I just got into a fight with a Taoist. If I had known that my beliefs of now would make a Taoist freak out on me, I would have said these things to my ex-husband, a self-professed Taoist who went to church.
This all began because I used my gods as an example about global warming. (Neither here nor there.) However, I went on about how the gods gave us this planet and and and. I felt that what I was saying would be… received better than it was. However, I was told that my beliefs weren’t material to the discussion. I told him that my faith is absolutely material because I have it, which is the point in most things. It is having faith in oneself, in one’s actions, in one’s beliefs, in one’s gods/God… It is the belief that is the important part, sure, but it is the actual faith that is the core tenet and the most important portion of it all. Anyway. I’m rambling and probably not making much sense.
I was then told that since he was a Taoist, he couldn’t understand or respect what I was saying.
I think that’s kind of counter productive to ‘the way,’ in my opinion, but I must profess that I’m not as fully versed in Taoism as to make an accurate statement on that. However, from what I can glean from the Wiki article on it and what I can remember from the ex-husband when he’d spout of in it… Taoism was all about harmony with the cosmos in various ways. From the Wiki article, the various ways are “the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos (天人相应); health and longevity; and wu wei (action through inaction). Harmony with the Universe, or the source thereof (Tao), is the intended result of many Taoist rules and practices.”
So, then, I said that Taoism was just like worshiping the ways of ma’at because they are similar in principle. Wow. That got a reaction. Again, if I had known that was going to happen, I would have said something to my ex-husband when I had the chance. Instead, I just quietly cow-towed while he spouted his bullshit.
I was quickly reprimanded for doing such a thing since there was no correlation. So, tauntingly, I demanded that he explain to me what the fuck ma’at was. And he went on about how she was an anthropomorphic representation that was associated as the consort with Djehuti. I just had to literally shake my head and said, “No. You’re wrong. You’re talking about the physical, as opposed to what the hell she represented.” So, then, I asked him to explain, again, to me what it was that she represented. And he freaked out. Now, I know this person. And I have no doubt that he was probably researching her core tenets while this discussion happened and didn’t like what the hell I was getting at.
I think he was perfectly irritated with the fact that, maybe, I was on to something.
At this juncture, I asked him to explain to me his religious practices. I figured, “Well, why not? He didn’t like what I was going to go on about so maybe, we’ll just move away from it and he can tell me why I’m wrong.” Sometimes, I actually tolerate this behavior. And this person is someone that I don’t mind arguing various things with. And after he pretty much shat on my beliefs, I realized that he was only a Taoist because he said he was. It was just like with the ex-husband. He thinks that because I don’t study it/haven’t studied it, then he can spout out whatever the hell he wants so that he can make me feel like crap because I have a faith in polytheism and that my gods are real.
Fuck. I know my gods are real.
This is the juncture when I screamingly accused him of not being a Taoist since I didn’t believe a real Taoist would be so cruel as to shit on someone else’s belief system. Now, I could be wrong in this. However, from what I recall from the ex-husband and from what I can glean from the Wiki article, there isn’t much room for intolerance. I mean, sure, I guess it could be in there somewhere because I haven’t read the Dao-de-Ching. (I think I totally annihilated that title.) As I mentioned earlier, the core tenets really don’t leave a lot of room for interpretation. However, apparently, modern Taoists pick and choose what they so believe. In his case, he has decided that most of the “softer” sides of Taoism are out and not worth his time.
Even though, he ascribed his faith as coming from the book-thing. And I pulled those tenets from the book that he claims to follow.
SO THEN HOW IN THE SHIT IS HE A TAOIST?!
So, okay, okay. I heard somewhere that taking the core belief from the book is not the way to go (or something). I guess I can buy that, although it really is kind of odd to me. I guess that’s just my Christian upbringing rearing its ugly head. I mean, I don’t have a book that tells me what the fuck I should believe in so, I suppose, I should give him the benefit of the doubt. However, it still just smacks as not quite right. Okay, so he shits all over what I believe in, laughingly thinking I’m some dumb hick and literally hurting my feelings, but he’s a Taoist?
