Posts filed under ‘My Old Journals’

From my Journal – April 13 2002

The most effective and impressive of the ancient philosophies is Daoism. It is the art of nourishing life and nature. This is the highest value of philosophy- that it can renew health to mind and body, extend longevity. Like Yoga and Buddhism, it has a long history but is still relevant to today’s life. Yoga and Daoism in particular have an important physical aspect- of working with energy and the body which enables it to transform people, not just body but mind too. Daoism works from outside in and inside out, using meditation, visualisation, massage, tao yin, tai chi, chi gong etc. From physical to the spiritual, from spiritual to physical, the whole person is effected and transformation can take place if you are open or it can make you open to it.

The ancient book Nei Yeh (Inner Training) says,

Cultivate your mind, make your thoughts tranquil

And the way can thereby be attained.

So I feel I am starting to attain the Tao and compared to that,  work and effort seem meaningless. I can’t push myself. Am I waiting for something? Inner training also says,

Good fortune will naturally return to you,

And that way will naturally come to you

So you can rely on and take counsel from it.

Bank on the Tao! Rely on the Tao and take counsel from it. Follow your instincts and your spontaneous impulses and desires. Where does this take you? Wherever it takes you. How will you know? Wait for a sign.

September 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

From my journal- July 29 2002

We have a negative conception of human nature, while the Taoists and Confucians had a positive conception. This means we also have a negative conception of nature itself, which may come from the experience of living through the plague, or it may come from much earlier- from Christianity itself, which had a view of fallen man and fallen nature. Christianity may be at root a negative philosophy and so incapable of being reformed. How to find a positive conception of human nature now? The only way may be through the new cosmology, through science, since this is not touched by Christian negativity. The positive nature of humanity means that it can adapt to change and improve situations, to turn negative to positive. It is capable of transformation. The problem is that psychology since Freud, and religion and much of philosophy is negative or nihilistic or cynical or sceptical, all attitudes that make real change very difficult.

August 4, 2009 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

From my Old Journal – April 13 2003-

The heart is a deep source of knowledge and we ‘think’ with our body. We need to recover our lost heart, as Mencius said, because when we recover our heart and its feelings we find out again how to live, we become whole again. The heart is both a physical organ, which can be diseased, and also an organ of feeling, which society abuses and ignores. It is also some kind of memory or cognitive organ. Wholeness is when the heart functions properly on each level- unconscious, body, feeling – all enmeshed together, running in sync.

June 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

Step by Step – From My Journal

April 7 2003 – 49th anniversary of my father’s death. Cleo (my daughter, then aged 12) was in Hampstead Heath climbing trees. Looking up at a large tree, nervously examining the possible foot and hand holds, she said, “I can see how to get up to the first branch, but what do I do from there?” I said to her that when she got up to the first branch she would know where to go.

The world would look different from there- new perspectives, a new way of looking at the situation, so what seems a problem standing on the ground disappears when we are sitting on the first branch.

So it is with many things. The problems which seem so massive when we begin disappear once we start, because the problems are made from a particular perspective, which alters once we change position. This is a universal truth.

To see life through universal truths is the best way to view it.

June 13, 2009 at 9:43 am 3 comments

From My Old Journals – Getting Rid Of Old Emotions

A few items from a journal that I’ve been keeping since 2001

Nov 16 2001- Every book that I write gives me the chance not only to learn more but also to practise more. The systems of Stoicism, Tao and Yoga may seem very different, but what they all share is the need to reduce desire in order to gain a new view of life, one that is larger than just our limited ego,  and that can extend into the cosmic realm.

Nov 26- As we progress in yoga, as the process of yoga works on us, we find that the old and tired emotions that clog up our bodies’ energy- the pain, bitterness, disappointment, sorrow, grief, worry- all the feelings that discourage us and get us down, that stop us from being who we truly are- these old and dead emotions can be removed, can be breathed out, sweated out, shat out, shouted out, to allow the good and strong emotions  that we inherently have and are made of to start to express themselves again, so that our thoughts, speech and actions can become the expression of our essence, the self – expression of who we are, a oneness without any second, a unique and whole organism, self-directed and self-reliant, able to live without fear, with courage secure in the knowledge of who we really are.

What do we fear? Krishnamurti says that we fear the past and the future. So time is our fear, and time is Qi, the movement of chi. The fear of the future is the fear of dying, of loss in the future, of the unknown. But this fear can only be embodied in us by the past, by fears that we have experienced and remember. This is the conditioning of fear that haunts us in the present.

May 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

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