the Dao of Atheism :jeffers' petroglyph, pre-dakota, minnesota : the Shaman Atheist 68/81


The best leaders stay with their local people
the best fighters are cool and calm
the best commanders win without engaging the enemy
the best supervisors act like the lowest employees
the best healers cure without medicine
the best laws have no transgressors
the best priests have no faith.

This is called power

power that comes with flowing with the way
power that is able to guide people
power that is mate to the universe
the oldest power.

It is often confusing to readers of the Dao de jing how a person can attempt to follow the way of passive action and yet be a warrior. This same dissonance appears in Christianity: how can you love your neighbor and yet be prepared to kill them?
Consider that Lao Dzu's writing is an attack against the leaders of his own time that wished to establish complete control of Chinese society by establishing a Confucianist order. These 81 chapters describe Lao Dzu's side of the argument, to show that the rigid order prescribed by Confucianism led to disaster, and that the Dao led to perfection.
Also consider that some people are born to military careers, or are socially indoctrinated into serving that purpose, or define the role of warrior peace-keeper in an imperfect world that still needs to answer power with power.

Today there are atheists who are warriors, as there are Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists who are warriors. Some atheist warriors attack Christianity and other forms of metaphysical belief, while defending atheism against attacks from it's various self-declared enemies. The way does not prohibit careers on its path, nor does it prescribe them. You are what you are today, and you go from there.

This commentary is an argument against the current popular definition of atheism as anti-theism and opposes the idea that atheism is a mental belief (or unbelief). These rigid connotations of atheism leave out the mysteries inherent in life, dismissing them with the term "immaterial." The warriors that defend the old atheism are like the Confucianists of antiquity: narrow in their definitions, judgmental in their relationships. Atheism needs to be opened up and let loose so it can play with its twin, theism.

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