"The Tao is always 'not-doing'." (Tao Te Ching 37)
I always thought I was spiritual, but really, I was just a fake. I had read all of the great philosophers and I had studiously unlearned everything. God was dead and science had made us into glorified robots, slaves to our biological programming. I panicked, I screamed quietly to myself at night from fear, blind fear. I was ending opposites ("I treat the good as good, I also treat the evil as good" - Tao Te Ching 49). Life was a tumult. Mostly I felt alone, dreadfully alone. Who else feels this way? Then I found the Tao, or more specifically, the Tao Te Ching, by the mysterious Lao Tzu, the basis of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
"To me alone all seems covered.
Like the ocean.
It seems there is no place to rest.
Everybody has a goal in mind.
I alone am as ignorant as a bumpkin." (Tao Te Ching 20)
This passage, in particular, moved me. This was the enlightenment I had found, I was desireless according to the Tao, but then why did it feel like anhedonia? Everything I did seemed to ultimately do nothing but give me grief, until I no longer wanted for anything but sleep, the cousin of death. Non-being perfected, a way for the peaceful to cope with an unjust world that endlessly persecutes. Religion is a coping mechanism.
"Increase your involvements, in the end you can't he helped," the Tao told me (Tao Te Ching 52). What sort of spirituality is this? It calls for withdrawal, the father of individuality and of loneliness, as child is father to the man. What scared me the most is that the Tao seemed to be the truth, it was the Way, and nothing could shake my logical belief in it. Everything about it made sense but for one nagging question: what good is the Tao, if the truth is not also followed by happiness? Then, suddenly, the answer hit me:
"Stop up the holes
Shut the doors,
You can finish your life without anxiety." (Tao Te Ching 52)
The Tao was about suicide, to detach yourself from your primitive instincts, from the will to survive, that terrible instinct that leads to war, famine, and pestilence, but also peace, plenty, and constructiveness. To live we must consume, we can not be passive. In the end life negates itself, it is essentially purposeless. For there to be goodness their must also be badness, and consequently, it could be said that the fundamental belief of the Tao, and of religion in general, is that humans are inherently flawed. These religions believe that we must spend our whole lives vainly trying to overcome this. In America it's the Protestant work ethic. How sad, how self-loathing, how self-flagellating, and how utterly impossible. Not only that, but if transcendence is about shedding human nature, then how can the transcendent peacefully coexist with his fellow humans, when he must be different, he must lose humanity? He can not, he must die, he must lose his human form, symbolically or literally.
Death is relief. The victims of suicide sometimes show this curious behavior, relief in a coming death:
"Sudden Calmness - Suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life." (http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/Suicide/hic_Recognizing_Suicidal_Behavior.aspx)
This sudden calmness is the Tao. Happiness can not exist without suffering, and for those who realize the true depth of suffering, the enlightened ones, the pursuit of happiness no longer seems worth the necessary suffering. They have made peace with this and, unconsciously, understand and follow the Tao. Suicide is Taoist. A motionless body perfectly practices "unattached action". (Tao Te Ching 43)
"The Tao is always 'not-doing'."
This probably sounds ridiculous. This probably sounds insane. But, this is me as I am.