The Vinegar Tasters  

rm_gerson42 53M
1752 posts
5/23/2006 1:26 pm

Last Read:
5/26/2006 12:49 pm

The Vinegar Tasters

The image to the left is a painting (lifted from and is an artwork entitled "The Vinegar Tasters" and depicts the three main traditions or teachings (Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism) of China. The original was painted long ago, exactly when, uncertain, yet the theme of the painting is well known.

In the image, the three characters, Confucius, Buddha and Lao-tse represent those three teachings as they stand around a vat of vinegar. The vinegar, which they are sampling, represents the Essence of LIfe. Each dips his finger into the vinegar and tastes it. The expression on each man's face shows his individual reaction.

The first, Confucius, has a sour look on his face. He thought that our earthly government was not in line with the heavenly government. Rituals, courts, human actions and words had to be perfectly planned, prescribed, and executed for our ancestors to accept us.

The second, Buddha, wears a bitter expression on his face. He saw all of life's daily attachments and relationships caused suffering and sorrow tying man to an eternal existence on earth.

The third man, Lao-Tse is smiling. The reason, the vinegar tastes sweet to him because in Taoism, the world can bitter or sour, but from the experience we learn valuable lessons. Accept the world in its natural and simple state and appreciate the gifts that the world can give us in that state. Interfering with the natural balance of the world we tread farther and farther away from harmony.

This is also a way dealing primarily with an individual's relationship to the world. Key principles being Natural Simplicity, Effortless Action, Spontaneity and Compassion. Particular ways of appreciating, learning from and working with whatever happens in everyday life.

Closing Words

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 54

What is well planted can not be uprooted.
What is well embraced can not slip away.
Your descendants will carry on the ancestral sacrifice for generations without end.
Cultivate Virtue in your own person,
And it becomes a genuine part of you.
Cultivate it in the family, And it will abide.
Cultivate it in the community, And it will live and grow.
Cultivate it in the state, And it will flourish abundantly.
Cultivate it in the world, And it will become universal.
Hence, a person must be judged as person;
A family as family;
A community as community;
A state as state;
The world as world.
How do I know about the world?
By what is in me.

Tomorrow, Winnie the Pooh guest - commentary.

gerson42 - but My friends can call me ger

wickedeasy 68F  
31320 posts
5/23/2006 2:33 pm

let me know if eeyore is coming too will ya?

You cannot conceive the many without the one.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/23/2006 2:39 pm:
Winnie will be bringing all his friends, he will need them as he attempts to expand on the Key Principles. Damn you woman, I pour my heart and soul out and you ask about Eeyore. lol


5/23/2006 3:02 pm

I loved this post and was so inspired and after wicked I am reduced to just laughing my ass off...and two dumbass comments

1. by what is in which moment
2. how will you know when eeyore IS coming?


forgive me please.......

just a squirrel trying to get a nut

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/23/2006 4:37 pm:
Ok, I admit it, I'm crackin up too. In answer to your questions;
1. That is the beauty of the whole thing. The answer is, the moment you are in.
2. Cmon, Eeyore brings it, you always know when he is in the house.

TabithaElectra79 39F

5/23/2006 4:00 pm

Very interesting.....

Are you sure about this Winnie the Pooh idea?!

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/23/2006 4:39 pm:
I am confidant that I will be able to segue today's topic with tomorrows utilizing Winnie the Pooh as the transitioning agent. Damn, did I just write that?

pet_humility 50F

5/23/2006 8:30 pm

I always get educated when I visit you.. thanks

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/24/2006 12:19 am:
Perfect for an adult sex site, dont you think?

nottycara 37F

5/24/2006 2:22 am

I have the Analects at home. We can sit down and have a mini discussion over tea sometime.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/24/2006 8:31 am:
A mini discussion? Me thinks we'll need a lot of tea. We could start with the second line from Chapter 1, "Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters? as an opening and go from there.

(Princess Lips)

5/24/2006 9:33 am


...yes grasshopper

can't wait for Pooh!


rm_gerson42 replies on 5/24/2006 10:29 am:
... and Eeyore!

Kaliedascope61 43M
4084 posts
5/24/2006 9:54 am

The Tao of Pooh is a beautiful thing. I wish I was in a frame of mind to take more from this post, it truly says alot about a way of thinking or philosphy that I know I need right now.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/24/2006 10:28 am:
Pooh and Tao, will have it right up for you Kali.

HBowt2 60F

5/24/2006 11:56 am

now i have to add another name to my watch list.....

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/24/2006 1:08 pm:
Because you like Pooh Bear?

Seriously_Real 49M

5/24/2006 12:51 pm

Why is it the stuff that is so easy to fucking say is so fucking hard to do? Huh? Answer me that, Tao boy?

(Love you man.)

--Seriously (prefers "The Tao of Steve.")

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/24/2006 1:08 pm:
I hear you. Who's Steve?

HBowt2 60F

5/24/2006 2:26 pm

no...cos your blog is seriously good....idiot...

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/24/2006 2:36 pm:
Careful about how you throw around the word "seriously". He's just above you.
Thanks Hbowt2.

nottycara 37F

5/25/2006 1:35 am

"Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?"
"A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies."

And mind it, the contents of the Analect is Not in chronological order! Followers of Lunyu spent decades and even centuries trying to come up with their version based on the sequence they believe to be right. The teaching is awesome and handsome, but it is dead tiring and takes a true gentleman to follow

I just discovered that I don't only have the Analect, I also have Mencius and Han Fei Tzu. Yes it's gonna be a terribly long discussion!

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/25/2006 8:41 am:
Yes, and there is much discussion as to why they are not in order. Some believe that the early Chinese had no concept of consistency while others believe that they should rearrange the original texts to make them pure and in accord with the modern Western concept of consistency. Now there is a whole topic unto itself.

nottycara 37F

5/26/2006 4:23 am


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO those are foul beliefs. Jesus. Think about it. COnfucius is indeed a man with brains beyond his time!! The ReaL reason why all the analects are not in order is because, he did not allow anyone to misuse his teachings in the future. Noone can quote him and try to twist his teachings (for all the wrong purposes / wrong means to an end) should he died and not able to be there to defend his words of wisdoms. See... i always thought that the Bible should not be in order too!!

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/26/2006 9:45 am:
Agreed, he was a man of inordinate intellect and was absolutely not only right on, but before his time. But surely, we must agree, that without any of his writings supporting the an intended order (as his followers later compiled the book of Analects) how do we absolutely know what his intentions were?

nottycara 37F

5/26/2006 12:11 pm

ermm... actually Confucius's core teachings revolves around a basic structure.

Kindness in the father and obedient devotion in the son. Gentility in the eldest brother and humility and respect in the younger
Righteous behavior in the husband and obedience in the wife. Humane consideration in elders and deference in juniors. Benevolence in rulers and loyalty of ministers and subjects.

King is the head of the country. King become a good example for the people and the neighbouring countries. Husband is the head of family. Husband become example for the family members. Neighbours will take example of this family unit. From the smallest unit to community to the country it operates under this model. well roughly. of course there is more complexity in his teachings and perhaps i have over simplified it.

rm_gerson42 replies on 5/26/2006 12:51 pm:
So, you agree with me then.

Become a member to create a blog