At first, form is needed.
Then doubt and inhibition must be dispelled.
Eventually, form is celebrated with joy,
And expression becomes formless.
In all fields of endeavor, including spirituality, one must start out with certain structures, procedures, and forms. Even though one admires the seemingly effortless virtuosity of the masters, it will take some time before one can reach that level.
Take dance, for example. The novice student must drill constantly on the basics, isolating each step and movement with meticulous attention. Although the emphasis on structure may add to the beginner’s inhibition, it must be done. Eventually, the dancer will learn to let go. The steps will have become a natural part of movement. Then dance can be celebrated joyously. Our now mature dancer may even dance in a way that seems so spontaneous, so magical, that it will seem formless — or more precisely, the form will emerge with fluidity, grace, originality, and beauty.
The same is true of spirituality. At first, all the restrictions and practices seem quite constricting. Eventually, you reach a stage where meditation flows quite spontaneously. Every day is new, fresh, and full of wonderful insights. The beauty of the world then shows itself as it is, doubts fade away, and the banality of ordinary life is replaced by the awe and grandeur of the soul. This is true formlessness.
They say, “You are god.”
But everyone is.
They say, “All is god.”
Then why are there differences?
They say, “All is an illusion.”
But does that include god?
Those who follow Tao declare that there is no evidence that a god created our world. They have not found any empirical proof, and they cannot accept the idea philosophically. They reason that god must be absolute and this means oneness, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Naturally, anything separate and distinct would not satisfy this criteria. If there was a god and a world that god created, then there would be two things — and god could not then be considered absolute. If there were an absolute god, there could not be anything separate from god.
Everything is god. We are also god. However, we fail to realize this. Why? Because we look for god outside of ourselves. We make the mistake of taking ourselves as the viewer and then seek god as the object of our examinations. Unfortunately, everything we perceive is tainted by our subjectivity, and anything that we define as god “out there” cannot be god because it is not absolute. All you’ve found is something that exists in relation to your perceptions.
You are god. The only way to confirm this is to remove the barrier of subjectivity that prevents you from realizing your essential oneness with all things.
My thoughts on season 2 of The Walking Dead.
Admittedly I’m not a huge fan this show ( hence being a season behind on viewing ) but it’s hard for me to enjoy a show where all the characters are just so unlikeable. From Andrea’s ( Lori Holden ) constant whining for a gun, then the moment she gets her hands on one she shoots one of her companions. To Carl ( Chandler Riggs ) an 11 year old brat who refuses to listen to any adult on the show and eventually causes the death of another.
None of the characters show any common sense and I find myself more often than not rooting for the zombies. I suppose I will end up watching season 3 when it eventually shows up on Netflix , but that will be next summer when I’ve run out of other tv options ….
Never jump out of the same hole twice.
We all yearn for success. Not just the success of money, prestige, or power — the simple success of having things work. If you have a hobby like gardening, you love to see your flowers respond to your care. If you are in school, you want to master your courses. If you are a scientists, you look for results from your experiments. All of us want to be successful.
But once you hit on something that does work, it takes great courage to keep going beyond your limits. This is especially obvious in creative fields such as art, music, and writing. It is hard to reach an appreciative audience; once you find something that works, it is hard to let go of it. You keep doing the same thing, like musicians who make a career of performing the same tune. But no matter what your field of endeavor, you mustn’t do that. Don’t jump out of the same hole twice. You may not be as materially successful, but you will be more successful on a larger level.
Spirituality is creativity. Only with creativity can you have the power to follow Tao. Only with creativity can you remold your personality into a spiritual vehicle. Only with a great breadth of variation can you follow the constantly changing Tao. Therefore, when following Tao, don’t cling to methods and dogma. Be spontaneous.
Age is covered with cosmetics,
Gray hidden with dye,
Confidence is sought in men,
Awareness deferred for the future.
She toils on her job,
Enduring tension and fatigue,
Subsisting on tranquilizers,
Pinning futile hopes on her children.
Many people allow themselves to be trapped into a miserable life. When we see this, we might think “How tragic,” but in actuality, they did it to themselves. We should all know how our lives are going, for we need only track the decisions that confront us every day.
There are people who think that it does not matter what they do. Or they shrug that they are victims of circumstance. That does not justify an unhappy life. Illness, stress, divorce, maladjusted children, and fear of death trap us.
Those who follow Tao do not want to end up in this way. They want to be free. They do not want to be victims. Therefore, although it is a difficult path, they constantly seek to expand the parameters of their lives. They do not suffer to be exploited or enslaved, and they will eschew what is considered “normal” in order to be happy.
When admiring a painting,
Don’t examine the paint.
When meeting an artist,
Don’t look at the brush.
Searching for life in the mechanics of cells and molecules is like trying to appreciate a painting by analyzing the paint. It might be interesting in a narrow way, but the true point is to grasp the idea that the painting conveys.
Why concern yourself exclusively with the mechanics of a situation? That is like seeking an artist’s genius in the brushes; it is the mind of the artist, not the tools, that is responsible for the beauty of a painting.
In the same way, the nature of life cannot be merely understood as the interplay of mechanistic forces. It may only be comprehended by taking in the essence behind the physics, chemistry, biology, math, and other scientific outlooks. All too frequently, we become so mesmerized by life’s details that we fail to comprehend the whole.
The essence of life shall never be known by a human being as long as that person seeks to observe life like viewer and subject. The absolutely essential nature of life can only be comprehended by merging fully with the flow of life, so that one is utterly a part of it.
Organic molecules from cosmic clouds,
Millions of years in the midst of eternity.
We sprang from the primordial;
Our spirituality came in the evolution.
There is strong evidence that human beings evolved from basic early molecules. Those molecules were formed from the gases and birth processes of the stars and planets. Those stars and planets were in turn formed by the first movement of the universe. That first moment of the universe came from nothingness. So we are on the crest of a certain wave of evolution.
Narrowing it down to the human situation from the cosmic, our minds represent the ultimate expression of who we are. Further, spirituality is the ultimate expression of the mind. One might say, therefore, that spirituality is not a belief, mental construct, or opinion. Rather, it can be considered a function or outgrowth of evolution.
If spirituality is simply a function of life, the edge of a cosmic ripple, then where is it going? We don’t know. Like the universe, it is still expanding into unknown territory. We can decide to cooperate and go with that wave, or we can ignore our spirituality and thereby ignore one of the basic meanings of being human. If we choose to engage in the full process of being human, then we will truly fulfill our part in the universe’s evolution.