Alas, we all are! We’ve been out of touch with nature for many millennia so there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Essentially, religion is merely a symptom of our out of touch with nature feeling, and of our wish to return to Eden.
Speaking of Eden, this Biblical story in Genesis (Old Testament) closely parallels a core Taoist view of how humanity is out of touch with Nature, albeit with some hyperbole: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die“. The hyperbole here is the idea that if we didn’t “eat of it”, we’d be immortal. That is completely discordant with Nature’s way!
Later in the Gospels (New Testament), we find “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God“. This is opposite to Genesis and the Taoist point of view. After all, isn’t “the tree of knowledge” built on the foundation of words, e.g., good, evil, God, wrong, etc? It feels like Christianity wants to have it both ways. Hmm… how human.
I’m sure this is why I ended up with a Taoist point of view. At least the Tao Te Ching puts a disclaimer right at the beginning: The way that can be spoken of is not the constant way; The name that can be named is not the constant name. So far, I’ve found no other spiritual path as unabashedly straightforward and consistent as that portrayed in the Tao Te Ching. Have you?
All paths seem to engage in various degrees of hoodwinking. That’s not bad, mind you. It’s just that hoodwinking is not my cup of tea. Biology is the master hoodwinker, of course, and the one which I examine as closely as possible to see how it is playing out in me. Often now, I’m able to see through nature’s hoodwink enough to rise above it. That is, as long as the issue doesn’t push all my emotional buttons. (See Peeking in on Nature’s Hoodwink.)
Yet, I must confess that thinking that I’m able to see through nature’s hoodwink enough to rise above it is also part of nature’s hoodwink on me. How curious, this house of mirrors. As chapter 71 reminds me, To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.