Dao-Xi
Introduction
Some ideas about connected with the ancient Chinese concept of the Dao.
Some ideas about connected with the ancient Chinese concept of the Dao.
Introduction
The nature of the synthesis.
What is Dao-Xi
Dao-Ξ is a philosophy which has roots in my own personal experience, in the ancient Chinese philosophy known as Dao or Tao, and in that kind of western philosophy whose origins lie in ancient Greece (at very roughly the same time). The philosophy does incorporate wholesale material from these sources, it is my own `synthesis', which comes more from immersion than adoption.
The Dao Connection
Dao

Dao (or Tao) is the word used in English for a concept central to an ancient Chinese philosophy by which goes by that same name. As well as naming the philosophy, the word means "The Way", a way of life, and also refers to some kind of all embracing metaphysical entity. One of the central tenets of this philosophy is that the Dao cannot be captured faithfully by any description, or even named. Supposing this to be the case, then the thing I achieve here could not be a description of that Dao, even if that were my intention.

I like a challenge, but describing The Dao of Lao-Tze, or any other of these venerable Chinese authors is not one I shall attempt.

In previoua acquaintance with Dao, which has now been long but remains slight, I have resonated to the way but have made no sense of the thing, have understood no place or purpose for it. However, as I returned lately my thoughts to my own big picture something began to emerge from the mists.

It is my purpose here to explore and develop these first ideas.

A line of Thought

This is my route to this inkling of Dao as entity.

First I must muddle up hopelessly my understanding of certain aspects of Dao with some more western and more modern ideas. In Dao we have the idea of Wu Wei, which is something like the idea of spontaneity. Wu wei one does not act deliberately, on the basis of rational choice, but instead ones behaviour emerges spontaneously from the centre.

One might therefore suppose that the action is an expression of something deep within, and we might connect this with the more western idea of expressionism. This is important to me, to the extent that I think of life as being substantially concerned with some kind of self expression, not necessarily obviously artistic, and in a rather general sense think of my life as an evolving expressionistic work of art.

From both these perspectives, in thinking of spontaneity and of artistic self-expression there is a kind of dialogue. We are sensitive to the context in which we find ourselves, which creates in us a kind of inner climate responding to that context which flows spontaneously into some self-expressive action. Of course, for much of what passes this language is overblown, but when we step back and view the whole, the whole of life, these myriad responses are sewn together in the whole which is a life and in which we may hope to see some larger unity.

Wu wei may be thought of as a kind of inner harmony. When lacking wu wei our mind is divided into parts, perhaps a deliberative rational part and an emotional intuitive part. The modus operandum is that the rational mind imposes its will, choses what should be done, and then takes the chosen course of action despite any contrary intuitions or emotions which might have suggested otherwise. Wu wei is council of harmony. Rational considerations are perhaps not to be entirely ignored, but have no priority, one seeks a harmony in which these two aspects come to agree, and this is manifest by spontaneous action.

In responding to our environment a similar situation arises. We may perceive that the people around us expect something of us which we may not be eager to supply. The house or the garden may be in need of attention, which we may be reluctant to give. Here we have potential for conflict, and the possibility of harmony. Meditation may dissolve the conflict, may lead us to a spontaneous and appropriate response.


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