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Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy

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  • Dave Winslow
    From: ... My sympathies on the cheque, love the way you guys spell that. The alternative I write about can t be seen because it has never
    Message 1 of 28 , May 1, 2001
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      From: <lday@...>


      > --- In TaoTalk@y..., "Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
      > > From: <lday@p...>
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In TaoTalk@y..., "Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
      > > > I have no idea what this response has to do with the original
      > > article posted
      > > > Lawrence. Do you have an opinion about ethics and Democracy?
      > >
      > > >>>Hi Dave,
      > > Indeed I do :)
      > >
      > > Democracy, as full of flaws as its practical demonstrations are,
      > > remains the probably best (or least worst)
      > > system of human governance. >>>
      > >
      > > The assumption of the need to govern is the greatest error I think.
      >
      > Today you have me at a disadvantage.
      > I spent the morning doing my income tax
      > and just sent a cheque for $2589.79
      > to the government. So, well, grr grr eh ;-)
      > but I still don't see an alternative to the
      > government-warlord either-or dilemma.

      My sympathies on the cheque, love the way you guys spell that.

      The alternative I write about can't be seen because it has never been, but
      we are moving that way. Once there were monarchies who assumed power as if
      little gods. They often had their priests by their side, assuring their
      victory in battle, and sanctioning the oppression of their subjects.
      Incredible to think of this now, more incredible than Anarchy maybe?

      There was all that inhumanity in the hands of the church/state through
      various eras, dark ages, then suddenly there was the Magna Carta. What an
      incredible milestone that is. And then the US Constitution which so exalted
      the rights of individual people and, along with other writings of that time
      painted a suspicious picture of government and embraced a belief in
      un-coerced people and freedom.

      Now all we need is for people to recognize that power is never the long term
      answer, political or military, and to replace the monopoly of the state with
      one small alternative at a time until the role of government just becomes
      obsolete like Britain's Monarchy. Maybe it can even become dignified and
      respected .

      > >
      > > >>> The operative word here is: 'human':
      > > Which human gets a bigger piece of the economic pie
      > > is all very good and logical as far as
      > > the specifically human condition is concerned.>>>
      > >
      > > Economics is secondary in my opinion. What is unethical about
      > democracy is
      > > its use of force and the threat of force over those who do not wish
      > to
      > > participate.
      >
      > A good argument to put minority rights in constitutions.
      > Some wonderful examples of historical 'non-participants'
      > are America's Amish and Canada's Mennonites.

      The Bill of Rights are exactly that in my opinion. The smallest minority
      remember is the lonely individual. The Amish get a lot of latitude, at least
      it seemed that way to me as a visitor. They had their wonderful farms, their
      home schooling, held to their own culture from what I could see. I know
      nothing of the Mennonites, are they similar?.

      > >
      > > >>> However,
      > > and it is a big 'however',
      > > there is a lot more to reality than human concerns.>>>
      > >
      > > Reality is a bit too big for me, I'll settle for ethical
      > arrangements
      > > between my fellows.
      >
      > Confucius and Lao-tzu disagreed on this as priority.
      > Confucius's emphasis on society might represent
      > an enlightened Taoist
      > who focussed on a particular aspect of reality:
      > the Tao of Humans.
      > Ethically both he and Lao recognized that the
      > positive te influence radiated out
      > from individual to family to society
      > to nations..

      Tell me exactly what word was used for "ethically". I suspect they spoke
      more of one's feelings, love, compassion, and not man made philosopher of
      cooperation which is what I mean by ethics.

      > Chuang-tzu and the Channists took that extra step,
      > from nations of humans to communal life-forms,
      > us 'Terrans'.
      >
      > This actually is reality.
      >
      > For the Taoist hermit,
      > forest-dwelling Channists
      > like Hsiang-yen or Chao-chou,
      > or English lit icons like Robinson Crusoe,
      > waxing rosicrucian on the human/nature cusp..
      > Walden Pond is just next door.

      Strange you should mention Walden pond, Thoreau wrote very powerfully about
      the evils of the state. I don't think he ever used the word Anarchy, but he
      sure leaned that way.

      > > >>> Just introduce a single terran intelligent mammal species
      > > (like the whales)
      > > to the equation
      > > and then the human's concept of 'democracy'
      > > is revealed as an ethical sham.
      > > After all, the whales don't get to vote.>>>
      > >
      > > As you know I agree with the sham part, but as for whales, well I
      > really
      > > don't have occasion to deal with any.
      >
      > Are you sure?
      > Suppose you were submerged in sleep
      > and receptive to the elf band?

      Oh yes, heard it on Art Bell?

      >
      > > If your point is that we ought
      > to
      > > consider them, well I don't see such sympathies as relating to
      > ethical
      > > arrangements, which to me are win win deals between people.
      >
      > Interesting perspective.
      > New Mexican President Fox used the expression
      > 'win win deals' twice in interviews at Quebec.
      > Presumably such do exist
      > and it is in human's common interest
      > to find them.
      > It is just ordinary utilitarian
      > for comfort and survival.

      Yes that is about how I see them. but that should not be confused with
      pragmatism which to me is short term by definition, and usually used in a
      very limited material way.

      >
      > For ethics,
      > consider both sides of the coin.
      > For this 'win-win' there is that 'lose-lose'.

      Lose lose is what we get in war, the ultimate expression of power (and
      hatred).

      >
      > In the Mexican case it would be ex-peasant/yeomen.
      > Like England's old 'enclosure' acts,
      > NAFTA's agriculture policy on imports
      > and logging drove them into sweatshop industry.
      > This is 'lose-lose' as they forget their connection to the earth,
      > and even had less money.

      You are moving from ethics or Taoism or political philosophy here into
      practical maters. And I suspect you are not considering all aspects of human
      motivation and economics etc. as few practical political positions do.
      Consider your words "drove them into sweatshop industry", reads more like
      demagoguery than well understood truth to me. It cries out many questions,
      like what is wrong in the government/culture that causes some to be so
      economically enslaved? Before the sweatshops, how were such people doing? If
      it is a lose lose deal as you say who agreed to it and why? I am not asking
      these questions, we needn't get into this unless you really want to as we
      have been here before. I am rather just pointing out that such political
      opinions are loaded, full of presumption, are better at inflaming than
      informing.

      >
      > Consider: the Rio Grande is poisonous polluted.
      > Meanwhile the GDP soars.
      > It's 'win-win' in the board rooms and backrooms
      > and Walmart's check-out line..

      You paint a picture of rich against poor which is very old and has never
      been real. This is not to deny that many rich people become so in
      underhanded ways, only to reject the idea that industry or banking benefits
      only through profits. Industry benefits each of its vendors, its employees,
      its investors, its country collectively through taxes. This is way too old,
      it need not be said, so enough with the demonizing of business please.

      >
      > Not quite so cool
      > in the makeshift barrios
      > of Ciudad Juarez.
      >
      > >
      > > >>> Similarly in America's constitutional roots
      > > the 'vote' was restricted to landowners, males, whites, etc.,
      > > historically moving towards, but far from 'inclusive'.>>>
      > >
      > > The Constitution was silent on such matters, it was the states that
      > limited
      > > voting.
      >
      > >From history at that time
      > (no doubt 'spun' in Canadian schools ;-)
      > it was the guys who pushed the 'Bill of Rights'
      > that seem 'wise' to me.

      Right on!.

      >
      > > But it does not matter, minorities will always be oppressed
      > when
      > > majority rules.
      >
      > Hmmm, really?

      Yes, by definition.

      > Curiously the writing of constitutions has been explored
      > in several Taoist forums.
      > John Wu had a hand in Taiwan's and Cambodia's was
      > posted in the old grove.
      > Lao was the keen constitutionalist.
      > And the least possible government satisfied him:
      > "He governs best who governs least"
      > while from Thomas Jefferson
      > echoes Lao-tzu's view.

      Again, right on!

      > Finding 'least possible' government
      > was an objective,
      > and opened an interesting field (of thought;)
      > >
      > > >>> If you take the basic question: who am I?
      > > you get life-form, mammal, human, american, republican etc.,
      > > ever more finely refined categories.
      > > Western tradition, (Judaeo-Christian-Islamic) based in Genesis,
      > > sees 'nature' as subservient to humans.
      > > Taoism offers a different paradigm,
      > > with 'humanity' just another aspect of nature,
      > > thereby celebrating humility rather than dominance.>>>
      > >
      > > Would you then say that Taoism does not support Democracy?
      >
      > No, no support at all.
      > Democracy will have to fend for itself.
      > What Lao-tzu prefered was a warlord
      > (then unavoidable)
      > who would listen and govern
      > depending on his 'fangshi' advisors
      > with whom Lao certainly identified.

      Interesting. I think we have all been given a distorted view of Monarchies.
      It was assumed that they had the good of their subjects in mind, theirs was
      a sacred job, but we read little of this idea of grave responsibilities. I
      wonder how many were what we might call humanitarian.

      >
      > Democracy was a distant dream,
      > an issue for the future.
      >
      > However so it goes
      > history happens
      >
      > and we end up with democratic influence
      > in Wu's Taiwanese Constitution.
      >
      > China's dealing with democracy
      > (strange beast that it is)
      > as an unavoidable current of events
      > is a major happening
      > today in 21st-century human history.
      > >
      > > >>> Chuang didn't even know
      > > if he might be a butterfly dreaming he was a human,
      > > but 'ethically' I doubt very much
      > > he would have approved of exterminating the whales.>>>
      > >
      > > I don't know what you mean by ethics.
      >
      > Noah sez:
      > "1. the study of standards of conduct
      > and moral judgement; moral philosophy.
      > 2. a treatise on this study; book about morals.
      > 3. the system or code of morals of a particular philosopher,
      > religion, group, profession, etc."
      >
      > Root-wise 'ethos' is Greek for character, custom,
      > man's normal state, etc.
      >
      > Perhaps it means 'te'?
      > How does 'ethics' differ from 'virtue'?
      > Lots of room
      > for speculation here!

      I think it is more a mater of defining our terms, it means what we agree it
      means. To me, the working definition that is most helpful is a set of
      understandings between people that promote cooperation. Win win deals. When
      you add a word like morals, you create an endless loop I think, and one that
      is dripping with unspecified sentiment and religious ideas etc., gets pretty
      muddy.

      >
      > > I think there are very
      > important
      > > distinctions between laws, ethics, and just plain nice behavior. I
      > love
      > > animals, would not wish to hurt a whale, but ethics can not be just
      > > expressions of one's love because that is different for everyone.
      > Are we not
      > > trying to form universal ideals that all will find appropriate and
      > > supportable rather than individual preferences?
      >
      > Ideal laws, physicsall,
      > like in Newton's 'Principia Mathematica'
      > or Shao-yung's 'The Nature of Things'
      > don't seem much concerned with individual preference.

      Well the physical word was here before us, so in the example above we are
      attempting to describe what already is. Ethics however is more like
      engineering, the development of a man made system, arbitrary in that sense
      although cognizant of our nature if it is to work.

      >
      > Nature is immune to democracy;
      > you cannot vote an earthquake away,
      > nor vote a comet's path into a straight line.
      > >
      > > >>> So the question becomes an active, current event issue
      > > by which to evaluate the 'ethics of democracy' in action.
      > > If Americans bug their representatives enthusiastically
      > > then the naval whale-kill exemption will easily be overpowered
      > > by 'mammalian' ethics; if the voters are asleep, or 'don't care',
      > > then an 'unethical' result might ensue. >>>
      > >
      > > It seems to me what you are getting at is compassion, and I don't
      > see that
      > > as a mater of ethics at all. The words love and compassion may be
      > man made
      > > but what we are getting at in using them is deeper and more natural.
      > Some
      > > say God is love. Ethics on the other hand, at least the ethics we
      > can
      > > debate, ethical philosophy, is a man made affair. They are our
      > stumbling
      > > attempts to find ways to cooperate in spite of some hostile
      > tendencies etc.
      >
      > Very nicely expressed.
      > Perhaps 'compassion' as expressed in Buddhism
      > is not very far from 'te' as in Tao Te Ching?
      >
      > One idea arising from your words
      > is that the purpose of 'ethics'
      > (or indeed the celebration of 'te')
      > is precisely to 'tame'
      > this propensity to 'hostile tendencies'.

      Yes I think that is part of it. At least if we grow up in an ethical
      environment, that is one with a high degree of mutual cooperation, we
      develop restraint. The Dalai Lama wrote of that in "The Art of Happiness",
      a wonderful work.

      >
      > Alchemically love/compassion
      > does enter in,
      > third-chakra rising will
      > tamed by fourth-chakra heart power.
      > >
      > > I think mixing ethics with compassion makes for an unintelligible
      > stew.
      > > Poets can do it, but not logicians I think.
      >
      > Perhaps the poets speak beneath the surface,
      > and the logicians above?

      Yes, interesting way to put it I think.

      >
      > Just to take New England
      > as a sample 'transcendental' stew,
      > are poets like Emily Dickenson or Robert Lowell
      > or even Herman Melville, are they
      > any more 'logical'
      > than logical philosopher/judges
      > like Thoreau, Emerson, or Oliver Wendell Holmes?

      I take logic to mean a very specific thing, a la Aristotle, so I would say
      poets are illogical. This does not imply they are telling us less.

      >
      > If this is a trend, is JFK the climax:
      > poet, philosopher, politician
      > rolled into one?

      He represents only politics and unearned privilege to me.

      >
      > It all connects:
      > Wu has Holmes as a mentor..
      > compares Lin-shi (Rinzai) with Emerson..
      > translates Lao and Chuang to English..
      >
      > The stew is just spiced
      > with Wu's Taiwan constitution..
      >
      > in 'subspace'
      > poetry and logic
      > do not contend.

      Yes, yes! They only contend when poorly blended by us, when we can't keep
      our own feelings and thoughts straight. Brings to mind the following from
      David Schiller:
      "When words are used not to communicate an idea, but as tools to plant a
      wordless truth, some pretty strange things can happen."

