Proud Chinese Pagans

A very Chinese way of looking at the world. Am I a Taoist too ?Don't tell anyone




Author: coyote 
Date:   01-24-08 11:24

Individual Chinese are mostly Taoist but without necessarily subscribing to the tenets of Taoism. They are Taoists because they are the heir of the greatest "belief" there is. I placed belief in quotations because this so called Taoist core belief is basically simply a set of non-beliefs.

One goes to the source for illumination. What does the Tao Te Ching NOT believe? TTC says there is no God that we should be fussing about. No belief system that we cannot amend or give up. It tells us one should be fearless and yet there is nothing to die for. That we should worship no one, no man or beast, other than to accord a good dose of respect for that (Tao) which we vaguely comprehend that lurks mostly undetected and unseen.

If China is of Taoist roots, how can it not reach deep to those same roots if it were to have a bright future and its people peace and happiness?

Of all the Chinese leaders in recent history, I love Deng Xiao Ping the most (notwithstanding my personal assessment of him vis a vis TAM.) I think he was a genuinely great man. His attitude of "anything-goes so long as it procures for the people livelihood and happiness" is the closest I have seen of deep Taoist belief (or non-belief) in a leader.

China and Chinese must continue to be practical and pragmatic. Or if you prefer the ancient lingo, be like the water. (Isn’t this Chinese psyche a perfect match for science and technology?) We can also be resolute and strong and also decisive, as many of our enemies have found out.

Our rewards are not far away or later or next life, but to be won in the here and now.

Deng did not bash Christians, he did not bash Sun or Mao, he also did not bash the West nor any of China’s neighbors. The only ideology he had was that China must not be weighed down by ideologies. He did not believe in what the West preaches. He did not dream foolishly about co-prosperity either. He recognized in all nations potential friends and potentials enemies. He did not let his guard down while allowing his country to open up.

Belief systems energize us. They sometimes enable us to do noble things but more often than not, they reduce us to silly rhetoric and even more silly actions.

The Chinese do not choose non-beliefs. The latter is chosen for the Chinese by way of history. We have no need to spread our non-beliefs nor do we have need to fear them (believers). Somehow, after having been endlessly buffetted by foreign beliefs, we as a people return to our natural state. Hong Kong after over 150 years of foreign and Christian domination, is still over 90% non-Christian. Communism came and now is gone.

The Chinese are the ultimate pagans. We are the mad ones in a world of beliefs and believers. For the pain of our madness, we have accorded ourselves freedom.

The Chinese have no need to be anti-Christian or anti-Islam or anti-anything. We have only two rules to live by and we should all well remember:

1) Live and let live.

2) Don’t tread on us.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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