“The past has no power to stop you…”

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“The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance?
The baggage of old thought and emotion.”
― Lao Tzu

 

Art title: ” A Path Divided” by artist:  Emerald-Depths @ http://emerald-depths.deviantart.com/art/A-Path-Divided-281916466

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Taoism; The Green Dragon…

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Taoism; The Green Dragon…

 

from: ‘School of Awakening Dragon’ and ‘Personal Tao’

‘…In Taoism, the dragon is the symbol for the essence of the spiritual half of the cosmos. The dragon breath in-takes the chaos of the unformed potentials of the Tao and breathes out the order of our very nature.

The focus of Awakening Dragon is to re-connect and re-integrate with the spiritual aspects of life.

Modern western culture has focused almost exclusively upon the physical (Tiger) aspects of nature, to the degree the dragon is merely a myth within western culture. Without our spiritual half, life becomes meaningless and without direction. The school of Awakening Dragon concentrates on helping students discover a balance between mind, body and spirit….’

Source: http://personaltao.com/services/school/

Moro


This artwork is really hard to track down and the closest I can come to it is: Green Trees Dragons Monsters Forest Kids Fantasy Art Artwork Magical @ http://kidztrainer.com/wallpapers/Green-Trees-Dragons-Monsters-Forest-Kids-Fantasy-Art-Artwork-Magical#del

The Green Dragon and The White Tiger; “Heaven and Earth” ‘Taoist Cosmology’

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The Green Dragon and The White Tiger:


From “Heaven and Earth”
‘Taoist Cosmology’

“…Taoists believe that when the world began, there was only the Tao, a featureless, empty void pregnant with the potential of all things. At this point, the Tao generated swirling patterns of cloudlike energy, called qi (pronounced “chee”). This energy eventually developed two complementary aspects: yin, which is dark, heavy, and feminine, and yang, which is light, airy, and masculine. Yin energy sank to form the earth, yang energy rose to form the heavens, and both energies harmonized to form human beings. Consequently, the human body holds within it the energies of both the earth and the heavens, making it a microcosm of the world. Both yin and yang split further into subdivisions known as the Five Phases, which can be understood through their associations with the elements, seasons, and directions:

greater yang: wood and spring (east)
lesser yang: fire and summer (south)
greater yin: metal and autumn (west)
lesser yin: water and winter (north)
the central phase: earth and the solstices

The central phase represents a balance of yin and yang.

The primary symbols of yin and yang in ancient China were the white tiger and green dragon, also symbols of autumn and spring, respectively. By the Song dynasty, the Taiji diagram, commonly known in the West as “the yin-yang symbol,” came to represent yin and yang as well…”

Copyright © 2000, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Source @ http://www.artic.edu/taoism/tradition/introb.php

 

Moro


boy oh boy, some original artists are very difficult to find…luckily I was able to find this one!

Art title: ‘Yin Yang’ by artist: donsgirl @ http://orange-chan.deviantart.com/art/Yin-Yang-76077416

The Elements, an Eastern approach; What does it mean to you?

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The Elements, an Eastern approach; What does it mean to you? 

 

An interesting topic is the difference between the Western traditions Elements and The Eastern Elements with their philosophies.


In the Eastern Traditions, there are 5 elements that are from Taoism. Taoist cosmology is based on the beliefs of the School of Naturalists.

In this spirit, the universe is seen as being in a constant process of re-creating itself, as everything that exists is a mere aspect of Qi, which, “condensed, becomes life; diluted, it is indefinite potential”(1). Qi is in a perpetual transformation between its condensed and diluted state. These two different states of Qii, on the other hand, are embodiment of the abstract entities of yin and yang, two complementary extremes that constantly play against and with each other and can not exist without the other.

Human beings are seen as a microcosm of the universe, and for example comprise the Five Elements in form of the zang-fu organs. “Zang and fu consist of the 5 zang and 6 fu organs.”(2)  As a consequence, it is believed that deeper understanding of the universe can be achieved by understanding oneself.

 

(refer to original source-3)“Wuxing (Wu-hsing) 

The Chinese term wuxing (wu-hsing, “five processes” or “five phases”) refers to a fivefold conceptual scheme that is found throughout traditional Chinese thought.  These five phases are wood (mu), fire (huo), earth (tu), metal (jin), and water (shui); they are regarded as dynamic, interdependent modes or aspects of the universe’s ongoing existence and development.    Although this fivefold scheme resembles ancient Greek discourse about the four elements, these Chinese “phases” are seen as ever-changing material forces, while the Greek elements typically are regarded as unchanging building blocks of matter.  Prior to the Han dynasty, wuxing functioned less as a school of thought and more as a way of describing natural processes hidden from ordinary view.  During the period of the Han dynasty (202 B.C.E.-220 C.E.), wuxing thought became a distinct philosophical tradition (jia, “family” or “school”).  Since that time, the wuxing system has been applied to the explanation of natural phenomena and extended to the description of aesthetic principles, historical events, political structures, and social norms, among other things.  Cosmology, morality, and medicine remain the chief arenas of wuxing thought, but virtually every aspect of Chinese life has been touched by it.  As such, wuxing has come to be inseparable from Chineseness itself and belongs to no single stream of classical Chinese philosophy.”(3)

 

(refer to original source-4)”Wood Element   

Archetype: The Pioneer and Strategist/Directing

Wood Element Chinese 5 ElementsIt is yang/masculine in character. The predominant attributes are considered to be strength and flexibility, as with bamboo. It is also associated with qualities of generosity and idealism. One quality of the Wood element is leadership. It is the leader within us, that can take charge and determine a plan of action. The wood is one that seeks always to grow and expand. Wood heralds the beginning of life, springtime and buds, sensuality and fecundity.

Wood type people are often aggressive or assertive, direct, and can have a strong temper and a lot of drive. They are usually outgoing and socially conscious and can be insensitive.  The Wood element is associated with negative feelings of anger, and positive feelings of patience and altruism.

Fire Element

Archetype: The Wizard and Socializer/Marketing

Fire Element Chinese 5 ElementsFire is yang/masculine in character, its direction is upward and its energy is expansive. In Chinese thought Fire is associated with the qualities of dynamism, strength and persistence; however, it is also connected to restlessness. The fire element provides, warmth, enthusiasm and creativity, however an excess of it can bring aggression, impatience and impulsive behavior. In the same way, fire provides heat and warmth, however an excess can also burn. Fire is the Element responsible for the passionate resonance when you are following your life’s calling. It is the joy and laughter associated with playfulness. Fire type people are charming, fun, mischievous, easily excitable, and change emotional states rapidly. They love change, bright colorsand environments that stimulate.The negative emotion is hate, while its positive emotion is joy.

Earth Element

Archetype: The Mediator and Peacemaker/Human Resources

Earth Element Chinese 5 ElementsEarth is a balance of both yin and yang, the feminine and masculine together. Its motion is inward and centering, and its energy is stabilizing and conserving. It is associated with the turn of each of the seasons and with damp. In Chinese thought Earth is associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work and stability. The earth element is also nurturing and seeks to draw all things together with itself, in order to bring harmony, rootedness and stability. Other attributes of the earth element include ambition, stubbornness, responsibility and long-term planning. On the shadow side, the earth element can represent selfishness and self-centeredness. Earth type people are usually warm, kind and supportive. They can be overprotective and tend to merge with their environment, having difficulties with boundaries. The negative emotion of the Earth element is worry and its positive emotion is empathy.

Metal Element

Archetype: The Alchemist and Judge/Organizing

Metal Element Chinese 5 ElementsMetal is yin/feminine in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting.Metal represents the minerals, crystals, and gems of the world. The metal aspect is the diamond found within each one of us. It is similar to the Air Element found in western paradigms.  The Metal Element is the breath of life. When you are connected to that experience, you know your own self-worth.   You respect others and yourself; you are willing to give and receive acknowledgment for the magnificent being that you are.   The qualities associated with metal are unyieldingness, rigidity, persistence, strength and determination. Metal type people like minimalism. They are organized, clean, and contained. They can be controlling, ambitious, forceful and set in their ways as metal is very strong; and they are self-reliant and prefer to handle their problems alone.The negative emotion associated with metal is grief, while the positive emotion is courage.

