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Taoism and the Legend of Bagger Vance

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1513
  • Category: Taoism

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The twenty first century individual, his mental faculties evolved by the influence of the modern materialistic civilization, has one’s own view of life. These views, the end-products of mind-level intellectualism, are bound to be different and conflict-generating. Taoism gives one the way of life. The legendary Taoist Sages are Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. A Sage is an individual who has transcended the mind barrier. He has reached the conflict-free zone and has realized that every thing in this cosmos is happening as it should. The noise, din and confusion are part of the world outside; the inner world is ever calm and ‘the worst situation’ can do it no harm. “Taoism is organized around several key principles and, like any philosophical outlook, presents a way of seeing and understanding reality. The word Tao itself translates as the Way, or Path. This meaning includes both the way in which we perceive the world around us (how do we behave? what are our actions?). The manner in which we perceive reality influences our way of being in the world, our path of action.” (Taoist….)

The fundamental of Taoism is conciliation and co-operation with Nature, not confrontation. All manifestations, including human beings are part of an inseparable whole, “an interconnected organic unity which arises from a deep, mysterious, and essentially unexplainable source which is the Tao itself.” Human mind is a rare gift of God with immense, immeasurable power of unlimited Supreme energy, which manifests through it when it is made to shine with supreme brilliance. A set of unchanging natural laws govern the Universe according to Taoism. Human mind, if bridled by the reins of True knowledge has the capacity to open the portals of peaceful living, and if not it can also make the hell of one’s life. Living in harmony with the universal natural laws is the essence of Taoism. You then have the broad perspective and understanding and live life in harmony, in its trials, tribulations, duty and beauty. At that level you have the full expression of the Tao. Every Taoist principle stands the test of the practicability as for its application in day to day life.

.The Legend of Bagger Vance:

 In the movie, an effort has been made to expound the principles of life based on Taoist philosophy. To direct a movie of the profound mystical tradition of Taoism requires much more than the technical skills. Robert Redford has succeeded to a limited extent in showing the unity in the thinking process between the interactions between the various characters of the movie.

Will Smith– Bagger Vance:

Instead of beating about the bush, Will Smith comes to the brass-tracks straightaway and speaks like the one who practices Taoism actively. He is confident about converting the defeats of life into victory. He says, “Yep… Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing… Somethin’ we was born with… Somethin’ that’s ours and ours alone… Somethin’ that can’t be taught to ya or learned… Somethin’ that got to be remembered… Over time the world can, rob us of that swing… It get buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas… Some folk even forget what their swing was like…” (Movie….)

Bagger Vance’s suggestion to Rannulph Junuh, “See, the trick is… to find your swing… Well you lost your swing… We got to go find it… Now it’s somewhere… in the harmony… of all that is… All that was… All that will be…” –this simple looking dialogue indicates that the philosophy of Taoism crosses the there dimensions of time. The details may change; the individuals may change; but the underlying principle that governs the smallest or the biggest incidents of life remain the same. The change is superficial, only in the outer covering relating to the changeless entity. He confidently asserts that the lost swing is safe and secure somewhere in the bosom of nature; only one needs to make efforts to locate it.  It is not lost; only the discovery process to search it needs to be commenced. Bagger Vance speaks like the Realized Soul plasticizing Taoist philosophy when he says “Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that’s ours and ours alone! Something that can’t be learned… something that’s got to be remembered.” That is the unexplainable source in every individual, which Taoism refers to.

When Walter Hagen says, “The meaning of it all is that there is no meaning.” He is making a profound statement influenced by Taoism. The problems begin, when we try to find a meaning, an interpretation for every situation in life, the whys and the why-not! When the sea is calm, the fish swims; when the sea is in storm, when it faces the tempest, the fish yet swims. It doesn’t jump out of the sea to make the habitat on land.  Its life is part of the ocean in its various moods. Similar is the advice in Taoism for the human beings. Having gone for the sea-bath (having taken birth in this cosmic order), don’t be afraid of the oncoming waves. If the waves are powerful, duck them; when the waves are friendly dance with them; when the waves are normal, swim your path further.

The conversation between Rannuph Junuh and Adele Invergordon is also a good exchange of Taoist philosophy. Junuh says, “I can win Adele… I can beat both of ’em… Look into my eyes and tell me what you see… Adele replies, “Determination… Pure determination… the counter argument of Junuh is more meaningful, “Panic, Adele… Pure panic… I’m eight strokes behind two of the greatest golfers in the sport, they’ve never blown a lead in their lives and I’m gonna win… Ya know why?”–this speaks about the determination of an individual to convert the seemingly hop less situations into victories. The challenging attitude, which again is the part of the Taoist philosophy!

The small little dialogue, by Old Hardy Greaves, “God is happiest, when his children are at play,” is the example of robust seeds of happiness contained in the principles of Taoism. According to Taoism, God has created the perfect world; we, with our limited understanding of the world of objects, think about miseries, unhappiness etc. God expects his children to own the assets of immortal bliss. Only he has given the ability of independent thinking process to his children. Human being needs to know about the cosmic unity involved in the interactions between the diverse beings, and live at the appropriate level. Life becomes play then!

Taoism and the practical examples…

How Taoism influences during Natural Calamities ….

Normally, the best in the personality of in individual comes out when facing the crisis. When a particular State in a country had to face the unexpected natural calamity like Tsunami, not only the people of the country, but people from all over the world, the Governments  adhering to different ideologies, like Capitalism, Communism, Dictatorship, etc. rose like one man, and  came to the rescue of the affected people. Normally, people who don’t see eye to eye with each other come to rare agreements and function for a common cause. This is the subtle force that interconnects the organic unity, and this is the source of Taoism—through which the concepts like ‘the world is one family’ have sprung up and are gaining popularity and acceptance.

As for the suffering of the human being, in this case a small child….

A child aged about four years, had blood cancer and required costly long-term treatment. It also needed blood transfusion on regular basis for several days. The poor parents could not afford the huge expenses, and their plight, when it was brought to the notice of a Non-Governmental Organization, it immediately swung into action by inserting advertisements in important newspapers and also sent an appeal through the electronic media. (T.V. Channels).  Response came from all sections of the societies, the latent influence of Taoism was evident in their attitudes and the co-operative spirit of the human beings was seen in action. Even the newspapers and the TV channels did not charge for the services rendered. The best in the inner being of the humanity comes about, which Taoism mentions with emphasis. The noble cause calls upon the people and tangible and beneficial results are seen.                                 


Article: Taoist Sanctuary Taoism is organized around several key principles and, like any philosophical…. The essential message of Taoism is that life constitutes an organic

www.taoistsanctuary.org/taoism/moderntao.htm – 33k – Cached – Retrieved on February 26, 2008.

Article: Movie Quotes – Cool Quote. Net The Legend of Bagger Vance Movie quotes. … Bagger Vance: Yep… Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing… Somethin’ we was born with. …

www.coolquote.net/l/movie-The+Legend+of+Bagger+Vance-15124.php – 19k – Cached – Retrieved on February 26, 2008.

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