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Satanic Taoist?


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#1 Ahh!

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 01:57 AM

This is the best way I can describe myself. I have a Daoist worldview but I have also embraced certain principles Anton LaVey wrote down in The Satanic Bible. For those of you who may not know, Satanism (in LaVey's sense) does not believe there is really a Devil. Rather, the Devil is used as a symbol of self-indulgence. I find the emphasis of Satanism on self-indulgence to be helpful in helping me overcome some of the self-denial and self-hatred attitudes I picked up in Christianity.
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#2 TheKreativeKat

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 03:08 AM

I think, in reality, most people embrace the concepts Anton LaVey wrote about in The Satanic Bible. Of course, with the exception of the Atheism, many of LaVey's teachings are reminiscient of Wiccan teachings as well - basically, do what feels right and good just don't hurt innocent people.

I'm not as familiar with Taoist ideology. If it isn't too much trouble, would you mind sharing what a Taoist worldview means in your life?
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#3 Varokhar

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 04:20 AM

I think you're on a wise path :) I myself have long studied LaVeyan Satanism and have come to embrace it and identify with it. Though I have not studied Taoism, the little I've observed of it tells me it is a reasonably logical philosophy, like Buddhism. I also study Buddhism and am coming to embrace it more and more as my explorations into it continue.

Satanism and Buddhism are very compatible and their minor differences easily reconciled. I don't see why Taoism wouldn't follow a similar course.

I think, in reality, most people embrace the concepts Anton LaVey wrote about in The Satanic Bible. Of course, with the exception of the Atheism, many of LaVey's teachings are reminiscient of Wiccan teachings as well - basically, do what feels right and good just don't hurt innocent people.


Very true. The ethical codes laid out in the Satanic Bible are basically just common-sense things most folks live by, even though religions like Xianity would discourage such things, such as indulging in masturbation or practicing self-defense.
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#4 TheKreativeKat

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 04:33 AM

My husband and I have a copy of the Satanic Bible. I also own a copy of The Satanic Witch. They make for a good read. We were going to join the Church of Satan, but decided against it mainly due to financial limitations. I tend to divide religious sects into two categories - those that encourage self-indulgence and those that encourage self-restraint. In the latter category, of course, you would have Christianity, Islam, some sects of Buddhism, etc. Many people assume that self-indulgence is tatamount to being heartless and uncaring. I disagree. How can an individual be happy when they are constantly checking themselves to make sure they are not "caving into desires"?

We're humans, but beyond that, we are animals. We have the instinct to survive, eat, drink and have sex. Any other emotions in life are merely by-products of those instincts. To deny this simple truth is foolish, IMHO. It's one thing to fulfill your every whim at the expense of the feelings of those you love and who love you. It's another to deny yourself all of the desires that are bred into each and every one of us.
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#5 Varokhar

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 04:38 AM

Exactly :)

Some sects of Buddhism do go overboard and preach nonsense like self-denial, but true Buddhism isn't about any of that. I'd imagine Taoism is similar, and again, very reconcilable with LaVeyan Satanism.
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#6 Jun

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 04:54 AM

Though I have not studied Taoism, the little I've observed of it tells me it is a reasonably logical philosophy, like Buddhism

.

Taoism is a polytheistic religion centered on the ideal of atman - or self. Atman also refers to a belief in a "soul." Buddhism denies an atman - anatman - no self, or absence of a seperate self. Taoism is therefore not actually compatible with Buddhism.

In Taoism, even beyond Chinese folk religion, various rituals, exercises, and substances are said to positively affect one's physical health. They are also intended to align oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, or enable ecstatic spiritual journeys.http://en.wikipedia....Taoism#_note-25 These concepts seem basic to Taoism in its elite forms. Internal alchemy and various rituals are intended to extend life, even to the point of immortality. Immortals, their actions and their relationships with the gods and natural forces form a significant portion of Taoist mythology.

- Wiki.

