A bird song flies unfettered over blue sky and green fields. The sage knows that as you gain understanding, your thoughts become more focused reaching outward everywhere to everyone.
~ Today's Daily Quote from The Taowoods Center ~
As I read the above quote, it dawned on me that a fundamentalist religious adherent would easily think today's message was an endorsement of proselytizing. Such individuals feel strong in their faith and desire to spread the "Good News" far and wide. So, one might think, he/she was like the aforementioned bird spreading the gospel "over blue sky and green fields".
However, as far as we know, bird songs don't contain lyrics! They aren't meant as a specific form of direct communication. It's more like spreading the notion of unmitigated existence and, possibly, the joy of being a creature on this earth.
More importantly, I don't think a bird is trying to sell anything and that's the very essence of proselytizing. The proselyte is trying to sell another person an idea about a way to view the world. And such individuals utilize all the tricks and the trade of salesmanship to try to make the sale.
Initially, most will attempt to highlight the positive benefits of purchasing their particular brand. You can make new friends. You can feel warm and secure in the arms of a new family. You will discover new meaning and a new purpose for your life. As an extra special bonus (AND at no extra charge), you get the supreme protector, someone who will watch out for you and listen to you whine about your sorry existence without looking down his nose at you.
If the unwitting shopper is still not sold on the product, then the proselyte brings out the heavy artillery. Do you want to go to hell? Heaven -- the surreal paradise -- is only reserved for the chosen few and those that don't buy the product I'm selling will be left out in the cold. Do you want to take that chance?
By alternating between the perceived positive and negative angles, the proselyte hopes to pressure the shopper into an impulse buy. The thinking here is that, if you can snag someone emotionally, more than half of the battle is won. If you can convince the person to come to your turf -- church, mosque, synagogue, gathering, revival -- you can overload their senses and secure the final sale.
This is so unlike a bird song. Birds often sing when no other bird is anywhere around. I don't think they are trying to convince another bird or anything else of a particular point of view. In human terms, they sing because they're happy. Plain and simple.
From a Taoist perspective, today's quote means nothing more than allowing your wisdom -- wisdom gained from the journey on your singular path -- to carry forth from your being like the song of a bird. It's not advertised as a way to sell an idea or anything else to another person. It's more a song of your contentment with life as it is.
This world could sure use a lot more joy and peace of mind in the air!