Personal Tao - Chapter 17
Changing Against The Times
Don’t let inaction leave you trapped in doing nothing.
Our Choices Ahead
As a spiritual web resource teaching how to work towards a better life, I know from experience, most of you coming here have deep empathy towards life. I also know the start of 2017 has been hard for many people.
The last few weeks I have been feeling waves of emotions, tears, heart, despair, hope… a whole intense symphony of feelings.
I wouldn’t doubt many of you are going through something similar, knowing you are on a spiritual path. Understand being empathetic isn’t easy. Empathetic souls often make choices based on what is better for other people rather than looking out for themselves. Now more than ever don’t let your empathy push you into depression or inaction.
Being overwhelmed by surges of emotion is good. It shows you are awakening. Don’t look for hero’s, follow the awakening to become one.
Work with it, don’t suppress it. Push into art, step more into kindness, vocalize your feelings, repair little things around you, let go of bad habits. Use the surge of emotions to help energize your personal change process.
Understand: In waking to spirit, you are ahead of the times. It means our choice of actions needs to be paced and gentle still. It isn’t our task to wake others! Rather the waking of others is stirring our hearts. It’s more graceful to let others wake to their actions / timing. Interrupting a person’s waking moment only disrupts their inspiration and can distract them from their personal growth.
- Rather it is more our role, in gentle acts of support, to reinforce how others can act with their own power.
- Rather it is a good time to strengthen ourselves now so we can be ready to help others as they begin to ask questions. Also, this will allow us to help those in most need more efficiently.
I am even noticing something even more extraordinary of late. Videos, people witnessing, photos, audio of other species of animals acting in a more human manner, reaching out to homo sapiens. It feels deeply as if we are in a time of many awakenings.
All the awakenings at first will make us feel pain: as yes there is much to heal within our world.
Quite a bit is stirring up. Don’t be trapped in thinking of time in the limited western sense. It doesn’t matter if the awakening and unfolding is over the next month or 100 years. What matters is: we are within it now. We do have time to pull together our lives and other lives into improvements. The intensity of the feelings can fool us into thinking we don’t have enough time, it can fool a person into hopelessness and despair.
Don’t worry about getting lost in the times ahead. Bad times are exactly when a person truly finds both their strength and themselves.
Live with respect (acceptance) and kindness during this unfolding. Try not to let the unfolding of the times tangle you up into an emotional origami paper mush. Take the time to learn from the *unfolding* out from ineffective lifestyles first rather than forcing the folding into a new life now. As you unfold out of your current lifestyle, you can gain important insights on how to improve your new lifestyle later. In this approach, it’s possible to become your own spiritual origami master in how you shape yourself.
Life is an ongoing continuous set of edges, challenges and thus lessons to grow against. It’s a choice: grow or decay against these edges.
If you feel overwhelmed then slow down and revisit your changes as smaller steps. This will make the lessons easier to learn.
Work with these deeper feelings being stirred up, and it will help you more than ever give you a reason to make personal changes. We don’t need to be in shock from our times. Shake these feelings out, act for yourself to shift in these times. Doing so is your way to resist any abuse from society being pushed towards you.
We are living in times of change, a time of choice. Understand that doing nothing means your choice is to let society choose for you. As society breaks apart into something new, it doesn’t seem that wise to let society choose for you. Rather let your choices shape society to follow your lead.
What will be your change, what will be your choice?
Personal Tao - Chapter 17
Thoughts About Waking into our Choices
Every morning, every waking is a new birth into our selves. Yet, so many chains, chains of our own making, limit what we think is possible. These chains are forged from a desire to simplify everything to binary rules (yes/no, black/white, good/bad) or by limiting life to definable labels.
Taoism offers a third path.
It’s the option
to be yourself,
to toss away irrelevant questions,
to change rules as rules are arbitrary,
to discover color after seeing everything in black or white.
Physics shows us an object is there or not there… or when not measured the object is indeterminate, as it could be in any state. Taoism adds the extra option that the measured state of our life doesn’t matter. Every day just before waking our life is indeterminate. Instead of measuring life against the morning light, open up the day to the possibility you are free to become what you aspire to be.
What we are is always a choice on how we meander into the future.
Choosing A Path
Depression is when the fire dims within life. It is a calling to join back with the universe. Everyone merges into the earth. Mother earth will merge back into the stars. At some point the stars tumble down, exploding into stardust that someday again merges into something new. Knowing this cycle of change, Taoism reminds me that life is a haven and time to be brightly alive. As a Taoist, I have embraced depression to experience it, yet Taoism also gives a perspective to live thru the worst times of my depression.
