Figurative-ing out Steve
Posted by Bao Pu on 2/17/2009, 6:06 pm, in reply to "Re: In Sync / Out-of-Sync"
Hi Steve, |
: If by 'out-of-sync' you mean a mismatch
: between goal and approach, that's cool. If
: I pick up a hammer instead of a paint brush,
: then I could be said to be out-of-sync with
: what it takes to paint a wall.
-- From what I've read, this is one way "dao" is used in the Chinese language. For example, if one's goal is to govern a kingdom, there are things you can do which are out-of-sync with that goal. If one wants to prosper and live to an old age, there are things which do not accord with the Way to do that. There are some examples in the Laozi where "our way" would be the best translation of Dao, for example, the end of chapter 53: "thievery certainly isnít the Dao." (But chapter 53 also says: "The Great Dao is very level but people delight in separate paths.")
: If by 'out-of-sync' you mean some sort of
: maladjustment with nature, I don't buy it.
-- Do you also have a beef with modern environmentalists who say similarly that we aren't living in harmony with Nature? What do they mean when they say things like this?
: I occasionally fail for the same reason that
: a baby occasionally emerges dead from its
: mother's womb. Some things thrive, some
: things don't. Neither I nor the baby are
: 'out-of-sync' with anything.
-- "Some things thrive, some things don't" is not a reason. It might be productive to consider the reasons. Or not.
: 'Potential not realized' is Dao too. When I
: fail to realize potential, that's Dao.
: 'Not Dao' or 'lacking Dao' challenge me to
: consider what it means to project my own
: demands and expectations onto the universe.
-- Encountering these expressions in ancient (or even modern) Chinese should also perhaps challenge you to consider what Dao really meant to them. It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that Steve has this conception of what "Dao" means, and that anyone who believes otherwise is mistaken and needs to be corrected or enlightened. (Or else Steve wouldn't jump all over anyone who utters such a view on this forum.) The fact that the Chinese themselves used the word in ways which don't fit Steve's view doesn't seem to bother him. You mentioned that these expressions in the ancient texts might (must?) be figurative. I'd still like to hear more about that. Are figurative uses allowable?
: It's okay for me to stand in front of a
: sapling and pray for it to grow wide and
: tall, but that's not the way trees conduct
: their business. It's 'not Dao' for a tree
: to grow because I merely wish it to.
-- "That's not the way trees conduct their business." That's an important conceptual step, imo.
Happiness and Harmony,
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