I recommend reading Wayne Dyer's Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life for an understanding of the essentials of Taoism. Dr. Dyer spent much effort and time trying to update Lao-Tse's Tao Te Ching for a western audience. With most Tao Te Ching translations, I find so much ambiguity and scholarliness that the essentials seem lost or hidden. Dr. Dyer's words, however, are understandable and usually (in my biased opinion) accurate in their interpretations of the Tao.
To me, one of the most important concepts of Taoism is "do nothing and everything gets done." Nothing is absolutely essential, not even the Tao Te Ching. This book you are reading is not necessary, nor is the Bible, nor is any other religious text. This idea fits well with ideas of reincarnation that state we will eventually learn all our Earth School lessons, whether or not we pursue psychological and/or spiritual growth. (The Tao Te Ching and this book, however, are intended to help you expedite the learning process, if that is your choice.)
"When kinship falls into discord, piety and rites of devotion arise. When the country falls into chaos, official loyalists will appear; patriotism is born." Change Your Thoughts, (Dyer, 2007, p. 82)
Dr. Dyer offers 81 "do the Tao now" exercises, one for each verse of the Tao Te Ching. I think this is a bit much "doing" for western audiences, who spend much of their lives "doing" such things as performing, hiding, covering over and ritualizing without recognition of how much the neurotic personality controls such "doing." I do think most of his exercises are useful. However, I suggest that you think of them as "flowing with the Tao" exercises rather than "doing" exercises. Whatever - Dr. Dyer's book is worthy of significant study, if such study appeals to you.
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Most people these days think that nasty names "naturally" hurt folks. Such erroneous thinking is causing huge amounts of societal unhappiness."|