Taoism and Secrecy
In olden times, Taoism was developed and passed down in secret; due to political dangers, societal pressures, and fear of misuse of the power of the potent knowledge. Legend states that in a rural village, someone with esoteric knowledge could abuse it to become a chieftain. In martial culture, Taoist practices and magic could be an advantage to defeat one’s enemies. Governments feared Taoists that weren’t under their control. At the same time, Taoist advisors in the royal court could secure a comfortable life if they stayed in the leader’s good graces.
The environment in which ancient Taoists lived may sound primitive. However, it seems they were not merely superstitious mystics. Rather, they were more like scientists who studied the patterns of nature and laid the foundations of medicine, chemistry, biology, astronomy, compass-navigation, and architecture. In the West, these disciplines weren’t developed until millennia later. High-level Taoist scientists had to find students with a certain moral code that wouldn’t abuse their knowledge to manipulate people and groups.
Today, modern Taoism’s superpowers include health, simplicity, and common sense. These skills are needed in a society where disease, complicated systems, and illogical ‘solutions’ abound. The information age has brought Taoist knowledge to anyone with an internet connection. Today’s challenge is not finding the knowledge, but to practice it. By practice, I mean tune into our bodies, move energy around our meridians to increase health, and allow our minds to settle in a way that allows us to think clearly and see the connectedness of all life; true super powers. More stress-reduction, self-massage, and meditation techniques outlined in:
The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching:
Transforming Your Lead Into Gold