In Case You Missed It: The Tao Te Ching, Day 1

Written by: Trevor Kelly

laotzuzi

“The man. The myth. The beard.”

In last Monday’s faculty-led PhRST meeting, Professor Jesse Bailey began our discussion of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching by first contextualizing the person of Lao Tzu and, next, with the text itself.

Lao Tzu was a teacher who did not teach, but lived simply and happily. Legend tells that Lao Tzu was forced to write the Tao Te Ching, a sort-of collection of his own philosophy, straying away from Confucian ritualism and toward, well, Taoism.

What is Taoism? In reading through the text together, the club hopes to come to some kind of understanding of just that and, more importantly, where this “road” Lao Tzu will lead us along the way. For more, check out our President’s personal notes on her blog.

544686_3426085734286_179054866_nTrevor Kelly is a senior at Sacred Heart University, studying Religious Studies and Philosophy with a focus in Catholic thought and choral music. Hco-founded and currently serves as the President of the Sacred Heart University social activism club, Peace by Justice. He also as the Vice President of the Sacred Heart University Philosophy and Religious Studies club, of which he is also a founding member. He reads Plato on the beach, and swears he is the coolest person you will ever meet who reads  comic books. He is probably wrong.

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2 responses to “In Case You Missed It: The Tao Te Ching, Day 1

  1. We will continue to try and work out our approach toward reading and discussing the tao (which can not be discussed) today. Does the act of interpretation really affect our relationship with the Tao? Is that good or bad? What should be considered when looking at the different schools of interpretation?

    • We might also notice that, beyond the dangers of “interpreting” the text of the Tao Te Ching, the *language* we use can limit our ability to “understand” the insight Lao Tzu is driving us toward: For example, “our *relationship* with the Tao” is an easy phrase to use, but traps us into dualistic thinking! It implies that there is “us” and “the Tao” and there is a relation between them as distinct “things.” But how can we avoid these dangers if we choose to speak at all???

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