      Dave W.
    • joel
      ho ho - couldn t resist ... ethics has to do with choice and will virtue is closer to the spark than that (imho:) joel
      Message 2 of 28 , May 1, 2001
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        ho ho - couldn't resist

        > From: lday@...
        > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 23:22:47 -0000
        > To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
        >
        > Perhaps it means 'te'?
        > How does 'ethics' differ from 'virtue'?
        > Lots of room
        > for speculation here!

        ethics
        has to do with choice and will
        virtue
        is closer to the spark than that

        (imho:)


        joel
      • joel
        ... this strikes me as indicative of a mathemeticians view :-) (just an observation) joel
        Message 3 of 28 , May 1, 2001
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          > From: lday@...
          > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 23:22:47 -0000
          > To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
          >
          > in 'subspace'
          > poetry and logic
          > do not contend.

          this strikes me as indicative of a mathemeticians view :-)

          (just an observation)


          joel
        • joel
          ... the view from here is..... ethics pertains to a personal thing - not related to any agreement with anyone. It has to do only with our view of ourselves
          Message 4 of 28 , May 1, 2001
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            > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
            > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 07:50:40 -0400
            > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
            > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
            >
            >> Perhaps it means 'te'?
            >> How does 'ethics' differ from 'virtue'?
            >> Lots of room
            >> for speculation here!
            >
            > I think it is more a mater of defining our terms, it means what we agree it
            > means. To me, the working definition that is most helpful is a set of
            > understandings between people that promote cooperation. Win win deals. When
            > you add a word like morals, you create an endless loop I think, and one that
            > is dripping with unspecified sentiment and religious ideas etc., gets pretty
            > muddy.

            the view from here is.....
            "ethics" pertains to a personal thing - not related to any "agreement" with
            anyone. It has to do only with our view of ourselves and how we choose to
            interact with our envirement. A "set of understandings between people that
            promote cooperation" is an expression in the realm of "action". It is based
            on our ethics, but it is not the ethics themselves. Such "action" is carried
            out by an act of will. The form this action takes is dependent on culture
            (the dragon!!), or, "morals" - if you will. iow.........

            ethics
            get filterd threw the dragon
            in the spark of things

            >
            >>
            >>> I think there are very
            >> important
            >>> distinctions between laws, ethics, and just plain nice behavior. I
            >> love
            >>> animals, would not wish to hurt a whale, but ethics can not be just
            >>> expressions of one's love because that is different for everyone.
            >> Are we not
            >>> trying to form universal ideals that all will find appropriate and
            >>> supportable rather than individual preferences?
            >>
            >> Ideal laws, physicsall,
            >> like in Newton's 'Principia Mathematica'
            >> or Shao-yung's 'The Nature of Things'
            >> don't seem much concerned with individual preference.
            >
            > Well the physical word was here before us, so in the example above we are
            > attempting to describe what already is. Ethics however is more like
            > engineering, the development of a man made system, arbitrary in that sense
            > although cognizant of our nature if it is to work.

            any "universal idea" (archetype) will be expressed in the spark without our
            needing to "form" it for ourselves. All we have to do is look (without
            forcing the look) and we will see these "universal" things. One's set of
            ethics doesn't necessarily have to be based on unversal principle - although
            I think the old greek meaning did intend the word to imply the aforesaid
            (how's that for "waxing" literate ;-)

            so ethics then is not a "developement of a man made system". Rather the
            recognition of resonant principle pertaining to acts of will. This is not
            arbitrary (although the view *is* clearer when viewed without purpose :-)


            joel
          • Dave Winslow
            From: joel ... it ... When ... that ... pretty ... with ... Hi joel, I guess both your definition and mine can be found out there in
            Message 5 of 28 , May 1, 2001
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              From: joel <joscann@...>


              > > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
              > > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
              > > Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 07:50:40 -0400
              > > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
              > > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
              > >
              > >> Perhaps it means 'te'?
              > >> How does 'ethics' differ from 'virtue'?
              > >> Lots of room
              > >> for speculation here!
              > >
              > > I think it is more a mater of defining our terms, it means what we agree
              it
              > > means. To me, the working definition that is most helpful is a set of
              > > understandings between people that promote cooperation. Win win deals.
              When
              > > you add a word like morals, you create an endless loop I think, and one
              that
              > > is dripping with unspecified sentiment and religious ideas etc., gets
              pretty
              > > muddy.
              >
              > the view from here is.....
              > "ethics" pertains to a personal thing - not related to any "agreement"
              with
              > anyone. It has to do only with our view of ourselves and how we choose to
              > interact with our envirement.

              Hi joel, I guess both your definition and mine can be found out there in
              tradition. sure wish there were more concrete words for us to use, many
              disagreements seem to be caused by unspecified different understood
              meanings.

              I have used the word ethics as you have defined it, but avoid such
              subjective uses in debates where my feelings can not really be conveyed. I
              think Lawrence and I came to that point in discussing the whales et al.,
              ethics as sentiment or compassion rather than philosophy. His use and mine
              and yours are all fine with me, but demonstrate how easilly words can
              confuse.

              >A "set of understandings between people that
              > promote cooperation" is an expression in the realm of "action". It is
              based
              > on our ethics, but it is not the ethics themselves. Such "action" is
              carried
              > out by an act of will. The form this action takes is dependent on culture
              > (the dragon!!), or, "morals" - if you will. iow.........
              >
              > ethics
              > get filterd threw the dragon
              > in the spark of things

              I'm not familiar with your metaphor, but I get the feeling we agree. I may
              have some things to learn from you.

              > >
              > >>
              > >>> I think there are very
              > >> important
              > >>> distinctions between laws, ethics, and just plain nice behavior. I
              > >> love
              > >>> animals, would not wish to hurt a whale, but ethics can not be just
              > >>> expressions of one's love because that is different for everyone.
              > >> Are we not
              > >>> trying to form universal ideals that all will find appropriate and
              > >>> supportable rather than individual preferences?
              > >>
              > >> Ideal laws, physicsall,
              > >> like in Newton's 'Principia Mathematica'
              > >> or Shao-yung's 'The Nature of Things'
              > >> don't seem much concerned with individual preference.
              > >
              > > Well the physical word was here before us, so in the example above we
              are
              > > attempting to describe what already is. Ethics however is more like
              > > engineering, the development of a man made system, arbitrary in that
              sense
              > > although cognizant of our nature if it is to work.
              >
              > any "universal idea" (archetype) will be expressed in the spark without
              our
              > needing to "form" it for ourselves. All we have to do is look (without
              > forcing the look) and we will see these "universal" things. One's set of
              > ethics doesn't necessarily have to be based on unversal principle -
              although
              > I think the old greek meaning did intend the word to imply the aforesaid
              > (how's that for "waxing" literate ;-)

              I will remember "aforesaid". Yes I understand about universals. Some people
              speak of natural rights which they contend are implied logically from our
              nature. This kind of thing came later I think. Anyway, if we could find
              universal yet also internal feelings pertaining to our treatment of each
              other, that would make a great start on an ethical system that fits us all.

              >
              > so ethics then is not a "developement of a man made system". Rather the
              > recognition of resonant principle pertaining to acts of will. This is not
              > arbitrary (although the view *is* clearer when viewed without purpose :-)
              >
              > joel

              I have no argument with your definition, it has a most Taoist ring. But
              what is very important to me and spills over into discussions of politics
              and economics, is a bit more practical. Whatever we call them, I am very
              concerned with the idea that people can form cooperative arrangements that
              facilitate peaceful and productive and compassionate life with each other.
              Such terms I hope will form a common language which may de-flame the power
              struggles that result from a failure to understand the other guy I think.

              Do you see power over other people as a problem worth discussing Joel? Do
              you have a thought as to how it might be reduced? That is really the
              motivation behind what I think of as ethics. That motivation I suppose is in
              tern what you call ethics, do I have that right?

              Good to be here, thanks to you and Lawrence and all,

              Dave W.
            • lisa
              ... [...] ... Nature is as real as it gets! Right in your face. Breathe in... Breathing Lessons is the name of a book by Anne Tyler. Breathe... breathe in
              Message 6 of 28 , May 1, 2001
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                lday@p... wrote:
                >"Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
                > > From: <lday@p...>

                [...]

                > Nature is immune to democracy;
                > you cannot vote an earthquake away,
                > nor vote a comet's path into a straight line.

                Nature is as real as it gets! Right in your face. Breathe in...

                Breathing Lessons is the name of a book by Anne Tyler.

                "Breathe...
                breathe in the air...
                Don't be afraid to care..."

                Be
                Who
                You
                Are.
                For real.

                Democracy operates under the premise that life is fair. Sand in the
                gears. Life ain't about fair. Life is about real. Here. Now.

                [...]

                > in 'subspace'
                > poetry and logic
                > do not contend.
                >
                Cheers, I say, in a rush of deja-vu.

                To you, dear la,

                --li
              • joscann@planet.nl
                ... what we agree ... is a set of ... win deals. ... think, and one ... etc., gets ... agreement ... we choose to ... there in ... use, many ... understood
                Message 7 of 28 , May 2, 2001
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                  >From: joel <joscann@...>
                  >
                  >
                  >> > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                  >> > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
                  >> > Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 07:50:40 -0400
                  >> > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
                  >> > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
                  >> >
                  >> >> Perhaps it means 'te'?
                  >> >> How does 'ethics' differ from 'virtue'?
                  >> >> Lots of room
                  >> >> for speculation here!
                  >> >
                  >> > I think it is more a mater of defining our terms, it means
                  what we agree
                  >it
                  >> > means. To me, the working definition that is most helpful
                  is a set of
                  >> > understandings between people that promote cooperation. Win
                  win deals.
                  >When
                  >> > you add a word like morals, you create an endless loop I
                  think, and one
                  >that
                  >> > is dripping with unspecified sentiment and religious ideas
                  etc., gets
                  >pretty
                  >> > muddy.
                  >>
                  >> the view from here is.....
                  >> "ethics" pertains to a personal thing - not related to any
                  "agreement"
                  >with
                  >> anyone. It has to do only with our view of ourselves and how
                  we choose to
                  >> interact with our envirement.
                  >
                  >Hi joel, I guess both your definition and mine can be found out
                  there in
                  >tradition. sure wish there were more concrete words for us to
                  use, many
                  >disagreements seem to be caused by unspecified different
                  understood
                  >meanings.
                  >
                  >I have used the word ethics as you have defined it, but avoid
                  such
                  >subjective uses in debates where my feelings can not really be
                  conveyed. I
                  >think Lawrence and I came to that point in discussing the
                  whales et al.,
                  >ethics as sentiment or compassion rather than philosophy. His
                  use and mine
                  >and yours are all fine with me, but demonstrate how easilly
                  words can
                  >confuse.

                  true enough - and just to be clear, it was not my intention to
                  define the word for general public use. Only to play around with
                  that medium (words) in this community - just for fun :-)

                  >
                  >>A "set of understandings between people that
                  >> promote cooperation" is an expression in the realm of
                  "action". It is
                  >based
                  >> on our ethics, but it is not the ethics themselves. Such
                  "action" is
                  >carried
                  >> out by an act of will. The form this action takes is
                  dependent on culture
                  >> (the dragon!!), or, "morals" - if you will. iow.........
                  >>
                  >> ethics
                  >> get filterd threw the dragon
                  >> in the spark of things
                  >
                  >I'm not familiar with your metaphor, but I get the feeling we
                  agree. I may
                  >have some things to learn from you.

                  the metaphor of the dragon has to do with how I see this place -
                  that it is created moment by moment by ourselves. This is the
                  spark (that metaphor comes from "dez", who use to hang around
                  the apt). My above word play was an attempt at separating the
                  ideal of ethics from it's practise, which get's filtered through
                  culture (morals). I have a penchant for calling culture "the
                  dragon" for two reasons.1 - culture (including the most basic
                  use of language) is an insideous thing - even dangerous. 2 - the
                  dragon image has roots in (ancient) chinese culture as the
                  reality we live in (the spark) - or (iow) - riding the dragon is
                  the same as riding the spark.

                  >
                  >> >
                  >> >>
                  >> >>> I think there are very
                  >> >> important
                  >> >>> distinctions between laws, ethics, and just plain nice
                  behavior. I
                  >> >> love
                  >> >>> animals, would not wish to hurt a whale, but ethics can
                  not be just
                  >> >>> expressions of one's love because that is different for
                  everyone.
                  >> >> Are we not
                  >> >>> trying to form universal ideals that all will find
                  appropriate and
                  >> >>> supportable rather than individual preferences?
                  >> >>
                  >> >> Ideal laws, physicsall,
                  >> >> like in Newton's 'Principia Mathematica'
                  >> >> or Shao-yung's 'The Nature of Things'
                  >> >> don't seem much concerned with individual preference.
                  >> >
                  >> > Well the physical word was here before us, so in the
                  example above we
                  >are
                  >> > attempting to describe what already is. Ethics however is
                  more like
                  >> > engineering, the development of a man made system,
                  arbitrary in that
                  >sense
                  >> > although cognizant of our nature if it is to work.
                  >>
                  >> any "universal idea" (archetype) will be expressed in the
                  spark without
                  >our
                  >> needing to "form" it for ourselves. All we have to do is look
                  (without
                  >> forcing the look) and we will see these "universal" things.
                  One's set of
                  >> ethics doesn't necessarily have to be based on unversal
                  principle -
                  >although
                  >> I think the old greek meaning did intend the word to imply
                  the aforesaid
                  >> (how's that for "waxing" literate ;-)
                  >
                  >I will remember "aforesaid". Yes I understand about universals.
                  Some people
                  >speak of natural rights which they contend are implied
                  logically from our
                  >nature.

                  contentions, implications etc. are all aspects of culture. There
                  are of course universals to be gleaned from culture (resonance)
                  but one must be "clear" about looking (looking without foecing
                  the look) before you can see them. This is the danger of
                  culture. it's too easy to look and say"ah ha - I see this or
                  that universal" when in actuality you're still looking at just
                  another scale of a dragon and not the underlying principle which
                  it exemplifies. A most insideous thing - dragon!

