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Mastery Over Fate

taobabe

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I have always lived with the idea that it is ALWAYS good to tempt fate when faced with any situation that requires a decisive decision on my part. No pain, no gain, I always say. I was surprised to find, during my days of exploration and digging for the truth, that this same sentiment is echoed in various pages throughout the I Ching, most notably, in the Ta Chuan, where it states in fairly straightforward text that everything which happens must obey laws that are prescribed by the mind of humans.

We can see this in physics, where matter is either a wave or a particle, depending on whether we focus our eyes on it or not. This means that it does not exist in this world unless WE allow it to exist.

Here is another crazy but wonderful thought. The I Ching does not say that we must follow our Fate, but rather that Fate is a changing line that can be shaped by our minds. This means we can have mastery over our fates, if we but only knew how to do so. I think this is not outside of our grasp.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
 

rodaki

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put simply, one thought: we can't know tao better than tao knowing us

Is there any text u could post to show where there's reference to how 'everything which happens must obey laws that are prescribed by the mind of humans'? Curious about it . .
 

taobabe

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Hi Rodaki

Thanks for your response. Can you give me some reference material that states the thought that we can't know Tao better than Tao knowing us? Where did you get this idea? I am curious as to where it says that, because from the various ancient texts that I have been able to get my hands on, it's more nebulous than that.

The information regarding fate and the possibility that humans are able to harness it comes directly from the I Ching itself, embedded within the Ta Chuan, and in various parts of the I Ching text itself. I can quote the entirety of the text, but I'm sure you have a copy of the I Ching with the Ta Chuan embedded therewith, so I don't have to type in the whole paragraph.

I am striving to walk the path of a Taoist philosopher, so I find real joy in ferreting out information and knowledge that lies behind the powers of I Ching, of which divination is but one part of the whole philosophy. Basically, what you have to ask yourself is: If the I Ching divination is THAT POWERFUL, (and believe me, if it wasn't, it would not have lasted this long), where is the power coming from? My understanding is that not only does the I Ching provide divination, it also explains the mysteries of the laws of the universe (which we think of in rudimentary levels as science), and finally, it prescribes a compassionate and intelligent action towards a clear broad path of movement through our karmic journey. Think of it as our copy of the 'How to Be a Human' book. We are not just thrown into the world without any help or guidance, as most people think. We have been given the I Ching, which allows us to learn about the world we have found ourselves in, ask questions of our extraplanar self, and gain answers so that we can best be guided to the most compassionate and most logical action.
 

taobabe

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Just so I don't come across as being difficult (and I may seem to be so because I am such an intense creature), I dug out my copy of the I Ching to find that particular passage. It is in Chapter Four of 'The Deeper Implications of the Book of Changes (the I Ching is called The Book of Changes by the ancients).

Chapter 4: Section 4
In it are included the forms and the scope of everything in the heavens and on earth, so that nothing escapes it. In it, all things everywhere are completed, so that none is missing. Therefore by means of it we can penetrate the Tao of day and night, and so understand it. Therefore the spirit is bound to no one place, nor the Book of Changes to any one form. ~ I Ching/Book of Changes
 

rodaki

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No I can't paste a text cause that thought didn't come straight out of reading a specific text; in general I like walking and looking around -I get very distracted and in cities sometimes I walk looking upwards cause I like finding undiscovered details- and usually, the path I walk on has more to teach me than I have to teach it :rolleyes: lol

And actually, no, I don't have a copy to read thru trying to understand what passage you had in mind, hence my question. I used to have one some years ago, but not anymore



ETA: oh just seen your last post . . not really sure how it supports your sentence :confused:
 

rodaki

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oh dear, thank you but I'm going thru a very busy period in my life and that's why you don't see me that often here . . Perhaps I'll take 'homework' suggestions another time . . :p
 

meng

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Think of it as our copy of the 'How to Be a Human' book.
Nearly everyone knows how to be human well enough; it's the being part that is rare. The guide to be a human, being.

The I Ching does not say that we must follow our Fate, but rather that Fate is a changing line that can be shaped by our minds. This means we can have mastery over our fates, if we but only knew how to do so. I think this is not outside of our grasp.
I believe through resistance and adversity, and learning that though many things in life you have no control over, the one you can learn control of is this moody, spoiled, controlling thing called self. It's every day or moment anew, not once and for all.

Also, words need not have been pre-scripted and/or published to carry truth. The wind carries it and penetrates without having read it somewhere first. Water flows with no knowledge at all, nor a form; and it is a great deal more Daoist than anything Wilhelm ever wrote. He could only write about it, and through tinted glasses at that.
 
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I was just reading somewhere that throughout our lives we try to master our character, or we try to reach enlightenment and master understanding (the list goes on), knowing quite well that as humans we will never reach that completely. But we still must try our best as if we can master it.

My internet surfing is very rapid, wish I should find the site..

I am sure it is different for everyone, how we envision life working and the patterns and reasons to what we see. And as time goes by we applying (or subtract!) the way we see life as working, changing it to what is needed at that time. I am reading Bradford's 'Dimensions' more thoroughly right now and it is bringing up that there are so many ways to look at the Yi - different sequences and patterns - different depths - and that the Yi is all of those patterns - plus more! Life is like that too! Very multi-dimensional and unable to be pinned down.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
My thoughts are that there are a lot of things that hatch our awareness and our realities. Our human brains are one of them. I am beginning to see our attitudes shape a lot when projected outward. But nature is much bigger than myself and bigger than just humans. There is the multiverse and beyond (and a lot of in betweens).

We can see this in physics, where matter is either a wave or a particle, depending on whether we focus our eyes on it or not. This means that it does not exist in this world unless WE allow it to exist
I have heard this too, and I find it interesting. Now here is something to think about.. whatever the particle is... it seems to already exist, just in the form of nothingness, waiting for something to look at it. As if we activate it with our consciousness... like yin does with yang... just a thought, nothing set in stone here!

:odd:
 

pocossin

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I have always lived with the idea that it is ALWAYS good to tempt fate . . .
Fate is what you cannot escape, and you cannot escape it because you are unaware of it. There is no mastery over fate, only an accommodation to it. Please read Oedipus Rex. If you think you can tempt fate and escape, you live in a different world from me. That the mind is able to transcend fate is a modern illusion. We aren't so prescient. You are an individual because of your body, not because of your transcient mind.
 

taobabe

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Hi Meng,
Thanks for responding to my thoughts. Please allow me to respond to your ideas, point for point.

Nearly everyone knows how to be human well enough; it's the being part that is rare. The guide to be a human, being.
hu·man
adjective
1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people: human frailty.
2. consisting of people: the human race.

human being
noun
1.
any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens.
2.
a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species: living conditions not fit for human beings; a very generous human being.


The difference between the words 'human' and 'human being' is that one is used as an adjective and the other is used as a noun, respectively. Everyone who has a human genome will become a human being. Not everyone who is a human being knows the ways of being human. Hence, my statement stands as written.

I believe through resistance and adversity, and learning that though many things in life you have no control over, the one you can learn control of is this moody, spoiled, controlling thing called self. It's every day or moment anew, not once and for all.
On the contrary, my friend, the I Ching states that if you can learn, via the easy and the simple (yin and yang), you can grasp the laws of the whole world and achieve perfection. Just because we have not yet mastered the technique does not mean our ability to do so does not exist. It just means we have not reached that level of perfection yet. There are many many masters who HAVE reached that level of perfection, and they have told us that it can be done. They wrote it down so we can learn from them. Please allow me to quote the I Ching again.

By means of the easy and the simple, we grasp the laws of the whole world. When the laws of the whole world are grasped, therein lies perfection. ~ I Ching

Also, words need not have been pre-scripted and/or published to carry truth. The wind carries it and penetrates without having read it somewhere first. Water flows with no knowledge at all, nor a form; and it is a great deal more Daoist than anything Wilhelm ever wrote. He could only write about it, and through tinted glasses at that.
Let me be very clear about this. Wilhelm did not write the I Ching. He TRANSLATED the words that were written from ancient times by those who have mastered the ideology and philosophy of Taoism. If I could use the original Chinese characters, I would, but unfortunately, I can't. The best I can do is to utilize translations of the original.

