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My take on Laozi's Te

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3 hours ago, Jason said:

Really Long Answer:

Te is the way that you are when you stop being the boss of yourself and subordinate yourself to Tao. Tao "says" do this? OK, you do it! Tao "says" do that? OK, you do that! In this manner you have "integrity" in that you follow what Tao "tells" you to do, and thus your state of being - your nature - is Te.

 

This is interesting! I can imagine what "stop being the boss of yourself" means: stop our endless internal dialogues as soon they no longer serve any purpose. But how do we know what Tao says? Is following all and every uncontemplated impulse "following Tao"? I don't think so, as those impulses (at least in my own case) frequently go against the best advise of Lao tse himself. But than we are back with the "Boss inside" deciding what to do and what not to do. :(

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Wisdom is the result of long learning, there are no shortcuts or magic answers so that you get it.  Wisdom doesn't work like that ... such attitudes are barriers to the long careful study that results eventually in wisdom.  How can something valuable happen cheaply ?  It can't.

I was listening to Eckhart Tolle earlier, he sits in a seat and tells a person that it's so easy you just ... xyz.

But is it so easy ?
No.

Reading the backstory of Eckhart Tolle's life, you will see a long and difficult journey, poverty, and struggle starting from his childhood.  He searched and studied with many teachers, he left everything and gave up everything.

One day he arrived at something simple.

Something simply like the TTC.

 

Hearing such simple things, one may have the illusion that it's simple.

But, this is an illusion, that people like to repeat in many settings.

I'll just tell you the answer now and you'll understand.

But no ... you will not understand, unless you take the very same long and difficult journey that I have taken.

How else could you become wise ?

There is no avoiding the path, there is just not taking it and thereby not arriving.

 

Reading details of the journey that the teachers took tells you more than their resultant ... sutras, books, poetry and speeches.

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Jason said:

 

Short Answer:

Te is the quality of one's being when one follows Tao.

 

Long Answer:

Te is that state of one's being while relinquishing control over one's own manifest reality and accepting without reservation the flow of perception.

 

Really Long Answer:

Te is the way that you are when you stop being the boss of yourself and subordinate yourself to Tao. Tao "says" do this? OK, you do it! Tao "says" do that? OK, you do that! In this manner you have "integrity" in that you follow what Tao "tells" you to do, and thus your state of being - your nature - is Te.

 

Got it? Good, there will be a quiz...

Lol, no quizzes pleeeease !!:lol:

Your post is right on, imo.

 

A quick thought about the word 'integrity'.

After an earthquake, a building's structural members are checked to see if they've held their structural integrity, i.e.,  that they're still doing what they're supposed to be doing.

This is the type of 'integrity' that comes to mind for me when I read the word in these contexts... i.e. doing what we're designed to do, staying true to our nature.

Thanks for your words, Jason, most appreciated!!

Edited by rene

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20 hours ago, rene said:

There is clarity for sure! I dont think we can label what it is that comes... but come it does,  providing the clarity to see. Think I heard the seeing called dao guan once... but I might not be recalling it right. @david ? Do you remember?

 

Enjoying the topic so far and trying to find time to comment.

 

I don't recall 'dao guan' but guan as 观 / 觀 means means 'to see'... in Ch. 1 and 54 :)

 

I was recently formulating something between your and Tom's view... yep, a both/and consideration that you two have now basically mentioned and stole my thunder :D

 

I like the corny, terse idea that 'de is dao in you'.    It is essentially the idea you share:  "the active, empowered principle of Tao - the way of restoring awareness of original wholeness (aka integrity), wherein living integrity, actively, is fully natural, and thus effortless. "

 

I might not use integrity but I get what you are suggesting [I think]:  The human manifestation of dao in you, as de... The de of Dao manifests in the Way of Man as 'xyz' in a sense but still a empowerment occurs... so, I still like to focus on the 'active, empowered principle of Tao... restoring awareness and wholeness.   

 

one can look at the LZ chapters with de to try and understand it... but really, if one looks at LZ ch. 16 (and many others) there is no mention of de but one should not help but see that it is de that makes that all occur;  If Dao is the source theory then De is the manifest empowerment [of original integrity].

 

Integrity has a Confucian ideal (moral principle and honesty) and a LZ ideal (undivided unity, though knowing the manifest parts).

 

I think this is a bridge that connects LZ integrity with original clarify/awareness/wholeness. 

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@david

Ah... It figures the Confucians would add the moral component, heh. Re dao guan, yes! I recall now it was Raymond back in Nina's forum where I heard it.. he called it the eyes of dao. :)

Thanks for your reply, I agree with all of it. :P

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Posted (edited)

I found this interesting. From the Book of the Simple Way.

 

Quote

The doctrine of Teh, or true virtue, teaches that things are what they are, not by virtue of the names we give them, nor by reason of the way in which we view them, but because of their natural affinities and antagonisms, their inherent qualities, their place in the scale of creations, and hence by reason of the uses to which they can naturally be put. Tao gives us the true perception of the natures of things and Teh instructs us as to their uses. And the right use of things, according to Laotze, lies in the natural and unimpeded existence of every form of life. Thus the virtue of a tree is in its growth, the putting forth of leaves and flowers and fruit. But if a tree be trained to make much wood and the wood be cut to make a coffin, two things are by that circumstance lacking in virtue ; the tree, in that it has ceased to be a tree and become in part a coffin, and the man, who would hoard up a carcass and deprive Nature of her dues. The flowers simply live and grow, and no one denies that they are beautiful. The good/ man confers a blessing on the world by merely living.

 

From such considerations Laotze disagreed with Confucius as to the ultimate utility of his doctrine of Charity and Duty to one's neighbor. "Truth does not proclaim itself," said the Sage, "virtue does not display itself, neither does reason contend with a man ; perfect courage is not unyielding, neither is charity displayed in action. Virtue consists of being true to oneself and charity in letting alone."

 

"By the virtue which is not intentional," says the Sage, "even the supernatural may be subdued." Therefore Charity and Duty to one's neighbor are not essential virtues, but simply the accidentals of virtue; and " except a man be perfect he cannot determine their place," says Laotze.

 

Edited by Tom

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