Friday, April 13, 2012

Spotlight on Diary of a Daoist Hermit

Trey Smith


It has been over one year since I last shown the spotlight on one of my favorite blogs. Today I want to draw your attention to Diary of a Daoist Hermit authored by the Cloudwalking Owl. Here's how he describes his blog:
Life is a strange journey sometimes. I was born into a small-town, farming family in Southern Ontario, in Canada. But I've always been attracted to oriental philosophy. I joined a taijiquan club when I was a young man and a strange Chinese immigrant initiated me into his Daoist lineage without my really understanding what I was getting into. That happened about thirty years ago. The man has since died and I have nothing to do with his temple. But the path he started me on has become my life as I work out what it means to be a Western Daoist in the 21st century.
If you're looking for a blog with short and pithy entries, this one is not for you. The Cloudwalking Owl certainly does not post every day or, sometimes, every week, but when he does post, he writes some of the most thought-provoking stuff on the web! He tackles both politics and the most basic topics of humanity. And he consistently challenges the reader to go below the depths of superficial consciousness.

Here's a sample from a recent post entitled, Infantile Spirituality.
When I analyze my feelings when confronted by injustice I notice two things. First, I feel a lot of empathy in that I always end up imagining myself in the situation I see the other person. Secondly, I feel a great deal of anger and outrage. Sometimes I move to a third stage, which is fear that the world is a nasty, cruel, place that is indifferent to the suffering of individuals.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the first two reactions are attempts to divert my attention from the last one. It's better to feel sorrow for others and anger against whomever is harming them than contemplate that it is just happenstance -- perhaps temporary -- that I am not in the same boat. I notice this fact time and time again when I find out that the world is just not a "warm and fuzzy place". It was this outrage that fueled just about everything that I have ever done in politics. And that outrage ultimately kept me from facing up to the idea that life is inherently tough and I am going to die, probably after a lot of pain.

The path we walk as individuals is ultimately like a mine field. We never really know if the next time we put our foot down it may end in an explosion that may injure, maim or kill us. Our job can disappear, we can get sick, an accident may befall us, or the people we love can suffer similar problems, etc, etc.

1 comment:

  1. That's very deep. Love this.

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