As for the water and the wind carrying Taoist ideology, that is very true. We can even say that the water, the wind, the sun, the earth, and all its living creatures is a part of the Tao, and we would be absolutely correct. It is stated in the I Ching that "The Book of Changes contains the measure of heaven and earth; therefore it enables us to comprehend the Tao of heaven and earth and its order." Yes, we can observe nature and deduce the order of things and the laws of science, but why reinvent the wheel? When I go to school, it is faster and more efficient for me to learn my lessons with text books as my guide, rather than try to figure it out on my own. We have been given very powerful and valuable tools to use, why not use them?

Lao Tsu said it best.
"Wield the Tao of the ancients
To manage the existence of today
One can know the ancient beginning
It is called the Tao Axiom" ~ Tao Te Ching.

I hope this helps.
 

taobabe

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oh dear, thank you but I'm going thru a very busy period in my life and that's why you don't see me that often here . . Perhaps I'll take 'homework' suggestions another time . . :p
Rodaki

This is not meant to be homework. You said you didn't have a copy, so I sent you a link with a copy of the books. Since this is a forum about the I Ching, I naturally assumed everyone who has been learning about this subject for any length of time would have already, in their possession, a copy of the I Ching. Otherwise, what's the point in discussing ideas about the I Ching if you can't refer to the passages contained within the I Ching? :confused:
 

bradford

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Taobabe-
命 mìng, the word often translated fate in the Yijing, has several possible translations, and personal meanings that depend on one's character (character is destiny).
Sometimes it is the decree of heaven (tian ming). Dis-aster is a western idea and word derived from "against the stars." The word con-sider meant to consult the stars.
Sometimes it's the command or decree of the king and one's body-head connection is to be preserved.
Elsewhere, though, the fatedness of things depends on whether you have the character to make enlightened choices. In these cases I've used the translation "higher purpose" to allow for the destiny realized by stronger characters. It's still serving something greater than oneself and at least somewhat beyond our control.
When you are following the Dao, you might bear in mind that this means path, something you are in the middle of, and something which has an implied direction and destination. One following a path is not being a pioneer. One is being a tourist. When it comes to obeying natural law, that is probably a good thing. Not all ways are open or possible.
 

taobabe

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I was just reading somewhere that throughout our lives we try to master our character, or we try to reach enlightenment and master understanding (the list goes on), knowing quite well that as humans we will never reach that completely. But we still must try our best as if we can master it.

My internet surfing is very rapid, wish I should find the site..

I am sure it is different for everyone, how we envision life working and the patterns and reasons to what we see. And as time goes by we applying (or subtract!) the way we see life as working, changing it to what is needed at that time. I am reading Bradford's 'Dimensions' more thoroughly right now and it is bringing up that there are so many ways to look at the Yi - different sequences and patterns - different depths - and that the Yi is all of those patterns - plus more! Life is like that too! Very multi-dimensional and unable to be pinned down.



My thoughts are that there are a lot of things that hatch our awareness and our realities. Our human brains are one of them. I am beginning to see our attitudes shape a lot when projected outward. But nature is much bigger than myself and bigger than just humans. There is the multiverse and beyond (and a lot of in betweens).



I have heard this too, and I find it interesting. Now here is something to think about.. whatever the particle is... it seems to already exist, just in the form of nothingness, waiting for something to look at it. As if we activate it with our consciousness... like yin does with yang... just a thought, nothing set in stone here!

:odd:
Hi answeredquestions

I read your thoughts and something popped up in my mind. People who love, think Tao is love. People who think, think Tao is wisdom. This is not a quote taken from any book. This is my interpretation of it all. You are correct when you say that we activate the reality that we want to exist in. This is pure science at the quantum level. But if you choose to believe that it is pure cold science, without a loving intelligence behind it, then that is what you will see, everywhere you look. However, if you choose to believe that there is a loving intelligence that is guiding you towards a higher purpose, then that is also what you will see, everywhere you look. The Bible has a passage that says 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.' Matthew 7:7. Basically, if we can envision it, we can make it happen.
 

taobabe

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Taobabe-
命 mìng, the word often translated fate in the Yijing, has several possible translations, and personal meanings that depend on one's character (character is destiny).
Sometimes it is the decree of heaven (tian ming). Dis-aster is a western idea and word derived from "against the stars." The word con-sider meant to consult the stars.
Sometimes it's the command or decree of the king and one's body-head connection is to be preserved.
Elsewhere, though, the fatedness of things depends on whether you have the character to make enlightened choices. In these cases I've used the translation "higher purpose" to allow for the destiny realized by stronger characters. It's still serving something greater than oneself and at least somewhat beyond our control.
When you are following the Dao, you might bear in mind that this means path, something you are in the middle of, and something which has an implied direction and destination. One following a path is not being a pioneer. One is being a tourist. When it comes to obeying natural law, that is probably a good thing. Not all ways are open or possible.
Hi Bradford, thanks for your input. Your thoughts about the path reminds me of something Lao Tsu said.

