October 29, 2012

Just a Cracker?

A few weeks ago, I picked up my 10 year old son from school, and he told me about a great business idea he had.

"You know where a great place to open a doughnut shop would be?", he asked me.

"Where?", I replied.

"Next to a church. Because when people get out of Mass, they would be thinking, 'I'm really hungry, all they gave me to eat was one stupid cracker....hey, look! Doughnuts!' "

I laughed out loud! A couple of weeks later, I began to see the wisdom in his words, whether intended or not.

You see, most churches fail precisely in the manner my son described. They do not feed their followers. They fail to nourish people's spirits. Think about what most churches preach: volunteer, take care of others, give to charities, focus on others and not yourself, but nothing about improving yourself. Then they turn around and tell you to be closer to God, Jesus, or whoever. But they fail to tell you how. Where are the tools with which get closer to God? Where are the tools to help improve yourself? Not there, unfortunately.

Daoists believe that in order to help others, you must first help yourself. The tool that helps other people is you, and the tool must be purified and refined before it can help anyone. Most churches completely lack any methodology with which to improve yourself. So instead, they tell you to focus on others. This is essentially jumping ahead without a proper foundation. It also cleverly bypasses all the hard work and lets people feel good about themselves for helping others. Is it any wonder, then, that so few followers of a traditional church achieve enlightenment, or anything remotely close to it?

No, the proper order of things is to first fix and purify yourself. This will be difficult, painful, discouraging, and may seem counterproductive. But once you have achieved this, the next step is to then help others. Because then you will know how, you will have employed the tools yourself. You will know the pitfalls that they may face, so you can then guide them.

Because it is important to give and sacrifice and to help others. It is precisely because it's so important, that it should be done correctly.


  1. What a sweet segue from doughnuts to feeding the soul! I agree with you we must start from within to change and grow and that it is within that we will find the Divine. We are at different ends of healing, but it sounds as though we are each working on many levels to nourish and heal.
    Allura, powerprayersthatwork.com