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Posted (edited)

Hello,

 

Not quite sure what to say, but suppose it's best to be direct.

 

I'm in my early 20s and from a traditionalist conservative evangelical Christian background. I've studied some in universities, traveled a lot, wrestled with my faith a lot, and through a long questioning process, finally was able to abandon my faith in Christianity. I have resentments towards Christians, and Americans in general, traveling has really shown me what a messed up place America is, but I know I need to grow out of resentment. 

 

Anyway, I read Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi's teachings, and they really resonated with me, and then I found J Krishnamurti, and he seems to take Taoism to its logical conclusion better than most religious Taoists do. I've seen how every country has its idols, its Gods. In the end, it's all meaningless, emptiness. Religion is a crutch. Even secular countries feel the need to worship "democracy", "science", and "equality". Most people have a need to know things, to have things figured out. 

 

Anyway, I guess what I mean is I have low tolerance for BS. I know it's pointless to strive for immortality. I don't really care for a "kundalini awakening", or "opening the chakras". 

 

Does anyone know of a place where I can find a master that actually practices what's expressed in the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi without overemphasis on exercises? A place where I can go live out my life without dealing with a public that just wants some blessings or stress relief exercises while continuing to live their miserable lives? Maybe a cave or remote mountain, like the days of old? I'm in Taiwan right now. I'm willing to travel anywhere in Asia or even beyond. I don't understand the mindset of most religious Taoists here. I struggle to see the value of putting an exercise first, and adding in a bunch of other dogma from Buddhism like karma and reincarnation. In christianity you're put on a treadmill where you're supposed to go out and do good works and evangelize. Buddhism and Karma don't strike me as much different. Just another opportunity for people to lord power over others.

 

Am I crazy?

Edited by cah5896
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Posted (edited)

Hello, cah5896, and welcome.

 

Your membership is approved and we're happy you found your way to us. We look forward to accompanying you on some of the way that you still have to go.

 

Please take the time to read the post pinned at the top of this Welcome page and take a look at the forum Terms and Rules.   This covers all you need to know when getting started.

 

For the first week you will be restricted to ten posts per day but after that you can post as much as you like. Also, until you’ve posted fifteen times in the forums, you’ll be a “Junior Bum” with somewhat restricted access and will be allowed only two private messages per day.

 

Good luck in your pursuits and best wishes to you,

 

Fa Xin and the TDB team

 

Welcome Cah,

 

Nice to have you here. :) In my view, it's all about figuring out what resonates for you.  Everyone has their own path - it may not be yours, but it's good to not judge other views as "meaningless" or "bullshit"... more that it's just not for you.  There's many paths represented on the forum, and a good place to practice respect for everyone.

 

As far as finding a cave to practice the Dao in ... the Dao is in your own heart and can be practiced anywhere at any time.  So no I don't know of any,  but maybe someone here does. Cheers. Enjoy the forum! :)

 

You are welcome to jump right in to the ongoing discussions, revive an older thread, start a new thread of your own, or start a discussion in the "Newcomer Corner" sub-forum to expand on your introduction or ask general questions to help you get started.

 

May you enjoy your time here.

 

Fa Xin

Edited by Fa Xin
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Posted (edited)

Why not go hang out at the Kunlun temple, just to have a bit of a break.   They do spontaneous qigong which is very direct reality practice, no big words or fixed forms.   

( and no I am not into their philosophy, but it is a place up in the mountains near you where you can do kunlun qigong and breathe freely, go up on the weekends and stay the night, give yourself a break )

It is good if your plan is practical and actualizable rather than wishing to fly to the Moon.

Just make positive steps in a good direction.

And you dont have to listen to their philosophy at all, just go for the peace of the place.

 

 

 

 

 

As for Christianity, seems like many people are like you.   And who doesn't have negative things to say about the church.

However Jesus was real and did have a good message, but few ever read it, they are too busy opinionating on their church.

