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Monday, January 15, 2007

Tao Te Ching and Buddhism

Interesting comparison of the concept of "emptiness" in Taoism and Buddhism:

"The most common misunderstanding people have about the Tao is that 'Emptiness' in the Tao has a similar meaning to 'Emptiness' (Sunyata, Chinese: Kung, Japanese: Ku) in Buddhism. This is because different words in Buddhism and Taoism were all translated as Emptiness in English.

Chinese character for 'empty'Several different Chinese characters are used for Emptiness in the Tao, but Chinese Buddhists mostly use the character on the right (pronounced 'Kung').

'Taoist Emptiness' is completely different to 'Buddhism Emptiness'. The Emptiness in the Tao is about restraint, patience, frugality, simplicity, lack of worldly desire etc. These are all good things for Buddhists, but they have nothing whatever to do with Buddhist Emptiness, which is about the inaccuracy of our 'externalist' perceptions of reality and the fictional objects that are created from that misunderstanding."



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