Why would practitioners of the true Tao still face tests? (10)

 

The way of the True Tao goes against human emotions and desires. 

Those who follow the way of the True Tao become Immortals while

those who follow human emotions and desires become ghosts.  There

is a saying “To practice Tao is like climbing a tall post.  It is easy to

come down but very difficult to get to the top.”

 

Ji-Gong Buddha said “The usually invisible Tien-Tao will be revealed

through many significant miracles.  The true wills of practitioners of

Tao will be exposed through gruelling tests.”  An adage states “A piece

of jade must be ground in order to realize its use and a nugget of gold

must be smelt in order to realize its value.”  Taoist practice of Tao is

critical of maturity; a Taoist uses slow and smooth breaths in tranquillity

to nurture his True Self, and he exaggerates inhaling and exhaling

actions to refine his True Self.  Confucian practice of Tao stresses

tenacity, and it is said that practicing Tao is just like carving a bull

horn or grinding a piece of jade.  (To carve a bull horn, one must

cut the horn into shape and then polish it to make it smooth.  To

grind a piece of jade, one must sculpt the jade into form and then

grind it to make it shine.  Both of these works require a great deal

of concentration, care, time and practice).  Both Taoist and

Confucian practices are to test the tenacity of one’s will to attain Tao.

 

When Confucius was trapped and starved between the states

Chen and Cai, he said “Without reaching the top of a high mountain,

one cannot realize how severe the fall could be.  Without standing

next to a deep water, one cannot realize the danger of being drowned. 

Without being in an open sea, one cannot understand the damages the

wind and the wave can bring.  An orchid that grows deep in a forest

will not stop sending out fragrance just because no one can appreciate

it.  Similarly, a practitioner of Tao who cultivates his virtues will not

act against his wills just because he is distressed and lives in poverty.” 

After Confucius survived the siege, he said to the few who were still

with him “The siege we survived between the states Chen and Cai is

fortunate for me as well as for you all.”

 

We have to understand that when the going gets tough, the tough

gets going.  Difficult situations are the stimuli for one to get stronger

and better.  Those who can last and survive all difficulties are the ones

who can attain Tao.  Mencius said “When God is about to give a

mission to a person, God will always put this person to test by

exercising his mind, labouring his body, starving him and empty

his possessions.”  If one is being put through tests, he should be

grateful because his is selected by God to take on a mission.  For

example, if there is an examination held for a post, not everyone

can take it.  Only those who meet the qualifications can become

a candidate.  Confucius said “A piece of twisted and decayed wood

cannot be used for carving.  A wall made of loose mud cannot be

painted.”  So only those who, through many previous lives had

practiced Tao and are predestined to encounter Tien-Tao, will

face real tests.  If one does not qualify, why should God test him?