<>b>Wisdom from Books

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

Thursday, December 13, 2018

TAO Wisdom Is Both Simple and Complex

True wisdom is inexplicable and inexpressible. That is to say, there is no blueprint for truly profound human wisdom. As a matter of fact, Lao Tzu, the author of the famous ancient Chinese classic Tao Te Ching, recommends giving up language because the true human wisdom cannot be expressed in words: Tao, (the word derived from the title of Tao Te Ching) which means the wisdom of Lao Tzu, is nameless, goes beyond distinctions, and thus transcends any language.

According to the legend, Lao Tzu was born more than two thousands years ago with gray hair (a sign of wisdom related with age and experience). He lived in ancient China at a time of feudal warfare and constant conflict. At the city gate, riding backwards on an ox, he was “forced” to put down his brilliant ideas in writing before he was allowed to leave China for Tibet. Reluctantly, he put down his wisdom in 81 short chapters with exactly 5,000, but without any punctuation mark.

Tao wisdom in simple but profound; it is paradoxical but illuminating. It is all-embracing in that it is applicable to every aspect of life and living, even in this day and age. Tao wisdom is universal and timeless wisdom. To fully understand and internalize Tao wisdom in living, you must, first and foremost, have an open mind or an empty mindset that would be receptive to any unconventional thinking. In fact, you must not only think out of the box but, more importantly, create your own box of thinking. Your mind must not have any preconditioned ideas about anything. That is to say, you must have an empty mind for reverse thinking before you can intuit the true wisdom of Tao.

"Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations.
And the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding."
(Tao Te Ching, Chapter One)th 

My words are easy to understand
and easy to perform,

Yet no man under heaven
knows them or practices them.”
(Tao Te Ching, Chapter 70)

According to Lao Tzu, Tao cannot be expressed or described in words, because Tao is not a concept. Tao is something that existed before there were words, before there was human speech, before there was even human thought. Tao is something that one must live and experience in order to fully appreciate and understand what it is -- and that is the true human wisdom.

The simple answer is usually better than the complex one. There is much more to it than meets the eye, so we need to look inside of ourselves to fathom the unfathomable wisdom of Tao. Paradoxically, Tao wisdom is both simple and complex. The explanation is that it is simple and easy to intuit, but difficult to put it into practice. Well, maybe the human mind is complex, and that is why an empty mind is the prerequisite to understand Tao wisdom.

Visit my websites: Wisdom in Living and Wisdom from Books.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, December 10, 2018

Abundance and Emptiness

Abundance and Emptiness

We all want abundance, not emptiness. We all desire abundance in education, family, relationships, profession, and wealth; nobody wants emptiness—one thing nobody wants in life. Abundance often becomes attachments in our lives. Ironically enough, we need emptiness to attain the ultimate truths of life and living, which is wisdom in living.

To attain this wisdom, we need emptiness. First of all, we need an empty mind with reverse thinking to think differently, not according to conventional wisdom. Then, we need to become empty consciously, which is letting go of all attachments. Attachments are emotional distractions of the mind that prevent  clarity of thinking, without which there is no access to the ultimate truths of life and living. Knowing these ultimate truths enables you to live as if everything is a miracle.

Before we can receive, we must let go first. Letting go of all attachments to the material world is the first step we must take. It is more blessed to give than to receive. But many of us don't believe in that: instead, we think we will give out or let go after we have received. Letting go is difficult because it requires the profound human wisdom of Lao Tzu.


First and foremost, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the road map and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.

Remember, emptiness leads to enlightenment. If spiritual wisdom has to enter you and manifest itself within you, it will need some empty space. With enlightenment, you will become a better and happier you. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-free life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self: No Ego No Stress!

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Everything Is Nothing

Everything Is Nothing

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 nothing 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 of what is impermanent that we naively believe and wish that they were permanent. Remember, nothing is permanent, and every moment remains only with that very 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.

Remember, everything is nothing.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau