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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Registered: 07/07/04
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the Tao and the workings of the ego
    #4004307 - 04/02/05 11:30 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

According to Taoism, there is first the Nameless Tao which is ineffable (indescribable) in nature, and then there is the Tao which is the constant interplay between the Yin and the Yang. The Tao is "the whole" comprised of the primary opposites of duality?existence and non-existence. So the Tao exists, but in the emptiness of space, in the void between objects; it is timeless, infinite, and non-local.

When understood through notions of duality then it is the Tao, but when understood through notions of the unification of duality then it is the Nameless Tao. The riddle of duality, the way in which two opposites merge to form a whole greater than the sum of its parts, cannot logically or linearly be explained. The Nameless Tao can be understood by humans dualistically in terms of the Yin/Yang as the Tao, or when understood profoundly it can be understood in all its ineffability via the direct medium of experience.

When duality is examined closely it inevitably leads to this ineffability. The whole point of the Yin/Yang is to convey that duality is an illusion, that everything is interconnected and that everything is essentially one. This oneness is the Nameless Tao. Duality, when understood symbolically, points towards the unification of its dualistic self.

Dual opposites are inextricably contingent upon one another, and it is this contingency that points to their unification. Ultimately, two opposites are always united by their shared context that is greater than either opposite individually?black and white by the colour spectrum, right and wrong by relativity, existence and non-existence by the Nameless Tao. This greater context is the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

The context expands, and the Nameless Tao is better understood, with the creation of an observer. In a tense situation the mind races between right and wrong, but upon taking a step back and calmly assessing the situation it becomes apparent that the very notions of right and wrong are flawed, and a compromise is subsequently achieved. What dissuades many people from taking a step back is that it would leave them with no concrete opinion to maintain, no definite (or, at least, easily explainable) position to guard. Every compromise further dissolves one's sense of individuality, one's sense of ego.

The ego is like one half of duality, one opposite of a pair, and will forever remain incomplete in-and-of itself. Egocentric individuals will never feel fulfilled with or joyful towards life. The ego exists physically as part of a person's brain that creates tunnel realities each based on bits of information. These tunnel realities, or individual beliefs, join to form a world model which can only be accurate, representative of how the world really is, to a point. In truth, like the Nameless Tao, reality is not logical or linear, and tunnel realities, by definition logical and linear ways of thinking, are limited in the world models they can create.

When things are understood profoundly, when internalized, then they are no longer stored in the form of tunnel realities. When something is internalized it can be easily explained to a diverse audience because when the speaker speaks the words flow out from within. Internalized truths do not sound contrived, artificial, or arbitrary when explained, and they are always true (if not literally then symbolically). Delusion arises from clinging to superficial understandings which, unlike internalized understandings, aren't necessarily true. A delusional person is thus necessarily superficial and egocentric in character, though some can proficiently disguise and conceal this fact of themselves.

The transition from superficial to profound understanding, from duality to unity, from ego to freedom, is a matter of acceptance. Accepting passionate feelings from the heart, and not externally imposed conditions, as one's true desires is liberating. Even if these desires are impure they must first be accepted as real if they are to be changed. The realization following the acceptance of impure desires is that there is another level of profundity yet to be discovered and accepted, and that in essence the desire is pure. Spiritual understanding is the knowledge that ultimately all desire is pure, it is the realization of depth, it is the realization of oneness.

The ego also exists metaphysically, as an illusory projection of its ideal self inside its world model. This ego projection of self is determined by the external conditions imposed not by the real world, but by the ego's world model, the ego's representation of the real world. The ego considers itself to be totally separated from the outside world, creating a rigid duality between self and other. But as the Yin/Yang explains, duality, like the ego, is an illusion, for everything is interconnected. The boundaries separating self and other are mere delusions?they are superficial beliefs stored in the form of tunnel realities. Only what's straight ahead down the tunnel can be seen, and the greater context is entirely missed.

When rigid boundaries are created between self and other, passionate and heartfelt desires are repressed and denied. When the ego is accepted, one's true self interconnected with the Nameless Tao is denied. The alternative to tunnel realities is loose cognition, where beliefs are not held rigidly, but flexibly and open to change. But it isn't an either/or matter, because total loose cognition really signifies one extreme end of a spectrum, and the most rigid of tunnel realities the other extreme.

At this latter end of the spectrum many rigid tunnel realities are scattered throughout a complex and chaotic world model. These bits are so rigid that they're fixed in time and they must be very thick skinned?opposed to change?to shield themselves from the fact that many contradict one another or perhaps are even self-contradictory. Their time-bound nature constitutes the linear and egocentric concept of a timeline, a history. In this historical concept beliefs are frozen, immune to the constant experience of the present moment.

At the other end of the spectrum the brain operates via loose cognition in which the chaos of contradictory views is reduced to the simplest and most basic choice. Here duality is ever-present and offers the choice between acceptance or denial, only the former leading to experience of the Nameless Tao. Progressing from rigid tunnel realities to fluid loose cognition, time reduces to non-locality and boundaries dissolve into infinite. Loose cognition is an open-system state that bases all primary beliefs on the eternal Now. To reach this state one must be able to see the universe in a grain of sand, so to speak.

