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The Philosophical Ground of the Religions of Daoism & Confucianism Mary I. Bockover Professor of Philosophy Humboldt State University Arcata, California,

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Presentation on theme: "The Philosophical Ground of the Religions of Daoism & Confucianism Mary I. Bockover Professor of Philosophy Humboldt State University Arcata, California,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Philosophical Ground of the Religions of Daoism & Confucianism Mary I. Bockover Professor of Philosophy Humboldt State University Arcata, California, USA

2 Chapter 14 of Laozi’s Daodejing What cannot be seen is called evanescent; What cannot be heard is called rarefied; What cannot be touched is called minute. These three cannot be fathomed And so they are confused and looked upon as one. Its upper part is not dazzling; Its lower part is not obscure. Dimly visible, it cannot be named And returns to that which is without substance. This is called the shape that has no shape, The image that is without substance. This is called indistinct and shadowy. Go up to it and you will not see its head; Follow behind it and you will not see its rear. Hold fast to the way of antiquity In order to keep in control the realm of today. The ability to know the beginning of antiquity Is called the thread running through the way. (D.C. Lau)

3 Dao (Tao): The Way of the Universe

4 The source and sustainer of all The source and sustainer of all

5 Dao (Tao): The Way of the Universe The source and sustainer of all The source and sustainer of all Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything)

6 Dao (Tao): The Way of the Universe The source and sustainer of all The source and sustainer of all Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things

7 Dao (Tao): The Way of the Universe The source and sustainer of all The source and sustainer of all Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things Is ultimate reality, so rarified that it cannot be perceived (or named) Is ultimate reality, so rarified that it cannot be perceived (or named)

8 Dao (Tao): The Way of the Universe The source and sustainer of all The source and sustainer of all Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things Is ultimate reality, so rarified that it cannot be perceived (or named) Is ultimate reality, so rarified that it cannot be perceived (or named) Entails “what is” and “what is not”, being and non-being, change and non-change, but is prior to the “opposites” -- is prior to all distinction and differentiation that we refer to as “life” Entails “what is” and “what is not”, being and non-being, change and non-change, but is prior to the “opposites” -- is prior to all distinction and differentiation that we refer to as “life”

9 Dao (Tao): The Way of the Universe The source and sustainer of all The source and sustainer of all Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gave birth to the One, and from the One came the two (yin and yang), and from the two came the 10,000 things (wan, or everything) Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things Gives rise to a “metaphysic” or cosmology that has Dao as the first principle and final end of all things Is ultimate reality, so rarified that it cannot be perceived (or named) Is ultimate reality, so rarified that it cannot be perceived (or named) Entails “what is” and “what is not”, being and non-being, change and non-change, but is prior to the “opposites” -- is prior to all distinction and differentiation that we refer to as “life” Entails “what is” and “what is not”, being and non-being, change and non-change, but is prior to the “opposites” -- is prior to all distinction and differentiation that we refer to as “life” Is referred to in “negative” or yin terms: as vacuity, being empty, receptive, what is not, what we don’t have, what we don’t know, what we can’t experience, what does not exist (at least in tangible form) Is referred to in “negative” or yin terms: as vacuity, being empty, receptive, what is not, what we don’t have, what we don’t know, what we can’t experience, what does not exist (at least in tangible form)

10 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative

11 The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang

12 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being

13 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world

14 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change

15 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation

16 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation Spiritually, “knowing” the relation between yin and yang calls for a “mystical” experience beyond ordinary distinctions and words, an experience that cannot be named (can be thought of as simple and childlike too) Spiritually, “knowing” the relation between yin and yang calls for a “mystical” experience beyond ordinary distinctions and words, an experience that cannot be named (can be thought of as simple and childlike too)

