<>b>Wisdom from Books

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

Monday, February 18, 2019

Don't Worry!

Don’t Worry!

Of all human emotions, worry is perhaps the least useful and serves no purpose at all, except causing unnecessary anxiety and developing a depressive mood. The problem with worry is that it focuses on an imaginary future.

According to Lao Tzu, “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

Seeking success and avoiding failure are no more than pride and fear; they are only expressions of the human conditions erroneously perceived by the human mind.

“Success is avoiding failure; avoiding failure is seeking success.
Both originate from fear and pride: the source of human suffering.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13)

According to TAO, everything follows the natural order of things; that is, everything is in its proper place and will work out the way it is supposed to work out, irrespective of your worrying and regardless of your deliberate interference to make things happen the way you want them to happen.

Remember, worrying will never change the outcome. According to Lao Tzu, if you water your dreams with worry and fear, you will produce weeds; if you water your dreams with optimism and solutions, you will cultivate growth and success. Remember, you manifest not what you want but what you are and what you think

Worry is one of the negative human emotions responsible for human depression.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Simplicity Living in Your Golden Years

Simplicity Living in Your Golden Years

If you wish to be happy, just live a simple lifestyle, especially in your golden years.  In this day and age, living in this complex world of technology is not easy: The complexity of this world has taken a toll on the human mind, creating undue stress, as well as many emotional, mental, personal, and psychological attachments in the material world. For these reasons, profound human wisdom in living is essential to overcoming stress and letting go of all attachments. Simplicity is the first step towards detachment, which holds the key to unlocking the door to happiness.

Live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that may have a negative impact on your mind -- such as your nostalgic past accomplishments.

Do you have a lot of attachments to the material world you are living in right now? Just look at your garage and basement. If they are packed full and loaded with many disposables, then probably you still have many attachments you are unwilling to let go of. Attachments are clutters that bring memories you are unwilling to let go ot.

Epicurus, the Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a pleasant life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose happiness always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost. When they are lost, you naturally become unhappy and even depressed.
Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive. So give them away in this season of giving, and live a happy and simple life.

Stephen Lau      
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Role of Biblical Wisdom

The Book of Divine Wisdom

The Bible is the Word of God. Through the Bible, God speaks to each and every one of us, if we are willing. In other words, the wisdom expressed in the Bible is God’s divine wisdom to man.

The Authenticity of Biblical Truths

According to Guinness Book of Records, the Bible is the all-time best-selling book, as well as the most translated work in world literature. This indicates that many people do believe that the Bible is a book of absolute truths and divine wisdom from God.

The Bible is a book of wisdom based on Biblical truths that require faith to believe in the authenticity of historical manuscripts reporting those events that had already taken place.

”Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,” (Luke 3:1)

This Biblical faith is further attested to by human historical time scale: BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini—"in the year of our Lord"). Jesus Christ is a real historical figure, and His birth is a very solid historical fact reported by many historians.

The Bible is made up of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament comprises thirty-nine books: the Pentateuch, written by Moses, about how the Israelites came to be the chosen people of God; the historical books, written by numerous authors, about the history of Israel, from its rise in Canaan to its downfall in Babylon; the poetical books about wisdom and worship for the Israelites; and the books of ancient prophets, admonishing and warning the Israelites of destruction through their sinful nature and disobedience to God.

These religious writings of ancient Israel focused on the chronicle history of Israel, the questions of good and evil in the world, the subtle relationships between God and man through worship and regulations, and the Covenant of God with man. In short, the Old Testament is the revelation of God’s wisdom to man.

The New Testament is a collection of writings by eight different writers (the Apostles: Matthew, John, Paul, James, Peter, Jude; the Disciples: Mark, Luke), addressing different early Christian churches. This collection of twenty-seven books, comprising the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Revelation of John, appeared one after another in the second half of the first century.

The New Testament is explicit about the revelation of God’s wisdom to man through the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, and the Messiah of Israel. God’s wisdom is expressed through Jesus’ teachings, culminating in the Crucifixion, which symbolizes the conquest of human death due to sin, as well as the fulfillment of the Covenant of God with man.

Biblical Wisdom

Biblical wisdom is not just for the Israelites; it is for all believers and non-believers alike because it is the only way to salvation, which is the ultimate conquest of human mortality.

Human existence is all about life and death. Living for life is making the most out of life and avoiding any disorder in life that may bring about premature death. To meet this tall order, human wisdom is inadequate. Biblical wisdom shows humans how to live life to the best and the fullest, as well as how to conquer death, which comes as the end.

Biblical wisdom holds the key to attaining the wisdom in life and living.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Paradox of Life and Living

“The Way is paradoxical.
Like water, soft and yielding,
yet it overcomes the hard and the rigid.
Stiffness and stubbornness cause much suffering.

We all intuitively know
that flexibility and tenderness
are the Way to go.
Yet our conditioned mind
tells us to go the other way. ”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 78)

TAO wisdom tell us to do these: accepting all that is simple and humble; embracing the good fortune and the misfortune. According to Lao Tzu, this is how we become masters of every situation, and thus we overcome the painful and the difficult in our lives.

But the reality is: can we do that? That is why the Way is always paradoxical.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tao Wisdom and Stress

Stress is your body’s response to increased tension. Stress is normal. You need stress to do many things, such as accepting challenges, concentrating on doing a difficult task, and making important decisions, among others. Indeed, stress can be even conducive to your health, such as stress from having sex, which increases both your pulse rate and heartbeat, as well as stimulates your brain cells to keep your brain younger and healthier for longer.

But stress is one of the underlying causes of many diseases and disorders in this modern age. Indeed, more often than not, we are like living in a pressure cooker that stresses our body, mind, and soul. 

In addition, stress can accelerate the aging process. According to Robert Sapolsky, author of Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, people in general lose their capability to cope with stress as they continue to age, due to their tendency to have elevated blood pressure, which adversely impacts hormone secretions. This is how stress can become a vicious circle.

If you wish to remain younger and healthier for longer, do not allow stress into your life. With this in mind, I have most recently published a book entitled NO EGO NO STRESS.

This book has an unconventional approach to stress relief: it is not through the conventional relaxation methods, such as meditation or yoga; instead, it applies the groundbreaking Tao philosophy from ancient China. My book not only explains what Tao wisdom is all about, but also contains the complete translation in simple English of all the 81 short chapters of “Tao Te Ching” Going through the whole script, will enable you to understand the essentials of Tao wisdom for stress-free contemporary living to cope with your career, relationship, money, and time management problems..

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Tao Is the Way Through Depression

No Way! TAO Is The Way!
TAO Wisdom To Live And Survive In A World Of Depression!

TAO wisdom is the way to go through depression—experiencing every aspect of depression, instead of avoiding it with distractions or drugs—and thus the only Way to get you out of depression while living in a world of depression.

It provides many examples from news and everyday life to show you  how TAO wisdom can help you live as if everything is a miracle.

Don’t deny or stigmatize your depression! Go through it, and you may or may not get enlightened, but you will look at your depression differently.

To get your digital copy, click here

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Be A Better And Happier You With TAO Wisdom

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.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, February 11, 2019

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

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Relationship 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

Saturday, February 9, 2019

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 well-being. 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

Friday, February 8, 2019

Control and Out of Control

Control and Out of Control

Letting go is difficult because there is one thing that most of us have overlooked: the wisdom of letting go to let God.

Life is all about living—it comes with some hard work, simple integrity, and, above all, the wisdom in living. If life is all about living—not just about making and spending money—then it is not about regrets and dreams.

Regrets look back at the past; dreams look forward to the future. Unfortunately, both are not within our control. If the value of money is solely based on accumulation of wealth, or the acquisition of material things, then living indeed becomes a labyrinth of regrets and dreams—regrets over the wrong investment decisions in the past, and dreams of the great fortune yet to come in the future.
A life journey is forever paved with many challenges and losses, many of which are beyond human control because they are often sudden and unpredictable.