                  >This kind of thing came later I think. Anyway, if we could
                  find
                  >universal yet also internal feelings pertaining to our
                  treatment of each
                  >other, that would make a great start on an ethical system that
                  fits us all.

                  yes - there's the crux of it. Any attempt at wordifying such a
                  system will be another scale on a dragon (the way that can be
                  told.....). Yet there is a way. As a parent, the dragon I'm
                  riding at the moment says - unlearning is the way, and teach by
                  example. Not an easy balancing act! :-)

                  >
                  >>
                  >> so ethics then is not a "developement of a man made system".
                  Rather the
                  >> recognition of resonant principle pertaining to acts of will.
                  This is not
                  >> arbitrary (although the view *is* clearer when viewed without
                  purpose :-)
                  >>
                  >> joel
                  >
                  >I have no argument with your definition, it has a most Taoist
                  ring. But
                  >what is very important to me and spills over into discussions
                  of politics
                  >and economics, is a bit more practical. Whatever we call them,
                  I am very
                  >concerned with the idea that people can form cooperative
                  arrangements that
                  >facilitate peaceful and productive and compassionate life with
                  each other.
                  >Such terms I hope will form a common language which may
                  de-flame the power
                  >struggles that result from a failure to understand the other
                  guy I think.

                  a "peaceful and productive and compassionate life with each
                  other" is -imo - possible under a wide variety of eco/political
                  systems. It can only be achieved on a personal level - on a day
                  to day basis with the people we encounter. This is why ethics as
                  a personal ideal for basing acts of will is so important. Since
                  each of us must look in the mirror (another metaphor for the
                  spark - since we create this place, what we see around us is a
                  reflection of us - a mirror) and glean the universal principles
                  (also called li) for ourselves, then it is possible for a set of
                  ethics to appear which can help us create such a place as you
                  describe. But the ethics remain a personal thing, not communal.
                  Only the acts of will are communal. This word play of mine get's
                  a bit tricky now 'cause the spark is also shared (communal) but
                  it is not an act of will - it is a resonance of tao. There are
                  adepts that learn to impose their will on the spark, but it is
                  not a lifstyle I aspire too (the price is too high for me).

                  >
                  >Do you see power over other people as a problem worth
                  discussing Joel?

                  there will always be power. there will always be up and down -
                  this and that. The question must be answered on a personal
                  level. If one has power over another, then HOW does he excersise
                  that power on a day to day basis? Are his acionts based on
                  ethics gleaned from a clear view? Then things will be as they
                  should be. If not, then.......

                  >Do you have a thought as to how it might be reduced? That is
                  really the
                  >motivation behind what I think of as ethics.

                  This is because you're still seeing things as existing outside
                  of you. "Motivation" is a scale of the dragon. gradations of
                  power are scales on the dragon.

                  > That motivation I suppose is in
                  >tern what you call ethics, do I have that right?

                  re-reading some of this, I suppose you could call it a
                  motivation, but it wouldn't be my choice of words. Motivation
                  implies a "reason" or "goal" and ethics for me exist outside of
                  such things. I'm a man and I have things I want and places I'd
                  like to see and these "desires" motivate certain actions on my
                  part. These actions are measured against my ethics and take form
                  according to the dragon I'm riding. According to the dragon, one
                  day, if I wish to be a propper example to my children, I must
                  behave "such" and on another day "so". The underlying ethic is
                  to be the best example for my children I can be (according to
                  the li I have gleaned from the mirror) but the "form" this
                  action takes is dependent on the moment.

                  lastly - I can see a lot of weakspots in the logic (didactics)
                  of everything I've written here. I hope you can look past them.

                  >
                  >Good to be here, thanks to you and Lawrence and all,
                  >
                  >Dave W.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  >TaoTalk-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Dave Winslow
                  From: ... SNIP ... I like your dragon. I see very big illusions that huge numbers of people clinging to them. They are in denial as I see
                  Message 8 of 28 , May 2, 2001
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                    From: <joscann@...>


                    > >From: joel <joscann@...>
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >> > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>

                    SNIP

                    > contentions, implications etc. are all aspects of culture. There
                    > are of course universals to be gleaned from culture (resonance)
                    > but one must be "clear" about looking (looking without foecing
                    > the look) before you can see them. This is the danger of
                    > culture. it's too easy to look and say"ah ha - I see this or
                    > that universal" when in actuality you're still looking at just
                    > another scale of a dragon and not the underlying principle which
                    > it exemplifies. A most insideous thing - dragon!

                    I like your dragon. I see very big illusions that huge numbers of people
                    clinging to them. They are in denial as I see it, sheep preferring the
                    support of the herd over the lonelier road of seeking truth. Many are sheep,
                    and a few are the power mongers that I find so unethical.

                    >
                    > >This kind of thing came later I think. Anyway, if we could
                    > find
                    > >universal yet also internal feelings pertaining to our
                    > treatment of each
                    > >other, that would make a great start on an ethical system that
                    > fits us all.
                    >
                    > yes - there's the crux of it. Any attempt at wordifying such a
                    > system will be another scale on a dragon (the way that can be
                    > told.....).

                    I think I am not so pessimistic. I see the struggle to find words as a noble
                    and often productive effort. I think I have gained very much from the words
                    of others, from Lao-tzu for instance. Like all tools, words can be
                    problematic, but I see no reason to abandon the effort to express the
                    inexpressible.

                    Getting back to ethics as I use the word, I believe we have in the past and
                    will continue in the future find resonance with others by way of our verbal
                    understandings in spite of the difficulties that are implied. I think some
                    verbalizations that help us resonate are very much in tune with the deeper
                    thing you call ethics. So the lesson implied by "the way that can be told",
                    is not to abandon the effort, but to realize it will never capture the
                    reality, only point to it in some cases.

                    I guess I am hopeful that the dragon can become more Taoist.

                    Dave

                    >
                  • Dave Winslow
                    From: ... SNIP ... I don t think we can separate the self from the environment. Each reflects the other as Yin and Yang, and what I am
                    Message 9 of 28 , May 2, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      From: <joscann@...>


                      > >> > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>

                      SNIP

                      > > I am very
                      > >concerned with the idea that people can form cooperative
                      > arrangements that
                      > >facilitate peaceful and productive and compassionate life with
                      > each other.
                      > >Such terms I hope will form a common language which may
                      > de-flame the power
                      > >struggles that result from a failure to understand the other
                      > guy I think.
                      >
                      > a "peaceful and productive and compassionate life with each
                      > other" is -imo - possible under a wide variety of eco/political
                      > systems. It can only be achieved on a personal level - on a day
                      > to day basis with the people we encounter. This is why ethics as
                      > a personal ideal for basing acts of will is so important. Since
                      > each of us must look in the mirror (another metaphor for the
                      > spark - since we create this place, what we see around us is a
                      > reflection of us - a mirror) and glean the universal principles
                      > (also called li) for ourselves, then it is possible for a set of
                      > ethics to appear which can help us create such a place as you
                      > describe.

                      I don't think we can separate the self from the environment. Each reflects
                      the other as Yin and Yang, and what I am doing in debating ethics is trying
                      to affect the outer based upon what is within. I am not so arrogant as to
                      expect much, but I feel compelled to continue. Maybe it is just that my
                      personal ethics within are manifesting themselves as this desire to join
                      others on the outside in mutual understandings.

                      > But the ethics remain a personal thing, not communal.
                      > Only the acts of will are communal.

                      I accept your definition of ethics within, and I continue to think of my
                      ethics as the agreements between people externally.

                      > This word play of mine get's
                      > a bit tricky now 'cause the spark is also shared (communal) but
                      > it is not an act of will - it is a resonance of tao. There are
                      > adepts that learn to impose their will on the spark, but it is
                      > not a lifstyle I aspire too (the price is too high for me).

                      The ethics I write of, or the will I would impose, is that we must not
                      impose. The core of ethical deals in my mind is mutual consent.

                      >
                      > >
                      > >Do you see power over other people as a problem worth
                      > discussing Joel?
                      >
                      > there will always be power. there will always be up and down -
                      > this and that. The question must be answered on a personal
                      > level.

                      I have trouble living up to these words, but I know that all is as it should
                      be. All is Tao. This does not mean to me however, that change does not
                      happen or that we must refrain from seeking it. I do not stop living in the
                      moment by looking into the future. When I look to the future, based upon
                      what has happened in the past, I see increasing cooperation between people
                      based upon increasing understandings which I call ethical development. Would
                      you buy maturing of the dragon?

                      > If one has power over another, then HOW does he excersise
                      > that power on a day to day basis? Are his acionts based on
                      > ethics gleaned from a clear view? Then things will be as they
                      > should be. If not, then.......

                      Yes, but one's view is not developed in a vacuum, it comes at least in part
                      from the eye of the dragon no? And so if common traditions were to include
                      more cooperative ideas which I refer to as ethics, would we not expect a
                      clearer view from within?

                      >
                      > >Do you have a thought as to how it might be reduced? That is
                      > really the
                      > >motivation behind what I think of as ethics.
                      >
                      > This is because you're still seeing things as existing outside
                      > of you. "Motivation" is a scale of the dragon. gradations of
                      > power are scales on the dragon.

                      Indeed, but do we not all eat when we are hungry? Is the hunger just a scale
                      of the dragon?

                      >
                      > > That motivation I suppose is in
                      > >tern what you call ethics, do I have that right?
                      >
                      > re-reading some of this, I suppose you could call it a
                      > motivation, but it wouldn't be my choice of words. Motivation
                      > implies a "reason" or "goal" and ethics for me exist outside of
                      > such things.

                      Something wrong here, nothing is separate. I think ethical actions (my use
                      of the word) bring about satisfaction of the basic ethic (your use of the
                      word) which seems to me to be something akin to love. There is a goal I
                      think, not a contrived one, not intellectual, but a natural link, empathy.

                      > I'm a man and I have things I want and places I'd
                      > like to see and these "desires" motivate certain actions on my
                      > part. These actions are measured against my ethics and take form
                      > according to the dragon I'm riding. According to the dragon, one
                      > day, if I wish to be a propper example to my children, I must
                      > behave "such" and on another day "so". The underlying ethic is
                      > to be the best example for my children I can be (according to
                      > the li I have gleaned from the mirror) but the "form" this
                      > action takes is dependent on the moment.

                      Why be the best example you can be if not to benefit those children? How
                      could the desire exist without the goal?

                      Maybe I am using the words love and compassion as you use the word ethics.
                      And maybe what I am getting at is that people can work out deals that govern
                      behavior with each other that further our inner feelings of love and
                      compassion. Ethics then to me are not the actions, but the arrangements, the
                      understandings, verbalizations about the interactions with others that
                      enhance our feelings of love among other things. If you don't like calling
                      such deals ethics, is there another word?

                      >
                      > lastly - I can see a lot of weakspots in the logic (didactics)
                      > of everything I've written here. I hope you can look past them.

                      I sure hope this ain't about perfection. I once wondered, if I finally
                      understood all there was to understand, would I have anything to say? Well I
                      can't know that answer, but I suspect it is like the line about lawyers, you
                      know they are lying because their lips are moving. So we might know we are
                      still seeking because we have so much to say.

                      Dave
                    • lisa
                      ... arrangements, the ... that ... calling ... It s like dao -- is it a noun or a verb? Can it be defined, or is it a way of doing things? Or is it both?
                      Message 10 of 28 , May 2, 2001
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                        "Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
                        > From: <joscann@p...>
                        >
                        >
                        > > >> > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@W...>
                        >
                        > SNIP
                        >
                        > compassion. Ethics then to me are not the actions, but the
                        arrangements, the
                        > understandings, verbalizations about the interactions with others
                        that
                        > enhance our feelings of love among other things. If you don't like
                        calling
                        > such deals ethics, is there another word?

                        It's like dao -- is it a noun or a verb? Can it be defined, or is
                        it a way of doing things? Or is it both? As George says, go back to
                        the beginning of things. Is the beginning of things a word? An idea?

                        >
                        > >
                        > > lastly - I can see a lot of weakspots in the logic (didactics)
                        > > of everything I've written here. I hope you can look past them.
                        >
                        > I sure hope this ain't about perfection. I once wondered, if I
                        finally
                        > understood all there was to understand, would I have anything to
                        say? Well I
                        > can't know that answer, but I suspect it is like the line about
                        lawyers, you
                        > know they are lying because their lips are moving. So we might know
                        we are
                        > still seeking because we have so much to say.
                        >
                        > Dave

                        Hows about some respite along the way? not looking but not not
                        looking?

                        rgds,
                        lisa
                      • lday@pathcom.com
                        ... think. ... In general wherever British spelling has borrowed from French, Canada has opted to follow: eg, cheque, honour, civilisation.. Linguistics is
                        Message 11 of 28 , May 2, 2001
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                          --- In TaoTalk@y..., "Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
                          > From: <lday@p...>
                          >
                          >
                          > > --- In TaoTalk@y..., "Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
                          > > > From: <lday@p...>
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In TaoTalk@y..., "Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
                          > > > > I have no idea what this response has to do with the original
                          > > > article posted
                          > > > > Lawrence. Do you have an opinion about ethics and Democracy?
                          > > >
                          > > > >>>Hi Dave,
                          > > > Indeed I do :)
                          > > >
                          > > > Democracy, as full of flaws as its practical demonstrations are,
                          > > > remains the probably best (or least worst)
                          > > > system of human governance. >>>
                          > > >
                          > > > The assumption of the need to govern is the greatest error I
                          think.
                          > >
                          > > Today you have me at a disadvantage.
                          > > I spent the morning doing my income tax
                          > > and just sent a cheque for $2589.79
                          > > to the government. So, well, grr grr eh ;-)
                          > > but I still don't see an alternative to the
                          > > government-warlord either-or dilemma.
                          >
                          > My sympathies on the cheque, love the way you guys spell that.

                          In general wherever British spelling has borrowed from
                          French, Canada has opted to follow: eg, cheque,
                          honour, civilisation..
                          Linguistics is also fairly malleable.
                          At a junior chess tournament once in the late 60's
                          I was conscripted to 'translate' between a fellow
                          from the Bronx and one from New Zealand.
                          Although they both claimed to be speaking English
                          they were unintelligible to each other!
                          >
                          > The alternative I write about can't be seen because it has never
                          been, but
                          > we are moving that way. Once there were monarchies who assumed power
                          as if
                          > little gods. They often had their priests by their side, assuring
                          their
                          > victory in battle, and sanctioning the oppression of their subjects.
                          > Incredible to think of this now, more incredible than Anarchy maybe?

                          Dogs also adopt a follow the leader (of the pack) mentality.
                          Perhaps it is survival instinct?
                          On his deathbed Alexander left his empire
                          'to the strongest'.
                          >
                          > There was all that inhumanity in the hands of the church/state
                          through
                          > various eras, dark ages, then suddenly there was the Magna Carta.

                          Oppressive states may well be universal,
                          but church oppression seems rather unique to monotheistic systems.
                          For example the Confucians, Taoists and Buddhists
                          never fought (physically) in Chinese history.

                          What an
                          > incredible milestone that is. And then the US Constitution which so
                          exalted
                          > the rights of individual people and, along with other writings of
                          that time
                          > painted a suspicious picture of government and embraced a belief in
                          > un-coerced people and freedom.
                          >
                          > Now all we need is for people to recognize that power is never the
                          long term
                          > answer, political or military, and to replace the monopoly of the
                          state with
                          > one small alternative at a time until the role of government just
                          becomes
                          > obsolete like Britain's Monarchy. Maybe it can even become dignified
                          and
                          > respected .

                          In democracy at least the state responds to the will
                          of the majority of citizens. This seems better than
                          power residing in distant transnational shareholders
                          who are not accountable to democratic will at all.
                          But we've been over this already eh.
                          >
                          > > >
                          > > > >>> The operative word here is: 'human':
                          > > > Which human gets a bigger piece of the economic pie
                          > > > is all very good and logical as far as
                          > > > the specifically human condition is concerned.>>>
                          > > >
                          > > > Economics is secondary in my opinion. What is unethical about
                          > > democracy is
                          > > > its use of force and the threat of force over those who do not
                          wish
                          > > to
                          > > > participate.
                          > >
                          > > A good argument to put minority rights in constitutions.
                          > > Some wonderful examples of historical 'non-participants'
                          > > are America's Amish and Canada's Mennonites.
                          >
                          > The Bill of Rights are exactly that in my opinion. The smallest
                          minority
                          > remember is the lonely individual. The Amish get a lot of latitude,
                          at least
                          > it seemed that way to me as a visitor. They had their wonderful
                          farms, their
                          > home schooling, held to their own culture from what I could see. I
                          know
                          > nothing of the Mennonites, are they similar?.

                          The 'Old Order' Mennonites are almost indistinguishable
                          from Pennsylvania's Amish colonies.
                          They emigrated north to Ontario
                          to evade America's historical fits
                          like the revolution or civil war.
                          Mostly nowadays the 'Old Order' is concentrated around Kitchener
                          (where I was born).
                          They still reject electricity, telephones, tv, radio, cars,
                          coloured clothing, public education, alcohol, drugs etc.
                          Living on farms they run markets on the weekends in Kitchener
                          to sell produce which arrives by horse-drawn carriage.
                          About a century ago the Mennonites split
                          into the traditional old order and the modern variety
                          that accepts certain aspects of civilisation.
                          The Modern Order, which included my grandfather's
                          family, moved to farm other locations;
                          in his case Manitoulin Island.
                          Eventually the modern Mennonites became one of the three
                          founding groups of the 'United Church'
                          Canada's largest Protestant denomination.
                          There was little hostility
                          between the old and new orders, and much mutual support.
                          For example, media access to weather reports
                          would be spread by word of mouth
                          to the insular farming communes.
                          Both branches retained the ancient traditions of self-reliant
                          building by communal 'work bees'.
                          There is a beautiful scene of cinemtic poetry
                          in the movie 'Witness' illustrating how quickly
                          they could construct a house or barn from scratch.
                          They still do this wherever natural disasters occur,
                          be it flooding in the Red River valley
                          or Central American earthquakes.
                          (Human created 'borders' mean nothing to them.)
                          Although adamantly Christian in philosophy they are
                          somewhat suspicious of modern techno-preachers.
                          While he never said anything unless asked,
                          my grandfather answered one young question from me
                          regarding why he had changed the channel
                          on a television evangelist:
                          Well, he explained laconically,
                          Jesus said praying should be done in private, not in public.
                          As regards conforming to democracy's 'will of the majority'
                          the only real conflict came over public education,
                          and even that was resolved without too much dispute.
                          Issues like the draft were not a big problem as Mennonites
                          would gladly serve in military hospitals
                          or as stretcher-bearers
                          (my grandfather did that in WW1)
                          without damage to their conscience.
                          As I recall America came to a similar arrangement
                          with Quakers, another pacifist Protestant sect with roots in Pennsylvania.
                          >
                          > > >
                          > > > >>> However,
                          > > > and it is a big 'however',
                          > > > there is a lot more to reality than human concerns.>>>
                          > > >
                          > > > Reality is a bit too big for me, I'll settle for ethical
                          > > arrangements
                          > > > between my fellows.
                          > >
                          > > Confucius and Lao-tzu disagreed on this as priority.
                          > > Confucius's emphasis on society might represent
                          > > an enlightened Taoist
                          > > who focussed on a particular aspect of reality:
                          > > the Tao of Humans.
                          > > Ethically both he and Lao recognized that the
                          > > positive te influence radiated out
                          > > from individual to family to society
                          > > to nations..
                          >
                          > Tell me exactly what word was used for "ethically".

                          I haven't checked Zhongwen, but
                          as I recall the word is te (pinyin 'de')
                          which is both 'virtue' and 'power' in relation to society
                          (Confucian) and 'individuality'
                          or one's own perspective/viewpoint
                          in relation to Tao: a location/point-of-view
                          in the stream of current events.

                          > I suspect they
                          spoke
                          > more of one's feelings, love, compassion, and not man made
                          philosopher of
                          > cooperation which is what I mean by ethics.

                          In TTC 49 J. Wu translates it 'Virtue' [his capitals]
                          and gives its main aspects as 'kindness' and 'faithfulness'.
                          His sage has stripped off 'societal' conditioning
                          and can only react with 'the amused smile of an infant'.
                          Yet, in having 'no interests of his own',
                          he easily takes on 'the interests of the people'.

                          >
                          > > Chuang-tzu and the Channists took that extra step,
                          > > from nations of humans to communal life-forms,
                          > > us 'Terrans'.
                          > >
                          > > This actually is reality.
                          > >
                          > > For the Taoist hermit,
                          > > forest-dwelling Channists
                          > > like Hsiang-yen or Chao-chou,
                          > > or English lit icons like Robinson Crusoe,
                          > > waxing rosicrucian on the human/nature cusp..
                          > > Walden Pond is just next door.
                          >
                          > Strange you should mention Walden pond, Thoreau wrote very
                          powerfully about
                          > the evils of the state. I don't think he ever used the word Anarchy,
                          but he
                          > sure leaned that way.

                          Civil Disobedience celebrates
                          the individual conscience
                          over imposed conduct.
                          To be 'ethical' is not a surrender
                          to herd instinct, however 'democratic'.
                          >
                          > > > >>> Just introduce a single terran intelligent mammal species
                          > > > (like the whales)
                          > > > to the equation
                          > > > and then the human's concept of 'democracy'
                          > > > is revealed as an ethical sham.
                          > > > After all, the whales don't get to vote.>>>
                          > > >
                          > > > As you know I agree with the sham part, but as for whales, well
                          I
                          > > really
                          > > > don't have occasion to deal with any.
                          > >
                          > > Are you sure?
                          > > Suppose you were submerged in sleep
                          > > and receptive to the elf band?
                          >
                          > Oh yes, heard it on Art Bell?

                          ?? who/what is (the) Art Bell?
                          >
                          > >
                          > > > If your point is that we ought
                          > > to
                          > > > consider them, well I don't see such sympathies as relating to
                          > > ethical
                          > > > arrangements, which to me are win win deals between people.
                          > >
                          > > Interesting perspective.
                          > > New Mexican President Fox used the expression
                          > > 'win win deals' twice in interviews at Quebec.
                          > > Presumably such do exist
                          > > and it is in human's common interest
                          > > to find them.
                          > > It is just ordinary utilitarian
                          > > for comfort and survival.
                          >
                          > Yes that is about how I see them. but that should not be confused
                          with
                          > pragmatism which to me is short term by definition, and usually used
                          in a
                          > very limited material way.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > For ethics,
                          > > consider both sides of the coin.
                          > > For this 'win-win' there is that 'lose-lose'.
                          >
                          > Lose lose is what we get in war, the ultimate expression of power
                          (and
                          > hatred).
                          >
                          > >
                          > > In the Mexican case it would be ex-peasant/yeomen.
                          > > Like England's old 'enclosure' acts,
                          > > NAFTA's agriculture policy on imports
                          > > and logging drove them into sweatshop industry.
                          > > This is 'lose-lose' as they forget their connection to the earth,
                          > > and even had less money.
                          >
                          > You are moving from ethics or Taoism or political philosophy here
                          into
                          > practical maters.

                          I just navigate.
                          The shorelines are not in my control.

                          > And I suspect you are not considering all aspects
                          of human
                          > motivation and economics etc. as few practical political positions
                          do.
                          > Consider your words "drove them into sweatshop industry", reads more
                          like
                          > demagoguery than well understood truth to me.

                          Well, my opinion is based on a few days research
                          at 'commondreams.org' news archives.
                          Summarized it may sound like 'demagoguery'
                          but the recorded facts are there
                          for those with the stomach to pursue them.

                          It cries out many
                          questions,
                          > like what is wrong in the government/culture that causes some to be
                          so
                          > economically enslaved? Before the sweatshops, how were such people
                          doing?

                          They were self-reliant,
                          living off the communal land,
                          pre-expropriation.
                          I admit, this may sound hopelessly romantic,
                          but the recorded facts bear it out
                          historically in England,
                          currently in Latin America.

                          > If
                          > it is a lose lose deal as you say who agreed to it and why?

                          The rich got richer,
                          of course they agreed.

                          > I am not
                          asking
                          > these questions, we needn't get into this unless you really want to
                          as we
                          > have been here before. I am rather just pointing out that such
                          political
                          > opinions are loaded, full of presumption, are better at inflaming
                          than
                          > informing.

                          Agreed.
                          Anyone who wants to form an individual opinion
                          is certainly invited to investigate the facts.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Consider: the Rio Grande is poisonous polluted.
                          > > Meanwhile the GDP soars.
                          > > It's 'win-win' in the board rooms and backrooms
                          > > and Walmart's check-out line..
                          >
                          > You paint a picture of rich against poor which is very old and has
                          never
                          > been real.

                          No, not rich against poor,
                          ethical against unethical.
                          If one human's 'win-win'
                          is another's 'lose-lose'
                          then that is simply
                          the shoreline's shape,
                          a pattern in the current events.

                          Seeing it clearly
                          and judging it
                          are seperate matters.

                          > This is not to deny that many rich people become so in
                          > underhanded ways, only to reject the idea that industry or banking
                          benefits
                          > only through profits.

                          Have money=make money,
                          the 'interesting' principle?
                          Something to consider:
                          Islam bans it
                          as a malignancy.

                          > Industry benefits each of its vendors, its
                          employees,
                          > its investors, its country collectively through taxes. This is way
                          too old,
                          > it need not be said, so enough with the demonizing of business
                          please.

                          Nowadays, in our 'weird world',
                          you can buy into 'ethical funds'
                          that screen their investments
                          by stricter standards than profit.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Not quite so cool
                          > > in the makeshift barrios
                          > > of Ciudad Juarez.
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > > >>> Similarly in America's constitutional roots
                          > > > the 'vote' was restricted to landowners, males, whites, etc.,
                          > > > historically moving towards, but far from 'inclusive'.>>>
                          > > >
                          > > > The Constitution was silent on such matters, it was the states
                          that
                          > > limited
                          > > > voting.
                          > >
                          > > >From history at that time
                          > > (no doubt 'spun' in Canadian schools ;-)
                          > > it was the guys who pushed the 'Bill of Rights'
                          > > that seem 'wise' to me.
                          >
                          > Right on!.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > > But it does not matter, minorities will always be oppressed
                          > > when
                          > > > majority rules.
                          > >
                          > > Hmmm, really?
                          >
                          > Yes, by definition.

                          still hmm,
                          often 'charters of rights'
                          specifically guarantee minority freedom.
                          Even in the USA, with its crazy drug laws,
                          minority Indians can possess/use peyote.
                          That seems non-oppressive perhaps?
                          >
                          > > Curiously the writing of constitutions has been explored
                          > > in several Taoist forums.
                          > > John Wu had a hand in Taiwan's and Cambodia's was
                          > > posted in the old grove.
                          > > Lao was the keen constitutionalist.
                          > > And the least possible government satisfied him:
                          > > "He governs best who governs least"
                          > > while from Thomas Jefferson
                          > > echoes Lao-tzu's view.
                          >
                          > Again, right on!
                          >
                          > > Finding 'least possible' government
                          > > was an objective,
                          > > and opened an interesting field (of thought;)
                          > > >
                          > > > >>> If you take the basic question: who am I?
                          > > > you get life-form, mammal, human, american, republican etc.,
                          > > > ever more finely refined categories.
                          > > > Western tradition, (Judaeo-Christian-Islamic) based in Genesis,
                          > > > sees 'nature' as subservient to humans.
                          > > > Taoism offers a different paradigm,
                          > > > with 'humanity' just another aspect of nature,
                          > > > thereby celebrating humility rather than dominance.>>>
                          > > >
                          > > > Would you then say that Taoism does not support Democracy?
                          > >
                          > > No, no support at all.
                          > > Democracy will have to fend for itself.
                          > > What Lao-tzu prefered was a warlord
                          > > (then unavoidable)
                          > > who would listen and govern
                          > > depending on his 'fangshi' advisors
                          > > with whom Lao certainly identified.
                          >
                          > Interesting. I think we have all been given a distorted view of
                          Monarchies.
                          > It was assumed that they had the good of their subjects in mind,
                          theirs was
                          > a sacred job, but we read little of this idea of grave
                          responsibilities. I
                          > wonder how many were what we might call humanitarian.

