Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dao I: Ultimate Reality

Scott Bradley


This is the first of a series of posts in which I am going to try and explain to myself what it is that I mean by Dao. It will, as much as possible, attempt to avoid reference to any historical interpretations of Dao, though whatever opinions I hold are necessarily largely a response to those interpretations. Before I begin, I want to emphasize that, although I may pronounce definitively on what Dao is, it is not my intention to suggest that these pronouncements are anything but a personal perspective. They are definitely not “true”.

Dao as a concept covers the full gamut of possible human experience; it represents the metaphysical unknowable, the 'ground' of all that is; it represents the psychological interface with the unknowable; and it represents every manifestation of reality, whether informed of Dao or not.

Dao is Ultimate Reality. As such, it is absolutely unknowable. This is not as in the case that we might say the Universe is unknowable because it is too vast to be known, but because the knowing mind has no tools which can begin to know it. We cannot grasp infinite number, but we can begin to count it; this is not the case with metaphysical Dao; the mind can find no purchase on it in any way.

The concept of Ultimate Reality might give the impression that there is some other reality; this is certainly not the case. There is absolutely nothing that is not Dao. Everything that is, everything done, every thought thought is Dao. Dao is everything. For the most part we can accept this without too much difficulty; we can accept that "piss and shit" is Dao. But hatred, incest, murder and general stupidity, these are also Dao. Not-one is also One. In direct proportion to the extent that this disturbs us, it can also liberate us.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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