 

Anyway being 20s I hope you will plant some seeds for work and your career, choose wisely and work hard.   If no seeds planted it will be more difficult later.

 

Everyone on this planet may be insane, but you can still be insane.   Currently there is a fashion to hate and find fault with everyone and every thing, but it's not true many things are good.

 

Following Laozi means feeding your belly and being competent in daily life.   Just ask what you want, food shelter friends, and then just go and do it, however imperfectly.   Then in the evening you can contemplate philosophical matters.

 

 

Edited by rideforever
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Why do you resent Christians exactly? A vast majority of them are good people with good intentions and not out to harm anyone

 

You sound lost....I suggest reading into the esoteric underpinnings of religion.

 

What you are taught vs What is are two different things

 

Exoteric religion will always be open to manipulation, as is can be used as a way to control others...that's what happens with many of them, but that means nothing in the context of what they are....for example, a car in the wrong hands is a deadly weapon..but a car is not meant to be used as such, nor was it's intention

 

Esoteric religion is much more comprehensive, and while it is hard to grasp at first, you might gain insight...im not saying to endorse any one, but seeing as you are so disheartened , perhaps you should really try to understand what it is you are so disheartened by

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@pegasus1992

Have you been following U.S. politics lately? Christians operate as a tribe. Because they equate morality to something as simple as believing in something, and the fact that Biblical commands are so unreasonable that they are impossible to follow (never get angry, never lust, always obey the government, have short hair if you're a male, have fellowship with each other, evangelize even if you're a shy introvert, etc.), morality is wielded arbitrarily on people both inside and outside the herd. Because of their tribal nature, the fact that a Christian nation like America is right by God simply for "believing" enables unjust wars. Morality is arbitrarily adjusted, like homosexuality not being accepted at all, and then suddenly "just another sin". American Christians do whatever the Bible tells them to as if it's written personally to them, like circumcising male children and spanking. In Calvinism, which is popular in America, people are considered totally depraved by nature, which justifies government immigration policy (because again, those other countries are more depraved than we are), and policing mentality. Parenting mentality also incorporates this by enforcing black and white standards on obedience. You obey because we are your parents and we have authority. Because protestants tend to view all people as equal, there are no monasteries, everyone's mission is to evangelize. You're taught to pretend a personal God cares about you. 

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Posted (edited)

It is narcissism to think differently than the herd. The herd is always right. The collective always has priority over the individual. You are to be completely subservient to the collective and its appointed leaders.

Edited by cah5896

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I doubt I'll forget the insight I had into the commandments.

It came many years after my apostacy.

 

The commandments are not rules to follow or else.

They are signposts... markers... hallmarks of one who walks in spirit.

 

When read in the context of describing someone who walks with god.

 

This person will not covet, either the wive's of men, nor the property, as true value is derived in spirit and when walking in spirit all is fulfilled.

 

This person will not commit murder.  To one who walks in spirit, murder would be unthinkable.

Blasphemy, lust, undo adoration of false idols... all these things evaporate as possible actions in one who walks with spirit.

 

They're not a list of rules to abide by or risk eternal damnation as the exoterics and literalists have put forth.

 

They're a set of indicators, describing the actions of a Sage.  One who walks The Path.

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I had an angel(best description) speak to me while I was practicing taoist meditation. It seemed happy enough with it. Frankly, I think most who label themselves Christian have no clue about the depths it is capable of. It , like many things, becomes diluted for easy consumption by the masses.

 

Verse 38 A man of virtue who is not aware of his virtue is truly a man of virtue

A foolish man who tries to be of virtue is not a man of virtue

A man who is truly wise and of virtue seems to do nothing but leaves nothing undone

The foolish man who is always trying to do, leaves much undone The man of virtue acts without regard to himself or with condition

 

The highest form of kindness is that which is given without regard to himself or without condition

 

The highest form of morality is that which has no judgment or motive

When the Tao is lost then there is virtue When Virtue is lost then there is morality When Morality is lost then there is ritual

Ritual is only an empty shell of humanity like a flower and not the fruit; this is the beginning of the downfall of man

The great Sage follows his own nature and not that of society, following the fruit not the flower, he stays with the truth while rejecting the false.

(Note: this verse was taken from the Dennis Waller translation of Tao te ching)

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Posted (edited)

@silent thunder

So a sage can't be homosexual, would never offend someone, and would never undermine someone's "faith" in Jesus? Those are all Biblical commands. In my observation of Christians, those with more clout in the community will use these things to keep others under control, but they themselves are exempt from them. Or there's the fact that hard work is glorified. Who gets to define if you're a hard enough worker?

Edited by cah5896

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Or the fact that prayer is glorified, including intercessory prayer, as if God needs to be told what to do despite being all knowing and all powerful. Praying for people does absolutely nothing.

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Posted (edited)

There is a great deal of rebellion against authority.   And society is awash with money and pleasures, authorities are lazy stupid and insincere, who can trust them.

 

But on the path one must search for the truth no matter that you live in a swamp.

What did Christianity once mean ?  And what was the original intention behind their rules ?
Can I, being honest and wise, reconstruct the original instructions and consider following them because I see the sanity in them?

 

Some examples of the original meanings as I understand them :

 

Christians operate as a tribe.

Being one with God is real the way of being in a tribe

 

they equate morality to something as simple as believing in something,

No human beings are capable of really believe in anything.  Although churchgoers might use that word, it does not represent what they do.   They have created a habitual pattern where they congregate with their community and remember the "highest" and have several practices involving the body heart and min together.   There is no "belief" really, but if you talk to someone they can't explain everything that happens in a church, nor do they really know it themselves, so they use the word "belief" .

 

Biblical commands are so unreasonable that they are impossible to follow (never get angry, never lust, always obey the government, have short hair if you're a male,

It does not say never get angry, or have short hair.   

Church hierarchies misuse these things - mostly because they do not do their own practice.

 

America is right by God simply for "believing" enables unjust wars.

Ultimately the only solution is to merge / surrender to God.   Then you are in the right place, and there is no place more "just".

But for sure much violence is always excused with religion, I suppose it is a convenient get out for warmongerers.

 

people are considered totally depraved by nature,

We all have various natures and have difficulty being harmonious, there is a struggle.

There is a huge conflict between our assumed social ego identity, our real identity, our need to eat and to be accepted by the herd.  It does not seem easy to harmonize all these things.

 

justifies government immigration policy

It is simply observed for instance with farm animals that too much mixing weakens a breed.

Some new blood is good, but too much is a disaster.

Not just for reasons of blood, but also the solid structure of society.

For thousands of years it has been known that if you wish to weaken a people you just bring in lots of foreigners, and people like Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan used to do that in order to weaken a people into submission.

 

sexuality

It simply makes sense to live as your biology intended, and this is a starting point -but not an end point- of traditional thinking about sexuality.

 

These underlying "real meanings" are quite genuine; but of course on this unhappy planet every single one can be twisted for insincere ends.

 

Many people will be herd animals, others will be rebellious herd animals.

How many will have their own truth ?

 

Edited by rideforever

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@rideforever

Please at least Google my assertions before dismissing them. 

 

1 Corinthians 11:14–15

Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.

 

In Matthew 5, Jesus equates anger to murder.

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@rideforever

I think you give Christians too much credit or you've been around much better Christians than I have.

 

People like Pastor Robert Jeffress, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton have no morals whatsoever. And Mike Pence is vain and thinks he is qualified to lead just because he's a Christian and follows the letter of the law in the Bible.

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@rideforever

Don't think I don't have a vast experience dealing with churchgoers. Christianity is a glorification of suffering and we're always urged to suffer the way Jesus suffered. If you think those are the "highest values" then so be it, but I disagree.

