The Power in Never Being Disappointed

He who is in harmony with the Tao
is like a newborn child.
Its bones are soft, its muscles are weak,
but its grip is powerful.
It doesn’t know about the union
of male and female,
yet its penis can stand erect,
so intense is its vital power.
It can scream its head off all day,
yet it never becomes hoarse,
so complete is its harmony.

The Master’s power is like this.
He lets all things come and go
effortlessly, without desire.
He never expects results;
thus he is never disappointed.
He is never disappointed;
thus his spirit never grows old.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 55, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

The Power in Never Being Disappointed

Yesterday, Lao Tzu pin-pointed “letting” as the key to being in harmony with the Tao. Today, he gives us what I would say is the perfect metaphor for letting. Being in harmony with the Tao is like being a newborn child. Just think about that one for a moment.

The newborn child is powerless to intervene or interfere, to try to control, or to force things. Oh, it could be argued that the presence of a newborn child changes everything. When a newborn needs feeding, or its diaper changed, the child’s whole world seems to revolve around meeting its needs. But the newborn isn’t “doing” anything to bring about that result. The newborn is simply being what it is. So, when you think about it, this really is the perfect metaphor.

Lao Tzu describes these attributes quite vividly. Its bones are soft, its muscles are weak. That gives you the very picture of powerlessness to resist or interfere. Yet, check out how powerful a grip that little one has, when it holds on to something. Of course, it doesn’t know about the union of male and female, yet its penis can stand erect. That, for Lao Tzu, demonstrates the intensity of its vital power. And, that vital power is the kind of power we tap into, when we don’t try to be powerful. What never failed to amaze me, when I had newborns of my own, was how they never became hoarse, even though they could scream their heads off all day. Try doing that now, you will wear out your voice, and yourself, in no time. For Lao Tzu, this ability shows the completeness of its harmony with the Tao.

Can we be like newborns, in letting all things come and go, effortlessly, and without desire? Newborns can’t, and don’t, expect results. Thus, they are never disappointed. This is their vital power. This is how complete is their harmony. And, that power is available to all of us to tap into, if we will let it. When you are never disappointed your spirit will never grow old.

It All Sounds Simple Enough

Whoever is planted in the Tao
will not be rooted up.
Whoever embraces the Tao
will not slip away.
Her name will be held in honor
from generation to generation.

Let the Tao be present in your life
and you will become genuine.
Let it be present in your family
and your family will flourish.
Let it be present in your country
and your country will be an example
to all countries in the world.
Let it be present in the Universe
and the Universe will sing.

How do I know this is true?
By looking inside myself.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 54, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

It All Sounds Simple Enough

So, yesterday, Lao Tzu insisted the great way is easy, we just prefer the side paths. I wanted to argue that maybe easy isn’t the right word to use. I prefer to call it simple. But, regardless, Lao Tzu continues today on why the great way should be easy.

Why is it easy? Because whoever is planted in the Tao will not be rooted up. And, if you embrace the Tao, you will not slip away. This is a combination of yin and yang. Being planted is passive, yin. And, embracing is active, yang. If you put this combination of yin and yang into practice in your life your name will be held in honor from generation to generation. That is quite the promise! But, what does Lao Tzu mean?

How do we accomplish this being planted and embracing? It should be no surprise, to those who have been going along on this journey for very long, that what is being asked of us is letting. Allowing. Let the Tao be present in your life. Let it be present in your family. Let it be present in your country. Let it be present in the Universe.

When we aren’t centered in the Tao, we tend to resist the Tao, rather than letting it. We swim against the current, rather than going with the flow. Letting is really the key to everything. Instead of resisting, let. Allow. Allow things to come and go as they will. Don’t intervene. Don’t interfere. Don’t try to control. Don’t try to force things. Let events happen; and shape things, only as they come. This is the only way to be your genuine self. Your family will flourish. Your country will be an example to all countries in the world. The whole Universe will sing. And, you wondered why your name would be held in honor in perpetuity?

It all sounds simple enough. But, how do I know this is true? The answers, my friends, you will find by looking inside yourselves.

All of This is Robbery and Chaos

The great way is easy,
yet people prefer the side paths.
Be aware when things are out of balance.
Stay centered within the Tao.

