T A O

TAO unplugged

TAO unplugged

Don't touch that plug !

Only kidding ! You are plugged into the great flow of TAO whether you like it or not, and there isn't much you can do about it. Most just ignore it, or refute its existence. Well, it is only 'symbolic'. The advice of the TAO I CHING can be similarly dismissed, unless you have a particular personal or spiritual problem to sort out. Behind the advice, there are a few general principles that could help you avoid problems or conflicts, or make your life a little easier.

DON'T REACT

Reaction causes, and fuels, conflict. Look at the facts first. Consider what others are doing (without envy or blame), and then decide what YOU want to do. This should be part of your own plans, without the aid, or discouragement, of others.
DON'T FIGHT
The world is full of 'other things' that need combating. Most of the time these other 'forces', people, or situations, will have nothing directly to do with you, but do exist to subvert or divert your energy. If you fight you will stimulate conflict, reaction, or retaliation in an opponent or situation (made for this very purpose). To 'combat' these 'other forces', don't fight them, and certainly don't react, for this will only get you deeper into the situation. This results in an endless, and protracted, battle of forces that fight, not for the same thing, but for opposite reasons.

All of this suggests that an agreement or compromise should be reached, either within yourself, or with others, but it is never that straight-forward. The energy in the world won't let you get away with it that easily ! TAO is the great flow of energy running through the universe, and it has two (apparently opposite) 'directions', 'flows', or 'aspects'. An understanding of these flows of energy can be found in the "TAO I CHING ~ The Mystic Gateway".
Elsewhere these flows have been called "Yin" and "Yang", and with the addition of a vast array of qualities (hot/cold, light/dark, male/female, etc, etc), the advice is to find a balance of these two 'opposites'. These are directional flows of ENERGY, NOT qualities, things, or positions. You are not finding a balance here with two opposites (love and anger, for instance ~ when you are permitted to show anger, if you also love at other times). The energy will flow in one direction only (no matter how much you think you swap between the two). The 'direction' (and 'speed') you go in has a huge effect on you, and everything around you ! Reaction and fighting are ways to express energy in a particular way or direction, and that direction has no 'end' (even though this is sought) ~ it only perpetuates itself. So, if you shouldn't react or fight, what can you do ?

NEVER GIVE UP. Don't 'loose yourself' in all the activity, and calls to reaction, however tempting it might be. That is, never let 'the world' dictate your actions, even if you feel ineffectual, or it's all too much. The TAO I CHING suggests a course of action, which can be applied in all circumstances. There are lots of mystifying terms used to express this way of using your energy, ~ as a philosophy of action, "wu wei", 'action without effort', or 'The Way'. It is  doing things without effort, which might sound a bit strange, or impractical, in this busy, competative, world of ours.

You could call this effortless action ‘letting go’, or ‘acceptance’, but it's really about a sort of assurance ~ in that it doesn't really matter what you do ~ it's all taken care of. Of course, you won't see this until you stop interfering 'for the best reasons', 'to get results', or 'to protect your self, or your security'. It is, I suppose, a little like a faith, which is answered, maybe not in the world, but in your heart. If it's easy and clear, you are going in the right direction. If you are using effort - and you can probably justify this - you are going in the wrong direction.
Simply do what you do, with ease and calm confidence, or at least, as best you can. If you are stopped, or constrained in some way, ( the world, and others, are constructed for this very reason) just do the smallest thing you can.

It is that 'smallest thing' that grows and doubles in strength. Here, The Five Spiritual Principles of Optimism, Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Generosity, and Humour, are applied to great effect, but they do require you to add them. Apply one or more of them at any time, or even act them out if you are not 'naturally' drawn to one of them, so that the next time you feel the need to react or get angry, add some humour, optimism or enthusiasm, and see the difference this makes !  Of course, you may not feel like doing this because you are caught in the ‘negative’ reward-seeking energy of the world, but it is the addition of these that causes a change in the world, and only you can do that. If you get this right, you'll live in harmony with the present moment, or you'll remain plugged-in to the energy you are already using.