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To: alt.philosophy.taoism
From: DoctorNine 
Subject: Re: APT FAQ Draft
Date: 30 Sep 2000 11:35:08 -0700 says...

>>>I've not seen a charter. Can you produce one for us? -tia.[...]

>>there is and was no charter (as you well know) :-)

>By control message then.

The following is a quote from a bit of the original proposal:



"The recommended substantive post to alt.philosophy.taoism
will contain queries or responses concerning taoist philosophy,
however that may be interpreted by the writer. This may include
translations of works from historical or modern China (Lao Tzu,
Chuang Tzu, and other less well-known authors) as well as
interpretations or quotes of scholars and artists concerning 
anything associated historically or modernly with what is called
'taoist philosophy'."


Susequently, (a couple of months now?) the religious elements
have been encouraged to flourish.

Jay, you say:

> From reading the group since late '96
> it was my impression, gleaned primarily from geo and doc,
> that when daojia was brought up, in e.g. a.z. or a.p.z.,
> enough resistence was met sew-as to foment a.p.t..

It was stubborn refusal to admit to differences in zen and
daojia that lead to the break.  You can see the allusion to
this in my previous post.

> You know better than I, for thou wasth'air.
> Am I mistaken? 


> From what I gather, the character (whatever it may be)
> that is\was translated by Wade-Giles as 'chia' was used
> at least as far back as Ssu-ma Ch'ien. I really don't know
> when 'chiao' as a term\character came on the st'age of
> reference. Nigosian states, "Religious Taoism, on the other
> hand, is a highly organized system with ceremonials, temples,
> and a hereditary priesthood, the earliest evidence of which
> dates from the second century CE." [ibid.]

That is accurate, to my knowledge.

>>> some say taoism cannot be separated
>>> into chia\philosophy and chiao\religion

>> who separates it this way? Chinese? why?

Ssu-ma was performing a service by identifying a sort
of taxonomy of all the different perspectives in his time.
Later scholars use his divisions by default, or as the
nominal proponents of each school evolved, in order
to lay claim to an exclusive lineage.

> scholars may, or may not, tend to
> for categorical raisons in teh-sun.
> folks who don't like Tod may not like their water
> mixed with oily goop. Probably each individual
> be they so-called Chinese or otherwise has
> their own spacial preferences. Sew-culled new-agers
> and traditionalists may choose n'ear undifferentiation
> as their particular path. Some likesit whole,
> while others pick fruits over flowers.

Everything is the same.
Everything is different.

But do you wipe your bottom with a cactus?
The flower or the fruit?

>>> and that artificial, or so-called scholarly, lines
>>> obscure what could be said to be inherently
>>> an undivided situation within an organism.
>>> some stretch this situation to refer to China
>>> as a geographical region and suggest
>>> that taoism is so embedded and inextricable
>>> even Confucius and Mencius could be
>>> said to have been Taoists.

>> very interesting. but why not identify these "some"?

> Doc and Ichin are well known h'ear-a bouts.
> I suppose that a Real Scholar would quote post,
> date, article number, etc.. I'm just a bozo.
> From what eye gathers a FAQ is general vice specific.
> Folks may quibble (as aye has, en passant) and
> just as "appeal to authority" may not be a fash'ion,
> sew too mite-One say, "who the hell is Doc, or Ichin?"

If the argument has no validity, then the author is
rather immaterial.  On the other hand, some folks who
spend a lot of time reading history or the canon, can
answer factual questions about them better than those
who have not.  Frequent posters have perspectives
which color the NG, and so their perspectives are useful
in any 'Frequently Argued Questions' list. 

>> Classic of Tao and Teh (TTC)...

>>> could be said to contain two books, tao and te.
>>> "the system that has persisted through the
>>> centuries is that of Ho-shang Kung."
>>> it is attributed to Lao-tzu and could be said
>>> to be a seminal text of so-called taoism.
>>> some have quibbled with the term 'seminal'.

In addition to the Chuang-tzu, which, historically may
have been the original work.  Other possible candidates
for the title of seminal works are the I Ching and the

>> what about mysticism?
>> alchemy? Chang Tao-Ling?!

> Alchemy may tend to fall into chiao, as does Chang
> Ling and wu-tou-mi tao. Mysticism may or may not
> be taken as a branch of metaphysics.

That is a complicated question, and certainly not one
which is frequently asked.

>>> so-called western taoism may tend
>>> to incline toward a new-age direction.

>> ambiguous. whatsa "new-age"? which direction is that?

> From what I've seen in a.p.t., imo, new-agers like
> Tod. What I'd call so-called western taoism is, like,
> totally eclectic and, like, it's so very groovy man, it's
> like all One. I mean, like what Jesus and Buddha and,
> like everybody says, man; I mean, like, they're all saying
> the same thing.

There are more taxonomically accurate descriptions of the
above referenced viewpoint, that are less derogatory, but
historically, it has been called Tod here.

> Others may say "Western Taoism" is sum-thing else,
> again.

The aggregate of views which were precipitated by the
writings of Watts and others in the popular literature
of the '60's and '70's lead to a wave of sympatico that
continues to wash up on these shores.

The messages of buddhism and daoism exist independent
of lineal transmission.  There are those who hear, and are
impressed enough to claim the affiliation.  What the
affiliation really means to them is arguable, but it is very
tangible personally. 

>> Do Gods exist in Taoism? (8 immortals)

>>> terms translated into english may refract meanings
>>> held in another language.

>> say more about ancient chinese and how TTC and CT
>> are ambiguous.

> So-called 'Gods', particularly pa-hsien, are mythological
> as well as having been historical. So-called Western Gods
> may be quite different. An organic view is not a ceramic view.

The function of godhead in each circumstance is different.
The pantheon in dajiao isn't omnipotent; more of a legal
authority in the beyond.

>>>some contend that tao is god.

The problematic nature of describing the similarity or the
differences of two transcendent human concepts make the
exercise futile, except in the symbolic sense.  

Each one who addresses the issue is likely to have a little
bit different view.

To each one, their view is self-evident.

The baggage of each is highly charged though, so even
if the ideas are congruent in any one individual, the use
of the terms interchangably, will generate confusion.

The effort to understand a culture in its own terms, will
generally be valuable, and result in more insights than
trying to translate from foreign to familiar terms. 

>> what's this bit about grottos and wine with taoism? 
>> drunken sages? ;>

> hsuan-hsueh,
> or, prehaps, ching-tan.

And so the Seven Worthies proceed.


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