When rich speculators prosper
while farmers lose their land;
when government officials spend money
on weapons instead of cures;
when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible
while the poor have nowhere to turn –
all this is robbery and chaos.
It is not in keeping with the Tao.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 53, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

All of This is Robbery and Chaos

In today’s chapter, Lao Tzu insists that the great way is easy. I am not so certain I would call the great way easy, though. I think I would call it simple. But, whether we are talking about ease or simplicity, we are really talking about the same thing. We aren’t being asked to do something difficult. Our lives don’t have to be complicated. Following the Tao is simple. So, why do we prefer the side paths? Why do we insist on complicating our lives? All the side paths offer us are distractions, illusions. We shouldn’t be so easily misled; but, we are. Hence, there will always be a need for us to be aware when things are out of balance. Whether in our world, or in our own lives. We need to center ourselves once again, and remain centered, within the Tao.

Lao Tzu’s focus in today’s chapter is on the warning signs when things are out of balance in the world. And, who will dare argue with Lao Tzu’s diagnosis: All of this is robbery and chaos, and not in keeping with the Tao.

When rich speculators prosper while farmers lose their land. When government officials spend money on weapons instead of cures. When the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible while the poor have nowhere to turn.

No one dares to argue with the diagnosis. But, there has always been a lot of disagreement, when it comes to solutions.

Most people will argue these are complex problems which require complex solutions. We need to elect the right people into government, in order to work on these problems. But, as Robert Higgs wrote, and I reblogged his quote just yesterday on my tumblr blog, anyone who knows the history of governments, knows there has never been a time when governments could be counted on to solve these problems. If history is any indication, and it should be, we are never going to have the right people in government. Government isn’t capable of coming up with the solutions to the problems it has created.

Why are rich speculators prospering while farmers lose their land? Because governments enable it. Why do government officials spend money on weapons instead of cures? Because, from their standpoint, there is more to be gained. Why do we have an upper class which is extravagant and irresponsible while the poor have nowhere to turn? Once again, it is because governments enable it.

I get it! We just need to elect the right people. We need more regulation by governments.

And, we continue down these side paths, oblivious to the simple way. We elect people promising to regulate more. And the people we elect appoint the very people in need of regulating to write, and implement, the regulations. We literally put the foxes in charge of the hen house. And, then we wonder why the hens, and their eggs, are in constant danger.

Libertarians get a bad rap. And, I am afraid, it is somewhat deserved. We do a very good job of calling for a free market, and promoting deregulation. What we never seem to do a good enough job of promoting is how the free market truly can regulate itself. There have been volumes written on this. But getting people to read them is quite the challenge. It has always been intuitive for me. I am blessed that way, I guess. But, for others, they need something more. And, it doesn’t so easily fit into that infernal 140 character limit, which is, apparently, our collective attention span, to draw them into a more detailed explanation.

I would like to take the time to go into more detail about how regulation works in a free market. And, how governments, by monopolizing the regulatory markets, are the problem. It boils down to power to the people. But, time is of the essence for me on today’s post. That is always the problem. This is why we, libertarians, get dismissed. Still, I will throw this one thing out there for you to chew on. Just because we are opposed to government regulation, which always ends up being crony capitalism, like we have today, doesn’t mean we are opposed to regulation. We just believe the people have more power on their own to regulate, via a free market, than governments ever will. Once again, look back at the history of governments. We keep acquiescing to governments to do, what we could do far better. How many instances I would like to give! I could name the individual government regulatory agencies, one by one, and explain how each one of them ensures this robbery and chaos will continue unabated.

If any of my followers have any doubts, please message me. I welcome an opportunity to go into more depth.

For today’s commentary, let it suffice for me to say, we have to get off of these side paths. We need to recognize how out of balance things are, and how simple the solution is. Go back to being centered within the Tao.

Who Doesn’t Like Going on a Quest?

In the beginning was the Tao.
All things issue from it;
all things return to it.

To find the origin,
trace back the manifestations.
When you recognize the children
and find the mother,
you will be free of sorrow.

If you close your mind in judgments
and traffic with desires,
your heart will be troubled.
If you keep your mind from judging
and aren’t led by the senses,
your heart will find peace.

Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light
and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 52, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Who Doesn’t Like Going on a Quest?

Human beings have probably always been quite fascinated with origin stories. “Where did I come from?” was probably the first philosophical question asked by each of us, early in our development. Later, we started wondering about the origins of our universe. And, for many thousands of years we have come up with stories to tell of our origins. I am a big fan of origin stories. I have always found them fascinating; even if they always left me with more questions than answers. For some time now, I have been a lover of science documentaries; particularly the ones on physics. I recently watched one on Netflix: “Einstein’s Biggest Blunder”. I won’t go into its details. The formula for all these documentaries are quite the same. They ask the questions which we have been asking for eons, and offer a short history of the various incomplete answers we have entertained. I doubt I will ever grow weary of watching them. I really do love them. They are like a suspense thriller. Are we going to finally get the one definitive answer to life’s greatest questions? Well, no, of course we won’t. Because, in all likelihood, we never were supposed to know that. It never was supposed to be about the answers, it was about the quest for knowledge. And, tell me, “Who doesn’t like going on a quest?”

Today’s chapter is about going on a quest. And, it too, is interested in finding our origin. And, it does so very much like science makes the quest. Let’s start with a theory. “In the beginning was the Tao. All things issue from it; all things return to it.” I happen to subscribe to this theory regarding the origin our universe. No matter how many different documentaries on Netflix I watch, I have never found science to disagree with it.

“To find the origin, trace back the manifestations.” That is exactly what scientists do. “When you recognize the children, and find the mother, you will be free of sorrow.” For scientists, I suppose, the problem of sorrow relates to not-knowing. If I can only know, then I will be free of sorrow.

Hence the need for this quest for knowledge. But, of course, Lao Tzu has already covered this before. “In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added. In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped.” And, right here, we might think that the practice of the Tao parts ways with science. But, wait! In the aforementioned documentary, Einstein’s biggest blunder was the name Einstein ascribed to his theory of a universal constant he called Lambda. As a scientist, when he was presented with evidence from a fellow scientist, Hubble, that perhaps his universal constant, “Lambda”, wasn’t necessary, after all, Einstein, along with all other physicists, dropped this idea of a universal constant. The dropping of something coincided with the accumulation of knowledge. They went hand in hand.

And, I don’t really want to spoil the documentary. But, apparently physicists, today, are revisiting, or picking back up, the need for this universal constant to explain the universe. But, what Einstein called Lambda, I would call the Tao.

And, so, we see the need for both the pursuit of knowledge and the practice of the Tao. If we aren’t free of sorrow, it is only because we close our minds in judgments, and traffic with desires. That is why our hearts are troubled. But, if we keep our minds from judging and aren’t led by the senses, our hearts will find peace. I have already said this doesn’t disagree with science. Daily, scientific evidence pours in proving the root of our heart problems are this very thing. The pursuit of knowledge and the practice of the Tao continue on, together.

However, I will go back to something I alluded to earlier in today’s commentary. Perhaps, we aren’t supposed to know all the answers. Perhaps, the quest, the journey, should be enough.

In the practice of the Tao, seeing into darkness is clarity; and knowing how to yield is strength. Use your own light to return to the source of light. Of course we are interested in these eternal questions. And, we should continue to pursue the answers to our questions, scientifically. But, where science leaves us with still unanswered questions, because there is always more to learn, we can practice eternity, now.

On Becoming Conscious We Are Perfectly Free

Every being in the universe
is an expression of the Tao.
It springs into existence,
unconscious, perfect, free,
takes on a physical body,
lets circumstances complete it.
That is why every being
spontaneously honors the Tao.

The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.
That is why love of the Tao
is in the very nature of things.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 51, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

On Becoming Conscious We Are Perfectly Free

What has always stood out to me in today’s chapter is that word “free” in the first stanza. Being a libertarian, and liberty being the root of libertarian, of course being free is very important to me. Some people place more value on life than liberty. But, I like Patrick Henry’s take on it, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Life without liberty wouldn’t be a life in which I would be interested. Furthermore, I don’t just value freedom for myself, I value it for all beings. So, when I began to read through today’s chapter and found every being in the universe, because they are expressions of the Tao, springs into existence…free, Lao Tzu had my attention.

Now, not every being may be conscious of their freedom. They also may not be conscious of their perfection. But, that doesn’t change the reality. We are expressions of the Tao; and, that means we are perfectly free.

When we first sprang into existence, we were unconscious of our perfection and our freedom. But, Lao Tzu tells us exactly how we can move from a state of unconsciousness, to a state of consciousness: Let circumstances complete you.

I feel the need to say that again. If you are not conscious of your perfection and freedom, it isn’t because you aren’t already perfect and free. You need to let circumstances complete you. But, wait! If I am already perfect, why do I need anything to complete me? Shouldn’t I already be complete?

The further need for completion is because you are still unconscious. Once you are conscious of your freedom and perfection, you will be complete. Spontaneously honoring the Tao.

That spontaneous honoring of the Tao is important. Why do we do that? We do it, because we are expressions of the Tao. And, we do it by letting circumstances complete us.

We are expressions of the Tao. It is what gave birth to us. It nourishes, maintains, cares for, comforts, and protects us. No wonder the Tao is called the great Mother! It is always taking us back to itself. Like a mother hen with her brood of chicks.

Yet… Yet, it creates without possessing. It acts without expecting. It guides without interfering. This goes back to the fact we are perfectly free. We aren’t forced. We aren’t coerced in any way, shape, or form. We are perfectly free! And, as someone who believes love of freedom is in our very nature, I can totally embrace the reality that love of the Tao is in the very nature of things.

Whatever the Moment Brings

The Master gives himself up
to whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to die,
and he has nothing left to hold on to:
no illusions in his mind,
no resistances in his body.
He doesn’t think about his actions;
they flow from the core of his being.
He holds nothing back from life;
therefore he is ready for death,
as a man is ready for sleep
after a good day’s work.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 50, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Whatever the Moment Brings

Do you want to be happy, truly happy? That is really the whole point of the practice of the Tao we have been talking about. It is how to be content with a simple, and otherwise ordinary, life. For the last two days Lao Tzu has told us what the practice of the Tao entails. Dropping something every day. Until we arrive at non-action. Until we arrive at no mind. And, we can do this!

At least, that is what I tell myself each and every day. I can do this! I can give myself up to whatever the moment brings. I can give up my hopes, my fears, my desires. But, here is the deal. I don’t want to kid myself. I know I am not prepared for death. That is the end, isn’t it? I am going to die. I know this. Yet, I still hold on to illusions. My body still resists.

So, I also remember this is a daily practice. And, over time, practice will make perfect. This I tell myself, too. That I am still holding on to illusions in my mind, and my body is still holding on to resistance, just means I need to continue to practice.

Still, there is an end to this practice. When there are no more illusions in my mind, no resistances in my body. Yes, it does sound like I am going to die.

But, let’s not be confused, here. Lao Tzu isn’t referring to physical death. There is a finality to it, however. Like at the end of a good day’s work, and you are ready for sleep. That I am going to die means no longer thinking about my actions. They just flow from the core of my being. When I am ready for death, I will hold nothing back from life, in this moment. Whatever the moment brings.

Until You Can Treat All People Equally

The Master has no mind of her own.
She works with the mind of the people.

She is good to people who are good.
She is also good to people who aren’t good.
This is true goodness.

She trusts people who are trustworthy.
She also trusts people who aren’t trustworthy.
This is true trust.

The Master’s mind is like space.
People don’t understand her.
They look to her and wait.
She treats them like her own children.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 49, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Until You Can Treat All People Equally

Yesterday, Lao Tzu was talking about the practice of the Tao as the antithesis of the pursuit of knowledge. But, he spent the majority of his time talking about one aspect of this practice, the doing without doing; without really covering the other aspect, the knowing without knowing. I could have just chalked this up to Lao Tzu simply teaching without words. But, I was eager to explain both aspects. So, I added, “When nothing is known, nothing is left unknown.” Indeed, Lao Tzu was getting there. These chapter divisions are not always the best of devices. In today’s chapter, he explains the “goal” of the not-knowing aspect of the practice of the Tao, to arrive at no mind of your own.

Having no mind of your own, which is the same as having no will of your own, is going to be extremely helpful when it comes to not interfering, the doing without doing. They work, hand in hand, together. Why are we tempted to “do something”, when doing nothing is really what is called for? Because, we still have a mind of our own. Our own will, our own desires.

Hence, the practice of the Tao is vital for us. And, if we are wise and virtuous, we will continue to practice it, daily dropping things, until we arrive.

Lao Tzu says it enables us to work with the mind of the people. What does he mean? Is it just doing whatever the people want? Absolutely not! The people have the same problems with being enslaved by desire. They, too, need to be shown how to arrive at “no mind” for themselves. However, it is never the correct course of action to force anything. Because we have “no mind” we are enabled to let them have their own minds. And, work with them, rather than against them.

Lao Tzu explains it in this way: You can be good to both people who are good, and those who aren’t. You can trust both people who are trustworthy, and those who aren’t. Until you can treat all people equally, you aren’t demonstrating true goodness or true trust.

This is so beyond ordinary practice, the conventional wisdom. We seem to think we deserve some kind of medal for only being good to those who are good, and only trusting those who are trustworthy. And, we think anyone who is good to, and trusting of, those who aren’t is quite foolish, indeed. But, just because this is an uncommon practice doesn’t make it not the best practice.

And people sense this. They may not understand it. They may not have the foggiest of ideas on how to put it into practice in their own lives. But, they know true goodness and true trust when they see it.

So, even though our mind may seem like space to them, and they don’t understand us, they will look to us, and wait. And we, for our own part, will treat them like our own children. That is what having no mind of our own means. He didn’t say we should treat other people like children. He said, like our own children. That is all the difference in the world. I have a couple of adult children, myself. And, I treat them as the adults they are. But, they are still my children, my very own children. What a difference that makes!

On the Practice of the Tao

In the pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 48, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

On the Practice of the Tao

Though I haven’t given it a mention in the last two days of commentary, we are still talking about being in harmony with the Tao. In yesterday’s chapter, Lao Tzu talked about the role of knowledge. But, when he said, “The more you know, the less you understand”, it did sound quite a bit anti-knowledge. At least it did to me, when I was first learning about philosophical Taoism. But, Lao Tzu isn’t being anti-knowledge. There are plenty of things of which we should gain more and more knowledge. As he says in today’s chapter, “In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added.” It has to be; for, there is no end to the amount of knowledge which can be gained. But, as necessary as the gaining of knowledge is, it simply isn’t the way to open your heart to the world, or see the essence of the Tao. Instead, it is a hindrance: The more you know, the less you understand.

For being in harmony with the Tao, in other words, for opening your heart to the world, and seeing the essence of the Tao, a completely different practice than the pursuit of knowledge is called for. In today’s chapter, Lao Tzu calls it, the practice of the Tao.

The pursuit of knowledge is all about addition. The practice of the Tao is about subtraction. Every day something is dropped. Less and less do you rely on what you think you know. Less and less do you need to force things, until you arrive at non-action. Yes, you guessed it; the practice of the Tao is doing without doing, and knowing without knowing. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. And, when nothing is known, nothing is left unknown.

If we are to truly master being in harmony with the Tao, we must let things go their own way. It will never be gained by interfering.

This, of course, makes it a libertarian approach to living. And, governing. This is what made philosophical Taoism so appealing to me. But, I also perceive the inherent problem with it. For, as a libertarian, I know the kinds of arguments I am constantly running up against. “What are you going to do? You have to do something.” I understand the problems plaguing the Johnson/Weld (Libertarian) presidential ticket. Every time I see Gary Johnson tripping up, it is because he has tried to answer that question. I feel his pain. Though I still think he could do a better job of saying his not interfering is easily preferable to the interfering we are certain to get with either of his challengers.

But, alas, the majority of people are not libertarians. Most people will always find something or somewhere they want to interfere. And, we wonder why we aren’t in harmony?

The More You Know

Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.

The more you know,
the less you understand.

The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 47, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

The More You Know…

Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe. That is how Lao Tzu ended yesterday’s chapter. And, yesterday, we talked about how fear is used to manipulate us. Lao Tzu called it the greatest of illusions, to fear. Yet, we seem to succumb to it easily.

