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Tao Te Ching Day 61: Fucking Names

What limitations I place on Tao are the same limitations I place on my existence. To name anything is to lose the essence of the thing.

“The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” Chap. 1

Right from the start, we are warned not to name this eternal power. We are given explicit instructions that to name it is to lose it.

Yet, I name. I name. I name. I name. Dammit, I limit all that could be by my fear of the unknown.

My fear of the mystery leaves me caught up in the known reality of my little life.

“What do you do,” someone asks?

“Oh, I am a writer,” I reply.

“Awesome, what do you write?” They say.

“I write about spirituality and also fantasy.”

“Whoa, that’s cool.” They kindly respond.

Then I sit there wondering, is that me? Is that all I am, someone who simply writes about spirituality? Someone who only writes about magic or fantasy?

And I hate myself for it because I know I have taken the Tao’s name in vain. Can you see it?

I am a writer, is blasphemy to what I really am, to what Tao really is.

I am the unnamable.

You may be thinking, “take it easy, Matt, it’s not that big of a deal.”

Nay, I say to you. Nay, like a horse in the house.

As soon as I speak this little story of what the nameless is, it becomes named and therefore fixed. Being fixed, it will only manifest itself in this way, the way I chose to bring its nameless name to life.

Why is that important? Why is it important? Why?!!!

Because what if the desires of my heart are not in line with the reality I am naming? Meaning, what if I say I am a writer, but the Tao is trying to bring something else through me, something more?

Why do I continue to limit infinity in this way? The Tao is flowing towards perfection constantly, yet here I am telling everyone which way my Tao is supposed to flow as if I somehow know or can even direct its flow. I feel myself swimming against the current when I name.

I believe this is at the heart of my addiction for more. I name something I want, and knowing I have just limited myself, I scrape and scream for every drop of anything else I can get my hands on because I just cut myself off from infinity.

We are trapped here by false rituals, rituals empty of heart, producing only more rituals.

“Ritual is the husk of true faith.”

TTC

This can mean rituals are the trash to be thrown away and keep us from the fruit of faith, or that the husk is the guardian and the doorway into the fruit of true faith. Either way, the meaning will be derived from the application of the ritual.

Our rituals are empty, so they make more rituals (mess). I have a pattern for making money; it’s called a job. This ritual only serves itself. As my way of making money eventually traps me into the ritual act of doing more work to produce more money to have more of what I want more of. The ritual increases itself and enslaves me to its process so that I believe I can not make money unless I have a job and work XYZ amount.

The same can be said for anything we do. Have you seen those people that have coffee mugs that read, “don’t talk to me, I haven’t had my coffee yet.” We have rituals for talking to other people. We need be fully stimulated before engaging.

Do you see this madness? We are then ritualistic about naming. “This is a thing I see, so I must name it.” Because how can anything in a dualistic world exist unnamed?

“The 10,000 things all have names; they don’t need anymore.”

TTC

So, we name it as a ritual to feel secure in our knowledge, and in our security, we create the prison for which we live bound by our fear of the great mystery. Led by empty rituals that are means to no end, yet they are familiar, so we keep them.

Fuck that.

However, if I speak the names and practice the ritual from my true nature, that is honoring the Tao. That is how the Sages lived.

“Can you let your dust settle and allow action to arise naturally?”

In this way, we are not trapped by contrived action but free to live the way we were created to live, in pure connection with the Tao.

Such elegance with which this prison has been constructed. Look at it with all its space and depth. Its variety and beauty, the scents and textures of a truly remarkable heaven.

It is all that it is because I have created it this way. A heaven with so much variety, yet only a few of the 10,000 things are used. Only that which I am familiar with I allow to become familiar with me.

My named termanel life,

With its fixed positsions

illusions of ideas, and novelty.

Touch the sun, can you?

Go anywhere, do you?

Have anything, will you?

No,

They are ruled by the named one,

The judge of all judges, the masked faces of all things.

I am trapped because I name,

I name because of this trap,

I think identifying my cell will help me escape.

