Author Topic: The Far East  (Read 6982 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Vladimir

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1707
  • Reputation: +494/-1
  • Gender: Male
The Far East
« on: January 26, 2012, 09:26:14 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote from: PereJoseph
    Regarding the common effects of original sin, common nature, and common natural law, I was specifically thinking of the accomplishments of the Chinese and Japanese, the orderliness of their traditional cultures, the interior restraint of their people, and the complexity and rigour of their crafts, study, art, laws, and manners.  I do not see how the Church could not build on these societies, since grace builds on nature, and accomplish great things.  Who is to say that spiritual writers could not flesh out real gems of wisdom from using the insights of Confucius or the analogues of philosophical Taoism (not the religion), just as the Church Fathers and Scholastics used Plato and Aristotle ?  Who is to say that some future Doctor of the Church could not use the observations and social theories of Ibn Khaldun to advise on just Christian rule, the maintenance of the spirit of poverty and resistance to decadence, &c., just as Saint Thomas used Maimonides and Avicenna ?  If it is true to say that Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Syriac, and Hebrew philosophers have enriched the Church in her theology, I do not see how one could honestly maintain that the philosophies of the Far East could not likewise enrich the natural theology of the Church generally as well.  The same applies to their medicine -- think of the herbalism of Saint Hildegard, for instance, and how Chinese herbal medicine could complement it.


    This is a brilliant post.

    Did you know that the Church actually did exactly what you recommended? Matteo Ricci called himself a Western Confucian. After his mastery of classical Chinese, he saw no conflict between Confucianism and Catholicism. I'm not sure what he thought about Taoism, but by the time he arrived in China undoubtedly it was far removed from its pristine beginnings.

    Confucius was not primarily concerned with the supernatural. He simply taught how to live in accordance to society and how to be a benevolent person in daily intercourse. In the Analects one finds delightful advice that can improve any Catholic's life. Some passages from Confucian classics can even serve for meditation on improving the spiritual life as well.

    Take for example, this pasage from The Great Learning:


    Quote
    大學: 古之欲明明德於天下者,先治其國;欲治其國者,先齊其家;欲齊其家者,先修其身;欲修其身者,先正其心;欲正其心者,先誠其意;欲誠其意者,先致其知,致知在格物。物格而後知至,知至而後意誠,意誠而後心正,心正而後身修,身修而後家齊,家齊而後國治,國治而後天下平。自天子以至於庶人,壹是皆以修身為本。其本亂而末治者否矣,其所厚者薄,而其所薄者厚,未之有也!此謂知本,此謂知之至也。
     Da Xue: The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things. Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy. From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides. It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered. It never has been the case that what was of great importance has been slightly cared for, and, at the same time, that what was of slight importance has been greatly cared for.


    The term that is translated as "cultivation", 修 , is the same term that is used meaning to "enter into religion".

    This passage from The Doctrine of the Mean is also fascinating:

    Quote
    故君子慎其獨也。
    Therefore the superior man is watchful over himself, when he is alone.


    Does it not sound like the spiritual writers cautioning Catholics to always be sober and watching?

    I also find it interesting that you mention Taoism. Indeed, the Tao Te Ching is a priceless composition that is worth the time of anyone interested in philosophy. It seems like the philosophy of Lao-tzu himself is not necessarily at odds with Christianity - a book published by an Orthodox monk, "Christ: The Eternal Tao" goes over this. However, already by Matteo Ricci's time, Taoism had degenerated into a folk religion entirely superstitious and pagan in nature. Hence Alexandre de Rhodes harsh critique against Lao-tzu.

    For some reason, the opening of the Tao Te Ching reminds me eerily of the operning to St. John's Gospel:

    Quote
    道德經: 道可道,非常道。名可名,非常名。無名天地之始;有名萬物之母。故常無欲,以觀其妙;常有欲,以觀其徼。此兩者,同出而異名,同謂之玄。玄之又玄,衆妙之門。

    Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao. Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name. As the origin of heaven-and-earth, it is nameless; as "the Mother" of all things, it is nameable. So, as ever hidden, we should look at its inner essence: As always manifest, we should look at its outer aspects. These two flow from the same source, though differently name; And both are mysteries. The Mystery of mysteries is the Door of all essence.


    What makes this even more striking in retrospect is that the word "Tao", 道 , is the word used to translate "Logos" into Chinese.

    To anyone interested, the the following works are available on Amazon for a very reasonable price - your life will be better for having read these books:

    Confucian Analects, The Great Learning, And The Doctrine of the Mean translated by James Legge, Dover publications

    Mencius translated by James Legge, Dover Publications

    Texts of Taoism in 2 volumes translated by James Legge, Dover publications

    The I-Ching translated by James Legge, Dover publications

    The Tao Te Ching translated by John C.H. Wu

    Anyways, please discuss anything about East Asia in this thread. Sorry, I'm such an East-Asia nerd.



    Offline s2srea

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 5020
    • Reputation: +3826/-28
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 10:23:12 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote from: Vladimir

    Anyways, please discuss anything about East Asia in this thread. Sorry, I'm such an East-Asia nerd.


    No apologies warranted! While some simpletons and the narrow-minded may take offense I'd tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. I think we can benefit as Catholics by sharing our cultural insights with each other, as they pertain to the Faith.


    Offline Sigismund

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 5366
    • Reputation: +3104/-8
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 11:51:13 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Brilliant post, Vladimir!  I will have to come back and read it again when I can think more clearly.
    Stir up within Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the Spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled, when he laid down his life for his sheep: so that, through his intercession, we too may be moved and strengthen by the same Spir

    Offline s2srea

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 5020
    • Reputation: +3826/-28
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 12:54:36 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • I wonder who gave the thumbs down.... NOT!  :laugh2:

    My suspect just showed up online...

    Offline MyrnaM

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6013
    • Reputation: +3480/-328
    • Gender: Female
      • Myforever.blog/blog
    The Far East
    « Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 01:07:48 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • I just gave you a thumbs up, to make up for the thumbs down that someone gave you.  


    Offline s2srea

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 5020
    • Reputation: +3826/-28
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 01:10:47 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Why thank you Myrna  :wink:


    Offline Sigismund

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 5366
    • Reputation: +3104/-8
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 09:00:44 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Apparently someone is down-thumbing the possibility that I might again think clearly.  In all my full intellectual prowess, I must be a formidable opponent indeed!   :wink:
    Stir up within Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the Spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled, when he laid down his life for his sheep: so that, through his intercession, we too may be moved and strengthen by the same Spir

    Offline Telesphorus

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 12714
    • Reputation: +7/-12
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 09:07:07 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Well it wasn't me.  


    Offline PereJoseph

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 1411
    • Reputation: +1973/-0
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 03:07:16 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Here is a very interesting and inspiring documentary made by an Australian man.  He travelled for over three years on horseback from Karakorum to the Danube River in Hungary, living in a tent and relying on nomadic hospitality.  He wanted to enter into the mindset of a nomad in order to understand sedentary life from their perspective.  Amazing, really.  He is apparently some kind of Protestant romantic, unfortunately, such that he is okay praying with members of just about every religion.  On the other hand, if you can look past this, I think that the documentary is fertile soil for a very fruitful discussion on cities, classes, the social order, and so forth.  

    Specifically, I hope to start a discussion analysing how this documentary (which consists of six 30-minute episodes) relates to the desire of the monastics to remove themselves from the corruption of cities and how we could relate this quest to Ibn Khaldun's historical commentary on the corrupting effect of cities on North African rulers.  How and why do cities corrupt, if they do ?  How could Catholics be or were Catholics at some point insulated from this corrupting effect of urban life, and what would be or were the ramifications ?  How does this relate to St Pius X's desire for the Third Orders to expand into a much larger percentage of Catholics' daily lives, especially insofar as this more deeply integrates the faithful into the liturgical life of the Church ?  

    In former generations, there were common grazing lands protected by the crowns of various countries throughout Europe, but especially the Mediterranean.  Grazing rights would be awarded to the owners of large herds, whose hired shepherds would live with the herds during the summer months when they would be brought into cool mountain pastures.  Small houses would be built in the mountains for these shepherds, and the semi-nomadic life that they led was not too dissimilar from that of Silk Road traders or grazers on the so-called "Open Range" in North America.  Cossacks in the steppe are an example of how semi-nomadism can be consistent with the life of a Christian warrior (though the Cossacks were then, as now, mostly Eastern schismatics).  Full nomadism seems to involve larger open grasslands or boreal forests such that a wife and children can be brought along during the seasonal migrations and ownership of the herds can be maintained by the grazers themselves.  And let's not forget the reindeer herders of Siberia and Lappland.  

