Aloha all, here is a link to my interview with Occult of Personality.
Aloha all, here is a link to my interview with Occult of Personality.
Some of you might already know a little about me and how my life changed so drastically nearly eight years ago. Since then I’ve seen the world, and the Universe, with new eyes and an awakened soul, now charged with pointing out the strange and impractical as I’d never seen them before.
My book, Surfing the Tao: A Revolution of Free Will was published nearly three years ago now; sometimes I’m asked if I will write another, but so far every time I’ve tried to start, that same strange book keeps coming out of me again – nearly word for word, no matter how long I’ve put it aside and refused to look at it.
That is despite the news and recent events I could probably add, and of course three more years of continued research which I am still compulsively driven towards. In the end, the point remains the same and the mission goes on as before. In that sense nothing has changed.
It is a slow but powerful mission; some days seem stagnant, others surge with answers and further possibilities. I sometimes wonder; should I be doing more? But the answer is always the same: it has a life of its own now, and must be allowed to grow at its own rate.
Something like learning to surf, then waiting for the perfect wave. It’ll come eventually.
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)
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” –Goethe
As came up in my last radio interview, there are quite a few different points of view regarding otherworldly or ‘non-human’ entities who have, are or will influence our world – angels, demons, aliens, ancient gods, ethereal masters, spirit guides and the like. Debate arises when one attempts to determine, are they good guys or not, and how do we know for sure? Early on in my blog I touched on this; Aliens: Gods or Demons? is one example, and True Masters is another angle, along with my article The Good Guys.
My mission is to attempt to help people find and use their own sense of discernment in these matters. It’s why I wrote my book. The truth is within us; in fact this is one way to tell if a guide is really a friend or not – they will tell you (if they tell you anything at all, for real good guys rarely interfere): the truth is within yourself. We just have to learn to access it. That’s what good guys like Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Krishnamurti, Ueshiba and others have tried to explain. It’s also why in my book I placed much of their wisdom next to topics like UFOs and secret societies; it’s a great way to learn how to think about such things. There is a Way to Know. The Chinese called this Way the Tao. It’s pulsing through you right now. Do you have the ears to hear?
“…Over twelve years ago, a group of individuals from several different worlds gathered at a discreet location in our solar system near earth for the purpose of observing the alien intervention that is occurring in our world. From their hidden vantage point, they were able to determine the identity, organization and intentions of those visiting our world and monitor the visitors’ activities. This group of observers call themselves the ‘Allies of Humanity.’” You can read their first book free online here (Thanks, Kingsley). Their message is to warn us that the various “alien visitors” to our world have not come to “promote the advancement of humanity or the spiritual education of humanity…As has occurred in your own world in your own history, the first to reach the new lands are the explorers and the conquerors. They do not come for altruistic reasons. They come seeking power, resources and dominion…The challenge is for humanity to understand who its allies really are and to be able to distinguish them from its potential adversaries.” According to the Allies, spiritually advanced races do not engage in regular space travel, commerce or interfere with other worlds – they prefer to remain unseen.
“They bad guys love to disguise themselves as the good guys,”- Surfing the Tao: A Revolution of Free Will. The Allies write, “The visitors will try and create the impression that they are ‘the allies of humanity.’ They will say they are here to save humanity from itself, that only they can offer the great hope that humanity cannot provide for itself, that only they can establish true order and harmony in the world. But this order and this harmony will be theirs, not yours. And the freedom that they promise will not be yours to enjoy.” These visitors seek to gain our “trust and… devotion,” telling people they’re here to “uplift humanity spiritually, to give humanity new hope, new blessings and new power…once this allegiance is established, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to discern what they know within themselves from what is being told to them. It is a very subtle but very pervasive form of persuasion and manipulation.” “Subtlety is the name of the game.”-Surfing the Tao.
