Humanness if defined as uninhibited uncontrolled expression of ones baser emotions and tendencies can hardly be called the heights of human consciousness. In Taoism there are traditionally two ways to cultivate or live the Way. One is called cultivating life and the other is Cultivating Essence. Cultivating life is practicing or living in a balanced way by learning to balance the body, balance emotions and balance the mind. This would be by doing things like Tai Chi or Chinese herbs and other things to calm the body and mind and to live a balanced life. But this is not the ultimate goal of Taoist practice although it can lead to it. The second way is to cultivate essence. Which is to dwell at the source of your being. Allowing things to come and go . Having a mind like water. Returning all things to the essence. Having your mind be like water. Not clinging to anything. And in doing so realizing that moment to moment your true nature is unbounded and indefinable but mysteriously aware and peaceful and serene regardless of what appears in the chaos of daily life Ultimately there is no practice and no way to arrive at this through calculation or thinking about it with the conceptual mind. Cultivation is the very elimination of the idea that "I" am "here" and "it" (reality, illumination) is "there". The realization of the Tao does not deny human consciousness but goes beyond the dualistic notions about it. Discovering the profound inner peace that is our true nature through introspection or inner penetration to that which is free of all things you get to enjoy your human experience fully, Where others are limited by their concepts you know better. For example. Say you are on a beautiful beach and want to enjoy the sunset. And at that moment an unpleasant negative thought that you have thought many times before, say a thought about a past love or a bad experience of some kind, comes up and that thought sprouts into other unpleasant and controlling thoughts and you find yourself suddenly, out of the blue upset and angry and even depressed by it. You are about to meet a new lover there and she arrives and says something that makes you feel worse. You get angry. You fight. The beauty of the beach is gone and you are in a war zone and cannot get out of it. The beauty of the beach is lost to l"our humanness". Is that a natural state you want to repeat over and over through your life. Or is there a way out of it?
If you have a temporary bought of anger or react in some way that is not the most pleasant, to circumstance that in itself does not cause suffering. It is when you take it to be you and feel defined by it that all the trouble arises. To say that this kind of suffering and repetitive self destructive or abusive anger or behavior is natural and enjoyable would of course be ridiculous. But you will even find people who claim their right to do this makes them more human. Wars and religious intolerance and violence of all kinds in the world comes from this unbridled uncontrolled indulgence in and acceptance of negative emotions.
"The most unnatural act in the world is to deny or condemn any part of your humanness", that is true. That is why in living the Way we do not judge ourselves. When anger temporarily arises if you can find that place in you where there is no anger, you can see it for what it is and stay with the beauty of the sunset. Even if you have to deal with something that is hard to deal with or challenging. Infact the more you allow that all your actions and thought are temporary, are fleeting and cannot define or confine you, or control you, the less they obscure your true nature which is naturally free of all things. This can't be seen unless you look at it in a different way than the way of assertion and denial. Asserting your right to human emotions no matter how negative and self limiting or destructive while denying there is a way to rectify this leaves you with acceptance of things as they are as the best you can do about it. You still have to live by it and suffer over and because of it. If you give up assertion and denial. What is there? An openness to look deeper and discover a solution to the problem. Which is what the Sages teachings, holy books etc point to.
Any idea about humanness is obviously just another idea. True humanness and freedom to not be a victim of your own mind states is when you can stand back from a challenging or unpleasant situation, see you are not bound by it, and let it go, work on it, fix it or decide to drop it altogether and do something else, and do it in freedom. rather than be forced to suffer over it because it is you and there is nothing you can do about it. You are of course free to see it another way and suffer as you like. But the wisdom teachings of all ages and traditions point to something within us all that is a direct perception or realization of that place within us that is free of all things. Whatever bizarre things appear. "The mental anguish cruelty and suffering that leads to growth" is a buddha seed, what the buddha meant by this is that just as like when burning your finger on a stove as a child, you learned not to do that again, as you start to see that your true nature is more than what you think and that it is possible not to have to react like a Pavlovian dog to negative tendencies, you begin to grow beyond those tendencies. As you start to see a broader view of who and what you are the Great Way, the pathless path opens up naturally. Yes, "Nothing comes to us that is unnatural or to test us. There are no tests. In-fact spirituality is not a test. It is about common sense. It is common sense not to set things up one against another. It is common sense to want to be happier. If something isn't working how do you fix it. How do you escape an unpleasant mental attitude? Saying you can find balance and harmony in accepting it fully mentally will only get you a mental solution that you have to apply mentally over and over. There is another way.
Accept everything, allow all things. Don't judge yourself in any way. At the same time stand back in beingness. There is something deeper and more profound about us than mere fleeting thoughts, people, places, circumstances and events. The great Tao. Looking into this earnestly you come to see things in a more balanced way.
Accepting ourselves fully. Living in balance. These are the purpose of life. But who truly does this? The way to it is to explore your own consciousness and find out how it is true experientially.
: "A true sage would tell you that your
: true nature is freedom and peace."
: A true sage, I think, would tell you that
: sometimes your nature is freedom and peace
: and sometimes your nature is captivity and
: turmoil. Both. All. All these things are
: part of what it means to be human.
: The most unnatural act in the world is to
: deny or condemn any part of your humanness.
: True... some parts -- the mental anguish,
: the cruelty -- seem undesirable and
: counterproductive. Sometimes they are. But
: sometimes they lead to growth, as when you
: cut and disturb the roots of an overgrown
: plant in order that it might thrive and grow
: more abundantly.
: Nothing that comes to us is
: "unnatural." There is no evil
: trickster presenting us with hurdles to jump
: over or barriers to break through. The
: whole concept of "cultivation" is
: predicated on the false notion that
: "I" am "here" and
: "it" (reality, illumination) is
: There is no "here" vs.
: "there." There is only
: "here, now."
: "The Buddha said that all suffering is
: a Buddha seed. He also taught that life is
: suffering but that there can be an end to
: Well, if that's what Buddhists believe, that
: explains why I'm not a Buddhist.
: As Laozi suggested, misery comes with having
: a body ("body" understood broadly
: to encompass the entire gamut of the human
: physical and psychological experience). The
: price we pay for being human -- the cost of
: admission -- is that occasionally we suffer,
: externally and internally.
: This is nothing to be fearful of or to seek
: "escape" from through this
: practice or that. The truly adept, as I see
: it, reach a profound and transcendental
: peace with this reality.
: They stop "chomping at the
: enlightenment bit," if you will.
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