For every act of evil, there is an act of beauty. You Can't Change the World, Only Your Attitude Towards It.

Violent Religion

(This post just flopped off my fingers so it must have a reason to be)

Taoism, Buddhism, Zen, Hinduism (certain areas), and probably other examples fit this post.

Some people obviously resist elements of these teachings that are violent and/or are so direct as to penetrate to the true being. Wei Wu Wei said something like "For truth to hit home it must penetrate like an arrow, and that is likely to hurt".

The Tao Te Ching and other such works pull no punches. They do not invite the reader to lands of angels playing harps or ways to achieve financial or popular gain but unremittingly sledgehammer the reader over the head with reminders of how simplicity is both the way and the objective of this method. "Nature is cruel at times and treats things impartially, so too is the sage who treats people impartially". Most would read this and perhaps say 'ah, ok, the sage treats all people the same no matter who they are' and this is true, but it also means that the sage will also directly tell you if you are being a fool or out of tune with the way. Taoism also accepts angry outbursts, acts of violence and weapons as life. Again referencing nature the Taoist would state that nature is not always at rest and can produce storms; animals have claws and teeth, and we have our own teeth, fists and nails - weapons are but an extension of these. They then remind us how, while outbursts may come, they must also disappear as quickly as the sun floods back over the land after the storm cloud passes, and there should be no residue or wave carried from the event. Act, move on.

Zen masters will hit students with a stick. If the master did not hit them then students may demand a new master as they expect to be hit. Zen masters will shout at students to wake them from slumber and Zen as practiced by the Samurai, the martial artist, the Shaolin Monk is used to justify and give a law to acts of fighting to the death. (Although the Zen is predominantly included to focus the mind here, and sorry if I tainted your art with my shoddy knowledge).

This violence is external and outward but is reflected also in the inward teachings. Yogis and other elements of the Hindu system will starve the body and force lines of inquiry so deep and so solid as to shatter the supposed self. This is also echoed in Zen and Buddhism as direct and forceful methods to the core of our being. Methods to expose the truth can not be softly softly all the time if they are to bear fruit with all practitioners.

It is the case with many people who wish to discover the truth that they will solidly refuse to cast off previous beliefs. Taoism and the others also tell you to unlearn all that you have come with before attempting to learn afresh otherwise the person will taint the new ideas with the old and will be unable and unwilling to go with new lines of thought. We see this with some initiations where masters leave the prospective student out in the cold, give them hard tasks and menial work to test resolve. These stories come to us from Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism.

When I say to a Christian friend that there is "Simply no room for God" they end the conversation. When I ask someone to put aside learning and text book replies they will lose footing and speak of this conversation now having no room for reason. When I say that the truth is out of the bounds of reason they accuse me of faith in the unprovable. When I say that there is no room for faith as who is it with faith and what is there to have faith in, they demand themselves to have reality and for this line of conversation to be called void as it now enters the metaphysical and can not be proved one way or the other.

These are all defense mechanisms employed to reinforce the fake I. Tools of the ego which will do anything to hold on to reality.

Unwilling to let go of the side of the pool they can never float and this makes further exploration, as the above is only initiation, impossible. To ask them to meditate and surrender to what they find they will get no further than closing their eyes. They will reason every point with preset ideas and never leave the fake self. The ego is a very cunning and very persistent beast that will pretend to be the self. You will hear voices of how the goal has been met but this is really the ego still present and faking it. Ego too will expect reward from inquiry and will be hard to shove when it realizes that the goal is its own end.

This is what these methods must have an impartial, cruel, violent and direct nature that exposes the weaknesses and pokes at them. While someone can relate the philosophies to daily existence it takes true power to truly know the self.

"Mastery of others takes power, Mastery of the self......"

Tao Wow | Daily Cup of Tao

1 comment:

The Rambling Taoist said...

Very, very, very, very thought provoking. I probably wouldn't have phrased it that way, but you do make several SUPERB points.