Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tao and my conversations with a true Taoist - if he aggrees with me to allow me transcribe our conversation)


Shi Bo

Poète et calligraphe chinois

Ancien vice-président de l'Association nationale des calligraphes de Pékin, Shi Bo a réalisé plusieurs expositions de calligraphie. Écrivain et traducteur, il est l'auteur de nombreux ouvrages parus aussi bien en chine (Taïwan et Hong-Kong) qu'en France (éditions Quimétao, Robert Laffon, Albin Michel...). Shi Bo s'intéresse aussi aux histoires d'ovnis.

« Au cours des huit années de mon exercice au pinceau auprès de Xia, il ne cessa de me répéter l’importance de la maîtrise du souffle dont la calligraphie s’imprègne. Pourtant, l’enfant d’aussi jeune âge que j’étais, saisissais cette théorie sur le souffle d’autant plus difficilement qu’il était avare de paroles et d’explications, mais très généreux dans la démonstration pratique. À travers ses coups de pinceau tantôt vigoureux, tantôt gracieux, tantôt denses et tantôt secs, je sentais vaguement le souffle dont il parlait.

Quand j’avais quatorze ans, Xia, mon premier initiateur de calligraphie, me quitta à jamais à cause de sa tuberculose pulmonaire. Toute sa vie célibataire, Xia me considéra comme son fils, il ne me laissa que quelques mots qui s’enracinent profondément dans ma tête : "Sois toujours un homme droit et cherche inlassablement le sens profond du souffle et de l’Invisible…" » (l'auteur)

Poèmes chinois

from Wikipedia

Composition 1:
道 (dào) is
首 (shǒu) 'head' and
辶 (辵 chuò) 'go'
(Source: Wenlin)
Pinyin: Dào
Wade-Giles: Tao
Japanese: Dō, (tō), michi
Korean: 도 (To)
Vietnamese: Đạo

Tao or Dao (, Pinyin: Dào, Cantonese: Dou) is a Chinese character often translated as ‘Way’ or 'Path'. In ancient China, dao could be modified by other nouns. Three such compounds gained special currency in Classical Chinese philosophy. 天道 Tian dao (sky or natural dao--usually translated religiously as "heaven's Tao") 大道 Da Dao (Great dao--the actual course of all history--everything that has happened or will happen) and 人道 Ren dao (human dao, the normative orders constructed by human (social) practices). The natural dao corresponds roughly to the order expressed in the totality of natural (physical) laws. The relations of these three were the subject of the discourses of Lao Tsu and Confucius.

From the earliest recorded discourses Tian Dao is explained using the concepts of yin and yang. The resulting cosmology became a distinctive feature of Chinese philosophy not only in the Daoist schools but throughout Han and Confucian thought generally. The early thinkers, Lao Tsu and Confucius, expressed the view that human dao was embedded in natural dao. If human life is lived in accord with the natural order of things, then human beings can fulfill their true nature. In ancient Chinese civilisation Nature was not seen as a wilderness that was in need of subduing and controlling but was Herself the teacher from whom humanity could learn.

A common theme in Taoist literature is that fulfilment in life cannot be attained by forcing one's own destiny; instead, one must be receptive to the path laid for them by nature and circumstance, which will themselves provide what is necessary. Lao Tsu taught that the wisest approach was a way of ‘non-action’ ("Wu wei") – not inaction but rather a harmonisation of one’s personal will with the natural harmony and justice of Nature. ‘The World is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering’ (Tao Te Ching; Verse 48). Nature is stabilized by order, and humans along with all other natural phenomena exist within nature. Attempting to force one's own path is futile and self-destructive.

It should be noted that in Taoism the complemental part of "non-action" ("Wu wei") is "non-left-undone" ("Wu bu wei"). Taoism should be viewed as advocating the harmonization of "passivity" and "activity/creativity" instead of just being passive. In other words through stillnes and receptivity natural intuition guides us in knowing when to act and when not to act.

Lao Tsu, the legendary author of the Tao Te Ching, was the first to provide a comprehensive treatment of the Tao. The religion based on the concept of Tao - Tao Jiao - is known in English as Taoism. Lao Tsu taught that, "He who follows the Tao is one with the Tao," and "Being at one with the Tao is eternal, though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.’ (Verses 23 & 16)

The ultimate: harmony with the Tao

Taoists have long sought immortality, and they saw working in perfect harmony with Tao as the way to achieve this. When one works in perfect harmony with Tao, one is not using more energy than needed, nor is one doing things that cause the body or spirit to break down. Some Taoists believe they can, in theory, live forever, while others merely point out that meddling and selfish cleverness are the principal causes of a premature death. Zhuang Zi proposed an illustration of this idea: A tree with a twisted trunk will not be cut by any lumberjack and will live its whole life in peace, thanks to its uselessness. A dramatic description of the ultimate person is found in chapter 2 of Zhuang Zi:

A fully achieved person is like a spirit! The great marshes could be set on fire, but she wouldn't feel hot. The rivers in China could all freeze over, but she wouldn't feel cold. Thunder could suddenly echo through the mountains, wind could cause a tsunami in the ocean, but she wouldn't be startled. A person like that could ride through the sky on the floating clouds, straddle the sun and moon, and travel beyond the four seas. Neither death nor life can cause changes within her, and there's little reason for her to even consider benefit or harm.[

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