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Tao and the Masters

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Honor Your Unique Pathway

Featured Article: Nature's Alchemy and the Tao te Ching

Taoism evolved as a study of natural processes, and how human beings can return to a more natural way of being in the world. One blends into the seamless unity of life, without losing the sense of self. Its emphasis on the individual who learns to activate a power within, makes Taoism unique.

Tzu jan, 'to be natural,' also means ‘just so.’ It captures how life moves spontaneously to unleash the power of its diverse creatures. You find your place in the world, only by being authentically and spontaneously yourself. All that you see is not a collection of independent things, but an endless flow of interaction, where the meaning of any one aspect can only be understood in relationship to all that stands next to or influences it. In this way, all of experience is given meaning.

When you can see this connection existing at all levels of life,
you discover the organic field of relationships called Tao.

Because Tao does not lend itself to interpretation, the entire text of the Tao te Ching attempts to provide an idea of what it is. This ancient wisdom offers a method for approaching experience innocently, so that you may move beyond your habitual responses to access the layers of your untapped potential.

"When the mind is away from Tao, it can defeat growth by using consciousness to follow a path of illusions. If you govern the mind by following Tao, the conscious light is clear and can thereby harness Tao. So the Way of Tao is not to diminish or annihilate mind; we just do not allow for its misuse."

Wisdom of the I Ching

An event that might lead you toward growth can go unrecognized because of past conditioning. Because each moment calls for discovery, life’s meaning is unique to you. Ultimately, you will discover that life has only one purpose: it is driven to release the potential energy that becomes blocked by stagnation.

Observing change as the interplay of Yin and Yang energy, these ideas literally meant the dark and sunny side of a hill. While it is the same hill, there is a natural ebbing and flowing of phenomena, which has the effect of changing its appearance. Tao is described as "the One, which emerges as the Two," taking form as the negative Yin and the positive Yang. The Three emanate to become the many, which the masters called "the ten thousand things." Similarly, science describes how the negatively charged electron and positive nuclei interact to become the foundation of the many manifestations that we observe. What appears to be separate 'pushing and 'pulling' forces or phenomena, are fundamentally united by the force and field that interact to sustain movement.

At all levels of the physical world, we observe the dynamic interplay of opposing forces that lead to novelty. In the same way, holding fast to your convictions appears to generate opposition as something moves to keep you open. This natural process seeks only to eliminate obstruction, so that all things can continue to grow. Central to this ancient system of thought was the idea that by following the path of least resistance, you can move harmoniously with the flow of life.

You can find meaning in life’s transitory manifestations,
but only change is its immutable and eternal force.

Unlike the western idea of a deity, endowed with a personality, and whimsically organizing the world, Taoist philosophy reveals how you participate with the natural forces of life. Evolution drives life forward, exploring productive growth through diversity and variation. Natural selection weeds away the modifications that may impact your survival. As you approach your environment, adaptation is simply how you remain open to a changing world.