Tag: tao te ching

Those who speak do not know, but here’s a few words that might point the way

The key to happiness is to recognize where the river of your fate and try and align with it. If you’re in a raft and the river turns left but you just really wanna go right, you’re gonna hit a bank. Stay in the water, follow the stream. How you do that? It’s complicated, but don’t think reality can really fit in your head. We just have elaborate conceptual maps of reality in our head. But out there, in the wilderness, is the real real. And it is alive and trying to contact you. There is intelligent love in the universe, and you have a receiver for its communications called your brain and spinal cord.

It’s way better than Netflix or video games. It’s called the logos, the word, daimon, guide, etc. It has the answers to your questions, but it won’t tell you everything. It will tell you just enough to light the river in front of you. It is your lamp, but it is only a lamp. The idea that spirit will totally make you manifest everything you want is specious. It will give you crumbs, your daily bread.

The great all or God or Brahman or Allah cannot fit in your brain. Your brain is a God dissecting device. God is the totality, and every word is a dissection of that. Like the tao, it cannot be spoken. Words divide and section things apart. God can only be felt by the heart of the mystic, expressed in a joyous smile, or felt in the in the twirl of a sufi dancer spinning to experience rapture.

God cannot be communicated. The Tao Te Ching says “those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not know.” Our network cables called language cannot handle the infinite bandwidth of the totality which cannot be named. The teacher can only point at the moon, he cannot give you the moon. So I think it’s best to end this post with a big fat nothing, called…

How can we give advice in a world of confusion? How can we guide others when we respect the limits of our own knowing?

I’ve learned that ignoring people who annoy me is far superior to publicly chastising them. But, this is not always an easy thing to do…I feel as though that paternalistic, soapbox mentality is very American. “Let me tell you how everyone is doing it wrong!” I do my best to spend my time finding positive and constructive solutions to problems instead of engaging in tabloid/reality TV-style drama mining to get likes online. Don’t get me wrong, I used to do that aplenty, but I found that it came from an inner sense of insecurity and fear.
 
Honestly, I don’t really believe in saving the world anymore. I think that if you act out of what you see as virtuous on the microcosm level, the macrocosm/society level situation will manifest as an emergent property/system. I’ve probably read the Tao Te Ching too much, but I don’t have much faith in top-down, contrived systems that are more focused on achieving ends than finding good means of being.
 
Working with the void has been helpful. Seeing how there is intelligence in letting go and acting in a receptive manner has enlightened me with darkness. Life seems to be a concert between me, a person on an inner-tube, arms flailing, and the river in which I move. There is no either/or when it comes to concepts of control or power. When two people dance, who is in control? Obviously, they both are. So I try not to obsess about “am I in control?!” I know I am and I am not. Language is inherently reductionistic and binary, and so there are limits to describing true reality with a tool that is probably better designed to questions of “where is the food?” and “where is the bathroom?”
 
The more that I’ve looked for deep meaning in life and tried to capture it like a firefly in a jar the less I’ve been successful. I want to be someone that gives people tools for transcending the mundane aspects of reality, but I also know the limits of prescriptions and commandments. I can see the irony in me saying that I can’t figure out how to tell others how to improve their lives while writing a blog post obliquely focused on a similar intent. I get it. But I don’t get it.|
 
Do you?
 
-Abbey