acosean

Heartism - Closest to Taoism

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I'm in my thirties and when I told my friends that I am now preparing for afterlife, they got a shock of their lives!

 

Like many other fellow human beings, I have been searching for metaphysical and axiological answers to existence and life. Throughout my journey, there were many who took me to church, evangelised to me and asked me to accept Christ. However, all these attempts were in vain.

 

After doing some extensive research and comparative studies, I then realised that the world is essentially comprising religious beliefs of two major schools of thoughts:

 

1. The Western Abrahamic God Faiths

One that talks about an omipotent and omiscient God who created the world; and there is only one life. Examples include Judaism, Catholism, Protestantism and Islam.

 

2. The Eastern Reincarnation Models

There is karma and reincarnation. Examples include Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism.

 

For me, personally I am more inclined in believing in the second school; otherwise I find no motivation to livelihood, as there won't be equity or equilibrum. Look at the Nanjing Masscare in 1937. Babies were thrown into boiling water and others were skinned alive. A monk who helped a lady from being raped had his heart dug out by a bayonet in broad daylight. It was WORSE THAN HELL.

 

And among the tens of thousands of Japanese soliders who committed such atrocities beyond imagination, only a few were sentenced to death after the war. The middle-ranking officers who gave direct orders to perform these atrocities went scott-free - some even returned to Japan to hold high office!

 

How do we justify such an incident from happening? Karma and reincarnation. Otherwise there is completely nothing to LOOK FORWARD to in life.

 

To maintain equilibrium in life, I thus attempted to find out more about the Eastern Reincarnation Models. Unfortunately, none of these could COMPLETELY satisfy my thirst for answers in terms of both logic and self-conscience.

 

I thus founded Heartism way back in 1989. In order not to overly shock others, I would safely say my belief is closest to Taoism. In fact, to date, the Supreme Master (Lao Zi) is the only being I kneel down to.

 

I feel that I am the Envoy to Heartism, which essentially believes in three axioms. By reminding myself of the three axioms on a daily basis, I feel I am more likely to reach Utopia in my next life/lives.

 

However, please note that I am not advocating that Heartism is the only true faith. For example, I respect Taoism a lot, followed by Buddhism.

 

I am also prepared to face the situation whereby one fine day, I am enlightened to learn that the tenets of Heartism are wrong. Why? This is because mankind's intelligence is highly limited, especially in the realm of metaphysics.

 

But until then, my thoughts and actions are governed by Heartism.

 

In my next article, I will talk about the tenets of Heartism.

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Heartism has 3 Axioms. The First Axiom states the following:

 

The world is a mistake.

 

If I were to leave it here without providing any elaborations or disclaimers, I would be highly irresponsible. It must thus be emphasized that the First Axiom does not imply that, because of the erroneous nature of the world, one could then

 

- Indulge in hedonism (i.e. enjoy / play all the time - why bother to study/work?)

- Exercise complacency (i.e. why bother to improve society in various aspects)

- Be negatively motivated in life, since there's nothing to count on (even to the extent of attempting suicide)

- Engage in crimes/unethical practices (i.e. since the world is a mistake, why bother?)

 

The best analogy to illustrate how we should treat the First Axiom is to think that we are actually imprisoned in concentration camps by external invaders. Nothing is right in this enclosure. We could ask the "wrong" question and we could be tortured. No justice in treatment. Abject living conditions with poor food, hygiene, freedom, etc.

 

And we know we have to endure living in this place for quite sometime. To escape from the camp would mean more severe punishment. So back to our real life concept, we should thus NEVER attempt suicide.

 

Despite the fact that living in the concentraton camps is a mistake (that we should aspire to be freed one fine day), there would still be some personalities who possess good virtues. We thus should work hand-in-hand with them to improve the living condition in the camps. But we know this is only interim. Who would ever want to create Utopia within the prison? Our ultimate vision is thus NOT to make the prison a better place to live (because we can't expect it to be excellent, not to mention perfect), but to be freed one day and live outside the prison (i.e. in our homes).

 

Why do I believe in the First Axiom whole-heartedly beyond any reasonable doubt? Examples are numerous. The more you read history, the more you realise how errorenous the world has been. Look at the 1937 Nanjing Masscre, I shan't repeat. Even in recent times, terrorism is pervasive. What about natural calamities such as the Sichuan Earthquake that wiped out lives and homes mercilessly recently? My sorrow was immensely deepened when I saw the aftermath of the Tsunami catastrophe - devastated mums carrying their dead infants repeatedly attempting to wake them up but to no avail.....

