Latent - 潛 - Qián
(pics taken from http://bipblog.com/archives/3808294.html)
Prophets, priests, and pure men
teach the forms of Tao
cannot be exchanged-
Latent understanding is required;
Tao cannot be known
through learning alone.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Why do some religions wither and become extinct, while others thrive? Because religion is the work of people. After all, religion and spirituality are synonymous despite their relation. Religion is the creation of people and culture. Spirituality is a direct, personal relationship. Religions often degenerate into orthodoxy, convention, rituals, and invariably corruption. By seeking to wield the immense power of heaven, such absolute devotion can corrupt the soul. The heads of churchs or temples, like the heads of state, are imperfect. When their creators fade from present memory, even the holiest words lose their significance.
Look at our lives, compared to those of our ancestors. Our spiritual problems are largely the same. Today, we struggle to solve the same fundamental truths through spirituality as the sages of antiquity. Why might this be? All truths point to Tao; Tao has always existed in its latent form, unbroken, eternal. We must begin our investigations into the religious by clearing away the debris, made up of distortions and interference caused by our consciousness. By maintaining dedication, we may enter the realm of Tao. Once we do, we have no more need for religion.
If we were to experience true spiritual awakening, it would be foolish to try to become a spiritual leader. We would be repeating the same mistakes as countless other genuinely devout people. It would be far better to remain nameless, one amongst many followers.
(Only) then, we may avoid the contradictions that come from social actions. ~Deng