Monday, December 04, 2006

Metaphysical Dao

People are in a very interesting state of affairs, as we are caught between the eternity of the gods and the temporality of animals. That is to say mankind straddles the two realms of the eternal and temporal. Divinities dwell in the eternal and animals in the temporal. As both divine and animal, man is in the state somewhere in between. We strive to find a foothold in the eternal, yet are limited by the time and space continuum of the temporal. In developing our notions of the transcendent, we reach beyond our temporal existence and grasp at things metaphysical. The metaphysical notions that supply the basis of our principles in themselves cannot be limited to the same temporality that our physical beings are. The Dao is one such notion that transcends time and space. In his book Lao Zi for Today, an Assessment, Chen Gu-ying states:

“Lao Zi considers the Dao to be prior to anything that is. The Dao is not limited by either time nor space restrictions. It is not affected by the coming to be and extinction of things. From this perspective, it is easy to see that the Dao has a transcendent nature.” (page 5)

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