Tag: the way

Tao Te Ching – Verse 1 (part 1) – with Commentary + How it Relates to God and the Holy Spirit

“A way that can be walked is not the Way
A name that can be named is not the Name
Tao is both Named and Nameless
As Nameless, it is the origin of all things
As Named, it is the mother of all things”

To understand the Tao Te Ching, it is important to first understand the title. Ching basically means “book.” So it is the Book of Tao and Te. 

Now, Tao and Te are a bit more difficult to describe, as the very nature of “Tao” is to be beyond description or mental understanding. Tao is often translated as “the way” as it is here in this verse. The first line actually reads “The Tao that is the Tao is not the Eternal/True Tao” (Tao ku Tao fei chang Tao in Chinese). That is to say the Tao that you are thinking of, is not what Tao is really like. That is because the real existing Tao, is something far beyond our mortal brain’s comprehension or imagination. I will talk about “Te” and how they relate to God and the Holy Spirit at the end.

The next line goes on the say that when you name something, it does not sum up what the thing is in actually (represented by the capital “N” in the last Name). So the first words of the Tao Te Ching serve to tell us that THE CONCEPTION YOU HAVE IN YOUR MIND do not represent TRUE reality.

Tao is BEYOND DUALITY, as it can be both named and nameless.

Nameless“, is nothingness, from which we understand that reality sprung (from the singularity – basically nothing – before the big bang). It is the “origin of all things.” … True enough.

As “Named“, once it has existence, it is the “mother” of all things. A similar role (in that they are both CREATING) but the word “mother’ implies a more physical and less spiritual origin. I think this is to say that Tao is the creator of both the spiritual and physical realms.

Now, if Tao sounds a lot like God to you, well… me too. In the Quran (the holy book of Islam) it says that God sent a messenger to every peoples. It is likely that Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching, might have been one of those messengers, in my mind.

Now to talk about “Te” which is the EXPRESSION of Tao. Tao cannot be conceptualized or divided. A PART of Tao is not the TRUE Tao. So, when Tao interacts with things, this expression is called Te. I think what Lao Tzu was talking about, in Biblical/Quranic terms is the Holy Spirit. Is not the Holy Spirit the expression of God’s will on Earth?

So the “Tao Te Ching” translates (one way) to “The Book of Tao and its Expression,” or “The Book of God and the Holy Spirit” if you prefer 🙂 (Which I do!)

We’ll find that the Tao Te Ching does not always express Tao in ways that correlate directly with the Biblical conception of God. But I think it’s important to remember that God (the TRUE God in reality, not our ideas and conceptions about Him) is far beyond our mortal mind’s ability to conceive of. And, as God cannot be divided, if you don’t understand God in His ENTIRETY, then you don’t really understand God at all.

Frustrating isn’t it! Ah, but it makes things interesting and reminds us to stay humble.

May the Force (God?!) be with you. Hmmm?

~Jones

Why create ART??

I think EVERYTHING you do is art.

Now this isn’t one of those cutesy little touchy-feely mottos. Allow me to explain…

I’ve always liked art, drawing mostly. I never understood why I did it though, so I never took it very seriously. THEN I STARTED TO QUESTION IT MORE DEEPLY

What I discovered is the only thing that all the arts have in common, be it visual arts, performance arts, martial arts, WHATEVER, is that someone has to be expressing themselves when it is done. None of these things can be DONE BY ROBOTS. Even if a robot did it, the real artist would be the person who programed the robot. So I discovered that art is about EXPRESSION.

Now think about anything you do? Isn’t it an EXPRESSION OF YOURSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL? Don’t you wash the dishes in your own unique way? Don’t you walk with a certain stride that is not like other peoples? Doesn’t your tone of voice and mannerisms express a DIFFERENT truth than those of any other human being?? umm… DUH.

So then in my opinion everything you do is ART.

When you are conscious of creating art in all things, however, then you become an ARTIST OF YOUR LIFE. One great thing about art is that it is beautiful and appealing to people. Why not do the dishes, walk, talk and act in a way that is the most beautiful version of your own personal expression? The other great thing about art is that you learn more about yourself from analyzing it. Your subconscious truths are always affecting everything you do. When you record something on paper or in video or whatever, thereby creating art, you also create a permanent record of your inner being. By studying its details you can know more about yourself.

Why know more about yourself? Because the more you know, the more power you have to be the person that you truly want to be.

~Jones

The POWER of SUBTLETY

Today I’d simply just like to point out the INCREDIBLE POWER OF SUBTLETY.

All the most powerful people/entities use subtlety. The MEDIA/ADVERTISEMENTS use subtle messages to influence your decision making. The POLITICIANS do this too, and often they’ll create an obvious distraction on one issue while they attend subtly to another. The DEVIL does this by whispering subtle lies and distortions of the truth, but never so blatant that you realize how he’s changing your thought patterns. And of course GOD is the must subtle of all things, and yet He is the most powerful.

Why is there such great power in subtly?

Because you can’t oppose what you can’t identify.

~Jones

TWO THINGS I LEARNED from playing CIVILIZATIONS V and HOW THEY APPLY TO LIFE

Famous Japanese strategist Miyamoto Musashi explains in his Book of Five Rings that dancing, poetry, art, music, flower arrangement, etc. are NOT THE WAY OF STRATEGY but that the WAY can be recognized in all things that adhere to the doctrines of nature. I find this to be TRUE EVEN OF VIDEO GAMES, and one that I have find myself toiling away on for hours is Civilizations V. This game is a civilization simulator, in which you get to basically run a nation from ancient times to the modern era…

There are 2 THINGS I’VE DISCOVERED playing this game that I find interestingly applicable to life:

1) BUILD A SOLID FOUNDATION, even when it looks like you’re wasting time and falling behind. While other go-getters might prosper by trying to take the easy route and exploiting every opportunity, eventually, IF THEY’RE QUALIFICATION ARE POOR IT WILL BE DISCOVERED. In Civilizations this means spending the extra time to look for a good spot to place your city, scouting the area, and fostering your resources. However, this DOES NOT mean to turn a blind eye to a great opportunity (like conquering a weak city-state mwahaha!). In life, it is important to  research, educate yourself, and foster your skills before jumping into something risky.

2) FOCUS ALL YOUR RESOURCES IN ONE DIRECTION. In Civilizations this means you choose if your nation will focus on culture, military, gold, etc. early on, and you work diligently into that direction. It is not as advantageous to spread your resources thin, for that tends to foster mediocracy. In life, your resources are your time, smarts, skills, and yes, GOLD. If you can focus these all on accomplishing one goal, you will be HIGHLY MORE SUCCESSFUL than if you try to do a bunch of things at once (trust me, I tend to work this way and it is not the most productive).

In Civilizations I’ve found that the most generally successful strategy is to create a small, strong, and fortified nation, and then spread out into the rest of the world from that solid foundation. In the same way BUILD YOURSELF INTO A STRONG, SHINING CAPITAL and then from the abundance and safety of  your core you will be able to CONQUER ANY OBSTACLE.

Have courage but watch out for barbarians, my friends.

~Jones