∞ Who are you? ∞
Before you answer, consider the influences engulfing your entire life—facts and traditions, politics and religion — all the ins and outs of civilization. Deeper down come the personal needs and fears, desires and worries, friends and enemies, loves and hates… everything that is possible to name and remember! All these elements make up who you think you are.
Now, what would it feel like to return to who you were before taking on all this cultural ‘baggage’? The only apparent pathways are either holding on more tightly to familiar baggage or trading it in for ‘new and improved’ baggage. Still, baggage is baggage. How can you return to your origin and the simplicity and innocence of that original self? The Tao Te Ching offers a hint… Already knowing its offspring, return to observe the origin. Nearly rising beyond oneself (#52).
∞ Nearly rising beyond oneself ∞
The Tao Te Ching’s Realizing I don’t know is better; Not knowing this knowing is disease (#71) pinpoints the reason we don’t naturally return to observe the origin. Unable to realize we actually don’t know, we end up believing our thoughts are true. As a result, thought easily runs away with itself, firing up emotions, which soon snowball into overreaction. Such existential chaos tilts our lives out of balance making a return to observe the origin unrealistic. Nearly rising beyond oneself lies beyond reach.
The Tao Te Ching is singular in its attempt to help get us out of the pickle we’re in. Written long ago and so succinctly, it naturally invites commentary, contemporary with the times.
Accordingly, Taoist Thought helps counteract our ignorant certainty by linking up real world observations with Taoist principles. Sure, we may not cure the disease, but we may mitigate its most destructive affects by perceiving a more impartial and natural reality. As chapter #16 puts this … Impartial therefore whole, whole therefore natural, Natural therefore the way. The way therefore long enduring, nearly rising beyond oneself.
That’s it in a nutshell. So, are you up for nearly rising beyond oneself? If so, Taoist Thought ― Returning to Original Self should help. Here’s the link… https://www.amazon.com/dp/1722202033
Note: Taoist Thought is an autobiography of sorts. I say “of sorts” because it lacks much of the personal detail found in a typical biography, yet the deepest ‘me’ I am able to convey are these links I observe between Taoist principles and contemporary life. As René Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am“… or as I’d rather put it, “I observe therefore I am”. And when ‘I’ ceases observing, ‘I am’ ends. All that remains is universal consciousness… or as chapter #56 hints, This is called profound sameness.