About Having Values

Someone made a comment on my post about no Taoist giving his opinions on the issue of abortion. They brought up a point about values. He said, surely we need to value human life. Without values life would be meaningless…

I can only talk about myself here.

Not giving voice to my values doesn’t mean I don’t have some. It means that they don’t need to be expressed. I don’t think it is always beneficial to everyone for me to express them. It can hurt or offend others, and it can hurt me.

Here was my response to him:

Chapter 5 of the Tao Teh Ching (a Taoist text) says that the sage (wise or enlightened person) manages unspoken guidance. Surely, if my ‘way’ is right and beneficial, people will see that and gravitate towards it- without my having to tell them what my ‘way’ is.

Suppose I tell someone what positive things to value, and even make a decent argument for it, and they adopt that value. That change that has taken place may never be as strong as a change in them that happened spontaneously and originated from inside.

Chapter 13 of the Tao Teh ching says “Therefore those who embody nobility to act for the sake of the world seem to be able to draw the world to them, while those who embody love to act for the sake of the world seem to be worthy of the trust of the world.” The value is there, but, it is reflected in action rather than taught by words- they EMBODY their values.

Besides- what makes me, or any man, a moral authority? My life has been brief, my perspective and beliefs are subjective, and my perception of the whole world is limited. And if I state a value today, I may grow and learn that my value was wrong and change that value tomorrow (having already taken a position on an issue). Socrates said that he knew that he was intelligent because he knew that he knew nothing.

The more I learn about our human world and the natural universe around me, the more I realize that I know nothing… And the more I draw back from saying that I know anything.

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3 thoughts on “About Having Values

  1. That’s a REALLY INSIGHTFUL observation, and one of personal relevance, as i have been drying to balance my desire to make my experience and Insight available to all who would benefit, yet at the same time, I believe in Attraction, rather than Promotion. So I suppose that if when the student is ready, the Teacher will appear, thus, the students will appear when the teacher is needed, and ready. _/|\_

    • Thank you, so much, for your compliment and comment.

      Agreed. Attraction to a ‘way’ (whether it’s a way to sobriety, a better political or economic direction, or a way to achieve one’s goals) DOES seem to work better for the individual that is drawn to it, as opposed to someone who is coerced or convinced to follow that same way.

      That’s an interesting thought about the student and teacher. All these great blogs (including your own) have popped up precisely when I needed them, and precisely when they would be of the most benefit. Had someone told me to look at them at another point, they might have been forgotten, or their message might not have sunk in. ~ The teacher(s) appeared when I was ready… and drew me (attracted) me to their lessons without any selfishness or effort.

      I like this- _/|\_ I think of someone someone bowing whenever I see it… I just looked up ‘namaste’ and it means ‘bow to you’.

      And namaste _/|\_, Dharmamitra Jeff.

      • Yeah, I use the emojis sometimes, but It’s exactly what it is _/|\_ palms pressed together, with thumbs pulled close t your heart, _/|\_ it’s technically called the Anjali Mudra (Mudras being symbolic gestures with the hands. Each Buddha has their own Mudra or Mudras that identify who they are, and what they symbolize) and then I bow. t’s both genuine and automatic. Namaste more accurately means “The light within me, acknowledges the light within you, ad the bow is the action taken.
        Great Blog, I really enjoy it _/|\_ Namaste (or Namaskar is a more formal way of saying it)

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