                          Some were for sure.
                          The 'Yellow Emperor' is still celebrated in China.
                          In England Richard is remembered as 'lion-hearted'.
                          Bohemia had a sage king..

                          A 'benevolent despot' (&ie: 'humanitarian dictator')
                          was considered by many [in te bardo;]
                          as the best possible terran
                          historical time to live under.

                          But such sage rulers were not common,
                          and hereditary monarchy might equally well
                          serve up lunatics like England's George (3?)
                          or Austria's Leopold, Russia's Nikolas,
                          or China's Manchu Empress Dowager bozo.

                          Losers they were,
                          (sez history: American Revolution, WW1, China etc.)
                          but purely humanitarian (not nationalistic)
                          values might calculate that
                          they were veritable saints.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Democracy was a distant dream,
                          > > an issue for the future.
                          > >
                          > > However so it goes
                          > > history happens
                          > >
                          > > and we end up with democratic influence
                          > > in Wu's Taiwanese Constitution.
                          > >
                          > > China's dealing with democracy
                          > > (strange beast that it is)
                          > > as an unavoidable current of events
                          > > is a major happening
                          > > today in 21st-century human history.
                          > > >
                          > > > >>> Chuang didn't even know
                          > > > if he might be a butterfly dreaming he was a human,
                          > > > but 'ethically' I doubt very much
                          > > > he would have approved of exterminating the whales.>>>
                          > > >
                          > > > I don't know what you mean by ethics.
                          > >
                          > > Noah sez:
                          > > "1. the study of standards of conduct
                          > > and moral judgement; moral philosophy.
                          > > 2. a treatise on this study; book about morals.
                          > > 3. the system or code of morals of a particular philosopher,
                          > > religion, group, profession, etc."
                          > >
                          > > Root-wise 'ethos' is Greek for character, custom,
                          > > man's normal state, etc.
                          > >
                          > > Perhaps it means 'te'?
                          > > How does 'ethics' differ from 'virtue'?
                          > > Lots of room
                          > > for speculation here!
                          >
                          > I think it is more a mater of defining our terms

                          Page Chomsky!

                          > , it means what we
                          agree it
                          > means. To me, the working definition that is most helpful is a set
                          of
                          > understandings between people that promote cooperation.

                          OK, understood.
                          That seems social-confusian as opposed to universal-abstract..

                          > Win win
                          deals. When
                          > you add a word like morals, you create an endless loop I think, and
                          one that
                          > is dripping with unspecified sentiment and religious ideas etc.,
                          gets pretty
                          > muddy.

                          Te roots of Monotheism are what 'clouds te waters'.
                          Consider 'morality' as the body's pure shiver
                          at any antihumanitarian action..
                          tbc, -l
                          The physical may well manifest before the theoretical.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > > I think there are very
                          > > important
                          > > > distinctions between laws, ethics, and just plain nice behavior.
                          I
                          > > love
                          > > > animals, would not wish to hurt a whale, but ethics can not be
                          just
                          > > > expressions of one's love because that is different for
                          everyone.
                          > > Are we not
                          > > > trying to form universal ideals that all will find appropriate
                          and
                          > > > supportable rather than individual preferences?
                          > >
                          > > Ideal laws, physicsall,
                          > > like in Newton's 'Principia Mathematica'
                          > > or Shao-yung's 'The Nature of Things'
                          > > don't seem much concerned with individual preference.
                          >
                          > Well the physical word was here before us, so in the example above
                          we are
                          > attempting to describe what already is. Ethics however is more like
                          > engineering, the development of a man made system, arbitrary in that
                          sense
                          > although cognizant of our nature if it is to work.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Nature is immune to democracy;
                          > > you cannot vote an earthquake away,
                          > > nor vote a comet's path into a straight line.
                          > > >
                          > > > >>> So the question becomes an active, current event issue
                          > > > by which to evaluate the 'ethics of democracy' in action.
                          > > > If Americans bug their representatives enthusiastically
                          > > > then the naval whale-kill exemption will easily be overpowered
                          > > > by 'mammalian' ethics; if the voters are asleep, or 'don't
                          care',
                          > > > then an 'unethical' result might ensue. >>>
                          > > >
                          > > > It seems to me what you are getting at is compassion, and I
                          don't
                          > > see that
                          > > > as a mater of ethics at all. The words love and compassion may
                          be
                          > > man made
                          > > > but what we are getting at in using them is deeper and more
                          natural.
                          > > Some
                          > > > say God is love. Ethics on the other hand, at least the ethics
                          we
                          > > can
                          > > > debate, ethical philosophy, is a man made affair. They are our
                          > > stumbling
                          > > > attempts to find ways to cooperate in spite of some hostile
                          > > tendencies etc.
                          > >
                          > > Very nicely expressed.
                          > > Perhaps 'compassion' as expressed in Buddhism
                          > > is not very far from 'te' as in Tao Te Ching?
                          > >
                          > > One idea arising from your words
                          > > is that the purpose of 'ethics'
                          > > (or indeed the celebration of 'te')
                          > > is precisely to 'tame'
                          > > this propensity to 'hostile tendencies'.
                          >
                          > Yes I think that is part of it. At least if we grow up in an ethical
                          > environment, that is one with a high degree of mutual cooperation,
                          we
                          > develop restraint. The Dalai Lama wrote of that in "The Art of
                          Happiness",
                          > a wonderful work.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Alchemically love/compassion
                          > > does enter in,
                          > > third-chakra rising will
                          > > tamed by fourth-chakra heart power.
                          > > >
                          > > > I think mixing ethics with compassion makes for an
                          unintelligible
                          > > stew.
                          > > > Poets can do it, but not logicians I think.
                          > >
                          > > Perhaps the poets speak beneath the surface,
                          > > and the logicians above?
                          >
                          > Yes, interesting way to put it I think.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Just to take New England
                          > > as a sample 'transcendental' stew,
                          > > are poets like Emily Dickenson or Robert Lowell
                          > > or even Herman Melville, are they
                          > > any more 'logical'
                          > > than logical philosopher/judges
                          > > like Thoreau, Emerson, or Oliver Wendell Holmes?
                          >
                          > I take logic to mean a very specific thing, a la Aristotle, so I
                          would say
                          > poets are illogical. This does not imply they are telling us less.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > If this is a trend, is JFK the climax:
                          > > poet, philosopher, politician
                          > > rolled into one?
                          >
                          > He represents only politics and unearned privilege to me.
                          >
                          > >
                          > > It all connects:
                          > > Wu has Holmes as a mentor..
                          > > compares Lin-shi (Rinzai) with Emerson..
                          > > translates Lao and Chuang to English..
                          > >
                          > > The stew is just spiced
                          > > with Wu's Taiwan constitution..
                          > >
                          > > in 'subspace'
                          > > poetry and logic
                          > > do not contend.
                          >
                          > Yes, yes! They only contend when poorly blended by us, when we can't
                          keep
                          > our own feelings and thoughts straight. Brings to mind the following
                          from
                          > David Schiller:
                          > "When words are used not to communicate an idea, but as tools to
                          plant a
                          > wordless truth, some pretty strange things can happen."
                          >
                          > Dave W.
                        • joscann@planet.nl
                          ... others ... like ... or is ... back to ... An idea? LOL - that s cool - I never heard that one before Lisa. Perhaps we ve gone past the now you see it, now
                          Message 12 of 28 , May 3, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            >"Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
                            >> From: <joscann@p...>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> > >> > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@W...>
                            >>
                            >> SNIP
                            >>
                            >> compassion. Ethics then to me are not the actions, but the
                            >arrangements, the
                            >> understandings, verbalizations about the interactions with
                            others
                            >that
                            >> enhance our feelings of love among other things. If you don't
                            like
                            >calling
                            >> such deals ethics, is there another word?
                            >
                            >It's like dao -- is it a noun or a verb? Can it be defined,
                            or is
                            >it a way of doing things? Or is it both? As George says, go
                            back to
                            >the beginning of things. Is the beginning of things a word?
                            An idea?

                            LOL - that's cool - I never heard that one before Lisa. Perhaps
                            we've gone past the "now you see it, now you don't" stage and
                            are now heading through the twilight zone ;-)

                            >
                            >>
                            >> >
                            >> > lastly - I can see a lot of weakspots in the logic
                            (didactics)
                            >> > of everything I've written here. I hope you can look past
                            them.
                            >>
                            >> I sure hope this ain't about perfection. I once wondered, if
                            I
                            >finally
                            >> understood all there was to understand, would I have anything
                            to
                            >say? Well I
                            >> can't know that answer, but I suspect it is like the line
                            about
                            >lawyers, you
                            >> know they are lying because their lips are moving. So we
                            might know
                            >we are
                            >> still seeking because we have so much to say.
                            >>
                            >> Dave
                            >
                            >Hows about some respite along the way? not looking but not not

                            >looking?
                            >
                            >rgds,
                            >lisa
                            >
                            >
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                            >
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                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Dave Winslow
                            From: lisa ... Hi Lisa, Yes, like Dao. So, the ethics that can not be told, those feelings within are what they are and so be it. But the
                            Message 13 of 28 , May 3, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              From: lisa <oneof10k@...>


                              > "Dave Winslow" <David@W...> wrote:
                              > > From: <joscann@p...>
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > > >> > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@W...>
                              > >
                              > > SNIP
                              > >
                              > > compassion. Ethics then to me are not the actions, but the
                              > arrangements, the
                              > > understandings, verbalizations about the interactions with others
                              > that
                              > > enhance our feelings of love among other things. If you don't like
                              > calling
                              > > such deals ethics, is there another word?
                              >
                              > It's like dao -- is it a noun or a verb? Can it be defined, or is
                              > it a way of doing things? Or is it both? As George says, go back to
                              > the beginning of things. Is the beginning of things a word? An idea?

                              Hi Lisa,

                              Yes, like Dao. So, the ethics that can not be told, those feelings within
                              are what they are and so be it. But the arrangements we make with each
                              others, rules or more informal things we work out can also be important to
                              us also and they can be discussed to good ends.

                              SNIP

                              > > I sure hope this ain't about perfection. I once wondered, if I
                              > finally
                              > > understood all there was to understand, would I have anything to
                              > say? Well I
                              > > can't know that answer, but I suspect it is like the line about
                              > lawyers, you
                              > > know they are lying because their lips are moving. So we might know
                              > we are
                              > > still seeking because we have so much to say.
                              > >
                              > > Dave
                              >
                              > Hows about some respite along the way? not looking but not not
                              > looking?
                              >
                              > rgds,
                              > lisa

                              Yes, all of the above.

                              Dave
                            • joel
                              ... I agree completely ... or that your te has brought you here and there s nothing left to do but follow your feet :-) ... except that those agreemnts can be
                              Message 14 of 28 , May 4, 2001
                              • 0 Attachment
                                > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
                                > Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 08:38:50 -0400
                                > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
                                > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
                                >
                                > From: <joscann@...>
                                >
                                >
                                >>>>> From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                >
                                > SNIP
                                >
                                >>> I am very
                                >>> concerned with the idea that people can form cooperative
                                >> arrangements that
                                >>> facilitate peaceful and productive and compassionate life with
                                >> each other.
                                >>> Such terms I hope will form a common language which may
                                >> de-flame the power
                                >>> struggles that result from a failure to understand the other
                                >> guy I think.
                                >>
                                >> a "peaceful and productive and compassionate life with each
                                >> other" is -imo - possible under a wide variety of eco/political
                                >> systems. It can only be achieved on a personal level - on a day
                                >> to day basis with the people we encounter. This is why ethics as
                                >> a personal ideal for basing acts of will is so important. Since
                                >> each of us must look in the mirror (another metaphor for the
                                >> spark - since we create this place, what we see around us is a
                                >> reflection of us - a mirror) and glean the universal principles
                                >> (also called li) for ourselves, then it is possible for a set of
                                >> ethics to appear which can help us create such a place as you
                                >> describe.
                                >
                                > I don't think we can separate the self from the environment.

                                I agree completely

                                > Each reflects
                                > the other as Yin and Yang, and what I am doing in debating ethics is trying
                                > to affect the outer based upon what is within. I am not so arrogant as to
                                > expect much, but I feel compelled to continue. Maybe it is just that my
                                > personal ethics within are manifesting themselves as this desire to join
                                > others on the outside in mutual understandings.

                                or that your te has brought you here and there's nothing left to do but
                                follow your feet :-)

                                >
                                >> But the ethics remain a personal thing, not communal.
                                >> Only the acts of will are communal.
                                >
                                > I accept your definition of ethics within, and I continue to think of my
                                > ethics as the agreements between people externally.

                                except that those agreemnts can be defined as ethical agreements or
                                unethical agreements. If I knew enough about grammar I'd be able to define
                                further - in the sense that one is an adjective (I think) and the other a
                                noun.

                                >
                                >> This word play of mine get's
                                >> a bit tricky now 'cause the spark is also shared (communal) but
                                >> it is not an act of will - it is a resonance of tao. There are
                                >> adepts that learn to impose their will on the spark, but it is
                                >> not a lifstyle I aspire too (the price is too high for me).
                                >
                                > The ethics I write of, or the will I would impose, is that we must not
                                > impose. The core of ethical deals in my mind is mutual consent.

                                this is still riding the dragon - look a little deeper. The will I speak of
                                is something you use constantly.

