Expressing my Taoist, monist view

A while ago, back when the forum was the main attraction on my website, I tried to “do a little song and dance” articulating my monist belief about the nature of the universe. Since there hasn’t been a post in a few days, I figure I can pull it out, try to clean it up, and recycle it again, so that I have it on file on my new website design.

Basically, I think everything is one.Not in some vague spiritual sense. In a real physical, actual sense. You, me, that rock, the milky way galaxy, whatever. Okay, fine. So why do things look and feel different to us?

Because we want them to be. We (by which I mean “I”, and by which I mean “everything else, up to and including you”) got bored and lonely.

Try to imagine being the only thing that is. Call yourself Tao, God, the universe, whatever you want. Actually, to make it more accessible, imagine being alone in a small white room by yourself for a long time. You’ll likely get bored or lonely or just feel like doing something, after a while.

Maybe you get a bright idea to pass some time: You make each hand of yours into a little mouth, and start holding a little conversation between them. (e.g. “Heya lefty.” “Don’t talk to me right now, righty, you old drunk.”)
Hey- this is kind of fun. Certainly better than the empty room. Then, you try to make it interesting- you act like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand thinks, and see where it goes. Like when you write a short story, and the characters kind of gain a personality, take things in their own directions.

So let’s bring the analogy back. The Tao (or whatever you call it) has countless trillions of “hands”, some playing as rocks, some as stars, some as you, some as me. Well, to be precise, Tao is countless trillions of hands playing particles, or playing natural laws, or playing the fabric of space-time– I’m not sure where you can draw that line, or if it exists in such a simple form.
Note- I used to use the analogy of sock-puppets, but that’s a bad analogy. That would be Tao putting something on and hiding inside it, animating the universe without BEING the universe. That’s not the case. Each particle IS Tao and nothing else.

Heck, we even see evidence for this in modern science. I can calculate the gravitational pull my body is having on yours, or Jupiter’s, or another galaxy’s. It’s a small force, but a real one. Everything is connected. Everything is one.

I don’t know everything about how this all works– because if I did, it would ruin the fun. We’d be back in that empty room, bored again.

Maybe someday we’ll, rocks and me and you, realize that the game we’re playing, “pretending to be many things”, has gotten old, go back to remembering that we’re Tao, and try something else.

But I think this world that I’ve / we’ve made is interesting enough that I don’t expect it to happen to a good long time…. Maybe beyond this incarnation of the universe as we know it.


Like I said, a little song and dance. Despite how much time I spend writing, or trying to write coherently, I have a great difficulty expressing myself about this topic. Maybe Lao-Tse (or the team of scribes writing under his name) were on to something with “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.” If I could tell it, I’d be cheating at the game that I’m / we’re playing with myself / ourselves.

Plus, like most beliefs based on faith- I’m kind of sensitive about them. I hold them very dear, and very personal– It’s hard to bring them out in the light and share. I don’t want to seem like someone trying to force my beliefs on others. The whole point of the universe is that we are all seeing from different points of view.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Smile!

13 Responses to “Expressing my Taoist, monist view”

So when I have sex, it’s just masturbation.
And you’re having sex with Jenny.
I’m gonna kill you you son of a bitch!

Owen - August 17th, 2004 at 9:02 am

Pretty much… Unfortunately, I’m also Jenny. No offense, Owen, but I don’t like to dwell on that. 😉

–laughs– I can always count on you to take the most twisted interpretation possible.

Paradoxdruid - August 19th, 2004 at 12:14 pm

So was last night good for me?

Owen - August 20th, 2004 at 9:52 am

Wow. So, how does Jenny feel about being Andrew? Or having her sex life compared to the vastness of everything?

ShortSpeedFreak - August 20th, 2004 at 11:27 pm

%-) Only my friends could turn a philosophical rant into a long sex joke.

Paradoxdruid - August 21st, 2004 at 12:54 pm

Vast… sex life… too easy.

Owen - August 21st, 2004 at 3:08 pm

Thats not tangilble to us anymore your half way across the country. Now your new group of friends may find your belief comforting for the tangible benefits you just metioned

gilvoro - August 22nd, 2004 at 11:07 am

Well PD you do have a interesting view of this thing we live in, but it doesn’t provided any tangable (sp?) benefits to us. However sex does so….. 😉

Gilvoro - August 21st, 2004 at 11:19 pm

Tangible benefits? How about keeping me from totally snapping and killing everyone, all the damn time? 😉

Paradoxdruid - August 22nd, 2004 at 12:28 am

But the rest of us are even more free to taunt you! YAY!

Owen - August 22nd, 2004 at 3:34 pm

Taoism/monism’s nice…. and true enough I guess… depending on how you mean “true”…. but….

It’s just like your opinion man. (Dude Quote)

My point being that before you go all talkin’ ’bout this Universe stuff the whole nature of knowledge, subjectivity, objectivity, epistomology etc. kind needs to be agreed upon… or at least agreed upon to the point that I’m sure I understand what’s being talked about.
A priori, I _almost_ completely agree with you if you mean what I hear, when you say something like “universe”.
Have y’all seen I Heart Huckabees?

Josh - June 21st, 2005 at 7:23 pm

Wow, Josh, you must be really bored.. er.. interested in the page.. to be responding to such an old, archived thread…

Teisha - June 21st, 2005 at 7:39 pm

Watch Andrew selectively read Josh’s post…

Yay! You almost completely agree with me!

But I agree, terminology is 90% of the battle in any discussion. And thread necromancy is just fine.

Paradoxdruid - June 21st, 2005 at 7:41 pm

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