17 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation Spiritually, “knowing” the relation between yin and yang calls for a “mystical” experience beyond ordinary distinctions and words, an experience that cannot be named (can be thought of as simple and childlike too) Spiritually, “knowing” the relation between yin and yang calls for a “mystical” experience beyond ordinary distinctions and words, an experience that cannot be named (can be thought of as simple and childlike too) Dao is ultimately real, however, so rarified that it takes a direct spiritual experience for it to be understood Dao is ultimately real, however, so rarified that it takes a direct spiritual experience for it to be understood

18 Yin-Yang: Receptive-Creative The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang The One refers to the harmonious blending of yin and yang Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being Metaphysically, the One is the “great ultimate” or unity of all Being This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world This unity consists of “opposite” yet complimentary forces that optimally produce harmonious change in the world Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao is the normative “essence” of reality that drives such change Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation Dao comes before the One too; before any distinction or differentiation Spiritually, “knowing” the relation between yin and yang calls for a “mystical” experience beyond ordinary distinctions and words, an experience that cannot be named (can be thought of as simple and childlike too) Spiritually, “knowing” the relation between yin and yang calls for a “mystical” experience beyond ordinary distinctions and words, an experience that cannot be named (can be thought of as simple and childlike too) Dao is ultimately real, however, so rarified that it takes a direct spiritual experience for it to be understood Dao is ultimately real, however, so rarified that it takes a direct spiritual experience for it to be understood What is ordinarily experienced is the power (de) Dao has on life and the world we live in; in producing change that is harmonious or not What is ordinarily experienced is the power (de) Dao has on life and the world we live in; in producing change that is harmonious or not

19

20 The Way: Ultimate Spiritual Reality

21 The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity

22 The Way: Ultimate Spiritual Reality The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things)

23 The Way: Ultimate Spiritual Reality The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life

24 The Way: Ultimate Spiritual Reality The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life

25 The Way: Ultimate Spiritual Reality The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life In truth, yin and yang are different aspects of the same ultimate reality that we mistakenly distinguish as being separate in kind In truth, yin and yang are different aspects of the same ultimate reality that we mistakenly distinguish as being separate in kind

26 The Way: Ultimate Spiritual Reality The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life In truth, yin and yang are different aspects of the same ultimate reality that we mistakenly distinguish as being separate in kind In truth, yin and yang are different aspects of the same ultimate reality that we mistakenly distinguish as being separate in kind For example, dark is really just less light, receptivity is essential to creativity, and, as death is a part of life, life is a part of death For example, dark is really just less light, receptivity is essential to creativity, and, as death is a part of life, life is a part of death

27 The Way: Ultimate Spiritual Reality The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity The Dao or Way of the World is tri-part: traditionally consisting of the way of heaven, the way of earth, and the way of humanity Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Taoists redefine this traditional distinction by referring to a “Way” that is beyond ti’an or “heaven”, and by not deifying the way of humanity (rendao) as superior to the rest of creation (the many, myriad, or 10,000 things) Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life Hence, Daoists focus on yin principles: earth (k’un), receptivity, and the feminine, childlike, simple, dark, empty, weak, paradoxical, mysterious, “changeless” or “actionless” aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life This is in contrast to the traditional Chinese focus on yang principles: heaven, creativity, or the masculine, sagely, cultured, light, full, strong, definite, tangible, everchanging and active aspects of life In truth, yin and yang are different aspects of the same ultimate reality that we mistakenly distinguish as being separate in kind In truth, yin and yang are different aspects of the same ultimate reality that we mistakenly distinguish as being separate in kind For example, dark is really just less light, receptivity is essential to creativity, and, as death is a part of life, life is a part of death For example, dark is really just less light, receptivity is essential to creativity, and, as death is a part of life, life is a part of death Like Dao, death is darker than any mystery; is a mysterious change about which we know very little… Like Dao, death is darker than any mystery; is a mysterious change about which we know very little…

