Saturday, October 24, 2009

Real Life Tao

For the better part of the last four months, I've explored with you the themes and concepts of philosophical Taoism through the writings of Lao Tzu in the form of the Tao Te Ching and then the Hua Hu Ching. While I certainly hope you've gotten as much out of it as I have, there is only so much sterile philosophizing a person can do in any given stretch. After awhile, it begs the question: How can I apply these themes to my life?

That will be the focus of my next series: Real Life Tao.

So, how do I plan to tackle this assignment? I've mulled over several strategies in the last few days and I've decided that, rather than try to come up with a template beforehand, I'm going to go with the flow, so to speak. In essence, I'm going to allow this series to unfold as it will and follow it wherever it leads.

That said, some of the ways I hope to apply Taoist themes to everyday life will include observations from my own personal experiences and the experiences of other people I've known as well as utilizing hypothetical situations. Sometimes I will offer very clear examples of how I believe the utilization of a Taoist perspective has proven or could prove very beneficial. At other times, however, I may present situations in which I'm not altogether sure how best to proceed and will be looking to you, the reader, to offer your take.

As with all my writings on this blog, I sincerely hope it continues to be interactive. You can, of course, continue to offer your insights and thoughts in the form of comments on each post. If any of you are interested in writing a guest post, those will be welcome too. In fact, since this series will be more avant-garde than most, the subject matter and presentation style will be open. If you want to take a crack at this or you'd simply like to suggest a specific issue you would like to see presented, drop me an email.

Knowing my overall tendencies, you should expect to see a minimum of one post per day throughout this series. While this will not be a hard and fast rule, I'll probably stick to it most of the time. I don't know at this point if this will be a long or short series because I have yet to identity the various themes I may cover. As of right now, my list only has four themes on it, but I haven't really thought about it that much. This will certainly change once I'm underway!

To view an index for all the posts in this series, go here.


  1. I'd really like to see you do some commentaries on Chuang Tzu: Hua Hu Ching is too weird and obscure and too chronologically late, really. (Although a friend of mine suggests that all the sexual stuff is really metaphorical.)

    Do you have a problem with Cleary?

  2. I've never read anything by Cleary before.

    I will tackle the Chuang Tzu at some point, probably next year. I don't want to do it in a half ass way, so I'm going to study it for awhile.

  3. Sorry, your earlier comment:

    "Gee, looks like we're going have to hope Cleary got it right."

    Led me to think you didn't like his work. He's quite well respected.

  4. OK, I can easily see why that statement was confusing. Let me clarify. With most classic texts, we have, at bare minimum, two translations. In this case, however, we have only one. Since the act of translation is more an art form than anything else, I was simply saying that I hope he got it right because we have nothing to compare or contrast it to.


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