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Sound and Silence

when necessary, use words

Month

March 2012

The Tao Testament – Parallel Wisdoms 2

[Matthew 5:8 NIV]

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

[Tao Te Ching 3 Star]

When action is pure and selfless
Everything settles into its own perfect place

 

Hugely interpreted, widely misunderstood, the Matthew saying of Jesus yields seemingly endless meanings.”Purity” is often read as moral rectitude, religious conformity, or pious otherworldliness. But these approaches seem to miss the essence.

Setting the Tao alongside the Gospel helps bring a wider vision of living in accord with the way of things rather than in constant opposition to them, as is often the case in dualistic religious practice.

Its a fruitful line of enquiry to ask how “seeing God” might have an equivalence with “things being settled”.

For example, “righteousness” might be expressed as (to quote Radiohead) “everything in its right place”, rather than a more moralistic, excluding, and judgemental reading.

 

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The Tao Testament – Parallel Wisdoms 1

Image[Tao Te Ching 2 Star]

The Sage … gives but not to receive
He works but not for reward
He completes but not for results
He does nothing for himself in this passing world
So nothing he does ever passes.

[2 Cor 9:9 Message (Quoting Psalm 112)]

“He throws caution to the winds,
      giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
   His right-living, right-giving ways
      never run out, never wear out.”
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

An attitude of unconditionality is the key to these thoughts. The promise is that as we forgo our need or desire to be seen, rewarded or accounted for, and yet still serve the world wholeheartedly, this unselfishness and the creativity which results is what will in fact endure.

Image

Science and/or Faith?

Responding to a recent local online debate around a Cape Town science teacher who has been “forced to quit” her teaching job as a result of a consistent attack from her reportedly  Christian colleagues, I thought we should do a poll. The postings were predominantly combative in tone and reveal just how divided the issue is in many or most people’s minds.

If you would like to explore this issue further please see my reflections on “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity“.

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