There is no escape; the opposite of the way things are is still the way things are; the only ones who are free have left this ritual of naming and go within.

I even require inspiration for my inspiration. Does anything come from the original source, or is it all ping pong balls bouncing off rocks at a rodeo?

Happy day.

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Tao Te Ching Day 1: Infinite Imagination (with audio)

Photo by Chavdar Lungov on Pexels.com

Link will take you to the audio of the article: https://anchor.fm/matthew-whiteside/episodes/Tao-Te-Ching-Day-1-Infinite-Imigination-euebh5

A person sits quietly in meditation. The unmoving, unchanging expression on their face disguises the universe being created inside of them.

A world of chaos and beauty stirs around them as they sit and breathe in the invisible life force.

I have spent a fair amount of time reading and working to understand the Tao Te Ching, and in that time, I have realized that my understanding does not result from me thinking more diligently about the text. Instead, it is a practice of feeling the text without senses.

Today, on the day of my birth, I embark on a 365-day journey into the Tao.

Each day I will read the book and then do my best to interpret my understanding of the book. I do not propose to be an expert of any sort, and my only hope is to deepen my knowledge of the source of creation.

I hope you find what you are looking for here, and I hope that we all let go of what we desire a little more each day.

Day 1

I am spoken to inside of an empty room. I am not even present in this room, yet space is created for me.

Day one of reading the Tao brought up a simple thought, IMAGINATION. The Tao Te Ching says, “the Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.”

I will be honest a lot of the book is confusing as hell, but I believe that is the point. To break our minds of its old pattern recognition and see the true pattern in the Universe.

The Tao, I believe, is speaking to the amorphous form of imagination. When reading the book, I had a distinct vision of the big bang as the universe began. However, this vision was different; it wasn’t simply matter exploding from nothing; it was a person sitting down to meditate. In the darkness of my mind, I saw into the darkness of their mind and from that nothingness, from the stillness of a moment of meditation sprang forth all of creation.

If anyone has ever meditated, they can speak to this sense of thoughts exploding to life almost at an unfathomable rate. Most people do not make it past the first explosion before standing and getting on with their day, and rightfully so.

The big bang that appears in our mind during a moment of meditation is seismic and can, in many cases, shake the foundation of our Universes as we are shown all the terrible, horrible, nasty things that transpire in the past and future.

The beauty of the vision I had was that the bang of creation or imagination does not stop once we arise from meditation. On the contrary, the truth of the matter is that we were and are The Bang. No amount of doing anything will take us from the source of that creation.

We are the imagination.

However, if we are unwilling to allow ourselves to deal with the hell of the moment of creation as trillions and trillions of particles and atoms collide to create something new, in a hell storm of fire and destruction, we keep our minds in that time and space so to speak.

The Tao, like the imagination expands, never ceasing. It contains and welcomes all things, so says the Tao Te Ching. In which case, we can focus on the bang, or we can focus on the continued ordering of the expansive chaos.

Talk about a brain full.

Where our focus flows, our energy goes. So, if we find ourselves in the chaos, realize that we only must sit and see past the chaos to the glory of all the beautiful creation.

The lesson I received today was to exist through the chaos and know that all things flow to the Tao. So, as I remain still amid the storm, I am being carried to gentler waters.

But, I don’t want anyone to try and understand this with their mind. The point is to feel it. To feel the chaos at the beginning of your silent meditation and watch as it all fades and orders itself the longer we sit and breathe in the silence.

To me, this is understanding the Tao, not in mind but practice. The Tao Te Ching also says that you can not try and be one with the Tao; you simply are.

I feel that there is so much more to say here about day one. The interesting thing to note also is that, like the expansiveness of the imagination, the ideas about the Tao continue to flow unending for eternity.

Thanks for reading; the Tao is yours.

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A Darkness Building (Audio) #writingcommunity #poetry

silhouette of man standing against black and red background
Photo by Elti Meshau on Pexels.com

The loss of all life inside the estuary brought about more minions of death and doom than he was able to handle.

His instincts had led him down this road, fighting every demon with righteous wrath and a Feral call to the God of heaven that appeared before him in his darkest moments.

All the sweat all the blood.  All the loss and heartache that had strengthened his resolve had burned a hole in him that was hidden by rage and torn open by fear.

The road was in utter darkness for the way ahead had no end… no finish line.

The warrior’s sword slick with the sinew and death of the battles freshly won only to find more destruction with the next swing.

It was tiring, the endless darkness went on forever only to be ignited by the sheen of the blade as it made contact again with the next.  The spray of blood brought fresh waves of heat and nausea to the worn down warrior.

It would be over soon, he couldn’t continue in this fight for much longer as he poured soul and sword into the oncoming destruction.

He knew there was nothing he could do.  That the only way was to give up because the night would never end.  It was never meant to end, he was never meant to survive.

Yet he strikes with all the fury and fear of a man with a different destiny.  Of a man that believes there is a purpose to the slaughter.

He believes he can win even though there is no winning.  There is only darkness and it will swallow him as soon as he submits.  And then he will be free.

He does not see the freedom in the submission he only sees the failure.

As the Warrior stumbles and slips, the floor wet from the battles.

He trips and falls upon the ground as the minions gather to devour the kill they have been craving.  The one that thought his light could break through.

The warrior who fought for years and years never sleeping or eating, never stopping.  Beating back the plague of darkness that was born only to end him.

Now he stops unmoving save for the heavy falls of his breath from his ragged chest weathered and beaten from the unforgiving battle.

The light lost from his sword now taken in only by the darkness around him.

And

he

is

gone.

A foolish fight, by a foolish man.  To believe he could change anything.  His fight was for nothing and now he joins the nothing.

Because never was he more than nothing.

For all his belief and all his life, he could not overcome the night.

Tao Te Ching Day 83: Service Work

The Tao of people is not so

Reducing the deficient

In order to offer to the excessive

Who can offer their excess to the world?

Only those who have the Tao

Therefore, sages act without conceit

Achieve without claiming credit

TTC 77 (Lin)

We are filled constantly with the Tao; in this sense, I mean our own experiences, be they seen as good or bad; they are our infinite source while here on earth.

I give freely of my excess by being aware of life and sharing that conscious awareness of each of my experiences with those it could be of use to.

I do not have to try and reach outside myself to be of service and give in excess to those with little I only have to look within and realize my treasure is infinite and ever-growing.

So give freely; the more you give, the more you receive, and life moves like this for all of us.

Happy Day.

Tao Te Ching Day 82: The Tao of Heaven

“The Tao of Heaven

Reduces the excessive

And adds to the deficient”

TTC 77 (Lin)

I am reminded of one of my many stints in rehab. I would arrive and be either significantly overweight or well; I was always just extremely overweight and malnourished (lucky skinny addicts).

Anyway, the people at the rehab would always tell us to make sure we eat all of the meals that they provided. We needed the nutrition. They would also tell me not to worry about gaining weight that once I get on a healthy diet, my body will adjust and lose weight if necessary.

I was always surprised when I would lose weight because I would feel like I was eating way more than I did when I was drinking, but when I was drinking, I was barely moving as well, like a beached whale thirsty for seawater I would lay there and wait to die as my body bloated.

Anyway, this passage from the Tao Te Ching reminded me of this little rehab story because the excessive was reduced, and the deficient was added.

This is what the Tao is a healthy diet; I know what a lame metaphor for the source of creation, but it is what it is.

The Tao of Heaven is a well-balanced, nutritious life, if taken regularly, creates a life of fullness, health, strength, and joy that we only thought we knew.

Any way that’s all I got. Eat a balanced diet in all way, mentally, spiritually and physically.

Happy Day.

Tao Te Ching Day 81: Walking Each Other Through Hell

“Therefore, an inflexible army will not win

A strong tree will be cut down

the big and forceful occupy a lowly position

While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place.”

