1. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    24 May '10
    Moves
    7680
    20 Dec '10 09:33
    A book that helped relate philosophical Taoism to Zen is "The Tao of Zen" by Ray Grigg, Tuttle Pub. 1994.

    In it he makes a strong and convincing argument that Zen actually owes more to Taoism than its portrayed Buddhist roots. Zen, originally "Chan" in China, before its Japanese expedition, is clothed by the history of formal (and questionable) Buddhist "claiming" of it.

    But that (in "Part 1" of the book) was not its major aid to me, but rather the way it brings threads from both Zen and Taoist masters together in "Part 2" - "Taoism and Zen: The Philosophical Similarities" His manner of writing is clear and helpful, and has a simple Taoist "taste", yet conceptually solid.

    Here is an excerpt from his chapter (p.196) on "Wordlessness", as he refers to the "Lao Tzu", another name for the "Tao Te Ching":

    >>>
    "...Translations abound. Some fifteen hundred commentaries have been added to the core texts. For a system of understanding that cautions against the use of words, a great deal of effort has been expended on them. But, just as Zen is not its literature, Taoism is not the "Lao Tzu". Both Taoism and Zen literally or symbolically burn their own words:

    'Those who know...cannot explain.
    And those who can explain...do not know'

    Language, like pure intellect, moves experience inexorably into the abstract, away from the finality of grounded reality. This reality defies words. After all the fancy words and profound thoughts, after all the sublime rhetoric and transcendent experience engendered by the spell of words, there remains the certain bounds set by the natural absolutes of physical existence. Life is punctuated by the blood of birth and the stillness of death. Words may fabricate abstractions and attempt to disconnect experience from this earthy condition. But all words, regardless of how high they soar, are ultimately rooted in the fact of substantiality, far closer to the soil of feeling and instinct than a deliberating consciousness often recognizes or admits."
    >>>
  2. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    20 Dec '10 12:35
    Originally posted by Taoman
    A book that helped relate philosophical Taoism to Zen is "The Tao of Zen" by Ray Grigg, Tuttle Pub. 1994.

    In it he makes a strong and convincing argument that Zen actually owes more to Taoism than its portrayed Buddhist roots. Zen, originally "Chan" in China, before its Japanese expedition, is clothed by the history of formal (and questionable) Buddhist " ...[text shortened]... ct than a deliberating consciousness often recognizes or admits."
    >>>
    'Those who know...cannot explain.
    And those who can explain...do not know'


    Crippling ideology. Renders truth unknowable. And who said this? What are they trying to say? That something, a truth, cannot be told in plain words and understood by the hearer? This platitude should be rejected by any and all reasoning people because it fails to do anything other than make rational communication obsolete. It's a black hole of negativity, that once fallen into nothing comes out of.

    And it grossly lacks substantive authority. Why should any heed it? And it smacks of superficial elitism.



    Translations abound.

    But words have no meaning? The hypocrisy! Do you want to know the meaning of why so much has been published about something that words cannot explain?

    Bucks! Pure and simple. The same goes for everything else.


    No! Words have meaning. Truth can be understood and explained by all, except by those who cannot hear.

    "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
  3. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    20 Dec '10 13:13
    Originally posted by josephw

    Crippling ideology. Renders truth unknowable.
    It's an encouragement to get into the water. Since when was truth a matter of words?
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    20 Dec '10 13:16
    Originally posted by Taoman

    In it he makes a strong and convincing argument that Zen actually owes more to Taoism than its portrayed Buddhist roots. Zen, originally "Chan" in China, before its Japanese expedition, is clothed by the history of formal (and questionable) Buddhist "claiming" of it.
    Why would such a claim be made and why would it be a problem?
  5. Standard memberua41
    Sharp Edge
    Dulling my blade
    Joined
    11 Dec '09
    Moves
    14434
    20 Dec '10 15:33
    Always seen a nice unison of Taoism and Zen during my readings/studies et cetera.

    A very brief look at the connection: Taoism "establishes" the Tao. The inexplicable, nothingness ether on which we are all painted upon- a blank medium for us to traverse materialistically and spiritually. And how things just are, going with the flow instead of your words and actions trying to encapsulate it when you are just a current in the stream. A lot of naturalistic connotations through the tao te ching and other writings (particular emphasis on emptiness of valleys, flowing of rivers)- a connection showing the language of nature.

    Zen is kind of the "radical" Buddhism. A school of thought that holds actual experience (meditation and action) as a main point. One of the principal people noted for founding and popularizing it initially claims to start something not based upon past dogmas and scriptures but to find the true nature of things. Interestingly enough, there are koans and sutras noted as "fundamental" (that is, they show a reflection upon some of the core values found through zen) to the school. These writings usually reflect upon naturalism, and the inexpressible found similarly in taoism. The inexpressible is brought into thought through a different mean, by juxtaposing polarities to show the true nature of interdependency. Then there is resonance of self and nature- one and the same.

    In even briefer words, Taoism shows "it", Zen uses "it".
  6. Joined
    04 Jun '03
    Moves
    11363
    20 Dec '10 17:47
    "Words" are the instruments of the Devil.
    Language is the cultural vehicle for mass hypnosis.
    An old Trick...
    Perhaps, the first and oldest....
  7. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    21 Dec '10 01:50
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    It's an encouragement to get into the water. Since when was truth a matter of words?
    Truth is a word. Has it no meaning?

    Everything humans think, say, or do has a name. We name everything. Words have meaning and purpose. We use them(words)for everything.

    Even to describe Zen or Tao.

    There is no escaping words. You'd have to extract your brain to lose words.
  8. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    21 Dec '10 01:55
    Originally posted by dube
    "Words" are the instruments of the Devil.
    Language is the cultural vehicle for mass hypnosis.
    An old Trick...
    Perhaps, the first and oldest....
    When words are used for telling lies, then they are tools of the Devil.

    Language is also a creation of God.
  9. Joined
    04 Jun '03
    Moves
    11363
    21 Dec '10 01:56
    Originally posted by josephw
    Truth is a word. Has it no meaning?

    Everything humans think, say, or do has a name. We name everything. Words have meaning and purpose. We use them(words)for everything.

    Even to describe Zen or Tao.

    There is no escaping words. You'd have to extract your brain to lose words.
  10. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    24 May '10
    Moves
    7680
    21 Dec '10 01:57
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]'Those who know...cannot explain.
    And those who can explain...do not know'


    Crippling ideology. Renders truth unknowable. And who said this? What are they trying to say? That something, a truth, cannot be told in plain words and understood by the hearer? This platitude should be rejected by any and all reasoning people because it fails to do anyth ...[text shortened]... all, except by those who cannot hear.

    "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."[/b]
    When you or I see something "beautiful", it is finally impossible to describe the experience. We can refer to it with words and descriptions and must; however to think the experience is in the words is mistaken.

    Do not the words "sublime" or "ineffable" mean anything to you? If not, that is very sad.

    You overstate what is being said by implying that we cannot communicate at ANY level, because at one level (the highest) words ultimately fail. Those of Tao and Zen know this, and live with one of many paradoxes; that we cannot finally express the sublime experiences of life in words, yet silence is unhelpful. We must simply point in a way that in our very pointing we know our hand is not very still but sort of waving - its over in that direction!

    Its authority is self-emerging, as with any real truth. Any "authority" must finally be affirmed on the basis of one's own experience and consequent acceptance.
    This is the very weakness of appealing to so-called external "authorities", whether they be book, mullah or Pope. It is the reason why each authority results in endless splitting of new "authority", and why every so-called attempt to establish "final" authority fails and ends up in multiple chaos. The final truth is from within for any man or woman.

    Authority (power) is an instrument of control not truth. Authority is obviously required in some civil circumstances, but is not appropriate nor ultimately effective for the spiritual questings of humanity.
  11. Joined
    04 Jun '03
    Moves
    11363
    21 Dec '10 02:00
    Or, at least quiet your brain.
  12. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    24 May '10
    Moves
    7680
    21 Dec '10 02:15
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Why would such a claim be made and why would it be a problem?
    Its not a problem really and it wasn't the reason I bought the book. His first part of the book does explain and argue from historical references his reasons, but is to detailed to go into here. It does in that part however also show how much both Taoist and Zen masters coincide in their understandings, with their respective cultural "flavours".
  13. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    21 Dec '10 02:18
    Originally posted by Taoman
    When you or I see something "beautiful", it is finally impossible to describe the experience. We can refer to it with words and descriptions and must; however to think the experience is in the words is mistaken.

    Do not the words "sublime" or "ineffable" mean anything to you? If not, that is very sad.

    You overstate what is being said by implying that ...[text shortened]... not appropriate nor ultimately effective for the spiritual questings of humanity.
    Yes. I agree with you that words fail when describing most anything.

    That point is not lost on me my friend. I get it. Don't be sad. I understand. Believe it or not.

    Allow me to share this experience. When I was a little boy I was told that when I grew up I could be whatever I wanted to be. I remember thinking that I was already what I wanted to be.

    I remember everything. Not perfectly mind you. But when I was very little all was in me and I was in all. They stole it from me. They forced me into their little rooms and tried to teach me. I remember being one with all life that was good, but they hammered my brain with knowledge. After a while I lost my memory of nothingness and became what they made me. But I remembered.

    I don't wish to tear down that which you do describe so well. That's not my purpose. I just wish that my words were understood too.
  14. Standard memberkaroly aczel
    the Devil himself
    Brisbane,QLD
    Joined
    11 Apr '09
    Moves
    91563
    21 Dec '10 02:521 edit
    Originally posted by josephw
    When words are used for telling lies, then they are tools of the Devil.

    Language is also a creation of God.
    Yes words are a double-edged . Direct "thought experiences" cannot lie.
  15. Standard memberkaroly aczel
    the Devil himself
    Brisbane,QLD
    Joined
    11 Apr '09
    Moves
    91563
    21 Dec '10 02:58
    Originally posted by dube
    Or, at least quiet your brain.
    I've quit trying to quiet my brain, I'm just going to quit my brain.
Back to Top