"If I have a little knowledge
Walking on the great Tao
I fear only to deviate from it
The great Tao is broad and plain
But people like the side paths" ~ Tao Te Ching

Here is a great philosopher, who said that we can deviate from the Tao path if we know how to, but the easiest way is just to go straight forward. Side paths are thorny, difficult, and long and winding, but they can teach us much. We just have to know enough to navigate them.

I believe that the path of humanity is not just relegated to eating, sleeping, procreating, and then dying. I believe that we have a higher destiny. The whole point to life is not just to exist, but to learn. But learn what? Here's where Carl Sagan comes in. I love this quote from him. He said, "The cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
This is the viewpoint of the scientist: the cosmos is a self-aware intelligence, of which we are represented as a hologram. This means that we are far far more than what we think we are.

The implications are staggering, and wise men all down the ages have said the same thing, over and over and over. We can choose to learn from them, or we can choose to continue staggering down the road of our own choosing, and learning on our own, by trial and error. The path will take us home, regardless.
 

taobabe

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Fate is what you cannot escape, and you cannot escape it because you are unaware of it. There is no mastery over fate, only an accommodation to it. Please read Oedipus Rex. If you think you can tempt fate and escape, you live in a different world from me. That the mind is able to transcend fate is a modern illusion. We aren't so prescient. You are an individual because of your body, not because of your transcient mind.
Pocossin, aside from the fact that the play is an example of a classic tragedy, noticeably containing an emphasis on Oedipus's own faults contributing to the tragic hero's downfall, as opposed having fate be the sole cause, I see no relevance to that in this discussion. He did not have the I Ching in his hands, and he did not use divination to maneuver through the tricky parts. That is what this forum is all about---Utilizing the I Ching for divination purposes so that we can be guided through the trickiest areas of life-school.

According to Hinduism, life is maya (an illusion). If life is an illusion, we are able to manipulate the illusions themselves, why not? We tend to adore complexity, and mental puzzles, but in this case, the truth may be very simple: the earth is a school for spiritual learning, and we are all students. We graduate when we can prove to ourselves and everyone else on a higher level, that we don't need to keep repeating the same lessons any more, lifetime after lifetime---and co-creating a mass illusion of hell.

I live in the exact same plane of existence as you do. We see the same things, but interpret them differently. You accommodate fate, I change it.
 

meng

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Hi Meng,
Thanks for responding to my thoughts. Please allow me to respond to your ideas, point for point.



hu·man
adjective
1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people: human frailty.
2. consisting of people: the human race.

human being
noun
1.
any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens.
2.
a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species: living conditions not fit for human beings; a very generous human being.


The difference between the words 'human' and 'human being' is that one is used as an adjective and the other is used as a noun, respectively. Everyone who has a human genome will become a human being. Not everyone who is a human being knows the ways of being human. Hence, my statement stands as written.
Thanks for the remedial grammar lesson, but my comment was intended to accentuate the word being, as in being more fully conscious and present, awakened. That, in response, not in contradiction to your comments about the Yi teaching us how to be human. A bit of levity is all.

Let your statement stand, of course, it is your statement. My statement stands as well. :)

My first Wilhelm was purchased around '67. The thought never occurred to me that he authored the IC. He, nor Bradford, LiSe, Hilary, or their other predecessors and contemporaries either. Unraveling objectively has got to be a Herculean task

I think trying to keep a conversation open and clear is particularly difficult when there aren't carefully specified topics. To me, Tao and Yijing are not synonymous, nor is fate. There are really three subjects here. Add a world like 'Spiritual' in there, and by now our petri dishes have spilled and intermingled, soiling the prince's pleasure in the process.

I am in complete agreement with your view of simplicity, especially related to the Tao. However, I've noticed that the way has bumped me off the way, to make sure that I don't fall asleep at the wheel, and luckily I haven't yet run up a tree. But, 4-wheelin' in places where you're on your own, that's just part of living, and living takes precedent in nature, and nature is the best illustration of Tao I know; which of course I don't really know anything. I'm just surfing the Tao.
 
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bradford

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Taobabe-
You seem to be confusing and conflating Yixue with Daojia and this is harming your understanding of both.
 

cjgait

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This discussion brings to mind a somewhat esoteric (at least for me) saying the Analects: Analects 15.29: "People are able to broaden dao, it is not dao that broadens people." (15.29 子曰:“人能弘道,非道弘人。”)

I agree with Bradford that there seems to be a conflation here of the Yi and Daoism. The Zhou Yi's roots trace back to a time before the 'Axial Time' of Kongzi, Laozi and the rest, but the Yi Jing, the book as it has come down to us today, is a distinctly Confucian work. The commentaries, particularly the Da Zhuan, contain elements of Confucianism and some elements of the Yin-Yang school, but very little that can be construed as Daoist. The first major work that really makes 'major waves' in Yixue from a Daoist perspective was from Wang Bi, the wunderkind of the Jin Dynasty, several hundred years after the Yi Jing's text was set and at least a thousand years after the Zhou Yi texts were probably penned.

I realize that the historical particulars and attributions of the various layers of the Yi's text are not significant to a lot of people. For most, the Yi is a source of guidance in life. And for that it serves splendidly, no matter what your philosophical orientation. But I like to get the attributions right, and to observe the niceties of ritual, which comes from the specifics of my own philosophical school, that of Yi Dao, a form of Confucian realism.

To summarize what I think of the key points:
Tempt fate? Nope. Unfilial. We live in a web of relations and if we are foolish we hurt other people.
Seek perfection through self cultivation? Absolutely. Xunzi maintained that everyone is a potential Yao or Shun. I'm just a potential Schmo, because self-cultivation is very hard work.
Attain perfection? Not in this reality as far as I can tell. Even the most perfect crystal has microspopic imperfections. If not for that, the world would freeze up. There must always be a dynamic, a temporary predominance of the Yin or the Yang, in order for the universe to maintain its inertia.
 

pocossin

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I see no relevance [of Oedipus Rex] to . . . this discussion.
Oedipus Rex is a play about the hubris of believing that one can transcend fate.

[Oedipus] did not have the I Ching in his hands, and he did not use divination to maneuver through the tricky parts.
He had Delphi and Tiresias but believed he was superior to them.
 

taobabe

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Thanks for the remedial grammar lesson, but my comment was intended to accentuate the word being, as in being more fully conscious and present, awakened. That, in response, not in contradiction to your comments about the Yi teaching us how to be human. A bit of levity is all.

Let your statement stand, of course, it is your statement. My statement stands as well. :)
Meng, in a world where all we have are words to utilize to express ourselves, the definition of the words that we choose are important, so that we do not confuse those with whom we are trying to communicate with. I was not trying to give you a remedial grammar lesson, and I apologize if that is what it seems as if I was doing. I have respect for your thoughts, and I express that respect by carefully responding to your reply with well-thought-out ideas, and not just lightly throwing out some funny fluff response (which, by the way, I am fully capable of doing, if levity is needed in situations of graveness). I was trying to nail down what my definition of the word 'human' was so that when my words were read, it would not be obfuscated with another thought entire.

My first Wilhelm was purchased around '67. The thought never occurred to me that he authored the IC. He, nor Bradford, LiSe, Hilary, or their other predecessors and contemporaries either. Unraveling objectively has got to be a Herculean task

I think trying to keep a conversation open and clear is particularly difficult when there aren't carefully specified topics. To me, Tao and Yijing are not synonymous, nor is fate. There are really three subjects here. Add a world like 'Spiritual' in there, and by now our petri dishes have spilled and intermingled, soiling the prince's pleasure in the process.
Agreed, hence the words have to be clear to be understood. From my understanding of the I Ching (and there are many spellings of this Chinese word, so I am using the accepted classic standard so as not to confuse anyone of the meaning), it is one of the oldest Chinese texts, of which much was utilized by Confucius and wrapped into his teachings. Lao Tsu also incorporated much of the texts into his Tao Te Ching, so you can find major areas of influence of the I Ching there as well. Since Lao Tsu and Confucius were contemporaries, the various ideas they gathered into their sphere of teachings both came up at roughly the same time, and from a text that was roughly two-thousand years older than they were themselves. They were trying to make sense of a very very ancient text without the necessary context of time to completely understand the words written. Fast forward to the present day, and here we are, roughly two-thousand years later (actually 2700 years later), and we are trying to figure out what they were trying to figure out, but without the context of what the words mean in their time of influence. We (and Lao Tsu and Confucius) are handicapped by the same distance in time, so all we have are their interpretation of the I Ching to make sense of the I Ching. That's why I draw upon their thoughts. They are closer to the original source work than we are, by about two thousand years.

