Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tao and the Yi (2)

The philosophical Daoists claim that they understand Tao well enough and do not need to study the four Confucian books. They may have a point there or perhaps not.

While ardent followers of Zhuangzi do not need to know about Confucian virtues; Daoists who follow the philosophy of Laozi cultivate those cardinal virtues as depicted in the Tao Te Ching, with the hopes of returning to Tao.

To those familiar with Tao and the Zhouyi, the cultivation of virtues is in line with Heaven and Earth. To be in line with or follow Heaven and Earth is to understand Tao.

Previously one had mentioned that Laozi and Confucius both knew what would happen if there is Tao or no Tao on Earth. Today one would add in another ancient sage.

Mencius said,

‘When right government prevails in the kingdom, princes of little virtue are submissive to those of great, and those of little worth to those of great.

When bad government prevails in the kingdom, princes of small power are submissive to those of the great, and the weak to the strong.

Both of these cases are the rule of Heaven. They who accord with Heaven are preserved, and they who rebel against Heaven perish.’

[Works of Mencius 4 .7 Legge]

[Note: Legge has chosen to translate the Chinese words – having Tao under Heaven – as right government prevails in the kingdom. And – no Tao under Heaven – as bad government prevails in the kingdom.]

Like the two great ancient sages before him, Mencius also knew well his Yi and cardinal virtues. Therefore he also knew much about Heaven and Earth.

Since the advent of the absence of Tao all under Heaven on September 15, 2008 as indicated by the Yi, quite a number of people have perished. The funny thing since then is that even divinities have withheld healing people on Earth, let alone sing.

That is a little bit more on Tao and the Yi.


Nancy said...

Don't know if this is redundant, since it's taking a while to sign on (and I may have already sent on a previous similar posting), but the comment and question are:

First, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on the Yi with us. I've read them over the past few years, and they seem to be grounded in serious study, practice and generosity.

Second, do you think it's possible for a Westerner to truly understand the concepts and teachings of the Yi?


Allan said...

Hello Nancy,

Thank you for the nice comment.

It is quite possible for anyone to truly understand the concepts and teachings of the Yi, if they are diligent enough in their study and practice though it would take decades of their time, effort, and pondering.

The Chinese may have a slight advantage in Tao and Yi studies, over others, because of their culture and upbringing. But it does not mean that they need not put in the time and effort just like anyone else.


Allan said...

Above spam comment deleted.

Nancy said...

Hi, again. You say, "The funny thing since then is that even divinities have withheld healing people on Earth, let alone sing."

I'm confused by this. Having just been to see "The Fourth Kind", a hoax sort of movie about aliens speaking Sumerian (which one person asked, how did they know how Sumerian was spoken? but apparently there were two kinds, one of which was phonetic, thus possibly able to be pronounced if one has a Rosetta stone, so to speak), and pondering the real life possibilities of gods/goddesses from somewhere (outer space, Heaven--as in angels, fallen and otherwise--). Well, I suppose that what I'm trying to say is that I've seen a lot of strange things that I don't really understand, and so wonder what YOU mean by divinities, ones who have withheld healing, let alone singing...

Again, I'm looking forward to your well-studied and scholarly reply.


Allan said...


The sentence you have picked is meant for the esoteric and fellow travelers of the Way.

Divinities include Daoist celestial immortals and Buddhas – they form part of the title of the blog. There are records of meetings with immortals by Daoists way back to pre Han days. (Refer to the Records of the Historian)

The religious or esoteric may also come across less healing in temples by divinities in their countries during this period of time.

According to the Hundred Characters Stele and the Secret of the Golden Flower written by Lu Dongbin, and the Classic of the Directory for a Day, the neidan practitioner(s) can at times hear songs or voices of the immortals. Whether it is possible for these practitioners to hear that or not is not for me to say.


Nancy said...

Dear Allan,

Thanks again for your scholarly explanation. Since I have little knowledge of the Yin and the Tao, this makes things much more understandable. I've studied the Yi for forty years, but it seems that the more I study, the less I understand (particularly when I distance myself somewhat and view it as a "Westerner" or as one of a series of many fields of study).

When I just throw the coins and listen to the answer, the Yi speaks to me. Maybe I should just stop worrying so much? But I feel like it's due more respect than just being an "agony aunt" in times of anxiety....

At any rate, thanks again so much, and have a lovely weekend.


Allan said...

"the more I study, the less I understand"

That understanding could lead to true knowledge, one day. Perhaps Yi aficionados with your years of study would agree. Think of Confucius.

Have a nice weekend.