I’m very interested in Taoism. I’m not a religious man. I am spiritual.

At least, I like to think I’m spiritual. Spiritual with a healthy dose of pragmatism.

Plus, the ability to see beyond a religion or a particular point of view.

Of course, I’m not always able to see beyond my own nose. Most can’t. The better ones do it at least some of the time. The worst are the ones who refuse to, even when an alternative viewpoint (or say, the facts of reality) punches them repeatedly in the face.

(We call them Trumpers.)

Nobody’s perfect, and a bodhisattva is an aspirational state, not a reality for most. We can be a bodhisattva in the moment, but as a sustained state for the duration of a life?

Forget about it.

We all fuck up.

We all make mistakes. We make assumptions, fail to question the data coming into our little brains and end up being completely and utterly wrong about shit.

I know I sure do. Thinking about the way I behaved in my youth makes me cringe.

Hell, I didn’t have any real self-awareness until I was at least thirty-five and didn’t stop pointing fingers at the world around me and start turning that demand for accountability inward until I was forty.

I’m forty-two now and utterly bewildered at where I am from a growth standpoint. Sometimes, I still point fingers. More often, I turn all responsibility inward. I try to see more than one side of every issue (literally every), and evaluate from there. I never discount any possibility entirely because new shit can always come to light.

Yes, I love The Big Lebowski. Dudeism, which started as a funny page I followed on Facebook, led me to a deeper exploration of the Tao Te Ching, which has been like finding an old friend who just happens to have the answers to questions I wanted to find for years.

I’m a neophyte, obviously, though many of the precepts were already sort of known to me from various studies. To find a “religion”, if you can call it that, being mostly a loose set of precepts meant not to take itself too seriously, that combines self-governance, humour, presence and even found a way to make me feel better about being perpetually drawn to the dark stuff?

Fuck yeah.

This dude definitely abides.

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