28 Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) Chuang Tzu’s wife died and Hui Tzu went to offer his condolence. He found Chuang Tzu squatting on the ground and singing, beating on an earthen bowl. He said, “Someone has lived with you, raised children for you and now she has aged and died. Is it not enough that you should not shed a tear? But now you sing and beat the bowl. Is this not too much?” “No,” replied Chuang Tzu. “When she died,how could I help being affected? But as I think the matter over, I realize that originally she had no life; and not only no life, she had no form; not only no form, she had no material force (chi, qi). In the limbo of existence and non-existence, there was transformation and the material force was evolved. The material force was transformed to be form, form was transformed to become life, and now birth has transformed to become death. This is like the rotation of the four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter. Now she lies asleep in the great house (the universe). For me to go about weeping and wailing would be to show my ignorance of destiny. Therefore, I desist.” (ch. 18, 6:31b-32a; Wing Tsit Chan)

29 Chapter 5 of Laozi’s Daodejing Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs; the sage is ruthless, and treats the people as straw dogs. Is not the space between heaven and earth like a bellows? It is empty without being exhausted: The more it works the more comes out. Much speech leads inevitably to silence. Better to hold fast to the void. (D.C. Lau)

30 The Daoist Religious Experience

31 Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao

32 The Daoist Religious Experience Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao

33 The Daoist Religious Experience Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish)

34 The Daoist Religious Experience Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed

35 The Daoist Religious Experience Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void

36 The Daoist Religious Experience Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void Daoist emptiness in not literally nothing though; non-being or non- change refers to a different way of being and changing (like the yin-yang relation) Daoist emptiness in not literally nothing though; non-being or non- change refers to a different way of being and changing (like the yin-yang relation)

37 The Daoist Religious Experience Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void Daoist emptiness in not literally nothing though; non-being or non-change refers to a different way of being and changing (like the yin-yang relation) Daoist emptiness in not literally nothing though; non-being or non-change refers to a different way of being and changing (like the yin-yang relation) This Way is mysterious, but can be experienced as beautiful, perfect, and complete (formless yet complete, latent in it are the forms) This Way is mysterious, but can be experienced as beautiful, perfect, and complete (formless yet complete, latent in it are the forms)

38 The Daoist Religious Experience Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao Things come into being, and pass from being -- returning to Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao This is the way of life, and there is no “justice” in it; the way of life and the way of humanity are at odds because we have lost our way and cannot change Dao Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has practical consequences seen in our failing to live in accordance with the Way (what is against the Dao will surely perish) Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Has religious consequences that run even deeper: for life and death are mysteries to be experienced instead of ideas to be confirmed Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void Death is just another change that is a part of life and leads back to the void Daoist emptiness in not literally nothing though; non-being or non-change refers to a different way of being and changing (like the yin-yang relation) Daoist emptiness in not literally nothing though; non-being or non-change refers to a different way of being and changing (like the yin-yang relation) This Way is mysterious, but can be experienced as beautiful, perfect, and complete (formless yet complete, latent in it are the forms) This Way is mysterious, but can be experienced as beautiful, perfect, and complete (formless yet complete, latent in it are the forms) Daoism calls upon us to BE ALIVE -- to simply appreciate what it means to be living -- but paradoxically this is done by fully entering into the mystery as a lived experience Daoism calls upon us to BE ALIVE -- to simply appreciate what it means to be living -- but paradoxically this is done by fully entering into the mystery as a lived experience

39 Chapter 41 of Laozi’ Daodejing When the best student hears about the way He practices it assiduously; When the average student hears about the way It seems to him one moment there and gone the next; When the worst student hears about the way He laughs out loud. If he did not laugh It would be unworthy of being the way. Hence the Chien yen [an old proverb] has it: The way that is bright seems dull; The way that leads forward seems to lead backward; The way that is even seems rough. The highest virtue is like the valley; The sheerest whiteness seems sullied; Ample virtue seems defective; Vigorous virtue seems indolent; Plain virtue seems soiled; The great square has no corners. The great vessel takes long to complete; The great note is rarefied in sound; The great image has no shape. The way conceals itself in being nameless. It is the way alone that excels in bestowing and in accomplishing. (D.C. Lau) It is the way alone that excels in bestowing and in accomplishing. (D.C. Lau)

40 Daoist Principles & Practices

41 An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life

42 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes

43 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Disciplines for promoting health and long life Disciplines for promoting health and long life

44 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Disciplines for promoting health and long life Disciplines for promoting health and long life E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung)

45 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Disciplines for promoting health and long life Disciplines for promoting health and long life E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi)

46 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Disciplines for promoting health and long life Disciplines for promoting health and long life E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself” Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself”

47 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Disciplines for promoting health and long life Disciplines for promoting health and long life E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself” Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself” Goal to cultivate one’s “self” beyond the gross body and (as celestial immortals) to be in harmony with the subtle and mysterious transformations of the Dao (the dynamic unity of being or everchanging cosmic spiritual processes) Goal to cultivate one’s “self” beyond the gross body and (as celestial immortals) to be in harmony with the subtle and mysterious transformations of the Dao (the dynamic unity of being or everchanging cosmic spiritual processes)

48 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Disciplines for promoting health and long life Disciplines for promoting health and long life E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself” Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself” Goal to cultivate one’s “self” beyond the gross body and (as celestial immortals) to be in harmony with the subtle and mysterious transformations of the Dao (the dynamic unity of being or everchanging cosmic spiritual processes) Goal to cultivate one’s “self” beyond the gross body and (as celestial immortals) to be in harmony with the subtle and mysterious transformations of the Dao (the dynamic unity of being or everchanging cosmic spiritual processes) Daoists seek not to interfere with the natural rhythms of life; human life is seen as occurring within the larger patterns of the natural world and the whole cosmos Daoists seek not to interfere with the natural rhythms of life; human life is seen as occurring within the larger patterns of the natural world and the whole cosmos

49 Daoist Principles & Practices An “ecology” of life An “ecology” of life Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Daoist body cultivation: a nexus of interrelated & everchanging (yin-yang) processes Disciplines for promoting health and long life Disciplines for promoting health and long life E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) E.g, Taiji quan (Tai Chi) & Qigong (Ch'i-kung) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Purification of mind & body: to rarify spiritual energies (qi) Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself” Respect for the natural interdependency of all things: for all things are what they are, only in relation to each other, and ultimately, in relation to the Great Dao “itself” Goal to cultivate one’s “self” beyond the gross body and (as celestial immortals) to be in harmony with the subtle and mysterious transformations of the Dao (the dynamic unity of being or everchanging cosmic spiritual processes) Goal to cultivate one’s “self” beyond the gross body and (as celestial immortals) to be in harmony with the subtle and mysterious transformations of the Dao (the dynamic unity of being or everchanging cosmic spiritual processes) Daoists seek not to interfere with the natural rhythms of life; human life is seen as occurring within the larger patterns of the natural world and the whole cosmos Daoists seek not to interfere with the natural rhythms of life; human life is seen as occurring within the larger patterns of the natural world and the whole cosmos Alchemy & meditation aiming to reach material immortality; to rarify qi Alchemy & meditation aiming to reach material immortality; to rarify qi

50 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way

51 Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic

52 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li

53 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an

54 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an We can make the way great (Wang Pi) We can make the way great (Wang Pi)

55 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an We can make the way great (Wang Pi) We can make the way great (Wang Pi) The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself

56 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an We can make the way great (Wang Pi) We can make the way great (Wang Pi) The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself The human spirit at its best IS an expression of harmony and unity The human spirit at its best IS an expression of harmony and unity

57 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an We can make the way great (Wang Pi) We can make the way great (Wang Pi) The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself The human spirit at its best IS an expression of harmony and unity The human spirit at its best IS an expression of harmony and unity The human way or rendao is a microcosm of the way of heaven The human way or rendao is a microcosm of the way of heaven

