Welcome to The Path of Water

This site is dedicated to exploring the Tao and Philosophical Taoism; and how it relates to everyday modern life in the 21st Century. It also includes posts relating to how I feel Taoism can provide insights for dealing with the problems of everyday living.

The process of writing out my thoughts helps me to explore what I believe and why, so these posts will probably develop over time. I hope that you'll find this site interesting and, for those of you new to the Tao and Taoism, I hope that it can provide you with a first step on the path to a rich spiritual life. If you want to post comments relating to a post or the site as a whole I'd be grateful as all feedback is helpful.

Enjoy your visit - In Tao - Woody


Who would follow the Way must go beyond words.
Who would know the world must go beyond names. *

No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. **

Friday, 22 August 2008

The Soul

Continuing on my cheery theme of death (I'm really in quite a happy place right now so I don't know why this theme keeps coming up - maybe the Tao is trying to tell me something?????), a while back the question came up of whether there is a separate "Soul" which survives after death and whether science can tell us anything about it. The following is my take on this - YMMV....

What we know is that nature is part of the Tao & that by observing nature we can gain some understanding of the Tao.

Nature is unsentimental. Once things have finished their "usefulness" they die. Our science and technology can postpone this for us but only for a while. If we have a soul separate to our physical existence it seems reasonable to assume that it dies too unless it has some "usefulness" separate to physical existence.

Nature is efficient. It doesn't repeatedly create new energy from which to form matter. When we die, everything that we are is not destroyed - just recycled into new forms. Presumably the same would be true for a separate soul.

The Tao is more than Nature so it is possible to conceive that the essence of a soul falls outside of Nature, but if it does there's nothing that science will be able to tell us about it.

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