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About Taomeow

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  1. Qigong without internal organs?

    Yes. The physical organ is not separate from the organ-system-function unity it is part of, which overlaps with jing-qi-shen dynamics. When it is removed, the system and the function have to adjust to the new internal "landscape and climate," which still preserves the configuration of the missing organ, its qi "signature." In other words, the organ is systemically "remembered" by the body, and one can either enhance this memory to the point where it's almost as real as "here and now" or let it fade away. Many compensating mechanisms kick in, and while all of the things the organ used to do in the body can't be restored, many can, sometimes most or nearly all -- with a little help from internal healing mechanisms and external healing agents. (E.g. if someone's gall bladder has been removed, ox bile supplementation can, to an extent, replace one's own bile production.) Qigong is in this category of helpful healing mechanisms that can ease the adjustment and create a new system-function configuration that helps compensate for the lost organ.
  2. Also this one would be nice...
  3. simplify

  4. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    "Together we can do only evil, all good things are accomplished on one's own." -- Leo Tolstoy
  5. Zhan Zhuang - Yin or Yang?

    A practice can only be "more yin" or "more yang" compared to some other practice. So the question might be, is ZZ more yin compared to the sitting meditation, taijiquan, karate, hockey, chanting mantras, taking a nap, etc. When such comparisons are made you may notice that ZZ is more yin than taijiquan, more yang than the sitting meditation, etc.
  6. 2022 - Year of the Tiger (Water)

    Good question that deserves a somewhat tangential/expanded answer. (You probably mean "birth day" rather than "birth date?") These are terms used by some bazi schools (bazi is not exactly feng shui and not exactly astrology -- the closest description IMO would be "destiny analysis" and the practitioners were sometimes known as "qi readers" or "spirit readers" but mostly just "bazi readers.") The "animal of the year of birth" taken out of context is a phenomenon of pop culture, and any analysis based on that is fully bogus. The real analysis may include all four animals (those of the year, month, day, hour of birth) or bypass them altogether, since each "animal" is a shorthand for the wuxing "moment" anyway, i.e. for particular types of qi derived from above and below (from the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches) acting on an individual destiny depending on the timing and nature of their interaction. Each animal "contains" particular wuxing "elements" ( phases of qi) and interacts with all others "above" and "below." To figure out how exactly, one has to have a very clear picture of the overall "ecosystem" of a destiny. Here's one way to think of it: The "Year animal" is the climate -- if you are born, say, in Alaska, it's different from being born in the rain forest of Peru, and from the start you are under the influence of a different set of energies. Only in this case it's the Alaska or Peru moment of the cosmic, heavenly qi (coming from the movement of the Heavenly Stems) and of the earthly qi (coming from the movement of the Earthly Branches). Sometimes the year comes when you get Alaska above and Peru below, and the interactions get complicated. Sometimes you get Alaska below and Peru above, and sometimes Alaska below and above, etc. -- only you are looking at, not 2 "places in time" but 10 gears interacting with 12, and each of the "gears" is in its yin mode or its yang mode, and each is of one of 5 types (wuxing phases of qi, or "elements" as they are popularly known) -- and that's the year alone, to say nothing of the smaller or larger periods -- so it gets pretty complicated. The "Month animal" is the weather at the time you're born -- which some schools see as a more significant factor than the climate. Indeed, if you're born in Alaska on a warm July afternoon, it matters more for you individually than what the overall climate of Alaska is for the rest of the year. Some bazi schools look at the month animal for the most broad generalizations about one's destiny, rather than the year animal. Others, like I already mentioned, may bypass that "animal" thing altogether as superfluous, merely a metaphor for convenience, a mnemonic device. The "Day animal" is, following the same metaphor, the house you're born in -- again, it may determine more in your individual destiny than the climate or weather. So, some schools "broadly generalize" around that. The "Hour animal" is, again, significant in your personal destiny -- is it the hour when normally people eat dinner, go to bed, watch TV, chop wood or carry water? -- or the hour when someone accidentally set the house on fire? -- or the hour when plumbing suddenly failed and the pipes burst? -- and so on. So, again, important. The names you cited, which may be used by some bazi schools but not others, merely reflect that significance of each, again metaphorically. E.g., in my experience as a bazi reader, the hour's "secret" animal may be "secret" merely because many people don't know what it is.
  7. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    โ€œSell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.โ€ โ€” Rumi
  8. Order is freedom

