Originally posted on Thought Catalog:
When we hear of deep fried Oreos and deep fried cereal and deep fried Snickers bars at the state fair we think, wow, that sounds incredibly unhealthy but also kind of innovative and delicious. Shockingly there were fried treat pioneers back in the day, making beer battered sliced apples, covered in powdered sugar. I don’t think you heard me, I said BEER BATTERED SLICED APPLES COVERED IN POWDERED SUGAR. That puts any modern fried goodies to shame and it has apples so you can feel like you’re being as healthy as possible, in terms of eating garbage.
Peeres in Confyt
wow – nobody’s here … – at Snooze
See on Path
Storm breaks into pieces,
Clouds change the horizon.
Revolving of the heavens
Generates all movement.
Without movement, there could be nothing created in this universe. The revolving of the heavens can generate wind, rain, thunder, lightning. The revolving of the earth enables us to have day and night, the very cycle of the weather, the seasons, and the growth of plants. Movement is responsible for creativity.
Followers of Tao value initiative, but mere aggression is not enough. One needs creativity. This can mean the ability to solve problems, to think of unusual strategies, or to compose poetry, music, and painting. In all these cases, one moves in concert with Tao not by blind aping, but by giving intelligent counterpoint and harmony. Creativity does not mean the arbitrary making of something out of our cultural minds. Rather, it is spontaneous movement in tandem with Tao, a movement that will generate life and not misery for others.
One has reached the ultimate levels of creativity when one has mastered skill so thoroughly that it can be forgotten. Look at heaven and earth. Do they think about creating the weather, the seasons, and the cycles of growing? They only go on revolving according to their nature, and the rest is generated without any thought or work on their part. This is truly effortless action and is considered the highest skill that a follower of Tao can attain.
Angles against lavender sky
Flung far across heaven’s vault.
Circle back to the nest.
Swallows are famous for their daring speed and the unpredictable paths that they take in flight. Yet no matter how far they fly, they circle back to their nests.
The idea of returning is significant for all of us. We must work, explore, travel, and make our achievements in life. No matter how much we strain and how wide we wander, we all need some lodestone, some center from which to operate. For some of us, this is a place, a home. For others, it is merely withdrawal into our own hearts.
Followers of Tao believe that there is a core spirit to which each of us should return. This core spirit is increasingly obscured by our own thoughts and the complexity of civilization. All education, while a necessary evil, is a stain upon the primal soul. Therefore, returning is a process of simplification that throws off the unnecessary problems of socialization. One gradually peels back the layers and makes one’s way back to the unsullied, pure inner person. The time to do this is long, and one needs a great deal of guidance and self-cultivation to achieve it, but until one returns to the natural state, one cannot truly hope to be one with Tao.
Dawn is a shimmering of the horizon.
Dusk is a settling of the sky.
Dawn and dusk together represent the measure of a day. When the sun rises, the moon sets. When the moon rises, the sun sets. This represents the cycle of existence, for without such alternation, the power of the universe could not be generated. When the sun reaches its zenith, it will inevitably begin its descent toward its nadir. All events — including our own plans and activities — follow the same pattern.
It is wisdom to know the cycles of life and where any particular circumstance that we are involved in stands on the curve. If we want to perpetuate something, we should join it to new growth to compound our progress. If we want to destroy something, we need only lead it to its extreme, for all things decline after their zenith.
All too often, people express uncertainty about where they stand in life. It’s important to examine both the short-range and the long-range. If you want to go far in a decade, you have to go far each year. If you want to go far each year, you have to make sure that you do something significant each day. Use the cycles of life to establish a measure to your life, and then arrange your plans according to the units that you have chosen. Then there will be no fear of not knowing your own progress.