I am in complete agreement with your view of simplicity, especially related to the Tao. However, I've noticed that the way has bumped me off the way, to make sure that I don't fall asleep at the wheel, and luckily I haven't yet run up a tree. But, 4-wheelin' in places where you're on your own, that's just part of living, and living takes precedent in nature, and nature is the best illustration of Tao I know; which of course I don't really know anything. I'm just surfing the Tao.
We all get bumped to the side roads at some points in our lives, I think. There are some karmic duties we must perform, and sometimes, it requires that we travel certain paths to fulfill those karmic duties. It certainly makes for an interesting ride, and there's nothing wrong with it. All roads lead home any way.

As for the Tao. You see the Tao everywhere, it doesn't matter if it is from nature or not. Nothing escapes the laws of the universe, not even man-made objects. When we go into the quantum level of existence, even objects that are not found in nature at all (like my computer and my iphone) will perfectly be in harmony with the Tao, because it follows the rules of the Tao. :)
 

taobabe

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Taobabe-
You seem to be confusing and conflating Yixue with Daojia and this is harming your understanding of both.
Bradford,

Please explain more fully, your thoughts about my confusion. I don't have enough feedback from you to understand your statement, nor discuss my alleged 'lack of understanding' and the harm I am causing to myself. I look forward to your thoughts.
 

taobabe

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This discussion brings to mind a somewhat esoteric (at least for me) saying the Analects: Analects 15.29: "People are able to broaden dao, it is not dao that broadens people." (15.29 子曰:“人能弘道,非道弘人。”)

I agree with Bradford that there seems to be a conflation here of the Yi and Daoism. The Zhou Yi's roots trace back to a time before the 'Axial Time' of Kongzi, Laozi and the rest, but the Yi Jing, the book as it has come down to us today, is a distinctly Confucian work. The commentaries, particularly the Da Zhuan, contain elements of Confucianism and some elements of the Yin-Yang school, but very little that can be construed as Daoist. The first major work that really makes 'major waves' in Yixue from a Daoist perspective was from Wang Bi, the wunderkind of the Jin Dynasty, several hundred years after the Yi Jing's text was set and at least a thousand years after the Zhou Yi texts were probably penned.

I realize that the historical particulars and attributions of the various layers of the Yi's text are not significant to a lot of people. For most, the Yi is a source of guidance in life. And for that it serves splendidly, no matter what your philosophical orientation. But I like to get the attributions right, and to observe the niceties of ritual, which comes from the specifics of my own philosophical school, that of Yi Dao, a form of Confucian realism.
The I Ching is very old. The principles of the I Ching originated with the mythical Fu Xi (伏羲 Fú Xī), and it is probably the only remaining text that survived the ravages of time. Confucius, who came along two thousand years later, was trying to make sense of the ancient words without the advantage of contextual understanding, and so incorporated much of the I Ching into his written works. This does flavor the I Ching's ideas with Confucius's own thoughts, but it does not negate it. Lao Tzu was a contemporary of Confucius, and he did the same thing. He wrote the Tao Te Ching, drawing much of his material from his understanding of the I Ching, and I utilize his work to understand the I Ching all the time. It does not hamper me to have to decipher for myself, his meanings. Between the two old guys, the original ideas become even that much clearer, and more clearly seen in its true form. Since we don't have a lot of ancient material to work with, I utilized all that I had at my disposal to try and comprehend the great knowledge that was in the original I Ching.

