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The First Move

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Alaric, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. teapot_tall_and_yummy

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    Just a random thought to toss in here...... what's really important to you? Whether or not the water ripples... or what it does for you, that it sustains life. Is it really the water that you care about whether or not it ripples?
     
  2. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    The Eternal Tao is outside of our perception, but the natural Tao is not. Even though we do not percieve the true reality of the water rippling, we do know that we do not ripple. For we MAY not know what is outside of us, but we DO know what is within us. Lao Tzu also wrote...

    "How do I know the ways of the world, by what is within me."

    Therefore, the ability of knowing first takes place with the understanding of the self. If you understand that you do not ripple, than you know that you are not rippling with the water. Remember, the water rippling is not the Tao. It is simply the water rippling and is a product of the Tao. And it is through ourselves that we come to know that the water is rippling, Lao Tzu understood this.

    And Teapot... It doesn't matter if the water ripples or not. The question could of been sufficient with any number of items. Like, when the wind blows, why do you not blow with it? When the snow falls, why do you not fall with it? Etc... The question was meant to encourage self understanding first, not the understanding of the external item first. Therefore, what the water does for me has no bearing on the question, nor does its ability to sustain life.
     
  3. Mr Spinkles

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    Master Vigil--

    I don't disagree that humans do not "ripple" with water. I've said it over and over again, the fact is you don't have to ripple with the water to perceive it in a way contrary to how it actually exists (you could be seeing a mirage or something). All you know is that you perceive the water to ripple--to say you KNOW the water ripples is to say your eyesight cannot POSSIBLY be wrong.

    Besides, now you're talking about Eternal versus natural Tao, when earlier you told me I can't divide up reality into groups as you have just done.

    I think in your last post you've basically agreed with what I've been trying to say this whole time. The only thing you know for sure is the natural Tao (that you are SEEING the water rippling). You cannot possibly know the Eternal Tao (whether or not the water is "actually" rippling outside your inner world of senses). So we agree, you cannot know the water is rippling (Eternal Tao), you only know that you are perceiving inside of you (natural Tao) that water is rippling.
     
  4. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    The reason I know that the water is rippling is because I am not making it ripple, for I do not ripple. Therefore it must be rippling on its own accord. Whether it is rippling as I see it may be wrong, but I atleast know that I am not making it ripple. The Eternal Tao is the essence which is unknowable and inconceivable, however the natural Tao is the part of that Tao that does allow us to know it, even if partially. It is not a division of reality, only the part of that reality that we can concieve. This makes it no less real than the Eternal Tao, but simply is the part of the Tao we know about. And the natural Tao is that the water is rippling. The Eternal Tao is the inconcievable essence which created the water, the ripples, and everything. And from the understanding of the self, and knowing that we do not ripple, we come to the understanding that the rippling is happening on its own accord without our influence. Therefore, we know that we do not ripple with it. Whether or not what we are percieving as rippling is completely true or not in the outside world has no relevance. For we still know that whatever is happening outside of ourselves, is indeed outside of ourselves for we know ourselves truly enough to know that we do not "ripple." But the fact that the water may or may not be rippling in true reality had nothing to do with the question. The question was only to allow you to understand yourself enough to know that the water is rippling on its own accord, for it is not in your nature to ripple.

    So to clear this up... I know for sure (self) that I do not ripple. Therefore, the water rippling (natural Tao) is indeed happening as such outside of me. And since I am indeed percieving it as such, and perception is not the one true reality (Eternal Tao), why, if, or how the water is rippling is not based on my perception, but my self understanding. Therefore, I know myself (the whole point of the question) and I know I do not ripple.
     
  5. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    This is a really funny conversation... you guys are arguing over two very different things: Whether reality as we see it is real and trustworthy or merely illusion, and whether we can differentiate ourselves from that illusion by understanding our Self.

    Well, I would like to think that as my life moves along and I change, I change for the better. However... I think it might be kinda circular. I think we change for the worse, and then, if we are lucky, for the better. let me try to explain: A baby is not as bound by the binary system of meaning because she does not have words and concepts yet to differentiate things... so she is able to perceive the Tao better than an adult would. As the baby grows, she learns concepts that gradually blind her to the oneness of reality. As an adult, she can no longer perceive the Tao as clearly as she could as a child, UNLESS she eventually realizes that we have this binary system of meaning that masks the oneness of the Tao... at which point she can start "unlearning" and seeing the world with a "beginner's mind".

