Tao 44: The Imitation of Life

testing

Fame or integrity: which is more important?

Money or happiness: which is more valuable?

Success or failure: which is more destructive?

****

If you look to others for fulfillment,

you will never truly be fulfilled.

If your happiness depends on money,

you will never be happy with yourself.

****

Be content with what you have;

rejoice in the way things are.

When you realize there is nothing lacking,

the whole world belongs to you.

Translation Stephen Mitchell

“The Way has no beginning and ending and thus it provides everything and yet nothing.

I had a conversation with a Sage yesterday, although a Christian Sage, an astute individual nonetheless. The conversation invited an overview of the suffused melodies the pen has put forth on Taoism. Although a master of the sword (i.e. pen), I am just an infant to the Tao. Therefore, the Tao support neither the winner or loser, it does not recognize the failure or a success. The Way does not recognize ceremonial piousness or devotions provided to the altar. This is folly…The Tao is endless with no beginning, nothing more or less.

One who needs a mirror sees an imitation of life.”

The Invisible Dragon

 

Stop Chasing What’ If’s…

Tao Te Ching Verse 12

Robert A. Williams’ Translation

The person whom constantly responds to the physical world lives in a state of flux…swinging to and fro…they are unsteady ships on bumpy sea waters, not solid, undependable.  The Sage understands balance and remain grounded in eternal Tao…she lives in the physical world but above in spirit.  She lives firm, remaining dependent in harvest and drought, not concerned with supplies…she plants seeds of eternity…As she knows, the Tao provides in life and death.

The physical world offers much in such a short time.  Not surprisingly for some the tantalizing lures of riches and domination becomes too much.  We leap.  Unbeknownst however one’s consciousness will now become trapped in the thoughtless thinking of “What if?”

I have nothing else to say…

The Invisible Dragon

Don’t Fight Life Today

Tao te ching verse 55 (Stephen Mitchell’s translation)

The master’s power is like this.

she lets all things come and go

effortlessly, without desire.

She never expects results;

thus she is never disappointed.

she is never disappointed

thus her spirit never grow old

****

I have made great strides in allowing things to be, nevertheless, I was a sick puppy at one time.  In my youth (i.e., yesterday) large parcel of my consciousness housed thoughts of control.  I was absorbed with force, accepting reality was not an option; there was always something I could do about it.  I thought F&#K going with the flow.  I am the damn flow!  Needless to say, I fought many needless battles with this jaded contraction of awareness.  You silly, silly man!

I’m not saying going with the flow didn’t work for me, on the contrary, it worked when my needs were met.  But recently, (i.e., yesterday) I’ve tried and with a bit of success to accept all manners of realities.  I’m driven by my deceased mother’s mantra, “You can get down any way you like; I do not give a damn.”  In other words, you can fight life if you like, but I’m not getting in the ring with you; I may just referee.

Learning to live in the moment (i.e., today) is the only blessing one should desire.  As a result, if you accept that and oxygen, you’ll not become unhinged at the first sign of trouble.  You’ll realize hopefully and quite quickly, no matter the circumstances,  you will not reshape the outcomes.  Just remember, how much time we have spent (i.e., today) attempting this flawed premise.  Here’s a nudge, mimic the animals and plants, they never squabble about their circumstances.  They instinctively have gathered, ‘It is what it is’.

The Invisible Dragon 

Set my Brothers Free: Young Black Men & Depression

By The Invisible Dragon

Young Black males, as suicide victims, were unheard of growing up in 1970’s.  However, presently, according to the American Association of Suicidology, suicide rates for African-American males ages (15-24) increased 83% in the early 80’s and 90’s.  More importantly, most suicide victims suffered from depression at their end.  Suicide has become a statistical reality for many young brothers.   The sad fact that young males are killing themselves is startling, but the communities’ silence is worse, even tragic. As a result, Black communities face stinging charges of being callous, insensitive, and more importantly, mis-educated. It is my belief; the silent epidemic on Black men and depression must be shattered.

Black men rarely speak about their mistrust of organized healthcare.  One reason for the silence is the mistrust they possess toward the health care profession.  The Tuskegee Experiment is just one example of gross malpractice levied against Black males throughout American history.  I, personally, refused to use White male doctors in the past and frankly all male physicians.  Often, they gave me a sense that my health issues were not as serious and that intestinal fortitude was in order.  In the hood, reputation and the cool pose is everything Black males risk isolation and marginalization if they have a mental illness label.  Despite, whys and wherefores, we must face ourselves and shed the current fear to face depression.  Young Black males suffer from mental illness; we better admit this and speak up.

Unfortunately and fortunately, Black males do not attend church in large numbers.  One reality they face is Black Churches dis-empower them by suggesting only the blood of Christ heals.  Young Black males are inundated constantly with this message from female relatives, girlfriends, and wives.  Usually those loaded theme suggestions fall on deaf ears. Nevertheless, I sympathize with anyone who attempts to sound the bell about males and mental illness. However, in contrast, depression is not a headache that’s erased through pray and aspirin.  It is important Black Christians not marginalize depression anymore; it’s real, get over it.  In addition, we must refuse to endorse the religious-based mythology, “Only the blood of Jesus heals”.  We need the Black church to become a responsible partner in healing our young men.    

If one would solve a problem, the study of the problem is a prerequisite.  In urban communities, often, Black males lead a life of isolation and sequestration.  My own view, education on mental illness is a valid step to our miscarriage concerning mental illnesses.  More directly, to break the silence we must seek education as the only solution.  Although, a controversial issue has been whether depression is real, this by the way is crazy.  The collective illiteracy about affective disorders is the result of such careless thinking.  The mis-education of mental health is important because half-truths may disable the men and communities, rendering them impotent in life endeavors.  Thus only, data driven information will pardon communities and free young brothers.

It is no secret, in urban communities; countless Black males inflicted with mental illness, live in virtual darkness. Sad and disheartened, they routinely live emotionally disengaged existences.   And, we do know, if depression deepens without medical intervention hopelessness may become a reality.  Haeffel, Abramson, Brazy, & Shah (2007) define hopelessness as being convinced the future holds bad results and all efforts are futile.  Our refusal to seriously engage men about their mental health ultimately hurts Black families, children, and communities.  As well, to continue endorsing cultural mental illness mythologies are an even more egregious assault.  We have a responsibility, and duty, to educate ourselves and communities on mental illness:

Shall we not set ourselves free?