The peak of tolerance is most readily achieved by those who are not burdened with convictions.
Tolerance is a Virtue
Tolerance is a rare and important virtue. What underlies tolerance is the recognition that there is plenty of room in the world for alternatives to coexist, and that if one is offended by what others do, it is because one has let it get under one’s skin. We tolerate others best when we know how to tolerate ourselves – learning how to do so is one aim of the civilized life.
Tolerance vs Intolerance
Tolerance and its opposite, intolerance, are not or even invariably forms of acceptance or rejection respectively. One can tolerate a belief or a practice without accepting it oneself.
Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age
The way you can go
isn’t the real way.
The name you can say
isn’t the real name.
Heaven and earth
begin in the unnamed:
name’s the mother
of the ten thousand things.
So the unwanting soul
sees what’s hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants.
Two things, one origin
but different name,
Mystery of all mysteries!
The door to the hidden.
…..Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way
Ursula K. Le Guin
….. Ursula K. Le Guin website
The Tao Te Ching was probably written about 2,500 years ago by a man called Lao Tzu, who may have lived at about the same time as Confucius. Nothing about it is certain except that it’s Chinese, any very old, and speaks to people everywhere as if it had been written yesterday.
The Tao Te Ching is partly prose, partly verse; but not as we define poetry now, not by rhyme and meter but as patterned intensity of language, the whole thing is poetry. I wanted to catch the poetry, its terse, strange beauty. Most translations have caught meanings in their net, but prosily, letting the beauty slip through. And in poetry, beauty is no ornament; it is meaning. It is the truth… I wanted a Book of the Way accessible to a present-day… perhaps un-male reader, not seeking esoteric secrets, but listening for a voice that speaks to the soul.
…..Ursula K. Le Guin
Beginning of Philosophy
Philosophy’s birth, between the 8th and 3rd centuries BCE, is described by the German philosopher Karl Jaspers as the Axial Age (in the sense of a “pivotal age”). It was a period of gradual transition from understanding the world in terms of myth to the more rational understanding of the world we have today. Rational understanding didn’t supplant early folk beliefs and myths so much as grow out of their values and tenets.
Early Philosophy Around the World
- The early Upanishads – the foundational texts of Indian philosophy, of unknown authorship – were written between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE.
- China’s first great philosopher, Confucius, was born in 551 BCE.
- In Greece the first notable pre-Socratic philosopher, Thales of Miletus, was born around 624 BCE.
- The Buddha’s traditional birth date places him in the 6th century BCE (although scholars now believe he probably wasn’t born until around 480 BCE, about the same time as Socrates).
Development of Distinct Cultures
These early philosophies have had a profound impact on the development of distinctive cultures across the world. Their values and tenants have shaped the different ways people worship, live and think about the big questions that concern us all.
How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy