Kindness and Morality
How does Taoism handle morality?
Taoism focuses on kindness over morality. It takes time and patience to illustrate what kindness means to each person and how to work with others with open compassion. Taoism teaches how to be aware rather than forcing everyone to memorize a set of commandments: Taoism leaves it up to you to follow your own heart.
How this helps society is then based on our actions.
- Our actions must start small and be true to our life.
- We refine our actions based on the outcomes.
- We share our actions to further see how they interplay relative to our various communities.
- Finally, then together those actions add up to the point where together we can stand and improve society.
This process at first doesn’t seem like it tackles larger social issues, but it does since we will stop abusing ourselves/others somewhere along the path of discovering what it meant to live kindly.
In that reflection of no longer abusing ourselves, as a whole we actually can also stop abusing each other.
This is no different than building an arch, you cannot place a keystone without a framework to first support it. Once you have everything in place, you can remove the framework, and then the keystone of kindness stands on its own. However, before that moment Taoism does provide a framework of education and patience to help show people what it means to live with kindness in one’s life.
Why do People Act as if Morality is Kindness?
Acting morally is often very unkind as the crusades, and human history in general shows over and over again. Morality, as a system always generates conflict. Why?
To understand the nature of conflict from morality look to the deeper definitions
- Kindness is to act in essence.
- Morality is to apply judgment to kindness.
No matter how you slice it, the fundamental flaw in morality are the judgments buried within the morality. No judgment is perfect. Judgment generates conflict and problems as people grapple with the knife-edge of judgment.
- Morality is often based on social statements used in any social order.
As people often discover what is good for society is often not good for a person.
There are two deeper problems of judgment:
- It is often static and held at some arbitrary social norm.
- It is often imposed by one group with the power to take advantage of another lesser group without power.
Because of these two reasons, by its very nature, the majority of judgments end up being unkind to quite a few people.
Now it becomes all clear. In Taoism, we teach to remove judgment. Do the spiritual math, once you remove the judgment in a moral stance, you simmer down to kindness again. So in Taoism, we act kindly and remove the judgment as much as possible to make things flow smoother.
Kindness and Nature
Now another angle, I have had people say to me:
Nature is Unkind…
This statement is easily misunderstood. I would like to dive into it for a second for clarification purposes.
Nature isn’t unkind…
Everything nature does is “in kind”
People can be unkind, when not living their own life. When living to be something they are not: this is the true “un – kind” act by the definition of kindness (to be in your essence), that then ripples out to hurt others.
That is the reason ego is a problem. Ego on its own isn’t bad. The trouble is that ego is a form of projection. Ego often takes projection too far, projecting outward in a fashion that takes people out of being their true nature.
This is the source of true pain… becoming something you are not.
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Kindness and Forgiveness
I have had a long discussion over a series of months with one seeker about how to find the path of the Tao.
The path is hard because a person often cannot forgive or find personal peace with past actions. Or many people can’t be kind because they don’t understand their essence yet. Part of kindness requires you to go out and live your life, to experience life and discover who you are through your experiences.
However, a simple starting solution:
Even if you don’t feel “kind”. Try out being kind randomly. Try out all the variations that you have been taught by others as what kindness should be.
Ironically, through these simple actions, in time you will become kind…
In time you will discover your essence.
In this way, it will become possible to discover personal amnesty and discover the Tao. Many would be surprised that it can be this simple… but this does work as one path to explore. While I can explain in great detail why people make the path harder, that isn’t the point: The core to many of the successful worldwide practices is simply reaching out to keeping a person performing simple actions of kindness until it opens their heart.
Kindness and Karma
Interestingly, one twist in kindness is when dealing with Karmic issues. More interesting is when you encounter what I call karmic relationship issues.
When you bounce into a person you feel a Karmic connection to: often times people fall into the trap thinking that it should be a deep, romantic relationship that transcends time.
While a Karmic relationship can transcend time: it also usually shouldn’t end up in a romantic relationship: instead the connection more times than not: means working with each other in kindness, to help each other resolve problems and work towards a more peaceful acceptance of life itself.
Karmic relationships are so powerful that as a relationship people assume that it should follow a traditional romantic path. You feel an attraction, and the attraction is so powerful that it can easily be mistaken for a romantic relationship.
Any relationship that becomes Karmic means a deeper lesson exists to be learned by two people. That to learn this lesson, kindness is required to help each person work towards resolution of answers. Unkind actions just push the lesson out to go further down the Karmic chain of resolution. Kinder actions help work towards acceptance and understanding.
Kindness and Enlightenment
What is it most people truly want?
People often focus on the following qualities:
- Food – Shelter
- Supporting a Loved one
- Comfort and acknowledgment
- A sense of self-empowerment
- A healthy legacy
Enlightenment is typically pretty low on the list of things to explore for many people. However, if you are on the path to enlightenment, understand this truth:
Don’t mistake your “inner light” to be a beacon for helping others.
Your inner light isn’t a beacon for other people.
Your inner light is your internal lighthouse or *reference point* to exploring the seas of your life.
When diving into personal self-exploration, our inner light becomes a very bright guiding force to help internally on a wondrous journey. However, your inner light isn’t something that is directly visible to others.
What is visible to others will be the peace and serenity gained from the process of self-improvement.
This circles us all the way around back to our first article about kindness. Since it’s our acts of kindness that shines out to other people.
Peace and serenity are shared in the process of kindness.
Don’t worry about helping others find enlightenment. Kindness itself feeds into the steps towards enlightenment that will be shareable. Let your acts of kindness help others solve the more immediate problems of life. If you ever desire to be a spiritual teacher for yourself or to others: Remember kindness as a core part of the practice towards helping people explore and improve their life.
Be kind to yourself…
We are always our own teachers in the life we wander within.