The Nature of Taoism
Updated: May 6
The Way, Tao, is what is natural, but nature can be distorted. Tao is not nature. Tao is what nature should be. Grief is the result of unfulfilled nature reaching its full potential. Tao is ecology, the aiming at ecology, and the consequences of destroying ecology, and not all ecology is physical. Consider: the Taoist word, not the common Chinese word, for nature is ch'ung-ch'ung wu chin. It literally means ecologies-embracing-ecologies ad infinitum or worlds-embracing-worlds ad infinitum or realms-embracing-realms ad infinitum.
The question is within ch'ung-ch'ung wu chin. What is the human way, Tao, or ecology? Since it is humans who have that question to wrestle with instead of being instinctually pre-programmed with the answer, wrestling with the Way in Taoism, is whether you are up to the infinite adventure in sensitivity, responsibility, and responsiveness. Not final answers or destinations, like heaven. In true religion, there is no permanent salvation, no having arrived, just the eternal obligation. There is no infallibility in Taoism, just a universe friendly to those who seek the best and sincerely are able to learn from their mistakes. It's an eternal learning, can one become, eternally, the permanent student? That's the secret behind Taoist alchemy.
The human way unto immortality is mutual ethical reciprocity, within cosmic bounds assigned to you or law, and te, cultivated skill, capability, virtue, to carry out the human vocation. Humans are a part of nature and its Way, which includes the Way for them. So, what is the natural human way is the thing to seek.
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