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THE WISDOM OF HAVING AN EMPTY MIND
“Focusing on status gives us pride, and not humility.
Hoarding worldly riches deprives us of heavenly assets.
An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go of everything.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 3)
The above is taken from TAO TE CHING, an ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, written by the sage Lao Tzu.
You are in the world, but not of the world.
So, do not identify yourself with anything and everything in the world-the car you are driving, the neighborhood you are living in, the name-brand dress you are wearing, and among many others.
What is wrong with them? You become attached to them; they only enhance and inflate your ego, making you shackled to the material world. With a deflated ego, on the other hand, you may become enlightened and see who you really are, and not what people think you are. Enlightenment opens the door to the TAO of living for life.
The reality is that many of us are not only in the world, but also of the world; so, we are living not for life, but for the world.
We are all somehow connected with one another, so focusing on yourself is not the Way of TAO, and not the TAO of living for life.
Human wisdom requires only an empty mind, not necessarily acquisition of knowledge. As a matter of fact, the more you know, the less wise you may become. The explanation is that knowledge previously acquired and accumulated often pre-conditions your thinking mind, and thus distorting your perceptions.
Human wisdom is already inside you. What you need to do is to search for it with self-intuitive questions.
Remember: less for more, and more for less; ask and you shall receive.
THE TAO OF LIVING FOR LIFE
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
BE BETTER, HAPPIER, AND WISER
Living in this chaotic material world has much to do with order, which is a basic principle of the universe, without which chaos develops. To live well, you need to get your life in order; that is, you must align yourself with the principles of the universe. The first and foremost principle of the universe is alignment with the Creator of the universe. Once you have that alignment, you get faith that gives you spiritual strength.
Research studies have shown that people with a religious belief tend to get sick less often and get better faster than those with much less religious faith. Dr. Herbert Benson (Harvard Medical School) attributes this to the faith factor in his book Beyond the Relaxation.
Faith gives you peace of mind, which plays a pivotal role in longevity because peace of mind is the antidote to stress that often shortens life. To live longer, you need to de-stress yourself. But life is never easy, and living in this modern world is always challenging and stressful.
To have faith in God is another aspect of living that may eliminate much stress in everyday life. However, living for a Christian; just like any other non-believer, you face the same challenge along your life journey. The only difference is that with faith you may transcend the limitations and losses that inevitably come with old age, as well as the difficulties and disappointments encountered in everyday life struggle. “All things work together for good to those who love God, and to those who are called according to His purpose.” Your life becomes purposeful, and living, despite its many setbacks, has a divine goal. Faith may help you overcome the many tragedies that may come with life and old age.
If you have faith, you live longer. The reason is simple: you take better care of your body because: your body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
If you have faith, you most probably belong to a church, and you may enjoy fellowship with other like-minded believers. Fellowship plays a pivotal role in alleviating loneliness, which is a serious problem among the elderly. Albert Einstein had to say about loneliness: “It’s strange to be known universally, and yet to be so lonely. St. Augustine wrote in his classic work The Confessions of St. Augustine, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find peace in You.”
If you are a believer, most probably you also actively involved in church activities after your retirement. Involvement with people with all ages holds the key to successful aging because you express your compassion and loving-kindness to others. By doing so, you also develop empathy, which is experiencing the feelings and emotions of others; in the process; you learn to appreciate what you have, and make the most of what you have left to help others.
TAO The Way to Biblical Wisdom: This book is about using human wisdom to understand God’s wisdom so that you may live in this material world as if everything is a miracle.
The Book of Life and Living shows you the blueprint of living in this material world based on the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu (an ancient sage from China), conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom, so that you may become better, happier, and wiser.
THE HAPPINESS WISDOM
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
DOES MONEY MAKE YOU LIVE LONGER?
To live long is a desire of many. Longevity is more than just about genes. It is also about attitudes toward life and living. Empower yourself with knowledge in the art of living well in order to live better, younger, and longer.
Many people associate longevity with money because money can make the world go around, money can make you happy, and money can even buy you good health.
But does money really bring longevity? Can money make one live happier and longer?
Before answering these questions, let's look at what contributes to longevity. To live longer, you need holistic wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. In other words, you need to feel good about your overall being. If that be the case, then comes the next question: what makes you feel good about yourself? Is it abundant wealth, good health, or a satisfying love relationship? Be that as it may, they are only the byproducts of happiness; they do not make you happy.