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Posted (edited)

Paul in my opinion was the first person to mess up Christianity ... wrt 1 Corinthians.  I am not very interested in Paul.

 

 

Anger and Murder ... well it doesn't sound so bad to me if you read the whole ting :

Anger and Murder
21 “You have heard that it was said to an older generation, ‘Do not murder,’ and ‘whoever murders will be subjected to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults a brother will be brought before the council, and whoever says ‘Fool’ will be sent to fiery hell. 23 So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift. 25 Reach agreement quickly with your accuser while on the way to court, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the warden, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny!

 

 

Anyway you don't need to remind me how many despicable things have happened in the name of Christianity, I do know.

Edited by rideforever

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I think we live in a very difficult time because most authorities are not worthy of listening to.

I am personally sick of seeing people in authority who are lyings losers.

Even if they had had the intention to be better at the outset.

But I do not feel that I can live without some sense of authority, or direction, or instruction.

But difficult to know what to do.

I try to reconstruct a true authority within me based upon wisdom.

There are a couple of teachers I know who are real.

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Hi and welcome

 

It is interesting to see you have a very good mindset.

Seeing through things like symbols, ideology and how people move to the slumber of consciousness is a big step in the process of waking up to oneself.

 

If you think you will find your path on a remote mountaintop or in the seclusion of a monastery you will be a bit disappointed.

Not that you wouldn't benefit in spending some time in either of them; it is more that you belong in the world.

 

You are not crazy, but you are ab-normal; since you don't follow the norm (herd). 

 

 

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10 hours ago, cah5896 said:

@silent thunder

So a sage can't be homosexual, would never offend someone, and would never undermine someone's "faith" in Jesus? Those are all Biblical commands. In my experience with Christians, those with more clout in the.community will use these things to keep you under control, but they themselves are exempt from them. Or there's the fact that hard work is glorified. Who gets to define if you're a hard enough worker?

Well said mate.  Didn't even realize that's how that one insight might be taken on a broader perspective but it makes absolute sense and you're right, thank you.  One must account for all the laws, not just my insight on those ten, but I was young at the time and had been raised and believed utterly and completely.  And it's how it hit me, regarding those ten, not the paradigm, so that is the context if it helps understand where my comment arose from...

 

The church my Mother chose was Charismatic Lutheran and I believed wholly and unquestioningly until the age of critical thinking arose and my questioning started.  This was the beginning of the end of my participation in the christian paradigm.   Eventually, driven by unanswered or ignored questions, I finally just read the bible for myself.  Holy Shit was that a mind job!  I recall thinking 'this book is worse than any of the books they keep telling us not to read' (which I sought out and read to see why they should not be read).  Deuteronomy and Leviticus particularly were utterly mindbending and gut churning experiences...

 

Turns out for me, the surest path out of the christian world view was reading their source material.  My conversation with my Mum went something like this...

 

Me:  Mom, have you read the bible?

Mom: yes... of course.

Me:  all of it?!

Mom: well no, not all of it.

Me: you should... by the way, I'm not going to church any more.

 

I recall for some years experiencing visceral rage when considering the lies perpetrated on me by the church.  This eventually relented (thankfully for my health), when I came to realize that most of the folks sharing those views with me in our particular church, had no deep agenda, they simply hadn't themselves ever actually explored or questioned as I was.  For them, those questions never arose, they weren't seeking below the surface and the church was more a social function and the views kind of seemed to come and go without much depth of contemplation, causing no apparent dissonance for them, aside from my uncomfortable questions from time to time.

 

Hope this helps clarify my insight and the context of its sharing.  I'm grateful for your questioning of it.

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Posted (edited)

@silent thunder

Oh, I see now what you were talking about. I didn't connect the dots that you were talking about the ten commandments specifically, as you just said commandments. It does make more sense in that context.

 

My progression has been almost the same. It started when I read the whole Bible, and came in stages. First I questioned the apostle Paul, then Biblical inerrancy, then the trinity doctrine, and then everything else. It's agonizing how the decisions of some people a few thousand years ago and the conversions of our ancestors have so much clout on what we are dealing with today.

Edited by cah5896
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2 hours ago, cah5896 said:

@silent thunder

Oh, I see now what you were talking about. I didn't connect the dots that you were talking about the ten commandments specifically, as you just said commandments. It does make more sense in that context.

 

My progression has been almost the same. It started when I read the whole Bible, and came in stages. First I questioned the apostle Paul, then Biblical inerrancy, then the trinity doctrine, and then everything else. It's agonizing how the decisions of some people a few thousand years ago and the conversions of our ancestors have so much clout on what we are dealing with today.

Your posts so far here resonate with empathy and familiarity for me.

We all share here voluntarily and I'm deeply grateful.

 

We are all of us gardeners, whether we know it or not.

Each action and word is a seed planted in the fields of awareness of those we affect.

 

A wise man plants seeds of trees in whose shade, he knows he will never sit...

 

I appreciate your taking time to share here. 

 

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On 6/10/2019 at 9:48 PM, cah5896 said:

@pegasus1992

Have you been following U.S. politics lately? Christians operate as a tribe. Because they equate morality to something as simple as believing in something, and the fact that Biblical commands are so unreasonable that they are impossible to follow (never get angry, never lust, always obey the government, have short hair if you're a male, have fellowship with each other, evangelize even if you're a shy introvert, etc.), morality is wielded arbitrarily on people both inside and outside the herd. Because of their tribal nature, the fact that a Christian nation like America is right by God simply for "believing" enables unjust wars. Morality is arbitrarily adjusted, like homosexuality not being accepted at all, and then suddenly "just another sin". American Christians do whatever the Bible tells them to as if it's written personally to them, like circumcising male children and spanking. In Calvinism, which is popular in America, people are considered totally depraved by nature, which justifies government immigration policy (because again, those other countries are more depraved than we are), and policing mentality. Parenting mentality also incorporates this by enforcing black and white standards on obedience. You obey because we are your parents and we have authority. Because protestants tend to view all people as equal, there are no monasteries, everyone's mission is to evangelize. You're taught to pretend a personal God cares about you. 

 

Ok firstly you need to understand that the bible has been edited, and many of the concepts in it misunderstood. It has been used as a tool by political forces, and as such, has become an instrument of inducing fear into others...but this is not it's intention, that is merely what certain authorities do

 

Regards things like homosexuality, it cannot be in line with those teachings, and here,s why. Sex is the means through which people procreate, it is not a means to satisfy desire. Because it is against the doctrine to have sex without the possibility of procreation, then homosexual sex serves no purpose in the christian view. On top of this there are esoteric underpinnings related to the polarities of male and female ( yin/yang, electric/magnetic) etc. If we go back the belief is that humans were originally androgynous, and reproduced asexually before the fall ( See the work of Franz von Baader). This is a very complex topic in and of itself

 

Biblical commandments are to be strived towards, it is a given than people will break some of them, the point is to try not to. 

As earlier mentioned to be in harmony with them is to " walk the path "

 

The standards on morality and obedience are not simply a product of parenting nor law enforcement, they are conditioned over time.Why is it you think this has such a profound impact on parenting and policing? There are laws yes, and certain ideas children need to be taught, but what exactly is this line crossed that you are implying?

 

Also, religion does not enable or facilitate wars, I am really tired of hearing that same old story. People create wars, based on divergence of opinion, and if religion didn't exist, they would just find something else to fight about.  People use that as a scapegoat, but any observant person can see it is just that.

 

I would reiterate my earlier point, do not hate Christians for merely believing in something they are told to. There was a point in our life where you took these things without question too I'm sure, try to consider that.

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