<>b>Wisdom from Books

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

Monday, January 22, 2018

Controlling and Letting Go

Controlling and Letting Go

Thanks to our artists, we all pretend well; but deep down the layer of pretense is the awareness of the underlying reality. To suppress that reality, we turn to controlling, which is a subconscious way to enhance the reality of our expectations in life.

Most of us are controlling to some extent. Thanks to our culture, underlying every one of us is the inherent belief that we should be in control of everything around us at all times. The American culture advocates control for self-independence and survival.

What exactly is controlling? Why makes people want to control others as well as their own destinies?

Controlling is a coward way of running away from everyday problems; it is a futile attempt to avoid everyday stress. Essentially, it is a direct or subtle way of exerting influence over others so that we may have power over the turns of events in our own lives. In other words, we delude ourselves into thinking that we can make things happen the way we want them to happen in our lives through control and manipulation of others, including ourselves.

Reflective Thought

Control and discipline may look similar but they are different.

Case in Point

We can discipline our children so that they may do the right things without getting into trouble. But many of us still want to “control” them even when they have turned adults; we may want to steer them away from the difficult paths we had trotted ourselves when we were young. That, in reality, is controlling. We can give them advice, but imposing anything on them is deemed as exerting control. “It’s for their own good!” is no more than an excuse to control.

Reflective Thought

Not controlling means willingness in letting go of one’s expectations in life.

Case in Point

The Biblical story of the parable of the prodigal son is a good illustration of what is NOT controlling. (Luke 15: 11-32) In the story, a man had two sons, and the younger son asked for his fortune; the father gave it to him, and he spent it recklessly on women  and gambling. When he was out of money and the land was struck by a famine, he returned home to his father, who welcomed him back with open arms. To many, the story highlights God's forgiveness of repentant sinners. But the story also illustrates the power of letting go and not controlling. 

THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING explains in simple language with common everyday examples to illustrate the essence of Tao wisdom and how it may integrate with conventional wisdom to live a life of your choice.

 THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING is the wisdom in the art of living well.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, January 18, 2018

How To Become More Spiritual

How to Become More Spiritual

There are several ways to help you become more spiritual to be younger for longer:

Simplify your life: clear away the physical clutters in your living environment as the first step to free yourself from material and mundane clutters.

Focus on your soul or more spiritual things, such as compassion and loving-kindness.

Get to know more about yourself, especially your needs and values. Remember, needs and wants are not the same.

Learn to look within yourself for answers to your life problems: you will become more self-reliant and self-sufficient.

Find your inner voice: what you love to do, and what touches your heart and your soul.  Your inner self knows the truth when you hear it. Nobody knows you better than yourself, and there is no better physician than yourself, who know what is best for your body. This intuitive wisdom is self-healing, which makes you healthier and younger for longer.

Nourish your physical body with nutrients to keep it healthy—a prerequisite for spiritual health.

Live according to your own highest ideals, which form the platform for being younger in heart for longer.

Consciously improve your everyday attitudes and feelings, not just about yourself, but also towards others. Every moment in your day-to-day interactions provides an opportunity for you to become more spiritual, if you will consciously avail yourself of that opportunity. Using Mother Teresa’s example, begin by conveying warmth to someone who least expects it, and this gesture of compassion is spirituality. Your spiritual thinking causes your personality and daily interactions with others to become an expression of your soul: your daily actions speak you mind. A healthy mind is full of spirituality.

Feed your mind with positive thoughts to avoid distorted thinking that may lead to depression and other mental disorders. Avoid negative self-talk, a destructive habit that may talk you out of actions you deem too scary or uncomfortable for you. Use positive affirmations, and reinforce them with mental visualization, which enables you to focus all your mental energies on only positive images, thereby eliminating negative thoughts.

Replenish your soul with spiritual feelings, such as unconditional love, generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness, among others. Love melts your resistance to change for the better; without love, you simply continue to perpetuate that which you resist. Gratitude will not make you compare your current state (health and wealth) with that of others; gratitude is a great attitude in healthy spiritual living. Forgiveness is a necessary requirement for health and healing; forgive yourself as well as others for—mistakes are necessary for the learning process in life.

Always look outside of yourself. Learn to pray. There is one prerequisite: you must ask. Ask and you shall receive!  Whatever blessings, be they small or great, that come your way, come from above. Prayer works by altering your brain chemistry. Like anti-depressant drugs, prayer can help you build up the feeling-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin. Prayer restores your hope, strength, and health: it makes you younger for longer. 

Healing your body, mind and emotions is in itself part of your spiritual evolution. Live in total harmony with the biological, emotional, mental and spiritual laws that govern your health and wellbeing. There are certain laws of Nature that cannot be broken without dire consequences for your physical, mental, and spiritual wellness—which can make you younger for longer.

To be younger for longer, always enhance your spiritual growth.

Stephen Lau  
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Relationship Between Human Wisdom and Biblical Wisdom

Without human wisdom, the Word of God alone would be unintelligible to many, just as those seeds falling on the wayside and becoming unfruitful in Jesus’ parable of sowing seeds.

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:19-22)

Despite the exposure to Biblical wisdom, many would, indeed, fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah:

“And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’” (Matthew 13:14-15)

In addition, man has developed the pre-conditioned thinking of resistance to change: most of us prefer to remain in our comfort zones. As a result, many not only are biased against, but also have strong resistance to, reading the Bible, thinking that the Bible would make them drastically change their lifestyles, requiring them to relinquish the things they cling to dearly in their lives. Due to the pre-conditioned thinking and inherent resistance to change, they walk away from the pathway to spiritual wisdom.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Happiness Myths

Happiness is only an abstraction, a far-fetched thought that is often elusive and evasive; it is difficult not only to define but also to understand. To further the complication, happiness often creates certain misleading myths.

