Tag: Tao

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…

What is a Proper Life? [My Sunday Sermon for 11.17.19]

The origin of my suffering was the pursuit of a life without pain. Acceptance of the element of chaos within every moment of my life taught me that I cannot build castles and towers of Babel to remove myself from pain. Pain is my teacher and should be befriended and listened to so that I might grow. A modest life in tune with nature seems to me to be the path or way. A life of poverty has been instructive to me.

One might ask “how do you know what is modest?” If you are not lying to get wealth through manipulation or directly stealing wealth, then you can do as much with your time as possible to build defenses against calamity. Unfortunately, our American lives are built on stolen wealth, and that wealth should be returned so that our lives are closer to Earth and closer to pain.

Our cultural notion that a “primitive” life, close to the Earth is a miserable existence is so baked into our collective consciousness here in the West that we cannot imagine a simple, anarchic existence of living in tune with nature. The very influential philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the primitive existence of humans as “nasty, brutish, and short.” And yet, now we have constructed lives that are nasty, mind-numbing, and longer.

Within our beings is a plant called wisdom. In order for that plant to grow, it needs to be watered by the tears of pain and lighted by the sunlight of humility or it will never mature. This is the present that we find ourselves in, a present without wisdom because we have vanquished pain and eschewed humility.

This life exists so that we might grow from children into adults. There is a seriousness that needs to be achieved in order to live a fulfilled life. That is my experience. Seriousness saved my life. Life need not be serious all the time of course, but until one can look life starkly in the face and have true acceptance for one’s part in what’s gone wrong and be able to make changes to correct the situation, you are not there. You can live without wisdom, but you will miss the point entirely and probably will need to distract yourself with shiny things until you die, unfulfilled.

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?

A Few Words

God gave you a left hand and a right hand. On one side there are things that happen to you and you’re the victim or receptive or yin. On the other side, you are the actor, the thinker, the yang. You can’t reduce it to one. It’s both, well at least both. I’m not that smart enough to know how many hands reality has. But you can’t say that you’re a total victim, and you can’t say that you’re a total egotistical controller. We’re all both in varying degrees. So can we please meet in the center? Can we have a mosh pit of love and understanding. I know that some people are “unrelatable” but people change. I used to be a frothing right winger. I grew up. Let’s all stop being total know-it-alls that are completely convinced that the other side is wrong. Certainty is poison. There is no certainty in a complicated system of oppositional actors. Humility, Please?!
By the way, WTF is wrong with you Donald Trump. I’m talking to you as one of those horrible trannies that you want to cleanse out of the military. (BTW, only we can say tranny. Don’t fucking say it if you’re not a tranny.) Grow the fuck up motherfucker! Simmer down my brother. You’re not fucking Christ. Lord. The amount of intellectual certainty in this budding Aquarian Age is just too much. Yeah, we kind of know things because of science, but science is wrong every day.
OK I feel better. It’s such a fucking disaster. Center. Breath. Ground. Know that you’re a dumb ass ape. Life is work.
I’m drunk, but hey, I can write a few words.

Cool is the fool’s faith. Stick to the real and you’ll never be alone.

​Seek realness and not coolness. Cool is fashion. Real is eternal. Sometimes they’re the same but often not. If you stick to the real, you can be incredibly uncool sometimes, but you’ll have an internal integrity that some call faith. Faith will always be a strange and formless thing that will always confound you. That’s why we call it God or Tao which is shorthand for who the fuck knows! 

Real is fucking great! It will make you feel a thousand miles deep and a light year high. But you might be a total failure according to the standards of society, but when you walk you’ll have this magnificent dark shadow aura that envelops you.

Don’t be cool unless you really are.