Daily exercise

Posted: October 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.

— Frank Herbert

 

I am no Taoist. I am very interested in the set of philosophical concepts that have been associated with the word Taoism, but I do not make the mistake of thinking that this is the true name for even these ideas. Words and books are inventions of humanity, and considerable intelligence is required to navigate the quagmires of voice, intent, and rhetoric. This was the genesis of Taoism in my mind; the Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao. So if we are to break from our dependence on having things named, and their origins known, if we break from the idea that there is some infallible system of answers in any form, be it religion, government, family,… we can begin to be accountable for ourselves. We can learn real discipline, and from it intuition and most importantly compassion and courage. And we can be the sage. But not if we are Taoists. Taoists can be coerced through ideology and illusion. I will turn away from the myriad things, I desire discipline.

Can we ultimately determine the true contents of the mind of the historical Jesus, K’ung Ch’iu or Chuang Chou? Certainly not, and today’s readers should be cautious about any representations of such men’s ideas, for all such representations rest on certain assumptions, which may or may not be correct, and are frequently [debated] by scholars.

— Russell Kirkland

 

Jurassic 5 – Freedom

 

 

 

Third Eibol

Posted: February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have spoken before about action-less action or ‘wu-wei’, but what of timing and causality? Action is meaningless without a frame of context in time and consequence. Whether this is the nature of reality or just our subjective experience of it, old master did not ignore the importance of time.

To see things in the seed, that is genius.

but then he goes on to say;

Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.

A seemingly contrasting set of statements, what it really means is that there is genius in being able to visualize the future, and with this comes the knowledge of how and when to act, but ultimately there are chaotic forces which will always cause life to be unpredictable. One who is truly wise will understand the importance of acting ‘like water’ as water is relentless but indifferent and allows the unexpected things in its path to shape it, yet it remains vigilant in its endeavor towards its ultimate goal of entering the ocean or ‘lying low’. It is as if the water must completely humble itself before it can be serene and still.

Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.

Will you know when the time is right?

Young Planet (Formerly CIDIDA x EIBOL) – Do Something

 

 

Zeds Dead but Hip Hop is Not…

Posted: October 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

The squeaky wheel gets greased

the nail that sticks up is hammered down

Once in awhile I catch myself thinking that my logic is not flawed, and I have a firm handle on things and then something comes along and flips that upside down on me again. It is difficult not to make assumptions about life. I had assumed that humans naturally perceived rarity as value. That the more uncommon something was, the more desired it would be. And I could observe this in everyone around me, and so I attributed it to being a human behavior.

I found out that there is much evidence to suggest I was wrong, and that this way of thinking is rather American. We are in fact the most individualistic culture, and therefore this is a value that is extreme and noticeable here. In cultures where community comes first, integration is more important than self expression or uniqueness. So to value the uncommon is a cultural quality. Which leads me to wonder what other values and beliefs that appear common sense are a result of culture, and not biology.

The alternative to an individualistic culture is a collectivist one, and it is interesting that there is this entire spectrum on which we sit at one extreme. I think that to strike a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the community would be ideal, but I don’t think that represents the average point of view. An equally individual and collective culture may be unlikely but I believe anything is possible. I never thought you could blend hip hop and dubstep together successfully but then I heard the Qwel & Maker remix below, and the Victor mixtape from Zeds Dead and Omar LinX – Check out one of the bangers from this EP.

Zeds Dead & Omar LinX – No Prayers

Is hip hop itself individualistic or collectivist in general? There are examples of both points of view but I think individuality is a key component of hip hop, and I think that even when you join a team and work for the good of the group, its important for an emcee to maintain their identity and not become a forgotten organ. Similarly most groups need to diverge from other groups in order to be memorable. At the same time if this individualism is too extreme, the group may not work well together. Selfishness and altruism. The yin and yang of intention.

