The Great Tao, by Stephen T. Chang

Here is the complete Preface from The Great Tao, a beautiful and wise statement whether you believe in Taoism or not:

"I, Stephen Thomas Chang, the humble servant of Tao, pray that grace and peace surround those, who have great fortune and who have done many good deeds in the past, in their entrance into the Kingdom of God and by means of the perfect knowledge of Tao.

"Any form of life that exists in the universe is a meld of three states of being: the past, present, and future. The present is the result of past actions, and the future is the result of present actions.

"Therefore, anything which exists has a purpose, a meaning, and anything with purpose exists.

"The purpose of life is evolution. In the cycle of evolution, no form of life is excluded. Everything, from minerals to plants to animals to human beings, must evolve until it reaches everlasting peace, happiness, and existence in the Kingdom of God.

"Everybody enters the Kingdom of God through his or her own efforts; one who sows goodness reaps goodness, and one who sows evil reaps evil. Those who sow goodness are closest to the shores of happiness, and those who sow evil are drowning in the ocean of suffering. To enter the Kingdom of God, one must evaluate one's physical consciousness, mental consciousness, and spiritual consciousness. Elevating the physical consciousness confers upon a person the power to liberate himself or herself from suffering, disease, and death; to correct mistakes and wrongdoing. Elevating the mental consciousness confers upon a person the power to disseminate wisdom to overcome evil, sorrow, cruelty, stress, tension, anxiety, greed, and ignorance; to 'live divinely' according to the laws of the universe; and to recognize the best course toward a better future. Elevating the spiritual consciousness confers upon a person the power to unite microcosm and macrocosm---human beings and God, to spiritualize his or her entire body to achieve immortality.

"Dear friend, I urge you to seriously consider the precious teachings of the Holy masters: to make kindness and leniency the priority of life. Those who are kind will not be selfish, envious, critical, malicious, and impatient, but they will be generous, helpful, and charitable. Few Taoist teachings encourage 'love,' for love connotes desire, possession, and great egotism. In the name of love, countries are divided, people are killed, families are destroyed. The greater the love, the more attachment there is; the greater the attachment, the more Karma there is. Love embroils people in bitter suffering, and it pulls more souls downward than it pushes upward. Life is difficult, but it can be made easier if everyone were more lenient towards each other. When one person is lenient, that person starts a chain reaction of goodwill. Chain reactions always come full circle, and those who initiate goodwill receive goodwill.

"Taoism is a very simple and easy science. That is why it is still strong after more than 6,000 years. It is strong because it benefits people easily, and people keep it strong. Life is simple and easy if one is a Taoist. It is also abundant, rewarding, and successful, because whatever one sows one reaps.

"Let all of the negativities die with yesterday, and let all of the positivities be born anew today. May pleasure and honor be with you now and forevermore."

From Stephen T. Chang: The Great Tao, Tao Publishing, 1985. ISBN: 0942196015

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