The quote for May 30 from the Tao Te Ching, in Dr Wayne Dyer’s perpetual calendar: Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life, is this:
When the Tao is lost, there is goodness. When goodness is lost, there is morality. When morality is lost, there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos.
My understanding of this quote is that, even when a strong connection to God is lost, humans still have innate goodness within themselves. There is a memory within them of the loving being they were before entering this physical life. If circumstances in life fail to reflect that goodness back to themselves, they may forget the goodness within, but still have the ability to make decisions based on what is morally just. When morality is forgotten and there is no sign of it in one’s environment to remind them of the morality within, all that is left of any faith is ritual, and this leads to chaos.
When I read this, I was immediately reminded of a blog I wrote about Islam, a few weeks ago:
Whilst I do believe that there are many within Islam who only have a husk of their faith left, it would be wrong to think that the chaos which exists in the world today has been caused by the loss of the Tao (God, Allah), goodness, and morality from Islam alone.
Would it be fair to say that USA considers itself to be a Christian nation, regardless of its secular government?
This so-called Christian nation has failed to learn the lessons which Jesus taught, when he asked the one without sin to cast the first stone.
USA has continually been the country with the fifth largest number of executions per year, and approximately 0.71% of the population are in prisons. This may not sound like a lot until you realise that that equates to 2.3 million people, or until you compare it to Australia with an incarceration rate of 0.15%.
It is even more interesting to compare that incarceration rate to a mainly Islamic country like Indonesia with a rate of just 0.06%, or a Hindu nation like India with an incarceration rate of just 0.03%. (It should be pointed out, however, that these two countries still have the death penalty.)
The point I am trying to make is that, regardless of the dominant religion of a country, when you take God out of that religion, you are left with nothing more than the ritualistic husks.
It may be Islamic countries which we associate with the brutality of halal slaughter, but it is countries like mainly Christian Australia which still sends them to that fate, and which allows them to suffer long, inhumane sea voyages in the process.
There may be suffering at the end of animals’ lives with the halal process, but it is countries like Australia and USA which cause millions of animals to suffer throughout their lives when they raise them in factory farms, which don’t allow for any joy in their lives whatsoever.
It is time for those who follow the Islamic faith, to look at their actions to see if they reflect the mercy and compassion of Allah.
It is time for those within the Christian faith to consider how Jesus would act if he lived today, and to compare their own actions to his example.
It is time for those who have turned their back on religion to understand that it is not religion which is important, but life is. It is one thing to turn your back on religion, but if you also turn your back on the Tao (God, Allah), goodness, and morality, you, too, live a life of ritualistic husks where chaos reigns.
You, too, need to look to your actions, and consider if they reflect the Tao, goodness, or even morality.
It is time that, no matter which religion we belong to, we endeavour to conduct ourselves with morality, to achieve goodness, and to connect once again with the Tao.
If your next question is: “How do we do that?”, my answer would be:
Honour all life, for the Tao (God, Allah) is Life. Know that when you look at another being, be they human or animal, you are looking at the Tao.
Know that God, Allah, the Tao is compassionate, is merciful, is Love. If we are thinking love, being love, and acting with love, we are being God, Allah, the Tao.
But to reconnect with the Tao, you need do nothing but be. You are always connected to the Tao; it is possible to forget that, but in the stillness you will remember.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
In the stillness, you will find morality; you will find goodness; you will find the Tao.