One's world model moves across this spectrum too, according to the average location of one's collective beliefs. Progress towards loose cognition, or fundamentality, is resisted by choosing denial and causes a backwards motion towards tunnel realities, or conventionality. Everything moves naturally in the direction of fundamentality, but during denial the flow is blocked, and the current transitory state is reinforced as an absolute and progressively etched in time.

Tunnel realities are conventional?they are arbitrary, they incorrectly represent reality, they are concrete and rigid, and they are illusory insofar as the ego projection of self is illusory. Like a physical building requires constant upkeep over the years, so do tunnel realities require constant reinforcement. Their innately fallacious natures force them to rise up from the depths of the subconscious and skimmer across the once-calm waters of the conscious mind in search of validation.

Tunnel realities are a constant nuisance because they always come to mind. True internalized knowledge doesn't need constant attention thanks to faith in its validity, obtained in turn from experiencing first-hand the depth of its validity, the transcendental experience, experience of the Nameless Tao. But as an anxious, unconfident, and egocentric individual will prepare for oral dialogue by going over it repeatedly in their mind, so must conventional knowledge in the form of tunnel realities be constantly reinforced, constantly reassured of its own fake validity.

Egocentric individuals are shallow and superficial because they cling to a limited world model, a limited context of understanding, so as not to confront the deeper, more general truth of the situation that will shatter their conventional beliefs. They keep focusing on a limited number of specific ideas that don't overtly contradict one another, and from this lack of variety arises their limited and plain egocentric characters.

Egocentric individuals perceive the world linearly for if they perceived it symbolically they would realize too great truths, perhaps even the object of all symbolism?the Nameless Tao. Wisdom, through experience of the Now, allows one to consider all aspects of life as symbolic of one's profoundly internalized truths. Constant preoccupation over trivialities is replaced with detached observation of the Now, wherein depth of symbolic thought corresponds to degree of internalization/understanding of fundamental, universal concepts (such as the Yin/Yang). An entire universe symbolized in a grain of sand.

As ideas are understood more symbolically, the conscious mind is released from perpetual thought and allowed to more calmly, generally, objectively, and wisely observe the Now; internalized understanding of the Symbolized is maintained by the subconscious. When the conscious mind seeks answers in this state, the subconscious gives them.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4004515 - 04/02/05 12:45 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

the_phoenix said:
........When duality is examined closely it inevitably leads to this ineffability. The whole point of the Yin/Yang is to convey that duality is an illusion, that everything is interconnected and that everything is essentially one. This oneness is the Nameless Tao. Duality, when understood symbolically, points towards the unification of its dualistic self........





when you stop wrestling with it, the ineffable has a chance of being detected.

Another point of yin and yang is to remind our simple tiny minds (which are often struggling with huge complexities) that the seed of the other is in the self (whichever side you take), & that ongoing creation is in continuous flux like this.

That little dot in each side of the dynamically curving synchronization is like the fractal unit of understanding, which can repeat endlessly.

I would be against trying to sum it all up in any post, but I am glad you brought the yin-yang thing in, you can surf around on that and have quite a bit of fun, then relax to allow noticing of the ineffable to continue in your silence.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4004676 - 04/02/05 01:30 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

According to Taoism...

Pardon me, but who cares? I would rather hear "according to the_phoenix"; something you have actualized or learned and lived. Do we really need more "borrowed knowledge"?


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: Swami]
    #4004782 - 04/02/05 01:54 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

The labels "Nameless Tao" and "Tao" are taken from Taoism, but everything I say here I have come to conclude on my own. :smile:


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4004870 - 04/02/05 02:16 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Well OK then...  :thumbup:


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: Swami]
    #4004982 - 04/02/05 02:49 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Everything's been said before. I try to explain it from my own perspective, in the hopes that some people can relate to it and benefit.


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Offlinesignoffate
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Registered: 02/22/05
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4005737 - 04/02/05 06:56 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

dude, if you wanted to relate this to another person in the real world, would you have sat someone down and proceded to read this essay to them???  If you were to summarize this in one paragraph, would it still be your truth or is that to mediocer?  I want to read it for your sake, but by the time I reach the end I usually forget what the begining was all about  :wink:

Thanks for taking the time though, does show you care alot


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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: signoffate]
    #4005906 - 04/02/05 07:54 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Well to be fair it helps me a great deal to write it down. I'm thankful humans can symbolically store knowledge into the physical world, it helps me not think about it and have a calm mind (and just *know* it). And to be honest I want to write a book eventually. Many books, because as sure as hail don't want a regular job...slavery, I tell you. So I'll use the writing later.

Anyways, this is exactly that?a summary. This is a summary of very many things, it's very condensed. I try not to waste the reader's time. I hope you can take something from it, or disagree with it if you find something wrong.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: the Tao and the workings of the ego [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4006588 - 04/02/05 10:46 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Very nice post, Phoenix.


When you can center and see your whole life as a story in which chapters are unfolding then the moment-to-moment ego involvement "am I getting enough at this moment?" ceases to be a dominant theme. You start to live in the TAO (the way). Jesus said: I am the Way. It's the same Way! THE WAY IS THE WAY IS THE WAY. The way is the harmony of the universe - when one comes in to the spirit, when one sees how it is; one understands that behind all the individual differences every LABEL you can think of becomes background instead of figure.
~Ram Dass; Be Here Now




--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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