The Tao of Kung Fu #12 - "Is a man's Universe only himself?"
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Uploaded on Apr 26, 2008
In this clip from the episode "Chains", a teenaged Caine is played by Keith Carradine. The chronically cataract inflicted Master Po, is giving Caine a lesson on evil and compassion.
Our perception of evil is often extremely bias. We usually only ever consider good and evil from our own very limited perspective. Yet as Master Po reminds us, the Universe is far more than just ourselves.
In war, both sides always consider themselves moral and the other side evil. This enables both sides to justify the use of brutal cruelty in the name of justice, freedom and all that is good.
The ancient Taoist sages believed that forcing others to be "good" will in fact create evil. The only way to truly defeat malevolence is with compassion, as in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
This video was taken from the 1970's TV series 'Kung Fu' (Created by Ed Spielman, Herman Miller and Jerry Thorpe). It is essentially an American Western set in the latter half of the 1800's, with an Eastern hero who has neither a gun or a horse. The story follows the adventures of Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine); a nature loving Shaolin priest who had recently fled China. He speaks softly but is no pushover. He lives humbly yet knows great contentment.
Each episode also takes the viewer back to Caine's childhood in the Shaolin temple. It is here under the instruction of the wonderfully charismatic Master Po (Keye Luke) and the stern yet loving Master Kan (Philip Ahn), young Caine (Radames Pera) learns the harmoniously balanced ways of Tao.
The teachings of the Shaolin was meticulously researched for the Kung Fu series. This makes Kung Fu one of the most authentic interpretations of Philosophical Taoism available in popular culture. I was therefore surprised to see no one else had presented selected scenes from Kung Fu as an introduction to the Taoist philosophy. This is one of about 30 clips I'll be posting here during 2008.
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