It Is Not Easy
I think it has always been hard to be a taoist. Perhaps it is even harder today, when our comforts allow us to cheat pain for long periods in our longer lives. What Lao tsu says is hard to understand. Fear of misfortune is natural, how can we learn to welcome it? We look at the world and see that the natural order is based on the mega death of innocents (how many tadpoles die for every frog that lives to breed? how many human children have died b4 the age of five?) how can this be good? One of the things Lao Tsu trys to teach is grace in the face of death and this is what makes his teaching fundamentally opposed to that of the religions of the near east. If there is a heaven to go to after death, then there is no grace in death. Heaven allows us to hide from the terrible fact of death. Heaven is ignorance in the sense of ignoring death. If we ignore death, we will not love life enough to do what we must with it. I think it is very frightening to be a taoist, but the laughter of the water in the stream mocks my fear.