"TAO - Two Insights" — Alan Watts (TAO:THE WATERCOURSE WAY) and commentary by Bei Kuan-tu

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As days turn to months, then years, a blurring of all that once appeared axiomatic becomes the ground for a germinating process of the heart, an upward flight to freedom—the flowering of a hungry soul. In part, this gift is an ongoing process of seeing/learning beyond the tentacle-like cultural biasses that seem to haunt so many of us so much of the time. From “getting ahead at any cost” to “sacrificing one’s own authenticity for personal gain,” to hiding from a monarchical god whose judgement is precarious at best.“ We can find great solace in the infinitude of the Tao. Not as another ideology, religion or movement “to get the world right,” but simply what intuitively settles the mental dust, allows the bullfrog to bellow at night and leads to right-mindedness.

-Bei Kuan Tu

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Below Alan Watts gives a rather artistic perspective on the inconceivability, yet wonderful buoyancy of the Tao.

alan-watts-drawing 2...to conceive the Tao as an unconscious energy is as much off the point as to conceive it as a personal ruler or God. But if, as is the case, the Tao is simply inconceivable, what is the use of having the word and of saying anything at all about it? Simply because we know intuitively that there is a dimension of ourselves and of nature which eludes us because it is too close, too general, and too all-embracing to be singled out as a particular object. This dimension is the ground of all the astonishing forms and experiences of which we are aware. Because we are aware, it cannot be unconscious, although we are not conscious of it—as of an external thing. Thus we can give it a name but cannot make any definitive statement about it—as we saw to be the case with whatever it is that is named "electricity." Our only way of apprehending it is by watching the processes and patterns of nature, and by the meditative discipline of allowing our minds to become quiet, so as to have vivid awareness of "what is" without verbal comment.

-Alan Watts
(from Tao: The Watercourse Way)


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