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20 Kasım 2011 Pazar

Tao - Taoism


All sages are mysteries to the rest of mankind, but perhaps the most mysterious was the sage Lao Tse whose teachings inspired the religion of Taoism. Born in the Hunan province around 604 B.C., he eventually became historian and librarian of the Emperor’s royal library at the Court of Chow. Loving solitude, he was rarely seen, but he met the great Confucius at least once, inspiring him to say about Lao Tse: “This day I have seen a dragon. Birds have wings to fly with, fish have fins to swim with, wild beasts have feet to run with. For feet there are traps, for fins nets, for wings arrows. But who knows how dragons surmount wind and clouds into heaven?” Those who know and comprehend the teachings of Lao Tse know how–and do.
Commentary on the Tao Teh King–by Swami Nirmalananda Giri The Ineffable Tao

Introductory remarks
On of the accusations made about the Essenes by the "regular" adherents of the Mosaic Laws was that they "kept alien scriptures." According to the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ this was so.
The Essenes had copies of the scriptures of Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism, which they considered valid and from which they taught in their communities and schools along with the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. According to the Aquarian Gospel Jesus was brought up as conversant with those religions as with Judaism. It is only fitting, therefore, that a publication centered on the Aquarian Gospel would also include material on those traditions.
It is said that the Tao Teh King is the work of the great Chinese sage Lao Tze. Disgusted with the degeneration of Chinese society, he decided to leave and vanish forever-which he did. But as he was leaving the capital, the warden of the gate asked him to set down his realizations since he would no longer be accessible to truth seekers. He did so, and then went out the gate into the lost pages of human history.
If a person wishes he can immerse himself in the stewpot of scholarly speculation as to who Lao Tze "really" was, whether he ever existed, and whether he wrote the Tao Teh King, or who did. None of this means anything. Taoist masters through the centuries have proved the truth of the Tao Teh King, and that is all that matters. For truth seekers it stands as a monument to Truth. Even those who understand it imperfectly will reap great gain from its study.
The text on which this commentary is based is the translation of James Legge that first appeared as volume Thirty-Nine of the Sacred Books of the East series.
The Tao
"The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.
Like so many of the terms of virtually prehistoric Ancient Wisdom, "Tao" is not easy to translate-it may even be impossible to translate. The best we can do is say that "Tao" means Way. In fact, until the West started talking of "Buddhism" the path outlined by Sakyamuni Buddha was called "the Buddha Way" (Buddha Tao) in the orient. Because of the inseparability of Taoism and Chinese culture (which included philosophy and religion), Taoism flowed in the veins of Chinese Buddhism however much Buddhist purists might have wished it otherwise. The existence of many Buddhist-Taoist temples in China and abroad make this clear.
The untraveled Way
What is the Way-the Tao? This opening verse might literally be rendered: "The Way that can be 'wayed" is not the Way." That is, the way that can be traversed or travelled is not THE Way that is the subject of this treatise. This may seem hopeless, but it is not that difficult to unravel. The Way is beyond any concept or experience of space and time. Therefore It cannot be thought of in those terms. In The Way we do not go from one point to another-not even one step can be take on The Way because It does not exist in space. Similarly, we cannot think of "entering" the Way, because we are always "in" It. Nor can we think of time being spent experiencing or establishing ourselves in The Way, for It transcends time. The Way being utterly transcendent, nothing can be spoken that can convey Its nature-or even Its existence.
The inexpressible Way
"Having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth; having a name, it is the Mother of all things.
To say the Tao is one is not really accurate, for to our earthbound minds "one" means a single object; and the Tao can never be an object. We can speak of one apple, but not of one Tao. Yet here we see that a kind of duality or difference can be attributed to the Tao. Actually the duality is only in our own mind, but since we are attempting to at least hint at the truth about the Tao we have to "suspend belief" to do so. So from now on in this section the Tao will be spoken of inaccurately so we can get a somewhat accurate idea of It.
The Tao is both transcendent and immanent. In Its transcendent aspect-"having no name"-beyond all attributes, forms, or conditionings, It is the Source of heaven and earth, "of all things visible and invisible" as the Nicene Creed says. But in Its immanent aspect-"having a name"-It is the nurturing Mother of all things. That is, in Its active dynamic side which produces the cosmos and evolves it to perfection, along with all those intelligences inhabiting forms within it, It is Mother of All. The symbolic expression "Mother" is used because the child receives its body substance from the mother, is nourished by the mother through her own body both in the womb and after birth through breast-feeding. The mother sustains the infant by imparting her own body and life-force to it. In the same way we are inextricably bound up with the Tao as our Eternal Mother. Beginning as an atom of hydrogen, we evolve through all the forms of life and ultimately transcend them-all through the agency of the Mother Tao. Nothing is done except through-and essentially by-the Tao. We are the Tao and the Tao is us. As the agent for our Christhood, it is the Tao that is the Mother of Christ.
Our part: eradication of desire
"Always without desire we must be found,
"If its deep mystery we would sound;
"But if desire always within us be,
"Its outer fringe is all that we shall see."
The Tao does all things, yet our interior disposition determines our success or failure in coming to knowledge of the unknowable Tao.
In every system that seriously intends for its practitioners to attain the highest knowledge, desire is considered the Great Satan. The Bhagavad Gita gives a great deal of time to the devastations of desire (kama) and the need for absolute desirelessness. Buddha spoke vigorously of the need to eradicate desire (tanha). The official "New Testament" is glaringly silent on the subject since Churchianity's major draw is the promise of the fulfillment of all desires-and the more you have the more God will be pleased to honor them. (This is called "a precious promise.") "Happy as pigs in mud" seems to be the ideal. But in the Aquarian Gospel the view is quite different-in consonance with the wisdom of Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Jesus had this to say: "The lower self, the carnal self, the body of desires, is...distorted by the murky ethers of the flesh. The lower self is an illusion, and will pass away;.... The lower self is the embodiment of truth reversed, and so is falsehood manifest.Now spirit loves the pure, the good, the true; the body of desires extols the selfish self; the soul becomes the battle ground between the two." Jesus puts a sharper point on the matter when he says: "The sin lies in the wish, in the desire, not in the act." And: "He who would follow me must give up all cravings."
The Tao Teh King, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Aquarian Gospel are speaking of all desires, not just "naughty ones," for desire is bondage.
Desire is also blinding, so we must become desireless if we would perceive the Tao to any meaningful degree and come to some experience of It. If the condition of desire-that state in which desire can arise-remains within us, within our consciousness, however buried it might be, we can see only the outward manifestations of the Tao: the material and illusive world.
All or nothing
Charles Muller renders the verse this way:
"Therefore, always desireless, you see the mystery;
"Ever desiring, you see the manifestations."
The point he brings out here is that desire and desirelessness cannot be incidental, just phases-sometimes being in one and sometimes in the other. We must be always desireless. If so, then we shall perceive the Tao. If we are always desiring, we shall only see Its manifestations, only see the foam of the sea but never the water. There is an implication here that it is a matter of either/or. We are either always desireless or always desiring. No in between. This is important for most people, even though they know it is otherwise, look upon the conscious mind as the totality; and if they are not experiencing something on the conscious level they think it is not taking place. But the subconscious is the incubator of all desires. Even if the stage of the mind-theater is empty, that does not mean there are not plenty of desire-actors in the wings just waiting to emerge. In addition, it is implied that desire and desirelessness are conditions, not just action or inaction. So even if we have no desires formed in either the conscious or subconscious minds, if we are capable of desire-not having transcended the conditions of desire-we are in the state of desire and so "ever desiring."
"Under these two aspects, it is really the same; but as development takes place, it receives the different names."8 The Tao is always one, whether we think of It as manifest or unmanifest. And the same is true of ourselves: whether we desire or not, we, too, are always one. "As development takes place, it receives the different names." Before we begin the process of evolution we are in the state of unity, but only dimly, subliminally. When we enter the realm of evolution we experience duality-become lost in it. After the attainment of Christhood we re-enter the Tao-Unity fully able to experience It and function within It. Then if we should descend to the world of duality we shall know it as the Unity and be untouched by its illusions. We shall function as One in the world of Two.
"Together we call them the Mystery."9 The transcendent and the immanent, the One and the Two, the unconditioned and the conditioned-known in the Upanishads as Nirguna and Saguna Brahman: God without attributes and with attributes-should be "taken" together, for "together we call them the Mystery," meaning that we do not accept one and reject the other, claiming that alone to be the Tao.
The gate
"Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful. Gates are natural symbols for those points at which we pass from one state of awareness to another, plateaus of our evolution. Jesus spoke more than once of the gateway to the kingdom, which He called "the gate of consciousness.If you would find the spirit life, the life of man in God, then you must walk a narrow way and enter through a narrow gate. The way is Christ, the gate is Christ, and you must come up by the way of Christ. No man comes unto God but by the Christ,"the Consciousness that is Christ.
In the depths, in the heart, of the Tao, there is the "gate" from which all things have emanated and to which all things return. At that gate, however, all "thingness" has vanished and only the thinnest of veils remains between us and the Tao. And when we pass through the gate, that veil, too, dissolves and is no more. That is why Jesus said: "The nearer to the kingdom gate you come, more spacious is the room; the multitudes have gone." The kingdom gate cannot be approached except through meditation, through the mediation of the Holy Breath.

Articles on the Tao Teh King

  1. The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
  2. Sankhya Yoga
  3. The Yoga of Action
  4. The Yoga of Wisdom
  5. The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
  6. The Yoga of Meditation
  7. The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation
  8. The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman
  9. The Yoga of the Kingly Science & the Kingly Secret
  10. The Yoga of the Divine Glories
  11. The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
  12. The Yoga of Devotion
  13. The Yoga of Distinction Between The Field & the Knower of the Field
  14. The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas
  15. The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit
  16. The Yoga of the Division Between the Divine and the Demoniacal
  17. The Yoga of the Division of the Threefold Faith
  18. The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

Bhagavad Gita - The Divine Life Society

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