The myth: the happiness sources

It is always a myth that abundant wealth, good health, and satisfying relationships—what most people crave and pursue in their lives—will bring them happiness. Abundant wealth, good health, and satisfying relationships are only the byproducts of happiness; they do not cause or bring true and lasting happiness in real life.

To illustrate, many lottery winners attest to their experiences of temporary ecstatic happiness, and nearly all winners confess that their winning has ultimately made them miserable and unhappy for various reasons. Maybe once the initial stimulus of sudden wealth and the drastic changes of lifestyle have worn off, they ultimately return to their original baseline level of happiness or unhappiness. Or, maybe, according to some experts, having too much pleasure—what is known as “eustress”—could also cause stress, just as lacking in pleasure might be stressful to the many have-nots.

The myth: the happiness effort

It is also a myth that happiness is something that can be pursued with willpower and effort. The Bible rightly says that pursuing happiness is just “like chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

Effort does not necessarily bring happiness; it only creates the illusion of an environment that is conducive to temporary happiness. To illustrate, one may work diligently in one’s career to excel and to get to the top of the profession only to find that one has a terminal illness, or has incurred a debilitating accident. For example, Steve Job, the co-founder of Apple computers, had his life cut short by pancreatic cancer at the height of his successful business career.

Pursuing happiness may be only a fantasy fueled by temporary moments of happiness, because aging, illnesses, misfortunes, and ultimately death plague all alike; in other words, impermanence cuts short all human efforts and endeavors to bring happiness. We are all aware of the fact that impermanence is an ultimate leveler of everybody and everything, but many of us still choose to delude ourselves into thinking otherwise. Denial only fosters the myth that if there is a will there must be a way to attaining happiness, and that all it requires is the human effort to make any dream come true.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Monday, January 8, 2018

Tao Wisdom to Live Well

Be A Better And Happier You With TAO Wisdom  

To live well as if everything is a miracle, you need to know self, as well as others, in order to have better human relationships, without which happiness is evasive and elusive.   

Get the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu (what is known as TAO wisdom), to see the interconnection of self and others. After all, no man is an island, and we all are connected somehow and somewhat. We need to be aware of that.


Awareness of your own responsibility for humanity may enable you to rein in your temper and inhibit your anger. Better understanding of humanity lets you acknowledge the destructive forces of anger, and thereby instrumental in reducing their strength. Your short temper can benefit from Tao wisdom, which shows you the importance and necessity of embracing all—the easy and the difficult, as well as the pleasant and the unpleasant. In life, difficult and unpleasant experiences not only train but also enhance you mental stability to control your temper, which often undermines your compassion for others. Tao wisdom teaches you not to pick and choose but to embrace anything and everything in life because any situation in life can make you become either a teacher or a student. Life is about anything and everything that you can learn from, and this is where true wisdom comes from.

Understanding that anything is everything may also make you see things very differently. People and things do not exist independently; they all exist with a reason; the reason may or may not be apparent to all of us. When there is long, there has to be short; they do not exist simply because of their own nature. Everything in life is not only relative but also related. Viewing any life situation—whether it is good or bad—with this profound human wisdom may help you see that anything is everything, In other words, any life situation is not under its own power but depends on many present causes and conditions, as well as many past causes and conditions; otherwise it could not have come into being. With this perspective, you can see much more of the whole picture, and thus you can see the reality of the situation.


To get your digital copy of the book, click here; to get your paperback copy, click here


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tao Wisdom to Live in 2018

Reflect on your current state of being, and see others as the same. They are not better or worse than you are, but just different in their own ways. There is no basis for you to be angry with them, or to be envious of them. There is no rhyme or reason for you to dwell on “what if” or “what should have”— they only prey on your mind, preventing you from living your 2018 as if everything is a miracle.

“Knowing your true self
is the pathway to enlightenment.
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing self is enlightenment.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 33)

As long as you know your real self and others, you can and will be better and happier in 2018, if you follow the wisdom of the ancient masters:.

“The ancient masters were
subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is to describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding, like ice about to melt.
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.
Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment,
they are not swayed by desire for change.”
(Chapter 15, Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu)

Based on the above, just about anyone who has an empty mind can attain the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu to live 2018 as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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Monday, January 1, 2018

A Better and Happier You in 2018

A Better and Happier You in 2018

There is an old Latin axiom: “nemo dat quod non habet” — meaning, one cannot give what one does not have.

If you don’t have the wisdom to know your real self, you won’t have the wisdom to understand others, especially who they are and what they need. In order to understand others to have better human relationships, you must first and foremost have the wisdom attained through asking self-intuitive questions throughout your life.

Then, with mindfulness, you observe with a nonjudgmental mind what is happening to you, as well as around you. Gradually, you will be able to see things as what they really are, and not as what they may seem to you: anything and everything in life follows its own natural cycle, just as the day becomes night, and the night transformed into dawn. With that wisdom, you may become enlightened, which means you begin to know your true self—what you have and what you don’t have, and you were created to be who you are, and not what you wish you were or want to become. Knowing what you have, you can then give it to others. It is the giving, rather than the receiving, that will make you become a better and happier you in 2018.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau