Heaven and Earth interact to create all things. Man and woman consummate to give new life. This is the law of nature. Taoism, Buddhism, and Catholicism prohibit sex and acclaim solitude because they pity those who are attached to their spouses and children and cannot practice Tao.
Nowadays, Tien-Tao is available to everyone. It means that practicing Tao should not violate the laws of nature, nor should it violate the Tao of Mankind.* Parents, children, husbands, and wives all live together to practice Tao. Practicing Tao will not conflict with the duties of students, farmers, merchants, or any person.
A practitioner of Tao fulfills
his responsibilities in society
while practicing Tao.
The will of a practitioner of Tao can be firmly established through tests within family affairs. So a practitioner of Tao should begin his practice from the relationship of husband and wife. Although Tien-Tao does not prohibit sex, sexual activities should be restrained.
For those who are apprehensive of the heavy burden associated with marriage, they may decide not to get married. For those who already have a family, they should be thrifty, be dedicated, and be earnest in raising their families.
One should guide all in the family
to goodness by
establishing himself as a model.
This way he will not bring shame to his ancestors, and will not spoil his children.
The Chinese character for filial devotion (孝) is a combination of elder (老) and child (子). If people do not get married, there wouldn’t be any human left after fifty years. If there is no mankind, practicing Tao would be meaningless.
* Tao of Mankind – See Question 63
61. People eat similar food, why are some always sick while others hardly ever get sick?
The human body cannot avoid illness. Major illness is due to karma forces, while minor illness is caused by one’s negligence. Therefore, there are ghosts from Hell to spread illness, and deities to descend disasters. All of them are just following God’s orders.
In addition to negligence, attached to seven emotions and six desires 28 also cause illness. The degree of damage caused by insatiable desires and wishes is greater than that caused by overindulgence in food or lust. There is a common saying,
“A tranquil mind
makes a shack comfortable.
A stable nature
makes vegetable soup delicious.”
Great Learning states,
“Affluence decorates one’s house,
yet virtues enrich one’s self.
When one is free from worries,
he would always be content.”
Thus, a practitioner of Tao should always think according to the Truth before he speaks, and should always be cautious to avoid any mistake. He would do his best and leave the outcome to God.
We have to know that
whatever one deserves,
God will not take it away;
whereas whatever God endows,
one cannot attempt to change.
Thus, an adage states “A practitioner of Tao always appreciates and submits himself to fate.”
In the time of the Three Kingdoms (196 AD. to 265 A.D.), the city Luo-yang had a famine. All in the city suffered starvation, except one who had a radiant look as usual. Prime Minister Chao inquired him of the reason, and he replied: “I had been a vegetarian for thirty years.”
Thus, one who sincerely practices Tao should maintain a pure and clean body by eliminating any meat, poultry, fish, garlic, onion family, leeks, shallot, smoking, and drinking. This way, his chances of being ill will be reduced.
62. Drinking, being lustful, greed, anger, and smoking damage the body and soul. Why are they so difficult to eliminate?
Of the five disciplines in Buddhism, refraining from drinking and being lustful are the two most important ones.
- Drinking damages the soul;
- being lustful damages the vitality;
- greed damages the virtues;
- anger damages the liver;
- smoking damages the spirit.
These are the five poisons
between Heaven and Earth.
This is why Buddhism says that the world is polluted with five filthy elements.
Heaven has the Qi of the five fundamental elements.
Earth has the characters of the five fundamental elements.
Man has five major internal organs that correspond to the five fundamental elements.
When one is upright, the five fundamental elements within oneself transform into the five virtues.**
If one is evil, the same five fundamental elements will transform into the five poisons.
Thus, drinking, being lustful, greed, indignation, and smoking are the metamorphosis of the five fundamental elements.
The fundamental element:
- metal turns into greed;
- wood, into being lustful;
- water, into drinking;
- fire, into anger; and
- earth, into smoking.
If one cannot eliminate these five poisons with determination, he would be confined by the five fundamental elements and thus cannot return to God’s kingdom. Although God is generous in making Tien-Tao available to everyone, we still should guide ourselves to righteousness.
** The virtues of the five fundamental elements:
- Wood transformed into Benevolence;
- Metal transformed into Righteousness;
- Fire transformed into Propriety;
- Water transformed into Wisdom; and
- Earth transformed into Trust.