becoming Warrior Woman
My first contact with Taoism, what the documentary is about & my thoughts.
The Art of Effortless Living - a Taoist Documentary
I never really crossed paths with the idea of Taoism - I sure had heard of it but I never really went into it. Maybe because I entertained a general disinterst or maybe also distrust with regards to religions, spiritual paths and the like. On my way of developing my self and even more so going deeper into working inwardly, I was presented with the Taoist documentary by Jason Gregory.
I have to say, I am very much intrigued with its ideas, even though, I do feel that to really be able to put it into practice, I, and most of us, have to work through loads and loads of limiting conditioning and beliefs. In the following, I tried to extract & summarize the essentials of the documentary and will, in the end, elaborate on some of my personal thoughts.
The Status Quo most of us live in.
We are forcing ourselves upon life.
We are suffering because we are either living in the past and/or in the future, being very attached to our memories and we are constantly trying to (forcefully) shape our future. The idea of past and future is a tool of the intellect and it gives us the feeling that we have some control over life. However, controlling a future outcome is not possible.
It is only when you give up forcing or controlling anything that you begin to get the kind of of control you always wanted but never knew existed.
When you don't force yourself upon life, you discover that you ARE life.
- TAO = the way of nature, its discovery allows us to have the awareness that we ARE nature. that which is bigger than our personal lives. the tao is within our natural stillness, the natural state where spontaneity is effortlessly born. in this viewpoint the universe itself is nature. The TAO then is the principle or “law governing” the nature we call our universe.
- WU WEI = non-doing, non-action, effortless action, not forcing, allowing a state of effortless spontaneity, the fragrance of TAO
- TAOIST = a rebel who disrupts the hypnosis of the status quo, a liberated human who does not conform to tyranny (creatives, sages, etc.) a daoist appreciates nature and sees him/herself as nature thus by not exploring tools to respect yourself you are disrespecting or not harmonious with nature. There are no right or wrong actions but tools that allow you to experience the webbing of wu wei / dao / zen / samadhi / etc. Thus all ideas and tools created or explored forward are to experience what is already there cutting away all of the noise and chatter we call “knowledge” right now.
- YING = mutual resonance & harmony
- ZIRAN = that which is spontaneous of itself
- ZEN = the natural spontaneity of the universe in the eternal now
Our lack of trust destroys our civilization.
We live in fear instead of trust.
We don't even trust or own psychological states and confuse our identity with our social (conditioned) identity. Our systems don't want us to trust and we blindly give away our power by not taking responsibility. If we do not let individuals grow as nature intended, they will lose their naturalness and fall into animal drives, desires, attachments and ultimately into suffering. Interference always causes isolation of the whole.
Everything in the universe is integral and symbiotic, everything functions according to the rhythm of the universe. Why should humanity be the exception?
We are always trying to change others based on our own belief systems. Additionally, we seek change in the external world of forms, as if the inner world were a construct of the outer. The world is devoid of meaning until the observer gives it meaning according to her beliefs. We have built a world that operates in reverse to the order of growth and harmonious living. No human being is above the universal spontaneity. Power tends to corrupt. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.
True power resides in the mind of the one who is liberated from the acquisition of wealth and the control of others.
Consciousness is dancing to a new rhythm and vibration.
We are not alien to this planet.
A human being IS nature.
We depend with our lives upon the planet, yet still most humans feel separate from nature. We feel alienated because we only perceive a linear world. Our communities are built on linear systems, just as our culture, government, politics, religions, etc. Everything is built on the belief that we can control nature. However, human life is an intrinsic part of nature because a human being IS nature. Non-linear nature cannot be understood by a linear mind. We have become machines with minds that are solely concentrated on keeping a linear system up.
In not understanding nature, we do not understand ourselves.
The stillness of the mind cannot be the goal.
Stillness of mind is not something you achieve in the future, a goal you could want to attain for it is right here in the now. It is our natural state that has been obscured by our conditioning; by the noise our attachments to the past and our forced plans for the future are making. The mind that is completely empty and still can perceive beauty as it truly is. Anyone can attain a liberated state of harmony with the world and become receptive to the forces of the kosmos. But only if we act in the same way as nature. How could we ever attain something that already is our true nature?
How radical are we willing to be?
Revolution & protest aren't the answer.
If we understand the spontaneous function and unfolding of the universe (TAO) then we won't fight this process. If we live effortlessly with Wu Wei the natural harmony of the kosmos will prevail. Control, force and the search for power put you out of sync with the natural harmony of the universe and we feel as if we do not belong here.
To govern is to control and control is built from the experiences of the past and the plans for the future, whilst nature is being locked out. Revolution and protest don't change anything for they are still products of human conditioning and seeking to control life. A lot of humans are able to understand the concept of Wu Wei but don't have the experience of it.
When we withdraw from our conditioned perception of reality, we come back to nature and grow spontaneously in harmony with all other components of life.
What would happen if we let go of control?
Nature thrives when left alone (read: "The Hidden Life of Trees" as a beautiful example for that). What would then happen if we left people alone? If they could follow their own passions and interests, harmony would prevail within community, no matter how large or small. So, when we leave life alone, TAO runs its natural course and all aspects of life come into order without seeking order. This is the paradox of life and it's very confusing to our logical, linear world view.
In going against our nature (Ziran) we not only destroy ourselves but we also contribute to the anihilation of the human race. We are all like little generals forcing our individual versions of peace onto others.
