I wish to start sharing connections I have made between Eastern paths and Western thought. At the risk of repeating myself, I will say again why I have been previously reluctant.
I consider myself a philosophical Taoist, and my view of Eastern paths is generally a philosophical one. That is to say I do not place much emphasis on mystical aspects. My religion is Restorationist Christian, specifically that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I am puzzled that some find this such a contradiction.
Generally speaking, I think Eastern paths are very inclusive; it’s very hard to study one and not find intersections and influences from another. Many go back to India, to Hinduism and Buddhism as an offshoot. Buddhism in particular is noted as an influence in China, Japan, and much of the Oceania nations.
I think it often comes down to collective and individualist paradigms. The ones I find who worry about Western thought being a corrupting influence are Westerners; i.e. those with ties to the U.S., the British Isles, and Western Europe. So far, many seem to be white, and have a “rugged individualism” perspective.
I do not see this much from Asians of ethnicities descending from China. From what Cimmy and I have noted from Chinese and Japanese histories, while there has been some insular attitudes in the past, generally, many nations, including China, Japan, and Korea, are assimilating many Western ideas, especially in modern times.
To sum up quickly, I have always enjoyed discussing Eastern paths generally. I also enjoy discussing Western thought, but I think the individualist perspectives in the West have brought dissent. I like discussing Abrahamic religion, and I even like discussing ancient Egyptian and pagan perspectives. But sadly, such dissent remains, and many of those roads *do* lead to Rome, I think.
All that aside, I will start writing comparisons I have made, mostly between the Tao Te Ching, and the Book of Mormon. I will branch out later to Christian thought generally and Abrahamic tradition as I have the time and resources.
My intent is to compare the similarities as I see it. I do hope that it will not invite dissent, particularly the rather cantankerous kind that seems to breed on the Internet. Confrontation will not be welcomed.