<>b>Wisdom from Books

<>b>Wisdom from Books
Stephen Lau's website on getting your wisdom from books.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Impermanence of All Things

Everything is impermanent, and nothing lasts.

“Letting go is emptying the mundane,
to be filled with heavenly grace.

Blessed is he who has an empty mind.
He will be filled with knowledge and wisdom from the Creator.
Blessed is he who has no attachment to worldly things.
He will be compensated with heavenly riches.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9)

According to Lao Tzu’s wisdom, impermanence holds the key to the art of living well. The reality, whether we like it or not, is that everything in this world is impermanent  because everything is forever changing. So, why do you fight a battle that has no chance of winning? Just be an observer of the combats of others, instead of becoming a participant yourself.

“The Creator seems elusive amid the changes of life.
At times, He seems to have forsaken His creations.
In reality, He is simply observing the comings and goings of their follies.

Likewise, we watch the comings and goings
of our likes and dislikes, of our desires and fears.
But we do not identify with them.
With no judgment and no preference,
we see the  mysteries of creation.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 7)

TAO is the only way through anything and everything in life. Understanding that everything is impermanent, we may begin to appreciate what we already have, instead of complaining the lack of what we desire or what others are having. More importantly, we may even have the wisdom of letting go of what we value. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, October 8, 2018

Your Thinking Mind and Your Happiness


TAO (is about the thinking mind. It is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, who was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching.


We are human, and it is human nature to follow and cling to human wisdom as a beacon of light to show us the way as we continue our life journey. Tao or the Way is a means to an end, but not an end itself. That is to say, we follow Tao to some destination, but Tao is neither a destination nor the destination. Attaining human wisdom is a continual process; there is no destination.


Tao may be the Way between human wisdom and divine wisdom. It helps us understand the true nature of man and his role in the world of creation, and thus connects us directly or indirectly to the Creator.


One of the essentials of Tao is awareness, which is consciousness of thinking.


Awareness is the presence of mind that enables us to wait with patience for the revelation of God’s wisdom, which does not happen immediately, especially when our minds are still compulsive and muddled.


“we wait for our muddled thoughts to settle,

our composed minds to become clear just like muddy water,

until enlightenment arises, followed by eternal salvation.”

(Lao Tzu, Chapter 15, Tao Te Ching)


With awakened awareness, we may perceive the ultimate truth in Biblical wisdom that leads to human salvation.


Lao Tzu emphasizes the need for awareness as we continue to process the profound wisdom that is slowly and gradually revealed to us. Without that acute awareness, there may not be any understanding. Therefore, we must be:


“watchful, like a man crossing a winter stream;

alert, like a man aware of danger;

courteous, like a visiting guest;

yielding, like ice about to melt;

simple, like a piece of uncarved wood;

hollow, like a cave

opaque, like muddy water.”

(Lao Tzu, Chapter 15, Tao Te Ching)


With Tao wisdom, we may not only seek more but also understand better Biblical wisdom.




The author's own translation of "Tao Te Ching" is based on his belief that Lao Tzu's masterpiece is about the Creator of the universe, and that with true human wisdom man sees not only the manifestations but also the mysteries of His creation.


The book is about true human wisdom without the "conditioned" thinking of contemporary wisdom. Without the "reverse" mindset of Lao Tzu, man may have difficulties in understanding the wisdom of God expressed in the Bible.

The book is divided into four parts.


Part One is about the author’s reasons for writing the book, and also why "Tao Te Ching" is a "must read" for anyone who seeks real human wisdom.


Part Two is the author’s own translation of the 81 chapters of "Tao Te Ching" with respect to the Bible; each chapter is followed by some selected Bible verses for further reflection on what Lao Tzu has said.


Part Three is about the essentials of Tao wisdom with detailed explanation in plain English and with everyday life examples to help the reader understand the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu.


Part Four is an explanation of how Tao wisdom may help the reader understand God's wisdom in the Bible. Tao is the Way to Biblical wisdom.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Everything Is Nothing; Nothing Is Everything


Everything is nothing

Remember, life always begets death. What goes up must also come down. This is the natural cycle of everything in this world. Many people live without thinking of death or deliberately ignoring its existence, while others live but always with death on their minds—especially those elderly. Death is inevitable, but one need not anticipate it as if it is imminent, even if one is advanced in years. Nobody knows when death may descend. Just live your life as if there is no tomorrow, and live in the now, and live as if everything is a miracle.