To summarize what I think of the key points:
Tempt fate? Nope. Unfilial. We live in a web of relations and if we are foolish we hurt other people.
I think your understanding of my words are not clear here, and this is my error. Please allow me to clarify my position on this. If, for example, my supposed 'fate' in life is to be a minority female from a poor family who has lost everything due to war and regional conflicts, the easiest thing for me to do would be to accept that fate and live out my life accordingly, trying to accommodate that which was handed down to me and to make the best of the very harsh existence that I find myself in. Looking forward into that grim scenario, my future does indeed look bleak and unpromising. At best, I would only be able to find some menial low-paying job and work hard all day to earn enough money to feed myself. I would probably meet and marry some poor bloke who would struggle just as much as I struggle, to clothe and feed ourselves. In due time, we would have a handful of scrawny little children whose futures would be very similar to their parents, due to the fact that they have no higher aspirations, having never seen anything more than what they see in their parents.

Now, with this scenario painted clearly in our minds, when I apply my words 'temp fate', I do not believe that any tempting of fate would hurt anyone involved, nor would it be unfilial to reject my family's trajectory of living in poverty and remaining on the course of poverty. Obviously, it does not take a soothsayer to predict that if I do not tempt fate and strike out to find a better path, I will toil in dark despair for the rest of my natural life. I would have accepted the hand of fate and will do nothing to disturb that fate for fear of being foolish or hurting anyone else by trying to improve my conditions. If I should, at some breaking point in time, decide that I have had enough and will tempt fate by changing what fate has in future store for me, how do I do this and come out on the other side, without hurting or abandoning anyone? I would need serious guidance, and that is what the I Ching provides, if I could understand enough of its teachings to follow its advice and counsel.

Seek perfection through self cultivation? Absolutely. Xunzi maintained that everyone is a potential Yao or Shun. I'm just a potential Schmo, because self-cultivation is very hard work.
Attain perfection? Not in this reality as far as I can tell. Even the most perfect crystal has microspopic imperfections. If not for that, the world would freeze up. There must always be a dynamic, a temporary predominance of the Yin or the Yang, in order for the universe to maintain its inertia.
Quantum physics is very cool! :cool: You have hit upon one of my favorite subjects to study :bows: , and you mentioned one of the side-effects that the Universe (the Tao) leaves when it touches us---inertia. The 'movement' that you are talking about is not due to 'imperfections', but rather it is driven by an energy that is swirling everywhere around us in a wave that looks like the black and white symbol everyone knows of as the Tao symbol. In fact, it is a direct effect of the presence of the Tao.

What does this have to do with inertia? Well, inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. What this is referring to is the push and resistance of two forces when they come together, gravity and levity. The Tao moves through everything in the form of an energy, which by the way, also drives the flow of time (more on that later if you would like to discuss the effects of time and its relationship to space and matter). Anyway, this Tao energy flows like a wave through everything equally, and when it hits a spherical object (like the Earth), its effects are spherical in nature. Since most single atoms are nice round spheres, the Tao will flow into atoms equally from all sides, just like it does the Earth. This wave flow results in a very interesting pattern! It is a rotating vortex movement that drives everything, all movement, all matter, and time itself. The ancient masters tried to show us what the flow of the Tao looked like by giving us a simplified image of it, which is the Tao symbol. The Tao rains down upon us and pushes us so that we stay firmly on the ground. Without that push, we cannot maintain the atoms of our bodies. We would literally, start to fall apart. This subject is dense, and can fill volumes. If you are interested in talking about the physics of the Tao, we can take this conversation into another thread. :)
 

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Oedipus Rex is a play about the hubris of believing that one can transcend fate.

He had Delphi and Tiresias but believed he was superior to them.
Well, in my humble opnion, I think he would have done much better had he gotten his hands on a copy of the I Ching, and was a bit more humble. I think it is his personal character flaws combined with his lack of a copy of the I Ching that caused his downfall, not his attempting to change fate itself.
 

