I'm late for my post on The Abolition of Men, the second essay entitled The Way. You can read Cindy's post and see other book club participants links there too.
As Mystie writes in her post about this essay, the same week I read it I watched with my husband a debate between an atheist and a believer in the God of the Bible. The atheist accepted he could be on the affirmative and defend that God did not exist. At the end of the debate he admitted he bluffed, and his opponent was somehow disappointed at his lack of honesty. He should have predicted it, but after all, he gave all he had to defend the order of things, and that also stands much by itself, which is easily recognizable. After a fantastic exposition and defense of the existence of God, values, free will, etc., the atheist opponent only played and tried to simply throw things now in the pot, now outside the pot... obviously he did not even understand the ultimate logical conclusions of being an atheist. That's why he even said he did not 'agree' with others in the atheist community because many of those atheists, in a display of honesty, have exposed the ultimate consequences of rejecting the Tao. Reading Brandy's post it would be, to use her example, that the branches eventually fall off the tree and die. Extending it a bit, the branches won't look like that anymore after time corrupts them. Or men will not be men anymore, after loosing your chest the rest of the body's collapse is just a matter of time.
But there are apparently half men half beasts roaming our streets without knowing that they have lost their humanity, sort of trapped in a limbo. They come back to reality to debunk, disconcert, or to distract themselves, and they are unable to make it to their final destination. Others simply camp here, on the Tao's side, because theoretically they know where they are, but they manage to push logic aside, and get used to live in a compromise, as this atheist man who debated and all he could say at the end was, 'it was fun', I'd do it again. Well, it'd be better for him to have fun with anything else and take this one thing seriously, but he won't. I understand him, we all want sometimes to be the boy who is home alone, don't we? The difference is that while some of us may entertain the thought, we don't extend it to our life like atheists and other ideologists do.
And there is this apologetic culture in regards to the Tao which doesn't help us (though we can't blame other than us, who compose that same culture ourselves). Everybody speaks as if it were a crime to acknowledge THE WAY things ought to be, and it's sickening all those 'I don't want to offend...', or 'there is no black and white', those 'let's agree to disagree'. It's old fashion and ignorantly equated to despotic, to stand up for your believes, and to say that 'this is good', oh, no, no, that's your 'opinion', you see! I guess people today would start a club of grown ups who dislike the company of children, and if they find someone who expressed like Lewis that they are not too fond of children, that'd be their president. But I'm sometimes the first one who falls into this trap of going in circles around the Tao, playing with the idea of making a short escapade just to quickly come back to it and its safety. However, I'm reminded by these readings and your posts, to continue making the way permeate our daily life and aspire to be a defender of it in greater measure than a critic.