 

A Road less Traveled

Posted: April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

     I don’t rush my entries in this blog. I let them form organically from the experiences in my life. Recently I got a new car, and though it is the nicest car I’ve ever had, it has a few disadvantages. It may seem kind of contradictory being Taoist and having a flashy car, but hear me out, and I also have a sneaking suspicion there may be few years left to enjoy driving a car without computer assistance. It is a sports car, extremely low to the ground, which is great on windy roads, or on the highway in heavy winds. On uneven pavement, or broken bumpy roads, it is another story. And of course I live in a small mountain village about 7 miles up a very uneven, pothole ridden road. Hitting the right bump can send you into the other lane, and the road certainly puts wear and tear on this beautiful, precision machine.

     My only course of action was to take the “long” way, an indirect and more rural route that I seldom drove. My first time taking the road, I realized I had never before noticed the pavement the entire way was smooth as glass. Not only was the pavement better, but there was little traffic if any, and beautiful mountain views. At first I drove that way a few times, but then forgot, or thought that the other way just had to be much faster. I mean it was the way everyone else drove…

     So I timed it. And I found out that depending on traffic, they are +- 2 minutes of each other. The same amount of time, and clearly a better route for me. I enjoy my daily drive now, instead of moping along in traffic. I just wonder why the most amazing roads seem to have the fewest travelers. Maybe people are afraid of straying from the beaten path?

Qwel & Maker – Silver Mountains Remix


Occupy Hip Hop?

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

     Haven’t posted in awhile, I’ve been so busy with school. History is happening all around us. Last month, protesters converged on Zuccotti park near Wall Street in NY City to protest corporate greed and financial crimes. The protests have since spread to thousands of cities in countries all over the world. Could this be a global revolution? Or just the latest ineffective political movement? I’ll leave that for time to decide. Although the Tao Te Ching talks about inaction, its important to understand what Old Master really means. Do Taoist teachings support this kind of movement, or warn us against it?

Not praising the worthy prevents contention,
Not esteeming the valuable prevents theft,
Not displaying the beautiful prevents desire.

In this manner the sage governs people:
Emptying their minds,
Filling their bellies,
Weakening their ambitions,
And strengthening their bones.

If people lack knowledge and desire
Then they can not act;
If no action is taken
Harmony remains.

Occupy Wall Street Hip Hop Anthem

B. Dolan ft. Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Buddy Peace, Sage Francis – Film the Police

     There has been much “esteeming of the valuable.” In hip-hop it’s called “flossing.” Make no mistake, false pride feels good. For awhile. But it’s an empty kind of satisfaction that only leaves you wanting more. And so the greed of the few who have the most has finally taken enough from the average person, that people can no longer be apathetic about it. The once popular opinion that “people are not being exploited, they are exploiting themselves” is a luxury that less and less people can afford to have. The unrest between people and government mirrors the unrest in people themselves. We are irresponsible children and we have a history of following those with messages we can swallow, not those who speak the truth. Though I too feel rebellious towards all that I perceive is wrong, as destructive as that power may be. But “now that my barn has burnt down, I have a clear view of the moon.” Inaction can be loudly chanting, and not resisting arrest. Still remember to walk the middle path. Let the rebellion begin in your self ~


Classic

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

     Tao Te Ching Chapter 6:

Experience is a riverbed,
Its source hidden, forever flowing:
Its entrance, the root of the world,
The Way moves within it:
Draw upon it; it will not run dry.

N.A.S.A. – Hip Hop Featuring KRS-One, Fatlip, &Slim Kid Tre


Cyclic Routine

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
IAMISEE – Golden Sky

     Cyclic routines define our lives. We may think in linear terms, but it seems nature does not. If you think about it, everything has a circular nature of birth and death, revolutions, or seasons. There are not only cycles in nature, but even within our government and society. How many of us anxiously await the yearly tax return for a little extra spending money? Or, how many of us look forward to the annual holidays for a variety of reasons? Maybe we aren’t looking forward to voting every four years as much as we should be, but it’s a cycle as well. A human body is a combination of many small and large cycles. Everything we know about appears to follow a cyclical pattern. This might explain our connection with the rhythm of music. The repetitive, yet expressive patterns mirror the cyclic nature of reality.

Aesop Rock – Night Light