I am a writer, a dreamer, a seeker. I’m also a believer, but telling you that tells you nothing of who I am or what I believe. Words, no matter how beautifully put together, fail when trying to describe the mystic wonderousness of the universe.
I’m a Taoist, by philosophy. Many people think Taoism is a religion, and there was a short time in which it was. However, what has been the most long-lasting is the Taoist philosophy. I took a class on Western and Eastern Philosophy in college, and I’ve been hooked ever since. That was over 20 years ago now. Taoism feels right to me.
Since it’s not a religion, perhaps you’ll indulge me a moment to explain what Taoism is to me.
Taoism is about balance. There is no good, no bad, no black and no white. Everything is about balance and things only are a certain way if we choose to believe they are that way. This is why I say I am a believer. I believe things to be, and therefore, for me, they are—whatever I choose them to be.
We would not know happy if there were never any sad to show us what happiness feels like. We would not truly be able to appreciate pleasure if there had never been any pain.
Sometimes, something you think is horrible happens, only to find out it was a blessing you simply had not recognized yet. Sometimes, a good thing befalls you, so it seems, only to later discover that seemingly ‘good’ thing brings with it much turmoil and pain.
This is shown in the story that is the epitome of Taoism, that of the farmer and his son. A farmer loses a horse, it having broken down a fence and wandered away. His neighbors commiserated with him what a horrible fortune this was. The farmer said, “Could be good; could be bad.” Later, the horse returned, and with it, the horse brought wild stallions, which the farmer’s son was able to corral them for use on the farm. Because horses are expensive, the farmer’s neighbors said, “Wow, what good fortune!” The farmer wasn’t so sure, saying, “Could be good; could be bad.” Later, while the son was breaking one of the horses, he was thrown from one and severely broke his leg, unable to work for his father for some time until it healed. The neighbors, knowing how much the farmer needed his son’s help, said, “Oh, this is horrible. What a bad fate!” The farmer simply nodded and said, “Could be good; could be bad.” Finally, after the country had been at war for months and the army was losing, soldiers dying, and many young men lost or badly injured, the captains came calling on the farm to take the farmer’s son away for battle, only to find the farmer’s son unfit for battle due to his badly broken leg.
Nothing is good or bad. It just is what it is.
Balance. Zen? Perhaps.
Such is the way of the world, the universe is constantly seeking balance.
My life is no different. I have been a pauper and I’ve been prosperous—from homeless to hope, from hope to dreams, from dreams to fulfillment—always with the memory of all I’ve lost and all I’ve gained to keep me humble and grateful.
I am grateful.
Love and stuff,