<>b>Wisdom from Books

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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Human Wisdom and Human Intelligence

Wisdom is essential to the art of living well. To live well, we need wisdom, not necessarily intelligence.

As a matter of fact, there is a difference between human intelligence and true wisdom.

Human intelligence is related more to the application than to the acquisition or accumulation of knowledge. By the same token, true wisdom is more about enlightenment than about intelligence. Knowledge does not necessarily make one intelligent, just as intelligence does not guarantee real happiness.

True wisdom is awareness that leads to enlightenment, which is the distillation of wisdom in order to discern what is real and what is illusory. Knowing the difference is the first step towards enlightenment that can bring about true and lasting happiness, which has little to do with the circumstances, the difficulties, or the problems that one encounters along one’s journey. Enlightenment originates from the individual self, or, more specifically, from the human mind. Enlightenment is acute self-awareness that leads to self-intuition during which the mind internalizes all the so-called truths available.

Enlightenment is the only true wisdom in living. Enlightenment requires the attainment of spiritual wisdom through human wisdom. Without profound human wisdom, understanding spiritual wisdom is difficult, if not impossible.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Role of Human Wisdom in Understanding Spiritual Wisdom

To understand any wisdom, we need to understand ourselves first, and that requires human wisdom:

“Knowing others is intelligence.
Knowing ourselves is true wisdom.
Overcoming others is strength.
Overcoming ourselves is true power.”
(Chapter 33, Tao Te Ching)

Human wisdom is the groundwork through which we get to know who we are, and what we need. Understanding self helps us understand the nature of all things. Understanding the natural laws of this world helps us understand our difficulties and frustrations in life. Human sufferings and ordeals in life are often stumbling blocks along the pathway to understanding spiritual wisdom. Many of us often find ourselves asking the questions: Why me? If there is God, how come these things happened? Where is God?

        "We need a still and composed mind
to see things with greater clarity.
         Because trouble begins in the mind
with small and unrelated tho   ughts.
So, we carefully watch the mind
to stop any trouble before it begins.”
(Chapter 64, Tao Te Ching)

 Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Why TAO Is the Way to Biblical Wisdom

Why TAO Is the Way to Biblical Wisdom 

If the Bible is about God’s wisdom, then why should we read Tao Te Ching (a book by Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage, whose wisdom is known as TAO), which is, at best, only about human wisdom? Why don’t we just read the Bible instead, and forget about Tao Te Ching? Why should we settle more for less?

Why Less for More?

According to Lao Tzu, less is more.

“To guide a great country, we need a great ruler.
To wage a successful war, we need good strategies.
To live a life of harmony, we need letting life live by itself.
That essentially means:
the more efforts we exert, the more failures we experience;
the more weapons we make, the more dangers we encounter;
the more laws we enact, the more law-breakers we produce.”
(Chapter 57, Tao Te Ching)

“Living our lives is like frying a small fish;
we neither over-season nor over-cook it.”
(Chapter 60, Tao Te Ching)

Understanding human wisdom is the first step in the journey of a thousand miles towards understanding God’s wisdom. Without human wisdom, God’s wisdom is even more unfathomable and forever unintelligible to many.

Many of us often overwhelm ourselves in our pursuit of God’s wisdom in the Bible with its many books such that after a while we may end up giving up reading it—and that is the result of more for less.

Lao Tzu, on the other hand, shows us the importance of taking the first step, a small step, and one step at a time, along the Way, and human wisdom will slowly and subtly unfold itself to each and every one of us. So, beginning with less, we may get more in the long run.

“Accordingly, we do not rush into things.
We neither strain nor stress.
We let go of success and failure.
We patiently take the next necessary step,
a small step and one step at a time.”
(Chapter 64, Tao Te Ching)

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 19, 2018

My Newly Published Book: The Happiness Wisdom

I have just published my book: “The Happiness Wisdom”, which is a 161-page book on human wisdom based on ancient wisdom from the East and the West, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom, which may all provide guidelines for choosing the happiness ingredients for your own happiness recipe. In addition, the book also provides real examples taken from real life, illustrating how these real people perceive their realities, and thus leading to their happiness or unhappiness.

Human happiness or unhappiness is no more than a perception of the human mind, based on an individual's own life experiences. You think, and your perceptions then become your "realities"; with profound wisdom, you can change how your mind processes your perceptions. Change your mind to change your realities, and live your life as if everything is a miracle! Your life journey is uniquely yours. Make your own happiness recipe from the happiness ingredients of ancient wisdom, conventional wisdom, and spiritual wisdom. Continue your life journey with your own happiness recipe.

Click here to find out more about the book.

Click here to get your digital copy, and here to get your paperback copy.

Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 15, 2018

TAO Wisdom to Make You Better and Happier

Living in this contemporary world may often make you unwise and unhappy, leading to depressive episodes.

Be a Better and Happier You withTao Wisdom

This book contains the whole script of the 81 short chapters of Lao Tzu’s immortal classic TAO TE CHING, which underlies his wisdom (also known as Tao wisdom). Understanding his profound wisdom helps you attain true human wisdom  through asking self-intuitive questions, creating an empty mindset with reverse thinking to let go of the ego-self in order to become a better and happier you. Being better and happier is essential to living a life as if everything is a miracle. In order to do just that, you need how the human mind functions, and what true human wisdom really is, in particular, the wisdom of the ancient sage from China thousands of years ago.

Without any punctuation mark and in exactly 5,000 words, the language of the original text of Tao Te Ching is deliberately intriguing and even perplexing—one of the reasons why the book has become one of the most translated works in world literature. The  version and translation of TAO TE CHING is in plain English, very easy to understand. 

First and foremost, you must empty your mind of conditioned thinking, which is a common characteristic of the contemporary human mind. 

With an empty mindset, you begin to ask different questions to find out who you really are, instead of who you wish you were, as well as what you need and not what you want from life. Understanding of self and others is the pathway to understanding humanity as a whole. Better understanding of humanity lets you acknowledge the destructive forces of anger and envy, bitterness and resentment, as well as many other negative emotions, and thereby instrumental in reducing their strength. Tao wisdom, which shows you the importance and necessity of embracing all and everything—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 wisdom to let go of control—controlling your life, the people and the happenings around you. 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 human wisdom comes from.

Understanding that anything is everything may also make you see things very differently. People and things do not exist independently. 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.

With wisdom, you may become a better and happier individual.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Path to Spiritual Wisdom

Human existence is meaningless, if it is devoid of happiness. Human happiness is contingent on human wisdom, which holds the key to ultimate success in the quest for happiness. 

But the search for happiness is unattainable for many. The happiness quest is like a carrot and stick—forever unreachable and unattainable. Maybe that explains the painstaking pursuit of happiness by many through wisdom. Indeed, happiness is not only abstract and intangible, but also elusive and evasive. What happiness to one individual may not be happiness to another—just as one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Happiness is uniquely personal. In addition, even if it is attainable, happiness comes and goes, just as day and night. Furthermore, no matter what, happiness has to come to an end with the expiration of life.

It is human nature to seek happiness by any means, and wisdom is often considered the most appropriate way to attain happiness. During the brief lifespan, humans seek wisdom to help them pursue their happiness that may come to them in many different forms, such as abundant wealth, good health, satisfying relationships, successful careers and endeavors, among others.

Happiness can be achieved only with both human wisdom and spiritual wisdom: human wisdom to understand spiritual 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

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Oneness of All Life

Living in this day and age is not easy, unless we have the wisdom in living.

Contemporary wisdom is exclusiveeven to the extent of wishing others fail so that one may succeed in life. In addition, it states that one must do this or do that in order to succeed and live well. Ancient wisdom, on the other hand, focuses on doing whatever one has to do but with a sense of true freedomthe recognition and realization of the wisdom in the oneness of all life.

