Tao is God, according to the Chinese who translate Gospel John 1:1 thus: “In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God, and the Tao was God.” According to the English translation of the Bible, the Word is God. And according to the original Greek version of the Bible, Logos is God. The word Logos generally connotes life, light, creation, power, wisdom, love, healing, spirit, force, knowledge, rational, logic, reality, and method. The Chinese word Tao has the same connotations as the word Logos. That is why the word Tao was used in Chinese Biblical translation.
The ancient masters did not evision Tao as an old man who, seated above the clouds, struck people with a bolt of lightning when they transgressed. Since Tao is life, light . . . it is everything and everywhere. Since Tao is omnipresent, it is in you and me as long as we are alive; therefore, God can be experienced in our daily living.
Once, a request was put to the Taoist master Chuan Tze by his disciples.
“All-knowing master, please show us God,” said they.
Chuan Tze replied, “God is omnipresent. He is in the table, in you, in me . . . He is even in excrement.”
“Oh master! How could God be there?!”
Chuan Tze replied, “If God were not in our bowel movement, we would all be in big trouble!”
Mankind’s concern since the beginning has been and is that of survival. To survive one must learn to understand oneself, one’s needs, one’s functions, and one’s goals. Mankind is prone to experiment. Experimenting wisely with knowledge and understanding of cause and effect is progress. Without awareness mankind faces sickness, disease and oftentimes sudden death. Subconsciously we all realize sickness is a road to death. No one wants or cares to be ill in any degree however small, for to suffer discomfort or pain detracts from the joy of living. To suffer is to die a thousand deaths.
Throughout the Bible we read of the sick being healed and the dying being brought back to life. Many philosophies and religions preach of health and immortality. In the New Testament Jesus said, “Whosoever believeth in me should not perish, but have everlasting life” (meaning you shall not die more than once). Also according to Genesis 5:24, “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” He didn’t die. All the generations of Adam recorded in the book of Genesis had a time of birth and a time of death except for Enoch. He walked with God, and God took him. “Everybody must die is a universal principle”; but where there is a principle, there are exceptions to it. Besides Enoch, those who have attained immortality include Elijah and the Taoists of China. How and why these individuals were able to accomplish this feat is simple. They walked with God. How does one walk with Godexperience Tao? Can we, can you and I, learn to walk with God?
Many important religions and philosophies of the world have taught that the consciousness, spirit, or soul cannot die and that there are specific ways to prepare the consciousness for an after-life. Buddhism teaches people to prepare for their next life by undergoing asceticism.
Among all of these teachings we find no mention of how to prepare for the immortalization of the present physical body. It is really unnecessary to teach the preparing, or knowing, of the undying consciousness, for the spirit is not limited by space and time (it cannot cease to exist). The spirit is not limited by space and time because it is formless. In contrast our bodies are physical forms which are limited by birth and death. Since the spirit has no beginning or ending it is infinite. We are wasting precious time when we sacrifice our present lifesubjecting our physical bodies to renunciation or asceticism, for exampleto prolong something that is everlasting.
There was a naive beggar who thought that everybody led lives tormented by starvation. He noticed that one man never came out of his house to beg.
He said to himself, “His life must be harder than mine. I will help him by giving him some of my food.”
So the beggar ate half of his meager meal and offered the other half to the man, not realizing that he was a millionaire. The millionaire had no use for the dirty food and refused it.
“How kind he is to save this food for me and not take it for himself,” thought the beggar.
From then on, the beggar always saved half of his food and left it on the millionaire’s doorstep. Eventually the beggar starved himself to death, unknown to the millionaire, whose fortunes were too vast to be benefited from the beggar’s contributions.
The truly important thing is to teach people to prepare for the immortalization of their physical bodies. Our life is short and fraught with problems; therefore, we should not increase the aggravation. The purpose of Taoism is to immortalize the present physical body by providing techniques that are practiced by human beings to promote a longer, healthier, happier, and wiser life. That is Taoism.
According to the Bible Jesus retained his physical body after resurrection. He continued to eat, preach, and travel until he was finally lifted. He is the quintessential Taoist adept because he had a spiritualized (a Taoist term meaning immortalized), or transformed body.
But his disciples, Peter, John or Paulnone of them had a resurrection or immortalization. Why? And what about the multitudinous followers of Jesus?
Records show that Jesus had been in the East. Then he returned to Israel to teach “everlasting life,” terms that are very Taoist in nature. He called himself the son of God. The people had never heard of these concepts, which caused great confusion amongst them. Perhaps they were not ready to accept these concepts. Perhaps three and a half years did not provide Jesus with enough time to share the technical information dealing with immortality with the people. In the Bible there are no records of teachings that explain the technical aspects of “everlasting life.” The Bible does mention faith, but faith is a mental attitude, not a technique. Faith only leads to salvation, not immortalization. In James 2:17, it is stated that “Faith if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” So faith without actionphysical workis dead. But biblical records indicate that no physical works were devised to help mankind achieve “everlasting life.”
Jesus’ disciples followed him for less than three and a half years, since they were mostly preoccupied with preaching, teaching, traveling, and working. In the book of Acts, it is evident that their religious pursuits were hurried. Furthermore, Paul did not even see Jesus personally. Their learning was incomplete, so they were not resurrected.
In China Taoists have practiced walking with God, or Taoism, for at least six thousand years. About two thousand famous Taoists have attained immortality. Their personal histories can be found within the historical records. In the following pages the physical works through which they attained immortality are revealed.