Feb 6, 2011
A Life of Trust - December 5, 2010
According to the great philosopher of the 1600s, Baruch Spinoza, when we are confused or we lack understanding, we feel pain and we desperately require the feeling and the sense that we need power. But, if we want power we have to get our self-approval from outside of us, not within us. This sense that we need more power to get things to happen is the very thing that separates us from being one with the flow of nature because it forces us to struggle. Struggling to "make" things happen is an unconscious habitual pattern. Most habits or patterns are learned early in our life. Habits are learned and repeated and are a part of who we believe we are.
In Andrew Perry's article, A Guide to Understanding Spinoza's Ethics, he says that "According to Spinoza's philosophy, people are guided by reasons, and people who have habits ("mental addictions") have reasons for their behavior (though they are not always aware of them). As Spinoza suggested more than 300 years ago, it is this mental addiction, or "desire," that is the source of people's behavior. Even if a person really wanted to do something different, they couldn't because they will always act according to their desires. That's why so many smokers who quit wind up smoking again, even after many years of abstinence. In order to stop smoking, Spinoza would suggest paying attention to those particular instances that cause one to smoke. This awareness will bring to light the reasons one has for smoking. Then, the smoker needs to evaluate the reasons and see if they are actually good reasons. Smokers should also think about the reasons they had to begin smoking. Are the reasons still applicable today? In reviewing all the reasons, one lessens the desire. By becoming knowledgeable about the reasons for their desire, Spinoza says that a person becomes wise, and wisdom will cause a person to alter his bad behavior. This is done basically by switching masters, instead of physical vice, wisdom becomes the master. It would be inaccurate to refer to this process as “quitting smoking”. Quitting requires effort of will. Spinoza would probably add that since the smoker no longer has the desire to smoke, the smoker's behavior has followed suit. The ex-smoker isn't doing anything; the only difference is that he's not smoking."
Continues Perry in his article, "By acquiring knowledge, Spinoza talks about a “meditation of life”, becoming aware of one's life and the reasons he may have for behaving in certain ways. Bad behavior is almost always guided by faulty reasoning due to desires, and good behavior is guided by good reasons. Spinoza says that this conscious attention toward life will bare the reasons humans have for behaving in certain ways. Bad reasons will fall away, and with those so too will the desire. With wisdom as the person's new master, the person will no longer be satisfied by simple physical desires. Instead, the person will begin to seek knowledge and even the greater good, and this pursuit will satisfy the person instead."
Within Taoism there is a strong tenet to be at one with nature, which implies trusting that you do not need to struggle to meet your goals. Everything that has been created in the Universe (The Dao or Tao) has its own natural flow that requires no struggle when it operates. Thus, says Dr. Robert Anthony: "Water does not struggle to flow. Grass does not struggle to grow. Wind does not struggle to blow. Rain does not struggle to fall. Sun does not struggle to shine. Earth does not struggle to rotate. Flowers do not struggle to bloom. . . Awareness is the first step to making any change in our lives. If you are aware that struggle is not "normal" and that it is a learned UNCONSCIOUS HABITUAL PATTERN, you can CONSCIOUSLY make the choice not to live your life paddling upstream."
In fact, by "going with the flow", you don't "have" to do anything. Once you make your desires known to Nature, and trust that your desires will be met, everything falls into place in its own due time. You will be inspired to be at the right place at the right time, and know when to do what. As long as you don't just sit at home waiting for things to happen and instead go out and interact with people, then the correct path will be revealed. This is called "inspired action", in that inspiration leads our intuition to feel which way to go so that the best results can be achieved. Our feelings act as a guidance system. As long as we are on the correct path, we feel good. Once we leave the path, either by doing something we shouldn't or not doing something we should, then we feel like we are struggling. We become uneasy, nervous, anxious, unhappy, confused, agitated, or lost. We feel wrong on the inside. On the outside our struggling also allows negative emotions, as they show themselves to others, to become active and public.
Sometimes, however, these emotions become frozen and are held deep within us, often unconsciously. Our emotions then go out of balance, and we become cluttered with emotional baggage which upsets our lives, often for many years. Unreleased emotions keep haunting you, and the Chinese even call these "Ghosts". This blockage may be felt as tension, pain, or heat. When an energy blockage is held within, it creates suffering whether it is emotional or physical pain. Holding energy blocks the flow of energy, just like a dam or snags in a river and it stops the in-coming flow of new energy - it creates a lack. This lack can be in any form: love, money, time, happiness, comfort, success, and health. There is no room for anything else to enter and you stay stagnant. Nothing can come in when there is nothing going out. Once a blockage is formed, energy cannot flow freely in our energy channels. These energy channels run throughout the body to keep it fully functioning. Energy is dynamic, it is always moving, flowing, changing, magnetic, and its vibration frequency is expansive. Dammed up energy accumulates, which starts moving again after removing the blockage. Energy always seeks constant flow through release. The practice of Qigong meditation and energy healing allows you to unblock these negative emotions. Qigong Tui Na Energy Healing is a special branch of Chinese medicine designed to unblock, free, and balance qi in others. Qigong healing relates to energy points in your body and to the manipulation of those points to positively affect your emotions, tension, and physical condition. Qigong is designed to relax the mind and body and help unblock stress and tension. Also, the practice of Qigong allows you to replace negative habits or behaviors with positive ones.