Macoe 19-02-2002

Probably… you know, I was not raised religious at all and I don’t consider myself religious now… spiritual yes but not religious. So really I didn’t get into it until about four and a half years ago. My aunt who was a Zen Buddhist Priest, she sent me a book called the I Ching… have you ever heard of it ?


Ya. It came at a time of my life when I was… when everything was really chaotic, you know. It wasn’t a horrible time, but just a lot of change going on, just kinda difficult. And it helped me so much, it was just like… tremendously helpful to me, and also my roommate at the time. I figured out how to do it, and showed her.

I was like greatly affected by it and maybe six months later I found in a bookstore the Tao Te Ching, which is you know related, Taoism, and that book really affected me too.

These two books have changed my life more than anything else, and since then you know I’ve met other books, some books on Buddhism and… I’m not a Buddhist. I don’t think you can call me a Taoist because the whole thing I like about the Tao is that it’s not about labels or limiting yourself in that kind of way… But I would say that I follow the Tao.

I’m just doing my own thing mostly, I really feel drawn to walk my own path, I mean there’s nothing you know… I don’t see anything wrong with people, you know, going to group things, and group religions. But for me I think it’s nicer to kind of discover my own way.

In terms of religion, like mainstream religions or just society in general?

Society in general.

I don’t know where to begin. I think a lot of it is so materialistic, and so on the surface. I think from the very time we’re born we’re kind of naturally pushed in that direction from consumerism and all that stuff but on the other hand, I think that gives us something to… a challenge to break away from, I think we’re challenged in that way.

I think that they all started out from a good point but I think that the longer they’re around the more they’re grown, they tend to get really worked and… One of the major problems I see with them, they get very segregated and as soon as you say that you belong to a certain group you’re excluding everyone that’s not in that group and I feel that spirituality is about unity and connection and just by that grouping you’re disconnecting. I think that’s the major problem and it causes a lot of problems in world, it causes a lot of wars, probably almost all of them.

And I also don’t like the fact that almost all the major religions believe themselves to be chosen people and I think that on a spiritual journey if at any point you’re putting yourself above someone else, then you’re missing whole point. The whole point is that we’re on the same journey and it doesn’t really matter where you are on the path or where someone else is. The point is the journey more than the destination. And I think major religions miss that a lot. Plus I think it’s kind of odd to just accept a given set of beliefs completely as your own without kind of discovering for yourself what your belief is. Not very creative.

Well right now… I’ve read the Tao Te Ching… I just read it all the time, over and over again. It’s such a great book. But I’ve read many times the Tao Te Ching and I also do my I Ching, probably like, once every couple weeks… Less and less as I go along because I think I start to… I feel that I need it less and less, cause I know it so well I can answer the questions for myself a lot, or pick up on what I should do… without compulsing it as much. But an interesting project I’m doing right now is I’m working with the Chinese text of the Tao, and trying to make my own translation… not that I know Chinese, but I have a book that for each Chinese symbol it has next to it all the English words it could mean, in kind of a graph system, so I’m working from that. I am taking a Chinese class.

You get a lot more from it than just from reading other people’s translations A lot changes in the interpretation… Chinese is so old it’s classical Chinese and it’s not written very simply even for someone who’s Chinese, it’s kind of obscure but it’s meant to be, so you kind of gather around your own meaning.

The I Ching and the Tao Te Ching and those are pretty much it. Except that I do take influences from other places. Like, Buddhism is a beautiful religion and while I’m not a Buddhist I enjoy reading books by [inaudible]. I think he has a lot of important things to say. I mean there’s nice things in all religions I feel. And I’m open to hearing about these things. I don’t really believe in a lot of rituals but… I take what I like.

Yes… and by that I don’t always mean people who follow the Tao per se but just that… actually a lot of my friends all seem to have some of the same basic belief, you know… And I guess maybe I might be drawn to people who, you know, naturally kind of… people who believe as you do before you even really know they do… Ya, I think a lot of people… I think I’m walking a path that a lot of people have walked… I just seem to walk it myself


I think it will come to an end, eventually… At least the life as we know it will come to an end and maybe the planet then will start again, and I actually believe that it’s probably already happened a couple times. But I don’t think that’s a sad thing, you know, I believe the soul lives on, so… The way we’re going, I mean… I wish it wasn’t going that way so fast for such selfish reasons… but I don’t really see it stopping.

