Loyalty is very important for a Taoist. Being loyal to their Tao, their lineage, and their masters, which are the 3 treasures of a Taoist. Disloyalty leads to betrayal, betrayal leads to destruction of their own Tao path, and resulting in a failure in their whole journey. This failure not only get yourself out of the Tao’s hand, but also is a big disease that makes them evil, and this will destroy their life too, since the virtue doesn’t only apply to the Tao issue, but to everything. If you have this in your blood, it will eventually contaminate into your marriage, your career, your friendship, your family, everything will start to break. However, we need to look at what is loyalty and what is the standard of being loyal and such first.
Definition of Loyalty
Loyalty 忠誠 (Jung Sing), it means being focused to the heart of someone or something. That means your heart shall not be connected to anything else but this one. Just like being loyal to a wife, you will focus your heart 100% to this wife, and not anyone else. You do not date other people and say “Oh It’s fine because I didn’t have sex with them yet”. Even the mindset of thinking about dating others or flirting with others is already a form of disloyal, dishonest, and betrayal to your wife. There are three levels of severity for disloyal. The small ones start from the heart, like a thought and feeling that you want to even think about dating someone else. Then it goes to the second level which is actually saying it and doing it verbally. Then it goes to the next level which is the actual action and doing it fully with your body. So yes, even joking about it is already not ok.
Now apply the same thing to your Tao as a religion, your lineage, and your master etc. Same thing applies, very simple. So if you are learning under a lineage, and your mind wants to learn from other lineages “as well”, you are already betraying the lineage you are in right now.
Loyalty is also based on Sing as in Sing Shun 誠信, meaning your credibility and how you earn that by building up your credit in someone’s heart by being trustworthy. You do it by using your action to prove your words, so you will say you will do XYZ, then you do XYZ, you will not fail to keep your words, and you do not break your promises. If you say you will do it, then do it, and keep doing it overtime to show the other side you are very trustworthy because you keep your words and won’t just say one version and do another version later.
Relating to the wife situation, you promised the wife something, such as what you say to her when you are going through your wedding ceremony, then remember what you have said – and keep your words. If you fail to do so later, the more you do it, the more you are destroying your credibility and that leads to yourself being a bad husband, disloyal and not trustworthy, and in short, your value is down to the rock bottom already, which the wife have all her rights to trash you and let go of this bad man with bad virtue.
Being a Taoist, it is the same too, so what have you been promising the master, the lineage and the Tao, and how have you been acting to show that? Have you even tried to fulfill what you have promised?
I have seen disciples chanting the “3 ordains and 12 wishes” daily, and the action they do totally go against it. Some chanted the 5 virtues and 10 commands daily, and they don’t even follow it. All these fake disciples are just faking their way out, with a Taoist name hanging on their neck, but disloyal, and betrayal by their actions daily. You think the gods don’t know? When you put up your incense, the gods are already disgusted at you, because of the faking.
How to Correct / Improve
We all make mistakes, and it is okay to be naïve, or uneducated about this, then later you read an article like this one and realize you screwed up. As we say, accept and apply the teachings. So now you know, then you change for the better. Yet, changing is not enough too because you have just realized you were wrong and bad, and that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay for the consequence for what you have done before.
When you have realized that you have done wrong in the past, don’t just do nothing about it and say “I will do better from now on”, because what you have done is done, you already committed, you need to do something about the past wrong doings before you “move on” to “improving yourself”. A lot of people have issue with this and like to be told that they are just in need of “improvements”. No, you need to deal with your debt first, not improvements.
Punishing yourself is one way to deal with the past wrong doings. You have to set something for yourself to feel some pain – because pain goes into the heart and TEACH yourself to not do it again. It is a way to etch the memory into yourself.
Standard of Punishment
Use something like a ruler that represents the Tao (so that it is the Tao hitting you). We suggest something that is sturdy and can last for a long time, such a steel ruler or those rattan whip will work. Yes, it is making you scared already, that’s good…!
Next is that you can sanctify it to bond it to your Tao, your gods, and tell them this is your “punishment ruler”.
Now, think about what you are punishing yourself for.
- Anything wrong that is verbally spoken out, you whack the mouth.
- Anything wrong that is in the heart, like thoughts and feelings, you whack the hands / palms.
- Anything wrong that has been done by the action, you whack the butt or you can whack the legs and thigh if you cannot reach the butt.
Whack one time to give it a first warning, repeated issues can be whacked 3 times or more. Sometimes it might be a number that you think is enough to make yourself remember and learn the lesson well, and it could be very painful.
Upload incense to your gods, tell them about it, then execute it yourself and give yourself a good whack. Don’t go crazy whacking and think more is the better, your whacks need to have meanings and standard behind it and not to be abused. Whacking too much is also a wrong thing too!
If you are a Taoist, you should ask your master to whack you if they can, because they are your uppers and can represent the Tao to teach you and give you corrections. It's better than yourself hitting yourself.
Ordain to become a Taoist now to learn more about these virtue and wisdom behind them. It’s not pretty and “relaxing” at all when you need to deal with your bad and ugly side, but it does change you for the better if you are learning and doing it truthfully. After the changes, you will see many other things starts to improve in life. Your energy changes, the environment will change, your life will change.