BOOK DETAILS

Profound Accordance

Profound Accordance

by David Sieving

ISBN: 9780692692325

Publisher LXP, LLC

Published in Religion & Spirituality/Taoism, Religion & Spirituality/Other Eastern Religions, Nonfiction/Philosophy, Nonfiction

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Book Description

$3.49

As in walking we learn to harmonize with the law of gravity, so in living we learn to harmonize with the natural order. By this understanding of the term, one must develop a certain mastery of Taoism in order to remain alive. What departs the Way is already doomed, posits Lao, thus validating this understanding of Taoism. More generally, we live well to the degree that we practice Taoism well. As the 6th Century BCE military philosopher Sun Tzu taught the art of victorious warfare (based in part on Lao’s doctrine), so Lao teaches the art of victorious living.

Sample Chapter

“Do you… practice Taoism?” someone once asked me upon hearing of my translation and book projects.

Although Taoism as we know it began as a system of practical philosophy, Chang Tao-ling’s Celestial Master Sect gave rise to a religion by the same name circa CE 150. The present book’s concern with Taoism is restricted to its original form, a form I occasionally denote philosophical Taoism as a reminder of this restriction.

I’d been a student of philosophical Taoism for just over 20 years by the time that question hit me, yet had no idea how to answer it. As I would later realize, it had exposed me to a quandary not unlike the Epimenides Paradox of classical Athenian philosophy. Grappling for an answer, I said something to the effect that by claiming to practice Taoism I would be violating one of its fundamental precepts(e.g. Chapters 56 and 70). “Taoism is a philosophy of doing,” I might have answered better, “not a philosophy of preaching.” I sensed even then that the question itself was flawed but found myself unprepared to articulate how.

Only later did I come to realize that the question is not flawed but simply uninformed. Its correct answer is that everyone practices Taoism to one degree or another. By definition of its originators’ implied and stated goals, Taoism is the transcendent lingua franca of the cosmos, a running dialogue between the ebb and flow of the disciple’s actions and the ultimate consequences of the natural order. The proper use of this object language en­compasses our use of conventional language – including any answer I might have given to the question about “practicing Taoism”. Philosophical Taoism is nothing more and nothing less than a working model of reality (the Way) and of how best to live in accordance with that reality (Virtue). Therefore asking someone whether they practice Taoism is not unlike asking them whether they practice sound balancing technique when they walk. “Why don’t you trip and fall more often?” one might as well ask.

As in walking we learn to harmonize with the law of gravity, so in living we learn to harmonize with the natural order. By this understanding of the term, one must develop a certain mastery of Taoism in order to remain alive. What departs the Way is already doomed, posits Lao, thus validating this understanding of Taoism. More generally, we live well to the degree that we practice Taoism well. As the 6th Century BCE military philosopher Sun Tzu taught the art of successful warfare (based in part on Lao’s doctrine), so Lao teaches the art of successful living, assigning a different name to an art whose fundamentals anyone keen on survival must learn and apply in daily life.

Continues...

Excerpted from "Profound Accordance" by David Sieving. Copyright © 2016 by David Sieving. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

David Sieving

David Sieving

David Ludwig Sieving is a member of the Upsilon Pi Epsilon computer sciences honor society, a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and the author of the following books, patent and articles:

View full Profile of David Sieving

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