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. **

Monday, 9 August 2010

Taoism and the Universe


The universe is the unity of all things. If one recognizes his identity with this unity, then the parts of his body mean no more to him than so much dirt, and death and life, end and beginning, disturb his tranquillity no more than the succession of day and night.



Son of Wisdom said...

Fantastic quote, well worth meditating on!

JM said...

That is not to say that our bodies should be ignored, for all the parts must be given weight to help us navigate the world around us. Their individual conditions are reflected in our ch'i.

Chuang Tzu also said:

"Why do you listen to your heart. You have so many organs in your body, what’s the difference between the heart and the liver or lung anyway. Why do you let your heart be the guide? Actually there is no difference, if you look at them they are all one, they are all part of the whole."

And he said:

"Make your will one. Don't listen with your ears, listen with
your mind. Don't listen with your mind, but with your ch'i."

JM said...

Woody, where exactly in the Chuang Tzu (and what translation) does your quote come from?

Woody said...

Hi JM,

I've known this version for years now but to be honest I can't remember where I got it from. It's a modern interpretation of the bit in chapter 21 where Confucius goes to visit Lao Tzu (or Lao Tan).

I've had a search and it appears all over the internet, but so far I haven't found a quite giving the source - which is a shame.

The closest I've got so far is that it might be referred to in "Chinese Thought, from Confucius to Mao Tse-Tung - by Herrlee Glessner Creel" which was published in 1971. Presumably there's a reference in there but I don't have a copy. I'll let you know if my search gets any closer.