TTC 76 (Lin)

I had a thought today (only one), and it struck me as profound to everything I have been living recently. Some background is necessary for today’s blog.

The past month here is what has happened.

  • Had a falling out with my dad
  • Spent an amazing week with my kids
  • Started a Graduate program
  • Started a new job as a Football Coach
  • In the last month of a Peak performance Coaching program
  • Working on a Teacher Certification to teach in High School
  • Committed to chairing meetings every week
  • picked up a new sponsee

It is interesting when I list it out like that in just short little blurbs; it doesn’t feel nearly as overwhelming as it actually has been.

The exciting thing is that I have not felt terribly overwhelmed as often as maybe I am putting on. It has been highly emotional, exhausting, expanding, and exciting (it has only been words that start with E). It has been a miracle as well; I am amazed that I have handled it as well, as I have to be honest.

I am not tooting my horn; by the way, I am trying to make a point about the Tao Te Ching. My point is that being flexible, yielding, and, you know, like a gelatinous goo basically, I have managed to stay sober and, in some ways, thrive and find fullness and joy in life that I had never experienced before.

I also have such an incredible support system of people that love and care about me and that I love and care about. These people help me walk through the insanity of life on days when I do not think I can make it.

Which brings me to the title of this blog.

Relativity of simultaneity: “Two events, simultaneous for one observer, may not be simultaneous for another observer if the observers are in relative motion.” (Theory of Relativity- Einstein, 1905)

In lamens terms, we do not all experience the same event(s) the same way.

Here is why it matters. When I experience a traumatic event, I am affected in a profoundly emotional way, known as suffering. Now another person could experience the same event, but because of their life experience thus far, it does not cause any trauma and, therefore, no suffering.

Example: When I was a little kid and watched Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp, I was traumatized by the scene with the siamese cats. Why? Because relative to my experience thus far in life (apparently, I had never seen a cat), those monster cats scared the living shit out of me, along with that devil song they sang.

I have since watched the same scene and did not feel the nightmarish fear that I distinctly remember having as a child.

So, what changed?

What changed was my relative position to seeing singing cats, obviously.

This relative experience tells us this. When someone experiences a deep trauma that causes them great suffering, it does not have to meet a certain standard of horribleness to be considered as a trauma.

Because suffering is a very personal experience.

However, because we all suffer, we all know suffering well. My cat scenario as a child, if put on a scale and compared with someone who had something horrible done to them as a child, could have possibly ranked as equal.

And this is all because of relativity. If we can understand this about relativity, we can all help one another through suffering.

How do we help?

Let’s go back to the Tao Te Ching, “The soft and yielding are followers of life.” (pg. 76) And, “While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place.” (pg. 76)

Being more understanding and compassionate to the truth that your suffering is equal to every other humans suffering that has ever existed, no matter how it may appear to anyone else.

When we become more compassionate and understanding (I believe this is what soft and yielding refers to), we take each other by the hand instead of facing the Hell of suffering alone; we begin to walk through it together.

If you can imagine we were born and sent down from a place of paradise to experience life and find our way back to heaven, we can begin to see that as we grow, looking at service to others is the way back.

When we wake up to the reality that the Kingdom of Heaven is already here, then we see that each one of us that has woken up has the ability to take the hand of those suffering and walk with them in love and understanding of their suffering until they can see that they have made it out of Hell and are once again in the Kingdom of Heaven.

We can all walk each other home. All we must do is understand Theoretical Physics, Einstien’s Theory of Relativity, The Tao Te Ching, The Gospels of Jesus Christ, The Teachings of the Buddha, and Our Selves.

It’s super easy, ya dumb-dumbs.

With Love, Healing, Heart, Pizza, and Taco’s

Happy Day.

Tao Te Ching Day 80: Overwhelm

“While alive, the body is soft and pliant

When dead, it is hard and rigid

All living things, grass and trees,

While alive, are soft and supple

When dead, become dry and brittle”

TTC 76 (Lin)

I have a shit load of things, tasks, work, stuff to do in my life at the moment, and I am feeling the overwhelm of it all. Even writing this blog today feels like such a difficult task because I know how many things need to be accomplished and on a deadline.

