A Fool's-Eye View

You will find no politics here. But you'll find some conservative taoist views here.
The secret wisdom of crows, foxes, bats, woodpeckers, wasps, mice, spiders, snakes, fools, and, actually, all living things...

And for the latest writings, try: Secrets of Life forum.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Introduction to Tao

Tao may not be defined, although people are always trying to define it.
The dictionary gives it a shot:
     ...the course of life and its relation to eternal truth.
     ...that in virtue of which all things happen or exist.

And here's a very interesting definition: 
     ...it is the open road of escape from the solitary confinement of individuality.
Taoism is easier to define, since it describes what certain people do:
The dictionary, again:
...philosophical system developed by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events.

And according to a crow:
Tao: That which one did not realize one was part of.
Taoism: The one thing that one should never do.
Taoist: One who still thinks in terms of labels.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Fool welcomes you...

...to the final post in this series
Everything here is original. No quotes, no re-runs.
It exists for one reason:
Online "taoists" are thick on the ground. 
But taoism is exceedingly rare. 
Few understand it, still fewer demonstrate it. 
So here it is, experienced for real, all I  have learned, 
from the source, itself.  As seen by a fool.

That's right: a Fool
For what is a crow, if not a fool? 
Is This Fool a taoist?
NO! It is NOT
It is a FOOL
But even better: it is a crow :) 
Who will be the first to say:
"He's doing it wrong"? 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tao. Twenty Five.

Asked "What is tao?", 
the Master only smiles. 

His answer is his smile.

No words convey it, no teachings need be quoted.
No thoughts demand framing, no sermons clamor to be preached.

Why is this?

Tao does not live inside words, or thoughts,
manners or actions.

Anyone may learn words, and succeed in repeating them back.
Many do.
Anyone may learn to be, and merge mysteriously into the moment.
But few do.

His answer is his smile.
Tao is smiling him.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Calm: Twenty Four.

The Master does not own an iPod. 
Thus his mind is his own. 

He doesn't own much else, either.
No mobile phone, no mp3 player, no laptop...

Observe people, everywhere:
see how they bop and jerk to the beat of  various stimuli.
Hear the drone of radios in every workplace,
every restaurant, surgery, dental clinic, hospital.
Even parking lots have piped music.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to escape this rhythmic intrusion.
People even carry it around with them, wherever they go.
Madness results.

Search out silence, and the muted sounds of nature.
Your mind will become your own again.
And you will sleep better.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Charity: Twenty Three.

The Master may choose to offer help. 
He may also choose not to.

One may think an enlightened being would be disposed to run around helping people.
But an enlightened being might see things differently.
What is help anyway?

Industry is necessary to survival.
One may industriously perform those tasks that are necessary to provide food and shelter.
Or one may choose, by inactivity, to be cold and hungry.

Seeing someone who is cold and hungry,
The Master may decide to be charitable.
Or he may see that this coldness and hunger are the inevitable result of laziness and sloth.

Help is only help if it helps.
It is of no help at all, if it results only in dependency.

The Master is not charitable in order to feel good about himself.
He feels neither good, nor bad.
He is the Master.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Identity: Twenty Two.

The Master has no identity. 
None know who he is. 
He left who he was 
at the gates of heaven.

Enlightenment is a state that none may achieve
unless they are able to leave their identity behind.

People speak often of ego, not knowing what ego is.
Ego is who you think you are.

Who you are, seems important to those who have an identity.
While having no importance at all, to those who do not.

Abandoning your identity can fill you with a great dread.
With courage, and trust, you may discard yourself.

To discover that, without yourself,
you are far, far more than you were before.

Serenity: Twenty One.

The Master welcomes mosquitoes and allows them to feed. 
Others think him mad. 
Others itch and scratch, 
While The Master remains serene.

Mosquitoes. Who could like them?
I have never met anyone who does.

I have come to see mosquitoes as things of fragile beauty.
Teachers who teach without teaching.

Like anyone, I used to jump up and down, swatting and cursing.
Then I would itch, and then I would scratch.

Now I share my blood with them: realizing I have plenty to share.
I wait for them to finish, since to interrupt might injure or kill.

And now I do not itch.
And now I do not scratch.

Pretense: Twenty.

The Master finds it easier to be what he is, 
than to try to pretend he is what he is not.