Remember, whether you would like letting go or not, you came from dust, and dust you shall return to.

Remember your Creator before you return to the dust you came from. Remember him before your spirit goes back to God who gave it.
(Ecclesiastics 12: 7)

The bottom line: remember your Creator, or where you came from; everything is nothing in the end. So, why hold on to, and why not let go of, everything that eventually becomes nothing? Just let go to let God, who is in absolute control; everything must return to Him as nothing. Indeed, the wisdom of everything is nothing is the wisdom of letting go.

Nothing is everything

The realization that nothing is in fact everything gives you freedom and liberation from all attachments. Letting go to let God is self-enlightenment. Returning to dust is actually the only pathway to everything; physical death is just a way station on the road to paradise. Christ's resurrection is a testament that death can be a rite of passage to life eternal, and that nothing ultimately becomes everything in the life to come.

Believe that God brought you here for a purpose that you may not know. He will keep you in His love as long as you trust Him. To demonstrate that trust, you have to be obedient, which means you have to let go of all attachments that are no more than just distractions from your fear of the unknown ahead of you. He will make any trial in your life a blessing, teaching you a lesson He intends you to learn from it. He is giving you His grace to be bestowed on you. In His good time, He will deliver you—how and when you may not know, and this is the trust, without which there is no letting go. An inflated ego does not solve your life problems; it only increases them with more attachments. Letting go of your ego is the way to go. Attachments are no more than your emotional dependence on things, people, and thoughts that make your reluctant to letting go. Only letting go can create the “emptiness” to be filled by God’s wisdom to help you let go to let God.

Stephen Lau        
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, October 1, 2018

Why I Translated “TAO TE CHING” and Wrote A Book About the BIBLE


It never occurred to me that I would write a book about Tao Te Ching and the Bible—two of the world’s most translated and extensively read books of all time. I have neither the background nor the credentials to take up this huge literary challenge. But I have done it nevertheless. Maybe if there is a will, there must be a way somehow.

Where did my will come from?

My first contact with Tao Te Ching was probably when I was a 5th or 6th grader back in Hong Kong, prior to my coming to the United States. In those days, ancient Chinese classics were taught in Chinese classes; students were occasionally given a few verses from some famous Chinese classics, including Tao Te Ching, to commit to memory. In the texts from Tao Te Ching, the phrases taken were usually short and easy to remember, and the words rhyming and catchy; they were much like lyrics from a Chinese pop song. Other than those memories, the content made little sense to the students, including me.

Several decades later, when I began writing The Book of Life and Living, I did some research on Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. With Internet access, I was surprised to find that there are thousands of translations of the immortal classic of Lao Tzu.

I must say that many of the translations available in the Internet are imperfect (however, it does not imply that mine is in any way near perfection, or even good enough when compared with many of them). The reason is that the text of Tao Te Ching is in itself one of the most difficult ones in the world for intellectual understanding, let alone translating it into a different language. Without a sound knowledge of the Chinese language (which, to me, is extremely difficult to learn, not to mention to master) and a thorough understanding of the cultural background, any attempt to express its profound content in a language other than the original Chinese without any punctuation mark is an insurmountable literary challenge.

To me, the main reason for the imperfections in nearly all the translations, including mine, of Tao Te Ching is best explained by the famous Indian fable of the blind men describing an elephant. Like the blind men in the fable, each translator or interpreter of Tao Te Ching is always looking at the text from his or her own perspective. That explains why there is no perfect translation of Tao Te Ching: none of us is Lao Tzu, and each of us is striving to probe into the mind of the great sage according to our own perspectives and interpretations. But, by the same token, that is also the beauty of the book: it is open to any interpretation. For that reason, it is timeless; its value changes with the change of perspective of its readers.

Tao Te Ching is not meant to be read in a single sitting, and then forget about it; it is a book to be read, re-read, and then re-read as often as needed. Michael Crichton, the best-selling author and acclaimed film-producer, once said in interview with Amazon.com that if he were stranded on an island the only book he would take with him would be Tao Te Ching. His comment speaks volumes of the substantial intrinsic merit of this ancient Chinese classic.

