Living in TAO
From Knowing to Not Knowing
Wisdom in living is living as if everything is a miracle, just as Albert Einstein once said: "There are two ways to live your life: one is to live as if everything is a miracle; the other is to live as if nothing is a miracle." To do just that, you need true human wisdom -- which is from knowing to not knowing.
Living in wisdom is living in TAO, the wisdom of the ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu, who was the author Tao Te Ching, one of the most translated books in world literature. TAO wisdom, plays a pivotal role in life choices and decisions, resulting in life experiences, as well as the perceptions and interpretations of those experiences.
What is TAO wisdom? How do you get it for your daily wisdom in living?
Always look inside yourself: that is self-introspection.
Ancient wisdom makes us look inside ourselves, while contemporary wisdom often makes us look outside. Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, once said: "who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." Therefore, it is important to look inside in order to discover the ultimate truth of all things, which is the essence of TAO.
Looking inside is self-awakening. As we look inside ourselves, we begin to ask questions that demand answers that in turn lead to asking more questions. Self-intuition makes you think; without thinking, there is no wisdom, just as Albert Einstein said: "Thinking is hard; that's why so few people do it." Therefore, put on your thinking cap and be wise!
Looking inside may help you understand the TAO wisdom of "all-one" and "not-two."
What does it mean by "all-one" and "not-two"?
This is similar to what the famous poet John Donne said "no man is an island." That is, we are all inter-connected with one another somehow and somewhat. The capability to see this subtle connection further enhances the awareness to perceive the inter-relationship of all things, which holds the key to understanding the ultimate truth of all things.
“A beggar has been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. ‘Spare some change?’ mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. ‘I have nothing to give you,’ said the stranger. Then he asked: ‘What’s that you are sitting on?’ ‘Nothing,’ replied the beggar. ‘Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.’ ‘Ever looked inside?’ asked the stranger. ‘No,’ said the beggar. ‘What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.’ ‘Have a look inside,’ insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to prey open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.”
The story above is taken from the beginning of the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
Look inside! The wisdom is inside you, but you just have to look!
Yes, looking inside is the key to understanding and embracing the ancient wisdom in living. When you look within, you begin to see the reality of all things; and this is the beginning of your understanding of TAO, the ancient Chinese wisdom in living.
Yes, like the beggar, you have to look inside yourself to find the riches of life, or to attain your individual enlightenment, which is the ultimate true human wisdom.
“From knowing to not knowing,
This is superior.
From not knowing to knowing,
This is sickness.
It is by being sick of sickness
That one is not sick.
The sage is not sick.
Because he is sick of sickness,
Therefore he is not sick.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 71)
So, look inside yourself, be sick of sickness, and you will not be sick!
The bottom line:TAO wisdom begins with an empty mindset, which is "from knowing to not knowing"; a pre-conceived mindset, on the other hand, is "from not knowing to knowing." Paradoxically, the former is TAO wisdom, while the latter is contemporary wisdom, which requires looking outside, instead of inside, of self.
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau
Living in Tao in Aging
There is much wisdom in aging. Wisdom may not make you live longer, but it may make you live better as you age. Aging is difficult to define, but you will know it when you see it or experience it yourself. In brief, aging is a steady decline in health, which is instrumental in shortening lifespan; and the aging process is the duration during which such changes occur. Aging occurs throughout most of lifespan. Such a process is an accumulation of changes, which may be subtle or even drastic, that progressively lead to disease, degeneration, and, ultimately, death.
Whether you like it or not, your biological clock is ticking, and this will happen to various systems in your body: your heart will pump less blood, with your arteries becoming stiffer and less flexible, resulting in high blood pressure; with less oxygen and nutrients from the heart, your lungs will become less efficient in distributing oxygen to different organs and membranes of your body; your brain size will gradually reduce by approximately 10 percent between the age of 30 and 70, often resulting in loss of short-term memory; your bone mass will reduce, making it more brittle and fragile; your body size will shrink with your loss of muscle mass.
Tao wisdom may slow down your biological clock, although your mortality has been pre-programmed into your biological organisms and you body cells by your genes. Yes, you can still slow down the speed of aging-if you have wisdom to live your life. Tao wisdom may play a pivotal role in how you age, as well as the speed of your aging process.
How can Tao wisdom slow down your aging process?
Tao wisdom tells you to live in the present, in the now!
Living in an age of speed, highlighted in different areas of our lives, such as technology, communication, and transportation, many of us may have accepted speed as part and parcel of our lives.
But the "now" is essential to wisdom in living.
You are not living in the present if you focus too much on speed. Focusing on speed means you are constantly projecting your thoughts onto what is going to happen next. One of the reasons why your subconsciously craves speed in your life is that hurry numbs our senses. To illustrate, when you slow down, you may easily succumb to fear and doubt about what you are going to do next, so you conveniently and subconsciously choose addiction to speed to numb yourself in order to avoid anything unpleasant: you just don't want to give yourself the present moment to worry about the future.
Living in the present moment slows down your pace of life, and thus relieves yourself of time-stress, which is detrimental to physical and mental health. Once you have overcome your addiction to speed, you will have a new perspective of how you should live your life, and that is the beginning of living in Tao.
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau