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July 11, 2009

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I have never been to the Marion County fair or the Oregon Country Fair but I recommend the Polk County Fair if you want to give little county fairs another chance sometime. County fairs are best in rural counties (in my experience) and Polk County Fair at Rickreall is still very much a rural, small town feeling fair. Nothing like nudity or alternative culture but a feel of what a lot of America used to be including the local entertainment which is all home-grown.

Another example of the Brians change from deeply interesting posts to utterly shallow and boring posts. Just browse back a year or so and the quality and depth of topic. Brian, whats going on?

Silentreader, there's a big wide world of reading out there -- both on the Internet, in bookstores, and elsewhere. I write about what's on my mind at any given moment.

If this doesn't appeal to you, relief is a click away. Also, I think you'll find, if you click back through posts I've put up over the past few months, that I'm just as interested in "deep" topics as I ever have been. See, for example:

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/06/where-buddhism-and-science-coincide-and-divide.html

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/06/buddhism-book-unfairly-slams-science.html

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/05/buddhism-and-taoism-deconstruct-religion.html

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/05/science-is-the-only-way-of-knowing-objective-truth.html

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/05/quantum-gods-debunks-spiritual-pseudoscience.html

But it's also true that summer is here, and I'm a bit more inclined to what might be called "beach blogging." Seriousness has to be balanced with smiling, for sure.

Aren't both fairs each expression(s) of the "Tao"?

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, not really. Tao is not a thing; it is a process. We can be more or less in touch with that process, because humans have a capability to be distanced from a natural way of living.

As the book I've been re-reading says, Tao means "way-making." The subtitle is "making this life significant." It's false to say that Taoism is a "there's nothing to do, because everything is fine just as it is" philosophy.

Dear Brian,

Since "you have locked yourself into a rigid way of thinking that is keeping you trapped. And, seemingly, incapable of even cognizing the content of other peoples' comments" - I'll rephrase my query:

"Aren't both fairs each expression(s) of" the process that is referred to as the "Tao"?

Please do not respond by pretending to channel the words of some (supposed) ancient Chinese writer/mystic. Such b.s. is just more puerility.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, I answered your question in an earlier comment on this post. Maybe you didn't see it. I didn't channel anybody in that response. What are you talking about? You might be confusing humor in a separate post or comment with puerility.

I think you are viewing the Tao as the Way, rather than as how way-making occurs. This is what I've been learning by re-reading the philosophical translation of the Tao Te Ching. Humans have choices. We can live more or less naturally, more or less significantly, more of less spontaneously.

I felt that the Oregon Country Fair had a lot more Taoist way-making going on than the Marion County Fair. It was more natural, more free, more responsive, more spontaneous.

I don't know if you look upon Tao the way I used to, but previously I considered it to be sort of akin to destiny, or whatever is happening at the moment. Instead of "God's will," I'd sort of think "Tao's will."

But I've come to see things differently. Lots of stuff is happening all the time in life. Way-making is going on continuously. Some of this way-making is productive, natural, beneficial, creative. Other way-making isn't. So I think it isn't accurate (to the spirit of Taoism) to view everything as an expression of the process known as Tao.

Yes, it is. And no, it isn't. Humans have the ability to screw up a natural harmonious relationship with the earth and other people. For me, Taoism is a reminder that I have a choice in this relatedness. I can tilt my actions and thoughts in one direction rather than another.

"Humans have the ability to screw up a natural harmonious relationship with the earth and other people."

What is this perfection (natural harmonious ...) that you allude to? Can we see it? What are the "demonstrable and convincing evidence" of it?

Was reality more harmonious million years ago when there were no human beings but mostly dinosaurs?
Biology has revealed that the life of an organism (plant, animal, etc) involves the constant of death of other organisms -- any romantic view of nature as expression of harmonious flow is inevitably biased and partial ... Destruction is inherent to your flow after all ...

Your sudden comprehension of Taoism, and your realizations over the past six months, are so full of shit you don't even realize it yet ... (as opposed to Robert, George who see through it -- not very difficult bwt)

We recently witness a very revealing display ... someone may talk spontaneity, nondualilty, awareness shit all s/he wants, sometimes one single action/deceit speaks way louder (and the silence of others as well ...) than their imaginational garbage


the elephant, I'm curious: why are you so threatened, or upset, by what I find meaningful?