Water Element

Archetype: The Philosopher and Thinker/Innovation

Water Element Chinese 5 ElementsWater is yin/feminine in character, its energy is downward and its motion is stillness and conserving.
In Chinese Taoist thought, water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness and pliancy; however, an over-abundance of the element is said to cause difficulty in choosing something and sticking to it. In the same way, Water can be fluid and weak, but can also wield great power when it floods and overwhelms the land.

When your Water Element is in balance, you use your resources of energy, time, contacts, and money wisely, neither hoarding nor squandering that which gives you life.  Water is also the element of stillness and rest, taking time to rest and rejuvenate yourself. It is in the Water element that all great innovations and ideas are birthed.

Water type people appear a bit reserved, yet are often very creative, sometimes even eccentric. They can appear cool and stoic, yet have the capacities to be still and deeply reflect.     The negative emotion associated with water is fear, while the positive emotion is calmness.”(4)

 

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(1) http://www.roadtofortworth.com/YY_ref.pdf  (Taoism- PDF)

(2)Wuxing (Wu-hsing) ( http://www.iep.utm.edu/wuxing/ (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Peer reviewed academic resource; James Fieser, Ph.D., founder and general editor and Bradley Dowden, Ph.D., general editor)

(3) http://zangfu-omtcm.blogspot.de/ (Zang Fu TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE)

(4) http://www.innerjourneyseminars.com/the-five-elements.html (Michael Schiesser – Inner Journey Seminars) All pics from this blog are also from his original blog)

 

Moro

 

Art 1: “Wu Xing and the Cycle of Creation” by artist: JP-Talma @ http://jp-talma.deviantart.com/art/Wu-Xing-and-the-Cycle-of-Creation-316548011

Art 2: Elementalby blacher @ http://blacher.deviantart.com/art/Elemental-156113544

 

 

 

 

 

 

“GUAN-YIN: Goddess of Compassion and Caring…”

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From “TAOISM-BRIEF INTRO TO…” the Chinese “… GODDESS OF MERCY ( GUAN YIN ) The Japanese counterpart and equal to this Goddess is called Kannon.

GUAN-YIN: Goddess of Compassion and Caring, and one of the Four Supreme BODHISATTVAs of Chinese Buddhism.

GUAN-YIN’s mission is Victim Support. She supports the distressed and hungry, rescues the unfortunate from peril, and gives comfort and aid wherever it is needed. GUAN-YIN’s work would put many a charity to shame — and she doesn’t ask for donations.

Otherwise known as AVALOKITESVARA in India, she had finally attained Enlightenment after much non-struggling with non-things. She was just about to enter Heaven to join the other BUDDHAS when she heard the cries of the poor unsaved souls back on Earth.

Her heart touched by pity, she vowed never to rest until every single soul was brought to Buddhahood. The magnitude of contemplating this task made her head explode into a thousand pieces, but she was perfectly fine after BUDDHA gave her a few Aspirin Sutras.

Turning aside from Heaven, GUAN-YIN went to the sacred island of Potuoshan and embarked on her new career. This selfless sacrifice brought her much credit, and reverence which persists to this day.

As a deity often called upon to appear in the most unusual and difficult situations, GUAN-YIN has the ability to transform into any living thing. In fact she’s better known in India as a male. But she often appears in female form to avoid gossip — and because she likes it. Like her Japanese equivalent KANNON, GUAN-YIN is known as a female deity, and has taken on a modest amount of fertility work. Childless women pray to her for offspring. In this respect she is also a Goddess of Rice, filling it with her own milk to give nourishing tit-bits.

The Bodhisattva who saves us from the Three Calamities and the Eight Disasters, GUAN-YIN is always on call, and has appeared in many a Chinese tale to help the likes of MONKEY out of tricky situations. His — or her — peaceful benevolence has soothed many a worried brow. We are full of admiration.”

from: http://mvtao.blogspot.de/2008/09/brief-intro-to-goddess-of-mercy-guan.html

Moro

(I don’t know if the link is still good or the art is still for sale but this is the original source for it.)

Picture is from and for sale on ebay “OIL PAINTING ON CANVAS “THOUSANDS HANDS GUANYIN” 24*36 BPEOV6GV” @ http://www.ebay.com/itm/OIL-PAINTING-ON-CANVAS-THOUSANDS-HANDS-GUANYIN-24-36-BPEOV6GV-/221351691123?pt=Art_Drawings&hash=item338996c373

 

Paganism and Pantheism:

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Paganism and Pantheism:“Pagans are pantheists.

Pantheism (Greek pan=Everything, theos=God) means regarding the universe and nature as divine, or equating the universe with God.

There is a close link between pantheism and modern paganism. Many pagans proclaim themselves to be pantheists. “I embrace Pantheism, acknowledging that the Divine is everywhere and in everything” says Selena Fox in I am a Pagan. “My worship takes the form of Divine communion with Nature.”

“The world is holy,” writes Margot Adler in Drawing down the Moon. “Nature is holy. The body is holy. Sexuality is holy. The mind is holy. The imagination is holy. You are holy….Thou art Goddess. Thou art God. Divinity is immanent in all Nature. It is as much within you as without.”

On its Web page, the pagan Church of All Worlds says it “embraces the theology of pantheism, as we experience what has been called `God,’ as an immanent quality inherently manifest in every living Being, from a single cell to an entire planet–and likely the universe itself.”

Finally, could there be a more beautiful expression of pantheism than Wiccan Doreen Valiente’s Charge of the Goddess:

I who am the beauty of the green earth,
and the white moon among the stars,
and the mystery of the waters,
call unto thy soul:
Arise, and come unto me.
For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed,
and unto Me all things must return;
and before My face, beloved of gods and of men,
let thine innermost divine self be
enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.
Let My worship be within the heart that rejoices;
for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Pantheists are not always pagans.

But pantheism and paganism have not always been so closely linked. The word pagan was already in use in the later Roman empire, to mean a non- Christian believer in the traditional pantheon of Rome.

The name pantheism was not used before the early eighteenth century – but the belief that nature and the universe are divine can be dated back to the Greek philosopher Heraklitus of Ephesus. “The cosmos is, and was, and always will be ever living fire,” he wrote. Heraklitus was no pagan: he had nothing but contempt for the worship of “statues” and for the Bacchic Mysteries of Dionysos.

The strongest school of pantheists were the Stoics, founded in the fourth century BC. They included Epictetus, Seneca and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Though many of them called their cosmic divinity Zeus, they thought of it as the totality of the material universe. They were not polytheists.

Modern pantheism has had many distinguished representatives, ranging from Spinoza through the Lakeland poets to Albert Einstein and Gene Roddenberry. These well-known pantheists, however, were not pagans either.

Paganism and pantheist “theology.”

So if ancient pagans were not pantheists, and ancient and many modern pantheists were not pagans, why do so many modern pagans say they are pantheists?

First of all, the times are a’changing. The rise of pantheistic religions is one of the key religious trends in the West. Not just pure pantheism, but a whole range of religions that see divinity out there in front of our noses, in nature and the night sky: Taoism, Zen Buddhism, paganism, deep ecology, Native American religions, or forms of Christianity verging on pantheism such as Creation Spirituality.

This pantheistic wave is fed by the destruction of nature and the earth proceeding all around us – the more we risk losing it, the more of us realize how deeply we value it. Many of us too are fed up with life-hating religions from ancient times that tell us that this earth is no more than a staging post on the road to heaven, and this body is just a cage for our eternal souls.

Love of nature, and feelings of a pervasive divinity in nature and in ourselves, are possibly the strongest reasons why many people are attracted to paganism in the first place. I would guess that for most people the need for a religion that affirms life, the body, sex, nature and the universe is more powerful than the need to have a variety of gods to worship. Pantheism is instinctive: it is every child’s reaction of wonder to the world around it. Polytheism comes later, if at all, and it is learned….”

Practice of scientific pantheism* by Paul Harrison.
Featured, Dec. 12, 1996.
This article was first published in Pagan Dawn, Summer 1997.

http://www.pantheism.net/paul/pagan.htm

Moro

Art title: ‘Deep Songs’ by artist: elreviae @ http://elreviae.deviantart.com/art/Deep-Songs-308926669