To illustrate teachings of Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu as well as Zen,the following is excerpted from
The Relationship between Science and Spirituality By Fritjof Capra on Monday February 15th, 2016
Ecology and spirituality
“We are deeply connected to nature. All living beings are members of ecological communities, bound together in networks of interdependencies. Connectedness, relationship, and interdependence are fundamental concepts of ecology; and also the essence of spiritual experience.”Fritjof Capra.
“Tao interconnects in One” Chuang Tzu. “All existence and I are one”
“When we look at the world around us, we find that we are not thrown into chaos and randomness but are part of a great order, a grand symphony of life. We belong to the universe.We are members of the Earth Household, plants, animals, and microorganisms that form the vast network of relationships that we call the web of life.” Fritjof Capra.
“Heaven, Earth and I coexist (or arise together)” Chuang Tzu.
“we share two communities to which we all belong.
We are all members of humanity,
and we all belong to the global biosphere.” Fritjof Capra.
“Whether alike or different, we still belong to a certain group, and then we are really no different from each other.” Chuang Tzu.
“Our body will not die but will live on, again and again, because life lives on.”Fritjof Capra.
“What we exhaust is the firewood, it’s the fire that passes on, it knows no end.” Chuang Tzu.
Science, Spirituality and Religion
“The sense of oneness, which is the key characteristic of spiritual experience, is fully confirmed by the understanding of reality in contemporary science. While scientists try to explain natural phenomena, the purpose of a spiritual discipline is to facilitate experiences that will change a person’s self and way of life. Spirituality is a way of being grounded in a certain experience of reality that is independent of cultural and historical contexts.”Fritjof Capra.
“Religion is the the intellectual interpretation with words and concepts to understand spiritual experience or the sense of belonging as the source of moral guidelines for the religious community and celebrate the belonging in rituals.”Fritjof Capra.
“Whereas the Church Fathers repeatedly asserted the ineffable nature of religious experience and expressed their interpretations in terms of symbols and metaphors, the scholastic theologians formulated the Christian teachings in dogmatic language and required from the faithful to accept these formulations as the literal truth. Christian theology became more and more rigid and fundamentalist, devoid of authentic spirituality.”Fritjof Capra.
(Most people think Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism are religions with rituals and strict moralistic codes, but the teachings of Buddha ,Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu are more on way of life and spirituality.Confucianism has a lot of moral and ritual elements but not so much on spirituality, it is more a philosophy than religion.)
The Science and Spirituality in Zen and Tao
Chuang Tzu’s teachings of ONENESS are more eco-spirituality while Lao Tzu’s teachings of polarity are actually science of homeostasis or dynamic equilibrium in nature or universe applied to human practice that is called INTEGRITY. The concept of “Cause and Conditions” in Zen or Chuang Tzu’s “Flow” and “Energy” are similar to the chemical reaction. Science strives to clearly define everything but may be proven wrong in future while Zen and Tao kept it ambiguous or unknown.The Second Law of Thermodynamics such as “nothing is created or destroyed” can be traced in Zen and Tao teachings. Zen and Tao are about nature, free and easy but Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism or Taoism are about rigid rituals or morality (Buddhism) and irrational immortality with alchemy (Taoism) mixed with folkloric supersition sometimes.