Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Diving Platform

One of the aspects of blogging is that new people always are dropping by. For some, it's a quick peek and then "I'm out of here!" Others may tarry awhile, but it's still a one-time visit. A small percentage of first-time visitors become regular readers and this blog post is aimed at those of you who fall into this category (long-time readers have already heard this).

If you are are new to philosophical Taoism, I have a word of caution for you. While it is certainly not a bad thing at all to become familiar with the writings of the three "founders" of Taoism -- Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, and Lieh Tzu -- please do not look at these texts in the same way as a religious adherent looks at the Torah, the Christian Bible or the Koran.

There's nothing sacred about any of them! They weren't written by divine beings or part human-part god manifestations. You could go your whole life and never read one word in any of these three books. What these works represent is something akin to a diving platform.

An Olympic diver needs a platform to jump off of -- something that is solid and not slippery. But a diver won't accomplish much of anything if he or she simply stands on the platform! The point is to dive into the water.

In this same vein, the works of these three visionaries provide great insight and a foundation into Taoist philosophy. They tease out ideas and concepts that often seem foreign and contradictory. Their purpose is to provide you with a place to gain your footing. But none of them want you to stand there flat-footed -- they want you to dive into life and to swim in your own direction at your own pace!


  1. I like your diving board metaphor :D

    As for Chuang Tzu in the post below, love him!

    The two ways to have wisdom passed on by word of mouth are; to have them filtered down to acute truths like Lau Tzu or have them made into memorable funny tales like Chuang Tzu. Both winning formulas.

  2. I like my diving platform metaphor too, but, I got to thinking after I wrote it that somebody might confuse platform diving with springboard diving and then the metaphor might not work as well. :D

  3. Hmmmm. I think I'll visit again!


Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.