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Life is to live. Life is also to evolve. Anything that takes form in this universe has a purpose of using space and time to improve itself and to evolve into a higher form. That is the meaning of life and the purpose of evolution.

Not all human beings can evolve into the Kingdom of God. According to Taoism there are four subcategories of human beings in the Kingdom of Humankind, and they are (in ascending order) Evil Men, Little Men, Gentlemen, and Sages. Only those who are Sages are qualified to evolve into the Kingdom of the Divine. There are three kinds of Hsien or Immortal in God's Kingdom and they are (in ascending order) Ren Hsien (Transformed Immortal), Ti Hsien (Terrestrial Immortal), and Tien Hsien (Celestial Immortal). So there must first be "promotion through the ranks" before there is evolution to a higher kingdom.

The members of all these groups have physical, mental, and spiritual bodies. The differences between the groups are due solely to the degree of dominance of one body over the others. In Evil Men the physical body dominates the mental and spiritual bodies to the point that the latter are either subservient or nonexistent. In Sages the mental body dominates the other bodies. ln Celestial Immortals the spiritual body dominates the other bodies to the point that they are virtually nonexistent.

The physical body is governed by four basic instincts: entertainment, consumption, contention, and reproduction. Therefore, the physical body can be represented by a square:

The mental body can be represented by a triangle because of three faculties: thinking, experiencing emotion, and exercising the will:

The spiritual body can be represented by a circle, because it is not limited by space or time. It is capable of communicating with God, has a conscience, and possesses flawless intuition.

Ideally the physical and mental bodies should be subservient to the spiritual body. The spiritual body should send orders to the mental body, which then determines the proper method of bringing these orders into fruition. The mental body then guides the physical body in carrying out these plans. Every activity is based on foresight, wisdom, and conscience and every activity conforms to the ways of Taoism. We are essentially chiseling out a circle with the teachings of Taoism.

Unfortunately this is rare; we find instead repressed spiritual bodies and the enslavement of the mental bodies by the physical bodies.

Mankind's craving for entertainment, food, sex and violence forces the mental body to contrive ways to satisfy or even sanctify these primal needs. One can never underestimate the level or amount of intellect directed towards achieving these goals. There is a complete reversal of the true order, leading to complete chaos, and resulting in all the miseries of this world.

Lao Tze has said that when Tao is lost, human beings take up virtue; and when virtue is lost, human beings insist on love; but when love is lost, people demand righteousness; and when righteousness is lost, people rely on propriety; but when propriety is lost, law is sought; then when law is lost, force is sought; and when force is sought, all traces of civilization are lost.

Evolution without Taoism is a painfully slow process; it has taken us millions of years of evolution to become what we are today. Practicing Taoism speeds up evolutionary advancement by helping mankind accumulate good deeds in the most efficient way possible: contributing to society without martyrdom. A long-lived and properly functioning physical body simply allows more good deeds to be accomplished. Whereas martyrdom cuts off the flow of benefits to society and retards one's evolutionary advancement.

To find out more The Great Tao by Dr Stephen Chang

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