Raymond M. Smullyan

"The Tao Does Not Command" by Raymond M. Smullyan (excerpt) THE TAO IS SILENT



That is another thing so nice about the Tao; it is not bossy! It loves and nourishes all things but does not lord it over them. Thus the Tao is something purely helpful—never coersive!

In the Judeo-Christian notion of God, one thing which is so rigidly stressed is
obedience to God! The great sins are “disobedience, rebellion against God, pride, self-will”, etc. The Christians are constantly stressing the infinite importance of “total surrender of one’s will to God”. They say, “Let thy will, not mine, be done”…

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"Abiding in the Tao" (excerpt) THE TAO IS SILENT by Raymond M. Smullyan

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In the Judeo-Christian religions, one hears much of “fear of God” and “love of God”—also “obedience to God”. In early Chinese Taoism, one speaks not so much in terms of “love of Tao”—and certainly not “fear of Tao”!—but rather of “being in harmony with the Tao”.

Fear of Tao is completely ludicrous! Tao loves and nourishes all things, but does not lord it over them! Tao is something totally friendly and benevolent—friendly to
all beings, not just those who believe in it or “accept it as their Savior!” …

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Dialogue Between God and a Mortal (excerpt) THE TAO IS SILENT by Raymond M. Smullyan

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Mortal:
   And therefore, O God, I pray thee, if thou hast one ounce of mercy for this thy suffering creature, absolve me of having to have free will!
God:
   You reject the greatest gift I have given thee?
Mortal:
   How can you call that which was forced on me a gift? I have free will, but not of my own choice. I have never freely chosen to have free will. I have to have free will, whether I like it or not!
God:
   Why would you wish not to have free will?
Mortal:
   Because free will means moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is more than I can bear!
God:
   Why do you find moral responsibility so unbearable?…

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