Why don't you talk about what you find meaningful, rather than tearing down someone else?

Just curious...

As Niz once said: "Truth can be expressed only by the denial of the falseā€”in action. For this you must see the false as false (viveka) and reject it (vairagya). Renunciation of the false is liberating and energizing. It lays open the road to perfection."
Posted by: the elephant | June 03, 2009 at 05:35 AM

To the elephant: Easy to recognize falseness in others but how to recognize falseness in self?

Brian "the elephant, I'm curious: why are you so threatened, or upset, by what I find meaningful?"

Moving to self-serving psychobabbles instead of answering ... rich and edifying ... I can't answer your first question because I don't know of what should I be upset or threatened ... Your fuzzy and poorly developed narratives? Gee ... get over yourself :) I thought experience has thought us that moving discussions this way never goes anywhere ... I can't really work based on and from a false premise ...

btw ric's remarks were brief but clear, and on the mark ...

Jen: Your question is excellent and fundamental -- however, its resolution is 'ever intimate' as Dogen would say. And any discursive endeavor to formulate a ever incomplete answer would demand some efforts for which forums like this one or brief exchanges on the net are ill-suited. Niz regurlarly described the (outer and inner) life of his visitors as being full of contradictions -- On what ground or/and authority did he make these judgements do you think?

the elephant,

Your comments over the past six months, are so full of shit you don't even realize it yet. Does that sound familiar to you? It should, because its your own "shit".

As Brian rightly observed: How come you don't ever talk about what YOU find meaningful, instead of always tearing down someone else? In some perverted way, it must make that big ego of yours feel good.

Brian: Why don't you talk about what you find meaningful, rather than tearing down someone else?

I believe Jen answered this question ...

[email protected]: In some perverted way, it must make that big ego of yours feel good.

If that would be true, then I would be a sad and miserable individual ...

the elephant,

Do you know of a good website I could check out more of what Niz has to say? Thanks

the elephant, why don't you speak for yourself? I repeat, why are you so negative about what other people find meaningful? And why are you so resistant to answering a simple question?

Jen,

I think that you should be cognizant of the fact that, very unlike 'the elephant', Nisargadatta would not have spoken to his audience in the following derogatory manner or import:

the elephant: "your realizations over the past six months, are so full of shit you don't even realize it yet"

the elephant: "someone may talk spontaneity, nondualilty, awareness shit all s/he wants"

the elephant: "one single action/deceit speaks way louder (and the silence of others as well ...) than their imaginational garbage"

And this one pretty well describes the elephant himself:

the elephant: "Niz regurlarly described the (outer and inner) life of his visitors as being full of contradictions"

The elephant often likes to tout Nisargadatta here in this forum. But that does not give him (the elephant) any advantage or in any way support his negativity or the tearing down of other people like Brian.

For what its worth: I myself spent some time with Nisargadatta several decades ago (late 1970s) and I have also read about every recorded talk and question/answer session the he gave that has been published. When I was around him, I never heard Nisargadatta criticise or tear other people down. My good friend David Godman (who I know from Sri Ramanashramam) also knew Nisargadatta as well, and he too would no doubt agree with me.

:)

[email protected]:
being full of shit or imaginational gargabe are simply expressions that are equivalent to being full of contradictions ... that YOU try to emphasize my style and 'attidue' as being undermining somehow of me or my post is a profound irony that will be appreciated by all the long time readers of this blog ... you are quite a fellow ...

I am not Niz and Niz was not me ... Copycatting in spiritual is very common but ultimately for suckers ... and judging on such superficial traits a sign of deep ignorance ...

But ultimately in this case, here is what your 'good friend' (name dropping is for suckers ...) said about Niz

" Harriet: From what I have heard 'feisty' may be a bit of a euphemism. I have heard that he could be quite bad-tempered and aggressive at times.

David: Yes, that's true, but I just think that this was part of his teaching method. Some people need to be shaken up a bit, and shouting at them is one way of doing it.
I remember one woman asking him, rather innocently, 'I thought enlightened people were supposed to be happy and blissful. You seem to be grumpy most of the time. Doesn't your state give you perpetual happiness and peace?'
He replied, 'The only time a jnani truly rejoices is when someone else becomes a jnani'."

From: http://www.maharajnisargadatta.com/david_goodman_interview_about_nisargadatta.php

[email protected], have you not learned recently making up stuff and deceit purely on self-serving motivations inevitably lead to 'bad' outcomes for you ...

Brian: I have answered partially your questions and explained in the past why I cannot answered more adequately and fully -- that you cannot accept it is not my fight ...

Jen: unfortunately, I have found very little adequate discussions or commentaries
on Niz. Here is a list of links (the last one was very good but is not currently working -- I would also stay away from the first one ...)

http://www.advaita.org.uk/teachers/nisargadatta.htm

Some half-decent commentaries can be found at this site for example:
http://www.zenmontreal.ca/en/teacher/fountain.htm
http://www.zenmontreal.ca/en/teacher/nirsagadatta.htm
http://www.zenmontreal.ca/en/teacher/magician.htm

Thanks for the links re Niz, I will check them out... should be fun... someone being grumpy and shouting at people... what can I say! lol

the elephant said: "making up stuff and deceit purely on self-serving motivations inevitably lead to 'bad' outcomes for you"

-- As usual elephant, you don't really know what you are talking about. I DO happen to know D.G. from back in the days when I was at Ramanashram, so its neither made-up, nor deceipt. And I mentioned D.G. simply because he is someone that I do know, who also met and knew Nisargadatta.

I am also aware that some people felt that Nisargadatta appeared grumpy on occasion. However, it does not alter the point of my comment.

And the only "bad outcomes" are those that belong to you due to your antagonism towards others.

always reading up on second hand books and posting such inane untruth as gospel

For Jen,
a quote from Nisargadatta

"You must find your own way. Unless you find it yourself, it will not be your own way and will take you nowhere. Earnestly live your truth as you have found it, act on the little you have understood. It is earnestness that will take you through, not cleverness - your own or another's. "

Love to All
Obed

Thanks Obed, love the quote, rings true :)


Tao:

Of course, lets ignore that deceit and making up stuff were never describing the fact that you met DG many decades ago -- I never doubted of this claim. But, without that self-serving distorted implication of yours, you don't a have much to attack with. Continue to scrap the bottom of the barrel bodie, and when finding nothing just make up shit ... rich approach to life.

Look, the texts and explicit IMPLICATIONS of our exchanges are there for others to see and decide ... your behaviors and posts on this forum are there for all to see and judge ... you made a fool of yourself in the past and will do it again in the future ... no doubt about it ...

What I find interesting in all that is either the silence or unconditional apology (defying the reasonable) of the BTT team on your excess and idiocies ... quite edifying from them ... not much different than the dynamics of dissonance and (tacit or explicit) denial we see in religious communauties when criticized ...

"And the only "bad outcomes" are those that belong to you due to your antagonism towards others." Look who is preaching :O :)

The sad thing about you elephant, is that it is so obviously YOU who has failed to see that YOUR OWN "behaviors and posts on this forum are there for all to see and judge", and that it is YOU who have repeatedly "made a fool of yourself", and it is YOU who will likely "do it again in the future".

As Brian has rightly pointed out several times, you bring little or nothing good to these discussions, nor do you speak for yourself. Typically, you are evasive or hypocritical, and your comments are mostly always negative and derisive towards Brian, tucson and myself, and you often ridicule "what other people find meaningful". So as it turns out, it is clearly YOU who has made the fool of himself here.

Suggestion: Why don't you just try contributing something positive (from your own thoughts and words) for a change?

Dear Brian,

In your 7/14/09 @ 5:05 PM response to me (above), you stated: "I think you are viewing the Tao as the Way, rather than as how way-making occurs."

This demonstrates that what you "think" is wrong. You have attributed to me a "view..." that I do not hold.

Further: you apparently are "confusing" some of your "puerility" "in a separate post or comment" with (what you seemingly want to call) "humor," whereas I see your attempt at (so-called) "humor" therein to have been a quite poor response to my previous missive in that thread. (But, of course, I do recognize that your own ego-glorification is the primary reason in/for your creating/continuing this/these blog[s]. [Cf. my response (and its references, and its context) to "known" at 1/20/09 @12:29 AM on Brian's 1/12/09 essay.])

