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

idealism and Taoism

I never studied philosophy but in finding out where my ideas fit and also in trying to shave away ideas I thought were mine but turned out to be constructs of the time I have often been drawn to read about conventional philosophies as I sometimes am drawn to science or other sources of explanation. When someone seems to have the answers of course there is a draw to check it out - constantly for me though it is quite the realization that we can't know that brings peace. Here I've been looking at idealism.

As Taoism begins with Tao, which then gives rise to all, it is idealist in nature. Idealism is that a mind is primary and that all we have rises out of that. Idealism comes in various flavours but they all stand in opposition to materialist views. Materialism says roughly that some unknown "nothing much" can randomly come to be some stuff, that the stuff can mix and gain complexity, that in time the complexity can give rise to life and consciousness. The mind or consciousness for materialists is a product. Idealist philosophies say that consciousness (or other name) is primary and from this we get the stuff, the space and the duration.

Taoism is idealist as it says: One (Tao) becomes two (Yin/Yang), which make 3 (perhaps the arrangements of 3 Gua lines) and then the ten thousand things. For idealists 3 is a concept only and they really don't allow for much at all to have any reality alone. We can have the ever important Me (1) what I think or see (2) and we can only conceptualize from then onwards over such ideas as (3) or anything else for that matter. Idealists will all draw a line in the sand quite close to their own nose and it seems the closer they draw the line the better they are at being an idealist. Many will not even allow for 2 and the most pure idealist views do not even split the one into two at all.

Several of the Eastern Philosophies are idealistic in this way but the idealist formulation itself is European with roots back to Ancient Greece and the wonderful Heraclitus (who's name alone would remove his ideas from Christian discussion groups). Heraclitus was culturally and time separate from Taoism and European idealism but said that there was one all pervading substance all was change and that things were defined by their opposites so he was Tao-ish indeed. Science, Christianity and many religions and cosmologies will give answers to life, either fully complete or close which say - life is like this because, it came from this because and it is going like that because. Taoism and idealism know life is unknowable and find wonder in that very mystery.

Wonder in the mystery is the seat of the sage. Shit can and does happen, hot and cold happen, illness and health, there is no permanent bliss state but for to bathe in the ever present mystery. Idealists if firm in their standing never need be caught up in too much worldly debate or seeking for big answers. The quest for such answers seems very human and we are almost unanimous in our wish for explanations on where we came from and so where we are going but unlike most stances, and perhaps why Tao stands the test of time and change is that the model has no foundations which could then be rocked. It is not standing on concepts with the unease of them altering, like science and god based religions, it is more of a one who refracts to display many than some parts that then build to a one.

Science and philosophy have "hard questions" such as "why are we even conscious, what is the benefit and reason for a determined and automated universe to produce consciousness?". Religions are often concerned with saying exactly what we should and should not do in the light of our free will. Idealism does not need to get into these debates, even though it commonly does, because in a oneness (mind or Tao or consciousness) there is no room for a split of doer and done and no need to explain how consciousness came to be.

We don't need to theorize over the notes A to G to discover a taut string, the string gives us infinite notes, just silence the thinking mind and listen.

Tao Wow | Daily Cup of Tao

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