Yes, Tao Te Ching is one of the world’s most difficult and yet most intriguing masterpieces. By design, the book is riddled with unexplained perplexities and contradictory possibilities through the deliberate use of simple, but vague and ambiguous words. The real essence of the book is its absolute and pure wisdom of living a life of balance and harmony, and thus enabling us to reassess our own lives through the many life lessons that we undergo in varying stages of life. Therefore, its unique content is eternal and timeless. That is why I would like to introduce Tao Te Ching to you, if you have not already read it.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Get My Book for FREE! Don't Miss the Opportunity!

Get this book for FREE between 9/27 (today) and 9/30 (Sunday): 

The TAO of Living for Life

This book is about the art of living well, which is being in the material world we are all living in, but without being of this mundane world. This daunting and challenging task requires profound human wisdom, which comes from TAO wisdom, the ancient wisdom from Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, more than 2,600 years ago.

Lao Tzu was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching, made up of 81 short chapters of Chinese poetry on human wisdom, one of the most translated books in world literature.

This book explains the essentials of TAO wisdom, based on Stephen Lau's own translation and interpretation of Lao Tzu's immortal classic Tao Te Ching with his comments after each of the 81 chapters. Living for life is the wisdom of living in this contemporary age. It is not easy, so you need TAO wisdom.

For more information, click here.

The TAO of Living for Life shows you the wisdom of living not just for yourself, but also for others as well --  just as the famous English poet John Donne says: "No man is an island."  Once you perceive this intricate inter-connection between people, you will self-intuit the wisdom of Lao Tzu.  After all, according to Lao Tzu, there is no word or blueprint for human wisdom -- it is all about self-intuition.

Stephen Lau


Monday, September 24, 2018

Tao Wisdom and Daily Stress


Stress plays havoc not only with your body but also your mind. Stress can impair your mind power.


How do you unwittingly create stress in your daily life? 


According to Zen living (an ancient concept of living based on the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage, who authored the world immortal classic Tao Te Ching), life is never a problem, and Zen lifestyle is never meant to be stressful. Unfortunately, it is your mind that has created the problem in the first place, and hence the stress.


Logically, a problem requires a solution. Your thinking mind presents to you a number of options to solve the problem you have created for yourself. Your rational mind then begins to analyze and choose the possible options; and stress is thus created in the process of analyzing and choosing. In Zen, the rational mind is not a friend, but quite often an enemy, of Zen health. 


Your stress is further reinforced if you made the wrong choice: you become ridden with guilt and regret over your choice.


Zen living or the Way of Tao (the wisdom of Lao Tzu) is simple: Do not make life into a problem, and there will be no problem. Do not look backward. Do not look forward. Just being in the present completely and fully. 


Yes, Zen focuses on the present moment — not the past, and surely not the future. Your unconsciously project your past experiences into the future, which can be either positive or negative. If they are negative, it may create worry and stress -- not good for the mind.  If they are positive, they may generate expectation that involves picking and choosing -- not beneficial for the mind. 


Alas, we are living in a goal-setting world in mad pursuit of fame, fortune and success. The Way or Tao wisdom, on the other hand, accomplishes things without exerting undue efforts.


Lin Yutang, the great contemporary Chinese writer-philosopher, aptly epitomizes the paradox of the wisdom "accomplishing things without much doing" in his famous quotation: "A wise man is never busy, and a busy man is never wise."


Essentially, Tao or the wisdom of Lao Tzu means do, but don't over-do. Live in the present, and neither worrying about the future nor ruminating over the past. In other words, you focus only on the process, not the result, of doing things. It is tantamount to the Christian concept of “doing your best, and letting God do the rest!”; or what Jesus said in the Lord's prayer "Give us this day our daily bread." God does not promise you a tomorrow, and man proposes but God disposes. Just do what you must do at this very present moment, and do not be anxious of the outcome. Concentrate on the "doing", and not the expectations of the result. This is the Way of Tao wisdom! 


