Ignorance might be defined as the behavior of repeating the same mistakes expecting new results. In the introduction to this companion book, there is a reference made to Chapter 50 which observes that nine out of ten people are caught up in three patterns of ignorance. Only one in ten are able to and willing to take up the “journey of life”. Only one in ten are willing to take the path of wisdom.
One has to wonder what it is that the one in ten realize that would inspire them to follow the altruistic path? The internet is full of wise sayings and common cliches. Yet, even though they may be appreciated in a brief moment of thought while viewing one of the social media sites or reading a fortune cookie, they are rarely ever practiced. Why is that?
The answer is that it becomes a matter of choice and choosing. That might sound simple, but in practice it can be quite the challenge. True choice is made by the true self. The true self or the higher self is that which has transcended the lower aspect of the mind, also called the ego.
The majority of people, the nine out of ten mentioned in the Tao Te Ching, are not choosing the ultimate path of wisdom because they are not aware that is not even possible to live any other way. The choice is mostly not available to pick the path of wisdom because choice is only available when one is awake and aware.
The awakening process into true awareness is called transcendence. The root word, to transcend is to rise above, move beyond, and be released from, some type of confinement. When the nine out of ten are faced with a given situation, choice is not available because of the lower state of mind of not being aware. This lower state of consciousness that most people dwell in called ego. Choice is available to an individual residing in the ego state, yet it is a very limited choice. Maybe reaction would be a better description of how ego responds to life’s situations. The ego does not have the patience to consider other perspectives. It is too greedy, too emotional, and too caught up with coping to see the big picture.
The 9 out of 10, are just not ready to let go of the life of sensation seeking, distraction and coping to practice the cultivation of wisdom. Many times, the one of ten person reaches the bottom of a long downward spiral and finds that the only way the prison of egoic suffering is to try something else. Sometimes people become inspired by another one in ten and see the higher path. What ever the reason, this choice will change their lives for the better, if they follow it through.
So one awakens from distraction and the path of materialism and ego, and seeks the path of wisdom. Awake and aware they are ready to follow the path of truth. Yet newly arrived on the path, the often do not know where to turn to for the source of wisdom. This where the Tao Te Ching becomes a life saver. To assist in find the wisdom for the encounters you will have this companion book will point to the chapters that are relevant situations.
The Tao Te Ching illuminates the traps of ego, and will guide you to a life of simplicity, joy and success. It has served people for 2500 years, and the truth it offers is still relevant today. So here you are with your moment of truth. You are awake, aware, and present. Will you become the one and ten, who will find the path to a life of balance and harmony? If so, lets move to the next chapter.
After years of cultivating ignorance and distraction, it becomes the conditioned way of life. Quite often the person is so grounded within the conditioning, it is quite literally all that that know. It is the only reality they are tuned to. So reaction is the conditioned response that is actualized by the ego. Choice is captivated by the ego and the life experience is thus the one created by the materialistic ego. Our reality and the details of our path are the myriad of things we create, moment by moment. Imprisoned by ego, choice has little meaning.
Awakening from this lower state of consciousness is the transition cultivated through meditation. The awakened state is one of realizing and comprehending the true self. The true self is in unity with the true source, The Tao.
Awake and aware, paying attention and choosing wisdom is the path. We can realize the powerful gift that Lao Tzu has made available to us when he put the many words of wisdom together for us in the Tao Te Ching. In this higher state of awareness we can choose the wisdom of the Tao by listening with the spirit to the wisdom found in the Tao Te Ching.
Paying attention, moment by moment (mindfulness), we guide our creative steps along our life path with this wisdom. We study the ancient teachings and cultivate our ability to stay in unity with the creative source. We learn to avoid the pitfalls of ego and the lowers self.
This book is to help you find and cultivate the wisdom found within that is to say the wisdom of the true self. As you experience life and encounter the flow of constant change, you will have infinite opportunity to try the wisdom in real life situations. You can begin right away. As you sense your next fork in the road of life, some decision or choice at hand, ask what would the Tao have to say. Find the Wisdom, virtue or ignorance in here by looking through the index and glossary, and see what the instructions are for you.
Tao Master Derek Lin has gifted us all with the true translations and meanings found in the Tao Te Ching. We can all read in a way that is relevant and easy to understand what the wisdom is that we are to incorporate. The Dixie Taoist handbook is to help you locate the wisdom you are seeking in the Tao Te Ching and to integrate into your consciousness through the process of self awareness and implementing it as the true self.
In each and every moment, there is inherent to each of us, the potential for choosing the higher path. Following this path will have such profound results, you will understand soon why it has been consistently at large for over 4000 years.
Now that you are once again made aware of what is waiting for you, can you choose to wake up and realize who you really are? Or will you remain within the prison of ego and slog along with nine of ten, repeating the same mistakes, the same behaviors, the same bad habits, and experiencing the limited life.
When you are ready, the Tao will be there. It is available to all of us. The Tao is the ultimate source for all of us. It is available to everyone, even those who are disconnected and lost within the ignorance of ego and the material domain. Yet when one has suffered enough and they hit bottom, the path awaits them which will take them to Tao.
If you choose, that is to say, if you are ready, the true source is awaiting discovery. You only have to wake up and leave the fetters of ego behind.