Taoists should know that their ultimate mindset is being a “TAO” ist, which means they are together with the Tao. Imagine you are the founder of a big company like Microsoft. Would you feel that your company and you cannot be detached? You feel like the company is you, and you are the company; there is no difference. Money going away from the company is painful, just like money going away from your account. That’s the feeling of being “one” with another thing. You and the Tao should be like that, too; that is the only way you can become a good and strong Taoist.
Start by avoiding some words when you “talk” (including typing in chats)—for example, distancing the lineage and yourself by saying things like “What does your lineage belief in?” if it feels like you are not part of the lineage. You should ask, “What should my belief be as a disciple in the lineage” that puts you and the lineage together. When you talk to me and ask, “In your book, you mentioned this and this and that,” now you feel like you are distanced from me. You could instead say, “In our book, there is this section on this and that….”. Imagine your dad wrote a book, and you are referencing it. Would you say “in YOUR book”? You would say “in this book” or “in our book” if you feel like the book is yours because you feel like your dad and you are just ONE. (Our – as in “our family’s book.”)
Newbies often think that magic power comes to them when they need it. However, that’s slow. You should already be inside the magic power, so the magic power protects you 24/7. How to do that? The answer is simple, being ONE with the TAO. See yourself as a newborn baby in the family. The lineage is the family, and you have your parents and relatives there. How would you talk? How would you act?
A way to compare is that you have been born in a country. Do you see yourself as an outsider, and the country is “giving” you resources? Or do you see yourself inside the country so you can enjoy everything? If you see yourself as an outsider in the country, you will never have a good life there because the heart doesn’t connect. Just like you are working at Google, but your mind is inside Apple, you will only want to quit sooner or later.
A Few Important Newbie Rules
Stick to these rules, and you won’t go wrong because they help you get better, grow father and avoid wasting all your potential.
Use “OUR” to minimize the distance, such as saying “our lineage” instead of “your lineage” or “this lineage.” The more you polish your speech and action with “togetherness” with the Tao, the better you will get, and the more you will love it. If you join a party and never want to be together with them in your heart, you will not always enjoy the party because you don’t dip yourself into the environment for real. Just like you see some people swimming in the pool and having fun, you kick the water on the edge and “get used to it” first – come on, get in there and swim! Swimming is not about kicking the water; you don’t need that to feel how to swim! Immerse into the environment, don’t be an outsider.
Be like a baby; ask stupid questions. Yes, you might think that it is embarrassing to ask “simple” questions that you might label as stupid, but it is part of life to be “stupid” and “silly.” You will never imagine how much a silly question can stir up in a chat. A disciple once asked me something that seemed “simple,” and I turned that into a full-on lecture for an hour; so many things can be taught from some “simple” questions.
Do not believe in “individualism”; go the other way instead. Taoists believe in being together as a group, a lineage, and sticking to your Tao for help. Like one big chicken mama is the Tao, we are the little chicks under her wings. We believe that chopsticks are hard to break in a bundle but fragile as a single. When you are doing anything, bring the group with you, or ask for help—doing a project? Post the picture on LINE and ask for empowerment; why do it yourself when you have all the help you can get back?
Let the Tao take care of things! That means putting the Tao’s power onto everything you do, just like if you are an alien and have some blue energy that can make anything get better, you would smudge a bit of that on everything you make and do too. It’s simple as that. The Tao should be all around you; you don’t just “call for help” when you cannot deal with it. Little sicknesses can be dissolved easily by exercising; you don’t do a big workout when very sick and try to “detox” yourself. Start from the small things, and get the Tao power everywhere.
Don’t believe in “freedom” like most Americans were used to. This is dangerous! While most Americans were talking about freedom, they didn’t realize that they were still being “restricted” by the law all the time. Freedom is like “you can do anything you want now” – just like a homeless kid with no parents; he can do anything he wants because no one cares for him anymore. Anyone with a job, family, or commitment will have no freedom. You are bonded by limitations, restrictions, and things you can or cannot do, say or even think about. If you are married to a woman, you cannot keep thinking about other women out there, or else it will turn you into a bad husband, and you will sooner or later become disloyal to your wife. It’s common sense, but people want to believe what they feel like these days. Being a Taoist, you need to ditch the word “freedom” because you are in the Tao now; you have to go by the rule of the Tao just like we go by the rule of nature and not nature going by what we “like.” I like to fly in the air, too; why can’t nature make that happen and give me wings with jets under them?
I will stop here and let you ponder, but if you are not yet a disciple, you can also get ordained today and feel what it is like being a Taoist! Being a Taoist is different from “studying” the subject from the outside; it’s not about reading books and thinking about it yourself. It’s about learning, applying and feeling the power as you use them. It’s like talking about food versus real eating; it’s not the same thing. You can never understand food without taking a bite; no matter how many books you have read, you will still not get it. Chew, and you will know.