    I think illusion lifts away as smoke... ideally. For a Taoist or another person who recognizes that our "reality" is an illusion. For "other people" (lol) I think reality might lift away as smoke.

    I agree.

    Still agree.

    Agree.

    Allow me to try to explain. They are not both "reality". The Eternal Tao is reality... but it is unknowable. The Natural Tao is our illusion of reality... but it is the only reality we have and can work with, and as such we have to deal with it. Yin and yang and all other divisions exist within the Natural Tao but no such division occurs within the Eternal Tao, because this division is an illusion (but is reality for us). The Natural Tao is our perception of the Eternal Tao, and is as real to us as all other illusions within the Natural Tao. Do you understand?
     
  6. jay1_z

    jay1_z Member

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    Once again, this goes back to one of my previous posts. If you believe that there is a god, even if you're not sure which religious beliefs are true, and you want to know more, then you need to pray and ask for guidance. I've chosen my path because I've prayed this prayer & this is where I feel I'm being lead. I didn't always share the beliefs of christians and I've questioned them numerous times. But in order to really feel something you need to step out on fatih and try to truly believe that it is right. If you don't feel it then try another religion. But you must go at it wholeheartedly, otherwise you're doing it in vain. Yes there are alot of similar religions out there. Why? Everyone basically has the same moral values. They've built the idea of their God off of these moral values because everyone wants to believe that their God is good and just. And why wouldn't they want to believe that. Who wants to believe that their God is not a loving god?
     
  7. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Well of course some are more likely than others, but that is my imperfect perception. How am I to know for certain. I only follow what I do know, by reason and self understanding. The Tao exists. Not the judeo christian god.

    And you may think that it is a belief in the absurd, but others (probably the majority) would believe that the disbelief would be more absurd. I understand that some things cannot be explained by human means. I have experienced many of them. All things spiritual and religious are experiential. No reasonable argument can be produced the will prove, or disprove the existence of god. That is why you need the "leap of faith." But just as everything else human, no leap of faith is perfect. But it may be perfectly timed for some people. So to allow them to live a peaceful, happy life. Many religious and spiritual people often say the same things. Simplicity is where the universe's answers are found. Don't ask too many questions. Don't think, become.
     
  8. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Listen, we are talking about something that had no bearing on the original question. Everyone agrees that the water does not ripple because we make it ripple, for we know that we do not ripple, right?? Thats the whole point of the question. If you make it too complicated, than everything gets crazy. Simplicity is the way of the Tao. If you want to talk about perception, we must make a different conversation.

    There is no doubt a world outside of us. How we percieve it does not change the reality of it, only our perception of it. But the beauty of self understanding is once you understand yourself, and understand your perception, you can understand the world outside of that perception. Both of the Tao's are reality, the natural Tao is simply part of the unknowable Tao that we do perceive. This does not limit its reality, for only our perception of it is limited. Perception is separate from reality, for some may say perception is reality, this is not true, reality is reality, and perception is perception.

    And runt, again, do not complicate things. What lifts away as life goes on. The past. Could be a happy past, could be a sad past. But its still the past.
     
  9. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    It lies in the nature of grand virtue to follow the Tao and the Tao alone.
    Now what is the Tao?
    It is something elusive and evasive,
    Elusive and evasive and yet it contains within itself a form.
    Elusive and evasive and yet it includes within itself a substance.
    Shadowy and dim and et it contains within itself a core of vitality.
    The core of vitality is very real,
    It contains within itself an unfailing sincerity.
    Throughout the ages Its name has been preserved
    In order to recall the beginning of things.
    How do I know the ways of all things at the beginning?
    By what is within me.

    Chapter 21 - Tao Te Ching
    ----

    Without going out of your door,
    You can know the ways of the world.
    Without peeping through your window,
    You can see the way of heaven.
    The farther you go,
    The less you know.
    Thus the sage knows without traveling,
    Sees without looking,
    And achieves without ado.

    Chapter 47 - Tao Te Ching.
    ----

    Both of these chapters shows that the ability to know the ways of the world comes first and foremost with the ability to know one's self. Perception is perception, but once tou get past perception and understand your true self, you can understand true reality.
     
