Taoism and the Sage

I’m not going to write a huge tract here, but I am going to talk briefly about the “Sage”, who is the putative ideal political-operative Taoist.

Taoism, aside from trying to get us all to be good with uncontrollable change and equipped to take advantage of the opportunity that remains part of change and alacrity, is actually all about cultivating sagely skills in its adherents. By sagely, what I mean is that there is an oft forgotten set of ethics that are meant to apply to all Taoists, especially the successful ones. It’s a mix of altruism, governance, manipulation, idealism, and pragmatism, and the idea is that each Taoist follower, each potential sage, is supposed to be doing a lot of long-term thinking and supposed to be able to take advantage of prevailing political, social, and cultural conditions to take custody of and responsibility for their people, their land, their world.

So what does that mean today, as we move into 2017, and into what appears to be a new age of post-truth fascism, xenophobia, and colonialism in the global theater?

It means that we Taoists are going to have to get a lot more comfortable spinning what we say so that it works even in this post-truth global society. So even though I was born and raised a scientist, if I want to communicate with the greater, less sciency public, I need to quickly get comfortable knowing and speaking and spinning that less sciency lingo, so I might have a chance to successfully communicate. And possibly survive, in this new world of intolerance.

I’m not saying you have to do the same, by any means, but you may want to consider it – it may soon no longer be viable to be as outspoken and forthright as you may have become used to being for the last couple of decades.

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