There is value in doing what comes naturally.
There is less value in expending energy, unnecessarily.

Being what you are requires no effort,
unless you have forgotten what you are.

Remembering what you are, may be difficult, requiring effort.
But this effort is well spent, and need never be repeated.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Learning: Nineteen.

There is nothing to learn.
That is why it is so difficult to learn it.

Enlightenment arrives with a delighted laugh.
The realization that it is all so simple!

And it really is.
There is no great secret, no arcane ritual to perform.
Nothing to learn and nothing to know.
The abandonment of every notion leads to contentment.

Let it all go.
Be calm.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Travelling: Eighteen.

The Master does not engage in meditation... 
...any more...

Meditation is like a bus trip.
Having a goal in mind, we must undertake a journey.

We board the bus, and quietly sit.
Our usual thoughts are let go, as we notice new and more interesting things go by, outside the windows.

By and by, we near our destination.
We return to the moment, arise, and disembark.

There we are.
Our journey is complete.

It is necessary to stop, if the journey is ever to be completed.

Ownership: Seventeen.

The Master owns nothing, 
but has everything.

Ownership is an important part of any civilization.
Money is paid, a deed of ownership given in exchange.
It is important to remember that this is an illusion...

I own a small forest.
But it could be more accurately said
that the small forest owns me.

Lying back and gazing into the treetops,
filled with birds, squirrels and raccoons,
I am aware:

I do not own this small forest:
I am the forest, and the forest is me.

Truth: Sixteen.

Truth may not get you what you want. 
Truth will get you what you get.

What do you want?
Be careful: Wanting something may be dangerous.

Speaking truthfully has consequences.
Just like speaking untruthfully.

By speaking the truth, you will never deviate from your own, unique path.
By not speaking truth, you have left the path of what could have been, and embarked upon the path that was never yours to travel.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Words Of Wisdom: Fifteen.

Words of Wisdom are a description of wisdom. 
They are not the wisdom itself.

Read, reflect, contemplate, digest.
Here are words that best describe a life.
They are but entertainment.

In these words are tears and blood,
joy and sorrow.
In these words are experience.
But not yours.

Wisdom, if sought, can be found.
Its price is high.
It will cost you your life.
But, happily, you can afford this.

Without experience, there can be no wisdom.

May your life be filled with challenge.
May you live in interesting times.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mind: Fourteen.

The master thinks when he chooses to. 
He is able to choose not to.

The mind is very useful:
It is able to look back.
It is able to look forward.
But it is not able to see where it is.

Looking back, it can learn from what has been.
Looking forward, it can learn what might be.
Like an eye, it has a blind spot:
It is unable to see itself, or where it is.

Awareness allows existence.
Without it, there is no present moment.

Stopping the mind allows the stopping of time.
Awareness is all that remains.

The master uses his mind as he chooses to.
But his awareness is where he lives.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Master: Who is he, anyway?


The master does not know who he is. 
He has forgotten, while discovering what he is. 

Sometimes people ask if "the master" to whom I often refer, is me.
No. He is not. Although, sometimes, he might be...

Mastery is something to which I aspire.
Knowing full well, that I miss the mark more often than I hit it.
If, at moments, I am the master, the last thing I consider, is to call myself that.

The master is an attainable state.
Like the weather:
Calm, sunny, benign.
Or a cyclone, wielding unimaginable fury.

The Crow - the actual crow - after whom I pattern a part of myself, was a master.
But he did not know it.
How could he? He was only being what he was.

And we, foolish people, concerned with who we are, and how others see us:
We might do well to consider the crow: we alone, it seems, have no idea of what we are.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wisdom: Thirteen.

The master has acquired wisdom. 
Being the master, he understands he can not share it. 

Paradox is the nature of reality, the essence of truth.
One may not seek out "the meaning of life" from anybody else.
One may, indeed, cross paths with someone who knows the "meaning".
But being told what it is, will inevitably  not understand it.

One may - at best - be guided by a master.
But one must make the journey, alone.

Wisdom can never be understood, as wisdom,
without wisdom being already present.

Taoism is a hands-off experience.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Honesty: Twelve.

The master is honest. 
Through his honesty, he knows himself. 

The wise man has discovered the value of honesty.
He understands that, far from rendering himself at a disadvantage,
his honesty renders him invulnerable.

The honest man fears nothing, for he deals with reality.
He lives in a world of what is, while others live in a world of what is not.

Few will understand him, and many may despise him,
for they can not trust him to be like them.

The honest man does not need to be liked, or even understood.
For he is able to like himself, for what he knows he is.
Better: he is able to respect himself, for his unchanging honesty.

One is unable to teach the value of honesty to one's children,
unless one is honest, oneself.

Becoming honest is no different from ending any other addiction:
Practicing awareness of dishonesty, one becomes less and less dishonest.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Am: Eleven.

The word means "I Am". 
The name of God.

I will...
I shall...
I may...

No you won't. Don't kid yourself.
If you want something to happen, you will be: now, in the present moment.
"I will be more patient" means most probably that you will not be.
"I Am more patient" means that you are.

I Am is Now. Manifest. Made so.
I will is nothing more than a maybe.

Every conscious being has the means to make it so.
By not being here and now, few do.

I Am is entirely taoist, as it is Christian, and every other God-based belief.
Tao itself - as its entirety - Is. 
If Tao could speak, as humans do, it might well declare: 
I Am. 

But the entirety is not a personality of any kind,
thus it is for we humans to declare, for ourselves:
I Am. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Leadership: Ten.

The greatest leader does not get people marching. 
He is the one that lets them know they can stop. 

A charismatic leader moves people.
People fall in with his wishes and follow where he leads.
An authoritarian leader forces people to his will.
Ego commands action.
The best leader leads by his own example.
He stops, and is content to be.

And be.

Notice the need to conform, impress, placate, control, evade, all fall away.
Stop trying to get away with things and to give the impression of being what you are not.
Become what you are.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Meetings: Nine.

The wise man meets everyone, 
as if for the first time.

When we meet someone for the first time,
we probably know nothing about them.
So we are likely to accord them a degree of respect
that may be omitted when meeting someone we know.

If there have been problems with people we know,
we may react to those problems as if they are current.
This has the effect of bringing the past into the present.
The problem continues, or becomes a bigger problem.

Imagining that one "knows" a person,
may be very far from the truth.
People can change unexpectedly,
for better, or for worse.

Meet everyone without expectations.
Offer the benefit of the doubt.
Extend your own goodwill.
While being ready, willing, and able
to defend yourself, should it be necessary.

Nothingness: Eight.

The Shaman is content with nothingness.
Nothingness is what he works with.
Collecting the unseen and entering into it,
until he, himself, is nothingness.

The Shaman, the Medicine Man, the Master:
they all begin as men.
Noticing the nature of nothing,
they are drawn to it, and are engaged by it.

Calmness. Silence. Emptiness. Space.
The absence of form, awaiting creation.
A linen canvas before that first brush-stroke.
The eternal silence preceding the tick of time.

Anything is possible.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Six: Compassion.

In dealing with anger, have compassion.
Confronted by force, employ calm.
In facing argument, offer serenity.
Present no target and you will never be fired upon.

Like arranging flowers: defense is an art.
The surest defense is knowing how never to need it.
Anger is everywhere. In you and outside you.
You cannot change the world: but you can change yourself .

Compassion for yourself lessens your proneness to anger.
Becoming less angry, you will have more compassion for others.
Anger added to anger brings disaster.
Compassion added to anger, brings peace.

Remain calm, in the face of unreason.
Like any storm, it will pass.
Serenity is all that remains.

Move deftly aside from the approaching storm; do not resist it.
Be elsewhere, without moving.
Attack always needs a target:
By not being the target, what can harm you?

Ai-Ki-Do is the perfect defense.
Having the ability to defend yourself against attack,
teaches the unlikeliness of needing to use it.

Wisdom: Seven.

Wisdom may be offered, never forced. 
Wisdom may be misunderstood, or rejected. 
Wisdom may be wisdom, or not. 
Wisdom remains wisdom, if it is wisdom. 

The wise man knows what the unwise do not.
That is what makes him wise.
The unwise can not see what they can not see.
The wise man may only offer a vision of the unseen.
The unwise man may accept this, or not.

Being unable to see a thing,
does not cause the unseen thing to not exist.
Refusing to accept that it may exist,
in no way removes it from existing.

What is, is.
What is not, is not.
Free will allows a man, wise, or unwise, to choose
what may or may not exist in his life.

Wisdom is folly, and folly is wisdom,
depending upon the use to which he puts his free will.
He chooses what is wise, and what is not.
The wise man offers what he knows, because he knows it.

Not to cause others to think him wise.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Control: Six.

The Master knows he controls nothing. 
Thus he never exerts control. 
How could he exert something he does not have? 
Not having control, he can never lose it.

What do people fear the most of all?
It might well be: losing control.
Why this could be so terrifying, has never been very clear to me,
but I have heard, again and again, that the very thought scares people.

Losing control, or being out of control,
seems to be the worst case scenario,
for individuals, animals, organizations, even governments.
And yet: control itself is no more than an illusion.

A champion athlete may exhibit superb control.
But he does not own it.
At any moment, an asteroid may fall on him.
The world may explode.
He may have an epileptic seizure.
The police may come and arrest him...
All these things, and everything else that might happen,
are completely beyond his control.

Why would anyone imagine they are ever in control?
Why would anyone be so afraid of being out of control?

Calm is the closest state humans may achieve to control.
Clear focus, and attentiveness to the present moment.
When this focus is lost, as it sometimes is, disaster rarely ensues.
Calm, given a chance, will reassert itself, soon enough.
Control leads to unreasonable fear.
Calm leads to calm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Five: Patience.

The master has nothing to say. 
If you can wait for him 
to have something to say, 
then you have learned patience. 

If you can have patience, 
you will have something to say. 

When you do not need to say it, 
you have become the master.

The master says little. When we are able to be comfortable
with this lack of saying (or doing), a pleasant peace fills us.
Impatience is only discomfort at the absence of action.
To simply be without doing - or saying - anything,
is a great achievement, and not to be taken lightly.
Few people are patient, although when you become patient,
one more person will have become so...

Patience brings its own rewards:
In no hurry to ramble, your words will contain more substance.
Each one will carry the weight of a hundred.
Finding you do not feel the need to say anything,
you find yourself already across the uncrossable barrier
between un-knowing and Knowing.

Reaching this state,
you find the master you have admired,
will, in fact, have become you...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Four: Breathing.

What is Tao?
Tao is like air.
Without it, we die;
little, by little.

When we do not breathe,
we dishonor Tao.
By dishonoring Tao,
we dishonor ourselves.

When we breathe,
Tao fills us with life.
When we breathe consciously,
we become conscious.
When we become conscious,
Tao breathes us.

What is Tao?
It cannot be defined by words.
As children, we are not aware of breathing a mixture of oxygen,
nitrogen and carbon dioxide, yet still we breathe it.
Only after we learn about respiration
do we become aware of what is going on.
We all make use of Tao - in our limited way - without knowing of it.
When we learn about what is actually going on,
we move into another realm of knowing.

Breathing is the Way To God.
Incorrect breathing is the way to death.
Knowing, or unknowing.
Breath is what makes the two different.
Correct breathing begins the process of perfect health,
which frees us from the pain of the world and opens us to knowing.
By not breathing correctly, we miss all meaning,
and end our days hardly having lived at all.

Becoming aware of our breathing,
we become aware that something is breathing us.
This something is Tao.
Awareness of this moves us from the realm of the physical
into the realm of the Spiritual.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ego: Five.

What is you ?
What is You? 
You is what you are when you do not see yourself.
You is what you are when you see nothing but yourself.

Ego does not know you and so must manufacture You.
The manufactured You compares everything to its non-existent self.
It knows nothing of itself, and knowing nothing, is a fool.
Ego stands apart, and judges all it sees.

You are aware of your own divinity,
and knowing this, have no need to be anything but what you are.
You compare nothing to yourself, knowing you are what you are .
You know you are part-of.

Disappear into your experience, leaving no trace of yourself.
Become entirely what you are a part of.
Let there be no distance between what you are and what it is.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Words: Four.


Words do not lead to Being;
Being does not lead to words.
They exist apart from each other; 
linked by a fragile path of goodwill.

Words must be used to communicate
that which can not be communicated by words.
Thus it is wise to not listen too closely to the words.

Like stepping stones, they must remain intact.
Lest the Way become muddled and unclear.

Like stepping stones, they are nothing but stones.
It is the Way they form, that leads to Being.