It further seems that "you didn't see" that your "earlier comment on this post" (7/13/09 @ 11:36 AM) was simply unsatisfactory as an "answer" to my "question." That is why I rephrased it in the terms of "Tao" as "process" in my second attempt at getting an answer (cf. 7/14/09 @ 4:49 PM, above).

In replying, you have stated: "Way-making is going on continuously. Some of this way-making is productive, natural, beneficial, creative. Other way-making isn't. So I think it isn't accurate (to the spirit of Taoism) to view everything as an expression of the process known as Tao.
Yes, it is. And no, it isn't. ..."

So, from your discription: some "way-making" is "an expression of the process known as Tao" and "[o]ther way-making isn't." So, it would appear that only such "way-making" as you approve of is actually the "Tao" in progress.

That seems rather limiting of the "Tao." I differ from your opinion by seeing the "Tao" to be standing behind all "way-making" (even if you [or I] might disapprove of it).

Your reliance on what you consider "significant," in determining if some "way-making" is in accord with "Taoism" or not, appears rather arbitrary (and personalistic) to me. I believe that the "Tao" (as a "Way," or as a "process" of "way-making") is much greater than that. It far exceeds your personal preferences (or mine).

May I suggest that you reconsider your thinking on this matter.

Robert Paul Howard

I tried to raise some of the issues and problems described by Robert Paul Howard when I asked Brian the following (still to be answered) questions:
"
What is this perfection (natural harmonious ...) that you allude to? Can we see it? What are the "demonstrable and convincing evidence" of it?

Was reality more harmonious million years ago when there were no human beings but mostly dinosaurs?
Biology has revealed that the life of an organism (plant, animal, etc) involves the constant of death of other organisms -- any romantic view of nature as expression of harmonious flow is inevitably biased and partial ... Destruction is inherent to your flow after all ..."

Elephant wrote: "Biology has revealed that the life of an organism (plant, animal, etc) involves the constant of death of other organisms -- any romantic view of nature as expression of harmonious flow is inevitably biased and partial ... Destruction is inherent to your flow after all ..."

--the Tao does not deny this and has no romantic view of life as only cuddly bunnies bounding carefree in a flowery meadow. What is it about the cycle of life, death and destruction and rebirth in nature, that is at odds with the Tao?

Tucson, through your elusive writing (Tao having/holding a view???), if I understand more or less what you are trying to say, and beyond your misunderstanding or mischaracterization ( I did not evoke the idea of cylce but the fact that the affirmation of existential unfolding involves the destruction of another--simultaneous or continuous events as opposed to 'cycles') that is exactly what I am asking Brian. So don't ask me but Brian ...

Robert, what I meant by "yes, it is" and "no, it isn't" is something like this. I can't be super precise, because Taoism can't be pinned down in words. Or any other way.

Yes, Tao is everything that is happening. That's pretty obvious. What is happening is what is. If something isn't happening, it isn't.

If this was the end of Taoism's story, there wouldn't be anything else to say or do. What is, is. What isn't, isn't. (I hear someone speaking inside my head: "Man, that's so far out." Could be my '60s self, since my now-self would say, "Dude, that blows my mind.")

How I see the other side of Taoism, a view supported by the philosophical translation of the Tao Te Ching I've been re-reading, is that its concerned with how we humans make our way through what is happening.

Our way-making is part and parcel of Tao, the Way. There isn't something happening to us, which we passively react to. How our way-making proceeds affects all that is happening, and vice versa

So this is where "No, it isn't" comes in -- in the other sense of Tao as how individuals go about their way-making. This can occur with various degrees of naturalness and spontaneity.

Hope this clarifies what I was getting at. if all us were skilled in way-making, there wouldn't be any need for Taoism or any other sort of philosophy that teaches how to live in a happier and more productive fashion.

Thus even though Tao is all that is happening, humans aren't always making their way through the world in the spirit of Tao. Our way-making goes awry when we become obsessed with rules, dogmas, excessive thinking, rigid dualisms, and such.

Taoism shakes up such there-and-then frameworks and points us toward here-and-now. Which, of course, is always here. And now. We just don't realize it all of the time.

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