On my earlier post on Tao about Balance, there was a comment: If Tao is about the Middle Path, where does Passion fit into Tao?

A great question. Tao is the Middle Path. Tao is about Passion. So is Zen. So is Buddhism. So is Hinduism.

Passion in our world today has become a brand name for a perfume, designer stuff or even a condom!

Passion means to endure. Referring to Christ it meant ‘to suffer’. Passion denoted strong emotions. In today’s lore, it often refers to sexual emotion.

With my limited knowledge of English, i would use the word to mean anything that i really care about and value in my life. I am sure that is what the person who commented meant as well.

In Tao, passion would refer to the purpose of life. Many verses in Tao speak of the energy within, ‘chi’ as it is in Chinese. This energy is the source of our passion to do the things that we really wish to.

All Eastern religions and cultures, to some extent or another, believe that life extends beyond death. They believe that we incarnate into another physical form after death. They also believe that our spirits exist in a subtle space, which is where our ancestral spirits reside. These spirits have the potential to bring their energy back into a physical body mind. This potential is exercised when the spirits so desire.

Putting it simply, or even simplistically, a spirit is reborn based on the last desires with which it left its previous abode of physical body mind. These desires define the purpose of its next birth and life. As long the energy within the mind body carries desires, it seeks to be reborn. In Hindu philosophy and in Buddhism, this  the concept of  Karma.

What i say here is not a scriptural or scholarly definition of a complex concept. It is a practical explanation shorn of pedantic convolution.

When we are passionate about something, in the sense the commenter asked, we are keen to fulfill what we came here for.  We are wishing to fulfill the purpose of our lives. That indeed is Tao.

When children laugh, listening to music, as these two young initiates do in the picture above (i acknowledge the anonymous provider from the Net) they are fullfilling their passion. They are enjoying life without any complexities. That indeed is Tao.

True passion is never complicated. If it is, it is not passion. True passion is never logical or analytical. If it is, it is not passion. Passion arises from the heart, not the head. It arises from love, not from ego.

If there is one advice that i have for young people, it is to follow their heart and passion. If one is passionate about some thing , one will always be good at it, because that is the true purpose of one’s life.  However illogical and unreasonable it may seem to others around, if one follows the path of the passion one will succeed. One will achieve name, fame and wealth.

There may be the odd chance that one may get shot! So what, there is always another life!