Hearing words, you will misunderstand;
The Way will be lost.
Goodwill is the sense that must be used
to see The Way, through the words.

Three: Immortality.

Valuing a thing,
the best we can do for it
is to let it go.

Valuing ourselves,
our best course
is to let our selves go.

Letting go of self
sets self free.

Freed, self  joins with the Tao.
This can be called immortality.

Putting value upon a thing, then we want to own it.
If we already own it, then we want to keep it.

When we come to truly value ourselves,
why not free ourselves of limits? 
Letting go of ourselves, we find great freedom.
Removing all self-imposed limits,
there is nothing we can not do.

Finally we understand that death itself is meaningless.
Having no limits means that death, too, is no limit.
Immortality involves living each moment, so that time
no longer contains us within limits we have already let go of.

The Way: Three.


The Way is the destination. 
A single step suffices. 
The removal of distance 
along with everything else.
The Destination is The Way. 

What seems so far is not far at all.
Thinking only makes it appear so.
When thought is removed,
the distance is also removed.
One takes a single step
and arrives.

The sage is nothing special.
Even he knows that.
He says impossible things,
to those who consider such things impossible.

To him, nothing is impossible.
He has no limits.
He has come to know the limitless,
and has attained it,
in a single step.

The Way: Two.



The Way leads to The Destination. 
The Way is Known. 
The Way may be Followed. 
The Way is The Destination. 

There are many ways. Each leads to its destination.
A destination is chosen and the way to it is taken.
There may be many ways to arrive at some destinations.
Or there may be only one.

Any destination that can be imagined may be reached using mind.
The Destination that is unimaginable, is unreachable using mind.
To reach The Destination, mind must be set aside.
To reach it, one must follow The Way.

Set aside the mind.
Subborn it to the rule of nothingness.
When nothingness is all there is,
The Way is clearly seen.

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles
begins with a single step.
The Journey Of A Thousand Miles
ends with a single step.

Mind: One.

The mind seeks proof. 
The mind seeks context. 
Spirit needs no such things.

Questions are puzzles created by the mind.
It needs answers because it can not supply them itself.
It seeks to know, because it does not know.
It needs to argue for itself, because it does not trust itself.

Spirit has no questions: it is part of the source.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two: Understanding.

What is it, to understand a thing?
It is to stand under a thing.
Standing under can be called humility,
and with humility comes understanding.

The ocean stands lower than the world.
Thus it is humble.
Men sail upon it, seeking themselves,
and are humbled by its power.
Humbling themselves before the humble,
they are doubly blessed.
They come to understand the ocean;
the ocean comes to understand them.

The Tao stands under everything;
thus everything is understood.
This is the great mystery.

How hard we try to understand what understanding is:

Standing under a thing, we gain a new perspective upon it. If
we only stand back and study, what can we really know? To fully
understand a thing, we must, in fact, become the thing. This is far
easier if we move as close as possible to the thing. And stand
under it. This is humility...

Humility puts itself beneath - under - a thing or a being.
Humility is a state to strive for, since it opens us to whatever
is, as opposed to whatever might have been, if only we had been
more humble.

We do not think of God as being humble.
Yet God, like the Tao, makes no claims for Himself / itself.
Only religions claim that God is this or that.

If you would understand, then stand under.

One: Mind.

The mind is like a knife:
It can be sharpened;
It can be dulled.
It can even be broken.
It can cut through illusion,
or spread it like butter.
It can be sheathed or unsheathed,
turned out or turned in.
It can shape things from other things;
it can destroy what can not be replaced.
Your mind is a useful tool.
It is not who you are.

The Tao has no mind.
It does not think.
It does not cut.
It simply is.

Who are you? What are you? It can take a lifetime to find out.
You are a body, and a mind.  But you are more than this. 
Much, much more...

We separate ourselves - the body from the mind. 
We all do this. We learn that thought is what creates action.
Our brains command our bodies to move: our bodies move.
Before every action, therefore, there takes place a thinking process. 
Everything we do is done only after we think about it first.
Why is this? 
Why do not the two work together, since they are, in fact, together?
The answer is that they can.
The master finds that mind and body are merely vehicles for Spirit, which, when finally allowed to lead, does a far better job than either mind or body. 
Spirit is the invisible command-center that directs all thought and action, once allowed to.
It brings together everything,  allowing everything - within and without - to interact as designed.