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I was reflecting the other day on the Noble Eightfold Path, and it occurred to me that much of buddhism is about being other, being better. It sets certain goals for you and expects you to apply effort and dedication to changing yourself. I find it at once inspiring and slightly uncomfortable.
It contrasts sharply with the Tao, which is more concerned with an “acceptance of things as they are”. I find that a very beautiful avenue of growth and self-discovery as well. It is more passive, less goal-oriented and because of that more open-ended.
It is of course a question of skilful means and applying what teaching is appropriate, and different styles of Buddhism have a different take on this. But I find the mixture quite beautiful, and useful.