November 10, 2010

The Tao Of Reggae


I have been listening lately to reggae music. I enjoy playing my djembe with it. Upon doing some research about some of more famous reggae artists, I found something quite interesting. Many followed or follow Rastafari movement. Rastas assert that Zion (i.e., Africa, especially Ethiopia) is a land that Jah promised to them. To achieve this, they reject modern western society, calling it "Babylon", which they see as entirely corrupt.

This in some ways shares similarities between those who walk the path of Tao and those who do not. Many of us who seek to be one with the Tao see western culture and society as one that is lost in illusion and is filled with deception. Even though it is our greatest hope that all can find the way of Tao, it often becomes an us vs. them existence.

Another similarity is that in order to be heard and to live, these reggae artists had to compromise and associate with those citizens of Babylon that they believed to be purveyors of the things they were against. As followers of the Tao, we have to do much the same. We have to work at jobs and find ourselves in contact with members of our society who shall we say are not enlightened to the wisdom of the Tao.

We have one foot in one world of Tao practice and through necessity usually find our other foot stuck in the world of the dark side. We should take the teachings of the ancients and use them to navigate this shadowy world and hopefully bring light to others and keep ourselves in harmony.

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