Taking Refuge in old Classics, a Tell of How Ancient Philosophies Had it All

33Nicolas's picture

My first love was an introduction to Taoism in High School at around 13. It's hard to describe what it did to me or how I felt.

Home. This is it. That makes sense. This is the closest I remember how I felt when I was first introduced to the ancient Chinese philosophy that tries to explain what life is through what it's not and the "Way" as impalpable, ineffable. Taoism has its place in today's world where the ridiculous is worshiped and nonsense adulated.

"Cut off sageliness, cast away wisdom, and then the great thieves will cease. Break the jades, crush the pearls, and petty thieves will no longer rise up. Burn the tallies, shatter the seals, and the people will be simple and guileless. Hack up the bushels, snap the balances in two, and the people will no longer wrangle. Destroy and wipe out the laws that the sage has made for the world, and at last you will find you can reason with the people."

It's hard to argue against this wisdom.

But try as we might, we live in different times than the ancient masters did. As much, we must adapt and take from the old, anchoring our feet in this new reality we are forced to acknowledge.

I take refuge often in Chuang Tzu's famed words. No matter whether he or she exists or not. Who cares. It's the moon we must watch, not the finger-pointing. But this ruthless logic should have us re-examine our way of disempowering ourselves, then complain, then hail saviors that never come.

As we watch the news, it would be wise to see we hear from political careerists and not trained health professionals. Those who are trained health professionals speaking with politicians have long left the confines of their labs and research.

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