 

Social and natural calamities aside, the structure of the world itself is highly erroneous. Look at the Great Depression that occurred in the 1930s. It was through no fault of anyone. And now the global financial crisis and recessions across the continents. It is simply because mankind can't anticipate things correctly. When times are good, people naturally seize the opportunity to borrow more to set-up/expand their businesses. But when they can't sell what they have made/acquired, there is a mismatch between demand and supply. And recessions ensue because they can't pay offf their debts to the banks; and in turn the banks can't churn out money to consumers and investors. Sorry, this article is not about a lesson on economics.

 

There has always been a great debate of whether it is ethical to consume meat. Some of my friends have turned vegetarians. But even the plants that we eat are lives too, aren't they? So the system of "to eat another life to survive" in our current world is a poor system. Can you imagine another system of existence whereby survival is not dependent on food? Or maybe it is on food, but the food is not from living organisms?

 

Some denominations of religions believe that Utopia or perfection can be attained on Earth itself. I dispute this in full because as long as there is existence of the physical world, perfection can never be reached.

 

Why? This is because no two men share the same opinion on things. Why do wars, fights or even office politicking occur? Differences in opinions. Period.

 

Person A is a stereotypical conservative person. His version of Utopia is everybody in society lives harmoniously with one another without any conflict, illnesses or lack of resources (such as land and food). And all exhibit the commonly agreed code of societal norms and ethics.

 

Person B is an extreme radical personality who advocates naturism as a way of living. He also enjoys supposedly societal taboos such as homosexuality, swinging and pedophilia.

 

A and B can debate what they feel is right until the cows come home.

 

So how can we have a common Utopia that fits the thinking of A and B simultaneously? As long as one compromises or gives way to his ideals, it is never Utopia to that person.

 

In society, whenever one problem is solved (or only partially resolved), other problems emerge as a spin-off. So there is no full-stop to them. These are called "wicked problems" by some sociologists.

 

Physical pain/injuries/illnesses are already detrimental killers to many. What about those who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder? And what about other psychiatric ailments such as being afraid of pointed objects?

 

I could easily continue with another 25 pages or so to explain the truth of the First Axiom, but I think I will stop here as I believe the above listing would suffice.

 

Now that we have accepted the First Axiom, what's next?

Edited by acosean

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We then move on to the Second Axiom of Heartism, which states:

 

Everything is empty.

 

I suppose the Second Axiom is much more difficult to accept as compared to the first one. I will elucidate its meaning at the next article.

Edited by acosean

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Just wanted to let you know that your posts are being read.

 

I will wait before commenting.

 

Peace & Love!

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It is great that at least there are people reading my articles. Otherwise it is kind of strange to continue with my posts without knowing if anyone is actually reading. That explained why the timeline between my First and Second Axiom posts was so long, with no one responding in between. Thus I hesitated before posting more.

 

Now back to the Second Axiom. I should start off by posing the following metaphysical question. Note that the assumption or premise on this question is that there isn't any life after death (just like sleeping forever without having any dreams), and that supernatural concepts such as gods, ghosts or spirits do not exist. In other words, let's be as scientific as science has uncovered by far. Now the question:

 

If every single living organism in the entire universe has died, do you think the remaining non-living objects (such as furniture, equipment or Planet Earth itself) are still in existence?

 

Please spend some time thinking about it if you have not read/heard similar questions being posed to you. This is because your answer would determine the nature of philosophical inclination you are possessing.

 

In my next article, not only will I be touching on this in greater detail, I will also illustrate the Second Axiom with an anecdote entitled "The Shangri-La Experience" by Fujiko Fujio.

 

And by the way, in case I am too caught up with my work that I don't continue posting in a timely fashion but that you are anxious to find out more, please do not hesitate to email me at [email protected]

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If one's answer is that the remaining non-living things will still exist after all living organisms have died, they will argue along the following line:

 

"It doesn't make sense for the non-living objects to vanish all of a sudden when the last organisms dies in the universe, does it? In other words, the physical existence of the living things and the non-living things are independent on each other."

 

And you belong to the school of materialist if the above is your line of reasoning.

 

However, idealists would argue as follows: The reason why we feel that things around us exist is because we feel their 'existence' through our senses. Materialists will then argue that when one living thing dies, the world might no longer exist from his perspective but it is still in existence with respect to the many other remaining lives on earth.

 

This is exactly the crux of the issue. If all have died, how would the physical remaining world exist? To whom will it exist to? Let's imagine there is still a last man (and also last organism) in the universe. Yes, we can say that the world still exists with respect to him. But when he dies finally, the world exists with respect to whom? If it is "to nobody", how can we assert that the world still exists?

 

In my next post, I shall relate the Shangri-La anecdote to further illustrate this point. Stay tuned.

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Hello, I'm new to the site but just wanted to add that your heartism has very close parallels to gnosticism. Your axioms – in particular the first one – are much in keeping with a gnostic metaphysic. You could take a look at e.g. 'On the Origin of the World' and 'The Hypostasis of the Archons' (two codices from the Nag Hammadi find) if you fancy and haven't done so already. Quite an eye opener.

 

Regarding the latter point, it sounds like you have set yourself an excellent Zen koan there!

 

Thanks.

Edited by Cueball

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Hi Acosean,

 

Just to let you know, I have been called a materialist by a couple folks on this board and I have agreed with them that I am so you know what basket you will find me in.

 

I'm still with you on your journey though.

 

Peace & Love!

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To Cueball:

 

Thanks for pointing out that Heartism has parallels to Gnosticism, even though I have not revealed its third (and final) axiom. I then checked out on Gnosticism and concurred that indeed there are some similarities. The more you read my posts (in the future), you more you might realise that Heartism could be more close to Monistic Idealism. However, what I need to highlight is that the First Axiom does not explicitly assert that the Supreme Being/Creator is imperfect that it has created this erroneous world; and neither does it take the stand of whether there is such a Supreme Being/Creator. Thus the notion that the Supreme Being/Creator is imperfect or is responsible for this erroneous world can only be inferred. As a layman, when I am in a highly emotionally-charged state, I would tend to choose to interpret this Axiom to my natural inclination: That there indeed has a Supreme Being whom I blame for causing such sufferings to me (and to my loved ones, and to society at large). However, as Heartism's Envoy, I always remind myself to maintain neutrality - i.e., do not wonder if there is such a Creator or whether the Creator is to be faulted on all these, since man's intelligence is limited to venture into this arena meaningfully.

 

To Marblehead:

 

As stated earlier, I don't profess my philosophical religion (or religious philosohy) on Heartism to be the ONLY TRUTH, even though I may be its Envoy. I am also prepared that, perhaps upon death when more wisdom could be enlightened upon me, I might end up realising the total mistake in Heartism (though I don't wish to). But until then, I hold dear and steadfast to my belief. Thus, I respect materialists as well since it is just another philosophical perspective. And may I add that it won't be my intention to prove that only the idealist's belief is right.

Edited by acosean

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To Marblehead:

 

As stated earlier, I don't profess my philosophical religion (or religious philosohy) on Heartism to be the ONLY TRUTH, even though I may be its Envoy. I am also prepared that, perhaps upon death when more wisdom could be enlightened upon me, I might end up realising the total mistake in Heartism (though I don't wish to). But until then, I hold dear and steadfast to my belief. Thus, I respect materialists as well since it is just another philosophical perspective. And may I add that it won't be my intention to prove that only the idealist's belief is right.

 

Great response. Bottom line is that if our belief system helps us through our life then it is of value to the believer.

 

And it is true, not only women have the right to change their mind. Everyone has that right. If something is not working for "us" then we have the right (and I will suggest that we have the responsibility) to change our mind (belief system).

 

Peace & Love!

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And now back to the Shangri-La classic:

 

A boy, together with his two inter-galactic friends (a ball-shaped alien and a octopus-like alien) and its super-intelligent robot, travelled on a space-ship across the galaxies. They had lots of fun and exciting encounters in all the planets they had visited. When they were deciding on their next destination, they were tempted to visit the Shangri-La Planet, as it was heavenly (according to the universe's encyclopedia). Though the robot had strange instincts that they should avoid this planet, the others insisted on it.

 

Upon arriving at the planet, their space-ship landed on a desert at night. While the robot remained on the space-ship, the other three started their journey on foot, walking towards the city. The octopus-like alien, being a documentary film enthusiast, started filming the boy and the ball-shaped alien as they walked.

 

After some time, the sun rose high up in the sky and the entire desert became scorching hot. They were all perspiring. After a while, they were jubilant to see a lake. They then swam in the lake to cool themselves off. As they were swimming, they noted a boat approaching them. The men from the boat then invited them on board and it then sailed away. They were so relieved that they no longer had to walk!

 

The city was bustling with vibrant and celebrative activities happening prevalently every where. They were taken to the palace where they enjoyed watching aesthetic performances, and took sumptious food and beverages while indulging in exotic entertainment.

 

The next day when they were escorted back to the desert, they walked gleefully towards the space-ship, feeling eagar to share their electrifying experience with their robot.

 

As they were approaching the space-ship, the robot had a shock of its life!

 

"Sorry, I thought I just saw walking corpses!"

 

"What do you mean? We are fatter than what we were!"

 

(to be continued.....)

Edited by acosean

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"What do you mean by being fatter?" refuted the robot. "You are all haggard-looking and skinny like dried fish!"

 

"How can that be?" exclaimed the boy and the ball-shaped alien in bewilderment. "We were all treated to an exotic grand feast at the palace!"

 

"I've captured our epic on video," interjected the Octopus-like alien, "Let's view it now."

 

The four of them thus sat down and glued their eyes to the TV monitor depicting the playback of the footage.

 

The initial scene had no issues; it simply showed their walk in the darkness. However, things got a bit spine-chilling when it showed that they were complaining about the unbearable sun.

 

"Where is the sun?" yelled the robot. "We don't see any sun here, right? It is still in darkness."

 

More inconceivable things were screened thereafter. For example, when they were pointing to a lake, there wasn't a lake at all. When they were "swimming", they were simply stroking their limbs on land. Even when the boat arrived, the men were represented as "fireballs" and they were still walking on foot because there was no boat to begin with.

 

What happened at the palace? It was an abandoned town with lots of skeletons lying around. As they were "feasting", they were either consuming "air" or swallowing dirt from the ground.

 

By now, you should be able to decipher what had actually happened at Shangri-La. Such senses were injected into them, making them believe what they had experienced was genuine. But in reality they weren't real.

 

Whenever we have dreams that seem so real to us, we will think that IS reality. But when we wake up, we then know it was just only a dream.

 

So how can we prove that we aren't now in a "larger dream", that we haven't woken up? Perhaps we will "wake up" only after death? Of course, I am not disputing the idea that we can neither disprove that now isn't a dream but reality. But Heartists go on the belief of the Second Axiom, that nothing exists physically.

 

And now the Third Axiom.....

Edited by acosean

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"What do you mean by being fatter?" refuted the robot. "You are all haggard-looking and skinny like dried fish!"

 

"How can that be?" exclaimed the boy and the ball-shaped alien in bewilderment. "We were all treated to an exotic grand feast at the palace!"

 

"I've captured our epic on video," interjected the Octopus-like alien, "Let's view it now."

 

The four of them thus sat down and glued their eyes to the TV monitor depicting the playback of the footage.

 

The initial scene had no issues; it simply showed their walk in the darkness. However, things got a bit spine-chilling when it showed that they were complaining about the unbearable sun.

 

"Where is the sun?" yelled the robot. "We don't see any sun here, right? It is still in darkness."

 

More inconceivable things were screened thereafter. For example, when they were pointing to a lake, there wasn't a lake at all. When they were "swimming", they were simply stroking their limbs on land. Even when the boat arrived, the men were represented as "fireballs" and they were still walking on foot because there was no boat to begin with.

 

What happened at the palace? It was an abandoned town with lots of skeletons lying around. As they were "feasting", they were either consuming "air" or swallowing dirt from the ground.

 

By now, you should be able to decipher what had actually happened at Shangri-La. Such senses were injected into them, making them believe what they had experienced was genuine. But in reality they weren't real.

 

Whenever we have dreams that seem so real to us, we will think that IS reality. But when we wake up, we then know it was just only a dream.

 

So how can we prove that we aren't now in a "larger dream", that we haven't woken up? Perhaps we will "wake up" only after death? Of course, I am not disputing the idea that we can neither prove that now isn't a dream but reality. But Heartists go on the belief of the Second Axiom, that nothing exists physically.

 

And now the Third Axiom.....

 

A lot of ideas in motion - justification?

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The Third (and final) Axiom of Heartism contends the following:

 

Emptiness is the ideal/perfect state which we should be aiming to reach.

 

It may sound anti-climax but it has its justifications. Many people are turned off by the Third Axiom because it has seemed to lose its appeal. In other words, there are no motivating elements (seemingly).

 

Christianity, for example, on the other hand, has painted a highly rewarding picture for its adherents. If they accept Christ and live a righteous life in accordance to the Bible, they are promised a place in heaven, whereby they can enjoy good and heavenly life ever after. I once even heard (at one of the Protestant church sessions) that one should not be too bothered with accumulating or safeguarding one's wealth because one brick of the staircase to heaven is worth more than one's entire earthly wealth!

 

Adherents of Heartism, called Heartists, feel that as long as there is existence, Utopia can never be reached, as explained in my earlier texts. To have a quick recall - as long as two humans share different opinions, there would be some form of compromise or sacrifice, which is thus not an ideal situation.

 

Heartists thus aspire or look forward to reaching emptiness. But the question is how? Simple in theory - be ethical to gain good karma so that after reincarnation(s), we are able to reach emptiness (Utopia). It is thus not so straightforward (in terms of our efforts, etc.) to reach emptiness.

 

Non-religious people, however, feel that reaching emptiness is a "cheap" and easy thing to attain. They believe that when we die, because there is no afterlife or reincarnation, we straightaway will reach emptiness. I told them with a firm "no". There are evil people who commit lots of unethical crimes but managed to escape being caught or convicted by the government. So how can they be reaching the most ideal state when they die? They will earn bad karma, so they will suffer in hell and be reincarnated into a lower being.

 

In my next post, I will talk about why it is so motivating for Heartists to look forward to reaching emptiness as their version of Utopia.

Edited by acosean

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Before I even considered "emptiness" as the ideal stage, I tried painting a picture of a "perfect heaven" in the eyes of me. At first I thought it would be very easy to do so. But the deeper I thought about it, the more "loopholes" would surface.

 

Try to follow my lines of thoughts. We have heard about lucid dreaming. Imagine my espoused "perfect heaven" or "Utopia" is whereby I can indulge in lucid dreaming forever. I want to taste and consume the best food; and it appears and I indeed sense the great sensation in my taste buds. And because it is just a dream, no animal actually suffers or gets killed to satisfy my craving for high-end exotic food.

 

I want to get thrilled by driving a super-car. A Ferrari F40 appears and I drive it without having to feel the pain of any collisions or accidents.

 

The above picture seems indeed ideal and perfect. What else do we want? I can have a 100-storey modern castle with an additional 20-storey basement levels plus other ancilliary buildings. There is no need to do household chores (or getting others to do it) because things can be washed/cleaned/tidied by mere thoughts. There won't be dirt or bacteria to harm us.

 

This can be scary, mind you. Why? I remember reading a graphic novel whereby the leading character had become suspicious in his surroundings. People seemed to be so co-operative that he felt he was "part of a game". Lo and behold, when he dashed to a corner of a street and turned the face of a stranger-pedestrain around, it showed an empty face because that character did not mean anything significant to him. He was just one out of the thousand "items" created to boost the ambience of the setting (i.e. "the game"). If you have watched "The Matrx" movie, you would know exactly what I mean.

 

Why do I raise this? Coming back to the ideal castle that I live in my perpetual lucid dream (i.e. the supposedly "Utopia"). I definitely want my dead dear granny to be living with me, since she had been very close to me when she was alive. However, what form should she appear? In her seventies (when she died), with barely no hair, having to walk with a clutch, etc.? If I grant her wish, she would most likely want to appear as a twenty-something girl in my Utopia plain. But how can I accept my granny to look as though she is my younger sister?

 

To make matters worse, she would be sobbing if she doesn't see her mum (which I had no chance to see at all in my lifetime). So her mum appears. If we extend this, her mum would want others to be in, and this goes on until prehistoric times.

 

What about my cute little toddler son (3.5 years old now)? I know he won't be as cute if he is now 21. Does it mean my son has to remain at this young age till eternity in my dreamscape?

 

This is just one counter example to show that the above can't actually qualify to be a real Utopia. Stay tuned.

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