what if it turns out zen is greatly influenced by taoism?

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what if it turns out zen is greatly influenced by taoism?

Postby /johnny\ » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:30 pm

only hypothetically! just for fun :smile:

THIS IS NOT TOO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. IT IS JUST A FUN, IMAGINARY SCENARIO.

suspend reality and pretend this is possible:

scientists find bodhidharma's skeleton (preserved by some luck and natural forces or something such as being encased in amber somehow or whatever, we're pretending so who cares) and carbon dated it too find it definitely came from the right time period, and then found a little stone tablet with him that specifically says: "when i came to china i learned taoism, with which i completed my enlightenment. i then combined this teaching with buddhism and began too teach, starting with huike. then i taught my taoist-buddhist art too the shaolin monks." and on the back of the tablet is a map.

they carbon date the stone and it's from the same period, and then they follow the map and find a cave where bodhidharma stored his writings in great detail, all of these carbon date perfectly as well and they talk about his history and teaching methods and how he involved taoist ideas in his teachings and these things are unanimously agreed upon by scientists, archaeologists and historians and there is corroborative evidence that it is definitely his writings. and this leads too discovering his family lineage in india and there they find records of who he was and his departure date for india and so on, thus totally confirming that bodhidharma did in fact come from india, establish chan, and that there are a great deal of taoist elements in it put there by it's very founder.

obviously this little story is totally ridiculous, but if it were some how true, what would this mean for zen? what would it mean for you personally?
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Re: what if it turns out zen is greatly influenced by taoism?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:46 pm

/johnny\ wrote: what would it mean for you personally?


It would mean absolutely nothing because, in the end, there is just breathing in and out, dinner to cook, garbage to take out, floors to mop, toilets to clean, lawns to mow, etc, etc.
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Re: what if it turns out zen is greatly influenced by taoism?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:15 am

Why so much concern for a Zen identity?
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Re: what if it turns out zen is greatly influenced by taoism?

Postby /johnny\ » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:50 am

seeker242 wrote:
/johnny\ wrote: what would it mean for you personally?


It would mean absolutely nothing because, in the end, there is just breathing in and out, dinner to cook, garbage to take out, floors to mop, toilets to clean, lawns to mow, etc, etc.


my thoughts exactly! that, and zen works! so whatever the source, and whatever it is composed of makes no more of a difference than if you found out the moon is made of a totally different kind of rock than you thought. it's still the moon. still big and bright and helps you see at night. helps dogen get his thoughts in flight. and lets us all walk on full moon nights without the dark giving us fright.

totally accidentally rhymed in the first couple sentences and then kept going because it was hilarious. iambic pentameter? never heard of it.

seriously though, for a practical system, the origins are totally irrelevant. if it was a faith based system that had no visible results other than things that you must simply "believe" in, then this would be a SERIOUS problem. luckily that is not the case.
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