There are no masters.....only students and teachers.
No student, no teacher.
No master, no slave.
An art doesn't have an end, it flows and changes continuously.
Therefor how can there be masters in any art.
This idea just helps to creat a separation between people through hierarchy and has a tendency to creat egotism and servitude.
So much is written about the master student relationship. About how a student should respect the master, but little about how a master should respect the student. Respect comes from the Latin, Re-again and Spectare-to look at.
In the west we translate the Chinese word Sifu as master. In actual fact it is a combination of the idea of being a father and teacher. As many started their studies as young people away from their parents.
What have these masters perfected, what is their mastery over ?
A mastery of a system of movements or is it a mastery over themselves and their ego?
To what end are they striving for this perfection ?
Where are these true masters ? With their magical powers that so many are trying to emulate.
Look around you, something is very wrong with our world. Ruled and enslaved, with the threat of violence, by the most insane amongst us.
Are these enlightened masters sitting in mountain caves sipping spring water praying for our souls or are they sitting in the internet making coin from selling the idea of spirit.
Where are these masters of perfection in our time of need, to lead us by example ?
Nowhere, by the looks of it. Do they even exist ? Which one of you has met one who has mastered the self?
They should be out in the public forum inspiring us and embarrassing those vile reprobates that rule over us through fear of violence.
But they are nowhere to be seen or heard.
If they exist and have the magical powers of insight, then they are surely cowards or uncaring fools for not coming forward.
The longest living, kindest, most selfless and happiest people are not found in temples, wearing special robes, but out on the streets with the rest of us mortals. Their lives are long because they are simple, happy and uncomplicated. Not because they are yogis, praying to an imaginary god and twisting themselves into esoteric knots.
Taoism used to be about living in and studying the way of nature, before it was made into a religion, now look at it. A shamefully complicated and often egotistical shell of its former self. Locked up and sold to the highest bidder by master gatekeepers. Given piecemeal to those that pay their dues in time or money. This, we are told, is to preserve the Tao. Who are they to make this decision for anyone. The Tao gives freely of itself and old men lock it up in power structures and religion for vanity and personal gain.
All the internet masters are hurriedly selling themselves for worldly gain. Mitchell, Metzner, Frantzis, Johnson, Chia, Yang et all. Thousands of dollars for giving a days lecture and a chance to sell their books and t shirts in the foyer on your way out. Unending pictures of themselves on their websites. Videos of their ability to put a bigger man on the ground. What exactly have they mastered, not their ego obviously.
If you want money then get a job and give the spirit freely, if you love the Tao so much.
It will always provide you with your next meal and a place to rest your head.
If you have to travel the world selling the Tao, then you have lost the way and have no faith in the Tao.
The path they walk is incorrect. Let the Tao provide for you.
If this is spirituality in the modern era. Where did we go so very wrong ?
These people should fall to their knees in deep and quiet shame for what they are doing.
Driving to their Qi gong class in their raybans, picking up a latte at starbucks on the way. Wearing priest clothes and a topknot after a years stint in Wudang. A few well placed taoist tattoos on their forearms for the world to see. Now you can call yourself Master or Laoshi and get the respect you know you rightfully deserve. Paying for their tuition fees over and again into their old age, never giving freely. Holding onto their hard won secret knowledge and Chinese name for dear life.
Don't let go or you'll loose control and what you wrongfully think is your self.
These masters could give all of their knowledge freely over the internet in a concise and systematic way, like a university course and make a good living by donation, if they chose to. Instead its unconnected bits and pieces, enough for advertising purposes, unless you hand over your hard earned money.
This information does not belong to them and is owned by nobody to be kept, unless sold.
Why do priest and monks wear uniforms ? Often delineating their rank and status. The further up the chain of command the finer the cloth and the more beads and the higher they place themselves above the ordinary person.
Are we not all in this together.
Masters make slaves.
Taoism is about being a part of nature and contemplating our place in it. Not as a casual observer but as a necessary and valid part of it.
When one lives in nature every part of ones life revolves around it. You don't need to study yinyang or the five elements in a book delivered to you by robot from amazon. You see it as day turns to night and in the changes of the seasons. The Tao is not an esoteric concept, it is life unfolding before you. Meditation not something you set an hour a day away for, it is going about your day peacefully without concern for the passing of time or the acquisition of magical cognitive states. Every living thing is your teacher and there are no masters.....and everything worth having is free.
The reason we read and write in books and give seminars is because we arent living it. When you live in and are a part of nature you don't need words to explain what is going on around you. You just know, its in front of you. The opening lines of the tao te ching explain this clearly for that reason. But we sit around discussing such things instead.
Living and being a beautiful and valid part of nature is being a Taoist. No need for books, temples, priests and bowing to golden gods.
The birds will tell you when its time for qi gong, morning and evening. The rain gives you a day off from work. Your harvest, your time for commerce.
Keep your feet in the soil, your back to the sun and your mind empty, happy and peaceful. Then the world unfolds before you. You can see into the future because your mind is free and open.
Learn to be a good human before you rush off to be with your saints and gods. Going inside oneself with honesty and humility is far harder than any nei gong. Master your human self first. Or why else would we be born as flesh and blood.
How can anyone find truth unless we go inside first to confront and remove the false self.
Instead, we avoid authentic investigation into the darker aspects of ourselves. We want to see reality but not ourselves as we really are. So we immerse ourselves in some esoteric practice with some master to gratify our false self and neglect the primary work. Then we can call ourselves a Taoist master and hold on to the knowledge in exchange for respect and money.
As the Oracle of Delphi stated, know thyself and you will know the universe and the gods.
Why are there so many different esoteric system ? Is one right and all the rest wrong or are they all right ? Why are they all so convoluted and difficult to discern ?
In the west, especially, we think things have to be complicated to have worth.
...the Tao is not complicated, just stop seeing one thing against another. Then yinyang dissolves to reveal the Tao.
Why are we supposed to reverse creation to become part of the Tao. We already are. So many complicated rituals and imaginations that creat themselves only through repetition of belief.
First we learn, then we forget. Forgetting is the key.
The Tao is not on the internet or hiding in your smartphones, televisions or books. Wisdom is not found in schools or universities or even in most temples. Just distractions from the truth that you already are living the Tao. All the processes you seek are already functioning within you. All you need do is stop trying, be peaceful and listen gently. Wake up with the birds, stretch like a cat and rest like a turtle. Be kind and gentle with those around you and give freely of yourself.
Be open and honest with yourself and others.
Perfection is not the absence of mistakes or wrong doings, it is about not making those same mistakes twice.
There are not seven billion people on this planet. Just one having seven billion experiences.
We are all one.
There is only love or fear.
Holding on is fear.
Letting go is love.
We should pull our resources and work as one for the benefit of all, freely. Not divide and separate through the creation of hierarchy for the benefit of one.
This information should be given openly and freely. Disseminated logically and systematically to produce as many teachers as we can for the benefit of all in, this rather messed up world.
No master....no slave.