So how do we know? The Allies claim not to want any relationship with our world, nor will they interfere on our behalf; rather they say they are only here to help us advance mentally and spiritually to the point where we can discern and act for ourselves before it’s too late. In contrast to the ‘visitors’, they “advocate a spirituality…not the spirituality that is governed by nations, government of political alliances, but a natural spirituality – the ability to know, to see and to act…In the Greater Community, spirituality is embodied in what we call Knowledge, Knowledge meaning the intelligence of Spirit and the movement of Spirit within you. This empowers you to know rather than only believe. This gives you immunity from persuasion and manipulation, for Knowledge cannot be manipulated by any worldly power or force…If you can respond to Knowledge and learn a Greater Community Way of Knowledge, you will be able to see these things for yourself. Then you will confirm our words rather than only believe them or deny them. The Creator is making this possible, for the Creator wills that humanity prepare for its future…Knowledge enables you to think in a number of ways, to act spontaneously, to perceive reality beyond the obvious and to experience the future and the past.”
Are these “Allies” good guys themselves? Look within yourself for answers. Dharmacist Edward Namerdy in his book Another Place in Space wisely suggests we “see what we believe,” rather than merely “believe what we see.” Lao Tzu said, “The Master observes the world but trusts his inner vision.” From Ueshiba, “On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.” Bernard Bromage wrote, “The wise man is he whose ears are very attuned to the Divine Whisperer, and who, through all the delusions of a cheaper civilization, hears the Voice.” And lastly, from Hosea 14:9,”Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them.”
If you want to be a great leader,
You must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
And the world will govern itself.
The more prohibitions you have,
The less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
The less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
The less self-reliant people will be.
There fore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
And people become honest.
I let go of economics,
And people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
And people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
And the good becomes common as grass. -#57
Lao Tzu says it so much better than I could. One imagines our world is too far gone now to try not-doing – and yet, we can all learn from this wisdom, and dream of a better world.
… the sages:
Manage the work of detached actions
Conduct the teaching of no words
They work with myriad things but do not control
They create but do not possess
They act but do not presume
They succeed but do not dwell on success
It is because they do not dwell on success
That it never goes away
TTC, Chapter 2, trans. Derek Lin
Free Will is a topic that has always fascinated me. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will for a lengthy definition and explanation of the many aspects and philosophies surrounding this issue. Determinism and incompatibilism, libertarianism and compatibilism, argue one way or the other whether free will truly exists, or whether it is an illusion.
Wikipedia states that the I Ching contains “A shifting flow of probabilities for futures,” and that, “Probabilities take the center of the stage away from things and people. A kind of “divine” volition sets the fundamental rules for the working out of probabilities in the universe, and human volitions are always a factor in the ways that humans can deal with the real world situations one encounters. If one’s situation in life is surfing on a tsunami, one still has some range of choices even in that situation. One person might give up, and another person might choose to struggle and perhaps to survive. The Yi Jing mentality is much closer to the mentality of quantum physics than to that of classical physics, and also finds parallelism in voluntarist or Existentialist ideas of taking one’s life as one’s project.”
I myself tend to agree with the I Ching. I believe that our possible futures are constantly shifting, and that our decisions are based on our various backgrounds and psychologies. Whether Everything is predetermined is hard for me to say – it seems like if it were, life might seem fruitless – if it is, at least thinking we have a choice might be all we need. However, to control the Tao is not our job either – TTC#74, “Trying to control the future is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.”
But I do believe that within the Flow of things, within the Tao, exists the choice that will ultimately lead to the most harmonious outcome. We work with knowledge of the Tao, allowing it to guide us, not being too attached to the desired outcome. Finding the most harmonious path and allowing it to guide, is what I call ‘Surfing the Tao’ – yet I concede that for many of us, making such choices may require a ‘revolution’ of our (perceived) free will, since it may be against popular notions of ambition and wealth.