Buddhism denies such supernatural beliefs.

Satanism and Buddhism are very compatible and their minor differences easily reconciled.


LaVey studied Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism in forming his Satanism. I particularly like this - "Life is the one great indulgence; death the one great abstinence. To a person who is satisfied with his earthly existence, life is like a party; and no one likes to leave a good party. By the same token, if a person is enjoying himself here on earth he will not so readily give up this life for the promise of an afterlife about which he knows nothing." - Anton LaVey

Number six of the Satanic Rules is the Second precept in Buddhism.

Satanism emphasises materialism, Buddhism does not - that is the only difference between the two.

We were going to join the Church of Satan, but decided against it mainly due to financial limitations.


To become a Satanist, why you must pay an admission fee to join their group? That raises red flags for me. Sounds like a cult. You shouldn't have to pay anyone anything to be considered Satanist. To follow any teaching/religion/philosophy should only require you to put it's teachings to the test, to see if they actually work. If they require you to pay fees and admission it puts them in the same book as Scientology or any of the other money grabbing cults. Don't let anyone tell you who you are or what your beliefs are based upon whether you pay fees to an organised group or not.




Edited by Jun, 16 June 2007 - 05:07 AM.

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#7 Varokhar

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 05:02 AM

Interesting revelations about Taoism; as usual, Jun is our Gateway to the East ;)

I can think of one other difference between Buddhism and Satanism - magic. Satanism accepts magic as a reality, and Buddhism doesn't (unless there's something I'm not privy to...)

But, as Jun pointed out, there is indeed very little difference between the two camps, and LaVey, despite some misconceptions he had about Buddhism, clearly drew on it as he formed his religion :)

/endhijack ;)
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#8 Jun

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 05:09 AM

Interesting revelations about Taoism; as usual, Jun is our Gateway to the East ;)

I can think of one other difference between Buddhism and Satanism - magic. Satanism accepts magic as a reality, and Buddhism doesn't (unless there's something I'm not privy to...)

But, as Jun pointed out, there is indeed very little difference between the two camps, and LaVey, despite some misconceptions he had about Buddhism, clearly drew on it as he formed his religion :)

/endhijack ;)


Ah, yes I forgot "magic." :thanks:
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that has gathered around it during its long sojourn in a dozen Asian lands, is brought forward.





#9 Kuroikaze

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 11:08 AM

Taoism is a polytheistic religion centered on the ideal of atman - or self. Atman also refers to a belief in a "soul." Buddhism denies an atman - anatman - no self, or absence of a seperate self. Taoism is therefore not actually compatible with Buddhism.



Of course, I'm far from an expert here, but I've never got the impression that Taoism is polytheistic by nature, though that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of polytheistic Taoists. Even things I've read by some of the most religious Taoists you wouldn't necessarily think of the Tao as a god in the traditional sense.

In my reading of the Tao the Ching and other Taoists texts it always seemed to me that the main focus was on a sort of existentialism, philosophical Taoism usually seems pretty straight forward.

Actually I've read in many places that Zen actually borrowed philosophical concepts from Taoism...I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that?

In any case, in my study of Chinese history it seems like there have been quite a few different forms of Taoism over the years. People who believed they could manipulate the Tao to cast magic spells, become invincible warriors, even live forever. Personally I think these ideas are incompatible with Lao Tzu's teachings. And since these people aren't alive any more its safe to say their plans didn't go so well.

Of course the Tao te Ching is a sometimes confusing book, but the message I've always gotten from it is that the Tao cannot be manipulated, it seemed like the real point was not to manipulate it, but understand it so that one can find a way to live that is not at odds with the Tao, because to live at odds with the Tao (or perhaps the nature of the universe) will bring suffering.

Of course this is just the understanding of a silly American who has only read translated copies of the Tao te Ching, speaks no Chinese, little Japanese. Of course I was in India for two months once, but that was 7 years ago and I was still a fundy so I don't much trust my own memory of the trip. So I'm only relying on book learning here. :scratch:

Edited by Kuroikaze, 16 June 2007 - 11:14 AM.