    Are there any lessons that could be learned from investigating these matters ?  Please watch the documentary, think about these things, and tell me your thoughts.  Personally, I find the life of the Mongolian nomads to be earthy, rich, and beautiful (speaking in terms of natural virtue, of course).  I think we should be willing to think very big and creative thoughts that draw deeply on diverse historical precedents, since our age is so radically corrupt and degenerate.  Who knows what will be left after God's hand of chastisement reaches this world, and how total should the restoration of the natural order and the permeation of ancient wisdom be ?  I advise that we should be flexible in our assimilation of advantageous insights from the natural light of reason.  After all, for those of you readers who might see multiculturalism or whatever in my post, of the steppe were [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195144139/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0195144139&linkCode=as2&tag=httpwwwchanco-20 ancient Proto-Indo-Europeans descending only a few (or less ?) generations from Japheth, son of Noe, himself.

    DISCLAIMER :  THIS IS A REALISTIC TRIP ACROSS THE POST-SOVIET WORLD.  NOT ALL SCENES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR MIXED COMPANY; SOME SCENES SHOW GRAVE IMMODESTY (washing, shirtless men, prostitutes) OR CONDONE IMMORALITY (drunkenness, for instance) OR COULD BE DISTURBING.

    PART I :


    PART II :


    PART III :


    PART IV :


    PART V :


    PART VI :

    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6071
    • Reputation: +3327/-196
    • Gender: Female
    The Far East
    « Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 03:49:44 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Thank you, Pere Koseph. My husband and I will watch this series together starting tonight.

    Thank you, Vladimir, for starting this intriguing topic.

    Offline wallflower

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 1866
    • Reputation: +1982/-93
    • Gender: Female
    The Far East
    « Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 04:09:22 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • I just thoroughly enjoyed the first one and have marked the others for later. I loved the part around 21:10 with the little kid stored away on the camel with all the stuff. So cute tucked in there, bobbing up and down! The kids are really cute.


    Offline Elizabeth

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 4847
    • Reputation: +2190/-7
    • Gender: Female
    The Far East
    « Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 06:39:28 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  •   :shocked:

    a bunch of guys sitting around eating gooey camel head with their fingers
     :shocked:

    I am not cut out for the Nomadic life, but thanks for the interesting link Pere Joseph.





    Offline Lighthouse

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 865
    • Reputation: +576/-25
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 09:18:44 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote
    DISCLAIMER :  THIS IS A REALISTIC TRIP ACROSS THE POST-SOVIET WORLD.  NOT ALL SCENES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR MIXED COMPANY; SOME SCENES SHOW GRAVE IMMODESTY (washing, shirtless men, prostitutes) OR CONDONE IMMORALITY (drunkenness, for instance) OR COULD BE DISTURBING.


    Well, there then is the rub, eh?

    Not saying I don't agree with some of your points, but don't go over the waterfall into the same bathtub that Thomas Merton ended up in.

    Offline PereJoseph

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 1411
    • Reputation: +1973/-0
    • Gender: Male
    The Far East
    « Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 07:43:33 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote from: Lighthouse
    Quote
    DISCLAIMER :  THIS IS A REALISTIC TRIP ACROSS THE POST-SOVIET WORLD.  NOT ALL SCENES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR MIXED COMPANY; SOME SCENES SHOW GRAVE IMMODESTY (washing, shirtless men, prostitutes) OR CONDONE IMMORALITY (drunkenness, for instance) OR COULD BE DISTURBING.


    Well, there then is the rub, eh?


    I don't see how.  Perhaps you could explain.

    Quote
    Not saying I don't agree with some of your points, but don't go over the waterfall into the same bathtub that Thomas Merton ended up in.


    No offense, but given everything I've said on this forum, I think that this statement of yours just sounds like paranoid silliness.

    Offline wallflower

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 1866
    • Reputation: +1982/-93
    • Gender: Female
    The Far East
    « Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 08:57:50 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • FWIW we didn't find those scenes shocking. There are few and you are so engrossed by the story and captured by the adventure, the focus is not on the flesh or glorifying in it. Even the prostitutes were more dressed and demure than the average American, sadly.

    If one is particularly sensitive they could forgo the series, it's not a necessity, but I would think it's not an issue for the average person.

     

    Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16