Daily Tao / 343 – Alienation


Why yearn for a promised land?
The true land is in the heart.

Today Jews meet with Tibetans. They believe they have something in common in that they have both been exiled from their homelands. They are not alone. Chinese find themselves strange natives of lands outside China. Some Europeans have been forced far from their birthplaces by war and arbitrary boundaries. Native Americans are alienated in their own ancestral lands. And African descendants of slaves are still victimized by institutional shackles.

Those who follow Tao recognize the importance of place, people, and nation. But these factors cannot be allowed to hold ultimate sway. Tao affirms the responsibility of the individual over the people. We cannot allow ourselves to be hobbled by the woes and alienation of our race or nation. It is our responsibility to overcome these, even if we can only succeed in our hearts.

By following Tao, we join a larger spiritual order. There is a great comfort in being part of something that is not tied to place or state. Indeed, since Tao is not wholly relegated to the material level, it can never be taken away from us. Even if we are exiled from our homes and thrown into the most miserable prison, Tao is there for us. Once we enter it, we need never be frightened by the threat of alienation again.


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