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The Way?

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  • Theocrat
    Eternal Companion
    • Dec 2003
    • 771

    The Way?

    Hi mike & co!
    I wonder what your views are on that old piece of mystical wisdom
    the 'Tao Te Ching'?

    Has it influenced you're philosophy regarding the cosmic balance?

    I think it's a wonderful philosophy, but one hard to follow. Although i don't follow it. There are some good sayings within.

    I don't really believe in altruistic endeavours since i haven't really seen
    anyone practice it. The tyrants of the last 20th century spoke often of it.
  • Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    • Dec 2003
    • 14278

    I'm not all that well read in mystical wisdom, I have to admit. Most of my influences came from The Golden Bough or the White Goddess, I suppose, though my background in Steiner also helped (his Cosmic Consciousness, for instance). I was more interested in mythology and folk tales as a young man, rather than the philosophies behind them.
    I have read a fair bit about alchemy and the ideas of correspondences,
    but I'm not sure it turns up in my work except the von Bek books.
    This isn't to say I'm not interested in such things, in general, just not as familiar as I probably should be. I like the knotty spiritual problems you find in a Charles Williams (the Fifth Beatle -- no, sorry, the Third Inkling) which are, of course, to do with primarily with his high Anglicanism, but not always -- Zoroaster is the basis of one, for instance -- Many Dimensions ? is it ? Bugger. Looks like a was influenced by the Wrong Inkling... :)

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    • DeeCrowSeer
      Eternal Champion
      • Feb 2004
      • 2214

      I have only read The Tao of Pooh, but a lot of the ideas discussed in that book chimed with things I had been thinking or feeling myself for some time. How representative this book is of Taoism with a capital TAO I'm not sure, but I'd be interested to read more. Obviously there is a huge gap between the "ideal" Taoist lifestyle and the reality of what we actually have to go through on a day-to-day basis. I found the book frustrating because it rather suggested that you were supposed to use your imagination to find ways of exploring the teachings in relation to your specific and unique circumstances. I wanted a very detailed Tao of Dee, which chapters like The Tao of Buying DVDs Online, but I suppose that was asking too much.

      For what it's worth, my limited understanding of Taoism seemed to dovetail a little with my limited understanding of Existentialism... in the sense that Taosim teaches that our ideal state is the "uncarved block", rather than a false construct based on the expectations of others or our own envious aspirations. The "uncarved block" is basically an "authentic" person liberated from "bad faith". Or that was how I read it anyway.

      [Dee ducks and runs away before anyone realises just how poorly read he actually is]
      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild