About Tao Math

Why “Tao” Math?

Well, from my early cogitations, it seemed that the Taoists and Buddhists really ‘got it figured-out’. Especially when it comes to brain-twisting concepts like All (Wuji), Nothing (Wu), and other superficially ‘normal’ things that get more slippery the more you think about them. Taoist philosophers (and I have since learned the pre-Socratic philosophers of Ancient Greece among others) have managed to get their brains out of ‘human mode’ and into bigger and more flexible modes of thinking. I hope to use these brain exercises to take a new look at the beginnings of the Universe, and its relation to Mathematics.

Obviously, everything I put in this blog will have to be taken with a healthy dose of salt! I am neither a physicist, nor a mathematician, nor a philosopher. I’m just guy with a lot of curiosity with a penchant for sceptical, rational and critical thinking. So, that being said, maybe you don’t need that much salt… just don’t take my word for it – go out and think about these things yourself!

“Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out” ~Anonymous

Please bear with me and I hope you find these musings amusing.

7 thoughts on “About Tao Math

    1. That’s a tough question, considering I’ve read so few! To be perfectly honest, I know little to nothing at all about Buddhism, and aside from the “Tao Te Ching” itself and one or two other ‘unworthy’ books on Taoism by western authors (the self-help titles like ‘Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life’ by Wayne Dyer), most of what I came to understand about the Tao was through Tai Chi and Kung Fu books (Here’s a good one: Kung Fu Meditations by Ellen Kei Hua) actually. Then another good source of Anglophone understanding of Chan (Zen) Buddhism is the lectures of Alan Watts – available on youtube thankfully.

      1. Hi again Petronius! Ok, I’ve actually read a few more books since my last reply:
        “Understand Eastern Philosophy” by Mel Thompson is excellent in its broad scope and honest and impartial exposition.
        Both Alan Watts books “The Watercourse Way” (taoism) and “The Way of Zen” (zen buddhism) are excellent also.
        There are many ‘Introducing Eastern Philosophy’ books out there, but I love the Introducing Graphic Guides series – they’re fun, erudite and usually very good places to start. They revived their whole collection recently, but the ‘Eastern Philosophy’ edition hasn’t been re-published yet (soon though), so you’ll have to get one from 2001-ish.
        Of course, getting words from the masters themselves is usually best: “zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki is pretty good, but definitely to be read later.
        Hope that gets you going!
        Thanks again 🙂
        Tom

      2. Have you ever tried Nisargadatta’s I am that, Thomas? It’s not Buddhism, but Advaita Vedanta – Classical Advaita though, not Neo-Advaitan nonsense, and devoid of religious cosmology.

      3. I have never heard of it – but I will be sure to look for it now! I appreciate your sensitivity and perspicacity in clarifying what it is beforehand – you’re right, I’m ‘picky’ in that I really don’t identify with any one ideology (with, despite myself, the special exception of philosophical Taoism because it is ‘not’ in so many ways). I have heard of ‘Advaita’ and the meaning of the word echoes a truth I think I’ve touched upon personally, but I’d not looked at the word ‘Vedanta’. I’m also quite glad that I’ve quite naturally skirted around ‘Neo-Advaitan nonsense’ but I am beginning to see the patches of quicksand here and there, gradually recognizing them for what they are. One unfortunate consequence of this is that I now regularly fear that my ideas contribute to that same ‘nonsense’… But I will be sure to look for that. That, and I would love to get my hands on some clearly/reliably translated works of Nagarjuna. I have ‘heard’ that his thinking was much like mine (in the exploitation of the Apophatic means of inquiry) – I’m curious to see what came of it for him. Thanks for the recommendation!
        (p.s. it just dawned on me: I Am That = Tat Tvam Asi! Duh! Sorry, I must be tired…)

  1. i feel Fibonacci theory is incomplete theory… i am interested in linking Fibonacci number sequence with Laozi’s quote in Daodejing(Tao Te Ching):” the tao produced one; one produced two; two produced three; three produced all things. all things leave behind them the obscurity(out of which they have come), and go forward to embrace the
    brightness (into which they have emerged), while they are harmonised
    by the breath of vacancy.”

    1. Hi Xuan,

      Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂
      I am interested in better understanding what you think. I’m not sure what you mean by Fibonacci “Theory” – it’s just an interesting sequence of numbers (built from a very simple recursive rule) which has intriguing properties. However the Daodejing goes “one, two, three, ten thousand” (Keeping in mind that “ten thousand” isn’t a literal number but a figurative way of saying “several” or “many”) while Fibonacci goes “one, one, two, three, five, …”. I’m not sure much of a comparison can be made. And that’s why I’d like to understand what you mean better.

      Have you already started working on this? Have you written this somewhere online?

      All the best,

      Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *