Category Archives: Taoism

Whitehead, Levinas, Schuon

Reading Whitehead’s Modes of Thought I’m reminded of Levinas’s dichotomy of totality versus infinity, and Schuon’s similar indefinite versus infinite. The former term (totality/indefinitude) is some particular conception of all possibilities, against which all particulars are defined; the latter term … Continue reading

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Anaximander’s maxim: Whence things have their origin, Thence also their destruction happens, According to necessity; For they give to each other justice and recompense For their injustice In conformity with the ordinance of Time. * The Greek word for “whence … Continue reading

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Morality and experiment

What is the pragmatic “cash value” of a person’s moral vision? I propose this: Where is that person motivated or resistant to experiment, at what cost and at what risk? * Where: What possibilities of reality does the experimenter wish … Continue reading

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Analytic dialectic and synthetic dialectic

Two forms of dialectic can be distinguished. They have different characters and different trajectories. Synthetic dialectic moves toward monism. Synthetic dialectic is reductionistic. Its method  is to uncover and cancel contradictions in antitheses which preserve irrelevant, complicating and inhibiting distinctions. … Continue reading

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Chuang Tzu on music, fear, weariness and stupidity

Ch’eng of North Gate said to the Yellow Emperor, “When Your Majesty performed the Hsien-ch’ih music in the wilds around Lake Tung-t’ing, I listened, and at first I was afraid. I listened some more and felt weary, and then I … Continue reading

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Diagram du jour

This is pretty much a paraphrasing of what I’m always saying, one way or another, but I think it’s a relatively clear one. What I’m trying to do is to classify the different modes of understanding available to us to … Continue reading

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Sanity and vision

The world is overrun with visionaries and sane people. What is lacking is: vision which respects sanity, and sanity which recognizes vision. * Too often, sanity poses as vision, exotically paraphrasing the same old content in the language and gestures … Continue reading

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Earth and heaven

This is yet another attempt at a comprehensible, practical and understandable account of the trigram (of the I Ching). * Earth Observations are unified in comprehension (com- “together” -prehendere “grasp”). Comprehension is objective. Yin earth is that which is observed … Continue reading

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Blind to darkness

A question can be seen as a kind of intellectual darkness waiting to be illuminated by an answer. Philosophy is not about illuminating darkness. It is about turning one’s head and making visible new regions where darkness and light can … Continue reading

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Greek Triad

Episteme is grasped theoretically. Sophia is understood dialectically. Phronesis is developed practically. Knowledge is the unified, differentiated manifold of episteme, sophia and phronesis. * This is another restatement of the Triad. Earth supports. Heaven encloses. Man stands between. The Tao … Continue reading

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Christian cred

Think about these statements: “Bear with me.” “Please hear me out.” “It will all make sense in the end.” Why are these requests necessary? When are they made? To what feeling in the listener is the speaker responding? What kind … Continue reading

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Reading hexagrams

I am still working on being able to read a trigram or hexagram like a sentence. A sentence, of course, is not an aggregate of words, but a sequential whole developed through the inter-illumination of the parts. The I Ching … Continue reading

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Greek to Chinese

Dionysus —o— Changing yang Order to primordial flux Intoxication Apollo — x — Changing yin Primordial flux to order Dream * Pure yin: Borderline personality. Pure yang: Autistic personality. * Epicureanism: Protection of fledgling order. The edge of changing yin. … Continue reading

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