Three Taoisms and Their Approaches to Te


Three Taoisms and Their Approaches to Te

The Taoist's desire to live life by the power (te) of the Tao has developed into three currents within the stream of Taoism. The first, with which Yakrider.com is mostly concerned, is commonly called"Philosophical Taoism," which is reflected in the Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu, the writings of Chuang-Tzu, and Lieh-Tzu. Philosophical Taoism is reflective, usually meditative, and involves some vitalizing programs to conserve Tao's power as it flows through human beings. In the philosophical Taoism of the Tao Te Ching, and Chuang- Tzu, the emphasis is on conserving te by using it efficiently.

A second current of Taoism might be called"vitalizing Taoism" because it seeks to increase or augment the supply of the Tao's power which it finds in the life-force, or ch'i, through three means: movement, matter, and mind. In this stream you will find ch'i increasing training programs based on movement (Tai Ch'i Chuan, Kung- Fu exercises, etc.) which also worked as ch'i unblocking practices. Acupuncture was developed for the same reasons. Matter has vital energy as well, so Taoists developed the pharmacopoeia of the use of herbs to increase this vital power bodily, and experimented (sometimes fatally!) to find elixirs of immortality. Air is the most rarified matter and thus we find the famous Taoist breathing techniques to rejuvenate health and energize the body. Thirdly, the mind itself becomes important for the free flow of Tao's power. Here we find the contemplatives and hermits who developed Taoist meditation. Huston Smith summarizes well: "This practice involved shutting out distractions and emptying the mind to the point where the power of the Tao might bypass bodily filters and enter the self directly."Some call the practice Taoist yoga because of its similarity to the raja yoga of India. The Taoist yogis had a peculiar point of departure from their Indian counterparts: they believed that the yogi could accumulate enough ch'i through meditation that it could be"transmitted psychically to a community to enhance its vitality and harmonize its affairs" (Smith).

This brings us near the third stream of Taoism and its approach to the power of the Tao. It can be called"religious Taoism"because it is more organized than the other two and its approach to te is as vicarious power through a Taoist priesthood. Where philosophical Taoism sought to conserve and manage power, and vitalizing Taoism sought to increase the supply of this power, a third approach was still needed. The first two took time which not everybody had and practices which not everyone could perform consistently. There were still villages of work-a-day people who needed help, plagues to be stopped, malevolent ghosts to be dealt with, rains to be induced, etc. And this is where the priests helped. They used their understanding of the flow of ch'i to correct situations (think Feng- shui here), and used their store of power for those who were not adept in the correct manipulation forces. This became what some call"Church Taoism"- the folk religion of China with its shamanistic priests, rituals, and vicariously empowering practices.

There are a few other terms in Chinese that need to be understood in order to better understand the meaning of Tao. These terms are"Li"- which we translate as"organic pattern"," Tzu-jan"Which we translate as"that which is so of itself", and"Wu wei"Which is translated as"Without effort"or perhaps better stated"Without forcing."

Before we get started on these terms let us also share that Lao Tzu stated"The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao."It cannot be put into words, we can generalize but the part can never understand the whole. We can only describe that which we have experienced, and since we cannot experience the entire cosmos, we do not have words or symbols for it. In the ancient scriptures of most all religions of the world, there was no word for what we now so readily call God, Brahman, Allah, Buddha, Tao, or whatever symbol we choose to use to describe that which we do not know. In fact some scriptures wrote in letters or symbols that made no sense in order to get that exact message across. Sadly somewhere along the line it was decided to put names to this and it is here that many of our troubles began. God versus Tao, Buddha, Allah, Brahman, etc.

With that said, let us go into these three Taoist terms and see what we can learn about Taoism.

Li

Alan Watts described three basic philosophical ideas of nature. The western mechanical view of nature which stems from ancient Greek science as well as from the Bible in which God made a man out of clay and breathed the breath of life into him. Viewpoints that everything in nature was"made", as man was made of clay. So we in the west generally have a mechanical view toward nature, that all things in nature are"made"of something other than itself and that each has a function or reason for being. Our very language is rooted in this viewpoint. What is quite interesting is that western mans' scientific quest to find out exactly what everything is made of has led us to some amazing discoveries, which seem to point towards what many people in various parts of the world have known for thousands of years. (See our unified field of behavior and science pages for more on this.)

The second philosophical viewpoint toward nature is that of the Hindu tradition, where nature is a drama. Brahman (The Supreme Being) is basically bored, the principle being that if you had full control over everything it would be a lot of fun for a while but you would soon become extremely tired, lonely and bored, you would know absolutely everything that was going to happen... there would be no surprises, no fun. So, for fun, Brahman cycles through periods of time (Kalpas), one of which he falls into a deep sleep and dreams. In these dreams he is playing the parts of all things in nature, including you and I. He does this to live in the myriad of unknowns and surprises, thoroughly convinced that everything is real (not his dream). So this viewpoint takes the stance that everything is Brahman playing out a drama. Brahman is playing out all the parts, wearing all the masks. Nothing is to be taken seriously, because it is all just a play, a drama put on by Brahman. This is a circular cycle that goes on and on and on, never ending.

