No Original Idea. Know the Tao of Heaven!

the tao of heaven

What is the Tao of Heaven? The ancient Greeks wrote of “the Logos” as the guiding principle behind all of reality. Was this their idea?  The Egyptians spoke of Toth as the guiding word, and son, of the supreme god, Osiris. Where did they get this idea? When Lao Tse, in east-central China, wrote his Tao Te Ching he gave us great detail of the Tao of Heaven. This the nameless Path, or Principle, guides all the Universe from within. How did all these people, in all these places, get the same idea all these thousands of years ago? John’s Gospel begins, “In the beginning was the Word.” Did he think this up?

In this day it’s common to think that spiritual awareness is a made-up idea. The truth is that that idea, itself, is a pretty recent notion. Early people, we’re told, worshiped the sun, the stars, or some other aspect of Nature. While we’re sure many did, isn’t it wiser to say that these things serve to remind us that we aren’t as big, or alone, after all? Or, do they help us see how big we really are, encompassing it all?

To put it another way, considering the immensity of the heavens puts us in touch with the Tao of Heaven, and our own tao. . In fact, it’s fair to say that the folks who are the loudest with these anti-spiritual ideas haven’t seen these things. They have never been far enough out in the open to have a good look at the sun. Not many have been far enough to see the stars away from the cities’ light clutter. What is the Tao of Heaven? If we said the Tao is the conscious essence within the universe we would be stopping short.

Spiritual awareness is not something we can find just in books. One very wise writer, Zhuang Tse, wrote that a truly aware person – a sage – can’t impart this experience, but only offer evidence of it in the dry bones of writings left behind.

The Tao of Prayer tells about living into this Word, Logos, and Tao. The blog considers a little of what it means, day by day. Welcome!

Spiritual, or Mental?

On a farm commune some years ago a friend was looking at a forest and said, “behold, the ego-less.” This inspired me, but I didn’t really understand. I had read D. T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and others. They spoke of a Zen mind, of giving up one’s self, of being “ego-less.” What did that really mean? How could I be free of ego aside from being free from my own self – to stop being me. If you’re not you, who are you? Continue reading “Spiritual, or Mental?”

Inner Space: The Final Frontier

One of the marks that speaks the loudest about our generation is the frenzy to define and control the environment around us. People clamor to “change the world,” to control even the weather, and push ever outward to find out what exists on other planets, or even the chemical make-up of faraway stars in distant galaxies. “We” focus our attention on all these things beyond our own selves, but what do we know of our selves?

We try to look strong, wise, and independent, but in whose eyes? What is strength, when we can’t control our own passions? Our bellies, or, our eyes, command us to take the shortest route to the refrigerator, the next exit with a burger joint, or the most enticing sexual interest  – are we so enslaved to our physical appetites? We grasp for the easiest conquest over others.  Does our pride have that much power over us? We seek to find out what is the smallest sub-particle in an atom, or the latest gossip in the entertainment world. Are we more than data storage units? We say we want independence, but from what, really? Are we more than our outward pride? Do we exist only to perfect our posing skills?

The most ancient sages of every culture reflect this one insight – that the human heart, the core of our being, is more expansive than the universe itself. It is deeper than any ocean trench, more complex than the finest study of physics, and broader than the very reaches of space-time, yet we have been taught to ignore it, to “pay no attention to the Man behind the curtain.” The Tao of Prayer invites us to explore and discover this frontier, and what it really means, what it costs, and what i really means to become truly,  fully Human, and Divine.

Why Write?

I have split myself three ways. How so? Under this name, my own, Non-Fiction name, I write things as they are. What did the ancient sages really say? How do they relate to our lives? What is there to learn from how they lived, or how we live?

Under my other names, I write Fantasy, or Historical Fiction, depending on the reader’s own experience of magic, miracle, and the mystery of life, and Southern Gothic, which looks at the skeletons in our own inner closets in a way which, I hope, helps the reader to see those bones a little more clearly, and – just maybe – sort them in their proper order.

All in all, this sounds like a job only a crazy person would take on. Maybe it is. And maybe, just maybe, I’m crazy enough to pull it off. Stay  tuned.

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