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Elizabeth Reninger

Hmm ... ?

By April 29, 2012

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In verse 48 of his well-known poem, our friend Laozi writes:

"The pursuit of learning is to increase knowledge day after day.
The pursuit of Tao is to decrease knowledge day after day."

Which then causes me to wonder: can we pursue both knowledge and the Tao, simultaneously?

As long as there's an egoic "me" supposing to be the "pursuer" and "attainer" of the knowledge -- probably not.

But if by "attainment of knowledge" we're referring primarily to the arising of thought-forms within the mental continuum -- then I'd say, from a Taoist perspective ... maybe: if somehow the thoughts are allowed to self-liberate (to appear as not-separate from their background).

(Even as I write this, I can feel some part of me heavily invested in the outcome :)

Anyway, I've played a bit with this question and others related to verse 48 here. What's your feeling about or experience with this? Do intellectual pursuits necessarily detract from Taoist practice?

Comments
May 3, 2012 at 5:02 am
(1) Nando says:

well, my body has two arms: if I want to hug someone, I may do this well using both the arms, but I could also try to hug someone with only one arm … for which reason I should act in this way ?
and so, I may listen from my deep silence and follow its guide in every moment, but I can also listen my mind for a moment or two …

(47) “knows without leaving his house” : maybe there is *true* knowledge only in awareness … the mundane knowledge seems to be of a different kind, and useless for the true knowledge, if not shading it …
but it seems there be a “good” mundane knowledge, which serves the purpose to help the awakening to the reality … probably it should be left behind, when it is no more useful: it is not a thing to own …

thank you for existing !
( and please excuse my poor english …)

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