The third viewpoint of nature, and the one we will discuss at length here, is from the Chinese, who use the word Li, to describe nature as organic pattern, translated as the markings in jade, the grain in wood, and the fiber in muscle. All of it is just infinitely beautiful, flowing in all sorts of complicated patterns. There is an order to it, but you cannot put your finger on it. It simply cannot be measured or put into words or symbols. When you look at a cloud, it is not a cube, nor is it circular. It has no specific order to it that we can describe and yet it is perfect. Look at a tree, a mountain, or the foam on water when it hits the shoreline, even the stars; all amazingly beautiful, in all kinds of wild and crazy patterns. All of it has an order to it that we simply cannot measure or describe. This is Li - organic pattern.

The Tao is not something different from nature, the birds, the bees, the trees, or ourselves. The Tao is the way all that behaves. So the basic Chinese idea of the universe is that it is an organism. You cannot find the controlling center of it, because there isn't any. Everything is a system of interrelated components, all interdependent on the other. Like bees and flowers; you will not find bees where there are no flowers, nor flowers where there are no bees or other insects that do their equivalent. Therefore though they look very different, they are in fact inseparable. They arise mutually. There is no cause and effect as we study with such veracity here in the west. Light and dark, high and low, sound and silence - all are only experienced in terms of their polar opposites.

This complete system of interdependence is Tao.

tzu-jan

This brings us to a Chinese term, tzu-jan, which we also translate as nature. Not a class of things as we in the west classify nature, but rather an entire point of view. It means literally, that which is so of itself. Our word for it might be spontaneity. Like your heart beat, or controlling your body temperature, and replacing the millions of cells in your body each day, it does all of this by itself. Nothing has to be controlled, it simply is. In western religions we take comfort in a higher being, a controller, a maker, but how many of us have asked the question"Well who watches God?", who guards the guards? Oh, you say God doesn't need to be watched, well then why does all of this? This is tzu-jan -"that which is so of itself."

wu wei

The third term we'd like to discuss is wu wei - without effort, without forcing. Huston Smith describes wu wei as"creative quietude" and"pure effectiveness", which he describes as the most efficient and natural way of acting. The person of wu wei operates in the naturalness, suppleness, and spontaneity of the flow of Tao, not forcing, not self-consciously"Achieving"things. It can also be translated as"not doing"or"do-nothingness", yet is the supreme activity, arising naturally when the deepest levels of the self are in tune with Tao.

Eternal Tao doesn't do anything,
yet it leaves nothing undone.
If you abide by it, everything
in existence will transform itself.
When, in the process of self-transformation,
desires are aroused, calm them with
nameless simplicity.
When desires are dissolved in the primordial presence,
peace and harmony naturally occur,
and the world orders itself. [Tao Te Ching 37]





The soft overcomes the hard in the world
as a gentle rider controls a galloping horse.
That without substance can penetrate where there is no space.
By these I know the benefit of nonaction [wu wei].
Teaching without words, working without actions—
nothing in the world can compare to them. [Tao Te Ching 43]





In the pursuit of learning,
every day something is added.
In the pursuit of Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less is done until
one arrives at nonaction [wu wei].
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.
The world is won by letting things
take their own course.
If you still have ambitions,
it's out of your reach. [Tao Te Ching 48]





The great Tao flows everywhere,
both to the left and to the right.
It loves and nourishes all things,
but does not lord it over them,
and when good things are accomplished,
it lays no claim to them.
The Tao having done everything, always escapes
and is not around to receive any thanks or acknowledgement.
Like water, the Tao always seeks the lowest level, which man abhors.
It does not show greatness and is therefore truly great. [Tao Te Ching 34]

http://www.yakrider.com/Tao/Taoism_Daoism.htm





THE APOCALYPSE OF THE SPIRIT-PARACLETE
The fulfillment of the promised divine eschatological instruction
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2) An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity   
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost Robert Kysar, John, the Maverick Gospel 
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament In Spirit and Truth, Benny Thettayil
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17 Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
Eric Eve, The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles D. R. Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God: an exploration into the Johannine understanding of God
Michael Welker, God the Spirit Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel John F. Moloney, The Gospel of John
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith Robert Kysar, John
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament 
“The teaching of the Paraclete, as the continuation of Jesus' teaching, must also be understood as the fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction.”
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity

“Jesus therefore predicts that God will later send a human being to Earth to take up the role defined by John .i.e. to be a prophet who hears God's words and repeats his message to man.”
M. Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'n, and Science

“And when Jesus foreannounced another Comforter, He must have intended a Person as distinct and helpful as He had been.”
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost

“The Paraclete has a twofold function: to communicate Christ to believers and, to put the world on trial.”
Robert Kysar, John The Meverick Gospel

“But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete...—will teach you everything.”
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ)

“Grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to defeminize the Divine.”
Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything

“The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree.”
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel

“The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world's reaction was to Jesus.”
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology

Bultmann calls the “coming of the Redeemer an 'eschatological event,' 'the turning-point of the ages.”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

“The Paraclete equated with the Holy Spirit, is the only mediator of the word of the exalted Christ.”
Benny Thettayil, In Spirit and Truth

“The divine Paraclete, and no lessor agency, must show the world how wrong it was about him who was in the right.”
Daniel B. Stevick , Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17

Stephen Smalley asserts that “The Spirit-Paraclete ... in John's Gospel is understood as personal, indeed, as a person.”
Marianne Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John

“The Messiah will come and the great age of salvation will dawn (for the pious).”
Eric Eve, The Jewish context of Jesus' Miracles

“The remembrance is to relive and re-enact the Christ event, to bring about new eschatological decision in time and space.”
Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God

“The Spirit acts in such an international situation as the revealer of 'judgment' on the powers that rule the world.”
Michael Welker, God the Spirit

The Paraclete's “Appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed.”
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament

“While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors.”
T. G. Brown, Spirit in the writings of John

“The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit.”
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit

“The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life.”
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John

“The gift of peace, therefore, is intimately associated with the gift of the Spirit-Paraclete.”
Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John

“This utopian hope, even when modestly expressed, links Jesus and the prophets to a much wider history of human longing.”
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith

“Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present.”
Robert Kysar, John

“They are going, by the Holy Spirit's power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation.”
R. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary

“The Kingdom of God stands as a comprehensive term for all that the messianic salvation included... is something to be sought here and now (Mt. 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk. 10:15 = Lk. 18:16-17).”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament


“But today is the day I declare that I am the one who has to save the humanity. I declare I am the one who is Adishakti, who is the Mother of all the Mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give its meaning to itself; to this creation, to human beings and I am sure through My Love and patience and My powers I am going to achieve it.

I was the one who was born again and again. But now in my complete form and complete powers I have come on this Earth not only for salvation of human beings, not only for their emancipation, but for granting them the Kingdom of Heaven, the joy, the bliss that your Father wants to bestow upon you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
December 2, 1979—London, UK


“I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
New York, USA—September 30, 1981


“Tell all the nations and tell all the people all over the Great Message that the Time of Resurrection is here. Now, at this time, and that you are capable of doing it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Cowley Manor Seminar, UK—July 31, 1982


“This is the transformation that has worked, of which Christ has talked, Mohammed Sahib has talked, everybody has talked about this particular time when people will get transformed.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Chistmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—25 December 1997


“The Resurrection of Christ has to now be collective Resurrection. This is what is Mahayoga. Has to be the collective Resurrection.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Easter Puja, London, UK—11 April 1982


“Today, Sahaja Yaga has reached the state of Mahayoga, which is en-masse evolution manifested through it. It is this day�s Yuga Dharma. It is the way the Last Judgement is taking place. Announce it to all the seekers of truth, to all the nations of the world, so that nobody misses the blessings of the divine to achieve their meaning, their absolute, their Spirit.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
MAHA AVATAR, ISSUE 1, JUL-SEP 1980 (Date and place unknown)


“The main thing that one has to understand is that the time has come for you to get all that is promised in the scriptures, not only in the Bible but all all the scriptures of the world. The time has come today that you have to become a Christian, a Brahmin, a Pir, through your Kundalini awakening only. There is no other way. And that your Last Judgment is also now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“You see, the Holy Ghost is the Mother. When they say about the Holy Ghost, She is the Mother... Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture — has to be there. Now, the Mother's character is that She is the one who is the Womb, She is the one who is the Mother Earth, and She is the one who nourishes you. She nourishes us. You know that. And this Feminine thing in every human being resides as this Kundalini.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Radio Interview Oct 01 1983—Santa Cruz, USA


“It is the Mother who can awaken the Kundalini, and that the Kundalini is your own Mother. She is the Holy Ghost within you, the Adi Shakti, and She Herself achieves your transformation. By any talk, by any rationality, by anything, it cannot be done.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“She is your pure Mother. She is the Mother who is individually with you. Forget your concepts, and forget your identifications. Please try to understand She is your Mother, waiting for ages to give you your real birth. She is the Holy Ghost within you. She has to give you your realization, and She's just waiting and waiting to do it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Public Program Mar 22 1981—Sydney, Australia


“The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Press Conference July 08 1999—London, UK

The Great Goddess is both wholly transcendent and fully immanent: beyond space and time, she is yet embodied within all existent beings; without form as pure, infinite consciousness (cit) ... She is the universal, cosmic energy known as Sakti, and the psychophysical, guiding force designated as the Kundalini (Serpent Power) resident within each individual. She is eternal, without origin or birth, yet she is born in this world in age after age, to support those who seek her assistance. Precisely to provide comfort and guidance to her devotees, she presents herself in the Devi Gita to reveal the truths leading both to worldly happiness and to the supreme spiritual goals: dwelling in her Jeweled Island and mergence into her own perfect being.” (Brown, 1998, 2)





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