Nature is as it is and can have no motive, nor is it a project to embark upon. TAO can never be induced, as its principle happens spontaneously of itself.
Allow the universe to soften our rigid conditioning.
Life is always fundamentally right.
When we are sincerely humble and free from our agenda, we nourish and secretly transform the world through not seeking to transform it. We have to allow the universe to soften our rigid conditioning into humility. We have to trust. We have to be stillness, small, purely reflective and transparent droplets of water that cause a ripple effect in the ocean of humankind.
Real trust acknowledges that all that we have gone through, both individually and collectively, is exactly as it is supposed to be. No matter how much senseless bloodshed has occured. It has gotten us to where we are now and could not have been any other way. Because where we are now is exactly where we need to be.
Life is always fundamentally right. We have to get out of the concept of good and bad though, to realize this. We have to adapt an inclusive view of reality. Our current systems have served their purpose. Our lessons have been learned. The new grows out of the old. Out of itself. Because every organic system grows out of another system which is the natural process of growth, birth and death.
If we cannot trust the world and the people in it, we stand no chance for survival. Because a species at war with itself is doomed. You, the individual, can begin the process and it really depends on how sincere your trust is. Be a seed of growth.
Be a seed of growth.
We can cultivate stillness in our mind and get rid from everything that blocks a union between us and the universe. This unity exists only in a liberated mind which ultimately is the authentic contribution that one can make to the possibility of a unified humanity.
When you trust the universe, you become one with it. Find God within yourself.
Find the feeling of oneness.
The only way to truly love the world is to trust it with a trust that cannot be moved by the dilluted mind. Trust is the validation that the universe is one and that you belong. We are destroying the world by trying to give it a meaning. In our over-emphasis on the intellectual, we have lost sight of the beauty of life which stands beyond reason.
We are constantly trying to measure the immeasurable. It, for example, is not possible to explain why trust creates the feeling of oneness. So, there are some points we will never be able to explain and that is the point of self-realization. The union with the TAO is only known through a living reality.
When we trust completely, our physical, mental and spiritual states of consciousness harmonize with the heartbeat of the earth and we become its extension.
When we oppose our own experience and try to control life, we develop an unnecessary anxiety within ourselves, because we fear the uncertainty of the future. It is only when we can be fully present in the here and now that we will know what is best for the future. Trust and unity arise in the clarity of stillness.
Our average state of mind is caught in a constant rearranging of the pieces of the puzzle where we are trying to make sense of the world according to our conditioning. If we force our lives into a certain way though, we are blind to where the way of TAO is guiding us.
Trust and unity come to those who do not experience the world with the filters of their conditioning in their minds.
Embrace the world.
Be in the world without judging it. You cannot desire to not desire. So, just be. Don't leave no stone unturned in an embrace of life and yourself. Dive head first into the world. Remain within the world but refrain from acting out of the motives that lead ordinary men to struggle for wealth, success, safety, etc.
Maintain the state of Wu Wei, inaction - a course of action that is not founded on any purposeful motives of gain or striving. Embrace men, nature and all that is in the universe and become one with nature, merged with the TAO.
When we inquire not only into our own nature but also into the nature of the world, we will come into contact with the nature of the human heart which is the nature of the universe and that is love. This love is not attainable if we do not accept ourselves and the world and gain a total comprehension of our inner and outer worlds.
We have to let go of our own agenda and embrace our pain, or else we aren't able to develop a relationship to another and the world. Living Wu Wei is the medicine for the ills in our world. Trusting and accepting others is the remedy for building healthy, harmonious relationships.
An agenda-less human being working through the spiritual barriers within her own being brings the wisdom of TAO into the world, producing conditions where others may also realize their TAO through their own nature.
Be an intelligent and docile collaborator of nature and treat everything with respect and understanding.
Spiritual isoloation is necessary to get to the deepest part of your being. But when your nature is revealed in this introspection you naturally want to harmonize with the world.
We will change the world by not trying to change it.
If you don't trust the universe, the world will remain as it is.
So, ultimately, it is all about trust. It is about admitting and seeing our conditioning. About demasking our limiting beliefs. It is about embracing nature and becoming her collaborator. In order to be able to trust, we have to practice to find our innate and natural stillness. Because stillness is the foundation of trust.
We have to inquire every corner of ourselves, inward and outward. By knowing ourselves, we are able to love ourselves. By knowing and loving ourselves, we are able to understand and love others.
It is not about forcing. It is about being. It is about letting go the attachments to the past and the control of the future. We have to overcome fear and learn to let go. Trusting that the harmony of nature is also our true way. Trusting that we are part of nature, because we ARE nature.
Practice to let go, in order to be part of something bigger than myself. In order to be one cristal-clear, purely reflective and transparent droplet of water, creating ripples in the ocean of humankind. And thus creating the possibility for others to find their own stillness within themselves and thus become droplets themselves. Being a fearless seed of growth. In the now.
I guess, ultimately, the question is: are we able to live like this? Are we able to wake up from our hypnosis? Is it possible to live in such a state of complete non-action? I do like the idea of Taoism very much and will be trying to work towards my own inner stillness and trust. Even though, this in itself already is a contradiction because this means I am working towards something in the future?! Anyways. Meditation, Taiji, Qi Gong, Archery, Martial Arts, reading, etc. it is. What are your thoughts and take on this?
all photos are by Sina Lou Ravasio, taken at the breath-taking beach in Nosara. don't forget to check out my Instagram @aninamutter - I am always more than happy to welcome someone new to the community.