58 Confucian Religion: The Human Way Embedded in the Great Way Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic Confucianism is a religion, not just an ethic The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The human spirit -- ren -- requires the tangible ritual expression of li The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an The goal is to promote harmonious human activity co-extensive with the harmonious way of heaven or ti’an We can make the way great (Wang Pi) We can make the way great (Wang Pi) The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself The human spirit has a “benevolent” normative nature that has its roots in the Great Way itself The human spirit at its best IS an expression of harmony and unity The human spirit at its best IS an expression of harmony and unity The human way or rendao is a microcosm of the way of heaven The human way or rendao is a microcosm of the way of heaven The “secular” expression of li IS ren: or the “sacred” activation of the human spirit in goodness and responsibility The “secular” expression of li IS ren: or the “sacred” activation of the human spirit in goodness and responsibility

59 Li & Ren: Humanity At Its Best

60 Westerners have a hard time grasping this point because consciousness or the human “spirit” has been internalized by a more dualistic metaphysic. Confucius offers us a new and different way of thinking about ethics and religion by having us think of consciousness as an objective social and spiritual fact Westerners have a hard time grasping this point because consciousness or the human “spirit” has been internalized by a more dualistic metaphysic. Confucius offers us a new and different way of thinking about ethics and religion by having us think of consciousness as an objective social and spiritual fact

61 Li & Ren: Humanity At Its Best Westerners have a hard time grasping this point because consciousness or the human “spirit” has been internalized by a more dualistic metaphysic. Confucius offers us a new and different way of thinking about ethics and religion by having us think of consciousness as an objective social and spiritual fact Westerners have a hard time grasping this point because consciousness or the human “spirit” has been internalized by a more dualistic metaphysic. Confucius offers us a new and different way of thinking about ethics and religion by having us think of consciousness as an objective social and spiritual fact For Confucius, action and spirit are interdependent: “universal” human ren requires culturally “diverse” expressions of li For Confucius, action and spirit are interdependent: “universal” human ren requires culturally “diverse” expressions of li

62 Li & Ren: Humanity At Its Best Westerners have a hard time grasping this point because consciousness or the human “spirit” has been internalized by a more dualistic metaphysic. Confucius offers us a new and different way of thinking about ethics and religion by having us think of consciousness as an objective social and spiritual fact Westerners have a hard time grasping this point because consciousness or the human “spirit” has been internalized by a more dualistic metaphysic. Confucius offers us a new and different way of thinking about ethics and religion by having us think of consciousness as an objective social and spiritual fact For Confucius, action and spirit are interdependent: “universal” human ren requires culturally “diverse” expressions of li For Confucius, action and spirit are interdependent: “universal” human ren requires culturally “diverse” expressions of li Together, li & ren point to different aspects of an act of “communion”, or harmonious human interaction Together, li & ren point to different aspects of an act of “communion”, or harmonious human interaction

63 The Great Learning Once things are investigated, knowledge will be completed. Once knowledge is complete, opinions will be verified. Once opinions are verified, minds will be rectified. Once minds are rectified, persons will be cultivated. Once persons are cultivated, families will be harmonized. Once families are harmonized, states will be put in order. Once states are in order, there will be peace all under heaven. From the emperor to the common people, all must see the cultivation of their own person as the root of all else. If roots are in disarray, there will never be healthy branches. (Lydia Garber)

64 The Analects of Confucius Someone asked the Master for an explanation of the di imperial ancestral sacrifice, and he replied: “I don’t have one. Anyone who did know how to explain it could rule the empire as easily as having it here.” And he pointed to the palm of his hand. [representing the magical effect of ritual in ordering things]. (Ames & Rosemont 3, 11)

65 The Analects of Confucius The Master said, High office filled with men of narrow views, ritual preformed without reverence, the forms of mourning observed without grief—these are things I cannot bear to see! (Waley 3, 26) The expression “sacrifice as though present” is taken to mean “sacrifice to the spirits as though the spirits are present.” But the Master said: “If I myself do not participate in the sacrifice, it is as though I have not sacrificed at all” (Ames & Rosemont 3, 12)

66 The Tri-part Dao: The Great Way (of Heaven), The Way of Humanity, & The Way of Earth

67 The End


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