“Tao does not love as humans do; it sees all things as straw dogs.
“The sage does not love as humans do; he sees people as straw dogs.”
Tao Te Ching
WE LIVE IN A WORLD where everything appears to be separate. We perceive with our five mundane senses and mind, and we see what is ‘out there’, thus viewing life from a perspective that reinforces our idea that we are separate from everything and that everything is separate from us. But in truth, the separate nature of our existence is delusional because everything in the universe is interconnected and interdependent.
The illusion of separation has firmly established itself as a paradigm on Earth, and today dominates the consciousness of nearly 6 billion human beings. From our segregated perspective as individuals we also behold separation reflected back to us in the form of multifarious pairs of opposites that also appear to be separate from one another, e.g., good and evil, right and wrong, friend and foe, etc.
As we continue to invest ourselves and to believe in this illusory state of duality, we serve to fortify and so perpetuate the matrix of separation into which we have been born. And as long as we continue to feed the dualistic matrix we can never transcend it, which is actually the spiritual goal of life.
No amount of activity applied by the separate personality can help to liberate mankind or this planet from the dualistic illusion. Humanity, as a collective of unenlightened personalities, may only affect change within the constraints of the unholy world-order into which we have incarnated. The undivine world in which we exist is a dualistic illusion that is ruled by polarity, and the only thing we may ever change or affect by way of personal effort is the swing of the pendulum between one pole of duality and the other. Let us explore this in greater detail.
When we use our personal will – our free will – to embrace one aspect or side of an issue, we expend energy through the generation of our dualistic thoughts and emotions. The ego, by virtue of its inherently separative nature, constantly grasps at or repels that which is outside itself, and as it does so it generates energetic fetters of mental and emotional matter. It is thus that ignorance reinforces the illusory nature of its existence by binding itself to duality. Energy follows thought, hence a certain aspect of duality will be strengthened by one’s attraction to it while another may also be strengthened by one’s resistance to it. Therefore, such an energetic investment – which to unenlightened perception may seem only to empower the one pole or side of an issue – in fact serves to strengthen both poles, thereby empowering either end of the spectrum and effectively exacerbating one’s entanglement in, as well as strengthening the very fabric of, the illusion of duality.
To the deluded eyes of those who are wholly invested in and so co-creating within the undivine, dualistic world, things may appear to be changing, and sometimes even improving, but such people are actually only riding a predicamental merry-go-round; they are merely experiencing the inevitable and fruitless vacillations of their bondage to the Buddha’s wheel of samsara, the world of illusions.
Billions of human beings spend their whole life like this, creating more and more karma by attaching themselves to one pole or the other in a dualistic illusion, thus ensuring their continued existence, over lifetimes, in an unholy world of restlessness, suffering, pain and inevitable death.
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Despite humanity’s long-prevailing ignorance of these facts, all true scriptures have repeatedly testified to the futility of seeking true Fulfilment, Love and Life where they can never be found: in duality, in an illusion. Yet still today the restless search for love and happiness continues throughout the world.
“But,” says Lao Tzu, “Tao does not love as humans do; it sees all things as straw dogs. The sage does not love as humans do; he sees people as straw dogs.”
These words spoken by the enlightened sage, Lao Tzu, may come as rather a shock to many people. If these words are true, they are likely to overturn one’s whole way of viewing life and the world, and that is indeed the aim of that ancient Chinese revelation we know as the Tao Te Ching. When we understand what Lao Tzu really meant to convey, many of our preconceptions will be shot to pieces, for it tears apart the whole paradigm with which humankind has surrounded itself and which has been handed down from generation to generation since time immemorial.
In the Tao Te Ching it is said that beauty always brings forth ugliness. The presence of the polarity of ugliness is the proof that beauty in this undivine world is also an illusion, and that true Beauty – which is imperishable and incorruptible and which has no opposite – is not to be found here. In the world of opposites, beauty brings ugliness to the surface, good brings forth evil, and love brings forth hatred. Hatred is the proof that love is an unknown quantity whose reality is not to be found in this world. Our conceptions of it are an illusion. Worldly expressions of love are actually attempts of the ego to glorify its own undivine state of being. That is why they arouse antitheses.
As long as human love is evoked in a world of opposites, hatred will be its twin brother. There is no avoiding it! Anyone who cultivates personal love is also cultivating hatred; that is a law of any dualistic world. Hatred is a means of self-protection in this fearful world, as essential and as ego-centred as human love.
The scales of love and hatred are constantly in motion and can never be brought to a standstill in duality. One moment we are amiability itself, the next the scales tip the other way. Observe mankind, and you will see this oscillation happening all the time; it is an amazing but inescapable aspect of human nature. What poor fools we are, consumed by love and hatred, swinging like a pendulum between the pairs of opposites in duality. Alternating one with the other, our love and our hatred in their many forms constantly add fuel to the flames of our dualistic delusion. Is it not quite clear, then, why Tao does not partake in any of this?
We cannot imagine a hatred-propagating Tao but, by the same token, neither should we imagine a love-propagating Tao either. Tao Loves us, but not in keeping with our secular interpretation of the word. Tao does not love as humans do, and it sees all such perceptions as ‘straw dogs’, which in ancient China were used for sacrifices. In the same way, neither does the sage who participates in Tao love as humans do; he, too, sees the people as straw dogs, as humanimals, part of the great illusion.
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So what does the Bible really mean when it says that “God is Love”? Well, if we wish to understand anything at all about Love, we will need to free ourselves entirely of all our preconceptions about it. We must shatter them, just as we must shatter all the other preconceptions that populate our pantheon of ignorant beliefs and opinions.
Let us, then, firstly take a modern-day example of how divine Love is so terribly misunderstood. There are many well-meaning New Age groups and centres in existence today where people sit and attempt to send out loving thoughts and energies in order to elevate humankind, to protect it from harm, to put an end to wars, to ring in an era of peace on Earth, and even to circumvent the forthcoming and necessary geological upheavals. But in reality, human love has never liberated the world, and nor can it ever. These centres and groups do not bring about peace on Earth, they do not quench the fires of ignorance, they can never heal the wounds of humanity. To the contrary, and when understood esoterically, they are actually among the breeding grounds of war, indirectly arousing and propagating hatred by feeding and so fortifying the antitheses of ‘good’ and evil. Therefore, they actually strengthen the powers of darkness by their unenlightened motivations, which are actualised by personal will, not divine Will. Such activities are akin to black magic, as unenlightened personalities seek, often with noble intentions, to interfere with the affairs of others and the world. Such desires create karma and further confusion, for unenlightened human beings are unable to create and send Love into the world; only Divinity, only Tao can do that! And remember that “Tao does not love as humans do”.
Therefore, if we truly wish to be an agent of Love in this world, we must first bring ourselves into a binding with Tao, which has nothing to do with this world of temporality and illusion. This is the one, solitary and overriding Goal of every single unenlightened human being on Earth, and this is why no enlightened Teacher ever prescribes to ordinary humanity the kind of practices that are being performed all over the world today within the New Age culture.
The vast majority of New Age teachings, channellings and meditations encourage people to use their personal will to create change within and for themselves, and sometimes in order to help manifest positive change in the world also. Their focus is on personal transformation, as in: “create your own reality”. But by encouraging people to focus upon themselves and the dualistic world, and to use their personal will to implement their high ideals, they only serve to feed the illusion of duality, along with the rest of the spiritually-unawakened masses.
In fact, these so called New Age teachers, channelers, channelled entities and groups are actually participating in something even more detrimental than those who are occultly unaware. By inciting people to polarize themselves en masse towards ‘peace, goodness, light and love’, these well-intentioned but misguided groups are actually synergetically strengthening and empowering the opposite end of the spectrum, i.e., violence, evil, darkness, hatred, etc. on a global level, thereby unwittingly exacerbating the already chaotic and desperate condition of this planet.
Such groups are causing the pendulum of the polarized illusion to swing further and more dramatically from one side to the other, effectively producing more and more dualistic power, momentum and tension in the world, all of which is actually helping to hasten our planet toward cataclysmic developments.
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Now that we have clearly seen how personal love has nothing whatsoever in common with divine Love, let us further explore the scriptural axiom that ‘God is Love’ by again reviewing Lao Tzu’s words:
“Tao is like a bellows. It is empty and never exhausted. The more it moves, the more is brought into manifestation.” – Tao Te Ching.
The divine Manifestation is governed by a certain rhythm, which is present even in the minutest atom. This state of being knows no antitheses, it casts no shadows, and always brings forth itself. Good is not set against evil there, nor beauty against ugliness, nor love against hatred, nor reality against delusion. Tao does not have love, it does not give love to others – Tao is Love! In other words, divine Love is not something that can be targeted at a goal, as the New Age people attempt to do in order to dignify or save themselves and to preserve this world of separation and pain. Love does not make any effort, it does not seek to counteract the effects of evil in duality, and so it does not know conflict. Divine Love is not the opposite of hatred or fear, either. If divine Love had an opposite, then it would not be divine, eternal; it would be dualistic. Divine Love is a neutral Force; its power is boundless, and can be compared with a bellows. If a bellows is pumped rhythmically it generates a great deal of power. In the same way, the rhythm of Tao generates an enormous Power and nothing that conflicts with that rhythm, nothing of duality, can ever become one with it.
Knowing all this, we will understand better than ever before why this undivine, dualistic world will remain fundamentally imperfect and essentially irreparable, however much personal love – via group meditations and the like – is sent out into it! Knowing all this we will resolve to waste as little energy as possible on such futile and often detrimental activities as so many people are involved with today within the New Age movement. We will leave the fallen world of duality for what it is. In complete self-surrender and genuine, selfless service to the Divine Plan, we shall focus only on that which is capable of assimilating the divine rhythm of Tao and which is of the same nature, the Divine Nature.
It is only through the complete surrender of our personal will, only through the relinquishing of all our attachments that bind us karmically to the wheel of samsara, that we may become clear, unimpeded vehicles for the divine Intelligence of Tao, which alone has the Power to affect really positive change in this world. Only when we give up our self-grasping, egotistic ideals and forget our small selves may we become empty enough to allow Divinity to enter into our hearts and to awaken the spark that lives within us so that we may become instruments of Tao.
It is our selfishness, our ignorant use of free will that brought us collectively into our present state of existence. Therefore it is only by a 180° reversal, through selflessness, through the complete and utter surrender of ourselves and our personal will to the divine Will of Tao, that we may allow the forces of true Change, the forces of Redemption, to work through us and liberate us completely from the unholy illusion of this world, which necessarily knows so much dualistic restlessness and, therefore, suffering.
Next: Starseeds and Walk-ins