The Assumption of Evolution

One might presume that a Taoist priest living in Louguantai is an evolved spiritual being. This would be a fair assumption, given that people come here to live and study Taoism, which teaches love, kindness and compassion.
On the other hand, one might presume that the average Joe, who works a mundane job and goes home, drinks nightly to escape the unidimensional nature of his life, and occasionally hits his wife, is not very evolved.
The truth is that we all exist on a spectrum of spiritual evolution, and labels do not make us so. The Taoist priest may manifest hatred in the same way as the average Joe, and the average Joe may have moments of heightened awareness. We choose our path of evolution, and it is up to us to use the tools available to us in order to advance along this path. It’s an internal journey, a difficult one, and placing ourselves in situations of possible guided enlightenment doesn’t make it happen.
The tools are available no matter where we are, no matter if we live in a temple, no matter what job we work, no matter if we take taiji classes or work out at the gym for our sport. It is up to us to make that choice to evolve, to become a better human, to become spiritual, showing love, kindness and compassion for all things.