May 01, 2022


Guardians from the Sea Oil Paint Rendered — Brandon Beach, Oregon, May 26, 2009–From the Wasteland Collection
It all depends upon
and flows from
our doing the next thing
that needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
when and where it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
for the simple joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it,
with no gain,
or reward
to be realized for our effort.

Not just once,
but in every moment
throughout the day
in which something needs doing.

If you can do that,
Jesus will return in you,
the Buddha will enter the world
through you.
The old will pass away like that (Snaps fingers),
and behold! 
The new will be bestowed upon all who dwell
upon the earth.

If you do not believe me,
just do it!
You'll see!



Beulah Land 63 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina
Taoism started as an individual devotional practice
helping people in China meet their world
and find their way through the day
by aligning themselves
and their wants/needs/desires/wishes/etc.
with The Way that was right for them
and their place in time.

It was the original formulation of
"Thy Way, not mine, be done!"

This was about 5,000 years BCE.

In those days, people were up against it
in ways we cannot imagine.
They needed all the help they could get,
and they turned inward
in their quest for safety,

It was them 
and The Way That Was Right For Them
every day--
the origin of the phrase
"day by day"--
because their circumstances
would not allow them more 
confidence and self-assurance than that.

"Maybe yes, maybe no,
we'll see,"
was all the planning ahead
they could do.

Time passed.
Things changed.
The religion of the people
evolved with the people,
and with social stability,
the Silk Road,
the people encountered foreigners
who had their own ways of meeting the day,
with beliefs and practices
that made their private devotion
to The Way
seem provincial and behind the times,
so most of the traded up
for a religion that promised
prosperity and easy living
and life of splendor and delight
on the other side of death.

And Taoism got with the times
with esoteric forays into alchemy
and yoga, herbs and Iching,
Confucianism, Buddhism
and a world full of ways to get what you want.

All in an effort to gain market share
among those looking for personal advantage and gain.

Classic Taoism remained sacred
to a few followers of "The Way and its Virtues" 
(As the "Tao te Ching" may be translated),
but its vitality as a "system of belief and practice"
waned and teetered on the edge of the periphery 
of "darkness upon darkness/the gateway to mystery."
Where "advantage and gain" never meant anything
more than "Finding the Way that is right for you."

And there it remains today.
A devotional orientation to 
living from the heart,
aligned with our original nature
and the virtues/gifts
that are ours to serve and to share,
with nothing in it for us
beyond finding our life and living it
as it needs to be lived
in doing what needs to be done
and needs us to do it,
for the fulfillment,
joy and satisfaction of having done it,
world without end, amen.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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