The fugitive and the holy man

How did Taoism begin? Good question.
Briefly, Taoism began with Chinese civilisation, and was very Shamanic in origin. Over time there have been many offshoots and even full-on churches established...All this, long before Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching....
For more on Taoism (the way, not the book) I would reccommend Taoism by Eva Wong, Everyday Tao by Deng Ming-Dao and The tao of health, sex and longevity by Daniel Reid.


  • edited December 1969
    the saint
    a man is accused of theft, and has to flee the town with an angry mob on his heels, determined to put him to death. as the man is running, he sees a holy man meditating under a tree. he stops and asks the holy man
    'please, can i hide in your tree? there are people who want to kill me, but i am innocent!'
    the holy man thinks for a moment, and says 'of course, my son.'
    so the man climbs up into the tree, where he is well hidden amongst the leaves. the holy man smiles to himself, and thinks about the good deed he has just done. 'i have followed the scriptures well' he thinks to himself.
    soon enough, the angry mob come charging down the road, and see the holy man sitting under his tree. one of the men comes forward and asks the holy man, has he seen anyone running down this road?
    now the holy man faces a dillemma! he doesnt want to reveal the man hiding in the tree, but his scriptures forbid him to lie- for any reason.
    eventually he admits that the man is hiding in the tree, and the mob take him down and kill him.

    did the holy man do the right thing?
    what do you think the right course of action was?
  • edited December 1969
    There is no 'right' course of action. "Right" and "wrong" are artificial human constructs, and therefore are in the eye of the beholder. Is that dodging the question? :wink:
  • edited December 1969
    yep :)
    but you are 'right', the question is designed to make the reader question those artificial constructs!
    one should always follow natural goodness, the 'te' or virtue of tao.
  • edited December 1969
    What kind of tree was it?
  • edited December 1969
    im going to say it was a Quercus robur :wink:
  • edited December 1969
    Oh, well then, that explains everything...
  • edited December 1969
    good! but, why did you want to know what type of tree it was?
  • edited December 1969
    I thought perhaps it was a bansai tree...
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