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Author Topic: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?  (Read 5023 times)

SaltedSand

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Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« on: December 03, 2012, 09:45:43 pm »
I'm not going to elaborate on the question really, other than to point out that (obviously) if you're a Pantheist as a result of belonging to a specific religion/path that ISN'T Taoism, it makes sense that you aren't a Taoist. I'm more interested in what it is about Taoism that fellow Pantheists find irreconcilable with their beliefs.

Thoughts?

Sage

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 09:48:06 pm »
Quote from: SaltedSand;83357
I'm not going to elaborate on the question really, other than to point out that (obviously) if you're a Pantheist as a result of belonging to a specific religion/path that ISN'T Taoism, it makes sense that you aren't a Taoist. I'm more interested in what it is about Taoism that fellow Pantheists find irreconcilable with their beliefs.

Thoughts?

 
I think there needs to be more reason than "isn't irreconcilable with my beliefs" to join a religion.
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SaltedSand

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 09:53:48 pm »
Quote from: Sage;83359
I think there needs to be more reason than "isn't irreconcilable with my beliefs" to join a religion.

Of course! Would you care to explain, then, what about Taoism 'turns you off,' as it were? Or at least, what doesn't attract you or make the cut?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 09:58:56 pm by SaltedSand »

Shine

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 10:04:50 pm »
Quote from: SaltedSand;83357
I'm not going to elaborate on the question really, other than to point out that (obviously) if you're a Pantheist as a result of belonging to a specific religion/path that ISN'T Taoism, it makes sense that you aren't a Taoist. I'm more interested in what it is about Taoism that fellow Pantheists find irreconcilable with their beliefs.

Thoughts?

 
Oddly enough, when I was a Taoist, I wasn't a pantheist. Now that I'm a pantheist, I'm not a Taoist! ;) I'm some weird mixture of eclectic Kemetic pantheistic/animistic hoopajoop.

The idea of self in Taoism does not ring true to me. That's why I deconverted from Taoism after practicing it for about 4/5 years.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Gilbride

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 10:12:14 pm »
Quote from: SaltedSand;83357
I'm more interested in what it is about Taoism that fellow Pantheists find irreconcilable with their beliefs.

Traditional Taoism has a lot of beliefs and theology that are much more elaborate than pantheism. There are multiple sects, many different gods, different forms of both internal and external alchemy, medicine, magic and so on. "Philosophical Taoism" is largely a Western construct.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 05:48:11 pm by SunflowerP »

Darkhawk

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 10:13:15 pm »
Quote from: SaltedSand;83363
Of course! Would you care to explain, then, what about Taoism 'turns you off,' as it were? Or at least, what doesn't attract you or make the cut?

 
As a general rule, I find that most people don't join up with things primarily because there is no reason for them to do so, rather than because there is something about those things that repels them.

It's not even like most people around here are living in a place where Taoism is something remotely approaching a default religion that they wouldn't have to go to effort to learn about.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

SaltedSand

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 10:17:41 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;83369
As a general rule, I find that most people don't join up with things primarily because there is no reason for them to do so, rather than because there is something about those things that repels them.

It's not even like most people around here are living in a place where Taoism is something remotely approaching a default religion that they wouldn't have to go to effort to learn about.

Certainly. What I'm asking though, is for people settled into Pantheism as at least part of their spiritual identity. I would assume (perhaps very wrongly) that many of the people here looked at many different religious paths before arriving at the one they currently practice. Someone who researched/adopted Pantheism would have trouble not stumbling over Taoism, I'd think. My question is what aspect of the religion/philosophy/tradition of Taoism caused people, more specifically (although not exclusively) Pantheists not to pursue and adopt it.

Additionally, if there are other reasons besides not being repelled/dissatisfied by something, descriptions of those things are equally welcome (insofar as they aren't too private, of course).
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 10:23:35 pm by SaltedSand »

SaltedSand

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 10:20:04 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;83368
Traditional Taoism has a lot of beliefs and theology that are much more elaborate than pantheism. There are multiple sects, many different gods, different forms of both internal and external alchemy, medicine, magic and so on. "Philosophical Taoism" is largely a Western construct.

 
I agree, though I feel those practicing philosophical Taoism are still Taoists in a few important ways. That form of Taoism may be validly included in people's thoughts/answers, as far as I'm personally concerned and for the purposes of the question.

Darkhawk

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 10:22:50 pm »
Quote from: SaltedSand;83371
Someone who researched/adopted Pantheism would have trouble not stumbling over Taoism, I'd think.

 
Why would you think that?
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Shine

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 10:24:50 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;83376
Why would you think that?

