Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Tao Wisdom and Contemporary Wisdom

Tao Wisdom and Contemporary Wisdom

There was the story of a beggar who asked a stranger for money. The stranger said he had no money to give him, and asked the beggar if he would look elsewhere for money, including the box he was sitting on. The beggar said he had been sitting on that box for years but he had never looked inside it. The stranger urged him to look inside the box. Reluctantly, he did. To his amazement, he found the box was filled with gold coins.

Yes, wisdom is inside each and every one of us! But you have to look, just like the beggar did in the story! Many people believe that wisdom comes from knowledge. If you don’t go to college, you cannot be wise. Nothing could be further from the truth! Wisdom and knowledge are two separate entities: knowledge provides data and information, while wisdom is the application of the data and information gathered. Wisdom has much to do with the thinking mind—how it processes data and information received and then turn them into life experiences that ultimately become realities that define and create the personality of an individual.

Don't look elsewhere! Tao wisdom is internal wisdom; it is already inside each and every one of us!

Tao wisdom is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage who was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching, which is one of the most widely translated works in world literature, perhaps only second to the Bible. Tao is also known as the Way—the way or direction to understanding true wisdom, whether it is human or spiritual wisdom.

Tao wisdom is inside you. You need not look any further because it is right inside you! Unlike conventional wisdom, which is external, focusing on the acquisition of knowledge, Tao wisdom, on the other hand is internal. According to conventional wisdom, knowledge is empowering; the more knowledgeable you are, the wiser you may become. The ancient wisdom of Tao is quite the opposite: the more you know, paradoxically, the less wisdom you may have. 

As a matter of fact, there was the story of a professor seeking the wisdom of Zen (originated from Tao) from a Zen master who kept on pouring tea into the already filled-to-the-brim teacup of the professor. Later on, the Zen master told the professor that in order to fully understand the wisdom of Zen or the Way, he must, first of all, empty all his preconceived ideas of Zen, that is, he must have an empty mind to be receptive of the wisdom. Hence, to fully understand Tao, one must empty one's mind of any knowledge previously acquired. 

The Book of Life and Living is an explanation of ancient wisdom, contemporary wisdom, and spiritual wisdom illustrated with concrete everyday examples. Create your own recipe for wisdom in living. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau

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