edited December 2004 in Tools of Taoist Thought
My 10 yo boy and i sleep together-his choice. He occasionally crashes elsewhere (no bedroom of his own in our small apt, but a nice futon in the living room), but since last summer when he went to Cali for 2 weeks (our longest seperation in 5 years) he's been in my bed every night. We read out loud, we talk, he;s the last thing I see at night and when i wake up in the morning he's the first thing I see, and I wouldnt want it any other way-this summer we're moving to a bigger place and he'll get his own bedroom. Where he sleeps then is up to him. I assume by the time he marries, he'll be sleeping on his own. if not, his wife better be open minded.


  • edited October 2006
    I got to feeling sorry for this page for it hasn't received any posts. This 'tools' department begs the question: "What will it do for me? What miraculous thing, if any, will it bring my way?" :roll:

    Immortality, for one thing :!:... :shock:... Wow .... :o

    But, before we get our hopes up, I should mention that it's not the gross kind of immortality that first comes to mind. Gross being where our body and mind just keep living on and on. Rather, Taoist immortality occurs in awareness - a continuing of consciousness. But not a gross type where our personal self-consciousness becomes immortal. Rather, we become immortal by realizing a deep connection to all that has gone before and all that is to come. We merge into the 'flow' and disappear. :? That's the twist, only by giving it all up, can we have it all :( . The 'correlations tool' helps some give it up... at least that portion to which mind attaches ([chref=23]words[/chref] and [chref=32]names[/chref]). Of course it is not the [chref=23]words[/chref] and [chref=32]names[/chref] per se that bind us; rather, it is the emotional attachment underlying them. Nevertheless, correlations can help start this [chref=64]journey[/chref].

    PS These faces are fun :D
  • edited December 1969
    I was just going to ask what the Taoist view of death and afterlife is. Guess you answered it for me.
    If you love somebody, set them free-hardest of all to set free is yourself, but what other choice do we have...?

    and yeah, this section is hard, required deeper thought than i'm capable of right now-thanx for breaking it down into a smaller chunk, easier to digest.
  • edited December 1969
    I've heard this analogy. Imagine a stream and every once in a while, a little whirlpool occurs. The water swirls around and around and then merges back into the flow of the stream. We are like the whirlpool: we spin around for a while and then, when we die, the whirlpool merges back into the stream. It always was the stream anyway. I think this analogy belongs to Charlotte Joko Beck who runs a Zen monastery in San Diego.
  • edited December 1969
    i accept death as part of the natrual flow, but many others do not....i had a friend pass away very pre-maturely, he was 21 and had a brian aneurism. I felt suprizingly unphased my this, accepting it as random circumstance and concluded "so it goes"... But many of my peers are still saddened by this event, im not sure how to help them, or perhaps it is best to let them act out on their sadness... thoughts?
  • edited December 1969
    In my experience, a person needs to go through all the feelings of grief in order for healing to occur. You can help them just by telling them that you care and by being patient with them. They just need time.

    Sometimes good things come out of grief. I, for one, stopped drinking and smoking after my mother died. And now, years later, I have a soft and tender place in my heart whenever I think of my Mom which I don't think would be there if I hadn't fully gone through the feelings. The tender spot feels almost like joy. Go figure.
  • edited December 1969
    Hi Sleepydave.

    I think it's so nice you are posing this question. I agree with Lynn that just allowing your freinds to go though the mourning they need to is the best way to "help". I have had many people die in my life. Everyone has been a different experience. Sometimes I had tremendous grief. It didn't matter how many times someone said "They are in a better place" etc. The whole experience was very important. I just needed to go through it.

    Our ducks grieve when one of theirs dies. Other animals do too. I think it's natural but not unnatural to feel "so it goes" too. I think it just depends on the need and connection.

    You may have a time when you are really hit hard and just need to grieve. Maybe not. I know if Carl or my kids died I would be very "phased" as they are so intergral in my life. What do you think?
  • JoeJoe
    edited December 1969
    Having just lost my wife to breast cancer, I definitely concur about people needing to grieve, at their own pace, however it proceeds for them. My daughter and I cry with our loss, and we also laugh as we think back to special times.

    For me it's like everything else in life. We all have thoughts and words about how we think things should work. But life unfolds as it unfolds, and how it unfolds is not under my control. I do the best I can with where I'm at at the time.

