Junior Bum
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About rascal

  • Rank
    Dao Bum
  1. You asked for it... DreamBliss sings!

    You've got more courage than me, friend. I was singing along with you by the end of Stand By Me. Good on ya!
  2. Meat

    I love meat, I'm not sure I could ever give it up, though I've read some convincing ethical arguments against eating it, ranging from our treatment of animals to the possibility of consciousness. If it turns out we can somehow demonstrate that animals like chickens and cows have rich inner lives like humans, or at least a proximation of, do you think we have an ethical duty to afford them similar rights and not eat them?
  3. This is an interesting thread - a lot of conflicting viewpoints on what the OP is experiencing! I think it's easy to get hung up on semantics, or as the Buddhists say, mistake the finger for the moon, the map for the destination, etc. There is a concept in medical anthropology called "idioms of distress" that essentially states that, as humans, we express our experiences of pain and illness in cultural and personal narratives that make sense to us in relation to how we were taught to experience and perceive the world. Therefore, it makes sense that if you are experiencing suffering in the form of a demon, and this is how your mind structures your pain, then an appropriate solution would be some form of exorcism or removal of this demon. That is, if you wish to tackle the problem in the context of how you understand it. Another way I was just thinking you could possibly look at it is through a Taoist lens, and this is where I think a lot of people are getting hung up on semantic differences between "ego," "demon," etc. which are all essentially screaming the same message - "I am in pain!" - yet they are hitting on a possible solution that could help if you reshape your approach. From my reading of the Tao Te Ching, and something that helps me personally, is to think of my lived experience as the "uncarved block." I often carve the block of my thoughts and feelings into separate categories of ego, pain, love, sadness, happiness, what-have-you in order to categorize and sort them out, find what is desirable and what is not. Through mindful meditation practice, I find that if I take the judgement out of my internal process (good, bad) I can look at painful and traumatic experiences in my life as all part of the same uncarved block. In other words, my narrative is not something to be picked apart and sorted into categories of pain and trauma, but are to be viewed as a factual whole of life or nature that I am unattached to because they don't "belong" to me - they are part of what "Is" and not what I "Have" or anything intrinsic to me as a person separate from the world, time, space, etc. Your demon, in a way, is the same thing. It is not Something you Have, it just Is, just like the wind. And like the wind, you can walk against it and fight it, you can walk with it and let it carry you along, you can try to study it and observe it with various meteorological tools, you can sit and do nothing and let it chill you to the bone, you can stand behind a tree to hide and buffer it's force, you can build a house and close the door to not invite the wind in - these are all choices you can make, which is a very powerful statement about you as a person and the potential of what you can do in the present to no longer be a victim to the wind, or in your case, the demon. The only difference is that demon exists as a structure in your mind, and you are subjecting yourself to it by relinquishing your power to it. Perhaps it's time to kick the demon out! Or maybe you need to build a solid house, and not invite it in! Easier said than done, and I just realized this may come across as psychobabble, but hey, what do I know! Best of luck!
  4. Howdy

    Thanks for the warm welcome, all! I have extended family in Ohio - love it there, good salt of the Earth people, what you see is what you get in my experience. Best wishes back at ya!
  5. Howdy

    Hi all! I'm a 33 year old guy who hails from North Carolina on the East coast of the United States. On the tail end of a major life upheaval here, and I've just sort of stumbled into Taoism through a series of strange coincidences and intensely spiritual awakenings that seem to keep occurring the more I cultivate my meditation and Tai Chi. I was a pretty hardcore atheist alcoholic mess for a good decade, so this is pretty exciting and new. I'm mostly looking to expand my own understanding of the Tao and how I can hopefully wu-wei myself into a lifestyle that isn't completely self-destructive and self-involved like my previous one. From a few hours of lurking these forums, this seems like a cool place to investigate further. I'll probably keep lurking for awhile since I'm a total n00b scrub when it comes to Eastern mysticism - but I look forward to the journey ahead and thank the site owner and admins of these forums for providing a cool place to continue my path. As they say in the South, keep on truckin'! -rascal