The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, #45
Once upon a time there was a poor farmer in China who had a son, but no horse. One day a beautiful stallion appeared at his door. “Oh, good luck, good luck,” said the villagers. “Good luck, bad luck, who knows,” replied the farmer. One day his son rode the horse, fell off and broke his leg. “Oh, bad luck, bad luck,” cried the villagers. “Good luck, bad luck, who knows,” the farmer said. The next day the army rode through town, recruiting youths for a faraway war. They took many of the villages sons to the distress of their families, but passed over the farmer’s son, because of his broken leg. “Oh, good luck, good luck,” said the villagers. “Who knows,” said the wise farmer.
Taoism is difficult to absorb for the modern, western mind because its tenets are so opposite to what we are taught in the world. Most of us are raised to be ambitious or aggressive about we want in life, and to react negatively when things don’t go ‘our’ way. Taoists believe in a more organic approach; to not label things or events as bad or good, but instead learn to use everything in a continual evolution. If we hold to tight to one aspiration, for example, we may be unable to recognize an even better opportunity when it comes along. Sometimes the best things that happen in life might have been called accidents or mistakes. It’s like a silver lining approach to life – whatever happens can be good if we simply decide to perceive it that way. All events can be part of a process of growth and change.
When we attempt to force something out of life, or out of ourselves, we are, perhaps unknowingly, deciding to disregard that the Universe, the Tao, might have something better in store for us. In fact, many people even practice magic, attempting to reroute the powerful flow of the Tao for their own desires. Rather, Taoism teaches one to become at rest in the midst of this universal flow, finding gratitude for the now and allowing the future to take care of itself; allowing the great ‘magic’ of the universe to weave the ultimate web of life. It is much the same idea of living in faith, described in other religions. Many of our great sages attempted to explain this.
Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
when you handle the master carpenter’s tools
changes are that you’ll cut your hand.
-Tao Te Ching, #74
This doesn’t mean we have no say in our own lives. We are still responsible for making decisions and choices every day. But our free will is arguably limited if we are not aware of all our choices. Are we always clear on what we are choosing? Are we following our own selfish desires, to the detriment of other people and the world around us? Are we making the effort to find that stillness and peace within us, and seek the answers there first? Are we aware that this Way of life is truly is an “Art of Peace”?
Peace originates wth the flow of things – its heart is like the movement of the wind and waves. The Way is like the veins that circulate blood through our bodies, following the natural flow of the life force. If you are separated in the slightest from that divine essence, you are far off the path.
-Morihei Ueshiba, The Art of Peace
To Surf the Tao, this flow of all things, we must first become aware of the Surf in the first place. Becoming aware of the Spirit, that vibrating harmonic of life all around us and within us, is different for each person. There is a great flowing Source of energy just waiting for you to choose its Way of love, peace and harmony. When you are in this Flow, your life will naturally become one of prosperity and peace.
Remember, we are human beings, not human doings. I will allow Lao Tzu sum up, for he said it better than I ever could, “The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment. Not seeking; not expecting, she is present and can welcome all things…The Master sees things are they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle…Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?”
The Master keeps her mind at one with the Tao; that is what gives her her radiance. The Tao is ungraspable. How can her mind be at one with it? Because she doesn’t cling to ideas. The Tao is dark and unfathomable. How can it make her radiant? Because she lets it. Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see. (Tao Te Ching, #21)
To be ‘one’ with the Tao means to live with the awareness of this Flow, even if we may not understand it completely. We may still find ourselves faced with various daily fears and issues – but it is how we react to these troubles, which determines our progress along the spiritual path. We have a choice – we can either react along with our worldly programming, becoming hurt, angry, or fearful; or we can choose to react instead with calmness and kindness. This choice, an act of our free will, is the greatest power we have to overcome obstacles along our path. It is a step towards awakening our Spirits.
Surfing the Tao refers to an awareness of this ‘Higher Power’, or consciousness, without all the trappings, archaic ritual or questionable authority of a worldly religion. Our greatest sages all taught us that the truth is contained within us – all we need to do is be still long enough to find it. With stillness and love, we can awaken our spirits. The experience can be profound – or subtle. Often it can be both. The changes happen gradually at first, when the mind finally rests of chatter, and true breath takes hold. Breathing techniques, prayer, yoga, meditation and other tools are available to us which can help us along this path. But they are only a means to an end, not the end in and of themselves.
