Thursday 30 November 2023


Falkland Road.

David Allan writes:

"When you experience a 'bad' event, try to imagine what possible good could come out of it -

"Even if it's many years from now or several cause-and-effects later, or even if it just makes you more empathetic or prepared next time.

"Not convinced?

"Look back on something bad from your past and connect the dots between that event and real happiness that came later as a direct result of that breakup, layoff, sickness etc."

Good and bad

Port au Prince, Haiti

Avoid the extremes, if you want to avoid very 'bad' events.

Jesus advised us to take the path which is straight, and avoid the extremes on either side.

"The idea that 'challenges help us to grow', that 'we develop as a result of the hard things that happen to us', is the classic hero's journey."

Good and bad

"You can find potentially bad in what seems good. 

"My favorite example of this are lottery winners. Lottery winners are shockingly unhappy not long after their greatest wish comes true."

Good and bad


"Once you move past 'good and bad' you become less concerned about outcome; you become more accepting to how things evolve naturally."

Good and bad

West Java

From The Tao Book and Card Pack by Timothy Freke:

When an old farmer's stallion wins a prize at a country show, his neighbour calls round to congratulate him, but the old farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The next day some thieves come and steal his valuable animal.

His neighbour comes to commiserate with him, but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

A few days later the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and joins a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm. 

The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The following day, while trying to break in one of the mares, the farmer’s son is thrown and fractures his leg. 

The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man’s attitude remains the same as before.

The following week the army passes by, forcibly conscripting soldiers for the war, but they do not take the farmer’s son because he cannot walk. 

The neighbour thinks to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” and realises that the old farmer must be a Taoist sage. 

Northern Cyprus.

"It’s not that the farmer is unengaged in life. It's not that he is unable to be happy or sad. 

"But he has a greater perspective.

"He sees the bigger picture.

"He know that he can't stop things from happening, but he can control how he reacts to them.

"And it's often not the experience that matters as what you do with that experience."

Good and bad

Jesus advised us to take the path which is straight, and avoid the extremes on either side.

Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)

Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)

The point to remember is that if we follow the correct path, everything is hunky dory.


Buddhists believe in taking the The Middle Way, avoiding extremes.

The Taoists believe in avoiding the extremes.

The taoist Lao Tzu said:

The great Way is easy, yet people prefer the side paths.

Be aware when things are out of balance. Stay centered within the Tao.

Stay Centered - A Simple Explanation of Absolutely Everything.

"Another way to 'stay centered' is expressed by the Golden Mean, which Aristotle described as keeping to the beneficial middle and avoiding extremes."

In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. 


BUT, if Jesus avoided the extremes, what about the crucifiction? 

Was that a story added on to the New Testament, to tie in with Jewish myths?

According to theologian Gunnar Samuelsson, Jesus did not die on a cross.

There is always a suspicion that the 'official story' is not entirely true.

There is a suspicion that the 'biography' has had untrue bits added, and that there is a lot of 'spin'.

"Late in the third century B.C. Cleomenes, king of Sparta, embarked on a revolutionary policy of cancellation of debts, redistribution of land and emancipation of the helots (slaves). 

"He was driven out of Sparta... 

"In the story preserved by Plutarch, Cleomenes and twelve friends have a last supper together on the night before his death. 

"He is betrayed to his enemies... 

"His dead body is crucified

"A prodigy occurs after the crucifixion; and the people of Alexandria call him a 'hero and son of the gods'." 

The Legend Of Jesus Christ - Text-only version

So, the 'real Jesus', who taught that one should tune in to the Holy Spirit, may not have been crucified?

Photo from Photobucket

Let's look at Taoism.
1. The Force

Consider Luke Skywalker and how Obi-wan Kenobi taught him about "the Force".

Luke had to avoid being distracted by things like fear and anger.

He had to learn about spontaneity.

On one occasion, Luke was trying, without success, to avoid laser blasts from a 'remote'.

When Obi-wan Kenobi placed a helmet on Luke's head so he couldn't be distracted, he easily deflected the remote's laser blasts.

The idea is that when you are aware of the 'Tao' and feel 'the force', you can flow with it, and the right action appears for itself, spontaneously.

(More here: / http://www.belief )

The economy does not work when things are out of balance.