Yes it does… Hmmm I guess I am and how I handle it… I just do the best I can, try to be compassionate, forgiving, when all else fails I tend to be quiet and give myself time to cool off and think about things before I act on them.

A lot about following the Tao is kind of… following the way of nature, following truth so… I try to kind of to just go with the flow in a lot of situations, leave it up to, you know… the cosmos… actually… it’s been very good to me.

New Age

I don’t really… I’ve heard the word and it’s hard to know what that means, because it’s kind of… bunch of different things. Part of it believe, I mean I like aromatherapy and I don’t necessarily consider that spiritual belief. But I did this little computer test once on the internet that you answer all these spiritual questions and I think I came up mostly as New Age, which surprized me because I don’t consider myself that. But maybe technically I am more than I realize.

New Spirituality

I don’t really know much about that… you know… I don’t follow that cause actually, you know… following the Tao is about the oldest spirituality there is, actually older than Christianity and Buddhism and all of this.

Alternative Spirituality

I guess, I’m not mainstream, so I guess I’m that…


I don’t think so, I’m not part of that.

The Ocean is very spiritual… the mountains… trees have a great spiritual energy… definitely the outdoors for me.

I have to tell you know, it’s not in the State, but Jerusalem is a very spiritual place. I felt that because, although ethnically I’m Jewish I don’t really follow that religion at all. But obviously it doesn’t affect just people of the Jewish faith, but every one feels that there is a certain energy there.

I think Jamaica has a very spiritual feel to it… I haven’t really been to that many places… I also feel very spiritual by just going to a club down here, where they play really good music, and just dancing… I think there’s a very spiritual vibe to that. Audience Hall in New York has a very spiritual vibe.

I guess in a… communal type way, yes, probably… There seems to be times when a lot was happening spiritually, around the time of Christ, although I’m not Christian, there was a lot of spiritual happening around it and I believe he was a spiritual person, you know not a God or anything… But, ya I think things go in cycles A lot of my beliefs, spiritually things go in cycle, including spirituality, that there’s you know, Dark Ages… Not-So-Dark Ages.

It has a good connotation to me… I believe in God of a sort, I don’t know that I call it God… More something… I see it as an energy connecting all of us.

When I think of God I don’t think of necessarily masculine or feminine. I think Goddess comes about because most people probably see God as masculine and kind of counterbalance but I’m not really too into that word because I don’t… just going the other way doesn’t equal things out, and you know it kind of goes the other way.

I think of like, Earth-mother. Earth I feel more connection to than Goddess and yet I think of it like a Goddess archetype, you know… I feel Earth is really a basis of our spirituality.

Well I don’t know exactly what my perception of that word is… you mean in kind of… like, polarity way, like er,

There’s a lot of that in Taoism, and I see a lot of that in the world, and I do believe in it, you know, you can’t really have good without bad, and would have happened if bad wasn’t bad… Kind of accepting of both. I think, you know, Taoism kind of tries to teach, because it’s important you know, and society teaches us so much to like, dread what we consider bad, and to go after what is considered good but… I think it harms us in the long run because we’re going to have both in life and…it’s easier on you if you can accept both.

I like mythology, I think it’s interesting, you know stories, and I think the stories have a point, I don’t believe them as truth or anything and they don’t affect me too much spiritually at all.

I really don’t like ritual, I don’t know why, I just… I think people get lost in the ritual, and lose sense of meaning and I don’t think you need rituals to be spiritually connected.

I mean, I don’t think of it as a spiritual thing, but, I don’t know, I believe in, I definitely believe in things we can’t perceive, and that sort of thing. I guess you could call that magic. I don’t usually think of it as magic.

Senses that we don’t use so much, like more metaphysical sort of things… I’ve had experiences with ghosts, had experiences with ESP, dreams that come true, phenomena like that. I believe in all that stuff from my own experience and… Plus the fact that so many people have had these experiences.

I think family is important, but I don’t know if I think it’s as important as many people do, or rather I’m not like some people for who “blood is thicker than water” as the saying goes… I think that the friends you make in life the close ones are just as important as family because you’re choosing them.

I like Rainbows. Actually, rainbows I think of the charkas a lot… I definitely believe in the chakras, and how we’re affected by certain colors… emotionally I think we all are.


It makes me think of commercialism. Not a nice thing to say about it but then… there’s some good things too… I think of myself as very lucky to have been born in this country. But on some levels I think that the country does a lot of… it’s like a big company, it does a lot of underhanded things, a lot of things that the general public doesn’t know about but then again other countries do that too, and people probably know even less about it than in America, and in some sense with the freedom of media to a certain point, I don’t think it’s as free as we’re lead to believe…

I think technology could be a good thing but I think it made a wrong turn somewhere and where computers and stuff and technology was supposed to make it so that people could work less and… spend more time with each other and I think it’s gone the other way because of greed and it just means that while people work a lot, and there’s no work for other people… And at this point I don’t know how that can be fixed.

I believe in the world constantly evolving and the only thing we can really count on is change.

I think everyone does, whether you’re realizing it or not. I do work at myself, I try to change in good ways… I like change, I kind of crave it, and I got to be careful I tend to get restless too, and change can be an addiction like anything else.

I think it’s a bad connotation in general but I don’t think it’s that bad. I think I used to think of it as being more bad. It talks a lot about darkness in the Tao but it’s not talk about something that’s bad, more about something mysterious, and primordial, that we’re all born from and I like that view of things.

I think dreams are really interesting, and very important it looks at what’s going on in our heads that we don’t usually let ourselves see. I have a lot of crazy dreams and I remember a lot of dreams, and I like interpreting other people’s dreams. I have had dreams that are spiritual in nature, and also intuitional dreams that have told me when I was going in the wrong direction.

No, I don’t really have any… I mean most of my dreams are really not that helpful, they just have a symbol whether it’s good luck or bad luck. I don’t really believe in so much if you dream about that it’s good luck, or if you dream of that it’s bad luck, to me dreams are more what’s going on in your head… but I do think that they might be a look at what, like, might be coming in the future, cause I’ve had that happen and that’s one of the senses that we have that we don’t use that much. But I’m reading about Carl Jung right now and he has a very interesting theory.

Just the ego. I haven’t thought about self that much but now in those books about Carl Jung, he talks a lot about the self. He talks about it as separate from ego, I guess it makes me think about the inner self. And a…. and yet a complete self that maybe not everyone sees but hopefully as time goes on you get to know yourself better and better.

I don’t really have a good or bad connotation of it… I can be very social, but when it comes to spirituality I tend to actually be very much of a loner. So when it comes to spirituality, I don’t really feel drawn to temples or churches or anything communal.

I think I have a very good connotation of that because I try to live my life the way I want to, and do the things I want to. I think it’s very sad and I don’t understand when people don’t like their lives, get to a point of committing suicide, cause it seems to me if you don’t like your life, you can just change it. It’s not that hard to change it. I think it was different in other centuries, where you’re born into a life where you can’t change it but now… we’re at a time when we really can… whenever I’m unhappy with my life I just change it

The thing I like about the Tao and I feel in my spirituality too is that unity with all beings. One of the thing I don’t like about other religions is that they’re very patriarchal… it’s not exactly about race and multiculturalism but a little bit along that line and the Tao is not like that. It’s very accepting of both male and female and… It doesn’t really talk about race much probably because it started in China and in an area where there wasn’t probably many differences in race, you know… But I think a lot of religions are very racist, and I don’t think that’s spiritual at all. I think it’s a big issue… I definitely think it’s taught not inborn… little kids aren’t…

It’s very integrated with my daily life, I don’t have it as something separate that I do. I do spend a lot of time involved in, reading the Tao, translating it or doing my I Ching, but mostly that’s just whenever I feel it in my life, it’s totally incorporated… I feel it’s completely integrated.