Taoism & Higher Learning

TaoismI dislike higher learning, yes at this present moment, it’s unsettling. Higher education is an organization for academic achievement of advanced thought through research. It also is an environment where all meaningful thinking originated with humans, specifically White men. This essay is not about race but the (perceived) disconnection from Taoism by the author.  I have become the unconscionable ringmaster of a circus.

The pattern of higher learning is not complex, “smart individuals theorized propositions and as a result of their scientific examination results you must listen to them”. More important, opinions are not valid and only receive legitimacy if past scholars or research are acknowledged. As such, higher learning does not nurture creativity or ‘outside the box’ thinking however strict obedience to the scientific method and notable scholars are prerequisites.

For instance, neither Socrates nor the Greeks are the founders of philosophy and higher thought. Sadly, this premise begin an academic career in adult education.

Run Boy!!!

This is one disconnect as there are others, higher education is as systematically dysfunctional as secondary schools. Paulo Freire speaks about the ‘banking model’ where learning institutions educate peasants to accept the social order; this is a norm in higher education classrooms. Adult learning is restricted by 16 weeks; time not learning dictates the cemented curriculum.

In truth, syllables in research (NIU) universities where professors combat to become leaders in their fields or tenured are cemented with identical talking points yearly. Knowledge it seems is stagnant in all social contexts. As a result, adult learners receive an educational template to help fill corporate payrolls that sadly no longer exist. Worse, the author abandoned Tao to hopefully relish and prospers in this pseudo existence.

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“Truth is a necessity if you’re ever going

to live in harmony with spirit

and become a source of inspiration for the people

you encounter.” Dr. Wayne Dwyer

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Non-Action

Yes, the Dragon walked away in theory unaware that without ‘The Way’ you spin in circles. At any rate, college became an empty dwelling only useful in as too retrieve rote memorization for test results. Also, social contacts are because of fear and superficial expectations of the writer became fuzzy. However this is not an indictment on individuals (i.e., professors, administrators, students) the author count as friends. In brief, this summary exists only because of the author’s thoughts of the unknown.

The college classroom, writing papers, or speaking at conferences does not resemble dreams of peace and tranquility for me. On the contrary, I love to coach, teach, and live Tao. I love to awake to ambient music as early as 4.30AM, read, and remain still for eternity. The Dragon crave to work for individuals that exhume his passion: male adolescents and adult readers. Nevertheless, the most important trait I possess is that of awareness and as a result, I do not want to waste time.

Working for the Tao is effortless because time does not exist.

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The Invisible Dragon

Book Review: Greatest Salesman in the World

Note:  I have more Christian friends than a mega church could shake a stick at.  My friends and I share and read books.  We share books not as an attempt of conversion to either faith or philosophy but spiritual growth. Hence some books receive a succinct written appraisal because of their indelible impression on the Dragon.  Such a book is below.

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Overview

Og Mandino, (1968) “The Greatest Salesman on Earth.” Overview: Jay Redmond dutifully sworn to inform me of Christian genres did so with best-selling author Og Mandino’s book “Greatest Salesman in the World”. Why, the forewarning? Because we do not trade books so heavily slanted that any message of worth is drowned out by ideology or mythology.  This is not to say religious books make me scurry but some attempt to covert by text. I’m not a big fan of these books and pleasingly Jay takes this heed.

In fact, before Jay dropped it on my desk, I could honestly say, never heard of it. Jay’s an avid reader as well as philological gent, a light-skinned African-American fellow drenched in thought. He informed me of the mission, “read this book, I think you’ll enjoy it”.  This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds, damn that Jay.  Spoiler Alert!!!   Greatest Salesman on Earth (1968) is not about last month’s quarterly reports.

Hafld:  Teach Me

The date did not bother me (1968) concerning contextual relevance. The Tao and Bible are much older; the Buddha, a tired elder, long should have retired. What the book has in common with these books and philosophical thinking patterns is the art of the parable. The story sets in Jerusalem in about the time before Christ’s birth, when the young man Hafld wishes and learns the secrets of success.

The educational tutelage came from one of the wealthiest men at that time. The well-off elder was repeating the gesture he himself requested and received long ago, “the secret of success”. The story reveals ten scrolls handed down to Hafld, these lessons of principles necessary to build one to self-actualization.  Without giving much if anything away, the scrolls provide lessons to change one’s circumstances through a change of consciousness.

The story inside the story is a powerful plug for Christians; as such reading the book in its entirety will be a great revelation. Greatest Salesman on Earth is a nice story of self-identity building and remaining faithful to one’s beliefs.

My Take:

Og Mandino’s “Greatest Salesman in the World” has sold over 14 million copies. There are some helpful, empowering tools in the classic. However, my reaction to the book was lukewarm mainly because the anecdotes were familiar to my schema. This book would be more advantageous to a person just beginning their journey, such as the main character Hifld.

In addition, the book offers great insights and then produces thoughts that baffled me, as such, “Experience is comparable to fashion; an action that provoked successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow, only principles endure (pp42).”

Principles become experience when applied in real life situations. It is similar to hope, it only becomes hope when actions are secured, or “when the rubber hits the road”.
This book favors individuals who desire external guidance in the beginning of their journey.