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#10 Jun

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 12:18 PM

I've never got the impression that Taoism is polytheistic by nature, though that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of polytheistic Taoists.


Most traditional Chinese Taoists are polytheistic. Nature and ancestor spirits are also common in popular Taoism. - Wiki

Popular Taoism typically presents Hongjun Laozu - 鸿钧老祖 the Great Primal Originator - as the head deity of Taoism. - "The Taoist Manual" B. Silvers

Actually I've read in many places that Zen actually borrowed philosophical concepts from Taoism...I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that?


I wouldn't use the term "borrowed" but rather "influenced by." Buddhism is influenced by the many cultures that it encounters.

Since Buddhism arrived in China well after Taoism had developed (Buddhism arrived in China around the first century CE), the Chinese used familiar Taoist terms to describe similar Buddhist ideas. This has lead to countless poor translations of Sutras from Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan into Chinese and has caused a lot of misunderstandings.

The Chinese of the time had it hard coming to terms with the teachings of Buddhism which taught that freedom may be realised through meditation and personal insight. Chinese thought centred upon harmony with nature, the ancenstral spirits, and the gods of China. The Taoists sought the survival of the human personality. Buddhism denies the very existence of the personality. Taoists believed in making the body immortal, while for Buddhists everything is impermanent.

Buddhist ideas are at best abstract, never detailed or firm, in order to get the student to come to his own understanding. The early Chinese translators had to put up with approximations which naturally were compared to and borrowed from the ideals of Taoism and Confucianism. In the earliest translations, Buddhist technical vocabulary was borrowed from Taoism, and a Taoist tinge coloured Buddhism.

Dogen, in introducing Zen to Japan, spoke at length about the difference of Taoism and Zen and how to drop the teachings of nature worship, and Taoist spiritual teachings. Taoist teachings are still to be found in Zen. These days however (since the late 1600's) Sõtõ Zen in particular has de-emphasised Taoist elements found in Zen.

The most common misunderstanding people have today about the Tao and Buddhism is that "Emptiness" in the Tao has a similar meaning to "Emptiness" in Buddhism. The Taoist ideal of Emptiness is completely different from the Buddhist ideal of Emptiness. Emptiness in the Tao is about restraint, patience, frugality, simplicity, lack of worldly desire etc. These are all good things for Buddhists, but they have nothing whatever to do with Buddhist Emptiness, which is about the inaccuracy of our perceptions of relativity and the fictional objects that are created from that misunderstanding.

Some aspects of Taoism that have been confused as being Buddhist:

The insistence of not using words to express ideas in Zen is Taoism - Zen requires words and the use of the intellect (wisdom) to search out truth.
The idea that a teacher is never wrong is Taoist - Buddhists must reject the authoritarian idea that teachers are absolute and never mistaken.
The idea of "oneness with nature" is Taoist - Buddhism rejects the atman-like idea of an all-encompassing "nature."
The idea of a force that controls our destinies is Taoist - Buddhists deny the existence of an all controlling force that steers our lives.

In any case, in my study of Chinese history it seems like there have been quite a few different forms of Taoism over the years.


Philosophical, religious, political, and a mixed-bag together with other folk religions I believe.

If anyone can correct any statements I've made about Taoism, I'm happy to correct my understanding of it's basic tenents. I have only studied Taoism from the aspect of how it affected the teachings of Buddhism in China. So I may be missing something?

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that has gathered around it during its long sojourn in a dozen Asian lands, is brought forward.





#11 Kuroikaze

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 12:44 PM

It seems to me, that part of the problem is that it is difficult to tell where Taoism ends and other Chinese philosophies begin.

Taoism, Confucianism, poly-theism, Ancestor worship and various forms of Buddhism are all parts of Chinese culture and have been for so long that they have mixed together so full that it is very difficult to tell what came from where anymore.

For instance Confucius actually minimalized the importance of nature and ancestor worship, by telling people they should give to their families before making sacrifices to gods. Yet many people still follow forms of ancestor worship and consider themselves Confucinist

Taoists believed in making the body immortal, while for Buddhists everything is impermanent.


This struck me as interesting. As I said, I've read about different sects of Taoists who believed they could live forever by suppressing the use of their personal "te" ( it didn't work ;) ) On the other hand I've read Taoists who would call this sort of thing foolish, and seem to believe everything, including their own being, is impermanent save the Tao.

I would note, that nothing said in the Tao te Ching seems to teach the idea of living forever, or contain any notions of the afterlife. In fact I remember reading some things in it which would seem to contradict those ideas...I'll see if I can dig up those quotes later and post them.

I would wager that any of the afterlife concepts that Taoists hold actually came from even older Chinese traditions that were grafted in to Taoism...but I haven't studied it closely enough to say for sure.

I would agree that the their language seems to focus on individuality a bit more than Buddhism.
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#12 Kuroikaze

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 12:54 PM

If anyone can correct any statements I've made about Taoism, I'm happy to correct my understanding of it's basic tenents. I have only studied Taoism from the aspect of how it affected the teachings of Buddhism in China. So I may be missing something?


As am I, I've studied eastern philosophies for a while now, but book learning ( while it is what I'm best at ) does have its limitations sometimes, as one is forced to view these ideas through the lens of the writers understanding, which is not perfect.

I read a lot of primary source documents like the Tao te Ching, and the Analects, but even these must be translated.
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#13 HadouKen24

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 05:47 PM

From what I understand, there's a huge distinction between "religious" Taoism--the Taoism of chanting, magic, nature worship, polytheism, etc.--and "philosophical" Taoism--the Taoism of the Tao Te Ching.
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#14 Jun

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 09:48 PM

From what I understand, there's a huge distinction between "religious" Taoism--the Taoism of chanting, magic, nature worship, polytheism, etc.--and "philosophical" Taoism--the Taoism of the Tao Te Ching.


From the historical written sources I've read, it is this "religious" Taoism - with it's magic, nature worship and polytheism - that was prevalent when Buddhism was introduced to China. It was this "religious" Taoism that influenced early Buddhism in China.
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It is high time that the original doctrine of the Buddha, stripped of the cultural trappings and meta-physical speculations
that has gathered around it during its long sojourn in a dozen Asian lands, is brought forward.





#15 Kuroikaze

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 11:45 PM

From what I understand, there's a huge distinction between "religious" Taoism--the Taoism of chanting, magic, nature worship, polytheism, etc.--and "philosophical" Taoism--the Taoism of the Tao Te Ching.


From the historical written sources I've read, it is this "religious" Taoism - with it's magic, nature worship and polytheism - that was prevalent when Buddhism was introduced to China. It was this "religious" Taoism that influenced early Buddhism in China.


You are probably correct, Buddhism imported to China in what? about 800 to 900 C.E.? which was at least a good 1200 years after the Tao Te Ching was written. From what I have read prior to the Sung dynasty (starting in the 10th century) Taoism was an extremely disjointed set of ideas with no organization. Basically people were doing what ever they felt like and calling it "practicing Taoism"
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#16 Evolution_beyond

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 06:35 AM

Of course the Tao te Ching is a sometimes confusing book, but the message I've always gotten from it is that the Tao cannot be manipulated, it seemed like the real point was not to manipulate it, but understand it so that one can find a way to live that is not at odds with the Tao, because to live at odds with the Tao (or perhaps the nature of the universe) will bring suffering.


This was my understanding of Taoism too. The Tao is just the force of nature and the Tao te Ching says you should learn to work with nature and not against it. Don't struggle and strive to make things into other than what they naturally are (including yourself) just learn to simply be. The way does nothing and yet nothing is left undone, the way gives without expecting anything in return. A taoist should aim to be like the Tao in both of these respects, and stop striving and fighting against the natural ways of nature.

