How Catholic is this?


#1

I have this feeling that there’s a lot of similar under current in a lot of the great faiths of the world- the same message taught to us again and again. I was discussing the concept of war with a friend from a Catholic perspective and he commented on how closely what I said alligned with this-

Good weapons are instruments of fear;
all creatures hate them.
Therefore followers of the Tao never used them.
The wise man prefers the left.
The man of war prefers the right.
Weapons are instruments of fear;
they are not a wise man’s tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart.
And victory no cause for rejoicing.
If you rejoice in victory, then you delight in killing;
If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.
On happy occasions precedence is given to the left, on sad occasions to the right.
In the army the general stands on the left, the commander-in-chief on the right.
This means that war is conducted like a funeral.
When many people are being killed, they should be mourned in heartfelt sorrow.
That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral.

Tao Te Ching

What do you think? :ehh:


#2

What are “left” and “right” supposed to mean in that paragraph?


#3

I’ve always liked the Tao Te Ching. If you like Lao Tzu check out Bohdidarma. Bohdidarma walked from northern India into China and settled at the base of Shaolin Mountain. He didn’t speak Chinese so his communication with the Taoist monks there was through signs and symbols. Northern school Buddhism mixed with Taoist thoughts and Ch’an was born, which is better known by its Japanese name Zen.

The poetic form and beautiful imagery used in Taoist and Buddhist literature is captivating. Their stance on peace rests in universal truth.


#4

[quote=exoflare]What are “left” and “right” supposed to mean in that paragraph?
[/quote]

Left and right in this passage from the Tao Te Ching refers to the speakers right and left side, not the observers. Thus, “In the army the general stands on the left, the commander-in-chief on the right.” It has nothing to do with modern day political stances or right and left / conservative and liberal.


#5

I would have thought it refered to ying & yang? :hmmm:


#6

[quote=FightingFat]I would have thought it refered to ying & yang? :hmmm:
[/quote]

It’s Yin and Yang. Equal opposites. But here we see both military figures standing side by side, not opposing. The reference isn’t to the Tao symbolism of Yin and Yang.

Victory and funeral are set up in the traditional juxtaposition of far eastern thought. But this is more an explanation of social behavior than philosophical stance. It ends with “That is why a victory must be observed like a funeral.”


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