The problem with most of us is that we permit our rational mind to be in control. We desperately want to get things done our way, and in doing so have created undue stress in our lives. Remember, the rational mind is more of an enemy than a friend. 


To understand the ancient wisdom of Tao or Lao Tzu, read the following books:



This book is about stress relief not through conventional relaxation,  such as meditation and yoga, but through understanding the ancient wisdom from China that recommends letting go the ego-self for stress relief.


Use the ancient Tao wisdom to live a stress-free life. Remember, you are living in a compulsive world of speed, and your mind is preconditioned to be compulsive. Learn how to quiet you mind.




  
This book contains the 81 chapters of the translated text of the ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, written by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. It also explains in plain English the essentials of Tao wisdom, which is the wisdom of TAO TE CHING.


The original text of Tao Te Ching in Chinese is difficult to understand, not to mention to translate it into another language, because the text without any punctuation mark was intended to be controversial and open to multiple interpretations. It should be noted that more than 2,600 years ago Lao Tzu was reluctant to put down his wisdom in words; as a matter of fact, he was specifically told by the guard at the city gate that he could not leave China for Tibet unless he put down his words of wisdom.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Thursday, September 20, 2018

True Human Wisdom


TAO () is about the thinking mind. It is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, who was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching.

We are human, and it is human nature to follow and cling to human wisdom as a beacon of light to show us the way as we continue our life journey. Tao or the Way is a means to an end, but not an end itself. That is to say, we follow Tao to some destination, but Tao is neither a destination nor the destination. Attaining human wisdom is a continual process; there is no destination.

Tao may be the Way between human wisdom and divine wisdom. It helps us understand the true nature of man and his role in the world of creation, and thus connects us directly or indirectly to the Creator.

One of the essentials of Tao is awareness, which is consciousness of thinking.

Awareness is the presence of mind that enables us to wait with patience for the revelation of God’s wisdom, which does not happen immediately, especially when our minds are still compulsive and muddled.

“we wait for our muddled thoughts to settle,
our composed minds to become clear just like muddy water,
until enlightenment arises, followed by eternal salvation.”
(Lao Tzu, Chapter 15, Tao Te Ching)

With awakened awareness, we may perceive the ultimate truth in Biblical wisdom that leads to human salvation.

Lao Tzu emphasizes the need for awareness as we continue to process the profound wisdom that is slowly and gradually revealed to us. Without that acute awareness, there may not be any understanding. Therefore, we must be:

“watchful, like a man crossing a winter stream;
alert, like a man aware of danger;
courteous, like a visiting guest;
yielding, like ice about to melt;
simple, like a piece of uncarved wood;
hollow, like a cave
opaque, like muddy water.”
(Lao Tzu, Chapter 15, Tao Te Ching)

With Tao wisdom, we may not only seek more but also understand better Biblical wisdom.

TAO: The Way to Biblical Wisdom


The author's own translation of "Tao Te Ching" is based on his belief that Lao Tzu's masterpiece is about the Creator of the universe, and that with true human wisdom man sees not only the manifestations but also the mysteries of His creation.

The book is about true human wisdom without the "conditioned" thinking of contemporary wisdom. Without the "reverse" mindset of Lao Tzu, man may have difficulties in understanding the wisdom of God expressed in the Bible.
The book is divided into four parts.

Part One is about the author’s reasons for writing the book, and also why "Tao Te Ching" is a "must read" for anyone who seeks real human wisdom.

Part Two is the author’s own translation of the 81 chapters of "Tao Te Ching" with respect to the Bible; each chapter is followed by some selected Bible verses for further reflection on what Lao Tzu has said.

Part Three is about the essentials of Tao wisdom with detailed explanation in plain English and with everyday life examples to help the reader understand the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu.

Part Four is an explanation of how Tao wisdom may help the reader understand God's wisdom in the Bible. Tao is the Way to Biblical wisdom.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Wisdom of Impermanence

The Creator has created for us a world of changes: everything is changing with every moment, and nothing remains permanent. It is through changes that we transform ourselves into a better and a happier human being. Even in a difficult and challenging environment, we learn from our mistakes and wrong choices in life, and change ourselves. Transformation is educational and self-enlightening. Transformation is synonymous with impermanence, which is the essence of change.

