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CHAT: Tao Te Ching

From:Andy Canivet <cathode_ray00@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 18, 2002, 0:55
>From: John Cowan <jcowan@...> > > > Yeah - I remember hearing a joke in my Taoist philosophy class - if >Taoism > > is all about wordless teaching, why did they need to write the book of a > > thousand words (the Tao Te Ching)? > >Because it is poetry and not philosophy, religion, or ethics. (The same >can be said of the Bible, or much of it.)
Well - I do think it is those things - but it certainly is poetry, that is for sure - that's why it's so interesting. The Chuang-Tzu is even better - but they work because they are almost like poetic myths. The philosophy only comes out by engaging the text - like a kind of Socratic dialog.
>"[The TTC] ...
(For a second I read that as "Toronto Transit Commission")
>... is the most lovable of all the great religious texts, funny, keen, >kind, modest, indestructibly outrageous, and inexhaustibly refreshing. Of >all the deep springs, this is the purest water. To me, it is also the >deepest spring." > --Grandmother Little Bear Woman >
Amen to that! (BTW - does anybody know the etymology of Amen? I read someplace that the word amen had a common Indo-European heritage as Sanskrit om - can anybody confirm or deny this? and are there any other similar words? in other IE descended languages?)
>Or as the book says about itself (poem 41): > > Thoughtful people hear about the Way > and try hard to follow it. > Ordinary people hear about the Way > and wander onto it and off it. > Thoughtless people hear about the Way > and make jokes about it. > It wouldn't be the Way > if there weren't jokes about it.
My Taoist philosophy teacher once said he believed a good sense of humour is essential to any kind of spiritual growth. I can't help but agree with him. Life is absurd, but that's life... sometimes all you can do is laugh about it. I just wish it were as easy to practice as it is to say... LOL Andy _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at


John Cowan <cowan@...>