February 2nd, 2011

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 78 - Knowing and Being

(Lectio...)

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people is fit to rule them.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves to be king of the universe.
The truth often sounds paradoxical.
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Daily Tao - November 30th, 2009

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Meme: "God and the World" Introduction: The Perennial Philosophy

I am about to start a meme which i got from silvershe_wolf , called "God and the world.  It contains 22 questions
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Before starting the meme, i want to review one of the four or five traditions/beliefs/assumption sets that form the basis for my efforts to seek a spiritual path.  It is called the Perennial Philosophy. mythosandlogos.com/perennial.html

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Meme: "God and the World" Question 1 Do you believe in God

Do i believe in God?  Well, i'm not an atheist, and i'm less and less sure about my agnosticism..  On the one hand, the unknown is unknown, whether it is also unknowable remains to be known.  I know that belief and knowledge are not the same thing.  But i like to have some basis for belief beyond wistful fantasy.  I have had a few of the kinds of experiences that people often define as "spiritual" they are not neatly classifiable as physiological or psychological.  But i have also had one experience that i would classify as demonic, and i certainly do not believe in demons.  The simplest and most nearly correct answer is "i don't know."  On the other hand, i cannot be content with what can be demonstrated empirically.  If i believed that force is at the core of reality, i would be believing, in my opinion, in the devil.  If force is not at the core of reality, something else must be.  My candidate for that something is love.  The existence of human beings is improbable without it.  So i will err on the side of belief.

Question 2) Define God.  God is the Divine Ground of Being, the Pure Light of the Void, Brahman, The Godhead, Allah, Gaia, Tao, The Grandfather.   If these words mean nothing to you, that's o.k.  They don't mean anything to me either.  My departure from agnosticism for belief depended on the via negativa:   Of God's existence or attributes i can say nothing.  God remains undefined and, it seems to me, will remain undefinable for the foreseeable future.  Something nameless and mysterious lies beyond the event horizon'.  "I don't know what it is, i call it great."  Sometimes i slip and call it "Mother."  I don't think it minds.  Is God a person?  Tillich once said that God is not less than a person, and that non answer is a good enough answer for me, for the moment at least.

How do i pray then?  That's not part of the meme, but it should be.  For a very long time i didn't   I pray in the hope that there is a listener.  Some people say it helps irrespective of to whom or what the prayer is addressed.  It certainly doesn't  hurt.