Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tao and Torah

My brother and I had a long talk last night, despite his need to go to bed early. His new phiosophy of interest is "Taoism." I thought it was interesting that the words Tao ond Torah have a similar definition. Torah means alot of things but most simly it's definition is "the way." Tao is best or at least most simply defined "The way of things" or "the way things work." A taoist will not call himself a taoist... Tao is not exactally a label, or they don't like to think of it as one only because it cannot be defined. If you come of with a definition for Taoism it's not Taoism. Think of it like this... if, when you are defining a word you use the word itself in the definition it's not really defining the word. Same with Tao except everything is Tao so whatever definition you give it you're using the word itself. The entire thing, whatever it is, is all about medetation and "getting beyond rational thought" and intellect. It's coming in touch with the world in a way that creates harmony by simply living in a moment without doing anything else. It's simply "being" and "exsisting" in a way that seeks nothing of "the self."

In discussing these things with my brother I began to see that this Idea "Tao" and the idea of "Torah" (living in harmony with God) are very similar. Except the approach might be (I say might because of my limited knowledge of Taoism) different. While Tao asks to separate oneself from "the moment" Christian living is about embracing every moment. Just living in a moment, without an agenda, without seeking yourself, but embracing and affirming the good that saturates the world, the weight of God that fills all things.

2 comments:

Ashley said...

I can't wait to hear more, hopefully you and him can have more talk before we leave Saturday. It is so interesting though the connection if you will. Would love to hear more!

Maryellen said...

back in the day, someone gave me a book on the Tao to read. I was between being a Catholic and a Christian, and was searching for enlightenment. my response to Tao was that it sounded very Christian to me, a statement to which my friend, who labeled himself a solipsystic nihilist (forgive spelling) had a very negitive reaction. It couldn't be Christian because it was written about 400 years before Christ! But truth is truth and wisdom is wisdom. If we believe that we are all descendents of Noah, dispersed at Bable, then there are truths that are consistant in all cultures and people groups. However there are also lies. Just because we can recognize truth, or see some form of the Christ in another way, we can not conclude that that way is just as legitimate as the Jesus way, Jesus meant what he said when He said, 'I AM the way, the Truth, and the life!'. A wise missionary type will use the truth found in another culture to teach the TRUTH of Christ, rather than to just throw out those teachings as "pagan"