Not Letting Go
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Letting go is the natural surrender of the human mind to any involuntary reactivity aimed at removing anything that might threaten or undermine the comfort zones in our lives. But letting go should be a natural instinct, and not a technique that one has to learn and master; it is simply a spontaneous human ability to give up all human attachments that create the unreal world.
It is letting go, and not holding on, that makes us strong because it overcomes the fear of the unknown and the unpredictable. Let go of yesterday to live in today as if everything is a miracle; let go of the world to have the universe.
Tao wisdom is profound human wisdom to understand the spontaneity of all things-that is, all things follow a natural cycle in that what goes up must also come down, just like day is followed by night, and life inevitably leads to death. It is just a simple concept of creation. But many of us still believe that we can control what is uncontrollable, and end up reaching out for the impermanence, always chasing the wind.
Tao wisdom begins with having an empty mind that may help you let go of all attachments to the material world.
"An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us letting go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)
“Letting go is emptying the mundane,
to be filled with heavenly grace.
Blessed is he who has an empty mind.
He will be filled with knowledge and wisdom from the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 9)
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
TAO WISDOM TO LET GO
The Happiness Quest
“The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.” Fyodor Dostoevsky
To live well, one must ask questions about life; after all, living is about asking questions and finding answers to the questions asked, and thereby instrumental in providing a blueprint to continue and savor one’s life journey.
Happiness is the essence of life and living. Therefore, almost each and every one of us is always in quest of happiness. Sadly, to many, the quest for happiness is forever unreachable-just like a carrot-and-stick in front of a mule; the more pain it experiences, the more desire the mule demonstrates to reach out for the forever unreachable carrot in front. Humans are often like that too in their search for happiness.
Why is happiness so elusively unattainable? The answer is surprisingly simple: happiness has much to do with one’s perceptions of life experiences, and thus the thinking mind plays a pivotal role in that respect. That is to say, human happiness and human wisdom are inter-related; without human wisdom, the pursuit of happiness is like wandering in the wilderness without a compass and a roadmap. Indeed, true human wisdom holds the key to opening the door to knowing what true human happiness is.
Human Wisdom to Ask Questions
“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” Thomas Berger
Albert Einstein once said, “Thinking is difficult; that’s why so few people do it.” Thinking is a process of self-intuition through asking relevant questions to create self-awareness and self-introspection. It is the natural habit of the human mind to try to solve problems by asking questions. Through solving problems, the mind can then make things happen. Asking relevant questions is self-empowering human wisdom because it creates the intent to learn, to discover, and then to change. Without change, life becomes static, boring, and ultimately unhappy.
Know the importance of asking questions, and continue to ask meaningful and relevant questions throughout your life.
“Am I happy?” This may be one of the most important questions that nearly all of us ask ourselves every now and then throughout our life journey. After all, happiness is one of the most important elements in the art of living well.
To live well, we need to ask ourselves many other self-probing questions as we continue our life journey in order to find out: who we really are, and not who we think or wish we were; what we really need, and not what we want from life; why certain things happened while certain things did not happen to us. Without knowing the answers to those questions asked, we can never be genuinely happy because we will always be looking for the unreal and the unattainable, just like the mule forever reaching out for the unreachable carrot in front.
In many ways, the human brain is like a computer program. Your whole being is like the computer hardware with the apparatus of a mind, body, and senses. The lenses through which you see yourself, as well as others and the world around you, are the software that has been programmed by your thoughts, your past and present experiences, as well as your own desires and expectations. In other words, you--and nobody else--have programmed your own mindset; all these years, you may have been trapped in a constricted sense of the self that has prevented you from knowing and being who you really are. That is to say, your “conditioned” mind may have erroneously made you "think" and even "believe" that you are who and what you are right now; but nothing could be further from the truth.
Now, by asking relevant questions, you may have the human wisdom to "change" that pre-conditioned mindset, enabling you to separate the truths from the half-truths or even the myths that you have created for yourself voluntarily or involuntarily all these years.
Spiritual Wisdom to Seek Answers
“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Ronald Reagan
When we ask, we may also receive-just as Jesus said: “Seek and you shall find.” That said, many seek but still do not find, just as many ask questions but do not receive answers because they do not have spiritual wisdom to guide them in what they seek and in the questions they ask. To illustrate, millions of people lined up for the Power Ball lottery, but they did not find what they were looking for. So, asking questions and seeking answers require not only human wisdom expressed in the intent to ask, but also, more importantly, spiritual wisdom manifested in the willingness to receive the answers. Without both, there is no true happiness.
The word "happiness" has its origin from the Icelandic word "happ" meaning "chance" or "luck." That is to say, there is no absolute guarantee in life that the search for happiness will result in finding it, although nearly everyone seeks happiness as one of the main goals and life purposes.
Seeking answers to all the questions asked requires spiritual wisdom to show us that we are all living in a material world full of problems, that solving others' problems does not help us solve our own, and that solving our own problems does not guarantee we will not have any more problems to be solved. Spiritual wisdom can only be intuited in the presence of God.
Tao Wisdom to Let Go
Once you begin to look inside yourself and ask self-intuitive questions, you will begin to know your needs and not just your wants; you will see yourself being connected to all and every one, just as the English poet John Donne says: "no man is an island."
Focusing on others means you may become more compassionate, and you will become less attached to the material things that define who you are.
Remember, attachments to the material world are sources of human miseries and sufferings. Letting go is the only way out to human happiness.
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau
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