For every act of evil, there is an act of beauty. You Can't Change the World, Only Your Attitude Towards It.

The Crux of Philosophy - This or That? Taoism

Mentioned in my previous ramble was the crux of philosophy and the two replies I received to the post illustrated this divide quite well.

I can simplistically divide philosophers into these two categories:

The Dos and the Don'ts;

Dos say that there was original sin, there is right and wrong, man makes error and there are fixes to this. (Confucius and his ideal gentleperson).

Don'ts say that "all is" and divisions are in the mind. They see that problems exist from mans' perspective but do not see they can change them. (Chuang Tzu dragging his tail in the mud).


As I took a walk this morning I considered a thought experiment where The Dos challenged the Don'ts and visa versa:

Dos attempt to fix the Don'ts: The Dos attempt to correct all that they say is wrong. They put forward ideas on correcting issues and also attempt to adjust the ways of the Don'ts. The Don'ts don't change so the Dos fail.

Dont's attempt to fix the Dos: The Don'ts explain how life 'just is' and that the only change you can make is the way you see it. That life can not be explained fully and right and wrong are not fixed. The Dos do not alter their position so prove the Don'ts right.

Again this is simplistic but I feel that it is the only outcome to this debate. As we can not control the flow of life then the Don'ts philosophy wins out. Man has attempted over and over to fix problems and the results are commonly more problems. I take wars, arguments, laws and structured ideas on "right behavior" to be examples of when man attempts to fix what he sees is wrong. The solutions then are as bad or worse than the initial issues they aimed to fix.

By contrast the Chuang Tzu by the lake, the Lau Tzu wandering off on his water buffalo, the hermits wandering the forest with nature, the person of Tao who steps away from ordered society, are right as they accept all as it is and see interaction as a catalyst to more problems and not as a cure.

Tao Wow | Daily Cup of Tao


wuyi said...

"Please be so good as to believe that there is nothing whatever mysterious about this matter. If it were easy, should we not all be Buddhas? No doubt, but the apparent difficulty is due to our conditioning. The apparent mystery, on the other hand, is just obnubilation, an inability to perceive the obvious owing to a conditioned reflex which causes us persistently to look in the wrong direction!" - Wei Wu Wei, 1964

Ta Wan said...

I love reading Wei Wu Wei - glad you like him too.

Does it relate to this post in particular?

Rizal Affif - The Soul Sanctuary said...

Another problem with "right and wrong" approach would be incompatibility; how right from a perspective is wrong from another. Thus the attempt to fix things can be counterproductive.

Imagine two incompatible point of views collide; there you have it, conflict strikes right on their face.