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
Kingmakers
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 truth of the Tao’s reality.  Living into the unity of the Tao does not settle for being a mere part of the whole of reality, but dynamically seeks harmony of the part and whole.  The Tao’s connection to social activism springs from this unity, 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 of humanity.  Kneeling, or bowing, to such powers is often considered simple, conventional wisdom.  Nonetheless, the Tao is not about kneeling to convention, but seeking the deeper spring from which all life arises in harmony, even perfection.  And from The rest/Rights itself.”  Not surprisingly, The rest is a pun, both “all else” and “the state of resting.”

The rest begs a perspective, a transcendent perspective, because can never be fully tapped by the and/or heart.  This endless reserve, The rest, can be viewed as the source of all being, a higher power, or God.  East and West meet with The rest of the Tao and the sabbath of and Christian practice.  Honoring the Sabbath is the fourth of the infamous ten commandments.  The sabbath commandment is the culmination of the three commandments; they go together.  The first three commandments are about a proper relationship with the one true God, 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 truth to a partial truth.  The third commandment is similar in that it warns of taking God’s name/ in vain, to impugn the very of God, the source of all being and moving.  Trusting, putting your faith, 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 Sabbath by trying to rely exclusively on our own is idolatry, putting ourselves above God, The rest.  Translating the Sabbath day commandment to modern-day and its relevance to social activism is basically 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 capitalism’s constant assertion of perpetual to grow and thrive.  Capitalism’s worldview, basic operating assumptions are idolatrous.  is idolatrous because it regularly discounts the act of honoring The rest.  In capitalism’s equation, The rest, is a barrier to maximizing profits and productivity.  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 from God.

Related to the modern fixation on utility, the practical, secularized mindset of postmodern 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 murder, adultery, theft, lying, and greed.  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 source of all being.  And may you fight restively for justice from such a bounteous place.

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