Archive for September, 2018
What is firmly established cannot be uprooted.
What is firmly grasped cannot slip away.
It will be honored from generation to generation.
(The world’s physical things, built on the outside, will be unplugged, for since you can hold it in your hand, it will certainly be taken off.)
However, Tao and Te are invisible.
Therefore, if you build Te in the heart
It will not be unplugged.
If you can embrace it,
Hugging Tao to your chest,
It will not be taken away.
(With Tao and Te in you, not only can you enjoy the blessings, but also blessings will be passed down to the future generations, the worshipping the ancestors will last forever.)
Cultivate Virtue(Te) in your self,
And Virtue(Te) will be real.
Cultivate it in the family,
And Virtue(Te) will abound.
Cultivate it in the village,
And Virtue(Te) will grow.
Cultivate it in the nation,
And Virtue(Te) will be abundant.
Cultivate it in the universe,
And Virtue(Te) will be everywhere.
(Cultivate yourself, and his Te will be fulfilled. When it comes to a family, his Te is bound to be generous. To spread to a village, his Te will surely come a long way; When it comes to a country, his Te will be abundant. When it comes to the world, his Te is bound to prevail.)
Therefore look at the body as body;
Look at the family as family;
Look at the village as village;
Look at the nation as nation;
Look at the universe as universe.
(So, as long as I cultivate Te in me, I can look at other people. From my family to observe other families; From my village, observe other villages; From my present world, I look at the past and the future.)
How do I know the universe is like this?
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
(How can I know the situation of the world? This is the reason.)
The imag eisfrom Lynn Yang
Lao Tzu explained that cultivating Te starts from oneself, then moves to family, then the village, then to the world. It coincides with Chinese saying:
“Cultivate oneself, keep one’s family in order, then run the country well and ultimately you will conquer and bring peace to the world.” (修身,齊家,治國,平天下)
Towards the end of last year, one of my friends that came to visit me. Five years ago, she came here to make a film for a spiritual search. I helped her to interview inspirational speakers and translate them.
This time when she came, she had finished editing the episodes into a short film, and now she was looking for people to buy it. She had always been a soul-searching person, and she told me with confidence that her energy level had reached over 700. I was shocked, and I couldn’t imagine how she could achieve such a level. She told me that my energy level seemed to be low and that I should speed up my journey and tries to get to her level. Since she was talking about the energy level, I picked the book from my bookshelf by Dr. David Hawkins, called Power vs. Force. However, I didn’t put in much effort into studying it carefully until the beginning of this year.
Later, another friend asked me what my energy level was in 2017, and this time I was surprised that a similar question had come up. I knew I had to look for an answer, so I started to reread Dr. Hawkins’ book.
Here is his story:
Dr. David Hawkins was a sought-after psychiatrist for decades in New York City. He left his practice at age 38 after contracting a near-fatal illness, and while praying for healing, a bliss state befell him—prompting him to leave behind his “personal self” and merge with “an Infinite Presence of such unlimited power that it was all that was.”
After spending seven years in a cabin near Sedona, meditating and studying, he reintegrated into society and has been astonishingly productive ever since. For nearly 40 years nonstop, he has been writing and lecturing around the globe about higher consciousness. At the core of his research is the radical notion that consciousness can be mapped on a logarithmic scale using behavioral kinesiology, nonlinear dynamics and particle physics. His seminal work, Power vs. Force, introduced the concept that truth is subjective and about one’s level of consciousness.
In his book, he used kinesiology to measure energy levels, and using what he knew from his 30 years of study; he concluded that we all have energy. Not just human beings, but also plants, clothing, books, cars, and even abstract ideas like videos, music, thoughts, and emotions. He gives us the different energy levels here.
As I was staring at this chart, I realized that if a person’s energy level drops below 250, that their emotions become negative – they feel more emotions like anger, grief, fear, and shame. It dawned on me that the reason I could not write the last chapter of my book – Enlightenment, where I explain how I received it from divinity – last June, was because I had a hard time gathering my energy to write. As I was trying to get inspiration, I kept hearing a message about peace. I ended up writing an article about peace, but I still didn’t get it at that time. Ever since then, I’ve just had the feeling that I need to be at peace. I thought I was doing better once I started trying to tune out unwanted noise like politics, and decided to stop complaining, but I still could not bring myself to write. I didn’t have inspiration and wasn’t moved to start to write again.
