Thursday, February 7, 2008

Understanding The Tao

The wise student hears of the Tao and practices it it diligently.

The average student hears of the Tao and gives it thought now and again.

The foolish student hears of the Tao and laughs aloud.

If there is no laughter, the Tao would not be what it is.

The Tao Te Ching 41, Lao Tsu

Lately, I've been reading these comic books by some publishers who call themselves Taoists.

Now, when I picked these things up I was under the mistaken impression that the Tao was some ass kicking Chinese guy in a black mask and cape beating his foes into submission and dragging them off to some deep dark dungeon. I was wrong.

Then I found these two characters called Yin and Yang and thought maybe they were some tag team crime fighting duo like Batman and Robin and maybe the Tao was their base. Nope.

Perhaps the Tao was a starship with Yin as its captain and Yang as its first officer. Wrong again.

Then I remembered how many religions there are out there founded by people who didn't have the courtesy to draw us frame by frame pictures and use speech balloons so we could figure out just exactly who was saying what. They call these people prophets and sages, yet they couldn't even put their words into pictures or explain it through a television series with great special effects; thereby making it a little easier to comprehend for those of us from the modern day world.

The Tao Te Ching does have a few pictures unlike the comic books known as the Holy Bible, the Torah, and the Quran.

But compare this:

To this:

I think it's clear which of these contains the Truth. After reading the Tao Te Ching, I'm left wondering if this Tao is source of knowledge or if it's just another pen name for the Riddler.

Take this verse for example (Tao Te Ching 3):

Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling.
Not collecting treasures prevents stealing.
Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart.

The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies
by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.
If people lack knowledge and desire,
then intellectuals will not try to interfere.
If nothing is done, all will be well.

I feel like I'm watching Anime. Any minute now a little girl with pigtails is going to pop out of these pages, say something cute in Japanese, and then unload a .45 on me- which might actually provide some relief at this point.

What we need is a president who won't tolerate this kind moral relativism. There's right and there's wrong, good and evil. There is the JLA and there is the Legion of Doom. There's the Federation and there's the Dominion.

Right= what we say.

Wrong= what everybody else says.

I don't really think it can get much plainer than that. It's not too late for you to give up whatever comic books your reading, pick up a copy of Batman Confidential, and step into the light.



Buzzardbilly said...

Huh? I think they're ripping off Yoda's schtick, only without the cool backwards syntax. I had a professor who based his life on those Tao comic books. Swear on all that Batman stands for, that's a true story.

Malach the Merciless said...

You know what I never understood? Ok, so the Joker paralyzes Barbara Gordon, ending BatGirl, so she becomes this wheelchair bound Oracle. Yet Batman is one of the most brilliant scientist in the world, and has access to stuff like Lazarus Pits, but the can't cure her?

How does that fit into the Tao. Help me Master I am confused!

Malach the Merciless said...

Oh and just so you know I am not picking on DC, I have the same problem with Professor X.

Elvis Drinkmo said...

Well, Malach the simple answer here is that we just need to believe in Batgirl and let the the details take care of themselves.

Science, logic, and education are the enemies of faith- which is why those three concepts need to go. If we have people understanding things and thinking all the time- the Legion of Doom will prevail. All anyone really needs to know is that Kal-El and Kara-El were sent here from Krypton to save us from our sinisters and that Bruce Wayne is the only Batman and Robin is His Partner. Those two simple facts should begin and end every child's school day.

Billy- be looking for the Yang version of this post at Appalachian Greens.

Jennifer said...

Ah, grasshopper, you have found the real light. It helps if you read the Tao after a few glasses of wine. ;-) Seriously, it took me about a year to read and absorb the whole thing. And it's damn near impossible to explain to anyone else in less than 2 hours. Reading the whole thing means you're a glutton for punishment... or you want to be inspired to start your own comic with ass-kicking Taoists in some sort of awesome costume!

Elvis Drinkmo said...

Somehow I think that might work, Jennifer. That's what I like about it- there isn't any room for fundamentalism or evangelicalism.

Uh, I mean, All Praise Be to the Martian Manhunter for steering me toward the one True faith which only comes from DC Comics and the Five Holy Seasons of Star Trek.

Jennifer said...

You know, the Tao is really an awful like like Star Wars philosophy... I expect to see more pictures of Yoda here. All this Star Trek nonsense is simply blasphemy.

Elvis Drinkmo said...

This Star Wars you talk about, is it something that happened in another dimension of the multiverse?

(Agreed Jennifer, the Tao closely resembles the force so for as I can tell.)

Anne Johnson said...

I tried to donate several million dollars to your church, but my chek was returned in the mail. The USPS says there's no such place as Gotham City. Please send a valid mailing address or a PayPal account number.

Elvis Drinkmo said...


The Postmaster General of USPS is a known Legion of Doom sympathizer. He has ordered all mail carriers to deny the existence of Gotham.

These are difficult times for those of who walk with the multiverse's only True heroes.