Tao Te Ching Teachings: The Virtue of Non-Competition

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“Without going against them.”

As already stated, water is necessarily yielding and subservient to everything around it. Beholden to gravity, is always humbles itself, moving from great heights, to immense depths. As the I Ching has it:

“Fire rises

Water descends”

Even when water does appear to be aggressive, it is not doing so of its own accord. Violent waves, tsunamis and monsoons are produced as a consequence of atmospheric changes, the influence of the moon, the cycle of the sun’s solar flares, and the electromagnetic actions of the heavenly bodies. Water never initiates actions on its own, but always responds to the actions of others. Depending on others for motion, and thereby preserving its own energy, it never wastes away, and can respond in a diverse multiplicity of forms.

The sage is the same. Preserving his energy as much as possible, he rides the currents of Heaven and Earth, following their will, instead of exerting his own. He does not initiate actions unnecessarily or superfluously, but only in accordance to what is of benefit to the world.

Not going against beings means that he does not compete, argue, or strive or struggle at futile, self-aggrandizing pursuits. At the moment, we see a planet torn apart by conflict and disunity. Every being is competing with one another, always wanting the best for themselves, and less for everyone else. And so, we end up with the situation we are in now, where most of the wealth of the world belongs to an incredibly tiny portion of the world, whilst many die from hunger and poverty, denied access to the gifts of the world, which were placed here for all to share.

Competition may seem to have provisional benefits, if you think innovation always means improvement, but it is not sustainable – only co-operation and harmony is sustainable.

The Australian Aborigines were completely non-competitive in their culture. Having no personal possessions, they shared everything with one another. The same is true of the Native Americans, who happily gave gifts to the very first colonists. In both cases, the colonists, corrupted by competition, were bewildered by this guileless generosity, and quickly abused it to the extreme.

When Aborigines were introduced to the game of football by Christian missionaries, they found it impossible to grasp the logic of one team winning whilst another team lost. Surely such a binary outcome leaves fifty percent of the people unhappy at any given time – what benefit could there be in that? So, when they played, they would make sure the score was kept equal at all times, so both teams could be declared to have won!

So, if you want to help people, competing to be better, greater than they are, is not the way to do it, as that always leaves someone excluded. We must be like water, always willing to lower ourselves, serve everyone, and embrace everything, without partiality or prejudice. Going along with beings, we perfect them through harmony instead of conflict. In a piece of eccentric political advice, instructing a minister on how to tame an unruly king, Chuang Tzu says:

“If he acts like a baby, then act like a baby along with him. If he acts unconventionally, then act unconventionally along with him. If he acts without restraint, then you act without restraint along with him. Thus can you awaken him and lead him onto to blamelessness.”

Thus, in not going against others, we fill in their gaps. Where they are deficient, we are full. Where they are excessive, we are balanced and moderate. Where are too complex, we manifest pure simplicity. Balancing out all beings, we give them what they lack, instead of what they want. Like water poured into an empty vessel, we take on the most useful form.

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Astral Travel: Transformation and The Divine Feminine

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Waking up still feeling feverish, I decided I would spend several hours chanting Medicine Buddha’s mantra to stimulate my healing powers within. At the beginning of the meditation I just decided to passively chant the mantra, allowing visions to naturally arise as they pleased. Many of them were of Shiva and Shakti; of wandering across vast desert planes on foreign planets. Sitting in a mountain cave, covered by a waterfall, looking across an infinitely vast chasm, filled with clouds, space, and moisture. Once again, there was imagery relating to the Native Americans.

I focused on my Shakti, on my Divine Feminine, and tuned into the female body that exists within my male body, becoming aware of my breasts, my womb, my vagina, and the different sensation in terms of energetic vibrations. I focused Shiva-lingam energy onto the pearl of my clitoris, and felt waves of high-vibrating pleasure ascending up through my body. It’s no wonder women enjoy sex more than men – the pleasure is much more intense, yet also much more grounded and consistent. It does not peak quickly then wane, as with men, but endures evenly, capable of being prolonged inexhaustibly for those who know the techniques.

Being earthly, women are naturally more grounded than men. Their tranquillity and serenity is far deeper than could ever be fathomed. This is why men have subjugated women for so long – because they are afraid and jealous of their closer connection to the earth, and the inexhaustible supply of magic and energy that gives them access to – pure Shakti energy. Thus, women have been demeaned and separated from the Earth as much as possible. This is also why the current powers that be strive to artificialize women as much as possible, exploiting their insecurities, and brainwashing them into being obsessed with appearances, make-up, security, and a whole of host of frivolous poisons that detract and separate them from the all-powerful divine mother whom they embody. To all women who read this, may you be liberated from the shackles of such attachments, and return joyously to nature, as the divine sorceresses you are.

Once we get to the astral projection portion of my meditation, the use of words becomes far more unsatisfactory. For those who’ve never performed astral projection before, it creates a divided, yet unified sense of experience. Though you’re still conscious of your body sat immobile as you meditate, you will also feel the cosmic sensations of your etheric body as you project it through different dimensions. There is a mind-split involved here, which may feel uncomfortable at first. But, the more you become accustomed to maintaining trance, and the practice of using separate senses simultaneously – in this instance, internal chanting and visualization – then the more that split feels natural and unified. You even become aware, during your waking life, that such splits are occurring all the time, and that your various thought bodies are often off wandering in other places and dimensions, whilst your physical body is engrossed in its own activities.

The longer you maintain awareness and control over your etheric body, the more solid and crystallized your etheric body feels. As with anything, the experience becomes much more stable and expansive the more you practice it. In fact, making your etheric body dwell in a single spot, as though meditating, and imagining it crystallizing, as though into a golden statue, is one of the best ways of further reifying it.

I visited an amazing crystal castle in space, which had a very robust healing energy to it, especially if one stood in the central room, below the elevated spire. The crystal was all a sort of light-bluey quartz color. It made me think about King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and made me wonder whether it was memory of such places that impelled him to build his incredible, fairy-tale castles.

One of the most liberating and exciting thing about the etheric body, is that it can take on any form you direct it to. The initial form I usually take on is that of a Buddha, bodhisattva, or god with whom I have a strong relationship. The Buddha body is usually an ideal one, because it is very easy to drive, and one can use the energetic powers of his top-knot and third eye to illuminate all sorts of fascinating realms and worlds. But, all forms are capable of taking on any kind of amazing transformations at the drop of a thought.

One of the interesting experiences for me this time round is that, not only can we take on the forms of animals and beings, but also of vehicles, planets, buildings, boats, and houses – or just be formless and empty, like the vapours of space. It is very fun to experiment with these different bodies, the alchemical actions that occur as a result, as well as the knowledge one acquires through experimenting with different incarnations.

Most exciting of all is realizing that you can transform the etheric body to be many things at once, manifesting yourself as a whole plethora of beings and things. I even experienced creating a hole world, and manifesting individually – yet multifariously – as every being and thing on it. I imagined separating myself into an infinite multitude of bodhisattvas, who I could spread in all directions, to all possible worlds, to liberate as many living being as possible.

Of course, at this level, I realized that all beings are essentially ephemeral creations thought momentarily into existence by the universal mind, and that, as The Diamond Sutra says, there are really no beings to save. Though, of course, until all beings realize that, I still have a lot of work to do!

Learning to be formless and all-embracing is definitely a skill I would recommend all beings to master

Teachings from the Tao Te Ching: Killing The Competition of Competition

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“Do not exalt great men over others

And people will not compete”

Taoists, like most mystics, are anti-hierarchical. As soon as we designate one thing as ‘superior’ that automatically makes something else ‘inferior.’ With such tiered thinking as this, how could we ever achieve true unity in the world?

Hierarchies make men and beasts compete with one another. In a communion of equals, everybody co-operates with one another, and functions in accordance with their own natures. But, as soon as hierarchies are introduced, and, with it, the possibility of being better or worse off than one’s neighbours, co-operation and integrity go out the window. People fight, debase and kill one another, all in the hopes of winning a higher position, or being able to lord it over others. So, the concept of being ‘better off’ than someone else does not make for a ‘better off’ world.

In contrast, many indigenous peoples, such as the Australian Aborigines and Native Americans, were completely without hierarchy. European invaders were frustrated to discover they had no ‘chiefs’ or ‘kings’ with whom they could negotiate. They would perfunctorily nominate some member as ‘the leader’ and use that conceit to enable their insidious dealings. But amongst the Australian Aborigines, even great elders, who might be respected for their wisdom and spiritual attainment, would be considered as essentially no greater than anyone else. It was no one’s right to rule over any other, for the only just rule is self-rule. When beings rule themselves, and see all others as their equal, there is no opportunity for divisive conflict to arise.