Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Tao Te Ching and God: THE MUSICAL!

Tao Te Ching, Ron Hogan Translations:

#4 How much Tao is there?
More than you'll ever need.
Use as much as you want,
there's plenty more where that came from.

You can't see Tao, but it's there.
Damned if I know where it came from.
It's just always been around.

#14: You can't see Tao, no matter how hard you look.
You can't hear Tao, no matter how hard you listen.
You can't hold on to Tao, no matter how hard you grab.

But it's there.

It's in you,
and it's all around you.

Remember that.

#25: Something perfect has existed forever,
even longer than the universe.
It's a vast, unchanging void.
There's nothing else like it.
It goes on forever and never stops.
Everything else came from it.

I don't know what else to call it
So I'll call it Tao.
What's it like?
I can tell you this much: it's great.

Something that great lasts.
Something that lasts goes a long way.
And something that goes a long way
always comes back to the beginning.

Tao's great.
Heaven's great.
Earth's great.
And someone who's in touch with Tao is great, too.
Those are the four greatest things in the universe
and a Master is one of them.

Someone who's in touch with Tao
is in touch with the earth.
The earth is in touch with heaven.
Heaven's in touch with Tao.
Tao's in touch with the way things are.

So why did I have all those up there? for me they describe God. it has given me the words i have been searching for awhile now to talk about how i view God. just replace the word Tao with the word God, and you get what i have spent this whole blog trying to do.

for me, the word "God" is an exploder when it comes to descriptions. ex: God is LIKE a father, only no body, outside of time and space, you can’t see him, he’s not married to your mom, he’s not really actually a he and in fact, not like a father at all. If you take a concept that we know and multiply it times infinity, it becomes meaningless; it's exploded. So if both God and the Tao are eternal and outside of space and time then neither cannot be described at all with our words as they are bound by references to time and space. Therefore God and Tao can only be experienced, yet never fully at one time. What our brains can handle, what we can experience, is but a fraction of the fullness of Tao/God.

it would be like saying "I expect something from you... but it has no due date and it can't be located in this dimension." Many would stop here and say "well, then it's worthless, serves us no earthly good, and i can't believe it." that's a fair option. prolly the more sane one. but that doesn't keep out this strange mystical state i find myself in oft times. have you ever had stuff line up so perfectly that it could go no other way? we laugh and call them co-incidences in our limited knowledge, but they aren't.

we want to search for these moments, to capture them with language or art... but we can't. not really, not fully. all theological language really conveys no information at all... none that can't be logically reasoned, only experienced. so all that stuff in the bible should NEVER be taken literally. God can't be contained in factual language. all those words should make you feel something, some experience should be triggered.

we really can't say what the reference is; we can only speak to experience. all we have is metaphor:

yup.. that's the musical part of it ;-D

so clever.

anywho, where is this in the Bible? everywhere! but the two places to point to would be: Exodus 31, Moses asks to see the face of God. God tells Moses to crawl into a cave and God will put ‘his’ hand over the opening and Moses will be able to “See my behind.” This is a literal translation of the Hebrew. A deeper translation would be, “you will see where I was.” Not even Moses could see God in the present. This is a God we get only glimpses of. These highly personal encounters are still filled with mystery and, although we may experience God’s love, justice, spirit, or forgiveness directly, we should never take it for the totality of God.

and in John 14:8: Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?"

Philip is asking for a Theophany, seeming to forget his Jewish heritage and the fact that no one can see the face of God and live... largely, because God doesn't have a face. if God does, it prolly looks a lot like your neighbor's... or your enemy's. your mom's (no, YOUR mom), and maybe, to someone else, yours, given the right moment.

just my random thoughts tonight... now it's time for this fool to go to bed. 


Anglican Boy said...

I have never heard of this book! It is beautiful. We are heading to Barnes and Noble tonight and picking up a copy of the Tao Te Ching. Any translation/versions you suggest?

sher said...

ove the thoughts and the music. I have the book.
love, YOUR mom