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February 17, 2009

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It's really the peeling off that's the challenge..

Would this be a case of "don't ruminate about what can't be thought"? (as in, what's left when you peel off the dogmatic, fundamentalist, religious..)

I went down the "don't ruminate" path for awhile, I think I'm coming back to the "ruminate" path again, hence my return to this blog :)

I agree Brian. It seems that once the honest life is wrapped in beliefs it loses its appeal. Those beliefs become opaque and oppressive when mistaken for naked truth.

Brian, thanks for the book reference and post. Nice comment Jayme.

My present lifestyle offering: 'Figure out how best to thrive.'

This is in fact an unselfish effort which needs skill, will power and a building sense of connection in a family, a community and a planet.

Serenity in Buddhism would not be an aim, but is the face of constant observation of the reactive mind and this would also be the direction of the retreat and monasticism in Buddhism.

This is one the remarkable aspects about both Buddhism & Taoism. While both can be followed as a religion, both can also be adopted as a philosophy (without ANY of the religious trappings).

The same can't be said for the monotheistic religions because the deity of each is so intertwined with the philosophical elements. While there are many philosophical Taoists like myself, I've never heard of a philosophical Christian, Jew or Muslim. This is not to say that a follower of these three faiths can't concurrently be philosophical, but it would difficult -- if not impossible -- to take the philosophy as a substitute for the religious faith.

Actually Christianity (using Jesus' words) can be lived as a philosophy of life and leave out the worship part as it is very much a way of approaching the world and others-- and quite similar in its ideas to say Lao Tzu's teachings.

One thing is that serenity is not the way to change the world. Now if that is not one's goal than it's fine for a personal approach to one's life but even there, would you make the strides to improve a relationship if you worked only on accepting it as it was? Is serenity the opposite of passion? Will someone who is serene sacrifice to improve the world or does it take someone with passion? Would a culture that lived for the experience of serenity be able to maintain itself in a world that is so much the opposite? I guess if someone showed this quality and others wanted it, it could work; but how much do others want it? The thing is dealing with human nature as it is; so that our life has peace but we are not rolled over by those who don't.

Currently we live in a country that for the most part takes care of our safety for us; but it's not been like that always in the world-- nor is it always even here. Is the test of a religion how well it works in a time of turmoil or of peace? Maybe a lot of religions grow in those violent times, such as Christianity did. You read of the peaceful response those early Christians had to being martyred but if their whole viewpoint had been that way, the religion would not have spread... unless you believe that was brought about by Divine will.

Are there concepts in the philosophy of Taoism? Are any of these concepts illusional? If it is possible to be free of concepts, then can One have Taoism without the philosophy?

Dear Rain (et al.),

As for "Divine will" (or whatever corresponds to that expression in a view that seeks understanding), I suggest that not only the spread of Christianity, but of all else that exists too, comes from it. If one contends that "The universe is unity," then, this likewise includes all viewpoints and their advocates/holders - including guru-cult followers, fundamentalists, terrorists, rapists, child-molesters, AIDS, the Black Plague, Pol Pot, the Inquisition, hypocrisy and nastiness on the internet, etc., etc. So also therefrom comes opposition to such examples. (Likewise my weariness with it all.)

Robert Paul Howard

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