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Thread: Lao Tzu (the Taoism guy)

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    Default Lao Tzu (the Taoism guy)

    Any sense of VI is useless, so I am not going to bother posting pictures. But Lao Tzu is the founder and central figure of Taoism to whom Tao Te Ching (a collection of Taoist wisdom, sayings, poetry, etc.) is attributed.

    Lao Tzu on Wikipedia
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    "With the later developments by Lao Tzu, the Dao begins to take a path extending, and in some respects ascending above, that envisioned by Yang Chu. Whereas his predecessor had tried to elucidate on the Dao in terms of living according to nature, Lao Tzu elaborates by positing that the Dao was nameless (in the sense given by the Confucian ‘rectification of names’). Unlike all other being, the Dao is not a name in the sense that it possesses implicit attributes constituent of its essence. Rather it is the source from which all the rest are brought into being.

    Yet, the goal is to come to understand the Dao and thereafter live in accordance with its implications. Thus we must try to explain it in a media ill-suited to the task. Hence, difficulty arises in its comprehension and, secondarily, with any attempts to transmit it.

    However, the result of these changes in conception of the Dao is that it is now an eternal system, itself unchanging, that governs and dictates all the changes of the universe. Thus it is more completely conceived as an objective rule or set of rules that are themselves incommunicable via language.

    One aspect of the Dao which Lao Tzu tries to communicate consists in that ‘reversing is the movement of the Dao.’ This means that any extreme quality must ultimately give rise to its opposite. If one is arrogant with regard to knowledge (‘Wow, I sure know a lot,’ a student may claim) this can only lead to its diminishing (‘I don’t need to listen to these ignoramuses’). Whereas, if one views him or herself with humility, this perceived lack of knowledge must lead to its expansion.

    Failure to observe these laws governing change inevitably results in bad outcomes, such as the more narrow example given by Yang Chu whereby not following the Dao and valuing things was a prescription for an early demise. In carrying this principle of interrelated opposites, Lao Tzu recommends for daily conduct starting first from the opposite of what one intends and, in this way, an individual may achieve their aims (such as the previous example of the two students’ views on knowledge).

    Equally important to success is the avoidance of excess in action. As individual persons yearn to accomplish their goals, they must be cautious. In seeking to get things done, one must avoid over doing them. To do otherwise is to violate the Dao. As a result of this excessive effort, the action itself will be carried out with a sense of artificiality. This in turn contradicts the naturalness which the Dao represents. Just as the Dao governs all that comes into being, so too does it grant to each its respective Te, or that whereby something is what it is (its essence or nature)."
    Last edited by munenori2; 02-07-2008 at 06:22 AM. Reason: It's worth noting that this is *my* interpretation of his work.
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    In essence, taoism is the same view, attitude, perspective, philosophy ... as Schopenhauer's, or Robert M. Pirsig's in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. And both Schopenhauer and Pirsig are ILIs.

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    Almost certainly SEI. I was a Taoist for years.
    Ideas don't determine who's right. Power determines who's right. And I have the power. So I'm right.

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    Ne-INFj.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    In essence, taoism is the same view, attitude, perspective, philosophy ... as Schopenhauer's, or Robert M. Pirsig's in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. And both Schopenhauer and Pirsig are ILIs.
    I have actually thought Pirsig is ISTp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eunice View Post
    Ne-INFj.
    Why do you say that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by eunice View Post
    I have actually thought Pirsig is ISTp.
    Not the worst of guesses, but he is not an ISTp. Why would you think that he is that type?

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    Taoism is very clearly IP in temperament, so one can understand why people suggest ISFp. But it is also very clearly , so SEI would only fit in an outward sense. And Taoism is also cynical and distanced from the world in a way that is not compatible with leading types. However, this typing problems illustrates what is wrong with the quadras and why they should not be used as a typing tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    In essence, taoism is the same view, attitude, perspective, philosophy ... as Schopenhauer's, or Robert M. Pirsig's in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. And both Schopenhauer and Pirsig are ILIs.
    I don't know about Schopenhauer, but Zen (or Ch'an) itself is a hybrid of Buddhism and Taoism. FWIW, I have found Zen is more Ni, and Tao is more Si.

    I don't know what Lao Tzu's type would be (I don't believe he actually existed), but the Tao te Ching is one of my favorite scriptures in general. The mythical Lao Tzu seems possibly SLI.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    If I became a Taoist and wrote a book from a Taoist perspective, it wouldn't mean I'm the same type as Lao Tzu or that all Taoists are the the same type as Lao Tzu was.
    Of course not. And neither have I said anything about Lao Tzu's type. I have only said that Taoism is and IP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Zen and the Art of M.M. is sitting on my bookshelf, but I've yet to read it. Zen I think has roots in Taoism, but it is not the same thing as Taoism.
    It's not the same thing, but the "temperaments" are very similar. And the book on your bookshelf has very little to say about Zen. It is much more interesting. I envy you if haven't read it yet. I wish I could read that book for the first time again ... that experience you can only have once in a lifetime. Don't miss it (and have patience the first 100 pages or so).

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Tao te Ching It does seem kinda Ni though...
    Yes, no doubt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby View Post
    I don't know about Schopenhauer
    But I do. I can assure you that he is ILI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salawa View Post
    Why not SLI?
    You cannot just ask why not SLI, but you must also ask why an SLI.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baby View Post
    I don't know about Schopenhauer, but Zen (or Ch'an) itself is a hybrid of Buddhism and Taoism. FWIW, I have found Zen is more Ni, and Tao is more Si.

    I don't know what Lao Tzu's type would be (I don't believe he actually existed), but the Tao te Ching is one of my favorite scriptures in general. The mythical Lao Tzu seems possibly SLI.
    Neither do I, but I think that attempting to type him makes it easier than trying to type Taoism (and how it has evolved) in general.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    But I do. I can assure you that he is ILI.
    But you have yet to really say why you think so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos View Post
    But you have yet to really say why you think so.
    That's another topic. Let's just say that I have studied both his philosophy and his life quite intensively for a couple of weeks quite recently, and Schopenhauer exhibits all the typical ILI traits to a high degree. His personality and life attitude almost scream ILI, actually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    That's another topic. Let's just say that I have studied both his philosophy and his life quite intensively for a couple of weeks quite recently, and Schopenhauer exhibits all the typical ILI traits to a high degree. His personality and life attitude almost scream ILI, actually.
    My mistake. I meant in regards to Lao Tzu, but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on Schopenhauer in another thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos View Post
    My mistake. I meant in regards to Lao Tzu, but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on Schopenhauer in another thread.
    I can not assure you that Lao Tzu was an ILI. He could very well have been one, but I am only sure of Schopenhauer and Pirsig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    The Tao is very clear, even in it's first passage, but sometimes people mistake the Tao for the names that are given to it.
    Word, brother. Though perhaps Lee saw in Taoism a missing part of himself (under the assumption that he was probably an ESxp) and saw the Ip side as the completion. That probably sounds quite ridiculous (what? Was Taoism INxp all of a sudden? I leave that open) but it's about what he *saw* in it. Not the words or names but what is. Unadorned simplicity, lacking in the intricacies of overdone thought or action (wu-wei).

    Though I laughed to myself that the last sentence of Mr. Lee's sounded an awful lot like Wittgenstein and throwing aside the ladder (who I believe to be INTp).
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    One of the reasons why I am curious about this is that the goal of Taoism is essentially to obtain a state of being in relation to the world and whether or not this relates to statics and dynamics. I am hoping that the purpose of these threads becomes more obvious (though somehow I doubt it will without some clarification) with the next few people I end up posting in threads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Are you trying to box Taoism into some sort of practice or training or behavior?

    Taoism as a practice is a oxymoron.
    By any chance are you Taoist?
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    Taoism is dynamic fo sho.

    Ep/Ip, though not limited in that respect. That's sort of it's thang, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Am I? If I am a Taoist then there are 6 billion Taoists.. give or take a few.
    Just curious as you seemed to be knowledgeable about it, but it was a sort of knowledge from experience angle.

    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    Taoism is dynamic fo sho.

    Ep/Ip, though not limited in that respect. That's sort of it's thang, IMO.
    Interesting that you should say that here, though hkkmr is right: EP is static.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Are you sure?
    Ep is static... Ip is dynamic.
    Ip is dynamic.

    Ep needs dynamism.

    The quote made me think that Lee had found something he did not have, rather than had it from the get go. That likely sounds retarded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    I understand a bit about Taoism, but I know nothing of it.
    Has anything truer been said?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Did you want to say that you believed that the Tao is irrational rather then dynamic?
    That probably works. Something perceptually given than the result of so much thinking. Not to say that irrationals don't think, but I hope you see what I'm prodding along at. Though I do think it dynamic.

    Edit: ok, yeah, what you said!
    Last edited by munenori2; 02-08-2008 at 04:11 AM. Reason: failure to read the words coming out yer post
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    But many would say that Bruce Lee is static, does it make Taoism static? Or is the seeking of dynamic what makes the Tao dynamic... then would all Taoist be static.

    I know it is a subjective opinion that Taoism is dynamic, but I would like to know why.
    While the principles which underlie the world we experience are static, the 'form' of it is a dynamic thing. Perhaps I'm merely betraying my own prejudices on the matter in saying that, but the Tao is what runs and generates all that we see, hear, feel, etc. These are merely ephemeral elements however, playing on a pattern of what we may call the 'natural law', somewhat equivalent to the 'logos' of Greek philosophy. In other words, what we experience in the apparent is in a process of constant change (what would be most apparent to a dynamic type, in my estimation).

    Where Taoism excels, I think, is that it goes beyond the appearances towards something more firm or permanent. This is probably more of a static perspective, but then Taoism always struck me as a movement from these appearances towards something deeper (the growth in understanding of a dynamic type, rather than the other way around). That certainly doesn't remove the merit such a philosophy would possess for those walking the other way, in fact it probably strikes them as something unique, creative, and speaking to a part of them that has always seemed dormant, latent, or however such a person might describe it to themselves. Thus I see in it a form of dualism (in socionics and in the more common usage of the term) of the human condition.

    Though, as you say, this is a subjective opinion of it all. I apologize if I'm being vague or unclear.
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    By the way, I love this topic and this discussion, guys. Kudos to Logos for bringing it up and hkkmr for forcing me to consider things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    By the way, I love this topic and this discussion, guys. Kudos to Logos for bringing it up and hkkmr for forcing me to consider things.
    Then I would also recommend digging up and reviving the Zeno (the Stoicism guy) thread and talking about how Socionics relates to Stoicism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salawa View Post
    In my view, Taoism could be summarised only in it being (one) way of coming into harmony with the Tao.
    Does that not imply a state?

    I actually said that I think Taoism is IP, which is more clear than it being or (and it's not necessarily clearly either, though I can see where those who say it is one of the two are coming from. I think might be devalued to some extent -- or at least leading-).
    Is it really clear that it is IP?

    Common themes in Taoist literature include:
    • Conserving energy
    • Acting only when necessary, knowing when to act
    • Wu Wei -- acting without expending energy unnecessarily (roughly!)
    • Taking a passive, purely reactive stance in relation to the universe (this implies an assumption that the universe is Dynamic, else a reactive stance isn't really necessary)
    All of the above should be recognisably IP. I can't think of any example that would actually contradict that.
    Is that really easily recognizable as IP?

    Where did this come from?
    Typical characteristics
    • calm, balanced and inert
    • "unflappable"
    • rigid but not very fast gait
    • may appear passive-aggressive
    • usually very stable mood
    • more reactive than active
    • little inclination to fidget during long periods of inactivity
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    The Tao Te Jing has a lot to say about what you have written, but it is not very nice.
    What seems to me not very nice is telling someone they've gone wrong without guiding them towards why or where they went awry!

    I admit that it's been a while since I've dwelt on these things, but am I so wrong in guessing the 'named' to be what we experience, and the 'nameless' what is outside that, something that is only intuitively acknowledgeable?
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    Most introverts are posible. INTP is certainly possible, IStj too, ISFP as well. INFJ is a distant possibility. INFP too, but least likely IMO. ISTP not possible at all. ESTP impossible.

    IMO: the 4 most likely in this order:
    -INTP
    -ISTJ
    -ISFP
    -INFJ
    Well I am back. How's everyone? Don't have as much time now, but glad to see some of the old gang are still here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    I do not sell flowers, I plant fruit. I have given you a seed. If your ground is fertile, then my seed will bear fruit. What we give name to is not "experience", but only a story we tell about it. A flower.
    So these flowers-you-do-not-sell are merely stories of what one thought what is? Instead we should seek the fruit-that-grows-where-it-may, should it grow where it lay? So much left to providence and chance...hmm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    It does seem kinda Ni though...
    It sure does. Obviously an IP temperament for the philosophy, as others have noted. Ni > Si is probable, and Te > Fe also looks probable. It would be really interesting now if we found out that it was actually some ESTp or ESFp who originated these ideas as a result of some deep psychological yearning for their dual. Heh heh. You never know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salawa View Post
    Taoism is, in my opinion, undoubtably IP. It seems to be a combination of and .
    I agree. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    To call the Tao merely or is about the worst thing to say about that which does not invite distinction.
    I agree. But Tao is not Taoism. Taoism reflects and . When it comes to Tao itself I refer to Wittenstein's Tractatus, proposition 7.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logos View Post
    Is it really clear that it is IP?
    Yes. It is extremely clear that it is IP. You can use it as a test to see if you understand the IP temperament correctly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    If Taoism reflects and ... then is Taoism the reflection or what is reflected?
    Neither of course.

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    In summary, he seems to advocate an anti-authoritarian movement and has a relaxed and live-and-let-live attitude which I associate with Delta. Moreover, he has weak Fe and Ti preferences:

    -The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
    -The true free living human-being is the one that achieves his dream without depending on someone.
    -When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Not the worst of guesses, but he is not an ISTp. Why would you think that he is that type?
    On hindsight, I think you are right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    And who do you think make laws concerning political correctness.. is it Alpha? Beta? Gamma? Delta?
    Beta, especially ISTjs.

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