The polytheism came later when Chinese folk religion was added to the philosophy.
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#17 Jun

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 10:27 AM

The Tao is just the force of nature and the Tao te Ching says you should learn to work with nature and not against it. Don't struggle and strive to make things into other than what they naturally are (including yourself) just learn to simply be. The way does nothing and yet nothing is left undone, the way gives without expecting anything in return. A taoist should aim to be like the Tao in both of these respects, and stop striving and fighting against the natural ways of nature.


If that is indeed the teaching of the Tao, then it mirrors exactly the teachings of the Buddha. :shrug:

The polytheism came later when Chinese folk religion was added to the philosophy.


History shows that the belief in the Tao as a Shamanistic religion predates Lao Tzu's philosophical bent on Taoism.

Taoism emerged from a rich shamanic tradition that existed in China since the Ice Age. These shamans were healers and diviners, they had power over the elements, could travel to the sky, converse with animals and gods and had knowledge of the use of plants. - "The Real Origin of the Tao," D Lin.



Many people believe that Lao Tzu founded Taoism about 2,500 years ago. But history shows us that it began at least 2,300 years before his time. Even the I Ching predates Lao Tzu by more than two thousand years. Lao Tzu is responsible for forming philosophical Taoism (Dao Jia) which is famous in the Western world today. Lao Tzu presented the teachings of the Tao in an organized and more accessible philosophical format in his Tao Te Ching.

Divinational, magical, alchemical, ceremonial and karmic schools of Taoism still survive, but in the Western world it is the philosophical Taoism of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu that have captured the imagination while internal alchemical practices such as Tai Chi and Ch'i Kung are widespread. - Richard Seymour, "A Brief History of Taoism."


I think there is something lost in translation in studying the Tao in the West. Somehow, the all-encompassing, magical Tao devolves into merely a philosophy of simple nature worship. Take into account the following from Wiki -

The Tao Te Ching is written in classical Chinese, which can be difficult to understand completely even for well-educated native speakers of modern Chinese. Classical Chinese relies heavily on allusion to a corpus of standard literary works to convey semantic meaning, nuance, and subtext. This corpus was memorized by highly-educated people in Laozi's time, and the allusions were reinforced through common use in writing, but few people today have this type of deep acquaintance with ancient Chinese literature. Thus, many levels of subtext are potentially lost on modern translators. Furthermore, many of the words that the Tao Te Ching uses are deliberately vague and ambiguous. Since there are no punctuation marks in classical Chinese, it can be difficult to conclusively determine where one sentence ends and the next begins. Moving a period a few words forward or back or inserting a comma can profoundly alter the meaning of many passages, and such divisions and meanings must be determined by the translator. Some editors and translators argue that the received text is so corrupted (from originally being written on one-line bamboo tablets linked with silk threads) that it is impossible to understand some chapters without moving sequences of characters from one place to another.


But then, I probably don't know what I'm talking about? :shrug:

Edited by Jun, 17 June 2007 - 10:32 AM.

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that has gathered around it during its long sojourn in a dozen Asian lands, is brought forward.





#18 Legion

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:18 PM

I'm not a Taoist. I'm not anything other than a living organism in human form. However, I'm not sure that it makes much sense to try and define Taoism or the Tao.
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#19 Noggy

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:07 PM

lol old thread bamp
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#20 Roxie

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:54 AM

I realize that anyone can belive anything they want and I uphold that, however, maybe you should research LaVey a little more thoroughly before basing your religious beliefs on him. Wish I could find the info on him and if I can I will post it.

From what I read, the Satanic Bible and Church of Satan were started as a publicity stunt. He did not have any hidden knowledge. He made it all up.

I don't necessarily disagree with his "Bible", but I can't see basing my life on it. You'd b better off writing your own "Bible" .

Just sayin'.....
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