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Monthly Archives: December 2022

Daily Tao – 12/31/22 – Continuation


Upon completion comes fulfillment.

With fulfillment comes liberation.

Liberation allows you to go on.

Even death is not a true ending.

Life is infinite continuation.

Always finish what you start. That alone is discipline and wisdom enough. If you can follow that rule, then you will be superior to most people.

When you come to the end of a cycle, a new one will begin. You might say that completion actually begins somewhere in the middle of a cycle and that new beginnings are engendered out of previous actions.

Completing a cycle means fulfillment. It means that you have achieved self-knowledge, discipline, and a new way of understanding yourself and the world around you. You cannot stop there, of course. New horizons are always there. But you can reach out for those new vistas with fresh assurance and wisdom.

With each turn of the wheel you go further. With each turn of the wheel you free yourself from the mire of ignorance. With each turn of the wheel comes continuation.

Turn the wheel of your life. Make complete revolutions. Celebrate every turning. And persevere with joy.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/31, *had to computer edit name.
Daily Tao 12/30/22 Morning



New day.

Joy of birth.

All we need is the morning. As long as there is sunrise, then there is the possibility that we can face all our misfortunes, celebrate all our blessings, and live all our endeavors as human beings. Spirituality is something that has become necessary in these troubled times. Yet it is inherently superfluous. We need it to remind ourselves, to bolster ourselves, to integrate ourselves, to fulfill ourselves. If we could simply acknowledge the mystery of night and the glory of morning, we would need neither civilization nor spirituality.

At its simplest, life begins with dawn. That is blessing enough. That is happiness enough. All else becomes fullness immeasurable. At dawn, kneel down and give thanks to this wonderful event. We may think mornings are so common that they are unworthy of veneration, but do you realize most places in the cosmos do not have mornings? This daily event is our supreme goodness.

Greet the dawn. That is your miracle to witness. That is the ultimate beauty. That is sacredness. That is your gift from heaven. That is your omen of prophecy. That is knowledge that life is not futile. That is enlightenment. That is your meaning in life. That is your directive. That is your comfort. That is the solemnity of duty. That is inspiration for compassion. That is the light of the ultimate.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/30
Daily Tao, 12/29/22, Night


In night’s vast ocean,

Sun, moon, and earth align,

Pulling the earth out of roundness

And making tides rage.

Such is the power of night.

Night. You are mother of all. You existed before all. You are the background, the fabric, the whole underpinning of the universe.

In you is abstruse mystery, darker than the deepest water, blacker than the sleep of sleeps. You are an inconceivable fertility, a wild and uncontrollable realm from which strangeness and power and creativity and mutation and life spring. The miracle of birth comes from you. And the horror of death. That is why you both comfort and frighten us.

Stars and planets are scattered through you like luminescent pearls. You string them on your current effortlessly, and the pull of syzygy is so tremendous that the birth shape of the earth is pulled out of roundness, the seas exceed their brims, and the heads and hearts of all the creatures on this planet are made to pound and wonder in dazzled confusion.

When stars and novas burst, energy untold is unleashed — explosions of such magnitude that human intellect and instruments could never hope to measure even if made superior by a hundredfold — and yet these flames burn out, sputter, become mere dim coals in the supreme expanse that is night.

Night. You are mother without a mother. You are mystery and power and ruler of all time.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/29
Daily Tao, 12/28/22, Emptiness


Dust cannot gather

If there is no mirror there.

Some people have compared a pure soul to the unsullied brightness of a perfect mirror.

Others have retorted that if there is no mirror there in the first place, then there cannot be anything to be sullied. The soul is empty.

We should not think of our souls as discrete and separate from the rest of creation. We are indeed one with everything, so there is no need to think of our souls as isolated entities. Thus, it is the concept of the soul as separate being that is empty.

It is impossible to live in this world and not be sullied by it. The red dust will settle on you no matter how often you clean. It is good to strive for purity, but if you conceive of purity as a fight against the filth and the dust of the world, you doom yourself to obsession and futility. The only way to achieve actual purity is to realize your essential oneness with all things. If you are one with everything, then even filth is pure. For this to happen, you must transcend all distinctions in yourself, resolve all contradictions. With this erasure, the mirror-bright soul and the dust are all dissolved in a single purity.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/28
Daily Tao, 12/27/22, Purity


Purity is light.

We forget purity too much. We make compromises with our hygiene in the name of expediency. We allow our mountains and seashores to be polluted for the sake of the marketplace. We allow our minds to be sullied with frivolous entertainment. War is thought to be a viable option, principle is considered a negotiable quality, our children are victimized by strangers, and obscenity is considered a valid subject for art.

Where is the purity in our lives?

We marry. We divorce. We don’t care whom we hurt in life. We think loyalty is a charming but meaningless virtue. We sacrifice the values of our youth to purchase the glory of our later years.

Where is the purity in our lives?

We think that if we can triumph in one golden moment, that will dissolve all the other filth we preoccupy ourselves with. We uphold the greatness of athletes who want to have that one moment of triumph. We laud the battlefield hero as the redeemer of our guilt over the horror of war. We have fostered madmen who think that shooting a gun, hunting down animals, committing suicide, or slashing prostitutes in the street is their means of purity.

Where is the purity in our lives?

Seek purity. It may not be easy. It may not be common. But it is the one state that we can attain that is without compromise.

