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THE POETIC WISDOM
OF TAOISM

        JANUARY 1, 2014     

In This Issue
CHANT CLUB
THE POETIC WISDOM OF TAOISM
'WHY IS LIFE' - ONLY $6
EUPHORIA in TORONTO
EUPHORIA in GUELPH
Greetings Dear Friends
  
Happy New Year to all of you.
I'm very excited to announce that my book is now available as an e-book at a variety of on-line bookstores. E-books are a great idea - definitely the way of the future - less need for paper, storage, shipping, etc. also much less expensive. see details below.

Thanx to all who came to the various musical events I was involved with last month. We had a great time with the 'Euphoria' event in Toronto and are offering two more of these events in January, one in Toronto and one in Guelph. see details below.

 

In this next series of newsletters I will feature articles based on a section of my book, Why Is Life?' entitled 'Reality According to Ancient Mysticism'. This will provide a brief overview of several of the mystical traditions, which have so much to say about the nature of our reality and our journey through life. This month we'll take an introductory look at the Chinese philosophies of Confusionism and Taoism. 

 

Something I'd like to tell you about - I'm involved with a group who are building an intentional community in Guelph - a place where we can live in an environment of shared values. If you are interested in such a thing and you'd like to know more about it, please feel free to contact me. 

 

If you'd like to access past newsletters containing articles on the Big Shift, as well as articles on the Physics of Mysticism, Magic, the Power of Mantra and other topics, please visit the 'newsletter' page of my website: 

 whyislife.com


Peace and love, Dennis.
  
CHANT CLUB IS USUALLY ON THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH, BUT THIS MONTH IT IS ON THE 15TH.

GUELPH CHANT CLUB  
DATE                                        CITY                                 VENUE   
WED., JAN. 15, 2014                 Guelph,                        Unitarian   Church
7:45 to 9:30 pm                         Ontaro                   

The Unitarian Church is on the corner of
Harris and York Streets in Guelph.

For more detailed directions, check out guelph-unitarians.com

SUGGESTED DONATION - $15


PART 5 - THE POETIC WISDOM OF TAOISM

by Dennis Gaumond

 

This is part 5 in our continued exploration of the world's mystical traditions. Needless to say, these traditions are very complex and even a lifetime of study and devotion would not familiarize one with all of the nuances and subtleties of Taoism or any other tradition. These writings are meant only as a brief introduction or overview.  

 

 

The culmination of Chinese philosophy happened between 500 and 200 BC. It is largely characterized by its recognition of two sides of human nature, the intuitive wisdom of the sage and the practical knowledge of the king. Fully realized beings that have acquired their knowledge through stillness develop into sages, while those who self-realize by means of their actions are said to develop into kings or rulers. This more practical way of being is embodied by Confucianism, developed by a great teacher named K'ung Fu Tse, better known in the western world by the Anglicized name, Confucius. It advocates an efficiency of living which results from fairness and compassion.

 

The more mystical of the two philosophies is embodied in Taoism, which developed from ancient shamanic practices based on the observation of nature and the discovery of 'the way', known as the Tao. This refers both to the way things are and the way one should conduct oneself in order to find joy. According to the Tao, joy can be found by trusting intuition and joining the natural flow of things. Taoism is often symbolized by water, which takes the easiest path to the sea, flowing around obstacles rather than trying to overcome. Water is seen as softness, which in its perseverance can wear away hardness. The first book of Taoism is the beautifully poetic 'Tao Te Ching', (roughly translated as the Way and Its Power), written by Lao Tse, the Old Master, around 500 BC. The second, much larger book of Taoism is the 'Chuang Tse', written by a sage of the same name about 200 years later. A famous passage has Chuang Tse waking from a dream in which he was a butterfly. He then asks, "Am I really a man dreaming that I am a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?" A butterfly is an ancient symbol for the soul, which having been confined to life as a caterpillar, becomes transformed and is able to fly. (Modern scholars now believe that these two books were actually authored by several sages.)

 

The concept of the Tao is very similar to that of Brahman/Dharmakaya - that all things are interrelated, different manifestations of the same thing, part of a perpetual flow within which are constantly repeating cycles or patterns. A true sage lives according to these patterns, which manifest as an interplay of dualities called yin and yang. Those aspects of the duality that have yin qualities include dark, attractive, in-going, female, earthly, yielding, resting, intuitive, sage-knowledge. Those that have yang qualities include light, repulsive, outgoing, male, heavenly, unyielding, moving, rational, king-knowledge. This interplay of opposites is studied in depth in the 'I Ching', or the 'Book of Changes'. This is a book of no particular author that is thought to have developed over thousands of years. Its system of 64 hexagrams is used as an oracle, providing clues to the right way to live. The essential message of the I Ching is that nothing is static, everything is constantly changing.

 

Of all of the eastern philosophies, Taoism has the greatest mistrust of the intellectual, reasoning process. According to Taoism, change results not from outside forces, but from innate, preprogrammed codes or blueprints and thus, all actions arise spontaneously. The choices or actions of a wise person are also spontaneous, based on intuition. This type of wisdom, the following of nature's way, is known as 'wu-wei', which means 'non-action' or 'effortless effort'. This concept has often been misunderstood to mean that one should do nothing, withdrawing from the bustle of everyday life. On the contrary, life is seen as the vehicle or the means by which one can practice wu-wei, living mindfully and willfully yet effortlessly, as in the analogy of water moving toward the sea.

 

a quote from the Tao Te Ching -

"Simplicity, patience, compassion.

These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies,

you accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself,

you reconcile all beings in the world."

 


In next month's newsletter we'll take an introductory look at Shamanic Mysticism.

 
'WHY IS LIFE?'- NOW ONLY $6

My book, Why Is Life?, has been released as an e-book, available for approximately $6 or less, from a list of online bookstores:

Apple iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, eBookPie, eSentral, Scribd, PagePusher

The book can be purchased at any of these outlets, searching with either the title or this ISBN number: 9781483515403
OR, just click on one of these links: 
New to e-books?
Click this link for a wikipedia article about e-books:
If this is the first time you've bought an e-book, you may need to download an app - the most popular ones are from Amazon and are free to download. You can read an e-book on on your computer, laptop or an e-book device like a Kindle (Amazon) or an I-Book or I-Pad (Apple). For an article comparing them, click here:
kindle vs i-book


To download a Kindle app for any reading device including Apple products, click here:

ABOUT 'WHY IS LIFE'
To read a variety of reviews of this book, click here and then, once in the website, click 'reviews':  
euphoria in toronto
We all had so much fun with 'Euphoria' in Toronto last month, we had to do another one before I leave for Costa Rica - and we thought we'd do one in Guelph as well. This is a new type of event - one that retains the community spirit of the Big Beat celebrations, but in a way that is more intimate and 'trippy'. Bring your dancing feet!
garyd@garydiggins.com

euphoria in guelph

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