Friday, July 14, 2017

Lao-tzu's Kingdom


About 15 or so years ago, I was rummaging through a pile of "last chance" books on a cart at a bookstore, and I happened on a copy of Stephen Mitchell’s “English version” of the Tao Te Ching. I picked it up, read a few pages, and decided to buy it.

Up to that point, I'd heard of Taoism, but I didn't know much about it. Mainly, I just knew it was an ancient Chinese religion and that the black-and-white, "yin and yang" circle was one of its symbols.

What I found when I sat down and read it was a beautiful book of 81 poem-like “chapters” supposedly written by a Chinese contemporary of Confucius named Lao-tzu.

But more than that, I found in its pages the kingdom of God. Lao-tzu saw what the Buddha saw. He saw what Jesus saw. He saw what anybody can see who looks and expects to see.

So do I see?

I see what I see, and what I see is enough. But only if I'm willing to believe my eyes.

Sometimes I'm not.


4 comments:

Painting Demos by Brian Rice said...

I find in Tao, no sense of judgement or sin. There is no fear of the external deity. There is love ,joy, peace, forgiveness and compassion which flows from a greater sense of being and this being is connected with Tao. This is what all the enlightened, and awakened, beings saw throughout history. Jesus called it "the kingdom of heaven" because for his generation those were words they understood.

S0phia Inkpen said...

Well said, Brian.

HK Stewart said...

Brian:

I agree. It goes by many names -- all of which are helplessly inadequate to describe it.

I was thinking about all of this a few days ago. I grew up in Christianity, then left and eventually found my way to Taoism. When I came back around to Christianity, I discovered Jesus and Lao-tzu had been talking about the same thing all along. Today, I like to think of Jesus as a Jewish Taoist.

Thanks for reading and writing. I hope all is well in your world.

H. K.

Painting Demos by Brian Rice said...

H.K, I also grew up under the influence of fundamentalist Christianity. I was an agnostic as a teenager and then became a full-fledged fundy in my early 20's. I accepted everything taught as gospel truth and had very little doubt for 35 years.I began to become disillusioned with the type of Christianity I was steeped in and about 5 years ago I began my quest for truth, which continues to this day. Its a very long story and I won't get into it here.I am also once again very interested in the authentic teachings of Jesus and he seemed to have had a Taoist or Buddhist influence. I am finding peace, joy, compassion and self-discipline through continued Spirit influence. But what is missing now is the dread of feeling quilt, and fear over not meeting some divine ideal and the over emphasis on Sin taught inside Fundy circles. Jesus is worshiped as a God and my understanding now is that Jesus,like the Buddha before him, did not want to be worshiped as God. Their teachings pointed to the truth. The spiritual teaching of Jesus morphed into a religion about Jesus,the Christ and his persona. He did embody the eternal Christ (TAO) and he was an enlightened being. He pointed to the possibility of the Christ Spirit being present and manifested in all human beings. This is the real truth of his message. In my opinion the worship of Jesus has become a type of hero or idol worship for two thousand years. People need to wake up and realize that the Christ Spirit is there for all and it just needs to be realized. Spirit is everywhere, we live and move and have our being in it.

Thanks for writing in your blog. I enjoy having contact with you.