edited November 2006 in Tools of Taoist Thought
[cite] Allandnone:[/cite]"...Perhaps that is why "right speech" is one of the eight fold paths.
"Right speech" often carries moral overtones, akin to 'thou shalt not lie'. [chref=32]Knowing[/chref] that words are illusion sure brings a visceral meaning to "right speech" doesn't it? Why does it take us so long to see what is certainly so obvious? Hmm,... perhaps words are life-rafts of consciousness, and we're terrified to let go.


  • edited December 1969
    Listening(*) kindles understanding. We're not listening when we [chref=56]speak[/chref] - including that internal dialogue we have with our self. I've noticed this vital characteristic of listening in speaking foreign languages, playing music, doing yoga, solving intractable problems, and even picking weeds.

    Deeper understanding comes when we 'think outside the box', as they say. The only way to get outside our box is to cease thinking and listen - if only for moments at a time. We must leave the forest to see the whole forest. The simplest [chref=78]straightforward[/chref] reality is hardest to grasp because we over think it. 'It' is literally simpler than thoughts can hear. Only in the [chref=5]void[/chref] between thought are we able to listen; only when we listen are we able to hear the infinite and [chref=10]penetrates the four quarters[/chref]; only then are we [chref=10]capable of not knowing anything[/chref].

    Yang and yin feel opposite and always will. Our senses are set up just so. Thus 'feeling' yang and yin as two edges on the same circle is understandably the most difficult part of Taoist [chref=43]understanding[/chref]. However, 'feeling' opposites as simply two edges on the same circle gives great peace of mind. So how do we get there from here? Especially if there is here! It defies logic... or does it?

    Imagine hot without cold; south without north; something without nothing; up without down; or even 'the sound of one hand clapping'. The impossibility of sincerely imagining these, though we struggle long and deep, can pull us headlong into [chref=1]the gateway of the manifold secrets[/chref]. We can't help but begin to feel that these opposites are entangled, co-dependent, co-generating edges of the same circle.

    Come to think of it, this is the process that brought me to the gateway forty years ago. My brother's death drove me to struggle long and deep on the essence of death and life, and how one does not come without the other. It perplexed me without end, until one day sitting on a bus I felt their [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref]. Of course, it has taken forty years for my emotions to 'catch up' to my 'understanding',... well, my emotions are still catching up, and will to my dying day. That's life!

    I was born and raised a most independent, self reliant, free willed fellow. And, for twenty years after my brother's death (and my epiphany) I continued to be so. Then one day in the early 80's while working in the garden I realized, "I need to breath, I depend on air!" My illusions of independence began crumbling around me - I also needed food, water, sunshine,... a body to live in. I was totally dependent. Hmm,..

    Realizing this, I gradually began to doubt free will and spent much of the next twenty years searching for any solid evidence of free will. Free will was my ace in the hole. It was a solution to any problems I, or anyone else, might face. But, now I needed some evidence. Well, so far I've found none to support free will, and much to disprove it. Losing free will, my 'ace in the hole', has allowed me to truly settle down into [chref=28]the role of the disgraced[/chref],... well almost. Now, ironically, I have more 'free will' than I ever had before. Of course, it's not free will, it is deepening self honesty and self understanding. With that as a foundation, I am more [chref=71]alive to difficulty[/chref], and thus fewer [chref=63]difficulties can get the better[/chref] me. Why the heck is it taking me so long? Well, I have so far to go - 'speaking' far more than listening! But, what else would you expect from a most independent, self reliant, free willed fellow, eh?

    (*) Note: Listening correlates ('equals') mindfully tasting, feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing,
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