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 Post subject: Lao Tse - Tao Te Ching
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:19 am 
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Zen Rebel
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Hi there,
I'm doing a presentation next week on Lao Tse's "Tao Te Ching" from the aspect of Lao Tse's teachings concerning politics and government (It's for my political theories class), so I would much appreciate it if anyone could give me a hint as to where to start, which translation would be appropriate for this purpose, some useful links etc. Anything. Remember, only from the aspect of politics and government. Any help would be much appreciated. Pretty please? :)

che

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:58 am 
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Nobody, eh? Thought so.

che

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Sorry che, looks like it's too much of an obscure topic for this group right now. tell us some of what you find though, I for one would like to know more about this. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:26 am 
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what does ' Tao Te Ching ' refer to??


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:55 am 
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Zen Rebel
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The Way and its Power. Taoism. A book by Lao Tse.

che

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:55 am 
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Cheg, I think Matt might know something about it. If I remember to ask him, I will let you know. Don't get your hopes up though, I will try my best.

Raven

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:04 am 
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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Lao+Tse+%22Tao+Te+Ching%22+government+and+politics&btnG=Search

I have given you this URL so that you can look under some of the search options that popped up when I looked in google. There are chapters taken out of The Tao of Politics.

Raven

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:19 pm 
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Okay, well I need as much information as I can get, since I will build the concept of the presentation this weekend, so any data I can get till then would be of huge help. Thanks anyway.

che

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:52 pm 
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Matt did have something on Taoism. He told me that Tao Te Ching was originally a philosophy that turned into a religion, that then turned political.

I say this because here I have a couple paragraphs for you on the Taoism philosophy. I might not be able to write it all tonight, but I will try my best to finish it up tomorrow.

Chapter 10 Religion And Mysticism
Taoism: In Pursuit Of The One True Way
Pg. 235-239

He who devotes himself to learning seeks from day to day to increase his knowledge. He who devotes himself to knowing his true nature seeks from day to day to diminish his doing.

Laq Tzu (Old Master) was the father of Taoism. Some historians place his birth around 600 B.C., making him an older contemporary of Confucius, but more recent scholars believe he was born in the 4th century and that he wrote his Tao te Ching about 300 B.C.. In any event, all agree that Taoism developed and grew as a counter-movement to Confucianism.

Although Confucianism, the doctrine of loyalty and obedience, was the preferred religion of state, its lofty intellectualism was lost on the common man. The state tried to overcome these limitations by nurturing a cult around the memory of Confucius, and with some success, but the mystic tenets of Taoism quickly became the first love of the Chinese people.

The Word "tao" literally means "way," and Taoism is built around a concept of the "Way," a single principle which lies behind surface appearances, a unity of which all phenomena are part.

The philosophy of Taoism seeks to recognize and harmonize with the Tao in all things. The Tao is nature, and according to Taoists, the only appropriate attitude to nature is noninterference. Lao Tzu taught, "Do nothing and there is nothing that will not be done." This is both a passive philosophy and a statement of power, for Taoism teaches that by becoming one with the Tao you become with nature, thereby discovering and enjoying all her forces.

Water provides an example of this principle. Water is passive. It never strives or seeks to be something it isn't. It always settles to its own level, according to nature. You can strive against water, resist it with force, and for a time you may think you've succeeded. But in the end, water will always have its way. That is the Tao.

This dualism of doing by not doing is pervasive in Taoism. And appropriately, the Taoists eventually adopted an older principle, the theory of yin and yang, as part of their own doctrine. This duality of opposites is an ancient Asian concept first written about by the Chinese philosopher, Tsuo Yen, in the 4th century B.C. Yin represents all soft, darkl, yielding, or female characteristics of the universe and yang the hard, strong, male attributes of existence. According to Taoism, everything in creation passes through endless cycles of yin and yang, and wisdom consists of being in harmony with these rhythms of nature. The opposing forces of yin and yang are reconciled and trancended in the Tao.

Of course, this is all very mystical and therefore, very appealing to the simple Chinese commoner when compared to the legalistic, intellectual tone of Confucianism. But Taoist philosophy is not a religion. There is no concept of a supreme being, no concern with an afterlife, and therefore, no incentive to worship. Taoism simply addresses man's role in harmonizing with untouched nature. Its mystical overtones leads to metaphysical theories, but its emphasis on observing natural cycles points adherents toward the physical sciences as well (Feibleman, 1976, p.146).

But once again, place a philosophy in the hands of the superstitious and they'll build a cult around it. So by the 2nd century A.D., Taoism had become a popular religion with rituals and sacrifices conducted in thousands of temples across China. Like religious Confucianism, Taoism incorporated many local fold deities formerly worshiped in other sects. But with Taoism's mystical orientation, it also took a strong bent towards alchemy, astrology, spiritual divination, and other magical practices. Some sects, apparently influenced by Tantric rites from India, even incorporated orgiastic sex in their rituals.

So despite all the efforts of the Chinese government to promote Confucianism as the official state dogma, Taoism was clearly the religion of choice among common people. Conceding that, the state began making official sacrifices to Lao Tzu in A.D. 165. But philosophical Taoism survived and like Confucianism, spread throughout Asia with the advance of Chinese culture.

Today, Taoism is still a strong current in Eastern thought. We can see references to the Tao in writings from every corner of Asia. And nowhere is this philosophy more strongly expressed than in the martial arts.

The rest is to do with martial arts. Nothing that I think you would need to know.

I hope this helps. The book only had a small chapter on it. Oh yeah! You probably need that.

The book is...

Living The Martial Way: A manual for the way a modern warrior should think
By: Forrest E. Morgan. Maj USAF


With this information you should be able to look up any other information you need.

Good luck!

Raven

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:03 pm 
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I finished typing up the rest of it for you. I hope it helps some.

Raven

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~Verin (The Wheel of Time)


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