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Taoism & Christianity
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Taoism & Christianity






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Taoism & Christianity Taoism & Christianity Presentation Transcript

  • Daoism & Christianity: a celebration of the contradictions in the spiritual life Based on The Promise of Paradox Parker J. Palmer
  • Matthew 16: 21 - 28
    • “ If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” 24 - 27
  • Daoism
    • Founder believed to be Lao Tzu
      • If historical figure probably contemporary of Confucius
      • Fifth century before the Common Era
      • Zhou (Joe) Dynasty – time of political & social turmoil
      • Daoism emerged as counter to Confucianism
  • Yin and Yang
    • Represent any two polarized forces in the Universe  
    • the balance of opposites in the universe
    • When they are equally present, all is calm
    • When one is outweighed by the other, there is confusion and disarray
  • Dao
    • The Way, or the Path
    • Basically indefinable, experiential
    • Power which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, both living and non-living
    • Regulates natural processes
    • Nourishes balance in the Universe
    • Embodies the harmony of opposites
    • Life is an organic, interconnected whole which undergoes constant transformation
  • Wu Wei
    • Action through non-action
    • Let nature take its course, action modeled on nature
    • Consciously experience self as part of the organic, interconnected universe
    • Spontaneous, natural, and effortless
    • Right action, appropriate to its time and place, promoting the harmony and balance of the whole
  • Thomas Merton
    • Social activists (and others) succumb to pervasive form of modern violence: activism & overwork
    • Destroys our own inner capacity for peace
    • Larger cost to society as a whole when social action turns out to be violence in disguise
    • “ He who attempts to act and do things for others without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love will not have anything to give to others” Contemplation on a World of Action
  • What can we learn ?
    • Religion is a mode of life, way, path of connectedness with the creative force of life
    • Teaches wholeness, integration with all being
    • Out of that wholeness comes true power and true action ~ Mt. 16:23
  • The Woodcarver
    • “ To live a life of true connectedness is a spiritual discipline of the highest order.”
    • Mutuality between self and creation
      • God of all power, Ruler of the universe, you are worthy of glory and praise…
      • At your command all things came to be; the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth our island home. (BCP, 370)