Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | July 30, 2010

Taoist Magic and Other Philosophical Ideas

When we try to control or manipulate our surroundings, environment, or events in our lives, we make a mistake. The very essence of taoism is a surrender and an acceptance of the way things are, allowing events to resolve themselves, allowing the Creative to work, while we sray true and authentic to ourselves, in the center. A lot of religions and philosophies allow people to make this mistake. Christians believe that if they behave a certain way, if they say so many prayers in the “right” way, God will answer their prayers, and thus, in a very pious way, they think they will be able to get what they want and pull one over on the universe. Taoists can be the same way, believing if they meditate, if they are in harmony with their universe, if they can just go with the flow, things will magically happen in their favor, and voile, once again, they have pulled off the great magic trick. It’s no wonder believers become jaded and disenchanted and give up after a while, or get fleeced by the scam artists who take advantage of these ideas and pull the wool over the sheep’s eyes.

Most religions and philosophies will very clearly state that this is not the case, that the idea behind their ideas is deeper, not a delving into controlling and manipulating and getting the gods to do what you want. But then their canons are replete with stories and legends of the great saints and great sages who were in fact able to do the very things they say it was not really intended for.

For example, a taoist master can run upstream alongside a brook, and no matter how advanced, deep, holy, or purified he or she is, there’s nothing gonna make that stream change course and start flowing in his direction. However, if that same master runs down stream, going with the flow of the river, matches its speed, does it with good form, the lines begin to blur, and it could even be perceived that the stream is following or running after the master. I’m not making the point that “taoist masters” or great saints are all fakes and frauds. I’m saying that their true wisdom comes in their awareness and understanding of the world we live in. They don’t prtetend to be able to control or manipulate it. They are aware, they perceive, they are sensitive, they go with.

I will add this caveat to this post. I have experienced personally, anecdotally, somewhat “mystical” experiences in which “energy” can be very powerful and one’s thoughts can have a direct and immediate effect on another person. I have experienced this primarily with negative emotions, from me to others, unintentionally, when others have attacked me with negativity and I was able to ward it off and bounce it back, and with positive emotions of love, sympathy, and compassion. Good will and good thoughts, I believe can be transmitted, as well as bad. I have spent a bit of time playing with this, but not much, one, because I don’t want to go down some rabbit hole chasing after something, and two, because it would take so much more time and energy than I have available at this point in my life. This is a subjective opinion, but I do believe that the holy and purified lives of monks, nuns, and many laypeople does have an effect on the world. As for the everyday manipulation and control, better to let go and let the Creative do its thing.

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