Understanding that everything is impermanent is self-enlightening. Nothing is permanent: the good as well as the bad things that happen to us are impermanent; nothing last forever. We all are aware of this universal truth. We all know that we cannot live to one hundred years and beyond, and yet we resist our aging, continuously fixing our faces and bodies to make us look younger. We may have the face of a forty-year-old but the body of the seventy-year-old. We simply refuse to let go; we desperately and self-delusively cling on to the permanence In other words, we wish the impermanent were the permanent. It is this wishful thinking that makes us unhappy. We were once healthy and now our health has declined, and we are unhappy. We were wronged by our enemies, and we hold on to our grudges, instead of forgiving and letting them go, and we are unhappy. Our past glories gave us the ego, which we refuse to let go, and we become depressed and unhappy.

Life is about changes, and living is about letting go what is impermanent that we naively believe and wish that they were permanent. Remember, nothing is permanent, and every moment remains with that moment. Therefore, live in the present, and live your moments to their best.

Get the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the author of Tao Te Ching, the ancient classic from China about human wisdom to learn how to let go of the self-delusional mindset of permanence.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, September 13, 2018

My Newly Published Book on HUMAN WISDOM

The TAO of Living for Life

This book is about the art of living well, which is being in the material world we are all living in, but without being of this mundane world. This daunting and challenging task requires profound human wisdom, which comes from TAO wisdom, the ancient wisdom from Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, more than 2,600 years ago.

Lao Tzu was the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching, made up of 81 short chapters of Chinese poetry on human wisdom, one of the most translated books in world literature.

This book explains the essentials of TAO wisdom, based on Stephen Lau's own translation and interpretation of Lao Tzu's immortal classic Tao Te Ching with his comments after each of the 81 chapters. Living for life is the wisdom of living in this contemporary age. It is not easy, so you need TAO wisdom.

For more information, click here.

The TAO of Living for Life shows you the wisdom of living not just for yourself, but also for others as well --  just as the famous English poet John Donne says: "No man is an island."  Once you perceive this intricate inter-connection between people, you will self-intuit the wisdom of Lao Tzu.  After all, according to Lao Tzu, there is no word or blueprint for human wisdom -- it is all about self-intuition.

Stephen Lau


Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Darker Side

The Darker Side

“The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.” John Milton

It is the mind that makes the body and the soul—the being of an individual. Unfortunately, the mind also has its own darker side, which creates the darkness of life, and its negativity affects the real self involuntarily.

The darker side of life is a reality, not a myth, and that everyone has a darker side to his or her being. The darker side does not necessarily mean that it is something evil. Any connotation of evil may lead to denial, instead of acceptance.

For example, the sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky and the pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff and the scams and rip-offs by some of Wall Street executives are just some of the many examples of the extreme darkness of our society and culture.

But, in spite of the human inclination to be good, we all show our own darker side every now and then—such as not expressing as much compassion and loving-kindness as we should to our fellow human beings, or telling a white lie—because we are imperfect, and, as such, all human behavior is imperfect.

Robert Louis Stevenson in his famous story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a classic example of the darker side of human existence. In the story, both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have a darker side of life, and each tries to hide it from the other; it turns out that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide are just one and the same person.

The Bible calls the dark side of human nature “sin.” None of us is exempt from sin. Life is always an inner struggle between what is perceived in an individual’s moral system as “right” and the dark opposing force inside to do just the very opposite. To make matters worse, most of us are really quite good at self-deception. Either we deceive ourselves into believing that the dark opposing force does not exist in ourselves, or we simply inflate our own personal virtues to overshadow the dark force within us.

The Book of Life and Living:  This book provides a blueprint for the art of well, based on the conventional wisdom, the ancient Tao wisdom, and the Biblical wisdom. We all have the darker side, but we still have to live as if everything is a miracle

Tao wisdom is the essence in the art of living well. It is the profound wisdom of the ancient Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, the author of the immortal classic Tao Te Ching, one of the most translated works in world literature. The book has been popular for thousands of years due to its unconventional wisdom, which is simple but controversial, profound and yet intriguing. To fully understand it, you need to get all the essentials of Tao wisdom.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau