My Photo
Follow UselessTree on Twitter



  • eXTReMe Tracker
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 07/2005

« Notice | Main | Confucian Rectitude in "The Crucible" »

March 10, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

If I understand your thesis correctly, you are lamenting that those who advocate Taoist values should not cite Taoist texts. Please do not take offence if I suggest that such "Taoist" values as you name above are hardly peculiar to the Taoist tradition, and can be found in Hellenic and Abrahamic traditions besides. In fact, I dare say that there is no value wholly unique to any religious tradition, and that, however natural it may be to classify others' beliefs using one's own belief system, it is rather narrow and misleading to do so. Thus, my own advocacy of minimalism and detachment from material goods is not a Taoist belief, because I arrived at it independently of the Taoist tradition.

Therefore I wonder, If one can arrive at the same conclusions as the Taoists without even consulting Taoist texts, and one values those conclusions over the texts themselves, why should one consult those texts except as artifacts of historical interest?

"Sometimes I despair that some of my favorite books - the Daodejing and Zhuangzi - seem wholly irrelevant to the materialism and competitiveness of contemporary American life. And then along comes an article like this"

Clearly, the professor is not lamenting the lack of recognition Daoist texts receive, but rather expressing his happiness in finding an article that espouses ideas similar to those of his favorite books.

No one argues that Daoist 'values' are singular to the discipline, it is simply one nuanced framework of meaning among many. Each person must relate to ideas with their own framework of reference and meaning, the professor was only doing as much. With this in mind, how the conclusions are framed in text are as valuable as the conclusions themselves. Reading the texts still requires a comprehension of its ideas, and textual imagery can serve as poignant references when navigating daily life. What makes a framework of meaning reached 'independently' any better than one reached with guidance from text?


The comments to this entry are closed.

Aidan's Way

  • :

    Understanding disability from a Taoist point of view