                                >
                                >>
                                >>>
                                >>> Do you see power over other people as a problem worth
                                >> discussing Joel?
                                >>
                                >> there will always be power. there will always be up and down -
                                >> this and that. The question must be answered on a personal
                                >> level.
                                >
                                > I have trouble living up to these words, but I know that all is as it should
                                > be. All is Tao. This does not mean to me however, that change does not
                                > happen or that we must refrain from seeking it. I do not stop living in the
                                > moment by looking into the future. When I look to the future, based upon
                                > what has happened in the past, I see increasing cooperation between people
                                > based upon increasing understandings which I call ethical development. Would
                                > you buy maturing of the dragon?

                                I can see your point here. Interesting view. I don't buy "developement of
                                the dragon" though, because "developement" is a sequential view which is
                                only another scale of the beast. We're looping inside his domain - nothing
                                more.

                                >
                                >> If one has power over another, then HOW does he excersise
                                >> that power on a day to day basis? Are his acionts based on
                                >> ethics gleaned from a clear view? Then things will be as they
                                >> should be. If not, then.......
                                >
                                > Yes, but one's view is not developed in a vacuum, it comes at least in part
                                > from the eye of the dragon no?

                                yes yes - even worse - they're one and the same eye
                                creating itself over and over. This is why the dragon is so often depicted
                                eating it's own tail

                                > And so if common traditions were to include
                                > more cooperative ideas which I refer to as ethics, would we not expect a
                                > clearer view from within?

                                I think it has to be the other way around. First a clear view, then more
                                coaperative common traditions.

                                >
                                >>
                                >>> Do you have a thought as to how it might be reduced? That is
                                >> really the
                                >>> motivation behind what I think of as ethics.
                                >>
                                >> This is because you're still seeing things as existing outside
                                >> of you. "Motivation" is a scale of the dragon. gradations of
                                >> power are scales on the dragon.
                                >
                                > Indeed, but do we not all eat when we are hungry? Is the hunger just a scale
                                > of the dragon?

                                most indeedy do!!! You could separate the simple physical sensation from the
                                "culture" in which one lives, but this not a separation that I subscribe to.
                                That's one of the reasons why I like to call it the dragon. It runs deeper
                                than simple expression. Most wil disagree with me, and they'd be right. I'm
                                not trying to argue a point as much as enjoy the interchange here and anyone
                                could easily break apart my logic. For me though, the dragon remains a beast
                                of duality - he is not only the culture in which one's communicative efforts
                                are formed, but also the very matter in which this expression finds reality.

                                >
                                >>
                                >>> That motivation I suppose is in
                                >>> tern what you call ethics, do I have that right?
                                >>
                                >> re-reading some of this, I suppose you could call it a
                                >> motivation, but it wouldn't be my choice of words. Motivation
                                >> implies a "reason" or "goal" and ethics for me exist outside of
                                >> such things.
                                >
                                > Something wrong here, nothing is separate.

                                I agree

                                >I think ethical actions (my use
                                > of the word)

                                but you were calling agreements!?

                                > bring about satisfaction of the basic ethic (your use of the
                                > word) which seems to me to be something akin to love.

                                dragon talk - I never said love.

                                > There is a goal I
                                > think, not a contrived one, not intellectual, but a natural link, empathy.

                                we are all linked - yes. And we all share this place we create. And this
                                place we create follows/has/demonstrates "li".

                                >
                                >> I'm a man and I have things I want and places I'd
                                >> like to see and these "desires" motivate certain actions on my
                                >> part. These actions are measured against my ethics and take form
                                >> according to the dragon I'm riding. According to the dragon, one
                                >> day, if I wish to be a propper example to my children, I must
                                >> behave "such" and on another day "so". The underlying ethic is
                                >> to be the best example for my children I can be (according to
                                >> the li I have gleaned from the mirror) but the "form" this
                                >> action takes is dependent on the moment.
                                >
                                > Why be the best example you can be if not to benefit those children?

                                isn't that what I said?

                                > How
                                > could the desire exist without the goal?

                                uh - I can't separate them. The means are the end (or something like that -
                                I'm losing it :-|)
                                >
                                > Maybe I am using the words love and compassion as you use the word ethics.

                                no way!

                                > And maybe what I am getting at is that people can work out deals that govern

                                "govern"???

                                > behavior with each other that further our inner feelings of love and
                                > compassion. Ethics then to me are not the actions, but the arrangements, the
                                > understandings, verbalizations about the interactions with others that
                                > enhance our feelings of love among other things. If you don't like calling
                                > such deals ethics, is there another word?

                                sure - agreements (inferred, inherent, or otherwise)

                                >
                                >>
                                >> lastly - I can see a lot of weakspots in the logic (didactics)
                                >> of everything I've written here. I hope you can look past them.
                                >
                                > I sure hope this ain't about perfection. I once wondered, if I finally
                                > understood all there was to understand, would I have anything to say? Well I
                                > can't know that answer, but I suspect it is like the line about lawyers, you
                                > know they are lying because their lips are moving. So we might know we are
                                > still seeking because we have so much to say.
                                >
                                > Dave

                                I don't think I have so much to say. Actually, I'm quite sure that the more
                                I say, the less I communicate! But I'm not an island. And I keep following
                                my feet. And for some reason, every now and again, I have to ribbit....

                                ribbit....

                                ribbit....
                              • joel
                                ... all these things you describe are the fragon you re riding ... agreed ... I understand your use of the word. I just keep coming back to this; if I have an
                                Message 15 of 28 , May 4, 2001
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                  > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 07:55:53 -0400
                                  > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
                                  > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
                                  >
                                  > From: <joscann@...>
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >>> From: joel <joscann@...>
                                  >>>
                                  >>>
                                  >>>>> From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                  >
                                  > SNIP
                                  >
                                  >> contentions, implications etc. are all aspects of culture. There
                                  >> are of course universals to be gleaned from culture (resonance)
                                  >> but one must be "clear" about looking (looking without foecing
                                  >> the look) before you can see them. This is the danger of
                                  >> culture. it's too easy to look and say"ah ha - I see this or
                                  >> that universal" when in actuality you're still looking at just
                                  >> another scale of a dragon and not the underlying principle which
                                  >> it exemplifies. A most insideous thing - dragon!
                                  >
                                  > I like your dragon. I see very big illusions that huge numbers of people
                                  > clinging to them. They are in denial as I see it, sheep preferring the
                                  > support of the herd over the lonelier road of seeking truth. Many are sheep,
                                  > and a few are the power mongers that I find so unethical.

                                  all these things you describe are the fragon you're riding

                                  >
                                  >>
                                  >>> This kind of thing came later I think. Anyway, if we could
                                  >> find
                                  >>> universal yet also internal feelings pertaining to our
                                  >> treatment of each
                                  >>> other, that would make a great start on an ethical system that
                                  >> fits us all.
                                  >>
                                  >> yes - there's the crux of it. Any attempt at wordifying such a
                                  >> system will be another scale on a dragon (the way that can be
                                  >> told.....).
                                  >
                                  > I think I am not so pessimistic. I see the struggle to find words as a noble
                                  > and often productive effort. I think I have gained very much from the words
                                  > of others, from Lao-tzu for instance. Like all tools, words can be
                                  > problematic, but I see no reason to abandon the effort to express the
                                  > inexpressible.

                                  agreed

                                  >
                                  > Getting back to ethics as I use the word, I believe we have in the past and
                                  > will continue in the future find resonance with others by way of our verbal
                                  > understandings in spite of the difficulties that are implied.

                                  I understand your use of the word. I just keep coming back to this; if I
                                  have an agreement with someone, it can be an ethical agreement or an
                                  unethical agreement (according to my view). If I choose to take an action,
                                  it can be ethical or unethical. This is why I can't help but see the word as
                                  meaning something which resides on/in another level.

                                  > I think some
                                  > verbalizations that help us resonate are very much in tune with the deeper
                                  > thing you call ethics. So the lesson implied by "the way that can be told",
                                  > is not to abandon the effort, but to realize it will never capture the
                                  > reality, only point to it in some cases.
                                  >
                                  > I guess I am hopeful that the dragon can become more Taoist.
                                  >
                                  > Dave

                                  now I come back to this resonance thing 'cause I still seem to use the word
                                  differenty. Once upon a time, I described it like this:

                                  if you take a metal plate and spread a bunch of metal shvins on it and then
                                  strike a tuning fork and touch the metal plate with it, the shavings will
                                  jump and bounce and evtually form a pattern. In this use of the word then,
                                  resonance is that which causes atoms to exist and subatomic particles to
                                  behave within certain statistical boundaries. In that sense, we do not
                                  resonate in tune with tao, rather we exemplify the phenomenon.

                                  This was a product of my own view as a musician. I was never much of a
                                  scholar, so after I discovered the apt I learned many things. One of the
                                  things I learned is the fact that resonance, as I see it, is analogous to
                                  the chinese "li", which is quite different than most westeners
                                  interpretation of the resonance. I suppose I should stop using the word.
                                  It's just that it works so well under certain circumstances.

                                  oh well........


                                  joel
                                • Dave Winslow
                                  From: joel ... trying ... to ... I like that very much Joel. ... That is not it. I see ethics as the study, the body of understandings
                                  Message 16 of 28 , May 4, 2001
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                                    From: joel <joscann@...>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                    >
                                    > > Each reflects
                                    > > the other as Yin and Yang, and what I am doing in debating ethics is
                                    trying
                                    > > to affect the outer based upon what is within. I am not so arrogant as
                                    to
                                    > > expect much, but I feel compelled to continue. Maybe it is just that my
                                    > > personal ethics within are manifesting themselves as this desire to join
                                    > > others on the outside in mutual understandings.
                                    >
                                    > or that your te has brought you here and there's nothing left to do but
                                    > follow your feet :-)

                                    I like that very much Joel.

                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > >> But the ethics remain a personal thing, not communal.
                                    > >> Only the acts of will are communal.
                                    > >
                                    > > I accept your definition of ethics within, and I continue to think of my
                                    > > ethics as the agreements between people externally.
                                    >
                                    > except that those agreemnts can be defined as ethical agreements or
                                    > unethical agreements. If I knew enough about grammar I'd be able to define
                                    > further - in the sense that one is an adjective (I think) and the other a
                                    > noun.

                                    That is not it. I see ethics as the study, the body of understandings
                                    formed, philosophy. I may be driven to form them or adhere to them out if
                                    out of an inner sense of right, but that is not really relevant to ethics as
                                    I define them. they can stand on their own, like the law can stand without
                                    lawyers or courts. My ethics are nouns

                                    In terms of grammar, the noun and its modifier can be turned either way I
                                    think. We can have an ethical agreement, or we can have an agreeable ethic.
                                    In any event, we will not confuse the word with the thing.

                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > >> This word play of mine get's
                                    > >> a bit tricky now 'cause the spark is also shared (communal) but
                                    > >> it is not an act of will - it is a resonance of tao. There are
                                    > >> adepts that learn to impose their will on the spark, but it is
                                    > >> not a lifstyle I aspire too (the price is too high for me).
                                    > >
                                    > > The ethics I write of, or the will I would impose, is that we must not
                                    > > impose. The core of ethical deals in my mind is mutual consent.
                                    >
                                    > this is still riding the dragon - look a little deeper. The will I speak
                                    of
                                    > is something you use constantly.

                                    I'm not following you. Let me try this. I don't actually believe in will at
                                    all. Everything we do is the result of all the causes in the universe. My
                                    own mind (?) may be one of the more obvious causes of my actions, but it is
                                    only a piece of the same universal causality. To this thought, people often
                                    suggest that determinism induces indifference, might as well just die, etc.
                                    But we do not die, we do not stop wanting and seeking and hoping. It is all
                                    an illusion, but it is all we are going to get. So I continue to think as if
                                    it were my idea to do so, and to hope for a more peaceful world of
                                    cooperation.

                                    Is this anything like you are trying to tell me?

                                    > > I have trouble living up to these words, but I know that all is as it
                                    should
                                    > > be. All is Tao. This does not mean to me however, that change does not
                                    > > happen or that we must refrain from seeking it. I do not stop living in
                                    the
                                    > > moment by looking into the future. When I look to the future, based upon
                                    > > what has happened in the past, I see increasing cooperation between
                                    people
                                    > > based upon increasing understandings which I call ethical development.
                                    Would
                                    > > you buy maturing of the dragon?
                                    >
                                    > I can see your point here. Interesting view. I don't buy "developement of
                                    > the dragon" though, because "developement" is a sequential view which is
                                    > only another scale of the beast. We're looping inside his domain - nothing
                                    > more.

                                    I like that one two, "looping inside his domain".

                                    > >> If one has power over another, then HOW does he excersise
                                    > >> that power on a day to day basis? Are his acionts based on
                                    > >> ethics gleaned from a clear view? Then things will be as they
                                    > >> should be. If not, then.......
                                    > >
                                    > > Yes, but one's view is not developed in a vacuum, it comes at least in
                                    part
                                    > > from the eye of the dragon no?
                                    >
                                    > yes yes - even worse - they're one and the same eye
                                    > creating itself over and over. This is why the dragon is so often depicted
                                    > eating it's own tail

                                    Yes I see that. The illusion spins faster and faster.

                                    >
                                    > > And so if common traditions were to include
                                    > > more cooperative ideas which I refer to as ethics, would we not expect a
                                    > > clearer view from within?
                                    >
                                    > I think it has to be the other way around. First a clear view, then more
                                    > coaperative common traditions.

                                    It is both I think, like Prather's book, I Touch the World, The World
                                    Touches Me.