Yet, the Tao reminds me to feel overwhelmed in the way that I am is because of a fixed mindset that is brittle; it says, “get everything done, in this way at this time, or we are dead.” Well, the truth is, that kind of thinking is already Death thinking.

It is too rigid in nature; there is no room for grace or humanity to come in. I feel overwhelmed because of my dry and brittle mindset. I will become soft and pliant now to become alive again. It is that simple.

I mean it is simple, but I can not say it is alway’s easy.

Happy Day

Tao Te Ching Day 79: Yes And…

“The Tao of Heaven:

Does not contend and yet excels in winning

Does not speak and yet excels in responding

Is not summoned and yet comes on its own

Is unhurried and yet excels in planning

The heavenly net is vast

Loose, and yet does not let anything slip through”

TTC 73 (Lin)

How can such a paradox as this exist? That it is both- and, neither-or, yes-no, this-that, is a mind boggler if I have ever seen one. But it’s only when I try and make sense of such a thing that it is mind-boggling.

The Heavenly Tao is without any form and any meaning. It simply is. It’s hard for me to fathom anything as not having meaning or purpose yet the Tao exists in this way.

I will compare it to a work of art. The artist may not have had any idea why the painting needed to be painted, only that they felt like painting it, and not until it was taking form did purpose arise, but not from the image. The purpose arose from the already formed thing that was the painter.

The Tao is said to be the formless, is it a wide net? Yes. Is it loose but catches everything? Yes.

Is it able to accomplish anything without doing anything? Yes.

Is it the evil of the world? Yes.

Is it the good? Yes.

Is it familiar and unfamiliar? Yes.

Is it you and me? Yes.

It is the great Yes and. My improv fans will enjoy that one. The Tao does not discriminate, and because of this, it says yes to light and dark, good and bad.

It is why it seems like a paradox, but in reality, makes perfect sense. It allows all things and is all things.

The paradox is three letters Y.E.S

You

Evolve

Seamlessly

Happy day.

Tao Te Ching Day 78: The Bold and The Beautiful

The bold and daring will be killed

the bold and not daring will survive.

TTC 73 (Lin)

This is an interesting passage from the Tao Te Ching. It is saying that to be bold, meaning having a distinct identity and holding serve, you will live. However, if you throw some daring in there, you will be killed. I take daring to mean reckless living.

It is one thing to live distinctly as yourself; it is another altogether to shove it in the faces of others. Daring can be seen as pride, flaunting knowing yourself.

We have already seen in previous chapters that the sages do not believe in taking this approach of praise for knowing oneself or holding yourself in high esteem.

This is what it means when it is said that the bold and daring will be killed.

It’s pompous that you have discovered this miracle that is you and then separates yourself from the rest of the world. It is a daring thing to separate yourself because you believe you are the best version, not just of yourself but of anyone.

So just be yourself and be content with who you are. Flaunting is a fool’s game. Or a Peacocks.

Happy Day.

Tao Te Ching Day 77: Who’s Asking?

Therefore the sages:

Know themselves but do not glorify themselves

Respect themselves but do not praise themselves

Thus they discard that and take this.

TTC 72 (Lin)

Why are we to know thy self and not glorify ourselves?

Why are we to respect ourselves and not praise ourselves?

And, what is discarding that and taking this referring to?

Three questions that will be answered on today’s episode of:

Tao, according to some guy on the internet 🌐.

Welcome to the show that everyone is talking about. Where we take the Tao Te Ching and bring out the most significant parts of it so that your life will be better and more exquisite than a latex coat on a fox.

Knowing ourselves means that we have an insight into our nature that can not be attained through the illusioned giving of outside wonders.

We are to know ourselves and not glorify ourselves as we see that others that have glorified themselves create enemies, jealousy, and greed for what they possess. Yet what we possess that makes us worthy of envy can not be stolen. It can only be hated and to be hated for what you are is to bring disgrace to the Tao. We are as we are; to vainly flaunt is a fool’s game.

