Wednesday, September 22, 2010

mysterious but remarkable...

"The Tao of Emerson" by Richard Grossman arranges the words of "the sage of Concord" alongside the words of the Tao Te Ching in the belief that Emerson's writings, "in a mysterious but remarkable way...contain the essence"  of the Tao.  Controversial and yet appealing are efforts to seek similarities in religious vision (witness the current interest in Stephen Prothero's "God is Not One." (a particularly good review by Dan Harper in the UU World here)  I share the reservations yet think the effort is usually for the good.  Grossman's effort is fascinating.  This from the introduction:

"These two men, separated in history by nearly 2500 years, one a citizen of the worlds oldest empire and the other of one of its youngest republics, were sages whose messages were remarkably alike:  live the simple, tranquil life, trust your intuition; find and revere the spiritual grace in the natural world; act without self-assertion; commit no violence against living things or persons; try to harmonize with the ebb and flow of nature and circumstance-and above all, assure that there is a place in the world for humility, yeilding, gentleness, and serenity."

Over the next few days, some excerpts...


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