 
Western Taoism seems to be veeeeery closely tied with pantheism. At least that's the impression I got on the tail end years of my stint as a Taoist.
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SaltedSand

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 10:32:30 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;83376
Why would you think that?

 
From the assumption that I stated above that many of the people on this forum are likely converts, I would guess that for a large group of them they would be doing some research and exploration. Obviously some of them found the religion/path they practice on the first try, or practice no defined religion at all and therefore didn't need much research. But others will have inevitably felt unsatisfied and went searching, looking through the world's religions and seeing what fit best. Someone with Pantheist leanings, I'm sure, would have noticed Taoism at some point, whether it be in this way or through discussions of Pantheism itself. Additionally, I've found Pagans to be a book-loving bunch, and often well-acquainted with paths they've never followed. I can't seem to browse a Pantheist magazine, blog, or book without seeing Taoism (or at least Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu) brought up. Even if it were dismissed IMMEDIATELY based on easy criteria (the person does not want to practice a pre-made religion, or they're quite happy with their current path, for example), I would assert that most people who read this are at least familiar enough with Taoism to know why they AREN'T Taoists). Therefore, they're more than qualified to answer the question posed.

MadZealot

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 10:33:19 pm »
Quote from: Shine;83366
hoopajoop.

 
Huh.  I'm not the only one who says 'hoopajoop.'  

As for Taoism, I've never actively 'rejected' it, I've just never been called to study it.  I'm not sure about the claim that pantheists must necessarily have engaged Taoism to some extent, specifically (and only) because Taoism is pantheistic as well.  (I'm not even sure that's an accurate description for the philosophy/religion, either.)  

To me it's like saying that if your spiritual path includes a dying/rising god form then you must have at some point studied or contemplated Christianity (and found it irreconcilable.)  There's not much logic in that either.
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SaltedSand

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 10:47:39 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;83380
Huh.  I'm not the only one who says 'hoopajoop.'  

As for Taoism, I've never actively 'rejected' it, I've just never been called to study it.  I'm not sure about the claim that pantheists must necessarily have engaged Taoism to some extent, specifically (and only) because Taoism is pantheistic as well.  (I'm not even sure that's an accurate description for the philosophy/religion, either.)  

To me it's like saying that if your spiritual path includes a dying/rising god form then you must have at some point studied or contemplated Christianity (and found it irreconcilable.)  There's not much logic in that either.

I'd say, at least for me, the idea of 'engaging' with it could be as easy as subconsciously deciding "Taoism is a religion? Oh, no, I already have one of those. No thanks." Of course, this is a totally valid answer to my original question.

As I said before, I think it's safe to assert that many people here are converts, which means they likely researched at least one religion/faith/path in their lives. And let's be honest: many of us studied (or at least came across) many more. I'm guessing everyone who has read this thread has at least heard of Taoism. In fact, it seems that everyone replying knows at least a little about it, so I don't think it's an unfair assumption.

I don't want to be seen as saying that Taoism definitely equals Pantheism in every way, or that Pantheists are lacking something if they aren't Taoists (that'd be pretty self-deprecating, haha), or even that Pantheists should even consider it. Instead, as a Pantheist who is looking into several religions (including Taoism), I am particularly (and not exclusively) interested in the Pantheist viewpoint. I'm sorry that that detail wasn't thoroughly set out in my original post, however, I was worried about steering the discussion too much. I think I needn't have worried.

Hopefully that clears up my intentions for the question.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 10:48:55 pm by SaltedSand »

Darkhawk

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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 11:01:57 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;83380
As for Taoism, I've never actively 'rejected' it, I've just never been called to study it.  I'm not sure about the claim that pantheists must necessarily have engaged Taoism to some extent, specifically (and only) because Taoism is pantheistic as well.  (I'm not even sure that's an accurate description for the philosophy/religion, either.)  

 
Exactly.  Lacking a reason to pursue it, I didn't.  It never had any particular relevance - or even a connection - to what minimal specific explorations of pantheism I made, either, so I certainly wouldn't have connected up to it as a pantheistic thing.  (Since I deal with pantheism pretty much as a "that dictionary definition, it works for me!" it really doesn't invite a whole lot of further exploration.)
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Re: Pantheists: Why aren't you a Taoist?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 11:14:28 pm »
Quote from: SaltedSand;83383
I'd say, at least for me, the idea of 'engaging' with it could be as easy as subconsciously deciding "Taoism is a religion? Oh, no, I already have one of those. No thanks." Of course, this is a totally valid answer to my original question.

 
For me, it was "okay what is this Taoism stuff? *read a bit* What the hell are these guys talking about?" *move on*

For me Taoism is too philosophical and not something that can be immediately put to use.

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