Two or three months ago, I began the process of selling a property, and I had a hard time trying to sell it. It made me uneasy because of the financial burden. I thought that was bad enough, but at the beginning of 2017, it became worse but taught me a lesson.
It happened when my other property’s tenant moved out, and before a new tenant moved in when there was no one in the house. The sprinklers had started leaking, and since there was no one there, they kept leaking for a few days until my back neighbor saw the water dripping. We rushed to the house, and what was inside was beyond our imagination. The water had gotten everywhere, flooding the entire first floor, and had damaged the wood floors, carpet, and cabinets. I remember the night when we saw the water-stained wood, and I stood there not knowing what to do. I had brought supplies to try to dry the water, but never thought it would be so bad, and I will always remember that scene, of the water-logged floors and carpet beyond help.
To be continued.
If I have even just a little sense,
I will walk on the main road and my only fear
will be of straying from it.
Keeping to the main road is easy,
But people love to be sidetracked.
When the court is arrayed in splendor,
The fields are full of weeds,
And the granaries are bare.
Some wear gorgeous clothes,
Carry sharp swords,
And indulge themselves with food and drink;
They have more possessions than they can use.
They are robber barons.
This is certainly not the way of Tao.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English )
Lao Tzu warned the rulers of the nation not to become the leader of the robbers. No matter how thoroughly Lao Tzu understood the Tao and how well he applied Tao in his life, he still worried and feared how he could introduce Tao to the rulers well.
It is because Tao is broad and flat but people prefer footpaths.
The rulers have a palace, wearing luxury garments and enjoying life themselves, whereas the field is uncultivated, the granaries are empty. They possess more than they need. Lao Tzu gave them harsh words and called them the head of the robbers. He told them that this is contrary to the Tao, not Tao! We can feel from this text how heavy a burden he felt from the rulers and how much caring he felt for the people.
There was a wealthy merchant who, to avoid losing his money, replaced all his wealth with gold and silver. He made a unique paper umbrella, and carefully concealed the gold and silver in the umbrella handle, then he dressed as an ordinary citizen, and got ready to head back to his hometown to retire with this umbrella. However, he accidentally dozed off on the train, and he realized the umbrella had disappeared when he woke up! After carefully observing, this experienced businessman noticed that the package he carried was still in good condition. So he knew that the person who took the umbrella was not a professional thief, but someone who happened to pass by and just took the umbrella by mistake, and that the man should be nearby.
The merchant then settled down there, and he purchased umbrella repair tools to make a living by repairing umbrellas. Two years went by, but he did not find his umbrella. However, as he fixed umbrellas, he learned that people would just buy new umbrellas when they were not worth repairing.
The merchant then changed his banner to “an old umbrella for a new one,” without charge. The people who came to replace their umbrellas came in regularly. Not long after, a middle-aged man with a shabby oil paper umbrella came in in a hurry. The merchant took a look at it, and it was the umbrella that he had been searching for – and the umbrella handle was still intact. He quietly gave the man a new umbrella. After the man left, he went back to his residence to tidy up his belongings and disappeared without a trace.
There is wisdom in calmness. The curator of the museum deliberately made his case loud to everyone, while the merchants handled his loss silently. Their wise actions derived from calm. In the face of sudden incidents, both of them dealt with it calmly, eventually transforming the situation into something better.
In life, learning to be calm is a valuable asset. It will let you know that if there are storms and dark clouds in front of you, anxiety and distress will not only make things worse but sometimes it will make things disastrous. The calm will allow you to stabilize your position and restore your losses.
Calmness is a kind of wisdom, but also a sort of resilience. More than 80 years ago, a fire burned down Thomas Edison’s laboratory. Edison stood on the ruins and said: “Now we can start again!” I believe that anyone who knows this would admire Edison’s words of calmness.