Discernment

If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.
If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.
If you want to take something,
you must first allow it to be given.
This is called the subtle perception
of the way things are.

The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.
Let your workings remain a mystery.
Just show people the results.

Tao Te Ching #36 (trans. Stephen Mitchell)

The True Masters

Discernment comes not from the mind, not from reading a book or following a set of rules or rituals, but through the spirit. Learning to Surf the Tao means acquiring the skill to bypass thought, and listen instead to the Voice within. Our sages, the true masters, attempted to teach this; though their words might be different, the essence is the same. “Be still, and know that I am God”(Psalms 46:10); “Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of the Way.” (Buddha); “When the five senses and the mind are still, and reason itself rests in silence, then begins the Path supreme.” (Katha Upanishad); “Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace.” (Lao Tzu); “If your have not liked yourself to true emptiness, you will never understand The Art of Peace.” (Ueshiba).

‘Tao’ means ‘Way’, and it was originally meant to set forth a Way of Life, not as a ‘religion’ or sect. Buddha’s original teachings mirror this philosophy. Indeed the words of Jesus also point this Way, but in all of these cases their words were added to, and shaped around differing sects and worldly institutions of power and control. Instead, the Way is far simpler. Live in love, and follow its divine essence in every aspect of life. If you do, you can begin to Know for yourself, who the ‘good guys’ are. They teach this simple truth, despite the paradox of trying to put the Unknowable into words, for as Lao Tzu wrote, “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”

The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding, like ice about to melt.
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.

Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.

(Tao Te Ching, verse 15, trans. Fia-fu Feng and Jane English, Vintage Books Edition, 1972.) For more on my website, check out http://www.surfingthetao.com/The_Good_Guys.htm

Aliens: Gods or Demons?

In my book I discuss the alien phenomenon; that some kind of non-human visitors, custodians, or watchers, have been among us, perhaps for a very long time. Authors such as William Bramley (“The Gods of Eden”), Jim Marrs (“Alien Agenda”), David Icke (“Children of the Matrix”), Picknett & Prince (“The Stargate Conspiracy”), Whitley Streiber (“Communion”), and Erich von Daniken (“Chariot of the Gods”) suggest this is the case. They cite UFO sightings around the world, ‘abduction’ experiences, and secret government facilities and cover-ups. Strange evidence found in cave paintings, medieval art, the Nazca lines, and crop circles, as well as artifacts like the Dropa stones (found in China), the large stone spheres found in Central America, even megaliths like the pyramids and Stonehenge, leave us with an uneasy feeling that there is, or was, something going on we aren’t aware of. Authors Colin Wilson and Rand Flem-Ath in their book “The Atlantis Blueprint” point to evidence that these ancient megaliths are connected, arranged around the Earth along powerful geodesic ley lines, “critical points on the earth’s surface where the ancients could tap a universal energy flowing through the planet.” (p. xxiii)

Today many people believe these ‘aliens’ and/or ‘ancient gods’ are still around us, or perhaps on their way back to us; they work hard to spread awareness of these strange beings, believing that they are ‘good guys’ who want to help us rid ourselves of war and finally create a world of peace. Of course their very presence might stop religious divisiveness at once, as we would realize that these are the true ‘gods’ of our world; the New Age movement, well-intentioned as it may be, is full of this type of talk.

Unfortunately, as Picknett and Prince point out in “The Stargate Conspiracy”, these strange beings have a sinister past. They trace their communications to humans through occult organizations and suggest that, “The sugar coating of exciting ideas about returning ancient gods is designed to conceal a bitter pill indeed – which, in all innocence, millions seem happy to swallow.” Websites like www.theforbiddenknowledge.com, www.thejinn.net, http://www.mt.net/~watcher/, and http://www.alienresistance.org/ work hard to spread the idea that these are not good guys, regardless of their ‘message of peace’. Wolves must come in sheep’s clothing or we’d never pay them heed!

When you learn to Surf the Tao, these questions become easier to discern. ‘Bad guys’ don’t ride this wave – instead they create structure, rules and rituals, appeal to our pride and ego, and want to be worshiped. ‘Good guys’ don’t confuse or complicate the simple message of love, nor do they seek glory for themselves. It’s a subtle but important distinction. Next time I’ll talk more about the good guys.