Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Extremist Taoism


The Hua Hu Ching states in its opening passage:

"My teachings are simple; if you try to make a religion or science of them, they will elude you."

and Taoism is at its best a philosophy, famously stating in the Tao Te Ching "The Tao that can be told is not the Tao" so by ruling out any religion or set method to its discovery. I recommend sitting by a lake over reading any book explaining Tao.

Yet even against the intent and strong statements in nearly all Tao literature that Tao should not form a religion - Taoism as a religion exists, it is a religion based around the Tao and has all the rubbish of all religion attached to it such as worship of deities and so on.

If we accept that anything that can lead to a religion will eventually give rise to extremist action and "us VS them", then wouldn't it be fun to set up a sect that was extremely lazy?

Take all the lines we can such as: "The sage, by doing nothing, does nothing wrong." and adapting the lines slightly like that to give them a real leaning towards the slacker.

We would then, in not too long have a Tao of absolute laziness loved by stoners, students, slackers and co - hopefully with time a member would take the teachings and see them as an undisputed truth that must be stood up for. With their leadership the whole group will be crystallized around the teachings and they will be seen as the word of God.

When the inevitable happens and the new extremist Tao is seen by its members to be being encroached upon by another group of people, politics or lawmakers, they will fight back.

Being the religious extremists they are they will go to the letter of their doctrine and fight their cause by staying in bed a lot, showing up late for everything, being religiously disorganized and aiming to fail.

The end result being a religious war where a group of disorganized folk don't really get much done. I'd say the body count would be very low.

So if anything, even when not intended to become a religion, even in stating it shouldn't, still does - we then by encouraging passivity, disorganization and laziness, make for a very laid back group of extremists come the revolution.

This post originally appeared on Ta-Wan's blog, Tao Wow.

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