                                    > >>> Do you have a thought as to how it might be reduced? That is
                                    > >> really the
                                    > >>> motivation behind what I think of as ethics.
                                    > >>
                                    > >> This is because you're still seeing things as existing outside
                                    > >> of you. "Motivation" is a scale of the dragon. gradations of
                                    > >> power are scales on the dragon.
                                    > >
                                    > > Indeed, but do we not all eat when we are hungry? Is the hunger just a
                                    scale
                                    > > of the dragon?
                                    >
                                    > most indeedy do!!! You could separate the simple physical sensation from
                                    the
                                    > "culture" in which one lives, but this not a separation that I subscribe
                                    to.
                                    > That's one of the reasons why I like to call it the dragon. It runs deeper
                                    > than simple expression. Most wil disagree with me, and they'd be right.
                                    I'm
                                    > not trying to argue a point as much as enjoy the interchange here and
                                    anyone
                                    > could easily break apart my logic. For me though, the dragon remains a
                                    beast
                                    > of duality - he is not only the culture in which one's communicative
                                    efforts
                                    > are formed, but also the very matter in which this expression finds
                                    reality.

                                    Your dragon begins to sound like Tao. Or do you mean it more like false Tao.
                                    Am I with you at all here?

                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > >>
                                    > >>> That motivation I suppose is in
                                    > >>> tern what you call ethics, do I have that right?
                                    > >>
                                    > >> re-reading some of this, I suppose you could call it a
                                    > >> motivation, but it wouldn't be my choice of words. Motivation
                                    > >> implies a "reason" or "goal" and ethics for me exist outside of
                                    > >> such things.
                                    > >
                                    > > Something wrong here, nothing is separate.
                                    >
                                    > I agree
                                    >
                                    > >I think ethical actions (my use
                                    > > of the word)
                                    >
                                    > but you were calling agreements!?
                                    >
                                    > > bring about satisfaction of the basic ethic (your use of the
                                    > > word) which seems to me to be something akin to love.
                                    >
                                    > dragon talk - I never said love.

                                    Right, I brought that up. I know love, and thought it might be somewhat like
                                    your ethics which I don't know.

                                    > > There is a goal I
                                    > > think, not a contrived one, not intellectual, but a natural link,
                                    empathy.
                                    >
                                    > we are all linked - yes. And we all share this place we create. And this
                                    > place we create follows/has/demonstrates "li".

                                    Please tell me about "li".

                                    > >> I'm a man and I have things I want and places I'd
                                    > >> like to see and these "desires" motivate certain actions on my
                                    > >> part. These actions are measured against my ethics and take form
                                    > >> according to the dragon I'm riding. According to the dragon, one
                                    > >> day, if I wish to be a propper example to my children, I must
                                    > >> behave "such" and on another day "so". The underlying ethic is
                                    > >> to be the best example for my children I can be (according to
                                    > >> the li I have gleaned from the mirror) but the "form" this
                                    > >> action takes is dependent on the moment.
                                    > >
                                    > > Why be the best example you can be if not to benefit those children?
                                    >
                                    > isn't that what I said?

                                    If it is to benefit the children then it is a motive, i.e. there is a goal.
                                    I thought you had distanced your idea of ethics from goals.

                                    >
                                    > > How
                                    > > could the desire exist without the goal?
                                    >
                                    > uh - I can't separate them. The means are the end (or something like
                                    that -
                                    > I'm losing it :-|)

                                    Me too.

                                    > >
                                    > > Maybe I am using the words love and compassion as you use the word
                                    ethics.
                                    >
                                    > no way!
                                    >
                                    > > And maybe what I am getting at is that people can work out deals that
                                    govern
                                    >
                                    > "govern"???

                                    Personal governance of course, self restraint.

                                    > > behavior with each other that further our inner feelings of love and
                                    > > compassion. Ethics then to me are not the actions, but the arrangements,
                                    the
                                    > > understandings, verbalizations about the interactions with others that
                                    > > enhance our feelings of love among other things. If you don't like
                                    calling
                                    > > such deals ethics, is there another word?
                                    >
                                    > sure - agreements (inferred, inherent, or otherwise)

                                    We can negotiate the agreements, regardless of the inner feelings that
                                    motivate. We can agree and write them down and rely upon each other even if
                                    you do not care about me, even if you feel I am unethical, even if I am a
                                    stranger. These ethics as I call them, as mutual voluntary rules, enhance
                                    cooperation, safety, all aspects of life. They are then totally practical,
                                    yet can bring about an ideal.

                                    > >
                                    > >>
                                    > >> lastly - I can see a lot of weakspots in the logic (didactics)
                                    > >> of everything I've written here. I hope you can look past them.
                                    > >
                                    > > I sure hope this ain't about perfection. I once wondered, if I finally
                                    > > understood all there was to understand, would I have anything to say?
                                    Well I
                                    > > can't know that answer, but I suspect it is like the line about lawyers,
                                    you
                                    > > know they are lying because their lips are moving. So we might know we
                                    are
                                    > > still seeking because we have so much to say.
                                    > >
                                    > > Dave
                                    >
                                    > I don't think I have so much to say. Actually, I'm quite sure that the
                                    more
                                    > I say, the less I communicate! But I'm not an island. And I keep following
                                    > my feet. And for some reason, every now and again, I have to ribbit....
                                    >
                                    > ribbit....
                                    >
                                    > ribbit....

                                    Wish I had thought of that.

                                    Dave
                                  • Dave Winslow
                                    From: joel ... and ... verbal ... as ... And I understand your use of the word. So we have a mutual understanding that encompasses both our
                                    Message 17 of 28 , May 4, 2001
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                                      From: joel <joscann@...>
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>

                                      > > Getting back to ethics as I use the word, I believe we have in the past
                                      and
                                      > > will continue in the future find resonance with others by way of our
                                      verbal
                                      > > understandings in spite of the difficulties that are implied.
                                      >
                                      > I understand your use of the word. I just keep coming back to this; if I
                                      > have an agreement with someone, it can be an ethical agreement or an
                                      > unethical agreement (according to my view). If I choose to take an action,
                                      > it can be ethical or unethical. This is why I can't help but see the word
                                      as
                                      > meaning something which resides on/in another level.

                                      And I understand your use of the word. So we have a mutual understanding
                                      that encompasses both our meanings.

                                      > > I think some
                                      > > verbalizations that help us resonate are very much in tune with the
                                      deeper
                                      > > thing you call ethics. So the lesson implied by "the way that can be
                                      told",
                                      > > is not to abandon the effort, but to realize it will never capture the
                                      > > reality, only point to it in some cases.
                                      > >
                                      > > I guess I am hopeful that the dragon can become more Taoist.
                                      > >
                                      > > Dave
                                      >
                                      > now I come back to this resonance thing 'cause I still seem to use the
                                      word
                                      > differenty. Once upon a time, I described it like this:
                                      >
                                      > if you take a metal plate and spread a bunch of metal shvins on it and
                                      then
                                      > strike a tuning fork and touch the metal plate with it, the shavings will
                                      > jump and bounce and evtually form a pattern. In this use of the word then,
                                      > resonance is that which causes atoms to exist and subatomic particles to
                                      > behave within certain statistical boundaries. In that sense, we do not
                                      > resonate in tune with tao, rather we exemplify the phenomenon.

                                      Great!

                                      > This was a product of my own view as a musician. I was never much of a
                                      > scholar, so after I discovered the apt I learned many things. One of the
                                      > things I learned is the fact that resonance, as I see it, is analogous to
                                      > the chinese "li", which is quite different than most westeners
                                      > interpretation of the resonance. I suppose I should stop using the word.
                                      > It's just that it works so well under certain circumstances.

                                      Don't stop on my account. I think in fact that certain patterns of behavior
                                      can form around our nature and what is stimulating us just like the pie
                                      plate of filings and the tuning fork.

                                      You know, I think my ethics is a bit like the general knowledge of what
                                      works in music. We can jam because we have chords we can call out and
                                      recognized rhythms. But there are certain ways or chords or beats we really
                                      like for some primal reason which seems to me more like your ethics. It
                                      takes both for sure, the passion and the coordination to make it work.

                                      >
                                      > oh well........
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > joel

                                      What instrument and type of music do you play?

                                      Dave
                                    • joel
                                      ... we agree to see eachothers views as accept them, yes!? Yet , I doubt I would use the word in the same way that you use it. Which isn t important really -
                                      Message 18 of 28 , May 5, 2001
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                                        > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                        > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 18:49:50 -0400
                                        > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
                                        > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
                                        >
                                        > From: joel <joscann@...>
                                        >>
                                        >>
                                        >>> From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                        >
                                        >>> Getting back to ethics as I use the word, I believe we have in the past
                                        > and
                                        >>> will continue in the future find resonance with others by way of our
                                        > verbal
                                        >>> understandings in spite of the difficulties that are implied.
                                        >>
                                        >> I understand your use of the word. I just keep coming back to this; if I
                                        >> have an agreement with someone, it can be an ethical agreement or an
                                        >> unethical agreement (according to my view). If I choose to take an action,
                                        >> it can be ethical or unethical. This is why I can't help but see the word
                                        > as
                                        >> meaning something which resides on/in another level.
                                        >
                                        > And I understand your use of the word. So we have a mutual understanding
                                        > that encompasses both our meanings.

                                        we agree to see eachothers views as accept them, yes!? Yet , I doubt I would
                                        use the word in the same way that you use it. Which isn't important really -
                                        not nearly as important as enjoying this dance (if you catch my drift)

                                        >
                                        >>> I think some
                                        >>> verbalizations that help us resonate are very much in tune with the
                                        > deeper
                                        >>> thing you call ethics. So the lesson implied by "the way that can be
                                        > told",
                                        >>> is not to abandon the effort, but to realize it will never capture the
                                        >>> reality, only point to it in some cases.
                                        >>>
                                        >>> I guess I am hopeful that the dragon can become more Taoist.
                                        >>>
                                        >>> Dave
                                        >>
                                        >> now I come back to this resonance thing 'cause I still seem to use the
                                        > word
                                        >> differenty. Once upon a time, I described it like this:
                                        >>
                                        >> if you take a metal plate and spread a bunch of metal shvins on it and
                                        > then
                                        >> strike a tuning fork and touch the metal plate with it, the shavings will
                                        >> jump and bounce and evtually form a pattern. In this use of the word then,
                                        >> resonance is that which causes atoms to exist and subatomic particles to
                                        >> behave within certain statistical boundaries. In that sense, we do not
                                        >> resonate in tune with tao, rather we exemplify the phenomenon.
                                        >
                                        > Great!
                                        >
                                        >> This was a product of my own view as a musician. I was never much of a
                                        >> scholar, so after I discovered the apt I learned many things. One of the
                                        >> things I learned is the fact that resonance, as I see it, is analogous to
                                        >> the chinese "li", which is quite different than most westeners
                                        >> interpretation of the resonance. I suppose I should stop using the word.
                                        >> It's just that it works so well under certain circumstances.

                                        is this enough about li then? Otherwise we'll have to ask L or Jbuzzin to
                                        comment 'cause they know more about that sort of thing than I do.

                                        >
                                        > Don't stop on my account. I think in fact that certain patterns of behavior
                                        > can form around our nature and what is stimulating us just like the pie
                                        > plate of filings and the tuning fork.
                                        >
                                        > You know, I think my ethics is a bit like the general knowledge of what
                                        > works in music. We can jam because we have chords we can call out and
                                        > recognized rhythms.

                                        I caught on to this in the previous post - pertaining to "fabric" - yes?

                                        > But there are certain ways or chords or beats we really
                                        > like for some primal reason which seems to me more like your ethics.

                                        yes

                                        > It
                                        > takes both for sure, the passion and the coordination to make it work.

                                        following feet :-)

                                        a most pleasant tango Dave - many thanks


                                        joel
                                      • joel
                                        ... that inner sense of right you speak of is an aspect of li. ... ok - I get it! This sarted me wondering though, how can a law stand on it s own? Isn t like
                                        Message 19 of 28 , May 5, 2001
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                                          > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                          > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 17:53:03 -0400
                                          > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
                                          > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
                                          >
                                          > From: joel <joscann@...>
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >>> From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                          >>
                                          >>> Each reflects
                                          >>> the other as Yin and Yang, and what I am doing in debating ethics is
                                          > trying
                                          >>> to affect the outer based upon what is within. I am not so arrogant as
                                          > to
                                          >>> expect much, but I feel compelled to continue. Maybe it is just that my
                                          >>> personal ethics within are manifesting themselves as this desire to join
                                          >>> others on the outside in mutual understandings.
                                          >>
                                          >> or that your te has brought you here and there's nothing left to do but
                                          >> follow your feet :-)
                                          >
                                          > I like that very much Joel.
                                          >
                                          >>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>> But the ethics remain a personal thing, not communal.
                                          >>>> Only the acts of will are communal.
                                          >>>
                                          >>> I accept your definition of ethics within, and I continue to think of my
                                          >>> ethics as the agreements between people externally.
                                          >>
                                          >> except that those agreemnts can be defined as ethical agreements or
                                          >> unethical agreements. If I knew enough about grammar I'd be able to define
                                          >> further - in the sense that one is an adjective (I think) and the other a
                                          >> noun.
                                          >
                                          > That is not it. I see ethics as the study, the body of understandings
                                          > formed, philosophy. I may be driven to form them or adhere to them out if
                                          > out of an inner sense of right,

                                          that inner sense of right you speak of is an aspect of li.

                                          > but that is not really relevant to ethics as
                                          > I define them. they can stand on their own, like the law can stand without
                                          > lawyers or courts. My ethics are nouns

                                          ok - I get it! This sarted me wondering though, how can a law stand on it's
                                          own? Isn't like the baby that is supported by the entire universe (I think
                                          that one is somewhere in the CT - or is it the LZ - aarrggghhh)

                                          >
                                          > In terms of grammar, the noun and its modifier can be turned either way I
                                          > think. We can have an ethical agreement, or we can have an agreeable ethic.
                                          > In any event, we will not confuse the word with the thing.

                                          I'm getting an inkling of your view. Yet imo an ethic should not be labeled
                                          agreeable or otherwise. But I think I catch your drift in saying that an
                                          agreement can be seen as the embodiment of a gleaned ethic (li) - is that
                                          it?