2. What are the essentials of Taoism?

( / Http://

Some Taoists and Christians and others believe that bliss can be achieved when:

1. One is compassionate

2. One is moderate (Avoid large numbers?)

3. One is humble (Avoid large numbers?)

4. Everything is in balance (+ X - X rather than +X - 1000X?)

5. One is in tune with the Holy Spirit or the Tao or whatever one wants to call it. One goes with the flow.

6. One avoids the use of force; one avoids pitting one's will against the universe.


The Christians talk about God’s spirit.

God nourishes us.

The Taoists talk about the Tao being a force that flows through everything. 

The Tao nourishes us.

3. The Tao and Yin and Yang:

When the Tao is in balance one can be happy. (+ X - X rather than +X - 1000X?)

There is Yin and there is Yang (just as there is black and white, up and down, male and female).

'When they are equally present, all is calm. 

'When one is outweighed by the other, there is confusion and disarray.

'The Tao surrounds everyone and one must listen to find enlightenment.'

True Taoism does not get bogged down with theology. "The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao."

Taoists love their enemies. "I am good to the man who is good to me, likewise, I am also good to the bad man."

The USA's Phoenix programme (left) involved torturing and killing civilians. The USA's ISIS force is also going to extremes.

4. Wu wei is action through inaction; ‘a practice of minimal action, particularly minimal violent action’. 

Don’t overdo the antibiotics or the pesticides. 

Don’t bomb your enemies.

Consider the lilies.

Don't force yourself or others to be compassionate. Be spontaneous.

Genuine love is spontaneous love.

The USA is out of balance.

"The Master does not see evil as a force to resist, but simply as an opaqueness, a state of self-absorption that is in disharmony with the universal process, so that, as with a dirty window, the light can't shine through. 

"This freedom from moral categories allows him his great compassion for the wicked and the selfish" - Stephen Mitchell

"The Tao regulates natural processes and nourishes balance in the Universe. 

"It embodies the harmony of opposites (i.e. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)"

5. Henry C K Liu wrote in the Asia Times about Taoism.

( ).

Where does evil come from?

There can be no ‘good’ without ‘evil’.

"Controlled quantities of the bad can be good. 

"Excessive amounts of the good can be bad. 

"Poison kills. But when handled properly, it can cure diseases. 

"Without poison, there can be no medicine.

"To employ poison to attack poison is a Taoist principle."

The secret is to avoid extremes.

Americans carrying out torture in Vietnam.

How should we act?

We should avoid producing unintended consequences.

"Not taking premature or unnecessary actions keeps all of one's options open, so that the most appropriate action remains available. 

"Actions always elicit reactions. 

"Each action taken provokes reactions from all quarters that, taken together, are always more powerful than the precipitous action itself. It is the ultimate definition of the inescapable law of unintended consequences."

"To follow the dao (path) of life is to go with the natural flow of life and to avoid going against it.

"The ethical theories of Taoism lean toward passive resistance, believing that evil, by definition, will ultimately destroy even itself without undue interference.

"Yet it would be a mistake to regard Taoism as fatalistic and pessimistic, instead of the ultimate sophistication in optimism that it is.

"Only by not applying effort can one achieve that state in which nothing is not attainable effortlessly.

"A little ambition is a good thing. Total elimination, even of undesirables, is an extreme solution, and it is therefore self-defeating.

"Life is a prison from which one can escape only if one does not try to escape. It is the desire to escape that makes a place a prison, and the desire to return that makes it a home. Home is not where one is, it is where one wants to return."

Photograph: Seyllou

6. Taoism and other religions.

The following comes from:

From Taoism: happiness comes from helping others; wealth comes from giving to others. 

"Love the world as yourself; then you can care for all things."

From Buddhism: "Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy." 

Buddha: "See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?"

From Islam: "There is a reward for your treatment of every living thing." Muhammad also said: "None of you is a believer until you like for others what you like for yourself."

From Christianity: "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."

Veritopian refers to Yin & Yang Mathematics

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At 15 December 2017 at 09:39 , Anonymous Brabantian said...

There is very much beautiful in Taoism, the only major religion indigenous to China

But here is an interesting, partly self-critical article by a Chinese Taoist priest, Liang Xingyang, who says - mentioning a very shocking story -

« Any religion, if left unchecked, can have a detrimental effect on a nation, for it can bring about extremism, ignorance, and a lack of checks and balances on power.

« Even Taoism can be distorted to reflect extremist views, such as in 1946, when the White Cloud Temple in Beijing burned its high priest alive for allegedly breaking religious rules.

« All religions are created by humans, and all conflicts arise from human selfishness and greed. Over its 5,000 years of history, China has been most at peace when secular laws have triumphed over religious pronouncements. »

At 15 December 2017 at 10:01 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Avoid the extremes, if you want to avoid very 'bad' events."

