The Tao
The I Ching
$$$ in Iraq


RE: Taoism

Dear Sir or Madam:

I was wondering if you can recommend a good, accessible book on Taoism? I'm looking for something that explains taoist philosophy and how to apply it to your daily life.


Dear guttermth:

One of the key Tao texts is the "I Ching," also known as the "Book of Changes." It is usually thought of as a book of divination, but it is much more than that.

It consists of 64 hexagrams. Wikipedia says "Each hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines, where each line is either Yang (an unbroken, or solid line), or Yin (broken, an open line with a gap in the center). With six such lines stacked from bottom to top there are 26 or 64 possible combinations, and thus 64 hexagrams represented." Their entry under "I Ching" is worth reading.

You can get the old Princeton translation by Wilhelm, R. & Baynes, C., 1967, The I Ching or Book of Changes, with foreword by Carl Jung. 3rd. ed., Bollingen Series XIX. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press (1st ed. 1950) ...

This is the classic one we always used, but it is an English translation from a German translation from the original Chinese. There is a two page guide to throwing the coins at the back which I could never figure out.

There was another translation that came out a year or so ago which seemed much clearer, but I can't remember who did it. You can probably find it on Amazon.

The key to learning about Taoism is to get the book and use it. Whenever you are faced with a problem, throw the coins --- or if you can --- the yarrow sticks.

After you do this a few times, you will begin to understand the structure, the essence that underlies the whole. You will begin to see the essential ambivalence in the world, but also you will learn how Taoism (pron. "DOW-ism") sees the world. It is mostly a field of paradox, in which the answers are (intentionally) vague but strangely appropriate.

Taoism was seen as a system of acceptance: this is the way the world works and this is how we can live in it without conflict. As such, it implies passivity, but in the I Ching (pronounced, by the way, "eee jing") you will also see strong undercurrents of contrary power. Pacify them to death.

I visualize Tao as the sea, apparently (at times) calm, but with all sorts of stuff going on underneath.

--- The Ed

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RE: Dear i like to know more of you


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RE: Can I Trust You??

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In God We Trust!!!

--- Your Buddy.
Sgt Joey Jones Armand.
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