POEM: The Autobiography of Tao Rex

The opening lines
Of the autobiography
Of Tao Rex
Alias Not Neil:
Neil was a man of substance
Who was not waiting
For it to come into style
If in the course of life
He should cross
And creators
He would not settle
For being a part
As sum illumine knotty
Though some might
Say naughty
Whatever could be said
Of such calamities
Or calumnies
It is not about kneel
Or similar conventions
The rest
Rights itself

This poem is a tip of the hat to the Tao, and a hybridization of the eternally one Tao with social activism.  An appreciation of the of the Tao recognizes the unique, ineffable, and dynamic way of life.  This way does not mistake mere style with deep of the Tao’s .  Living into the of the Tao does not settle for being a mere part of the whole of , but dynamically seeks of the part and whole.  The Tao’s connection to social activism springs from this , giving rise to shared by all.  Those who would parcel out for their own individual gain may be clever, and even powerful in their own right, but such behavior impugns the shared character of humanity.  Kneeling, or bowing, to such powers is often considered simple, .  Nonetheless, the Tao is not about kneeling to convention, but seeking the deeper spring from which all life arises in , even perfection.  And from The rest/Rights itself.”  Not surprisingly, The rest is a pun, both “all else” and “the of resting.”

The rest begs a , a transcendent , because reality can never be fully tapped by the and/or .  This endless reserve, The rest, can be viewed as the source of all being, a higher power, or .  East and West meet with The rest of the Tao and the of and practice.  Honoring the is the fourth of the infamous ten commandments.  The commandment is the culmination of the three commandments; they go together.  The first three commandments are about a proper relationship with the one true , the highest and most reality.  Beyond the “I am” of the first commandment, we are instructed in the second commandment to not reduce the to mere images, “graven images,” daring to reduce the whole to a partial .  The third commandment is similar in that it warns of taking ’s name/character in vain, to impugn the very power of , the source of all being and moving.  Trusting, putting your , in this source, parallel to the Tao in Taoism, is demonstrated behaviorally by respecting/honoring rest, recognizing that there are far greater powers than ourselves from which life’s bounty rests and springs forth.  To disrespect the by trying to rely exclusively on our own power is , putting ourselves above God, The rest.  Translating the day commandment to -day and its relevance to social activism is basically God calling for a -stoppage every week.  Honoring the Sabbath witnesses to the primacy of God, The rest.  This act, an apparent non-act to some, is a powerful threat to ’s constant assertion of perpetual to grow and thrive.  ’s , basic operating assumptions are idolatrous.  is idolatrous because it regularly discounts the act of honoring The rest.  In ’s equation, The rest, is a barrier to maximizing profits and .  Even the more sophisticated view of recognizing that rest may be needed to maximize worker reduces The rest to mere utility, a means to an end, not a honoring The rest as good in itself, a gift from God.

Related to the fixation on utility, the practical, secularized mindset of postmodern culture usually skips to the last six commandments which deal with more easily recognizable behavioral elements (though “honoring mother and father” seems a transitional commandment for moving from a proper understanding of the order of things in to earth).  The remaining commandments deal with , adultery, theft, lying, and .  Of course, focusing even only on these commandments leaves plenty of critique for capitalism, with its inevitable warring over creation’s bounty, siphoning from the weak, lying to self and others to cover one’s dishonorable tracks, and perhaps most infamously and audaciously arguing that is good!

May you find rest in the sacred source of all being.  And may you fight restively for from such a bounteous place.

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