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Taoist Sengstan

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  • hey_market
    At first glance, your last response shows a Tibetan mode of thinking, which is quite similar to Gnostic thinking. Most notably , both traditions are supremely
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 8, 2002
      At first glance, your last response shows a Tibetan mode of
      thinking, which is quite similar to Gnostic thinking. Most notably ,
      both traditions are supremely aware of the dual, yin-yang nature
      of the world in Taoist fashion.

      However, unlike the Taoist, both Gnostics and Tibetan Buddhists
      (as most exemplified in The Bardo) see the need to transcend
      this duality, whereas the Taoist is practical and engages in a
      balancing act with worldly reality and typically seeks a Confucian
      middle path of wisdom.

      Ans do, when it comes to your stick metaphor, the Gnostic and
      Buddhist prefer to jump above and beyond the stick, while the
      Taoist stands in the middle of it.

      And then there are the Stoics, which your response most closely
      approximates, though not perfectly. And stoics would say treat
      the stick all as one, just as you suggest. However, you seem a
      bit more serene about it than they would be. That is, they would
      recognize that we get whacked with this stick of oneness often
      enough to know it hurts, but since it won't go away, get on with it.

      Sort of a Singapore of the mind, if you will.

      In any case, it's worth noting that both the mode and, one might
      say, the spiritual place of transcendence differs between the two
      traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Gnosticsm. Namely, while
      both ultimately reject this world, one does so more by
      abnegation, while the other does so through realization (or
      gnosis). This is a subtle distinction, but gnosis does not reject
      the world as illusory in an ultimate sense--no, it's all too real, in
      fact. However, it is 'virtually unreal' one might say, when
      compared to the fullness or Pleroma of reality.

      One can see this in the tree of life in Kabballah, which includes
      this worldly reality, but note the it is only the smallest and lowest
      REALm. For Buddhists, it is such a small realm so as to be
      considered as nothing. And yet, ironically, nothingness is their
      ultimate goal.

      More ironically still, this nothingness isn't REALLY nothingness,
      that is, Buddhists do not hope their being to be, well,
      non-being.Their goal certainly is not to be vanquished, but rather,
      they believe the transcendent is so removed from this world as
      to be nothingness (when viewed from an earthly position).

      So what they're really saying is that it's relative nothingness. And
      so, the transcendent world is entirely incomparable, and thus
      relatively nothing when compared to our current world, and not
      surprisingly, there are no satisfactory earthly words to describe it.
      And visa versa. That's how separate the realities are.

      And so we see that the Gnostic and Buddhist are essentially
      saying the same things, but their worldly attitudes toward the
      next world differ a bit.

      In any case, both believe that you can experience the other world
      while in this world. In fact, if we didnt' have a bit of the other world
      in us already, we never could attain to the next world.

      However, again, neither Buddhist, nor Gnostic, nor Stoic are
      serene in oneness with this world, even though there is a kind of
      oneness in this place of division. It's just that it's such a small
      oneness when compared to the real transcendent oneness.
      That's what we're after--and it's the only oneness that will make a
      Gnostic or Buddhist happy--the reality that really is.

      But I'll assume this is the reality of oneness you were speaking
      about, and thus my understanding was illusory.
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