Monday, November 30, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 42, Part I

from Verse Forty-Two
Those who are known as real people are united in essence with the Way, so they have endowments yet appear to have none; they are full yet appear to be empty. They govern the inside, not the outside. Clear and pure, utterly plain, they do not contrive artificialities but return to simplicity.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
For those of you who are trying to find a way to reconcile your interest in philosophical Taoism with Christianity, some might suggest the above passage offers an apt description of the life of Jesus. While I can see how some parallels might be raised in this context, I think the better example would be John the Baptist.

As the story goes, John lived out in the wilderness close to nature. His clothes were rough and his diet was simple. To many, he appeared like a wild man, yet he concurrently possessed a kind of charisma that drew people to him, including the Jewish carpenter. While he appeared to have nothing -- few creature comforts -- he was filled with the spirit of his beliefs. Most importantly, just like Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, he challenged the conventional thinking of the time and literally lost his head in the process.

Seems to me this is an example of a person united with the Way.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.


  1. i agree. :) i also think it's refreshing that you're throwing in some positive words about christianity's main characters. i agree with the negative posts too, but i also think that the bible has a lot of useful things to say, as well as a bunch of things to ignore. jesus was waaaay more taoist and "leftist" than his contemporaries, and i've always had a fondness for john the baptist. of course i have a fondness for wildness in general. :D

  2. Ya know, since it looks like I will have at least 250 entries on the Wen Tzu when I'm done, I need to discuss the basic themes in more creative ways. If I rely on the same worn-out examples and imagery, it's going to get damn boring for the readers and me too. So, I'm trying to expand my creative horizons. :)

    P.S. I agree. If the Jesus dude was anything like it says in the bible, then he was a leftist, nonconformist revolutionary!

  3. In his time, Jesus was most definitely a revolutionary. Much Tao in him.

    And I have always liked that the Feast Day of John the Baptist is June 25, right after the summer solstice; feast day of Jesus is Dec. 25, right after winter solstice. John is the yin to Jesus' yang.


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