Years ago I wondered why Jung and Freud explored spiritualism. Ten years later I came to an understanding that our consciousness comes out of the movement of our spirit. For instance, performing Yoga and Jujutsu both enliven the body which then stokes up the spirit to brightly burn depression away. Writing, laughing or perking the mind, has similar effects to dispel the depression. Anything that affects the spirit directly impacts our minds, our bodies, the very way we flow thru life. These relationships are related and mutual.
A few times when my spiritual spark has been the dimmest I have considered ending my life. Once after work, while driving home, I had a thought that it would be so much easier to slam the car at 80 miles per hour into the highway wall. It would have been a quick and simple death. Yet, at that moment Taoist beliefs kicked in, and I shook my head realizing: if things were that bad I could just walk away from the problem. The next morning I started the process to close down the work project I was on. Then each day, on a journey seven years long, I moved each morning into a new life. It was a process of weaving seven years of aspirations and dozens of distinct changes together as a whole to recreate myself. Yes, it would have been quicker and easier to end my life, a matter of a mere seven seconds as compared to seven years, but my life will end eventually so why rush into it? I look forward to the time when I will fade. However, until then, I enjoy life, hug the sadness, celebrate the happiness, circle and embrace all aspects of being alive.
At the moment of this story, the choice to walk away was the harder decision over staying on a path of life that was diminishing me. This now brings up an interesting point in Taoism. Some people think that to go with the flow, to be with the Tao is to do what is easiest.
To go with the flow doesn’t mean to do what is easiest;
it means to be true to your nature.
We often have to deal with rough times and a more difficult path to be true to our nature.
Moving on is true when it’s in sync the spirit’s spark. Why speed life along by killing oneself with bad living habits? Ending the fire of life prematurely doesn’t lessen depression; as life, soul and the expression of spirit are eternal. We aren’t going anywhere afterwards except back into our eternal expression of life. Discover the living fire, our spirit to be alive, means exploring fully the entirety of each breath.
Note: Be careful not to confuse someone else’s movement to be the direction of your own spirit. This mistake at times can be a deadly trap leading your spirit to move against your true nature.
The moment of waking is special. It’s a moment in between the world of our dreams and the physical world. In that moment we can go freely between dream and reality. In Taoism we teach how to linger between these two poles to deepen our awareness and see the world from different angles.
At times visions can match the brilliance/sharpness of reality. We learn in Taoism to neither give visions power nor to ignore them. It is a balancing act to work with the insights we gain from our visions. It’s a subject which I bare some caution over, as most would take what I write wrongly. These times are a bit touchy and on edge. I will share one vision I had upon awakening one morning. But understand this isn’t a future prediction but rather myself teasing and exploring an unconscious tale for future use.
Feeling a future in my bones.
Of a hidden dragon
testing newly born sinews.
Poised to burst up and out suddenly to life
To ride the skies
Hearing a nation falling beneath its pride.
Seeing doomsayers and prophets falling down,
kicked and passed on by
by so many people
having to handle problems finally
here and now.
Chaos roils and tales of myth awaken to walk again.
A larger underground storm bursts over to reign in terror.
Leaving freedom fighters dead in the streets
As demons lash out, larger than life, seemingly all-powerful.
Very human demons: as time reveals again
The reality of the frail, fragile human shadow of fear
after, always after:
Angels of heart sacrifice soul
as the price to turn the human tide.
Rebuilding with passion, passing on the dream.
I feel this in my Bones.
I cast my own Bones forth
in order to rise again
to be free.
The Norse of old would recognize the current times as times of Saga.
Strangely, many will sleep through it all.
I remember as a child being in a car accident. The whole car flipped over while we were all in it. I slept thru the whole experience. Never even knew it happened to me, other than a single small memory of the result afterward. I remember walking to the over turned car and pulling out a large shock absorber spring from the wheel well. I have no memories of the accident, the rolling over, the tumult or even getting out of the car. I just remember afterward, discovering the corpse of the car and knowing I saw what passed only in retrospect and now here was something unexpectedly new.
That’s where we all are now.
Most people will sleep thru the whole world flipping upside down and tearing itself apart to make something new. I know it sounds amazing that people could sleep through such an event, but that’s part of humanities strength, to go into hibernation …to sleep through the worse of times, to awaken safely in better times.
Also as many go to sleep now, preparing for a long winter of hibernation, others are wakening to shape the world.
The world is changing.
You can sleep thru it all.
You can resist it.
You can assist it to become what others mold.
You can actively shape the change: to something new.
Just because you don’t like where it’s going now:
Doesn’t mean you can’t use all that energy and help redirect it to become something better
So now I have weaved out both 1) A vision 2) A tale of perspective. If you have made it this far in the post, This means being at the first crux of this saga. The part in the first chapter: where a stranger offers a choice to the main character and options open up for a brief moment:
What would you do?
Before any answer becomes clear, we face our choices. Those choices set us up for the possible answers we will be able to embrace. You are at a time of choices right now.
Which path is yours?