Re: Taoism and PCP

Marcus Offer (
Wed, 9 Sep 1998 12:24:18 -0700

I don't have any experience of Taoism but the similarity of polarity
mentioned in Bob Feldhaus's note is present in a number of places and
perhaps represents a long tradtion of dialectical thinking that goes back
to such sources as the Tao. For example German literature and thought of
the 19th and early 20th century is full of "Polaritšt" with the particular
twist that the polarity is seen as some kind of imperfect state we need to
overcome to realise the essential oneness of e.g good and evil, or other
less important dichotomies so that intensifying the opposite is
paradoxically a way of rising beyond both poles of the construct to some
sort of superordinate oneness. This echoes some of the things Luis Botella
objects to, I think. It also has been suggested by some that it was this
kind of polarity in the thinking of intellectuals and literati that made it
much more difficult for them to handle the rise of Nazism and to react with
outright rejection to the ideas of Hitler et al thus leading to a kind of
"trahison des clercs"....... I 'm not sure how relevant this is to the
original point about Taoism but maybe there is a superordinate implication
there somewhere.....?

Marcus Offer

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