Friday, November 13, 2009

The Teachings of Taoist Master Chuang

Teachings of Taoist Master Chuang Teachings of Taoist Master Chuang by Michael Saso

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Looks like another book no-one else has read. But I did study with Michael Saso way back in the day. He went over to Taiwan a Jesuit, and came back a Taoist, which as I recall disqualified him from any wild dreams of a Professorship at Yale. I think there was some trouble trusting his "objectivity". Who knows, maybe he just wasn't smart enough, although he seemed pretty darned smart to me. Or maybe just not scholarly enough, which could be taken as a high compliment, especially considering the uses and abuses made of terms like Jesuitical. In any case, there was something very real in what he did relate about the inner workings of Taoism, of the sort more aligned with folk traditions, rather than the literary sort aligned with scholarship.

I never could quite believe in fantastical Jesus either, and so it should be no surprise that I couldn't enter in to the wonders of Taoist understanding. Or maybe I have in a quiet way having nothing to do with visible magic. I know that what Professor Saso (for so he was called that year) related to me was manifestly real and true. I traveled over to Taiwan myself, to inspect the temple he wrote about, but only learned to drink there. With newspaper writers who were allowed to know but never to speak the truth. Which was a different kind of occult teaching I have never quite forgotten.

So, you should read this book too, if you can find it. It leads the way to a kind of knowing beyond scholarship which is still as true as what those newspapermen knew which wasn't allowed to be any part of the official understandings. Not magic, exactly. Just what can be gotten at when you let go of too much understanding. The world could use a little more of that right now.

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