Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Longevity and Wisdom

Longevity has a lot to do with wisdom. If you wish to live longer, get Tao wisdom of the ancient sage Lao Tzu.

Tao wisdom is based on "Tao Te Ching," which is an ancient classic from China. The book was written thousands of years ago by Lao Tzu, a sage born with all white hair (a sign of wisdom). According to the legend, the great philosopher was forced to put down his profound wisdom in writing before he was permitted to leave China for Tibet. Reluctantly, Lao Tzu concisely and succinctly expressed his unique wisdom in eighty-one short chapters with only five thousand words all told. As a testament to the significance and timelessness of his profound wisdom, "Tao Te Ching" has been translated into many languages; as a matter of fact, this ancient classic has become one of the most translated works of world literature.

What has made Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching" so popular and lasting?

First and foremost, the language is extremely simple and easy to read. His ideas are intriguing and thought-provoking, and capable of multiple interpretations. His wisdom is not only timeless but also universally applicable. Most importantly, it holds the key to longevity.

Despite the simplicity and conciseness of the language, many people find it difficult to understand Tao wisdom expressed in the short text; especially, it seems to have so many different interpretations of the text. Actually, understanding Tao wisdom is not that difficult; all it requires is an empty mind. In other words, we must first and foremost empty our minds of any pre-conceived thinking before we can fully and truly intuit its profound wisdom. Just be prepared to expect the unexpected.

Here is a summary of Tao wisdom in living a long life.

"Tao" means "the way" to wisdom -- or "the way" to achieving just about anything in life. As opposed to conventional wisdom, the wisdom of Tao is all-inclusive but very subjective. It is all-inclusive because it includes every aspect of life and living. But, at the same time, it is also very subjective. In other words, "the way" is unique to each individual -- something like "one man's meat is another man's poison." That is to say, each individual has to discover or look into the self to find out what "the way" may look like; unlike conventional wisdom that often provides a blueprint for many, if not for everybody. For this reason, wisdom cannot be acquired through knowledge, which is merely an accumulation of know-how from experts, let alone be taught or guided. Wisdom has to be self-intuited, self-assimilated, and self-internalized by an individual based on that individual's unique life experiences.

The key to intuiting the wisdom presented by Lao Tzu is abandoning or letting go of the ego-self.

Unlike conventional wisdom, which puts much emphasis on "self," such as "self-esteem" and "self-confidence," Tao suggests quite the opposite: the "non-attachment to self" because the "self" goes hand in hand with the "ego"-- together they create the "identity" of an individual. Once the "identify" is created, there comes the need to "preserve" or "protect" that "identity" due to the presence of the "ego" Thus, a host of other problems will subsequently follow.

Therefore, the first and the most important requirement is to have "no ego-self"-- which is, however, most difficult to attain, because we are taught to be proud of who and what we are.

With "no ego-self," you then have "no expectation" in life. To illustrate, if you have created an ego-self, such as "I am a doctor" or "I am a mother," then subconsciously you have to, or you are "expected" to, live up to that image or the ego-self that you have unconsciously created in your mind's eye.

With "no ego-self," you will not be too concerned with material things that often qualify or attach to the "identify" you have created for yourself. In other words, you will become "non judgmental"-- which is essentially not having to choose what you want and to reject what you do not want, or rather desiring what you think will enhance the ego-self, and avoiding what you think may damage your identity or image of the ego-self.

If you have "no expectation," you need not exert extra effort to meet your expectations. With less effort, you have more time to yourself, and so you can live in the present moment, which is the essence of Tao wisdom in living. In contemporary wisdom, we are expected to do more in order to get more of what we want; in the wisdom of Lao Tzu, you do "less" for more -- it is all about the spontaneity of things; you make nature work things for you, instead of working against the forces of nature.

To conclude, Tao wisdom in living is to have no ego-self so that you can live in the present. With no ego-self, there is no expectation; with no expectation, you become non-judgmental, which is accepting and embracing the desirable as well as the undesirable in life; being non-judgmental, you appreciate no overdoing; with no overdoing, you can live in the present and in harmony with nature. So, Tao recommends no ego-self to live a no-stress life with no worry, no expectation, no judgment, and no overdoing. This is the summary of Tao wisdom in living.


With wisdomin living, you have longevity.  

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spiritual Wisdom to Ask the Right Questions

“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Ronald Reagan 

To empower the mind, we must ask ourselves many questions and seek answers to the questions asked. When we ask, we may also receive—just as Jesus said: “Seek and you shall find.” That said, many seek but still do not find, just as many ask questions but do not receive answers because they do not have spiritual wisdom to guide them in what they seek and in the questions they ask. To illustrate, millions of people lined up for the Power Ball lottery, but they did not find what they were looking for. So, asking questions and seeking answers require not only human wisdom expressed in the intent to ask, but also, more importantly, spiritual wisdom manifested in the willingness to receive the answers. Without both, there is no true human happiness.
The word "happiness" has its origin from the Icelandic word "happ" meaning "chance" or "luck." That is to say, there is no absolute guarantee in life that the search for happiness will result in finding it, although nearly everyone seeks happiness as one of the main goals and life purposes.
Seeking answers to all the questions asked requires spiritual wisdom to show us that we are all living in a material world full of problems, that solving others' problems does not help us solve our own, and that solving our own problems does not guarantee we will not have any more problems to be solved as we continue our life journey. Spiritual wisdom can only be intuited in the presence of God.

The Human Flaw

Human unhappiness comes from the human flaw, which is human attachment to the many material things in the physical world they are living in. Attachment is only natural and instinctive, but too much attachment may also become a burden to the mind and the soul—the human flaw that leads to asking the wrong questions and thus receiving the wrong answers. Letting go of human attachment may help knowing the right way to finding both human wisdom and spiritual wisdom, which may ultimately point the pathway to attaining true human happiness.
It is also important to know that we all have a body, a mind, and a soul living in the physical world. They are all inter-connected and inter-dependent on one another for co-existence in order to live and survive in the physical world. The mind, the body, and the soul all work together as a system of life energy. The free flow or stagnation of this life energy is dependent on the “state of being” of the body, the mind, and the soul at each moment. It is this moment-to-moment alignment in the body, the mind, and the soul, as well as their alignment with one another, that creates the unique state of being, which is a miracle in itself.
On the other hand, the misalignment of the body, the mind, and the soul may stem from the human flaw of attachment, which may adversely affect the body; given the close body-mind connection, the mind contaminated by the body may ultimately infest the soul too.
The body is like a wild horse, unbridled, running here, there, and everywhere. The mind is like the horseman, riding on its back, trying to rein it in and bringing it back on the right track; to do just that, human wisdom is required of the horseman. The soul, existing in a totally different dimension with its inherent spiritual wisdom, supervises both the horse and the horseman, providing the latter with a compass and a roadmap so that both the horse and the horseman may continue the journey on the right track and reach their final destination.
What role does the human flaw play?
The human flaw may negatively affect the behavior and personality of the horse, and thus challenging the skill and horsemanship of the rider. This may lead both the horse and the rider onto the wrong track and get lost. 
The bottom line: without the wisdom to know what true happiness is, we will never find it no matter how hard we may try; without the wisdom to understand who we are, we will never be happy because true happiness comes from the true self with both human and spiritual wisdom.
Read my book: The Wisdom of Letting Go. Find out how and why human attachments are obstacles to living a life of balance and happiness. Get the wisdom to let go of your emotional and material attachments in order to live as if everything is a miracle.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 6, 2017

Seeing With Your Eyes, Not With Your Brain


If you are seeing with your eyes, and not with your brain, you may not have depression. 

Millions of people are suffering from mental depression, and you are not alone. There are millions of people all over the world who have this disorder.  Just don’t deny it, and don’t stigmatize it!

Depression is one of the most devastating mental illnesses. Unlike other physical ailments, depression deprives an individual of an identify:  the individual can go on for years without getting anything done, or having any idea what to do with life; drifting from one thing to another, and not knowih ng what to want from life. Spiraling down into a black bottomless pit of despair, the individual simply loses the capability to live well. This is what happens to a depressed individual.

In depression, you tend to see things with your brain, instead of with your eyes; similarly, you hear with your brain and not with your ears. Perception is all in the mind. But, unfortunately, these deceptive perceptions become so "real" to you that you begin to "believe" in them, especially when they continually talk to you as internal dialogues. Changing your thoughts to change your mind is the only solution. This is not easy, but that is the reality.

People with mental depression usually have muddled thinking: there are too many thoughts filtering through their minds. That is, they have a tendency to analyze or to explain their perceptions so as to make some sense of or to draw some conclusions from what is going through their minds. Unfortunately, analyzing or thinking through what is in the mind will only create more mental blockages or internal dialogues that only perpetuate the inertness and aggravate the sense of loss, which are the characteristics of a depressive mind. Getting rid of your many internal dialogues may help your depressive mind. Once the mind becomes uncluttered, depressive thoughts may dissipate. If you wish to heal your depression, you need to heal your mind first. It is always mind over matter.

Those suffering from mental depression must have undergone some traumatic life experiences that triggered their depression. Depression does not just happen to any individual without a reason. Letting go is the answer: Instead of explaining or striving to explain any given situation or event, just learn to let go. The ability to let go of what you are desperately holding on to holds the key to recovery from depression.  Unfortunately, letting go is easier said than done. The good news is that you can use self-suggestions to change your subconscious mind, thereby changing your conscious mind to let go of any negative emotions and thoughts you may have. Your conscious mind might have relinquished all depressive thoughts of past experiences, but your subconscious mind may still be clinging on to them like leech.

The bottom line: learn the wisdom of letting go—letting go of all your attachments, of your negative emotions and feelings in the bag and baggage you have been carrying with you all these years. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau