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Taoism, Shito, and Mahayana

mattrodstrom
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3/17/2013 11:33:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 11:06:08 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
What do you think is the most distinctive character of Taoism that differentiate it from the rest two?

From what I understand Buddhism, and particularly Mahayana Buddhism emphasize compassion as being a kind of Transcendent Good.

Many Taoist passages reject thinking of compassion in this way.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
malcolmxy
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3/17/2013 11:33:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 11:06:08 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
What do you think is the most distinctive character of Taoism that differentiate it from the rest two?

I think you mean "Shinto" which is exclusive to Japan (along with its own version of creationism and everything). I think you may be confusing Shinto with Buddhism here, since most Shintoists are really Buddhists.

Mahayana actually is Buddhism.

Buddhism has tenets (4 noble truths, 8-fold path, etc) and a spiritual leader (dalai lama).

Taoism comes from the Tao Te Ching (The Way of Life) by Lao Tzu (Laozi is also a common spelling, but that looks like it's pronounced "lousy" to me).

I think a lot of Buddhists, while meditating on the four noble truths, realize that Taoism helps them reach enlightenment.

Taoism is a understanding of the nature of all things, or at least an understanding that all things have a nature to them and no matter how hard you try, you can't change it, so rather than try to fight through it, use their nature.

It's faster and more harmonious.

Buddhism is a process of removing attachment to reach a state of enlightenment (which is impossible to reach).

They're plenty different.
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mattrodstrom
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3/17/2013 11:39:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 11:33:05 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/17/2013 11:06:08 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
What do you think is the most distinctive character of Taoism that differentiate it from the rest two?

From what I understand Buddhism, and particularly Mahayana Buddhism emphasize compassion as being a kind of Transcendent Good.

Many Taoist passages reject thinking of compassion in this way.

There are also however passages in taoist compilations which encourage thinking of compassion in that way...
but the Zhuangzi at least thoroughly reproaches such a perspective.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/17/2013 12:02:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I am a former Theravada Buddhist, and I think that Buddhism varies immensely. My school was more focused on the philosophical aspect of Buddhism, while Vajrayana, or Tibetan Buddhism, has a rich mythological and allegorical backdrop to draw from. This is best characterized in the Bardo Thodol, or Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is by far one of the most interesting religious texts that I have ever read. Then there's the Mahayana doctrine that arhatship is undesirable and wrong-headed, and that the path of the Bodhisattva is the only true path to enlightenment. But what all forms of Buddhism have in common is an escape from samsara by the elimination of the attachment to an ever-shifting reality. This contrasts with Daoism, which holds harmony with the Dao, the unknowable nature of things, as its goal. Shinto consists of Japan's rich mythological and cultural tradition, and is deeply interwoven with the history of their nation. It has in places melded with Buddhist schools, (A similar phenomenon would be the veneration of the pagan Sibyls, especially the Cumaean Sibyl, by early Christians, and their adoption of pagan holidays) but it is distinct from both them and Daoism and has more in common with other pantheon-based religions.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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3/17/2013 12:14:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Two quotes which contrast Buddhism and Daoism:

"Through many a birth I wandered in samsara, seeking, but not finding, the builder of the house. Sorrowful is it to be born again and again.

O house-builder! Thou art seen. Thou shalt build no house again. All thy rafters are broken.

Thy ridge-pole is shattered. My mind has attained the unconditioned. Achieved is this end of craving."
- Uttered by Buddha after attaining enlightenment -

"There is a thing inherent and natural,
Which existed before heaven and earth.
Motionless and fathomless,
It stands alone and never changes;
It pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted.
It may be regarded as the Mother of the Universe.
I do not know its name. If I am forced to give it a name, I call it Tao, and I name it as supreme."
- Tao Te Ching -
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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3/18/2013 12:46:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 11:33:33 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 3/17/2013 11:06:08 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
What do you think is the most distinctive character of Taoism that differentiate it from the rest two?

I think you mean "Shinto" which is exclusive to Japan (along with its own version of creationism and everything). I think you may be confusing Shinto with Buddhism here, since most Shintoists are really Buddhists.

Mahayana actually is Buddhism.

Buddhism has tenets (4 noble truths, 8-fold path, etc) and a spiritual leader (dalai lama).

Taoism comes from the Tao Te Ching (The Way of Life) by Lao Tzu (Laozi is also a common spelling, but that looks like it's pronounced "lousy" to me).

I think a lot of Buddhists, while meditating on the four noble truths, realize that Taoism helps them reach enlightenment.

Taoism is a understanding of the nature of all things, or at least an understanding that all things have a nature to them and no matter how hard you try, you can't change it, so rather than try to fight through it, use their nature.

It's faster and more harmonious.

Buddhism is a process of removing attachment to reach a state of enlightenment (which is impossible to reach).

They're plenty different.

Except from Tao, the rest is all Buddhism. That doesn't change the fact that they are almost totally different in principle and practice. I would compare MHY Buddhism to a Greco-Roman Pantheon, where gods are many and are worshiped for certain heavenly blessing which that specific god is specialized (note the term "heavenly" because that make it partially different from Shinto). Shinto would be more like a combination of Druidism and Animism where gods is largely originated from physical nature, ancestor spirit from man, elemental spirit from natural element, heavenly spirit from man who genetically related to emperor.

Tao, I don't know and that is the purpose of the question :P
suttichart.denpruektham
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3/18/2013 12:47:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 12:02:32 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I am a former Theravada Buddhist, and I think that Buddhism varies immensely. My school was more focused on the philosophical aspect of Buddhism, while Vajrayana, or Tibetan Buddhism, has a rich mythological and allegorical backdrop to draw from. This is best characterized in the Bardo Thodol, or Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is by far one of the most interesting religious texts that I have ever read. Then there's the Mahayana doctrine that arhatship is undesirable and wrong-headed, and that the path of the Bodhisattva is the only true path to enlightenment. But what all forms of Buddhism have in common is an escape from samsara by the elimination of the attachment to an ever-shifting reality. This contrasts with Daoism, which holds harmony with the Dao, the unknowable nature of things, as its goal. Shinto consists of Japan's rich mythological and cultural tradition, and is deeply interwoven with the history of their nation. It has in places melded with Buddhist schools, (A similar phenomenon would be the veneration of the pagan Sibyls, especially the Cumaean Sibyl, by early Christians, and their adoption of pagan holidays) but it is distinct from both them and Daoism and has more in common with other pantheon-based religions.

Glad to hear it, it is my family religion. Partly mined too.
mattrodstrom
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3/18/2013 7:23:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 12:42:08 PM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
Buddhism is a method.

Taoism is totally useless.

Useless like a big gnarly tree :P
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
suttichart.denpruektham
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3/19/2013 12:56:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/18/2013 7:23:11 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/17/2013 12:42:08 PM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
Buddhism is a method.

Taoism is totally useless.

Useless like a big gnarly tree :P

Why so?
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/19/2013 4:53:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Taoism is the others stripped down to it's most basic components. And in lots of ways, it escapes definition.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Sidewalker
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3/19/2013 5:36:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/19/2013 4:53:50 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Taoism is the others stripped down to it's most basic components. And in lots of ways, it escapes definition.

Are you saying that the Tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao?

Hmmmm, interesting...where did you get that idea?
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thett3
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3/19/2013 6:30:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/19/2013 5:36:19 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/19/2013 4:53:50 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Taoism is the others stripped down to it's most basic components. And in lots of ways, it escapes definition.

Are you saying that the Tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao?

Hmmmm, interesting...where did you get that idea?

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Sidewalker
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3/19/2013 7:13:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 11:06:08 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
What do you think is the most distinctive character of Taoism that differentiate it from the rest two?

There"s certainly nothing mutually exclusive about the three, there are a lot of people that practice two or even all three, especially in Japan.

I"d say the distinctive difference between Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism is their basic conception of life, Buddhism see"s life as primarily suffering and the goal is to achieve Nirvana, to escape the suffering., while Taoism sees life as primarily good and the goal is to achieve harmony with the natural order. I"d say the distinctive difference between Taoism and Shinto is ethnic, Shinto is almost exclusively Japanese, even in Japan Shinto is very localized, with a focus on indigenous Japanese spirits or powers, Taoism is more global in nature, it's primarily Chinese, but it has had a profound influence on Shinto.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
mattrodstrom
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3/19/2013 11:07:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/19/2013 7:13:07 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
There"s certainly nothing mutually exclusive about the three, there are a lot of people that practice two or even all three, especially in Japan.

I don't know about shinto, but buddhism and taoism seem to share Broad metaphysical-type ideas and more.

I"d say the distinctive difference between Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism is their basic conception of life, Buddhism see"s life as primarily suffering and the goal is to achieve Nirvana, to escape the suffering., while Taoism sees life as primarily good and the goal is to achieve harmony with the natural order.

I'd say buddhists would probably say that it's not an 'escape' from any Reality, but a changing of perspective, and does indeed set one in a more harmonious state with the natural order..

The core of buddhism seems to me to share a Lot with taoism... but Buddhism seems to say a lot more, especially about Ethics (though definitely about particular categorizations of existence/thought too), than taoism... and where they part company Buddhism suffers.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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3/19/2013 11:17:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/19/2013 12:56:43 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 3/18/2013 7:23:11 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/17/2013 12:42:08 PM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
Buddhism is a method.

Taoism is totally useless.

Useless like a big gnarly tree :P

Why so?

How is this so? By so'ing it it's so!

at least Zhuangzi so'd it such:

Zhuangzi said
Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu, "I have a big tree of the kind men call shu. Its trunk is too gnarled and bumpy to apply a measuring line to, its branches too bent and twisty to match up to a compass or square. You could stand it by the road and no carpenter would look at it twice. Your words, too, are big and useless, and so everyone alike spurns them!"

Chuang Tzu said, "Maybe you've never seen a wildcat or a weasel. It crouches down and hides, watching for something to come along. It leaps and races east and west, not hesitating to go high or low-until it falls into the trap and dies in the net. Then again there's the yak, big as a cloud covering the sky. It certainly knows how to be big, though it doesn't know how to catch rats. Now You have this big tree and you're distressed because it's useless. Why don't you plant it in Not-Even-Anything Village, or the field of Broad-and-Boundless, relax and do nothing by its side, or lie down for a free and easy sleep under it? Axes will never shorten its life, nothing can ever harm it. If there's no use for it, how can it come to grief or pain?

Or would you prefer Big Gourds?

Zhuangzi said
Hui Tzu10 said to Chuang Tzu, "The king of Wei gave me some seeds of a huge gourd. I planted them, and when they grew up, the fruit was big enough to hold five piculs. I tried using it for a water container, but it was so heavy I couldn't lift it. I split it in half to make dippers, but they were so large and unwieldy that I couldn't dip them into any thing. It's not that the gourds weren't fantastically big - but I decided they were no use and so I smashed them to pieces."

Chuang Tzu said, "You certainly are dense when it comes to using big things! In Sung there was a man who was skilled at making a salve to prevent chapped hands, and generation after generation his family made a living by bleaching silk in water. A traveler heard about the salve and offered to buy the prescription for a hundred measures of gold. The man called everyone to a family council. `For generations we've been bleaching sills and we've never made more than a few measures of gold,' he said. `Now, if we sell our secret, we can make a hundred measures in one morning. Let's let him have it!' The traveler got the salve and introduced it to the king of Wu, who was having trouble with the state of Yueh. The king put the man in charge of his troops, and that winter they fought a naval battle with the men of Yueh and gave them a bad beating.11 A portion of the conquered territory was awarded to the man as a fief. The salve had the power to prevent chapped hands in either case; but one man used it to get a fief, while the other one never got beyond silk bleaching - because they used it in different ways. Now you had a gourd big enough to hold five piculs. Why didn't you think of making it into a great tub so you could go floating around the rivers and lakes, instead of worrying because it was too big and unwieldy to dip into things! Obviously you still have a lot of underbrush in your head!"
"
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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3/20/2013 2:39:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/19/2013 11:17:04 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/19/2013 12:56:43 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 3/18/2013 7:23:11 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/17/2013 12:42:08 PM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
Buddhism is a method.

Taoism is totally useless.

Useless like a big gnarly tree :P

Why so?

How is this so? By so'ing it it's so!

at least Zhuangzi so'd it such:

Zhuangzi said
Hui Tzu said to Chuang Tzu, "I have a big tree of the kind men call shu. Its trunk is too gnarled and bumpy to apply a measuring line to, its branches too bent and twisty to match up to a compass or square. You could stand it by the road and no carpenter would look at it twice. Your words, too, are big and useless, and so everyone alike spurns them!"

Chuang Tzu said, "Maybe you've never seen a wildcat or a weasel. It crouches down and hides, watching for something to come along. It leaps and races east and west, not hesitating to go high or low-until it falls into the trap and dies in the net. Then again there's the yak, big as a cloud covering the sky. It certainly knows how to be big, though it doesn't know how to catch rats. Now You have this big tree and you're distressed because it's useless. Why don't you plant it in Not-Even-Anything Village, or the field of Broad-and-Boundless, relax and do nothing by its side, or lie down for a free and easy sleep under it? Axes will never shorten its life, nothing can ever harm it. If there's no use for it, how can it come to grief or pain?

Or would you prefer Big Gourds?

Zhuangzi said
Hui Tzu10 said to Chuang Tzu, "The king of Wei gave me some seeds of a huge gourd. I planted them, and when they grew up, the fruit was big enough to hold five piculs. I tried using it for a water container, but it was so heavy I couldn't lift it. I split it in half to make dippers, but they were so large and unwieldy that I couldn't dip them into any thing. It's not that the gourds weren't fantastically big - but I decided they were no use and so I smashed them to pieces."

Chuang Tzu said, "You certainly are dense when it comes to using big things! In Sung there was a man who was skilled at making a salve to prevent chapped hands, and generation after generation his family made a living by bleaching silk in water. A traveler heard about the salve and offered to buy the prescription for a hundred measures of gold. The man called everyone to a family council. `For generations we've been bleaching sills and we've never made more than a few measures of gold,' he said. `Now, if we sell our secret, we can make a hundred measures in one morning. Let's let him have it!' The traveler got the salve and introduced it to the king of Wu, who was having trouble with the state of Yueh. The king put the man in charge of his troops, and that winter they fought a naval battle with the men of Yueh and gave them a bad beating.11 A portion of the conquered territory was awarded to the man as a fief. The salve had the power to prevent chapped hands in either case; but one man used it to get a fief, while the other one never got beyond silk bleaching - because they used it in different ways. Now you had a gourd big enough to hold five piculs. Why didn't you think of making it into a great tub so you could go floating around the rivers and lakes, instead of worrying because it was too big and unwieldy to dip into things! Obviously you still have a lot of underbrush in your head!"
"

So.. what is the point of it really? Or it is not suppose to point out anything?
mattrodstrom
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3/20/2013 11:04:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So.. what is the point of it really? Or it is not suppose to point out anything?

If you read the passages, you'll see that though the Understandings of Taoism are said to be big and useless.. Zhuangzi suggests that they are (on top of simply being sensible) in some way related to finding contentment with the world, and Avoiding unecessary struggle.

Not unlike Buddhism...
Certainly Buddhism and daoism seem to have different emphases.. and, like I said, I think Buddhism often goes too far in it's claims on the nature of ethics.. But I think they're largely similar.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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3/20/2013 11:17:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Apart from the sort of Stepping back, "avoiding struggle" that a taoist perspective allows for...

it is also suggested that a Simultaneous active engagement is good :)

Not a clingy engagement, but one where you take the world as it is, and act on it as you would...
Acting in such a manner is Engaging to your mind... Kind of like being in the middle of a football game, you're In the moment, Thinking and acting simultaneously, Being so engaged you forget that you're thinking...

This is enjoyable of itself.

Basically he suggests that having such a perspective allows one to accept things as they are and engage with them appropriately... that is, in the manner which will best allow for the most enjoyable/contented existence.

Now, that's not exactly a Reason given to adopt those perspectives (as Buddhism suggests), but it's a recurring theme as to what happens when you do.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."