Find love within you and you have found the Tao. Behave peacefully amidst the chaos and you have found the Tao. Live in harmony with others, and with nature, and you have found the Tao. As you walk through each moment of your life in this way, your awareness of this higher power will grow and grow, until it is no longer difficult to be the eye of the storm. Surf the Tao to a higher consciousness, and watch your life, and the world, transform.
“It is a lot like surfing… you catch a wave by being prepared, timing your move and having your board in position. Like surfing, you have some control, but the Flow has all the power.”
“One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.” – Ueshiba, The Art of Peace
I didn’t find the Tao (or ‘God’, or the Force, whatever,) in church or a book. I found it in Kung Fu. It led me to discern this Source of energy from within myself. The earliest roots of Kung Fu come from Taoist monks, who thousands of years ago strived to keep the peace, not promote fights. They were the first to teach how to ‘surf’ this ‘flow’, dancing with the rhythm of the universe.
Kung Fu is an Art of Peace. The key to finding this Empty Force is maintaining a consciousness of love. I study Yee Chuan Tao Kung Fu, one of the last arts to have been passed down within a family. (check out http://www.yeechuantao.com.) However there is another teacher anyone can learn from – Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. Aikido is extremely similar to Kung Fu, especially in its teachings of peace, and having only defensive moves.
Morihei Ueshiba lived from 1883 until 1969, and was known even into his old age for his ability to take down any opponent ‘with a single finger.’ But though he was undefeated, he detested violence, and taught Aikido as his ‘Way’ to peace. In my opinion his Art of Peace has become one of the few true manuals of the Way. It was compiled from a lifetime of his poems and sayings.
During his life Ueshiba experienced three powerful visions which transformed him. “…I felt transformed into a golden image, and my body seemed as light as a feather. All at once I understood the nature of creation: the Way of a Warrior is to manifest Divine Love, a spirit that embraces and nurtures all things…” (intro to the Art of Peace, compiled by John Stevens, Shambhala Publications, Boston, 1992.) He developed Aikido as a way to handle the aggression in the world, and believed that everyone, martial artist or not, could be a Warrior for Peace.
“Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, and take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees – should be your teacher.” -Ueshiba
There was something formless and perfect
Before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #25
What is the “Tao”? It is a Chinese word which means “Way”. Buddha also spoke of this One Way, and even Jesus said, “I am the Way…” I believe they were all referring to the Void, this great Everything; God, in the universal sense. Finding words to describe this Force is difficult. I recommend quantum physics as another avenue towards understanding (check out the book The Tao of Physics by Frijof Capra). I call this Way of Life “Surfing the Tao”, and I use the wisdom from various sources to further the message.
“All things, material and spiritual, originate from one source and are related as if they were one family. The past, present, and future are all contained in the life force. The universe emerged and developed from one source, and we evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.” -Ueshiba, The Art of Peace.
Simple realization of this Tao, or Way, can change ones perspective radically. Introspection and meditation can lead one to higher levels of awareness and understanding. One eventually realizes that it is the pursuit of the impersonal wherein realization of the Self arises: when one understands that All is One, and there is no Self – that is, that we are rather part of the Great Self – then our daily sufferings become perceptively smaller.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
But the infinite universe stands
Always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
No difference, for definitions have vanished
And no boundaries are seen…
One thing, all things:
Move among and intermingling,
To live in this realization
Is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
Sounds like Lao Tzu, doesn’t it? Buddha, like Lao Tzu, also suggests not to dislike the world of senses and ideas, but just to realize, with enlightenment there is no liking or disliking. Lao Tzu said, “the Master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. His heart is open as the sky.”
These masters taught us, that even though reality as we see it is an illusion, that to be a good and loving person within it is important. They teach compassion, harmony, peace, generosity and serenity. Buddha said, “To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and attachment cannot be limited: even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.”
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