November 2nd, 2008

Generic Meditaton Issues: Tao te Ching

In 1974, when I was 40, a friend of my son gave me a copy of Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English's interpretation of the Tao te Ching,  It changed my life.  I was college educated, an avid reader, a student of religion.  Somewhere in my 40 years I must have come across this classic.  Yet this was like nothing I had ever seen.  I had some minimal exposure to quantum mechanics (Frijof Capra's, the Tao of Physics) and was intriqued by deconstructionism  in so far as I could understand it.  But this was mindblowing,  perception changing, life altering.

The tao that can be told is not the eternal tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name....

The thing that can be named is not the thing that is real.  This is a mystery and must be accepted as such!
 
Chardin once said that, as a scientist, he could only accept a religion which was consistent with science, and for him, Christianity was that religion.  He had been a priest for many years when he said this so I wondered whether the comittment might have preceded the proof of the solidity of that choice.  Also Chardin was enamoured with biological evolution.  For me, the monotheistic religions were not particularly consistent with science; but I (enamoured by Capra's and later Zukov's interpretations of quantum mechanics) thought the Tao te Ching was consistent with science (or at least physics).

[ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born in 1881 and died in 1955.  In the early years if the twentieth century, as the discoveries and implication of sub atomic physics were being worked out, Chardin was in China working as a paleoanthropologist.  He may have been unaware, as was most of the rest of the world, of the powerful philosophical implications that work.  These only became apparent after Teilhard de Chardin's death.  Even his remarkable mind may not have made the connection between quantum mechanics and eastern knowledge.]

For me, once again, the world started to become sacred and mysterious.  still worth knowing, but even more worth praying about.