A Fool's-Eye View

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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.


  1. Cellphones are one of the most filthy technological advancements that the man has even made.

    "Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards."

  2. Agreed :)
    But that is the way it is.
    How will we deal with it?

  3. 'Search out silence.....'
    There is no need to search silence because it already exists.The only need is to stop creating noise.
    Creating noise needs efforts whereas creating silence needs no efforts. It is already there in the universe.
    A great reminder.We must follow.
    Thanks for sharing your insights.
    God bless.

  4. You are right, Surjit, but I am one of those who is unable to find calm in the midst of chaos.
    I can not live amid noise and haste.
    For me, a forest is as necessary as it is to a woodpecker.

  5. My Chinese "Eight Brocades" master in Wudang was--like most Chinese--on his cellphone a lot, and used it to provide some music to practice by. (I need to post a couple of those images on my blog.)

    My Chinese Tao teacher occasionally found it useful to meditate at busy city intersections (seeking calm amid chaos, conquering noise internal and external).

    I was without a radio in my car for nearly two years; I have one now but have learned how to be "optional" about it. All this technology is conveniently controlled by the user with an on-off switch!

    (But don't ask me abut Korean drama.... ;-} )

  6. The Chinese Wudang teacher is Chinese.
    He doesn't start out with a massive disadvantage to practicing taoism, as westerners, to whom it is an alien concept, do.

    Neither does the Chinese Tao teacher, find it impossible to meditate at busy intersections, as a westerner, having a head filled with advertising, jingles and rock n' roll, might.

    Westerners do not generally buy expensive noise-manufacturing gadgets, only to make habitual use of the "off-switch".

    With a head that is never quiet, it is very much more difficult for a westerner to ever find calm. If calm is, indeed, the desired state, for a would-be taoist.

    I could go on and on, but I think the actual post said it very well, in far fewer, far calmer, words.

  7. Oh, I agree with you.

    Once you learn to control the noise inside your head, maybe it' s easier to control that which is outside.

  8. Easier for me, anyway.
    Almost no noise, is when I am at my best.
    But then I am so irritatingly sensitive to everything.
    I really need to seek out calm.

    Deaf people aren't so unlucky, really.

  9. Mr. Crow, I envy you having a forest, can I say... of your own. Suppose I can, because we REALLY don't own anything in this material world. You're among the rare lucky ones. Teachers (Chinese or otherwise) of chi-kung or meditation stuff can't escape the fact that we are (sigh!) living in a contemporary market economy (i.e. spirituality is, just other things, being priced and consumed). Some of them have to respond to endless cell-phones because being a teacher/coach on these stuff paid little, and that is probably his part time job (like to earn some extras so that he can have a cruise with his family next Summer, like the one before) - assuming that he doesn't have the luxury to do it for free.

    Mainland China is a really noisy place in general, assuming you haven't been there. Probably you haven't, because probably you can't survive for more than five minutes! Many years ago, I visited a famed Taoist Mount in Qingdao, there, one a Sunday, was jammed packed with locals and tourists, yelling and quarreling, with smiling ladies selling all kinds of eatables and non-eatables....

  10. I really enjoyed that comment Paul :)

    You understood what I had tried to say, which is not so very usual.
    The concept that there are actually people out there that know what they are doing, is one that escapes many.

    We know what we know.
    But we don't know what we don't know.
    And nobody, it seems, can enlighten us.
    We - each of us - have to enlighten ourselves, as we go.
    Or not :)

    Strangely, about an hour before you made your comment, my wife asked me if I had any desire to go to China.
    I replied that no, I didn't, given the huge population, and the difficulty one could encounter trying to get away from it, and its accompanying noise and chaos.
    Your response was very timely!

    Thank you for visiting :)

  11. If you MUST go to China (oftentimes we have to follow passionate "advice" from the gentler sex...again, for want of silence and peace :)), I suggest you might consider Anji County, a beautiful eco-city 65 kilometers from Hangzhou. This is the place where Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was shot - featuring towering bamboo forests among high-rising cliffs, with impressive water-falls and everything nature can offer. Smart to avoid Sat/Sun when salaried folks from nearby cities flocked in, otherwise it is a quiet beautiful and clean county (rare in China) where heaven and earth meets - and excellent vege food too! Highly recommended.

  12. hi there,

    I'm not anti-technology. It is here, it is what it is. PArt of our modern flow. It's a problem when we rely on it or it supports laziness.

    Cellphones have become extremely useful. With a small child and living ina remote village, I am thankful for my cellphone. Not throwing the baby out with the bathwater and all that jazz.

    But as a seeker of silence, I felt that when ipods and such things came out, that we were further disconnecting from the Tao. From each other. From the immediate expereince of life.

    Oh, I would recommend China. Breathtaking. Not all chaos and noise at all. :)

  13. I am not anti-technology, either.
    I am anti-full-time-noise-and-distraction.
    I believe it is seriously damaging, on a level where few recognize it.

  14. Yes it is the distraction of it all, of most things these days.. .. where will it lead... or not lead.. will everything homogenize..

  15. Worry not thy little head.
    I should take my own advice :)
    I worry too.
    But I worry less and less.
    The world is a maniac.
    It probably always was.
    But even so, there is sanity to be found,
    by those that seek it out.

  16. "I am not anti-technology, either.
    I am anti-full-time-noise-and-distraction.
    I believe it is seriously damaging, on a level where few recognize it."

    I, for one do recognize this. It is awful. The constant noise.
    Modern society creates noise where it doesn't need to.
    It's as if we can't live without it.
    Silence, for some means despair.
    For me, it means freedom.

  17. As The Dark Lord said:
    "The (Life)Force is strong in this one..."
    Well said. Thank you!


Comments are welcome, while remembering:
Taoism is all about balance, thus:
Politics are not part of taoism.