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Taoist Day !!

To: alt.consciousness.mysticism,alt.philosophy.taoism,talk.religion.misc,alt.magick.tyagi
From: xiwangmu 
Subject: Taoist Day (01/25)!!
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 19:26:52 GMT

50010125 Vom              known from this day forward as Taoist Day

so Taoism is not passionate, they say. defend this accusation!
tough one. thanks for the opportunity.

here's what I'd expect: 

	19. Self-Improvement

	Forget those clever techniques and self-improvement programs,
	 and everyone will be better off. 

	Do not promise to cure people, to make people feel good, 
	 to make people feel good, to make life sane or fair or humane. 
	Do not offer programs that appeal to selfishness, programs that 
	 teach how to be rich, powerful, sexy -- and greedy, paranoid, 
	 and manipulative. 

	No teacher can make you be happy, prosperous, healthy, 
	 or powerful.
	No rules or techniques can enforce these qualities.

	If you wish to improve yourself, try silence or some other 
	cleansing discipline that will gradually show you your true 
	selfless self.

	"Tao Teh Ching", Lao Tzu, interpolation by John Heider.  
	 Humanics Ltd., 1985; p. 37.

yatta yatta yatta.

ok, I can hear the Quietism monitors clicking upper registers.

but is that all there is to Taoism? you gotta be kidding. 
as with most all religious and philosophic schools of any age,
differences of ideology and emphasis of instruction develop.
Taoism is no exception to this. the variety of instruction depends
upon the master in whose expertise or wisdom one relies, and there
are extremists many directions to be found. for example, hedonism 
is alive and well in Taoism in the person of Yang Chu quoted by 
the Taoist Master Lieh Tzu:

	Yang Chu said, "...

	"Men of great antiquity knew that life meant to be temporarily
	 present and death meant to be temporarily away. Therefore
	 they acted as they pleased and did not turn away from what
         they naturally desired. They would not give up what could
	 amuse their own persons at the time. Therefore they were not
	 exhorted by fame. They roamed as their nature directed and
         would not be at odds with anything. They did not care for a
	 name after death and therefore punishment never touched them.
	 They took no heed of fame, being ahead or being behind, or
	 the span of life.

	"... The man of virtue and the sage both die; the wicked and the
         stupid also die. In life they were (sage emperors) Yao and Shun;
         in death there were rotten bones. In life they were (wicked
         kings) Chieh and Chou; in death they were rotten bones. Thus 
         they all became rotten bones just the same. Who knows their
         difference? Let us hasten to enjoy our present life. Why bother
         about what comes after death?"...

	Yang Chu said, "Po-ch'eng Tzu-kao refused to pluck one hair to
	benefit things. He gave up his kingdom and became a hermit farmer.
	Great Yu refused to benefit himself {but instead devoted his life
	to diverting floods to rivers and the sea}, and his body was half-
	paralyzed. Men of antiquity did not prefer to sacrifice one single
	hair to benefit the world. Nor did they choose to have the world
	support them. If everyone refrains from sacrificing even a single
	hair and if everyone refrains from benefitting the world, the
	world will be in order." (SPTK, 7:1b-4b)
	The Lieh Tzu
	The Yang Chu Chapter
	in "A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy"
	transl./compiled by Wing-Tsit Chan; Princeton Press, 1963.

is Shang Chu a Taoist? let's presume so. doesn't this, on its own, 
represent a level of hedonism incorporating striving and learning,
perhaps rejoicing in victory, perhaps suffering in defeat? might we 
expect that the rest of the Lieh Tzu may have counterbalancing 

"enjoy your present life" and "don't sacrifice anything of yourself"
are very liberal philosophies, quite lacking in ascetic rigour or
traditional mystical athleticism.

where does the Taoism begin and end?! call in a Sage, quick!

blessed beast!
-- ; ; 
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