It would just seem natural to think that knowledge is the answer to the illusion of fear. If we were only to realize it is an illusion, we wouldn’t be so easily manipulated. So, Lao Tzu begins, in today’s chapter, with a couple different types of knowledge.

There is the knowledge which you acquire by looking for it outside of yourself. That is the one with which we are all very familiar. You want to know what is going on outside? You best open your door, or look out your window. But, then Lao Tzu warns, “The more you know, the less you understand.”

That seems a bit anti-knowledge, but I don’t think that is Lao Tzu’s intention. Lao Tzu isn’t anti-knowing. He is anti-presuming we know. Knowing without knowing is another of those fundamental practices of philosophical Taoism. We need to heal ourselves of all wing, is another way he has put it before.

There is a knowledge we can gain without opening our door, or looking out our window. It is an intuitive and spontaneous understanding we gain when we open our hearts to the world, and see the essence of the Tao.

Ah, the essence of the Tao. The way things truly are. Not the way they seem to be, when we go out our doors, or look out our windows; but, the way things truly are.

How does someone who is wise and virtuous achieve this understanding? Well, it isn’t a matter of pursuing it. You can arrive without ever having to leave. You can see the light without any need of looking for it. You can achieve it, without doing a thing.

And, that is where he ends things today. Sometimes I just don’t like where these chapters end. You know there just has to be more; but it ends, abruptly. Well, good news! There is more; and we will go into much more depth about it in tomorrow’s chapter.

Can You See Through All Fear?

When a country is in harmony with the Tao,
the factories make trucks and tractors.
When a country goes counter to the Tao,
warheads are stockpiled outside the cities.

There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than having an enemy.

Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.

-Lao Tzu-
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 46, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Can You See Through All Fear?

One of the reasons I know that the more things change the more they stay the same is chapters like today’s. It was something like 2500 years ago that Lao Tzu wrote these words; and yet, look at how well he is describing present day for us.

Of course, Lao Tzu didn’t know anything of factories and trucks and tractors. That is Stephen Mitchell’s interpretation of Lao Tzu words about horses being used in agriculture. The same goes for the warheads being stockpiled outside of our cities. Lao Tzu talked about horses being bred for war. The methods may have changed over the years, but we are still being propagandized into fear by the ruling elite. The State thrives in times of war. Or, as Randolph Bourne put it, “War is the health of the State.” For the ruling elite, war is their bread and butter. And, if there is going to be perpetual war, there must be perpetual fear manufactured by the ruling elite, to get the majority to fear the manufactured enemies they create, on whom they intend to wage war.

Do we yet see the danger? I am not the biggest fan of FDR, but he did get one thing right. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” I could add that that is just rich coming from him, after all of his obfuscations and deliberate provocations led to us getting attacked by an enemy. But, I best not get started down that tangent.

Lao Tzu’s point is spot on! There is no greater illusion than fear. That is why it is so important for us to be able to see through all fear. It is an illusion. We are being played. The only thing we have to fear is succumbing to this manufactured fear, in the first place.

That is why it pains me. It truly pains me, when I see so many people who have succumbed to the fear. It is used over and over and over again to manipulate us. And it works. I can’t tell you the number of people I know who are going to vote for Hillary out of fear of Trump. Then again, I know some who are going to vote for Trump out of fear of Hillary.

And, of course, we all must fear ISIS and all militant Islamic extremists. Hey guys, guess what? All of our current enemies have been manufactured by the ruling elite. Maybe we might consider fearing the ruling elite, instead. But, that would be silly. We outnumber them overwhelmingly. Without our acquiescence and support they would have no power. But we just keep on acquiescing and supporting; and wondering, “When will things ever change?” They won’t, as long as you continue to let them choose who you are allowed to vote for. The illusion of choice may not be the greatest illusion, that being fear, but it ranks up there pretty high.

What is it going to have to take for people to see through all the fear? When will people realize there is no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself against a manufactured enemy? Or, that the greatest misfortune is having an enemy in the first place. “Why can’t we all get along?” The answer is simple. The powers that be don’t want us getting along. Peace doesn’t pay near the dividends that war does.