So how Palestinians can avoid "extremes" or Syrians for example?

At 15 December 2017 at 10:45 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic. Thanks.

At 15 December 2017 at 11:07 , Blogger Anon said...

If the Palestinians and Syrians were totally moderate it would be impossible to justify attacking them.

At 15 December 2017 at 11:22 , Blogger Kaivey said...

Trump Accusers Speak Out – Demand Investigation • BRAVE NEW FILMS

At 15 December 2017 at 11:47 , Blogger Kaivey said...

A Good American

Bill Binney resigned from the NSA in October 2001, after 30 years with the agency where he was viewed as one of their best analysts: he quit because he believed that Bush-appointed leaders in the Agency had chosen to respond to the challenge of electronic communications by building out illegal, indiscriminate mass-surveillance programs that left the country vulnerable to terrorists while diverting billions to private contractors with political connections.

After his resignation, Binney and his fellow whistleblowers faced retaliation from the NSA, as the agency prevented him from getting work as a private intelligence contractor and eventually staged a guns-drawn dawn raid on his home.

Binney has been a sharp, articulate, deeply knowledgeable critic of mass electronic surveillance ever since, refusing to be intimidated by the NSA despite the risks to himself.

In "A Good American," a new documentary that goes into widespread release today, director Freidrich Moser tells Binney's story from his early days as an intelligence analyst during the Vietnam War to his service as a codebreaker during the Cold War to his visionary program for conducting electronic surveillance with an emphasis on privacy and the rule of law. Binney and his fellow whistleblowers tell the story of how General Michael Hayden, then head of the NSA, sidelined their proposals in favor of a multibillion-dollar boondoggle called Trailblazer, which collapsed without ever shipping -- and how Hayden and his team refused to allow NSA analysts to work in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, literally locking them out of the building while they plotted ways to shift the blame for intelligence failures and use the attacks to build private, well-funded permanent civil service empires.

Oliver Stone called it a "prequel to Snowden," and that's true in more ways than one. Snowden cited the persecution of Binney as part of his rationale for taking his concerns to the press, rather than NSA channels.

Moser's documentary is riveting, enraging, and beautifully crafted, and it tells an important story. You can watch it today.The Good American Bill

At 16 December 2017 at 01:53 , Blogger Mark Jesus said...

Can only rabbit on about Bible says this/that... and talk of God active and present. The clear portrayal. Aside from any mystery beyond, nowhere suggests, not-free. Constrained only by character. Not Plato led notions and timeless. Balance and extremes? Evil makers -- unseen forces with personality -- are not made by God. Back to freedoms. And much in life out of random combinations and chemistry. And/or cumulative of people's actions. What's claimed, is God is good and here for good. For those who want to follow live and direct; Extreme paths in abandonment and love on offer. As did Jesus, taking on death for-us, purposes. Yet, the synthesis of wisdom here presented is full of truth. How this correlates with the fabric of reality? Other matters. Contrasting theories. All throwing up qualms and questions. What we need. Questions. Jesus the answer eh, or better approached, as a question.

At 16 December 2017 at 02:45 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 16 December 2017 at 02:48 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 16 December 2017 at 12:32 , Blogger steve said...

All Religion is Man made

its so simple . just love god try to be a reflection of him
clean out your body and mind to allow him into you

simple rules be nice to others do no harm no big books just simple logic
i am on day 18 tomorrow of a distilled water / honey mmm / raw milk liquid only fast ..... i could not recommend the benefits already i am enjoying , my adhd has gone yes my brains works in a far more efficient manner i say less and mean more .... my intuition has heightened as has my faith in god in the simple ways i describe above ... please try there are many benefits you can drink as much as you want liquids even vodka is recommended too clean one with good ph , its so liberating to calmer and with out ADHD :) Just wanted to share thanks for great site and work Anonymous best wishes for the season

At 17 December 2017 at 01:05 , Blogger Anon said...

Many thanks Steve.

- Aangirfan.

At 15 November 2020 at 07:48 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across a related book, maybe from UK, c. 1990. As I recall, it outlines every religion evolving through these stages:
- direct insight, knowledge or esoteric experience
- emotion, especially joy and hope
- organisation, e.g. theology
- social service.

Perhaps Taoism has withstood this process.

"If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish..
When virtue is lost, benevolence appears. When benevolence is lost right conduct appears. When right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder."



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