Three Dragons… Recommended for purchase…
dragon book reviewdragon book reviewdragon book review

Next Book Review
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success

purple dragon

The Invisible Dragon

Men & Depression: The Theory of Hope

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Hope is deliberate intentions, a road, and courage

not to turn back from reaching your goals.” The Invisible Dragon

Depressed men live in virtual darkness.  Sad and dishearten these men may become emotionally isolated and disengaged. If depression deepens without medical intervention hopelessness may become evident. Haeffel, Abramson, Brazy, & Shah (2007) define hopelessness as being convinced the future holds nothing but bad outcomes and all efforts are futile. However, Snyder (2002) hope theory may help depressed men vision another alternative.  Hope theory is associated with purposeful goals, strategic journey planning, and mental force. In other words this optimistic progression instigates ambitions, pathways, and psychological energy to goal achievement.  It is my position that Snyder’s hope theory may help men battle depression and hopelessness.

Goals

Hope provides an underpinning to change thoughts and subsequent behaviors through achievement. The theoretical process is a triad of goal setting, journey thinking, and cognitive force. Changing hopelessness to hope first involves selecting positive goals. Hence encouraging fresh ambitions are alternatives to the negative goals often associated with depression (e.g., isolation, lack of effort, disengagement). Men whom set optimistic aims signify a preamble to change thoughts and subjective behaviors. Depression is as cognitive as it is a brain disorder; how we think influences our mental abilities.

Journey Thinking

The second strategy is cognitive thoughts about our trail. Perceived goals (e.g., good health, mental stability, employment) remain stagnant and stale without action. So, how do we get where we are going? How does one realistically consider the best route? Selecting the most desirable course may encounter trial and error.  As a result there will be bumps in the road we suspect. However the resiliency to maintain an itinerary must be a prerequisite to success.  Consequently, hope allows us to readjust our route to achieve our goals.  However whatever course we choose we must not turn back; for the darkness is behind us.

Mental Force

Finally, our goals set, the path laid out, now the question remains “Do we believe?”  Why should we trust in miracles? Hopelessness and depression is a significant predictor of suicide (O’Connor & Sheehy, 2000). Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females (CDC 2004).  Numerous obstacles, barriers, and obstructions filter the path of a change agent. Nevertheless how we talk to ourselves becomes most importance. Hope provides the fuel to the little engine that say “I think I can”.  Do not turn back…tell yourself…“you can finish this.”

Conclusion

Depressed men live in cocooned hallow shells. Hope becomes one process to help supplement men in treating their depression. Yes, in fact depression is treatable. The cure of depression is effective 60 to 80% of the time (Stilson, 2006). Unfortunately men succeed in suicide more than women, in fact, 90% of people who committed suicide were depressed at the time (Stilson, 2006). Major depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide (Rickelman & Houfek, 1995). Lifetime risk of suicide among patients with untreated depressive disorder is nearly 20% (Gotlib & Hammen, 2002).  The hope theory suggests a process to stave off depression and hopelessness.

The Invisible Dragon

Miles Davis

Daily Dragon’s Mantra. “Self-Mastery”

how-to-find-happiness

We predict with certainty an expert resided over hours of practice and training. Hence a virtuoso of piano suffocated in seclusion training her discipline.  In another instance, the skill surgeon stockpiled hours of due diligence to the smallest procedure. Without regards, external mastery skills requires long hours of hard work.

Yet religious and spiritual apprenticeship last but seconds. How one does believe mastery of self involves a ‘verbal slogan’ or membership to a sect implausible.  Nevertheless one may be assured mass gatherings expressing conversion in minutes disguise the ultimate reality.

Self-Cultivation

There exist no ‘quick fixes’ to deconstructing the illusionary mind.  Heighten awareness occurs from isolation wedded to inflexible vocation alike the sharpshooter or ballerina. Please let us not be mystified, skilled inner awareness may require years of practice. Therefore, as a stern warning, those who profess quickness to a ‘new spirit’ should receive a cool reception.

The world is populated with quacks announcing their possessing “The Way”.   As a rule gimmicks, tricks, and aged-old witty dialogue are not avenues to deliverance. The secret is not hidden from view; self-cultivation requires hard work and resiliency.  To blossom, stay inside (You) and study.

The Invisible Dragon

Miles Davis

Does this make sense?

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Sequestered in a small space (The Free Mind), a megalomania examination of “Inner-Being” provoked an epochal deliberation of critical inner reflection. In the past, however, the descent into (The Suffering Mind) normally involved ameliorating negative thoughts or regrets…however; this expedition was as aforementioned in (The Free Mind).  As such, the often-adrenalized ego remained aloof and docile.  Hence, the latent absence permitted an excursion intended on freedom from within; to travel unmolested…make sense?

In addition, to remain congruent to the new (Free Mind) this inspection considered the practice of pontificating theories of intra-forgiveness. Although, popular maxims consider ‘one should forgive and forget others’ (Inter-forgiveness), this by the way; deserve an ambitious moratorium on the phraseology of ‘speech forgiveness.’

In fact, (Imitation verbal conviction aside), to exile pain caused by other’s mischief or unintentional consequences deserves lengthy praise…albeit, whenever truly accomplished…I am sorry, I digress.

To the point at hand…How does the pardon of self-inflicted injury heal?

***Book Recommendation Alert***

There’s No Such Place As Far Away” by Richard Bach

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The Invisible Dragon

Miles Davis