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Benefits of Practicing Taoism

Be "softer" and begin to make peace with yourself

"Since the moment I read Tao-te ching, my life had radically changed", wrote someone in a Taoist forum. And he continued: "I became more... and more... etc."

I remembered a short discussion with Master Lu.

It was the talk that every disciple has with a master, which starts with: "What do I gain from your Tao teachings? Do I become more... and more... ?"

Superman picture
One thing is for sure: you'll not reach the Superman's power and glory by practicing Taoism/Tao

The interest of the disciple is always to accumulate an increase his force (as compared to others), a flawless sexuality, perfect health, long life and mental ability in order to paralyze his opponents.

The emphasis put on the aggressiveness towards the outer is the keyword here.

Does Taoism, Tao-te ching, offers such advantages? Will we be more efficient in our relations with others, more competent, stronger?

Once Master Lu said: "The advantage of following Tao is purely individual. You become more astute according to your ideals and wishes, and perhaps more efficient when it comes to attain your goal that makes you happy".

Here "individual" means a feature related to one's inner self. In other words, you gain something but only on a subjective level. The relation with others may be transformed too, but not necessarily giving  you a privileged position as opposed to them.

In short, you won't get stronger, tougher, by all means; you won't be able to dominate the others. Perhaps, quite the opposite, you will be "softer", as the momentary tendency dictates.

But you start to make peace with yourself, with your inner self!

Nowadays, one can find everywhere on the Net stories of people who are very enthusiastic about their practice and accomplishments. But these accomplishments are illusory. Nobody gets some power or virtue when dealing with others but a continuous adjustment to the challenges of the moment.

And, perhaps, in the end, you will attain the imponderable state described by Lieh-tzu when he says: "I was swayed like a straw in the wind. And I don't know if the wind was carrying me, or I was the one carrying the wind".

Paper by Jhian

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