In the same way, respecting ourselves, we have no need for praise from ourselves or others as we are in full awareness that what we are and have is a gift not to be praised or flaunted but to be cultivated and given freely as it was given to us.

The reference to “that and this.” That refers to something other, past, future, any external thing. This refers to the here and now. It refers to the very nature of all things at this moment. That is not real; only “This” is real. Take this moment and be fully in it.

Well, there you have it. Three questions were asked and answered of the Tao Te Ching from some guy on the internet.

I want to thank everyone for reading; I would also like to thank the internet for allowing me to say pretty much anything that comes to me and put it out for people to read.

Happy Day.

Tao Te Ching Day 76: Ron’s Pizza

Do not limit their place

do not reject their livelihood

Because the ruler does not reject them

Therefore they do not reject the ruler.

TTC 72 (Lin)

I have cried a lot in the last two weeks. Really good crying, too, the kind that makes you feel so bad it feels good. The kind where you try to think about sad stuff some more so you can keep crying, like holding your hand under boiling water till it starts to feel cold.

Has that ever happened to you?

It happened to me, and there were many reasons why, but the main reason it happened was that I am sober, and I feel life again. I felt some shit that I hadn’t felt in a long time, and I felt it because I had hidden from it for a long time.

Well, the hiding is over, and the tears are flowing. It reminds me of why we are here in the first place in this world. To experience some good ol fashion life.

“Put the back ho in the tow truck, Bob. We got work to do.”

If you feel like there is work to do its because there is.

I limit my place, I reject my livelihood. Therefore I have been hiding.

I no longer limit that I am here and that my livelihood is here. It is all open to interpratation.

Did you know that 99% of people aged 19-42 are more likely to die in a hot air balloon, if its driven by a cat. Don’t let cat’s fly hot air balloons.

Ok there was one other thing, between here and there I met this guy. His name was Tom. Tom built parts of the space ship that was flown into the side of the Grand Canyon in the movie Independance Day.

I know some people will see this and think, “What the fault is this guy talking about? Does he know this doesn’t make any sense?”

Are there more than three sides to every coin?

The answer is popsicle Tuesdays would be better than Taco Tuesdays.

You can call the cops, but I think you would feel better if you just called your mom.

Tonight we dine, in the bathroom.

Tao Te Ching Day 75: The Waldo

Agression, force only produce counter forces. Since we live in a physical world we are dealing with the forces of physical law constantly. I couldn’t break wind with out force, and trapped gas hurts.

So why does the Tao Te Ching talk about never doing anything, never being an agressor or a force of any kind?

Well, because according to the Lao Tzu, a fart will come out when it is ready and I do not need to force it. Well that is real convient but what about this job interview?

37 ducks playing west side story next to a banjo holster.

There is not an end

FOR

TO find any peace is to lose any chance at pizza

Beyond the grave is a ghost ship filled with dog diapers

They said I couldn’t make it to state, they were wrong

The fulfilled will alway find the perfume dangling song

Can a daughter of sixteen aunts still be in the same place as the frost kin?

I would like to challenge you to a duel, first hand me your gun.

Can cats kill cucumber carts catergorized correctly?

Tony believes in second chances, Tonya belives in love at first sight, are they the same person?

Romance lives in the heart, hearts lie with in every romance, the lies we tell to keep romance alive removes our hearts from with in, but without the lies only our lives are left with in the heart of our romantic lives.

A sentence is a terrible thing to waste.

Can you believe they only said yes to everybody?

This music makes me sad; I love this song.

Forget the championship, Ill take the goat for a walk.

Basketballs are shaped like ballons with solider edges.

ASS IS AN INTERESTING WORD, CAN YOU SPELL IT ANOTHER WAY.

Lets go to the prom, I hear they have great dance movers, I have to get this couch out of my apartment, I don’t care how they do it.

“When people no longer fear force

They bring about greater force.”

TTC 72 (Lin)