Unfortunately, our lives often mirror the luminescence of fireflies thinking our light, our eternal connection can come and go at will… until the mirror becomes us as we set or live our intention.
I often think we are here to attend to the activities of the universe. To do our part. What is it we are doing that is beneficial to everything we find in nature? What does our own “inner nature” tell us as we live in the present moment?
I Ching at Taoist Cave adjacent to Buddhist Temple and Leshan Giant Buddha south of Chengdu
What are the elements of both Eastern and Western thought and philosophy that serve to pull us to a common place? Why don’t we spend more time modeling our universal similarities with who we are and will become in the future? Yes, I embrace Taoism, but following my own innate inclination and nature serves to take me there. But there are many paths to follow and have relevance. All are divine when tied to nature and indiscriminate virtue. It is entering the flow of universal vibrations that are present for everyone as we wake up to what’s essential.
Within the tradition of Western Civilization, the Acropolis in Athens Greece, has often been invoked as a key symbol of classical Greek legacy invoking Plato, Socrates, and so much emblematic of what was to become “Western Thought and Philosophy”. What we know and continue originates and flows from them.
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson’s understanding of the connection between Eastern and Western thought that helped to invoke the wisdom of our “inner nature” with all that drives us. He saw the nature of transcendence through and by our connection with nature. Understood the essence of Taoism, as well as the teachings of both the Old and New Testament of the Bible, had read Lao Tzu, Plato, the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, Kant, and much more. He is credited with the term “transcendentalism”. That the One… the universal presence is all inclusive, cosmos (quantum) driven, and essential element of “the ten thousand things, i.e., the inner nature found in all things”. Emerson served as a pivot for what came before him and what was to follow, becoming what can be called a “timeless sage”.
What does it mean to embrace the One? Importantly, what does our power of observation along with cause and affect tell us about our environment in which we choose to live? How do we illuminate our world with common vision towards a celestial one for all and all for one? To be infused with the heaven of pure qi… for who we have always been. Beyond thoughts of religion and philosophy to seeing the universe as it has always been as well.
For those studying the meaning of Taoism to better understand what was meant in the works of the early shaman, the I Ching and Lao, Chuang, and Lieh Tzu; following historical commentaries has always been essential. The stories and references to actual historical figures juxtaposed, i.e., placed side-by-side especially for comparison or contrast, is what was done to see what flows, is inclusive, and what fits over time… think of Emerson.
Moving all to their ultimate endeavor and destiny. Always looking to our connection to the stars has always been the role of the shaman, sage, and the philosophers over the centuries. In directing us, they developed their own commentary or “take” on what was really meant through their own writing or thoughts streaming to the forefront. As stressed below, it is an awareness that precedes words, i.e., letting the universe tell you – then proceed.
One of twenty-four stone tablets depicting the sage riding the dragon at the Qingyang Taoist Temple in Chengdu. The star chart on the bottom giving directions home.
Having or letting events flow naturally, as if finding divine order. To what is the essence of heaven, nature, and the Tao with underlying contradictions coming forth of and by themselves.
It is the forever quintessential, as attempts at gaining the pure meaning and essence or embodiment of what was said, that would lead to adapting to complimentary opposites and a sense of pragmatism as seen in nature. It is this that writers have tried to replicate through their own thoughts, writing, and commentaries over the centuries.
In other words, you don’t simply think, write, or say something about it you come to embody it. As it becomes you – you become the story as well as the translator of your own life’s events. While hoping the true meaning isn’t lost in translation through your actions. What is universally understood as following your own ticket home.
It always comes back to what we are doing to emulate “the Virtue of Heaven” and acknowledging that there is no separate self. Taoism always seems to come back to someone referred to as Master Lao, the author of the Tao Te Ching. In my earlier entries here, I make reference to a second book attributed to Lao Tzu entitled the Nei-yeh – Inward Training. It’s contribution to Taoism has been as great or greater for those who see the Taoist path as essential to living a good life. It was written more than two thousand years ago. It can be found here on my website. The next two chapters, chapters thirteen and fourteen of twenty-six are as follows:
Nei-yeh – Inward Training
There is a numinous [mind] naturally residing within;
one moment it goes, the next it comes,
and no one is able to conceive of it.
If you lose it you are inevitably disordered;
if you attain it you are inevitably well ordered.
Diligently clean out its lodging place
and its vital essence will naturally arrive.
Still your attempts to imagine and conceive of it.
Relax your efforts to reflect on and control it.
Be reverent and diligent
and its vital essence will naturally stabilize.
Grasp it and don’t let go
then the eyes and ears won’t overflow
And the mind will have nothing else to seek.
When a properly aligned mind resides within you,
the myriad things will be seen in their proper perspective.
The Way fills the entire world.
It is everywhere that people are,
but people are unable to understand this.
When you are released by this one word:
you reach up to the heavens above;
you stretch down to the earth below;
you pervade the nine inhabited regions.
What does it mean to be released by it?
The answer resides in the calmness of the mind.
When your mind is well-ordered, your senses are well-ordered.
When your mind is calm, your senses are calmed.
What makes them well-ordered is the mind;
what makes them calm is the mind.
By means of the mind you store the mind:
within the mind there is yet another mind.
That mind within the mind: it is an awareness that precedes words.
Only after there is awareness does it take shape;
only after it takes shape is there a word.
Only after there is a word is it implemented;
only after it is implemented is there order.
Without order, you will always be chaotic.
If chaotic, you die.
In between the two books I often refer to, the first being on the I Ching, and second my version of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, I wrote a third much longer manuscript/book that appears here on my website that is my own take on “The Book of Lieh Tzu”. It’s entitled, “My travels with Lieh Tzu – Interpolations along the Way”. Of course, the meaning of the Way here, is meant as the Tao.
It is said that each of us is granted two lives, the life we learn with and the life we life after that. To perchance awaken midstream in our lives. As if we have been reborn; given an opportunity to find and follow our true destiny and endeavor.
The phoenix and dragon are deeply rooted in Chinese culture, dragon and phoenix were regarded as the most sacred animals and used to be emblems of emperor and empress. The Chinese dragon is traditionally the embodiment of the concept of yang (male), while phoenix was paired (yin, female) with dragon.
That our ultimate task is not only to discover who we are – but where we belong in history. Is not this the ultimate challenge? To simply rise up, traveling as one with the prevailing winds. Becoming one with the angels, or dragons, as they manifest before us. Letting our spirit soar. Freeing our mind, heart, and soul to go where few dare to wonder.
I know my task as a writer will be complete when my writing is as indefinable as my subject. Just as I know my task as an individual, as I exist in the here and now, will be to simply tell the stories that I have learned along the way. That we each have a story to tell. As we free ourselves of attachments and ego and baggage we have clung to as we try to find our way. That the ultimate travel is the travel of our spirit and to share our gift with others.
The Ding, a bronze vessel from the Zhou Dynasty in Luoyang the capital of ancient China location on Wangcheng, the site of the Capital City of Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-221BC).
To become one with the ages. To bring forth the stories, myths and legends that tell the way. To stay interested in life, as I am in reality here only for an instant before moving on.
My task only to look for constant renewal. Finally, true expression of self is in losing myself through expressing the voices of the past. That I am here to relay that the fears and hopes of humanity rest not in where we find ourselves in the here and now, but in reality, to find and reflect our inner nature waiting to be re‑discovered and built upon again and again.
That all true learning is self-learning of who we ultimately are to become. That once we have awakened so that we can see beyond ourselves, then have not we found our spirits traveling the winds through eternity. This being so, could there be a more ultimate way of travel than to be found traveling with Lieh Tzu? 1/21/1996
A second entry from the manuscript of “My travels with Lieh Tzu – Interpolations along the Way” is as follows:
The sage knocking on the door and finding benevolence / Qufu
One’s life simply the process of cleaning the clothes previously worn that must be recycled over and over again. To be constantly reborn. Anything that is seen of paramount importance only a test to be mailed in after you have found and corrected your own mistakes.
Outcomes only determined by lessons learned with only yourself checking and knowing the right answers. Mistakes although constantly repeated. Leading only to an eternity of self‑fulfilling prophecies of our own unwillingness to follow the ultimate path we know must be taken. Finding the courage to change. Leaving behind patterns filled with adversity we have come to know as a life support.
Letting go of ego… student and the sage Qingcheng Mtn Chengdu
Forever keeping us down as a one-thousand-pound weight around our shoulders. Continually given the eternal chance to change. To keep living until we get it right as we live and die simply by letting go.
Finally finding the ladder. Cautious steps of optimism leading to places previously unheard of and unseen. Knowing that eternal truth lies only in the steps that must be followed. Never looking back, thereby losing your balance the constant order of the day.
Be forever the agent of change. Knowing that the content found by others with everything as it remains is not the way things ultimately will be. Remaining forever unattached, letting go and finding yourself in clothes that are eternally clean. 12/30/94
It seems like I have been traveling the winds with dragons for as long as I can remember. Its like what I knew from the beginning hasn’t changed so much except to be built upon. Only the speed of my journey that always returns to places and to what I have always known. Reminding me over and over again, its not where you are – its who you are and what are you gaining in the present moment.