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Definitely a parallel there, and the author of that one ecopsychology book i keep referencing recognizes as much. There's also the field called naturalistic psychology which "approaches psyche in terms of both the natural ordering of our experiences and the natural 'others' who are prefigured in, or who call forth, our experiencing."
The idea we are a part of a natural order of things, and to line ourselves up with it, is of course very old. This in contrast to the modern cult of technology and its celebration of disembodied intelligence, that through technology we will transcend our human limits. (That's what 2Lw and yG5 were discussing in this thread: >>209390 .) In that book the author quotes another person who calls Taoism a religion that serves life by following "the way" of nature. Which is also connected to a Native American "Great Spirit" or "Great Mystery". As the Koyukon Indians believe: "the proper role of humankind is to serve a dominant nature." This is reminiscent of the myths of the medicine wheel, the labyrinth, and the mandala, which define oneself in relation to other life, their immediate environment, the world, and the universe, placing their-selves within all of it.
>Naturalistic psychology, accordingly, calls for a humbling of the self, an admitting that we emerge from and are beholden to serve a natural world much deeper and greater than our individual or personal selves. A narcissistic culture, however, takes the reverse view, insisting that the world of nature serve it.
Chuang Tzu is an old Chinese philosopher who represents one of the branches of Taosim. His central theme is freedom. Unlike the proposals put forwards by the Confucians, the Mo-ists, and the Legalists, are all different, but base their proposals on common-sense approaches through concrete social, political, and ethical reforms, the Chuang Tzu Taoist branch is grounded upon a wholly different type of thinking. It is the answer of a mystic, free yourself from the world.
He means, through a story of a man named Nan-jung Chu who went to visit the Taoist sage Lao Tzu in hopes of finding some solution to his worries. When he appeared, Lao Tzu promptly inquired: "Why did you come with all this crowd of people?" The man whirled around in astonishment to see if there was someone standing behind him. Needless to say, there was not; the "crowd of people" that he came with was the baggage of old ideas, the conventional concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, life and death, that he lugged about with him wherever he went.
>It is the baggage of conventional values that man must first of all discard before he can be free.
>If man would once forsake his habit of labeling things good or bad, desirable or undesirable, then the man-made ills, which are the product of man's purposeful and value-ridden actions, would disappear and the natural ills that remain would no longer be seen as ills, but as an inevitable part of the course of life.
From the Chuang Tzu translation by Burton Watson, the chapter "Autumn Floods" epitomizes the concept of transcending human concepts to reach heavenly ones.
"From the point of view of preference, if we regard a thing as right because there is a certain right to it, then among the ten thousand things there are none that are not right. [..] If we know that Yao and Chieh each thought himself right and condemned the other as wrong, then we may understand how there are preferences in behavior."
"A beam or pillar can be used to batter down a city wall, but it is no good for stopping up a little hole--this refers to a difference in function. Thoroughbreds like Ch'i-chi and Hua-liu could gallop a thousand li one day, but when it came to catching rats they were no match for the wildcat or the weasel--this refers to a difference in skill. The horned owl catches fleas at night and spot the tip of a hair, but when daylight comes, no matter how wide it opens its eyes, it cannot see a mound or a hill--this refers to a difference in nature. Now do you say that you are going to make Right your master and do away with Wrong, or make Order your master and do away with Disorder? If you do, then you have not understood the principle of heaven and earth or the nature of the ten thousand things, This is like saying that you are goin to make Heaven your master and do away with Earth, or make Yin your master and do away with Yang. Obviously it is impossible. If men persist in talking this way without stop, they must be either fools or deceivers!
He defines heaven as an euphemism for the unknown going-ons inside as well as the natural world (i think i understand it correctly).
"Horses and oxen have four feet--this is what I mean by the Heavenly. Putting a halter on the horse's head, piercing the ox's nose--this is what I mean by the human. So I say: do not let what is human wipe out what is Heavenly; do not let what is purposeful wipe out what is fated; do not let [the desire for] gain lead you after fame. Be cautious, guard it, and do not lose it--this is what I mean by returning to the True."