Money cannot make you live longer. The only thing that money could probably do is to enable you to have access to more expensive medical treatments when you fall sick. Other than that, money plays a little role in your living longer.
Many lottery winners attest to their experiences of temporary ecstatic happiness, and nearly all winners confess that winning has ultimately made them miserable and unhappy for various reasons. Maybe once the initial stimulus of sudden wealth and the drastic changes of lifestyle have worn off, they ultimately return to their original baseline level of happiness or unhappiness. Or, maybe, according to some experts, having too much pleasure, what is known as “eustress” can cause, ironically enough, stress, just as lacking in pleasure may be stressful to the many have-nots.
Longevity requires a healthy mind that controls the body that lives in the physical world. Inter-connection between the body and the mind may lead to a healthy soul that oversees the mind and the body.
As If Everything Is A Miracle
To live well as if everything is a miracle, you need to know your true self-how your mind thinks, how your body acts and reacts, and how your soul supervises both your body and your mind. So, rethink your mind, renew your body, and reconnect your soul for their complete alignment. Total alignment of the body, the mind, and the soul holds the key to longevity. With total alignment , you may have the wisdom to know how to make and spend your money, which in itself is neither good nor bad.
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THE TAO OF LIVING LONGER
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
THE WISDOM IN “ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING”
With both human wisdom and spiritual wisdom, you may see anything is everything not just for yourself but also for others as well. In other words, you may intuit the wisdom of oneness with all life, which is your interconnection with others, not just with those who are close to you, but also with those who are distant and unrelated to you. Life is all about anything and everything, and their connectedness with one another.
No man is an island
According to John Donne, the famous English poet, “no man is an island”; that is, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. Therefore, we are all inter-connected with, as well as inter-dependent on, one another in many different ways.
Oneness is the law of nature: what we do to others, we also do to ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously. It is the unity of all life-life is what we all have, and what empowers all of us, giving us the enlightening experiences and the holistic ways of living.
The Bible has repeatedly stated the significance of oneness of God’s creation and salvation to all.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 1: 1)
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. (Colossians 1: 16)
For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body-whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
(1 Corinthians 12:13)
According to Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage, one of the reasons why nature has continued to exist for thousands and thousands of years is that all forms of life in nature have their presence, which depends on one another for their co-existence. Just think about that: everything in nature does not exist just for itself, and that is why it can last forever.
Each and every being in the universe.
is an expression of the Creator.
We are all shaped and perfected by Him.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 51)
Blessed is he who has no ego-self.
He will be rewarded with humility to connect with the Creator.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9)
So, always focus on others, instead of just on yourself all the time. Focusing on others also initiates your connection with the Creator, providing you with spiritual wisdom to guide you along the rest of your life journey.
According to Buddha, “Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else.” What Buddha means is that it is not uncommon for humans to blame their problems on all the things outside themselves-other people and circumstances that are beyond their control. But the connectedness with all life contradicts that common but erroneous belief; the reality is that what we see in others and in our own circumstances is a reflection of our inner life, of what we believe in-which is the main source of all human miseries and sufferings. The truth is that all humans suffer because they do not see the miseries and sufferings in others, except in themselves.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Baptist minister, and leader in the civil rights movement, once said: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” So, your connectedness to others plays a pivotal role in helping you become your true self, instead of who you wish you were.
Even John Lennon in his famous hit song “Imagine” says: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope one day you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” That the world will live as one may indeed become a reality, and not just a dream.
So, oneness is focusing on wholeness, connecting anything and everything, not just in the world we are living in but also in the whole universe that is beyond us.
This once intricate and inexplicable connectedness is now no longer a religious, spiritual, or philosophical concept; it has become a clear scientific principle for further exploration and more investigation. Indeed, many celebrated quantum physicists, ecologists, and environmentalists have now come to believe that all life and matter are united by an underlying energy or consciousness.
This scientific belief is also a strong testament to what Albert Einstein had previously said: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
The bottom line: oneness with all life may lead to your diverse expressions of the one original source energy, and thus enabling you to grow spiritually toward your further understanding of the oneness with all life.
ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING
Copyright© by Stephen Lau