I'd like to share with you two quotes from the Tao Te Ching have been most relevant to my thoughts of late.
1. "All can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness.
All can know good as good only because there is evil."
2. "Words of truth are not beautiful, beautiful words are not truthful."
The former is the primary subject of this post. The latter is a reminder to myself not to write this blog like I'm scribing some sort of new age self help book. I tend to tone my feelings down a bit in order not to offend the masses and possibly hurt the growth of this company. In fact many in the business world think that I should be more like your typical faceless company head that doesn't expose his views to the judgement of the consumers. I think many people have a similar problem in general life. I'd like to take a minute to tell you not only more about myself, but also to talk about how you can actually be grateful for people and things that piss you off.
This line of thinking all started with me last week when I posted this video below to the Datsusara Facebook page along with a note about how I would be attending the UFC fights over the weekend.
Edit by Chris on 06/2017: Although I stand behind my thoughts in this post for how I was feeling at the time and I don't wish to censor my honest feelings.... I recognize now that some of my views on religion were far too simplistic an needed updating. I was also venting as when I was a child I was pushed through various religions and it took some years to get over my childish resentment. None the less I'll leave this post intact for the most part I just want people to know that I now see great value in the mythology and structure religion can provide for humanity when we look at it through the right lens. Sadly I think these values have been corrupted but I hope to help with this problem in the future vs just hating on the whole.
I also hope in leaving this post intact you can be amused at the evolution of my thoughts, enjoy ;)
UFC Q&A with Joe Rogan responding to a question from a Pastor (I was there, far back left).
Undoubtedly many of you see this video and think Joe was being an asshole. The way I see it what this guy is asking for is extremely rude, as having a UFC sanctioned pastor is pushing his BS* on the rest of us (*BS will stand for belief system during the remainder of this article). Joe's advice while not pretty, was honest and clear. Posting this video to my page stirred up some feelings in a few hardcore religious folks. Although many of the responses were rational and well thought out, it eventually got ugly. I'm quite sure I lost a few customers that day. One of them even told me I'd burn in a pit of weeping and gnashing of teeth, how lovely. At first I was upset by this but it forced me to think about where I stand and what I want for Datsusara as a company. For those that care I'll get back to my views on freedom of, and freedom from religion later in this post.
That weekend (while attending the UFC event) I had another moment of clarity. This was brought on by being surrounded by loud drunk fight fans with big egos, which makes up about 85% of any given UFC audience in the US. I was in a sea of obnoxious tough guy shirts (think pit bulls, snakes, blood, chains, shiny tattoo style lettering etc.) worn by people that probably haven't trained a day in their life. Numerous times I saw people being extremely disrespectful to the staff and their fellow patrons, and it really pissed me off. It was then realized I definitely do not want everyone to be a Datsusara fan, I don't even want most people to be fans. I decided would much rather give all my time and love to a small minority of people that resonate with me then to have every douche bag in the arena wearing a Datsusara shirt.
What I'm getting at here is that even though you may be struggling with many things in life you can be thankful they exist because they help you find your way. Just as mold on food helps you to know what not to eat (excluding some very tasty aged properly foods of course) or the way certain markings on animals let you know they are poisonous. All of these things help me know what I stand for, without them life would be unbalanced and boring. I'm not saying don't resist or actively take the fight if that is in you. I'm saying to be glad you know where to direct your energies and to have help getting to know yourself. In looking at things this way I think you'll find a new measure of clarity and a tendency towards calm rational thinking rather than emotional outbursts (which may still be warranted on occasion, sometimes people deserve a slap upside the head ;).
We have covered the main points of this article but while I'm at it here is a little info that you can use as an exercise for learning where you stand. I'm going to tell you my position on many subjects that tend to evoke a strong reaction in people. Love me, hate me or dismiss me, here we go....
I'm not a fan of religion in most forms but note that I do not consider Buddhism or Taoism to be religions in the true sense of the word ("a system of faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being."). That doesn't mean that I don't think you should be allowed to believe in anything you want, you absolutely should. However I do not condone any public support of religious institutions such as tax breaks. I also won't respect your religious beliefs any more than I respect your Kung Fu. I do however have a deep love of philosophy and myth, but when those are interpreted into BS, absolutes, and factual accounts, then I call foul. I also believe that every good teaching in religion could be taught without all of the nonsense that goes with it. I don't need to condone rest of the madness in the bible to know that I shouldn't kill people. If I gave you a sandwich composed of 80% shit and 20% nutritious food would you eat it? Or would you prefer a sandwich without any shit in it? As Bruce Lee suggested for martial arts I think we should keep what works and cut out the BS.
George Carlin on religion. A more eloquent and funny man than I.
I'm also for legalizing all drugs and offering treatment for those with problems vs. criminal punishment. I'm for equal rights for every gender, race, or sexual orientation. I hate nationalism as I see no need to think I'm better than anyone else just because I'm on one side of an invisible line. I'm for universal health care, with private options for those that wish to pay more. I'm pro abortion and pro sex ed , I think abstinence teaching is idiotic and dangerous. I think gun permits should be at least as hard to get as a drivers license. I'm pro environment even at the expense of so called progress. I think some government is actually good. I do not blindly support war, the troops or any other notion on a whole, as anyone can be a jerk and any cause can be corrupt. I hate loud motorcycles. I love pork (but hate factory farming).
That got a little watered down at the end so I'll stop now, you get the point and I got to get some things off my chest. Again my point is that I'm ok if I just lost approval from the masses. In fact I thank them for being who they are and helping me to know who I am. Don't be afraid to go your own way, be Datsusara.
Bruce Lee's lesson on self expression.
P.S. If you have issue with my statements here you are welcome to change the channel. I will not be approving rude comments as this isn't a debate forum. This blog is my space for expressing my views and talking about Datsusara. If you think this is hypocritical heathen nonsense please feel free to start your own thing and curse my name to all that will listen.
As always I can't say enough to those of you that do support Datsusara, you help me more than I could ever express, my everlasting gratitude to you.