should equally accept highs and lows, and not even make a distinction between the two. “In order to be called a samurai, you must offer your life to Tao. There is no difference between high and low.” “On your way, you meet a shower. You dislike get wet, so you hurry along the streets under the eaves. Still you get wet the same. As long as you accept that you will get wet, you won’t suffer from being wet.” I think the idea of changing your own perception of your surroundings and of the things that happen to you rather than trying to change your surroundings can be life changing if followed to its end. By loving certain stimuli and hating other stimuli, you set yourself up for suffering because you cannot always have the preferable stimuli, and when you do not have it you will desire it (and desire causes suffering). The key is to have a moderate acceptance of all things and eliminate preconceptions of good or bad. Accept good tasting food, accept bad tasting food. Be present regardless of how it tastes and simply experience it without judgment. In the case of Bushido, I think they extended this philosophy to death. They accepted and welcomed death as much as life every day, and probably became more able for it.

Christopher Arias said...

Normally as a person that strongly believes in libertarian values, I would place an emphasis on freedom for the individual through the minimization of regulation. Taoism does exactly this. By claiming that men are directly in tune with Tao, we remove the necessity of the Li. In the socio-political sense, that means no law, no government. However there is no way of escaping Li, it’s is the human manifestation of the Tao. By adopting this laissez-faire mentality, it simply becomes our Li in a roundabout way.

Even despite this, we are giving people too much leeway. Xunzi was more honest about people’s ability to deviate from the Tao. However Xunzi’s method of addressing this was another extreme. His teachings lead to an extreme form of legalism that brought with it harsh punishment. That’s why laws ought to mediate between people’s desires and what the Tao tells us to do. Laws ought to guide people to be more virtuous and have more Te.

Derek Lewis said...

Wu wei, as defined as action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort, means to me that one should not fight nature. That one should let the flow overtake one's being and be in harmony with nature as it ebbs and flows. To me, it means that one should not be hard on one's self when he or she has given into his or her carnal desires, because it is simply our nature, and that we should not go against the grain. Bringing forth this mental flexibility and letting go of the rigidity. As nature doesn't have to insist, nor should we insist on our way of being, on our way of living a "correct" life. Our virtues come with practice and to insist on having them when the time isn't right will simply lead to rigidity. This is not to let rigidity in through the back door, if virtue is to suit a certain situation, let it be so. I really like the blade of grass analogy used, to be flexible in all situations and doing what feels natural.

Leandro said...

The main idea that i liked from the Tao te ching is the analogy to describe wu wei with the tortoise. We have become accustomed to anxiety, to always have what we want (not always what we need) right now or we ge upset with the illusion that we deserve what we want right there and then. if we would practice wu wei, then we would not be so anxious, we would enjoy more the work that we do for out goal, or if we are going through a rough time, with wu wei, we would grasp all the lessons that the struggle brings. The tortoise is perfect, just take the time needed, breathe and well get wherever pr whatever we desire. Wu Wei.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about cycles and i realized how afraid we are of letting things flow. We try to control everything around us, predict every single outcome so that things happen the way they are "suppossed to" or according to our plan. All of this for what though? What do we know about anything, about what should happen or shouldnt? We lose our minds when something isnt what we expected. Maybe our furure plans do not matter because it is not why we are here and when things take a different path it is ok. If we let things flow and let go of the wheel just a bit, we may even find some comfort and beauty in the way things happen on their own when we are not meddling with the way this cycle works. I dont know.. Just a thought.

Maria B

Anonymous said...

The problem with humans is that we don't know how to let things go. We hold on to what upset us, when we don't have control. Humans naturally want to take charge their lives, but they don't understand, that whatever happens, is all a mystery, no matter how much you want it a certain way. We can't control others, we can't control weather, we can't control disasters, or accidents. We don't have control of anything.. we can try, but we won't ever know the outcome. We need to grasp the idea of letting it go. Once something went won't, and you have no control, just look past it. It shouldn't be in your thoughts because you can't do anything about it. Once we accept letting things go, life would become easier and happier.

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