                                          >
                                          >>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>> This word play of mine get's
                                          >>>> a bit tricky now 'cause the spark is also shared (communal) but
                                          >>>> it is not an act of will - it is a resonance of tao. There are
                                          >>>> adepts that learn to impose their will on the spark, but it is
                                          >>>> not a lifstyle I aspire too (the price is too high for me).
                                          >>>
                                          >>> The ethics I write of, or the will I would impose, is that we must not
                                          >>> impose. The core of ethical deals in my mind is mutual consent.
                                          >>
                                          >> this is still riding the dragon - look a little deeper. The will I speak
                                          > of
                                          >> is something you use constantly.
                                          >
                                          > I'm not following you. Let me try this. I don't actually believe in will at
                                          > all. Everything we do is the result of all the causes in the universe. My
                                          > own mind (?) may be one of the more obvious causes of my actions, but it is
                                          > only a piece of the same universal causality.

                                          yes - just so - yet we have a view - an individual view! if we are
                                          universal, where does the individual view arise?

                                          > To this thought, people often
                                          > suggest that determinism induces indifference,

                                          this is only true when determinism is viewed within the realm of the
                                          sequential (that is - if I understand determinism correctly)

                                          > might as well just die, etc.
                                          > But we do not die, we do not stop wanting and seeking and hoping. It is all
                                          > an illusion, but it is all we are going to get. So I continue to think as if
                                          > it were my idea to do so, and to hope for a more peaceful world of
                                          > cooperation.

                                          this is good - I like this!

                                          >
                                          > Is this anything like you are trying to tell me?

                                          mmmm - I'm not sure anymore (sorry)

                                          >
                                          >>> I have trouble living up to these words, but I know that all is as it
                                          > should
                                          >>> be. All is Tao. This does not mean to me however, that change does not
                                          >>> happen or that we must refrain from seeking it. I do not stop living in
                                          > the
                                          >>> moment by looking into the future. When I look to the future, based upon
                                          >>> what has happened in the past, I see increasing cooperation between
                                          > people
                                          >>> based upon increasing understandings which I call ethical development.
                                          > Would
                                          >>> you buy maturing of the dragon?
                                          >>
                                          >> I can see your point here. Interesting view. I don't buy "developement of
                                          >> the dragon" though, because "developement" is a sequential view which is
                                          >> only another scale of the beast. We're looping inside his domain - nothing
                                          >> more.
                                          >
                                          > I like that one two, "looping inside his domain".
                                          >
                                          >>>> If one has power over another, then HOW does he excersise
                                          >>>> that power on a day to day basis? Are his acionts based on
                                          >>>> ethics gleaned from a clear view? Then things will be as they
                                          >>>> should be. If not, then.......
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Yes, but one's view is not developed in a vacuum, it comes at least in
                                          > part
                                          >>> from the eye of the dragon no?
                                          >>
                                          >> yes yes - even worse - they're one and the same eye
                                          >> creating itself over and over. This is why the dragon is so often depicted
                                          >> eating it's own tail
                                          >
                                          > Yes I see that. The illusion spins faster and faster.

                                          seeing the illusion as illusion is also illusion :-)

                                          >
                                          >>
                                          >>> And so if common traditions were to include
                                          >>> more cooperative ideas which I refer to as ethics, would we not expect a
                                          >>> clearer view from within?
                                          >>
                                          >> I think it has to be the other way around. First a clear view, then more
                                          >> coaperative common traditions.
                                          >
                                          > It is both I think, like Prather's book, I Touch the World, The World
                                          > Touches Me.

                                          I don't know this one - and yes, it is both

                                          >
                                          >>>>> Do you have a thought as to how it might be reduced? That is
                                          >>>> really the
                                          >>>>> motivation behind what I think of as ethics.
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>> This is because you're still seeing things as existing outside
                                          >>>> of you. "Motivation" is a scale of the dragon. gradations of
                                          >>>> power are scales on the dragon.
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Indeed, but do we not all eat when we are hungry? Is the hunger just a
                                          > scale
                                          >>> of the dragon?
                                          >>
                                          >> most indeedy do!!! You could separate the simple physical sensation from
                                          > the
                                          >> "culture" in which one lives, but this not a separation that I subscribe
                                          > to.
                                          >> That's one of the reasons why I like to call it the dragon. It runs deeper
                                          >> than simple expression. Most wil disagree with me, and they'd be right.
                                          > I'm
                                          >> not trying to argue a point as much as enjoy the interchange here and
                                          > anyone
                                          >> could easily break apart my logic. For me though, the dragon remains a
                                          > beast
                                          >> of duality - he is not only the culture in which one's communicative
                                          > efforts
                                          >> are formed, but also the very matter in which this expression finds
                                          > reality.
                                          >
                                          > Your dragon begins to sound like Tao. Or do you mean it more like false Tao.
                                          > Am I with you at all here?

                                          to call it tao is correct and also not correct. Giving it the name dragon is
                                          a way of waying through thee spark of it.

                                          >
                                          >>
                                          >>>
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>>> That motivation I suppose is in
                                          >>>>> tern what you call ethics, do I have that right?
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>> re-reading some of this, I suppose you could call it a
                                          >>>> motivation, but it wouldn't be my choice of words. Motivation
                                          >>>> implies a "reason" or "goal" and ethics for me exist outside of
                                          >>>> such things.
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Something wrong here, nothing is separate.
                                          >>
                                          >> I agree
                                          >>
                                          >>> I think ethical actions (my use
                                          >>> of the word)
                                          >>
                                          >> but you were calling agreements!?
                                          >>
                                          >>> bring about satisfaction of the basic ethic (your use of the
                                          >>> word) which seems to me to be something akin to love.
                                          >>
                                          >> dragon talk - I never said love.
                                          >
                                          > Right, I brought that up. I know love, and thought it might be somewhat like
                                          > your ethics which I don't know.
                                          >
                                          >>> There is a goal I
                                          >>> think, not a contrived one, not intellectual, but a natural link,
                                          > empathy.
                                          >>
                                          >> we are all linked - yes. And we all share this place we create. And this
                                          >> place we create follows/has/demonstrates "li".
                                          >
                                          > Please tell me about "li".

                                          Do you mean like - more than was in the post that followed this one?

                                          >
                                          >>>> I'm a man and I have things I want and places I'd
                                          >>>> like to see and these "desires" motivate certain actions on my
                                          >>>> part. These actions are measured against my ethics and take form
                                          >>>> according to the dragon I'm riding. According to the dragon, one
                                          >>>> day, if I wish to be a propper example to my children, I must
                                          >>>> behave "such" and on another day "so". The underlying ethic is
                                          >>>> to be the best example for my children I can be (according to
                                          >>>> the li I have gleaned from the mirror) but the "form" this
                                          >>>> action takes is dependent on the moment.
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Why be the best example you can be if not to benefit those children?
                                          >>
                                          >> isn't that what I said?
                                          >
                                          > If it is to benefit the children then it is a motive, i.e. there is a goal.
                                          > I thought you had distanced your idea of ethics from goals.

                                          uuh - I don't remember doing that exactly - although I agree that a goal is
                                          not an ethic (although ethical action/agreements may be a goal).

                                          >
                                          >>
                                          >>> How
                                          >>> could the desire exist without the goal?
                                          >>
                                          >> uh - I can't separate them. The means are the end (or something like
                                          > that -
                                          >> I'm losing it :-|)
                                          >
                                          > Me too.
                                          >
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Maybe I am using the words love and compassion as you use the word
                                          > ethics.
                                          >>
                                          >> no way!
                                          >>
                                          >>> And maybe what I am getting at is that people can work out deals that
                                          > govern
                                          >>
                                          >> "govern"???
                                          >
                                          > Personal governance of course, self restraint.

                                          oops - ok, I got ya.

                                          >
                                          >>> behavior with each other that further our inner feelings of love and
                                          >>> compassion. Ethics then to me are not the actions, but the arrangements,
                                          > the
                                          >>> understandings, verbalizations about the interactions with others that
                                          >>> enhance our feelings of love among other things. If you don't like
                                          > calling
                                          >>> such deals ethics, is there another word?
                                          >>
                                          >> sure - agreements (inferred, inherent, or otherwise)
                                          >
                                          > We can negotiate the agreements, regardless of the inner feelings that
                                          > motivate. We can agree and write them down and rely upon each other even if
                                          > you do not care about me, even if you feel I am unethical, even if I am a
                                          > stranger. These ethics as I call them, as mutual voluntary rules, enhance
                                          > cooperation, safety, all aspects of life. They are then totally practical,
                                          > yet can bring about an ideal.

                                          ah - then these ethics as you speak of them, are a sort "fabric of society"?

                                          >
                                          >>>
                                          >>>>
                                          >>>> lastly - I can see a lot of weakspots in the logic (didactics)
                                          >>>> of everything I've written here. I hope you can look past them.
                                          >>>
                                          >>> I sure hope this ain't about perfection. I once wondered, if I finally
                                          >>> understood all there was to understand, would I have anything to say?
                                          > Well I
                                          >>> can't know that answer, but I suspect it is like the line about lawyers,
                                          > you
                                          >>> know they are lying because their lips are moving. So we might know we
                                          > are
                                          >>> still seeking because we have so much to say.
                                          >>>
                                          >>> Dave
                                          >>
                                          >> I don't think I have so much to say. Actually, I'm quite sure that the
                                          > more
                                          >> I say, the less I communicate! But I'm not an island. And I keep following
                                          >> my feet. And for some reason, every now and again, I have to ribbit....
                                          >>
                                          >> ribbit....
                                          >>
                                          >> ribbit....
                                          >
                                          > Wish I had thought of that.
                                          >
                                          > Dave
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
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                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
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                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Dave Winslow
                                          From: joel ... without ... it s ... Yes of course, nothing can stand alone. ... I ... ethic. ... labeled ... Yes. ... at ... My ... is ...
                                          Message 20 of 28 , May 5, 2001
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                                            From: joel <joscann@...>


                                            > > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>

                                            > > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
                                            > >
                                            > > but that is not really relevant to ethics as
                                            > > I define them. they can stand on their own, like the law can stand
                                            without
                                            > > lawyers or courts. My ethics are nouns
                                            >
                                            > ok - I get it! This sarted me wondering though, how can a law stand on
                                            it's
                                            > own? Isn't like the baby that is supported by the entire universe (I think
                                            > that one is somewhere in the CT - or is it the LZ - aarrggghhh)

                                            Yes of course, nothing can stand alone.

                                            >
                                            > >
                                            > > In terms of grammar, the noun and its modifier can be turned either way
                                            I
                                            > > think. We can have an ethical agreement, or we can have an agreeable
                                            ethic.
                                            > > In any event, we will not confuse the word with the thing.
                                            >
                                            > I'm getting an inkling of your view. Yet imo an ethic should not be
                                            labeled
                                            > agreeable or otherwise. But I think I catch your drift in saying that an
                                            > agreement can be seen as the embodiment of a gleaned ethic (li) - is that
                                            > it?

                                            Yes.

                                            > > I'm not following you. Let me try this. I don't actually believe in will
                                            at
                                            > > all. Everything we do is the result of all the causes in the universe.
                                            My
                                            > > own mind (?) may be one of the more obvious causes of my actions, but it
                                            is
                                            > > only a piece of the same universal causality.
                                            >
                                            > yes - just so - yet we have a view - an individual view! if we are
                                            > universal, where does the individual view arise?

                                            We are both, like grains of sand. Each grain is effected in very similar
                                            ways to each other, yet there is always some variation.

                                            >
                                            > > To this thought, people often
                                            > > suggest that determinism induces indifference,
                                            >
                                            > this is only true when determinism is viewed within the realm of the
                                            > sequential (that is - if I understand determinism correctly)
                                            >
                                            > > might as well just die, etc.
                                            > > But we do not die, we do not stop wanting and seeking and hoping. It is
                                            all
                                            > > an illusion, but it is all we are going to get. So I continue to think
                                            as if
                                            > > it were my idea to do so, and to hope for a more peaceful world of
                                            > > cooperation.
                                            >
                                            > this is good - I like this!
                                            >
                                            > >
                                            > > Is this anything like you are trying to tell me?
                                            >
                                            > mmmm - I'm not sure anymore (sorry)

                                            Me neither. I guess we have exhausted the point, on to the next.

                                            > >> yes yes - even worse - they're one and the same eye
                                            > >> creating itself over and over. This is why the dragon is so often
                                            depicted
                                            > >> eating it's own tail
                                            > >
                                            > > Yes I see that. The illusion spins faster and faster.
                                            >
                                            > seeing the illusion as illusion is also illusion :-)

                                            BIG SNIP

                                            > >
                                            > > We can negotiate the agreements, regardless of the inner feelings that
                                            > > motivate. We can agree and write them down and rely upon each other even
                                            if
                                            > > you do not care about me, even if you feel I am unethical, even if I am
                                            a
                                            > > stranger. These ethics as I call them, as mutual voluntary rules,
                                            enhance
                                            > > cooperation, safety, all aspects of life. They are then totally
                                            practical,
                                            > > yet can bring about an ideal.
                                            >
                                            > ah - then these ethics as you speak of them, are a sort "fabric of
                                            society"?

                                            Maybe, but I see no single piece of cloth. Ethics as I use the word is the
                                            social cooperation as economics is to the business deal.

                                            Its been great Joel, I'm sure I am wiser now, will not know how for a while
                                            yet.

                                            Thanks,

                                            Dave
                                          • joel
                                            ... I hear ya! :-)
                                            Message 21 of 28 , May 6, 2001
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                                              > From: "Dave Winslow" <David@...>
                                              > Reply-To: TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com
                                              > Date: Sat, 5 May 2001 08:12:45 -0400
                                              > To: <TaoTalk@yahoogroups.com>
                                              > Subject: Re: [TaoTalk] Re: Ethics of Democracy
                                              >
                                              > Maybe, but I see no single piece of cloth. Ethics as I use the word is the
                                              > social cooperation as economics is to the business deal.
                                              >
                                              > Its been great Joel, I'm sure I am wiser now, will not know how for a while
                                              > yet.

                                              I hear ya! :-)

                                              >
                                              > Thanks,
                                              >
                                              > Dave
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