Feb 2014

*elements

"Make the workmanship surpass the materials."
(Ovid)

deer

In mundane everyday life we create North pole and South pole to orient the human mind in relation to the globe. These poles are not objectively real, but for global orientation these are necessary distinctions.

In a similar way, the analytic poles of spirituality are there to establish orientation between man and the whole of existence. The four main analytic poles of the Tao Te Ching are put in relation to each other in passage 25:

"Man follows Earth. Earth follows heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. Tao follows what is natural."

The concept of earth is not limited merely to the minerals, plants, voluptuous women, clouds, trees and animals. Earth is something man must always follow, and so earth includes the totality of all mundane experience. If the mind is familiar with the phenomena, or conditioned by it, then that is earth. Earth is a state of mind, and it includes all the mundane ebbs, flows and cycles we all yield to. To be a man is to be a follower of the earth, and this includes the energetic impulse to cast aside mundane phenomena and ponder life's mysteries through wonder.

It was Socrates who said that wisdom begins in wonder, and this is because it is the psychological act of wonder that causes new mental connections. Man sees the mundane world, but he also gets a glimpse into new possibility.

It was Kierkegaard who wrote:

"Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!"

Kierkegaard is making a clear distinction between Earth and Heaven. Earth offers the pleasures we are familiar with. Heaven, not so familiar. Heaven is a psychological state of excitation that is so conceptual that it goes beyond familiar sensory pleasure.

However, thousands of years have passed, and revolution after revolution are the marks of man pursuing heaven, and the result is that heaven has changed considerably. What was once a possibility is now a fixture on the earth. The trains, planes, automobile and computer we take for granted are no longer possibilities, and the earth of thousands of years ago has passed away.

We are living in a new earth with new challenges, and new possibilities. New heavens.

Man continues to reach for heaven and in all of the myriad and contrasting ways he has always done. The scientists, artists, athletes, coaches and philosophers all wonder and push for new possibilities.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."
Luke 21: 33

Jesus demonstrates his knowledge that mind is fundamental, and that earth and heaven are nothing more than an ever changing interplay caused by the contrasting nature of each other. All worlds (minds) depend on these analytic poles, which are more fundamental than the flux of mere content. The heavens and earths of old make way for the new.

It is the philosophers who know of the fourth power, the Tao, or God. The Tao is the aftermath of man bringing the heavens to earth. Heaven changes the earth, and then in return, the earth changes heaven. The Tao is an eternal interplay between heaven (possibility) and earth (existing conditions).

To ignore the earth is to ignore the Tao, and what goes against the Tao comes to an early end.

"The earthly minded person thinks and imagines that when he prays, the important thing, the thing he must concentrate upon, is that God should hear what he is praying for. And yet in the true, eternal sense it is just the reverse: the true relation in prayer is not when God hears what is prayed for, but when the person praying continues to pray until he is the one who hears, who hears what God is asking for."
(Kierkegaard)

The Tao is a whole state of mind. It is man translating his actions through the lens of both empirical competence (earth) and creative analytic ability (heaven). It is the translation one patiently watches for. The mind and heart have a natural operation and as one develops, unreasoned activity is increasingly fatal.

Only by following the Tao can man free himself from the bondage between the heavens and earths that he once lived through.

East West Synthesis, by Patrick Watts

Earth

krishnamurti

"Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them."







"The few men who possess the wealth of the material things of the earth at the present time are not truly happy."







"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."







"The men of action are, after all, only the unconscious instruments of the men of thought."







"It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want, neither fine clothes, fine houses or fine furniture."







"Women are demons who make men enter hell through the gates of paradise."







"A beautiful woman is paradise for the eyes, hell for the soul, and purgatory for the purse."







"Women are glow wormes bright, that soil our soules, and dampe our reasons light."







"Here's to the light that lies in woman's eyes, And lies, and lies, and lies."







"Man follows Earth. Earth follows heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. Tao follows what is natural."

Water

"Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else."







"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."









"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."









"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."







"A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions - as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all."









"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."







"All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride."







"Negative results are just what I want. They're just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don't."







"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."