Physical loss, including loss of vision and mobility, both of which may affect the quality of life with respect to independent living, may make living beyond control.

Material loss may include loss of property from natural disaster, such as flooding, tornado, and wildfire, loss of place and space, such as moving from a house to an apartment or to a nursing home. Downsizing also means the loss or forced disposal of treasured possessions that many are reluctant to let go of.

Memory loss may result in a severe loss of organizational ability and the ability to plan and function, resulting in loss of independence, which is a major setback for the elderly.

Loss of loved ones due to accidents or natural causes are devastating. Spousal loss is often the most devastating in that the oneness in marriage is forever broken, resulting in isolation and loneliness.

Losses that come in many different forms often become sources of unhappiness, but losses are no more than life challenges that are beyond human control.

But living, to many, is about controlling self and others; more specifically, purposely controlling the destiny of self, as well as directly or indirectly controlling the destinies of others around. The truth of the matter is that we are only humans, and we cannot control what is controlled by God. Being finite, with only limited intelligence, we are limited in our capability to control what is beyond human control. God, who is infinite, is in absolute control of everything. Our constant desire to control is displeasing to God—an expression of our lack of trust, and our disobedience.
Humans are always given a choice: continuing to control one’s destiny, or letting go to let God control. 
God has given each one of us a unique life and destiny that only we can complete it.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
(Psalm 139: 16)

However, the completion of that life and destiny in our life journey is according to His way and time, and not according to ours. In other words, it is all about what He wants for us, and not what we want for ourselves.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Toxic Body

Your body may be toxic if you frequently experience aches and pains in different parts of your body.

Your body may be toxic if you don’t have natural sleep, which is the capability to fall asleep within half an hour or so without the aid of any sleep medication.

Your body may be toxic if you don’t have regular bowel movements. “Regular” means you have at least 2 to 3 bowels a day; having once a day or every other day is “irregular.”

Your body may be toxic if you have chronic fatigue, that is, feeling tired and listless day in and day out even without any strenuous physical exertion.

Your body may be toxic if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels.
Your body may be toxic if you are excessively overweight or underweight.

Your body may be toxic if you have difficulty with breathing, or you are short of breath after some physical activity.
Your body is toxic if you are a regular smoker or an alcohol drinker.

Your body is toxic if you have been on several prescription drugs for some time.

Your body is toxic if you have a chronic disease, such as cancer, diabetes, or an autoimmune diseas

Your body lives in the physical world, and thus it plays a pivotal role in your overall being, including your mind and your soul. Science has already attested to the close connection between the body and the mind: the body affects the mind as much as the mind affects the body.

Human emotions, in particular, affect the physical body. In Woody Allen's movie Annie Hall, Diane Keaton would like to know why he wasn’t angry. "I don't get angry," he humorously replied, "I grow a tumor instead." Indeed, toxic emotions can lead to a toxic body.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), human emotions are the major underlying causes of disease because Chinese physicians believe that certain body organs are related to emotional activities; for example, the heart is related to joy, the liver to anger, the spleen to obsessive thoughts, the lungs to anxiety, and the kidneys to fear. Therefore, excessive emotions disrupt the free flow of qi, the life-giving energy that flows through the body, and thus causing imbalance and disharmony that may lead to disease and disorder.

In addition, human behaviors—often a byproduct of human emotions—affect the mind, just as emotions of the mind affect the body. According to a study at Ohio State University in 2003, physical behavior, such as enhanced body language of nodding in agreement or shaking head in disagreement, may significantly affect how we think without our knowing it. According to that study, even posture, such as sitting up straight, may be conducive to remembering positive memories or thinking positively, because posture changes the production of human hormones.

The interconnection between the body and the mind is further evidenced by the indisputable notion that a healthy heart produces a healthy brain by pumping sufficient oxygen and nutrients to nourish the brain through its bloodstream.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau