The Tao of Eastwood

Chapter 23

Good and Evil

Deserves got nothin’ to do with it.

William Munny | Unforgiven

Tao is neutral:
it doesn’t worry about good or evil.
The Masters are neutral:
they treat everyone the same.

Lao Tzu said Tao is like a bellows:
It’s empty, but it could help set the world on fire.
If you keep using Tao, it works better.
If you keep talking about it, it won’t make any sense.
Be cool.

Tao Te Ching | from verse 5

About to get shot point blank by Munny, the wounded, defenseless Sheriff Little Bill Daggett protests, “I don’t deserve to die like this.”

William Munny and Little Bill are cut from the same cloth. Barely distinguishable in character, except one cloaks his meanness under title and position while the other lets his nature loose. Truly ambiguous to what is right or wrong, good or bad, the situation doesn’t hold up to justification. This is just want it comes down to in the end.

The actual text from the Tao Te Ching reads, “Heaven and Earth are not humane, and regard people as straw dogs.” This means the Universe was not created for our small human needs and once someone has served their purpose, so to speak, they can be let go.

Whether one is born with gifted physical talents or some debilitating disease, deserves got nothing to do with it. In the infinite and eternal expanse of the Universe, all things come about from the same source. Lao Tzu’s Master knows this.

Little Bill has served his purpose, apparently. Munny is simply the agent there to tell him the truth. No need for a long discussion.

Like Josey Wales famous last stand, “that’s just the way it is”, speech, this timeless line resonates with connection to the Taoist philosophy. From the minute I first heard it, sitting in a dark theater, I realized there was so much more to it.