Barefooting It Through Life

Thanks so much for your comment Lynn. Nice to meet you. I have some additional comments to make here to yours.

Comment #1 I think you are agreeing with me. We are animals but we have thoughts and that makes us different. Tell me if or how I am wrong.

Comment #2: Lynn says:
"I guess I haven't lost it" (instinct for right food)

I agree that this is possible and your experience is notable, but I think rare, especially for you to have identified it correctly as instinct. When I see the grossly overweight, sick and drugged population in such large numbers, I can't help but think their instinct is gone or deeply buried. So many people out of balance reflect our age which I feel must include a loss of instinct, out of control desires, out of control free will and an alienation of nature. This is some kind of chocolate, popcorn, and fast food nirvana for the overworked, stressed and lonely. It was in such an age of decay that Lao Tzu felt compelled to write the great wisdom.

At no other time in history has the need for studying the tao been greater. The need is so great we even see it on national television in primetime with Dr. Dyer there to reach people with it. A Lao Tzu rebirth?


  • edited December 1969
    'Going barefoot' is a good metaphor for a Taoist approach to life. We Abbott boys, young and old, go barefoot all the time. One of the first lessons my sons 'taught' me, when I was old enough to learn, was that I didn't need to wear shoes in Santa Cruz. They never have worn shoes on a daily basis. I never bought them any shoes because they never asked, and we never have snow on the ground. We home schooled the kids so we didn't get a flack from the 'establishment'.

    It is a modern irony that we can afford not to wear shoes. As Henry Thoreau so wisely said "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone". Shoes, like gloves, are one of the many things we "can afford to let alone" unless needed. Indeed, shoes are gloves for the feet, which is great when you need gloves! Otherwise, having skin connected to the earth beneath my feet feels so much better than 'feetgloves'.

    Of course, going barefoot may have turned into kind of a tradition for the boys, probably reenforced by various people pushing us to "get some shoes". What better way for boys to rebel, eh? Although, we do break 'tradition' and put on shoes when we go to a restaurant. The restaurant people insist... all that broken glass around you know. :roll: Oddly enough, the people at the lumber store never say anything, although there are more hazards there (splinters, nails, etc.).

    Personally though, going barefoot isn't a tradition. I'm probably too old to be imprinted with a new tradition (and I spent my youth dumping the few with which I was imprinted). Rather, I just truly feel more 'grounded' (literally and figuratively). Also, going barefoot affords me a small way of embracing some discomfort when the whether gets cool (cool + arthritis = @#$%). So, why volunteer for discomfort? I've noticed a trade off in life which goes like this: Short term pleasure leads to long term pain; short term pain returns to long term pleasure.

    Keeping life as simple as possible any way I can helps me avoid [chref=9]filling it to the brim[/chref]. Emotional stability and [chref=33]contentment[/chref] come more easily when I [chref=44]know when to stop[/chref]. Thus, 'going barefoot' for me is an approach to life rather than just not wearing shoes. In civilized circumstances, any way I can find to 'go barefoot' helps. Less is more as they say!
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