Wisdom in the oneness of all life is based on one of the basic laws of Nature: that is, we are all inter-connected, just as the famous poet John Donne says: "No man is an island." .This universal moral principle leads us to true and lasting freedom and wisdom in living. Once we understand that the life flowing in our veins is the same as that flowing in the veins of others, we will learn how to show love and compassion towards others. After all, we are all created in the image of God, and we are no more than expressions of God.

Wisdom in the oneness of all life frees you from the bondage of anger, competitiveness, disrespect, discrimination, envy, ridicule, and many other negative attitudes of the mind, which adversely influence how you live your life. Jesus' saying of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and Mahatma Gandhi's advocacy of non-violence must be understood in subtle ways. If you "kill" the enthusiasm of someone, you are "harming" that individual because you are in fact taking away the life within that individual. Remember, love and compassion are expressions of the oneness of all lifea mental attitude that liberates human bondage from self-centeredness, and gives freedom in the art of living well.

For more information on wisdom in living, read my book: The Book of Life and Living. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tao Wisdom to Understand Self and Others

Living well in this day and age is not easy, in spite of the advancement of modern technology. Life itself is complicated and challenging; living well requires the wisdom of knowing self and others in order to live a happy and meaningful life.

A happy and meaningful life is forever bubbling with activities. It involves activities of self, as well as activities with others around you. In other words, activities become the raw materials of living well. However, these activities, more often than not, may cause physical, emotional, and psychological problems not just in self, but also in others through actions and interactions. Knowing yourself—who you really are, and not who you wish your were or who you want to become—holds the key to the art of living well.

Knowing yourself means self-acceptance, as well as acceptance of others.

Self-acceptance is not just "liking" yourself: essentially, it means you care "less" about what others may think of you, but "more" about accepting yourself as who and what you really are. If there are aspects that you don't like about yourself, and you are willing to change them for the better, then it is something else. 

Self-acceptance is unconditional acceptance of self, which is showing an intent to accomplish the goal you have set your mind to achieve, but without assessing or rating yourself based on what others may perceive you. In other words, the focus is on the intent and the effort, rather than on the outcome.

Conditional self-acceptance, on the other hand, is feeling "good" about yourself when you have reached the goal you have set in your mind. That is to say, it is your "good" feelings, thoughts, or actions that make you accept yourself. But that attitude of self-acceptance is conditional in that it is based upon your feeling "good" about yourself. In other words, if you fail to reach that goal, you cannot and will not be totally accepting yourself.

Knowing yourself means understanding that your Creator has created you for who you are and what you are. Your worth lies within yourself, just as Ann Frank in "The Diary of Ann Frank" said, "Human worth does not lie in riches or power, but in character or goodness." If you believe in the goodness in yourself, you will have unconditional self-acceptance. More importantly, you will also know how to treat another individual you encounter in your life: if you can totally accept yourself for who and what you are, you will also learn how to accept another individual for who and what he or she is. Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, once said that the key to instantly and successfully relating to people of different cultures, religions, and backgrounds is knowing that all your fellow human beings have the same desire to be happy and to avoid suffering, just like yourself. In other words, if you can accept yourself for who and what you are, however imperfect you may be, you will also learn how to accept other individuals for who and what they are in spite of their imperfections. It is all about acceptance!

Indeed, self-acceptance and acceptance of others may remove many obstacles in life that are caused by difficult human relationships and problematic interactions. Have the wisdom to know that in any conflict or interaction with others, your response naturally should become a reflection of your loving-kindness, rather than an aggressive reaction. Your world would be much better off if you have self-acceptance and acceptance of others.

If you can accept yourself as who you are, maybe you can also accept others as who they are. After all, nobody is perfect. Acceptance of anything in life holds the key to becoming a better and happier you, and just live as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau