Saturday, 6 February 2016


I once read Raymond Smullyan's Lewis Carroll like book 'The Tao is Silent'. Smullyan says Taoism teaches someone ‘not so much to feel that he shouldn’t be moral (which is, of course, a morality all its own), but rather to be independent, free, unentangled from moral “principles”. Taoism teaches us, according to Smullyan,  to do good if you want to do good- which is what I think Christianity, rightly understood, teaches.

The poem from the first chapter of the book represents, he says, the ‘quintessence’ of Taoism:

The Sage falls asleep not
because he ought to
Nor even because he wants to
But because he is sleepy.
In some ways Taoism sounds like wisdom, or finding yourself, or middle age when wisdom and self understanding begin. Wisdom comes in a rush after the age of forty and much accelerates later on. Just as your waistline expands and your body deteriorates. To a theist, this is more evidence of a supreme intelligence who creates the world.

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