    "Don't push the river, it'll flow by itself."
  • edited December 1969
    i agree, i think someone who is closer to me, like family or close friends, would have more of an impact on me. But think...why is is that so? why do we value different individual's lives so differently?

    like, say we are accepting the idea of immortailty, then every life is a luminous being, an immortal soul. some even belive that all souls are in fact one (Brahman for example.) if we are all parts of the same entity, it seems a contradiction that different individual's deaths effect us differently. i dunno...i tend to bring up more questions than answers when i think
  • edited December 1969
    Hi SleepyDave,

    I don't think it's an intellectual thing. i.e. even if you believe this or that doesn't mean you couldn't be saddened. I think it just happens naturally. You ask why do we value one life over another. As I said before, I see our ducks mourn if one of their group dies. They aren't mourning for the rat that was found dead in their coup. I think it's just the way it is. We have 4 ducks. One is lame but gets around very slowly. When it's time to go in at night (so the raccoons won't kill them) they all come in together. The ducks slow down so that the lame one wont be left alone. They are very social animals as are humans. Some humans are more social than others of course.

    I can think one thing (there is no such thing as death- we never were, etc) but that is only part of me. It's intellectual almost. I guess the more deeply you believed that, to the bottom of your core, that perhaps you would be less emotional. Maybe you are more in that realm. Personally, I tend to be very affected by some people in my life. When they are gone, I grieve. Birth and Death are so big in our lives. I cried when my kids were born. I haven't really given an answer, just more of my rambling. :?
  • edited December 1969
    I'm a little late for this party, but here goes anyway...
    [cite] sleepydave:[/cite]... I felt surprisingly unphased my this... ...But many of my peers are still saddened by this event
    Why, from a 'symptoms point of view', do we feel "phased" by the death of some things more than others? When our sense of self identity feels connected to things (living or non-living) we suffer when they die, break, or are lost. Why? Self identity is rooted in the survival instinct and thus part of us dies with them. [chref=13]When I no longer have a body, what trouble have I?[/chref]

    So, should we root out this survival instinct that causes us to suffer? We can no more do that than sprout wings and fly (airplanes aside) like a bird. The best we can hope for is [chref=43]understanding[/chref], which is more than enough. Everything else takes care of itself.
    [cite] sleepydave:[/cite]...if we are all parts of the same entity, it seems a contradiction that different individual's deaths effect us differently....
    Failure to make some distinction between what we [chref=71]think[/chref] (ideals) and what we experience and feel (reality) leads to much of our difficulty. "All part of the same entity" is an ideal that most [chref=78]everyone in the world knows yet no one can put this knowledge into practice[/chref]. Why? Because we are simple animals with likes and dislikes. We mourn the loss of what we like, we rejoice at the loss of what we dislike.

    Problems also arise from our attempt to [chref=34]lay claim to merit, greatness, and being master[/chref]. Humanity, by assuming it is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread', created in God's image, the 'highest' form of life on earth, etc., has set itself upon an pedestal of sand. That we do this is obvious. Why we do so is absolutely fascinating from a 'symptoms point of view'. Oh the irony! :lol:
  • edited December 1969
    Could you explain what you mean by a "symptoms point of view." Is it that everything we do is a "symptom" of our genetics?
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Lynn Cornish:[/cite]...Is it that everything we do is a "symptom" of our genetics?
    Certainly that is part of it. But, genetics is a "symptom" of something deeper, which in turn is a "symptom" of something still deeper. This [chref=40]turning back[/chref] approach to perception gradually [chref=16]leads to impartiality[/chref], which is essential if we wish to [chref=28]return to being the uncarved block[/chref].

    Every perception we have, every corner of consciousness, even the [chref=14]indistinct and shadowy [/chref] recesses, point back to 'something' [chref=32]nameless[/chref]. Every [chref=1]name[/chref] we give to 'it' obscures that which [chref=4]images the forefather of God[/chref]. Regarding ALL perceptions as merely "symptoms" of something yet deeper helps awareness touch [chref=25]that which is naturally so[/chref].

    Considering every perception as a "symptom" pulls consciousness into a deeper awareness of [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref]. This allows us to [chref=52]use the light, but give up the discernment[/chref], briefly away. Our biology - our animal nature - will always bring us back to the 'reality' our biology [chref=65]hoodwinks[/chref] us into. :lol: But, that's okay. After all, [chref=45]great perfection seems chipped[/chref] anyway.

    My word, I sure plagiarized a lot this time. It's just that I feel these excerpts help keep the issue on track - perhaps helping the mind's [chref=56]wheels move only along old ruts[/chref]?
  • edited December 1969
    Thank you Carl. I found your reply to be very moving, very beautiful. The words "turning back" and "returning to stillness" bring tears to my eyes.

    My friend Trisha says I am antisocial. The reason is that it's impossible to turn back when you are chattering away. Chatter shatters stillness. I think we all yearn for stillness.
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