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Bradford,
Please explain more fully, your thoughts about my confusion. I don't have enough feedback from you to understand your statement, nor discuss my alleged 'lack of understanding' and the harm I am causing to myself. I look forward to your thoughts.
The idea of the Dao has been evolving for 30 centuries. The Zhouyi was a very early use of the term. Laozi and Kongzi developed it quite a bit further. The Dao in your understanding seems to be the most current, most evolved form. Unfortunately this represents an evolution into useless new age drivel. You have them all jumbled together. Your understanding is further hampered by retroactive insertion of Yinyang philosophy into the earliest layers of the Zhouyi text, where none of this existed in the culture that wrote it, compounded with beliefs in old myths like Fuxi's involvement. Neither is there any evidence in the Daodejing or elsewhere that Laozi was familiar with the Yi.
If you are going to pose as a teacher it would be better if you either got your material straight or found a more ignorant forum to preach to.
 

taobabe

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The idea of the Dao has been evolving for 30 centuries. The Zhouyi was a very early use of the term. Laozi and Kongzi developed it quite a bit further. The Dao in your understanding seems to be the most current, most evolved form. Unfortunately this represents an evolution into useless new age drivel. You have them all jumbled together. Your understanding is further hampered by retroactive insertion of Yinyang philosophy into the earliest layers of the Zhouyi text, where none of this existed in the culture that wrote it, compounded with beliefs in old myths like Fuxi's involvement. Neither is there any evidence in the Daodejing or elsewhere that Laozi was familiar with the Yi.
If you are going to pose as a teacher it would be better if you either got your material straight or found a more ignorant forum to preach to.
Pot shots are what I would expect from lesser forums, not from one that is exploring the ideas of Taoism and the I Ching. If you find any of my posts offensive, you do not need to respond, much less revert to insults that little children use when they cannot think of anything better to say. I was so looking forward to an interesting discussion with you, in hopes to explore ideas and new understandings, but it seems as if I will have to ignore any of your childish posts from now on. Please refrain from responding to any of my posts in the future and, likewise, I will steer clear of yours. :mad:
 

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Pot shots are what I would expect from lesser forums, not from one that is exploring the ideas of Taoism and the I Ching. If you find any of my posts offensive, you do not need to respond, much less revert to insults that little children use when they cannot think of anything better to say. I was so looking forward to an interesting discussion with you, in hopes to explore ideas and new understandings, but it seems as if I will have to ignore any of your childish posts from now on. Please refrain from responding to any of my posts in the future and, likewise, I will steer clear of yours. :mad:
You are a fool.
 

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You are a fool.
Good traveling does not leave tracks
Good speech does not seek faults
Good reckoning does not use counters
Good closure needs no bar and yet cannot be opened
Good knot needs no rope and yet cannot be untied

Therefore sages often save others
And so do not abandon anyone
They often save things
And so do not abandon anything
This is called following enlightenment

Therefore the good person is the teacher of the bad person
The bad person is the resource of the good person
Those who do not value their teachers
And do not love their resources
Although intelligent, they are greatly confused
This is called the essential wonder ~ Lao Tzu

Bradford, I value you.
 

bradford

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After that last post I should at least try to make a positive contribution.
This article traces the use of the word Dao from the Early Zhou and Zhouyi period and the expansion of its meanings (or semantic field) over the centuries.
The word Dao does appear in the Yi a few times, with pretty clear meanings.
This is not an easy read but somebody might find it useful.
http://www.hermetica.info/OriginalDao.html
In the context of Fate, the Dao would be an entity's line through past, present and future that optimizes itself like a river through varied terrain. Higher purpose, destiny or fate would be an entrainment towards that line, but it would be sloppier about obeying natural law than water would be. And it is possible to be bu dao, off the path entirely. In fact that's probably usual.
 

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Lord, forgive my fluff, for it softens the fiber and tenderizes the grain, and the chaff tends to fall away when we don't take ourselves so seriously.

A point I am compelled to offer, is that I enjoy reading your thoughts, whether or not I agree with them, or feel they are complete - that is, made the full cycle from your head to heart, and back to the head again. Many journeys between them, and this... whatever it is: possibly the very fabric of the physical world, whether expressed in ancient temples or string theory, it always has been what it is.

An interesting segment of the Upanishads dissect (argue) the word "it", and in a most interesting way. Thing is, as I see it, one does not always negate the other, and that is physically demonstrable through today's technology. Now the hip term is parallel universes and all that, existing in more than one plain at one time, or as Carlos Castaneda called it, a separate reality. Hey, count me in on that stuff. I love finding the same human story in every culture throughout man's brief recorded history on this, and possibly other planets, times and dimensions. But none of it defines the Dao.
The closest I can get to it is, jumping up and down, pointing at "it". Or jamming to it. Thank the gods that words are not the only means to try and express it.
 

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