The Tao of Phoenix has no new truth hidden with in it, no great revelation that has not been revealed. Here you will find old and tried wisdom in a spiffy new package that perhaps you will read, and take something away for yourself.
The Tao, or "way", of anyone is a work in progress and will never be finished while the capacity for learning is within us. The most we can say for any of these things is that the have worked for us, and you may gain also with their trying.
He that shouts first, or turns to other forms of violence, admits defeat in the battle of ideas.
If you depend on others for your happiness, you will be forever disappointed.
Before you kill, maim, before you maim, hurt, before you hurt, hold, before you hold, speak.
If one is not true to themselves, they cannot be true to others, and will find no truth. Truth is not fact. Truth is where and what you find within facts, and how it relates to your Tao. Facts are.
The opposite of truth is falsehood. The opposite of a Great Truth is often another Great Truth.
Always examine possibilities on their own merits, even if they challenge your faith, always if they challenge your faith. If your faith cannot withstand the challenge of new possibles, or even new facts, then you need to reexamine the faith, not the facts. Facts are, truth is what you find within the facts, faith is what you take from the truth.
Violence never solves anything. Well you say, "tell that to the city of Carthage." Instead I ask; What did the Romans solve by destroying it? Their hate, their fear, their problem was never solved. For Rome the fear of Hannibal never ended. Violence may make the solution moot, but it does not solve the root problem.
"Hurt not others in that you yourself would find hurtful." -- Udanavarga
-- So why is this idea so hard to understand and practice?
First corollary of the golden rule; Your right to swing you arm ends at the other fellow's nose.
"Be it harm none, do as you will." A good rule to live by. Just remember, harm to one's self is still harm.
The message of every great teacher of wisdom from Buddha, to Jesus, to Mohammed has been one of peace and love. So why is it that religion thrives on hate and war?
Each man demands his rights, as well he should. But if each man gave those rights to each of his fellow men, then none would need demand anything, and we would live in peace. In truth, it is better to give than receive
Heinlein was right; rub her feet.
Love, Is the warm feeling inside that says "I am not alone". The leap of joy at the sight of the one. Quiet hours in silent company. Love needs no trumpets. It requires not thrills. Love thrives in the wispered word, the glance of an eye, the touch of a hand. Love is a kindness done "because", flowers given for no occasion. Love never questions, it never asks, it gives. Love is the warmth that abides through the deepest cold long after the fires of lust have died. Love sustains. Love protects. And all else failing;
Do not in your haste to do right, forget to do good.
To a man with just a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Examine your reactions. If they are always the same, look to your tools for coping, or rather your lack of same.
A blind man expects than no one else can see.
As evil fears the light, so does ingnorance fear knowledge. When the priest or the government tries to restrict your learning to "save your soul" or "protect your morals", look closely at what they are selling. Most often your will find it is based on the idea that you must learn nothing but what your are told to believe. These are cheap goods, pass them by. True morals stand firm in the face of all knowledge.
Tyrants cannot abide beyond the will of the people to abide them. When the people have had enough, tyrants fall
No one can take your principles or your morals from you. All such actions are by your will alone. You cannot be made to act. If the stakes are high enough to you, bullets and blades cannot move you. If faced with the choice of forfeiture of your soul or your life, death is a legitimate option.
It is not so much that the way of Christ has been tried and found wanting, as it has been found hard, and not tried.
Suicide is a stupid option and the path of cowards. It solves nothing but leaves a mess for others to clean up. Let us examine it: If you believe that you have nothing to look forward to passed this life, why are you so eager to end it? If you believe that you will be brought around again on the great wheel of life, and past deeds will determine your station, self harm is a heavy karmic burden. If you believe that your deeds in life will determine your place after it, again, self harm is no assurance to high place in heaven. In short, with suicide you have nothing to gain, and everything to lose.
Religion and spirituality, or godliness, are not the same. You can be spiritual, and not religious, religious, and without God.
Many people have tried to define genius. I equate this to a describing the sunset in words to the blind. In our experience one is called a genius for seeing as obvious what others have failed to see, and explaining it in such a fashion that they see it as obvious also once you have made them aware. It is opening the eyes of the blind so they can experience the sunset for themselves.
Heresy and apostasy are how progress is made. By thinking the same thoughts and believing the same beliefs we would all be sitting in trees and eating two day old hyena killed wildebeest. Someone had to think different thoughts and propose that "There is a better way." They would also be opposed by all "right thinking" people who would assert that "If stinking meat and cold trees where good enough for our Fathers they are good enough for us." But here we sit communicating around the world on instruments that any right-thinking churchman of the middle ages would call dark magic, and would be totally beyond the imagination of tree-sitting, stinking wildebeest eaters. Ergo the traditions of heresy and apostasy are old, well established, and in the long term, good for us.
Money spent on good tools is never wasted.
The purpose of argument is progress, not victory. The man that cannot separate his opinions from himself sees a personal attack in every disagreement. Pride then cannot allow him to let go of his opinion and assume a better one, even if that would be to his benefit. Progress, both personal and societal, is dependant on us not placing our opinions and our egos in the same basket.
Of the things we give a child the genes are the least important part. The kind of parent we are, the lessons we teach, the support we give are vastly more important than 23 chromosomes handed over at conception. What our children teach their children that we taught them is far greater a legacy to the human race than any genetic material we do or do not pass on. In the battle of nature vs. nurture I am on the side of nurture every time. Our "natural" gift ends with conception. Our nurturing gift never ends while life lasts.
Gutenberg's gift to civilization was that no book will ever again be lost. Before him a book may have a dozen copies in the world, after him, thousands. Computer programers and archivists, the descendants of Gutenberg in process and spirit assure that there will not be thousands, but million of copies of any given work no matter how great or mundane, loved or hated. No tyrant, be they secular or religious, will ever again control what the people may read. The Internet and the World Wide Web are the liberty machine, if only the people will so embrace them.
The religious right are a proof of concept for the theorem that those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Once the despised and legislated against minority they now are in the halls of power attempting to dismantle, for others, the rights the founding fathers so desperately fought for, and so wisely embodied in the Constitution. However, power is fickle, and time will see them cast from the seats of power. Should they succeed in their current quest their children or grandchildren will reap the grief of a new age of persecution fueled by the successes of their forefathers.
Of all joy, shared joy is the greatest.
Principles and morals are not followed because "they" do, or do not do. Principles and morals are followed because they are the right and good thing to do, not due to the action or to cause the reaction of others. That is the nature of true enlightenment. Morals are first for one's self.
The greatest evils are done in the name of good.
Do not sit and complain. The wrongs of the world are never solved by complaint, only action. When you see wrong do not speak, act! The squeaky wheel gets the job.
If by words or deeds I better the life of one person, I have fulfilled the reason for my living.