Wrestlng with the Tao



The history of the world could be rewritten as the story of wars, not against each other, but against the Tao. “I am better than you are!” “This is mine, not yours!” “It has to work this way!” How muscular we have become in a million years of titanic struggle in the dark trying to fathom what’s going on. And the Tao? Who knows anything about the Tao except religious seekers, or lovers of ancient poetry, even assuming good translations? 

We struggle against the way things are not realizing that things are the way they are because we have created them that way. How many among us are awake enough to stand forth in the face of pain and say, “I did it.”? One contemporary teacher whom I greatly admire says, “If you struggle against what is, you will lose 100% of the time.” Such is the lesson of the Tao. In the grandiose words of my podcast, it goes like this: “Let go and enjoy the grand drama of existence!” 

Even the most spiritually experienced of us are astonishing in our ability to avoid or manipulate what arrives on our plate to act upon. I can be very skilled in the art of self-deception, as witnessed in the subtle pride that arises in words that I write or speak. Humility is a virtue yet to be valued across the land, but heart to heart, considering the mass stupidities at work in the world, I hope its presence is expanding, specifically in me. 

A few days ago in my kitchen, I felt the piece of my soul that was energizing the podcast leave my body and set out for home. I stood there in panic because I realized in an instant that this piece of above had made possible all the spoken and written words I had put out there in my name. How mightily I struggled to resist this moment as my life came crashing down. What hypocrisy! I was ready to die. 

Such is life in occlusion from the Tao. 

I recognized this feeling because a few years ago, I had died on our living room couch after succumbing to yet another occasion of substance abuse. An angelic being was carrying my soul toward a ring-pass-not, from beyond which, I knew, no traveler returns. The clarity of God’s displeasure was absolute. I fought off my angelic accompaniment and declared that this was my life and I wanted to live it! As it was! 

Unknown to me, as those events were transpiring behind the veils of my travail, my beloved Rachel was pounding on my chest to bring me back to life. Between our mutual efforts, I awoke, but my soul had not yet reentered my body. For the next hour, I had to exclaim every few minutes that I wanted to live. Eventually, after promising God with absolute sincerity never to use that substance again, my soul reentered my body, and I was able finally to let go into sleep instead of death. Cured by grace!

So, I know what the coming and going of souls and soul parts feels like. That day a few days ago in the kitchen, I was ready for my entire soul package to depart, believing I had committed some egregious malfeasance in what I was doing. I had struggled against the Tao, which includes the coming and going of soul parts. I had lost my faith. 

Today, after the help of beloved friends and a looking up from the tiny drama of my existence, things have fallen into place, and although I feel I have only inched along in my humble relationship with the Tao, I understand now that the transition in my podcasting work, which I knew was on the horizon, was destined to arrive with this profound wrenching of my spirit. For me, this work is, after all, not “about” that of which it speaks. It is that.

“Episode 18 Conversation with God” was recorded amid this trauma in the Tao, and even though it will have value to the brave and hardy, I have removed it from my websites. It still exists in the iTunes and Google Play stores, which are venues over which I have minimal influence. 

“Episode 19 The Urgent Pursuit of Pure Knowledge” will appear under new internal management by the end of the week with program notes still accompanied by a lingering scent of spiritual pride. For that I ask forgiveness.