  10. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Master Vigil and jay1_z,

    An analogy for you: Do you know what kind of music I like? I would tell you, but I don't even really know. Depending on my mood, the time of day, the situation, etc., I may prefer a totally different kind of music now than I did earlier or will later. This is the 'flaw' with human emotions: they change.

    What you both seem to be recommending, is for one to follow their emotions and let them lead you to a higher understanding. This idea is very elegant, but exactly how productive is it? It is a basic function of the brain to create a reality that fits its thoughts. If you want something to be true, eventually it will become so for you. If you belive you are sick, eventually you will become sick. So when you say you are being 'lead' in a specific direction, how can you expect to trust those feelings? They are not in the least objective.

    I have adopted the idea that early humans 'invented' religion to fill in their gaps of understanding, and it has evolved into today's religions. Now, however, we have science, which covers many of those gaps quite nicely, and the difference between science and religion, is that science is completetly objective, as opposed to the supreme subjectivity of religion. The most important fact however, is that science is built upon empirical evidence and can be tried tested and proven. What has religion got that can match that?

    In response to what Master Vigil said, about not thinking and asking questions, just 'becoming', I would first have to ask, what exactly do you mean by that? Secondly, I believe that simplicity is indeed often the way to go. That is absolutley a very wise concept. However, one can simply question. To say that one should not think and question has probably got to be one of the most ignorant things I have heard. To accept without question is to be gullible, in my opinion, and gullibility leads to incorrect information, which is never good. This leads me to perhaps the most common question I ask people: Why do you believe? Because you have been raised to? Because someone recently talked you into it? Neither of these situations seems to have anything to do with the actual religion you are commiting to, but to the convincing person who is already committed, whatever their reason.
     
  11. jay1_z

    jay1_z Member

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    Ceridwen018, that is a very respectable answer. But I have to say that I would rather believe in a God than not believe for numerous reasons. One of the reasons, and a very important one, is for happiness. I may be fooling myself but because of the happiness I get from this, it's like the saying...."If it's wrong then I don't want to be right". That lack of a higher being in my life would probably cause me to do a lot of bad things and I don't want that. That's the short version of my reasoning.
     
  12. teapot_tall_and_yummy

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    Master Vigil -

    I think you missed my point. Why is it you chose water? Why did you not choose wind? Water and wind are very different. The causes of wind blowing and water rippling can be very very different. So in essence, it does matter, in a way, what it is you chose.
     
  13. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    The choice of the item does not have any relevance to the origianl question. The cause of the wind still is not myself, so therefore it does not matter what I chose. Don't make it too complicated.
     
  14. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    jay1_z,

    You have your reasons, I respect that, but let me just say one thing if I may:

    (the following analogy was concieved by Mr. Spinkles)
    I don't know what religion you come from, but i'll lobby that you at the very least know who Santa Clause is, and probably even believed in him as a child. Now as an adult, you of course no longer believe. Maybe you were traumatized when your parents or friends first told you the truth, but you got over it, and continued on with life. Maybe you felt that christmas would never be the same, and that you'd never be able to enjoy it again, but you got over that too. I don't know if these specific feelings apply to you or not, but for the sake of analogy, they are conceivable.

    All I'm saying, is that it's really not as bad as it seems, and if you have doubts about your religion (i'm not saying I think you do), ignoring them because you're afraid of what realizing them will bring, is just going to cause problems later down the road when they can no longer be kept hidden. From personal experience, I can tell you that my mind has never been freer, I've never had such a good sense of myself, and I have never been happier than I am now.
     
  15. Mr Spinkles

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    Master Vigil, whether or not this has any bearing on the original question....

    You say we know the water is rippling, because we ourselves do not ripple....but it doesn't matter! :) Your eyes can see things that aren't there, and therefore I do not know the water is rippling.....I only know that I'm seeing it ripple.

    Come on--I'm right about this...admit it :)
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    I agree with Ceridwen.

    You know, jay, I used to be in your EXACT same position. I had finally recognized the fact that God, spirits, angels, demons, etc. really have no basis, and that their only value is in the psychological security that belief in them provides. But I still clung doggedly to my belief in God, not because it was probably true- but because I wanted it to be true so badly!

