Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | April 1, 2009


In Taoism, it is accepted that life and the world was a spontaneous creation out of nothingness, or wuji. This spontaneous creativity is a quality of  life that mimics creation, and we, in fact, as LilouMace likes to say, we are co-creators.

As a catholic, it is believed that God, that mystery that we cannot explain or comprehend with our finite minds, created everything out of nothing.

Taoists believe all life is infused with the spark of the divine, the tao, chi, energy, universal chi, and that there is an intimate relationship with, in fact, we are, the universal mind of god in all its incomprehensible ineffability.

Catholics believe God lives in us and that we are the vessel for his divine spirit. Taoists take it a bit further in suggesting that we are it, that all of creation is not a separate creation from the Tao, but is it, is a manifestation of it. Catholics believe we are a separate creation longing to return to the “father” and be reunited, one with the father. This really is the crux of the catholic faith, this eschatological view–Christ became man for one reason, to provide a way for us to be re united with the father. Taoists don’t have the original sin/redemption thing, but there is a sense that this life is a school or an education, and we perfect ourselves to eventualy become one with the universal mind again, although I’m not sure what the official taoist view on individuation in the afterlife is, and, you know, a true taoist doesn’t really have an official position on anything–that’s one of the joys of being a taoist, except of course that once you call yourself a taoist, you kind of cease to be a taoist.

So, I’m a bit sidetracked. What I’ve been contemplating recently is this, Catholics believe not only in a “contractual agreement” between man and God; if I do this, God will do that. They also believe that the “father,” a word to describe more the quality fo God rather than his sex, consciously cares for us, and that there is a loving intimacy between creator and creation, and that He actively participates in our lives.

Taoism does not believe this. While there is an awareness of the divine and holy that is the source of all things. And what, I guess is most depressing to me, is this fact, the tao is indifferent to us. It just is. The way is the way. So, does prayer go out the window, except as an internal practice to focus one on what they need to do? It’s hard after growing up believing that all the hairs on your head are counted, that God loves us, to find out that there may be a record somewhere of the numbers of hair on our head, but it is indifference.

What do you think. I obviously haven’t played this out completely, and I don’t mean to paint taoism is a negative light because tai chi and taoist thought is pretty much they way I try to live my life.

What do you think?



  1. Ah, the way is the way. You express disappointment in its seeming indifference, but I think the key to enlightenment is in becoming a part of the way yourself, kind of like slipping into the stream of a river. The water keeps going endlessly, but if you attune yourself correctly, you can follow it and swim.

    • Hey, thanks for checking in. I agree, I’m torn, I like being on the bank of the river where there’e food and water and heat, but on the other hand I want to give myself to it and slip into the stream as you say. It takes a lot of trust, doesn’t it.

  2. Hey, thanks for checking in and commenting. I was checking out your blog tonight and it’s such a great resource. Thanks for doing all that work. I’ve set you up as a link so people can visit you from here.

  3. I find the fact that Tao is indifferent to be quite refreshing. The world just is and we are part of it — no better nor worse than any other part.

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