Originally posted: March 5, 2012 by remingtoncooney |
Taoist, you are.
I would recommend visiting the House-keeping post before reading this, in order to come to terms with the fundamentals of Taoist thought. That being said, the House-keeping section focuses on dealing with the Tao of ‘then’. Let’s now bring it out of medieval China and into modern-day America, circa 1977. As I said, The Tao is all encompassing; even Hollywood is not able to escape it. This brings me to the modern-day analogy that I feel best demonstrates the Tao: Star Wars.
In Star Wars, the Jedi knights refer to something known as ‘the force’. Well, as far as I’m concerned, the force is an accurate representation of the Tao at work, and the Jedi Knight parallels the Taoist sage. Pop on your favorite one: The Empire Strikes Back, A New Hope, or (God forbid) Attack Of The Clones. Observe how Obi-Wan never runs around or panics during battle. He is methodical, meticulous, calm, and eloquent at all times. He remains entirely present by trusting the force to guide him, and as a result, he does not have to project himself into the past or the future. By trusting ‘the force’ he becomes a vessel for the force to fill and, when confronted, the force allows him to fight with minimal action or effort on his part. Rarely do we see him sweat, lose rhythm, lose breath, trip up, or lose direction. He is the epitome of a grounded and centered being.
Or take everyone’s favourite, green pocket-rocket: Master Yoda. Yes, despite being vertically challenged, and suffering from a severe case of dyslexia, he still manages to lift objects a hundred times his size, and to speak profound (jumbled) words of wisdom. Quite a feat! He is able to do this because he is a vessel of ‘the force’, much like that body of water in the riverbed is a vessel of the Tao (refer to House-keeping for further insight.)
Now we turn to Han Solo. Love him or hate him, he is a messy man; constantly falling over, getting himself into trouble, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, sweating profusely, out of breath, bumping into his hairy, growling partner as they vigorously attempt to repair their various man-made inventions that repetitively breakdown….
You catch my drift. Obi Wan is aligned with the Tao. Han Solo is not.
Time for a role play:
Tomorrow, the minute you wake up and step out of bed, look into the mirror and envisage yourself as Obi Wan Kanobi (or if you’re a lady…Obi Wan Kanobina….Kanobessy….you know what I mean.) Have that moment with yourself where you reaffirm your status; say, “I am a Jedi Knight, I am aligned with force (Tao).” You are the vessel. Allow the force (Tao) to fill you as you turn on the shower, brush your teeth, have your morning bowel movement. Everything is so much easier! You are using minimal action to undertake every activity and every activity you undertake is done so with a sense of complete presence and grounding. In other words, you are not thinking about the future and you are not recollecting on the past. You are simply in the moment, in union with the force (Tao), trusting that it will guide you each step of the way throughout your day. When you come to a decision-making crossroad, instead of rationalizing, listen to your gut-feeling; to your intuition, to your heart, and go with that decision without questioning it. You are a Jedi for God’s sake! Do not be tied down by silly common-man making decision skills. Use the force! Get creative! Wave your arms about and attempt to telekinetically lift objects, for all I care. (Yes, you may lose a couple of friends along the way, but think of what you are gaining!)
Still having a hard time making that intuitive decision? Turn to your surroundings. Look to nature. Which way is the wind blowing? How does the bird-song sound? Tune yourself to the Tao like the Jedi tunes himself to the force. They are essentially one and the same after all.
So, you have reached the end of your day. Your Jedi role is now over. Hang up your light saber, Skype with Yoda, and get to bed.
The next day, try Han Solo on for size. Shoot a gun, get angry and shout a lot, trip over things, become wooed by random women (or men for all the Han Solina’s out there), find a friend who suffers from Hypertrichosis…
Make sure you get a feel of both characters, take some notes, and let me know how it goes.
Personally, I much prefer being Obi-Wan.
May the Tao be with you.