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Extract from Usenet group
I was writing as khampa2, but with my signature of Idiotic Taoist
A thread on Tao
(Below is part of a long thread, that thread can be read from above link)
From: khamba2 - view profile
Date: Wed, Jun 2 1999 12:00 am
Paul Humphries <p...@netcraft.com> wrote:
>I would like to ask a question (for any comments/discussions/related
>ideas) relating to the "shedding process" of Taoism...
>"The man of intellect learns something every day. The man of Tao
>unlearns something every day until he gets back to non-doing".
>How is this acheived? Does it mean that "facts" or information which is
>related purely by words should be "forgotten" or just put after
>perception and awareness of "reality"?
>I have joked before to friends, saying that I think I've accidentally
>forgotten the things which are sort of useful. For example, my age! I've
>been in situations where I am not totally sure exactly how old I am (and
>where I can not really be bothered to work it out!).
>Which things should be "unlearned". Does it happen automatically by
>realising that facts are blind and that names arise from the nameless?
>What knowledge should be held as important? Can any "blind facts" be
>believed? How does it work?!
>Any ideas appreciated!
This was one of the phrases that put me off Taoism when I first picked
up TTC in my teens. There have been many other phrases that I scoffed
at too. I was thinking what kind of rubbish was it that I need to be
a zombie through life, not that it matters during work when at times
you just zombie along.
It slowly dawned on me after many years. It may well be a false dawn
so quoting from me may well bring you flames.
Here is my stab at that.
We have to see how we assimilate knowledge. To make sense of it all,
we need to compartmentalize and group the 'knowledge' that we have
I recalled that some psychological books that I have read claim that
we cannot 'remember' more than 6-8 items of information at any one
time. However, the way we grouped those info allows us to 'remember'
a lot more.
I play lots of chess at a high level. I am not an IM and will never
cross over to that level. For the rest of you who play chess
casually, you will make mistakes in your games as the possibilities of
your replies expand exponentially and you slog on thinking of moves
after moves and their variations tiring your mind. You will also
remember about 6-8 items to decide your reply.
I will also only be able to bear in mind the 6-8 items to help me
decide. The difference is that I will be thinking in terms of
vectorial attacks and lines of openings and game structure while you
will think of simple moves.
IMs and GMs will bear in mind also 6-8 items, but their level of items
will be far more lofty than mine.
In other others, we need to classify and collate what we know to
function normally in life.
We became used to that and we will keep on applying solutions which
work in the past to the problems of the tomorrow.
This further reinforce the structuring we do to new knowledge to
assimilate it into our minds. As with anything that rises must fall
and to know black you must know white, this structuring while very
useful to us have their drawbacks.
We end up peeping at the world around us in layers of nested blinkers
and miss the unseen interconnections about us.
We are like unsteady beginners in cycling, on a wobbly bicycle
noticing a small stone on the road ahead of us. We notice that stone
and while focusing on that stone, we miss seeing the rest of the road
with the result we hit that stone missing the rest of the wide road to
go around it.
The 'Man of Tao', will 'unlearn' those compartmentalization and do
away with those boundaries seeing it in the whole. Without those
framework to act, he will then rely on wuwei to guide him to the
appropriate action at the appropriate time.
With warm regards
The Idiotic Taoist
Thread of "Is Taoism a philosophy or religion?"
From: khamba2 -
Date: Tues, Mar 16 1999 12:00 am
Tim Harris <har...@cyberlink.bc.ca> wrote:
>> >Is Taoism a philosophy or a religion?
>Depends. If you have something to say about it... it is a philosophy. If
>you believe everything you hear... it is a religion.
It is neither. Both of those classifications are mind-constructs that
we love to use to try to put an 'order' into our world. Useful as
they can be in some aspects of our life and work, mind-constructs
imprison us to view at things along those perspectives.
In that process, we lose sight of the Tao that we are searching for.
We end up in fruitless word games as to what is religion and what is
The Idiotic Taoist