I mean, I know I’m not confusing this with Buddhism, which would be less likely to pass judgement.
However, I still just don’t think that what he’s practicing is, in reality or at its core, anything to do with Taoism. I think he is just like my ex-husband: he liked the philosophy and thought it would make him appear cooler in the eyes of others. I can distinctly remember my ex-husband pulling out those little ball things to “attain higher peace” or some crap. And of course, if that was the case, if he really wanted to do that, why was he so mentally abusive? Can a self-proclaimed Taoist be mentally abusive? Again, I have to think that the answer is a fucking ‘no.’ And in the current case, can a self-proclaimed Taoist really make someone feel two-inches tall because she believes that her gods talk to her and make her feel wanted and loved? Again, I have to say that the answer is probably no.
A lot of people just readily accept things when I say them. Yesterday, I was with a family that is Presbyterian at the heart of it. They don’t really practice except for the major holidays. I’ve been doing Tarot readings for them on-and-off during my two-week free-for-all. When I say that I pray to beings that aren’t of this world, they believe me. When I explained the other day that I was exhausted because I had to channel a god for a Tarot reading, they believed me. And when I was talking with them yesterday about voodoo and multiple gods and being a polytheist, they just took it in stride. If they had questions, they asked.
I guess I’m kind of… babied. I get this kind of reaction whenever I say something about my faith more often than not. Yes, I’ve had negative reactions and negative people try to make me feel like crap. (I’ll say that the only ones who have succeeded are the ones who know me enough to know how to climb under my skin and stomp on everything inside of me. Note to self: be stronger.) However, more often than not, I get blind acceptance or perversely curious questions. And every time I get sucked into those types of conversations, I always end with the important part, to me: “The importance is that I believe in something and that I have faith. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, to me, as long as you believe it so strongly that you have faith.” My mom and TH’s mom both believe in God and they believe this strongly. Do I care because it doesn’t quite correlate with my belief system? No. I’m just glad that they have faith.
I think what upsets me most is that this person knows how to fucking piss me off with a single comment. I don’t know why I keep giving him chances. It’s so amusing because the other day, we were locked in solidarity over something. And now, I just want to smack him for being an ass. I’m at this point, “All you do is sit there and blast information back and back and back. You never let a single person answer even one aspect of your fucking argument because you’re too busy coming up with more examples as to why they’re wrong. You can at least try to debate something as opposed to feeling superior.” And that’s all it is. (Now he’s trying to assure me that we were debating and that since he totally destroyed my argument, I’m bitter.)
No, I’m not bitter. I’m upset.
I’m upset that he claims to be something and yet, doesn’t bother to follow it. I’m upset that there are people out there like him and like my ex-husband who pervert a really nice philosophy and religion. I mean, it’s got to be so great if Chinese people for centuries have been following it, right? Okay, that may have been a little snotty or sarcastic and I didn’t mean it. I’m really trying to be broad-minded and peaceful about this. I really and truly am. I’m trying to stay positive and just remember that I have a faith and a belief that makes me happy, that makes me sing, that allows for me to hex asshats like this… No, just kidding. (I’d pay someone else to do that, anyway.)
However, in the mean time, it still aches that there are people who think I’m being silly or childish. It still hurts that there are people who don’t take what I have to say or what I believe seriously. It still fucking sucks monkey butt that I have to sit here and feel badly about something that has always made me happy.
And I think that’s the gist of this hurt and pain. It’s the fact that people feel the need to shit on people who are happy or good at something. Sometimes they do it because of jealousy and sometimes they do it because they’re just trying to take you down a peg or two. Sometimes, they do it just because they want something to fill their time. And that’s really what hurts most: the fact that he was just doing it to be mean and to “prove a point.” And that I let him get to me. Again. Per usual. Again. Why do I even bother?
I guess that’s because I have faith that people can change.
I guess that’s just fucking retarded now, isn’t it?