To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tao of Purpose

Questions - they are powerful things. I have long been trying to figure out what to do with this website, stuck as I have been between the aspect of Taoism that spurns deliberate effort and with this blog's obvious potential to really mean something, to provide a lot more in the way of meaningful content.

So yesterday I asked (in a round about way):

What is the purpose of this website?

And:

Does having a blog run against the tenants of Taoism? Should I delete it and 'just be'?

Well, as I wrote yesterday, I decided the best thing to do about this was not to think about it (thus putting into motion the technique of wu wei - the Taoist principle of achievement via non-action). I went about my business and literally did not think about it (consciously) again...

...until this morning. I was having a shower and the answers to my questions popped into my head. While I had not been thinking about the questions consciously, unconsciously my grey matter had obviously been ticking away at the problem until it came up with a suitable answer and then flagged it to my conscious attention (this is a very real and viable problem solving option, by the way; ever forgotten somebody’s name and then later, once you had stopped trying to remember it had the name pop into the forefront of your mind? This is what I am talking about – achievement through non-action).

And what were the answers? What is the purpose of this website?

Well, firstly, I believe that everything I do here on earth – my main mission in life – is to help people. When I do things that don’t help people, I feel only dissatisfaction. Positive actions help others, negative actions do not. Even the little positive things we do help others, putting out the garbage, smiling at a passer-by.

This website exists to help others. I get emails here and there from people who tell me that my words helped them. This is the primary purpose of the website.

The secondary purpose of this blog is to document my personal adventures in self-empowerment (inspired by the tenants of Taoism).

The combination of these? To document my experiences in the application of Taoist principals in order to help others.

And does this go against Taoist principals? Principals like ‘doing nothing’? Like ‘forgetting’? Like laughing in the face of organised thought? Like rejecting conventional attitudes towards traditional concepts of knowledge?

No. because Taoism is a (non) system of paradox. For every Yin there is a Yang. For every concept there is another which contradicts the first. Anything and everything goes: that’s the true power of Taoism – absolute freedom from any limitations. I could write every day about the science of breeding ferrets and still feel within my rights to call this a Taoist blog.

And besides, what is one activity that Taoists are renowned for? SELF-IMPROVEMENT. Think beneficial diet, exercise, meditation, happiness and longevity techniques - if you know anything about Taoists then you know that this is what they are into.

Tao is everything we can imagine and all that we cannot.

So now, one and a half years after starting it, I finally know what this blog, the Contemporary Taoist, is about. It is about me helping people by helping myself by exploring Taoism as it applies to my personal journey and then documenting it online.

Today is a breakthrough day; expect great things from here on.

Flow Like Water...

6 Comments:

Blogger Ruby in the Dust said...

Don't forget the joy of the path, too. Enjoy your blog as your readers do! :)

7:58 pm

 
Blogger Seamus "Moose" Anthony said...

"your readers"

Shucks, you know all the smooth lines to make a writer go all mushy...

8:49 pm

 
Blogger The Rambling Taoist said...

Yes, YOUR readers! It's often amazing how a simple blog can become an important guidepost along the path. I dare say that The Contemporary Taoist serves as a watering hole along the paths of many.

7:22 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you ever visit the temple? Put money in the box? Burn money for your family and benefactors? Burn incense for Lao Tzu, Guan Gong, and the other protectors? Do you communicate with the Gods and follow their advice?

Then what the hell do you know about Taoism???

-xyq

3:07 am

 
Blogger Seamus "Moose" Anthony said...

Dearest Anon,

In reply to your charming contribution allow me to point out that there are two generally accepted forms of Taoism: Philosophical (which I am of) and Religious (which, it appears, you are of).

Aside from that, I am a self-professed Contemporary Taoist. To gain a better understanding of what I mean by this, please go off and read up on a phenomenon called Post-Modernism, then come back and read some of my blog again.

Flow Like Water...

1:56 pm

 
Blogger Gadadhar said...

Loving your blog! Keep it up friend!

11:41 am

 

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