Truthful words are not beautiful. Beautiful words are not truthful. Good men do not argue. Those who argue are not good. Those who know are not learned. The learned do not know.
The sage never tries to store things up. The more he does for others, the more he has. The more he gives to others, the greater his abundance. The Tao of heaven is pointed but does no harm. The Tao of the sage is work without effort.
Question 9. God has spoken to you.... Well certainly not in so many words. Not in English or any other language i recognize as human. God may have "spoken" in other ways, through the words and acts of people, through nature, through my thoughts or intuitions.
Question 10. If so, what did God say? I would not have said this two years ago, but i think if God did speak to me i would recognize his voice by the content of His message. What he would say would blow me away, because he wouldn't say something i already knew in such an extraordinary way. I think i pretty much know what he would not say. He would not use my ear to blast away at other people, to condemn them or discuss their naughtiness. He would not say anything contradictory to the authentic words of Jesus or the Buddha, or Lao Tse. He would not say anything to make me question his compassion. But he has not spoken to me, so i kind of have to figure these things out for myself with the help of those i consider wise.
10. Do you feel that most wars started because of religious conflict? No. Wars are fought because of the political or economic interests of a powerful few. The typical person shuns war. She does not want her sons killed or her children orphaned. He does not want to die for Exxon Mobile. So how do the few get the rest of us to be warlike. By appealing to the best and worst of our emotions, love and fear. Do you love your country? Do you love your Children?, Do you love your God? Wouldn't you hate to be conquered? Don't you hate dictators who torture women and bayonet children? Don't you hate those .......(fill in the blank with Muslims, Catholics, Shintoists, Atheists or whatever it is that distinguishes their religion from ours)? You cannot blame people from rushing into battle screaming the name of their God; but the people who created this propaganda know better. The historical founders of all religions were people of peace, Jesus and Buddha were pacifists. Mohammed's case may seem marginal because he was expected to be a political as well as a religious leader, but his basic teaching was one of peace. The problem is that religion becomes a social institution and then becomes a pawn of political leaders rather than the conscience of the society. We have tried to separate Church and State, but we have obviously failed to do so. We now want to train our military in prayer techniques or something!! Religion is used by politicians to make wars worse than they would otherwise be, but religion is not a cause of modern war, not even jihad.