Monday, March 30, 2009

So How Do We Live?

In almost every religious faith and in philosophical perspectives like Taoism, there is constant discussion of moving beyond current reality to a different state of consciousness. We are urged to become one with and follow the will of Jehovah, Allah, Brahma or God. In Buddhism, we are urged to give up cravings of self which will end suffering. In Taoism, we are urged to center and quiet ourselves to receive the power of Tao.

Regardless of which of these perspectives speaks to each of us most poignantly, one questions eats away at most of us -- How do I obtain this unity while still leading a meaningful life in a complex modern world? The answer to the question eludes all of us.

Both Christianity and Taoism speak of addressing the world with the innocence of a child. In theoretical terms, that's all well and good. However, how does that manifest itself for a person who is married, holds a full-time job, has 3 children and likes to go dancing with your partner every Friday night?

If you think I'm going to offer an answer here, you're dead wrong. I'm just as confused as everyone else. I'm constantly perplexed at how to best incorporate my Taoist beliefs with my routine life. Some days I do really well, but, most of the time, I fall miserably short.


  1. Hi RT,
    I'm just curious... by who's standards do you "fall miserably short"? The Tao or your own?

  2. You know, I get in trouble with things when I try to make them work out. Or make them fit in. Best circumstances for me is to be freinds with the Tao, and with Buddhism. Really the best of freinds...easy like that. Then I find that instead of being blocked, or not able to practice, many things just happily fall into place according to their own needs, and what I can do about them. If I fall down, I wait, and get back up. There is no end to the process, going or not going is the way. Happy or not happy. Up or down. When I get really down, I always have a sense of humor to fall back on. Life is awfully funny, and serious at the same time.

  3. Hi RT

    You have such a rare and real way of asking challenging questions and speaking your own truth with all it's wonders and trials.
    I don't have any answers either. I believe in love and acting lovingly - of course that has fallen by the way side many times. I also believe in truth, my own and to respect the truth of others. That is easier said than done, as well. I am kind, I am almost always kind. This too can be a challenge -
    I guess, for me, I try every day to do right - speak with integrity, use carefully my power of choice, remember that what I do has an effect, and I have responsibility in that, I am sure I could do lots better - and some days I could do lots worse. Balance.

    Love Gail

  4. You have no choice but to be in touch with the ultimate reality.

    Seeing this here as anything but the ultimate reality is to set up a dualism, to see this as secondary or to see this as not perfect.

    It is wonder beyond belief! Go and dance, love your kids, do your work.!.. is that not perfect and magical?

    The only mistake people make is to make a concept or idea of reality, this is separation. Uniting is to drop the ideas and live and be.

  5. Val,
    Darn good question. I'm not sure of the answer.

    You're so right about life being hilarious and serious simultaneously!

    I like your list. I try to incorporate those same aspects too. As you wrote, balance IS the key.

    It's so hard not to be dualistic. It's bred into us as part of western culture. I'm trying to break free, but it's not easy. :)


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