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self-taught practice

To: alt.philosophy.taoism,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.consciousness,talk.religion.misc
From: (xiwangmu)
Subject: self-taught practice (was Re: Self-Taught?)
Date: 27 Jul 1996 12:49:21 -0700

49960727 AA1
#># I very much doubt that anyone here would expect [the phrase 'self-taught'
#># to be taken as indicating that someone had developed whatever 
#># understanding they have of Taoism in utter isolation, entirely reliant on 
#># their own personal observation and insight.

isolated valleys, living in caves, the masters entered into yin

Madelynn Hamilton:
#> ..."learned in utter isolation entirely relying personal observation 
#> and insight.  I call this "school of self taught "Taoism" - "Tao Te 
#> Chingism"....

I have noticed it is like 'Buji Zen'.  usually deprecated and belittled as
'inferior' by those who 'know of what the subjects really consist'.  a neat
kind of elitist trap which masters help to dissuade, as it prevents propping 
oneself up as 'the authority' according to any schema (self-taught or no)

#># Rather, I take it to mean that one has, for the most part, constructed
#># their own curriculum and course of study in the subject.  This would
#># be contrasted with primary reliance on a particular mentor
#># or structured course of instruction.  Either way, the learning
#># is an interactive process between a person and a body of
#># knowledge, tradition, commentary, and culture which extends
#># back to the very roots of civilized life, and it is conducted in
#># the midst of the mixed orderly and random influences .....

not necessarily.  some prefer more primitive settings.  some do not 
require that they absorb the meme-structure of previous masters

"S. Cummings" :
# I don't see how as a taoist we can talk about the best translation, 
# being self taught, and are we a real taoist and even begin to even 
# begin to understand taoism. 

they are all dodges, clever foibles in an effort to avoid work.
argue with those who sound 'wrong' instead of learning something new

# I mean aren't we after wisdom and not so much the knowledge? 

face it, different people are 'after' different things

# Are we any less wise than Lao-tzu? 

besides the possible objection as to the Old Boy's historical existence,
I would say that the product of Lao Tzu exhibits a wisdom which is beyond
most of our ability to reproduce, yes

# I don't think he would think so. 

my impression is that it was a popular item of the day (as it was in
Europe at various times) to offer advice to the Emperor/Ruler/King.

combined with an important ambiguity as regards personal discipline
and mysticism, possibly integrating magical elements also, it may be
that Lao Tzu would have thought himself qualified to render unto the
person who requests such a book of dense metaphysics as is the TTC.

if this qualification isn't 'wisdom' (especially as connected to the
natural source and pattern, tao), then I don't know what is

# It's helpful to read a translation or two, but then we need to move on 
# and just be in are own spiral. 

very lovely way to innovate and discover ourselves, yes.  some need this.
some also need to study the masters, live with them, apply their formulae

# Moving outward from the center gaining wisdom from time and experiences. 

I see that it could also be said: 'reinvent the wheel'

# To think that we need to learn Chinese or read somebody elses idea of 
# the best translation of the Tao Te Ching is not "The Way". 

some need this.  for them it is part of their "Way".  some do not.
that is the beauty of Chaos Without Bodily Openings 

# Remember "TAO called TAO is not TAO."

quite!  and very parodoxical.  for you call TAO three times here

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