February 7th, 2013

Tao Te Ching Meditation - Chapter 35: Philosophy And Religion


35.1 When holding the Great Image,
       the world goes on and on without harm,
       peaceful, even, tranquil.
35.2 When there is music and dining,
       passing travelers stop;
35.3 but the issue of the Way is so plain as to be flavorless.
       When you look at it, it is invisible;
       when you listen to it, it is inaudible;
       when you use it, it cannot be exhausted.

Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation


Fung Vu-Lan, a foremost interpreter of Chinese thought for the West, once commented that The Chinese are philosophers, some of whom are also religious; while Westerners are religious although some are also philosophers.  In other words, philosophy was to China  what religion was to the West.  Sometimes i think that i was meant to be Chinese.

I don't mind music and food, or even celebrations and large numbers of people chanting prayers, but i don't enjoy any of these things as much as other people do.  I soon tire of rituals, and creeds almost universally create doubt if not outright opposition.  When i heard in the 12-step programs that you can be spiritual without being religious, that idea had great attraction for me -- perhaps too much attraction

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