Sunday, April 12, 2009

Welcome to NOW

Thousands of years ago, so the story goes, a wise old Taoist master jotted down 81 passages of wisdom before disappearing into the wilderness. These notes are what we know as the Tao Te Ching pronounced Dow day jing).

The story is a bit more involved than that and whether it is even true or not is open for debate. But it really doesn't matter. Someone or several someones wrote something down somewhere at some time or another. Regardless, there is no denying the text is real and filled with incredible knowledge and insight you can use to help live your life. 

If you've read the Tao Te Ching or any of the other classic Taoist texts, you've experienced the poetic and ethereal nature of its passages. They are beautiful, paradoxical and, many times, elusive.

The irony is that Taoist philosophy couldn't be more simple. The word "Tao" is used to represent the true Source, the ultimate Way. It's the essence and energy all around us, permeating everything and in everything. It IS everything. Grounded firmly in the natural flow of life, the lessons of Taoism can be found simply by watching a bird in a tree or a plastic bag dancing in the wind (as in the movie American Beauty?).

And while Taoism is an Eastern philosophy, it has quietly permeated Western thought for many years. It can be found in such nuggets of wisdom as "go with the flow," "use the Force, Luke,"...even "shit happens."

That's why I've chosen phrases or quotes from popular songs and movies as a framework for the postings on this blog. It not only helps put Taoism in a modern context, it also reminds you how much Taoist philosophy you already know. 

Please feel free to add other lyrics or movie quotes that come to mind as you read the postings. My references are limited to what I've heard or seen, but I'm sure there are many, many more.


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