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    Comments from previous article location:

    Comment by Pierre Wouters on June 1, 2013 at 12:51pm

    Thanks Jon, very interesting commentary on the meaning of Tao (Dao) and the explanation of the Chinese symbol. I think your sevenfold interpretation seems to hold good. Very remarkable sychronicity between the Biblical text and the Chinese!

    Comment by Jeffrey Smart on August 25, 2013 at 6:44am

    Excellent!! I really like the explaination. The fact that Tao and Logos are similar concepts may show that philosophical thought spanned cultures and geographical locations. Were these an exchange of ideas by travelers or are these concepts simply (or not so simply) the logical outcome of philosophical thought? Or is HPB correct: there was once a international, worldwide system of philosophical thought that became divided among the seperate cultures later in history? Very interesting.

    Comment by Jon Fergus on August 25, 2013 at 8:41pm

    It’s very interesting, isn’t it. I think we might be able to say, in one sense, that all three possibilities you give are correct:

    1. Certainly there must’ve been exchanges of ideas by travelers (the story of Apollonius of Tyana is a wonderful example of this, as also are a couple of other stories hinted at: a) that Pythagoras traveled to India and is known there under a different name, and b) that Arjuna is one and the same as the Greek Orpheus). Many other stories, usually only subtly hinted at, seem to demonstrate a hidden flow of teachings across many ancient cultures.

    2. It would seem to me that since Truth is ONE, and is our very Self, that any being anywhere who moves towards Truth in their investigations would necessarily come to the same ideas as others, even if they may describe them differently.

    3. The primeval wisdom tradition seems to have been a reality; and certainly the more that is unearthed and explored in the realms of comparative religion the more evidence piles up in this direction.

    I’ve been studying a series of translations (hoping to publish them this fall) that approach a handful of the core spiritual texts of the world and demonstrate the philosophical oneness of the teachings. It’s quite fascinating!

    Comment by Pierre Wouters on August 26, 2013 at 10:43am

    Yeah, thanks Jeffrey you make a good point and as Jon remarked, one thing does not necessarily exclude the other.

    In HPBs own words in the Secret Doctrine, Preface, p. viii:

    “But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialised.”

    She again emphasizes this in the Introductory, p. xxxiv:

    “To recapitulate. The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of all its great adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity.”

    And again in Volume II, p. 794 she closes the circle so to speak:

    “The Secret Doctrine is the common property of the countless millions of men born under various climates, in times with which History refuses to deal, and to which esoteric teachings assign dates incompatible with the theories of Geology and Anthropology. The birth and evolution of the Sacred Science of the Past are lost in the very night of Time; and that, even, which is historic — i.e., that which is found scattered hither and thither throughout ancient classical literature — is, in almost every case, attributed by modern criticism to lack of observation in the ancient writers, or to superstition born out of the ignorance of antiquity. It is, therefore, impossible to treat this subject as one would the ordinary evolution of an art or science in some well-known historical nation. It is only by bringing before the reader an abundance of proofs all tending to show that in every age, under every condition of civilization and knowledge, the educated classes of every nation made themselves the more or less faithful echoes of one identical system and its fundamental traditions — that he can be made to see that so many streams of the same water must have had a common source from which they started. What was this source? If coming events are said to cast their shadows before, past events cannot fall to leave their impress behind them. It is, then, by those shadows of the hoary Past and their fantastic silhouettes on the external screen of every religion and philosophy, that we can, by checking them as we go along, and comparing them, trace out finally the body that produced them. There must be truth and fact in that which every people of antiquity accepted and made the foundation of its religions and its faith. Moreover, as Haliburton said, “Hear one side, and you will be in the dark; hear both sides, and all will be clear.” The public has hitherto had access to, and heard but one side — or rather the two one-sided views of two diametrically opposed classes of men, whose prima facie propositions or respective premises differ widely, but whose final conclusions are the same — Science and Theology. And now our readers have an opportunity to hear the other — the defendants’ — justification on and learn the nature of our arguments.”

    Comment by Shanet Rampersaud on September 13, 2015 at 1:34pm

    Thank you for creating and sharing such an informative post! The intentionality in Tao’s pictograph and stroke order are remarkable. I do wonder what meaning of “self” is meant by 辶 or chuo. In context of the culture, I suppose it may likely be representative of the collective conscience.

  2. Odin Townley

    Wu Wei (chinese, literally “non-doing”) is an important concept of Taoism and means natural action, or in other words, action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort. Wu wei is the cultivation of a mental state in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life. This seems to have the same meaning as non-duality. ?

  3. Pingback: The Vrātya (from the Atharvaveda) | Theosophy Nexus

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