    But now I realize that you can STILL have your previous morality and views of life, without insisting that there is a God (or Gods or Goddesses or whatever) behind it all. Remember: the reality around us is one thing; how we respond to that reality and make the best of it is something else.
     
  17. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    First : According you my "just become" idea. Sometimes because of science we forget that we are spiritual beings. But the spirit does rely on our emotions, and our emotions rely on our spirit. So I'm saying to stop thinking critically and looking at the world through a microscope, and become one with the world.

    Secondly, one of the biggest arguments against the existence of god has been the analogy of santa claus. However, this idea can not be compared. Especially when being compared to the Tao. Remember now that the Tao and God are not one in the same. The Tao has no gender, is not solely good or solely evil but the perfect balance between the two. It is however the first cause. You see, there are parts of santa claus that are true. We do have fat men with beards that wear red suits. We have reindeer, and we have the concept of flying. So we are able to imagine santa claus by putting all those things together and making the idea. However, we do not have anything perfect, or anything in perfect balance with all opposites, or something that which governs all things in the physical world to help us "imagine" the Tao. We only have the opposites, and we have imperfection. See we are able to understand santa claus, but we are not able to understand the Tao. It cannot be proven or disproven. And science only helps us understand that the Tao exists. Especially since the Tao created science.

    Also, why do I believe. I do not believe... I know. I understand the nature of the Tao and I understand the spirit world. Why? Because I am able to live in it. And it is not because I believed that I knew so much that I eventually knew. It is that I learned and experienced so much until I knew.
     
  18. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    I never said you weren't right about our perception being false sometimes. But that doesn't mean that the world is a complete illusion. We are able to know the truth, the truth about ourselves. And from a Taoist standpoint, once we know ourselves we know the rest of the world. So even though it is possible that the water may not be rippling. If you know yourself, you will understand that it either does or does not ripple.

    For a long time I never knew what was real or fake. For I sensed things that others did not, ALL THE TIME!!!! And it freaked me out. I was afraid of my insanity, I was afraid of my ignorance. But through more than 5 or 6 years of meditation and work in the spirit world as well as the physical, I came to know myself. And only then did I understand what was real and fake. Lies or truth. Illusions or facts. Keep in mind I do not know the Eternal Truth, but I am able to discern what I sense to be true or not. I'm not sure if you will believe that or not. But it is true, perception is not always reality. I will give you that.

    But as long as we understand that the original question had no bearing on that whatsoever. And as long as you understand the purpose and meaning of the question. Thats what matters most.
     
  19. Mr Spinkles

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    Master Vigil-

    You KNOW that the Tao exists. You feel it exists very strongly. And Christians KNOW that Jesus is their Savior. And Muslims KNOW that there is but one Allah...now, clearly, not all religious groups "know" what they claim to know. In fact, so many contradicting beliefs exist out there, and so many people think that they "know" their beliefs are correct that, all other things being equal, most of us are probably wrong--except me, of course. :lol: j/k

    However, when it comes to beliefs about the metaphysical, I really don't see how you can "know" anything (this is coming from a former believer). I think people who believe in the Tao or anything else that's spiritual simply "know" what they want to be true. After all, if you were born and raised in a strict fundamentalist Muslim family in Iran, you probably would have ended up "knowing" that Allah exists- rather than Tao. That's why in my opinion the only way we can hope to know anything is by observing things and testing hypothesis in an objective manner (go science!). :goodjob:

    One more thing. I'll bet I can think of a lot of different ideas that no one could ever prove or disprove. For example, I have the ability to transform into a lion, but only when no one is looking (yes, that includes video cameras etc). Of course, no one could ever "prove" this idea is wrong. Still, I doubt many people would take me seriously if I claimed this.
     
  20. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    It is true that no one person knows the same or even percieves the same as another. But what is truth then? There must be one truth, but if no one will ever find it, than we must have in each of us our own personal truth. I know because of observing things and testing hypothesis in an objective manner. Go Tao!! Especially because all science was created by the Tao and therefore helps prove its existence.

    The ability to turn into a lion when no one is looking cannot be compared to the Tao. What may be a better analogy would be infinity. Where in the physical world can you find infinity. Can you even define infinity. There are many ways to define it using algebra. However, since no one can prove its existence with science, we all know it exists. It is the same with the Tao.
     
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