I have posted on Taoism, in this journal, at least 390 times during the last eight years. I don't know what else to say about it. It has become my Way, my truth, and my life.
I do not recommend it to anyone else. If you have a spiritual or philosophical path that works well for you, stick with it. Being uprooted and transplanted can be fatal to plants and other living things. "Grow where you were planted," seems to be good psychological and spiritual advice. But if you are searching for a philosophical or spiritual path, i can't think of a better one than Taoism.
Perhaps phenomenology had left me without the "solid" foundation i thought i needed. On December 27, 1975(?) i read the first lines of the Tao Te Ching and i was hooked. In its 81 very short "chapters" (averaging less than one page each) i was stalled only a few times by the thought: "Whoa, what is this crap i am reading?" * Most of those stopping points have since been clarified for me.
At a glance, Taoism seems as different from Hinduism as Hinduism seems different from Christianity;
but a deeper look shows similarities among the three. There is (or was) a "popular Taoism" which could be as ugly as anything in Christianity or Hinduism. But each tradition can also be a gateway to serenity, happiness, freedom, and unity with the Ground oif Being.
I have read the Mother Teresa of Kolkata did not try to convert anyone to Catholicism or Christianity. She felt that a person should a good Hindu or a good Muslim rather than a bad Christian. Ib spite of her deep commitment to Christianity, she understood that any spiritually informed person was better off than a merely "religious" one. At any rate, the Tao Te Ching had already brought me halfway to the miracle that i would discover in Al Anon
* In chapter 5, the Tao is described as "ruthless." Being accustomed to the idea of a personal God who is also a "person," i wondered how "ruthlessness" could be a source of compassion. Chapter 20 seemed to me to have been written by a person who was autistic. I wondered much later if i was atteacted to this philosophy only because i shared that abnormality,
Next: Twelve Steps on the 8-fold Path (or vice versaa)