S2Art for Daily Tao 12/27

Daily Tao, 12/26/22, Ending


A shadow edge is never on the edge.

The time to contemplate the ending is before the ending.

Five days left to this year. There will be an ending. And there will be a new beginning. That is Tao.

If you look at a vase by a window and examine what makes it appear round, you will see a shadow on it. That is the shadow edge. It is the darkest shadow on that face. It is never on the edge : The main light source strikes the vase on one side, and reflected light comes from the other.

In the same way that the shadow edge, which establishes the roundness of an object to our eyes, is never at the edge, so too should we consider limits and endings before we reach them. We cannot do without limits and endings. They bring definition to our endeavors. But if we are to use them to our advantage, we have to plan how to meet them. For those who follow Tao, those who can accommodate endings gracefully are among the most admired.

In the past, emperors, scholars, holy people, or others who were fully in touch with themselves could know the moment of their deaths. While they were still vital, they wrote farewell poems. Such people knew how to consider endings before they reached them. Therefore, there were no regrets or lingering ramifications once they passed. The purity of the next cycle was ensured.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/26
Daily Tao, 12/25/22, Sanity


You are demons.

You are darkness.

Your soul is at stake. Your soul is light.

Dissipation is the threat.

Don’t surrender the key. Just dissolve.

The problems of humanity are not metaphysical. They are personal. Damnation is in you. So too is salvation. You are the prince of darkness. You are also the prince of light. Neither can be cast out of yourself. The valiant coping with that dichotomy is the poignancy of this existence.

The momentum is in favor of darkness. Glory is in favor of light. If you do nothing, you slip toward darkness. If you give the least bit of effort toward the light, you will be helped. Struggle for the light. For the price is dissipation — of the soul, of the mind, of the body, of your very humanity.

The key to all of this is your sanity. You have to struggle to maintain it. It mediates between the light and the dark.

If you want an end to the duality, you must dissolve your sanity into the universal whole. Don’t do this until you are ready, for you cannot come back. There is a tremendous difference between the dissipation of making no effort, and the dissolution that one can accomplish as one’s crowning spiritual act.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/25

Daily Tao, 12/24/22, Collectivity


Ancient societies were tribal;

The group did the thinking.

Current society is splintered;

The individual must be complex.

People from old traditions were often less complicated because they had the advantage of a complete culture that did the thinking for them. Everyone had a role that fit the whole. Individuals could concentrate on fulfilling their place, confident that the other needs would be met by the collective.

The specialization of modern times calls for individual roles that do not necessarily form a whole. We often lose sight even of what the whole is. We have commentators, we have critics, but we do not have leaders. We celebrate egalitarianism and consensus, but it is phony : a chaos of voices rather than a democracy; a populace of individuals pursuing their own ends rather than a collective.

The burden thus falls on the individual to fulfill a tremendous range of functions. We have to make more choices, be more informed, act in a wide variety of areas. We cannot simply concentrate on doing our part, because now our part is to compete with everyone else.

Spirituality is more difficult today. In the past, you could become a spiritual aspirant and the people would support you; a holy person was just as much a part of the collective as a farmer. Now, to be a holy aspirant you have to look for your own job and find new ways through a society that barely recognizes the spiritual.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/24/22
Daily Tao, 12/23/22, Rusticity


The laughter of country folk is uncomplicated.

The laughter of city folk is full of dark nuance.

The ambition of country folk is to grow their crops well.

The ambition of city folk is to overcome others.

The joy of country folk is to participate in the seasons.

The joy of city folk is to achieve sophistication.

When you see urban people in the countryside, you can often hear one of them making fun of the simplicity of the country folk. After all, we have so many words to mock them with : bumpkin, yokel, hick, hayseed, peasant, clodhopper, hillbilly, lout, oaf, cabbagehead, simpleton, rube. If one stops to consider, are these descriptions worse than neurotic, compulsive, stressed, ambitious, devious, shrewd, obsessive, money-hungry, or nouveau riche?

Those who follow Tao celebrate country living over the difficult existence in the cities. While we certainly cannot go back to an exclusively agrarian way of living, it is beneficial for us to consider the agrarian ideal. City living is a mental construct that collapses once we cease to make it real.

Strive in the cities, if you must. But don’t forget that there is little ultimate value in it. Don’t forget your soul, and don’t forget that a rustic setting is the best way to keep your soul.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/23/22
Daily Tao, 12/22/22, Attachment


The monk shaved his head as a symbol of renunciation.

But now he goes nowhere without his little cap.

It’s funny to see someone who says that he is a renunciate call childishly for his few meager possessions. Why renounce the world when you really cannot? Before you cut your hair, ask yourself if you can afford to give up your attachments. Before you give up your freedom, ask yourself if you can submit to monastic order. Before you say that you are spiritual, ask yourself if you can give up worldly desires.

I am not trying to make fun of monks here. I am observing that every path in life has its own sacrifices and its own hardships. Before you embark on a path, search yourself thoroughly and investigate the path completely. Then you will dispel misgivings. You will also reduce the chance of hypocrisy.

Whoever you are, live your life completely. If you are a plumber, be the best plumber. If you are a saint, be the best saint. If you are common, be common. If you are extraordinary, be extraordinary. People only err when they try to be who they are not.

S2Art for Daily Tao, 12/22/22, by Stioux