    You are absolutely correct -- and I do believe that the existence of "The Unknown Fathers" (the name the ruling elites go by in one of my favorite sci-fi novels) can be the other side of that tricky coin. Anything can be flipped against the people and for the rulers if they are in opposition, if they flip that coin toward winning for themselves, against the people. But with Laozi, it's the context that matters. Outside his whole doctrine aimed at enlightening the ruler specifically, toward convincing him to serve the people rather than himself, it can be flipped to mean what the self-serving rulers pick and choose for it to mean. His context is the Great Mother, tao, and the idea is to emulate her, to rule the way she rules. Tao keeps her reign hidden, under wraps, but she is benevolent to her children by default, it's her nature ("virtue"), and most definitely her rule is not self-serving at their expense, not "the hidden hand" looking to rob them and enrich herself. On a smaller level of the fractal but replicating its pattern, that's how a true family is ruled -- parents help children learn to "do it all themselves" without either jumping hoops trying to please or punishing -- they simply create a pattern which children are able to replicate, internalize and benefit from. Ditto a tribe ruled by such motherly benevolent figure, who establishes the same pattern -- derived from the family that derives it from the Great Mother, tao. Of course this pattern breaks down when parents starts using children toward their own goals, when the head of the family, the ruler of the tribe, the ruler of the nation, the ruler of the empire, and ultimately of the world abandon the Great Mother and flip into The Great Pestilence. That's where the invisible guiding force can show its potential to be the opposite of "the best" and become "the worst." In fact, all Laozi's hierarchy presently stands on its head because of what happened to our world -- today the best rulers are the ones who are despised, and therefore their self-serving moves can be ignored by the ruled. While the worst are "The Unknown Fathers" -- when the rulers are in self-serving opposition to the people, when their rule and the order they install is detrimental, devastating, in need of fighting against but no one can fight it because no one knows its true source -- that's the worst.
  9. Which books sit on your nightstand?

    This book was "sitting on my nightstand" since I first attempted reading it as a teenager and put it down perplexed. At the time I was unable to grasp what the point was of painting, in a work of sci-fi, a dystopian picture so far removed from the actual realities of the world I was able to perceive. It was written 102 years ago and predated both Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as the classic of the dystopian realism genre. (The former, incidentally, asserted that the latter was heavily influenced by it -- though Huxley denied it -- while I can see how both of them were. Or, rather, I can see how all three were privy to The Plan rather than merely prophetic and insightful, and wrote about what was being planned behind closed doors, rather than what they merely fantasized or extrapolated.) The future proved to be not so distant though in a lot of its aspects -- although instead of Zamyatin's transparent houses made of a material known in the book as "Our Glass" we have surveillance cameras and face recognition tech etc. overwhelmingly proliferating our lives; and the Glass Wall separating us from the world of nature and free movement is made out of economic realities and mandates and their enforcers ("Our Glass" of our time) rather than out of a physical substance; and food made of petroleum sneaks into our lives gradually and "peacefully" rather than as the outcome of a 200 year war that did away with all natural products in "We"; and so on. But the future no one yet envisioned in Zamyatin's or Orwell's or Huxley's time, the future where "Our" One State new world order would not only enslave this planet but threaten the universe itself with its proliferation, with its aggressive enforcement of "obligatory happiness" as One State government understands it ("you will own nothing and you will be happy," to quote our very own Klaus Schwab of the WEF and their Plan for humanity), was a shocking detail in "We" -- and, come to think of it, not inconceivable. If "we" gain enough technological capabilities, "we" will proceed to do exactly this, "liberate" the whole universe from the perils of freedom and love in the same fashion "we" have liberated this planet. I don't know, unfortunately, if it's readable in English (I read it in the original and have no idea how well or how badly it has been translated -- it's not one of the books that would be easy to translate). If the translation happens to be decent, I would highly recommend it.
  10. Order is freedom

    I was indeed gone, but the order which is acceptable to me has been restored, so I'm back. According to Laozi: โ€œA leader is best when people barely know he exists. Not so good when people love him. Worse when they fear him. The worst -- when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little, when his work is done and his aim fulfilled, people will say: โ€˜We did it ourselves."
  11. Order is freedom

    Methinks that teacher completely misunderstood Marie Kondo -- and the picture shows what a hoarder with OCD might do with misunderstood principles. The whole idea of "Konmari method" is to make one's immediate environment easier and more enjoyable to interact with, not to dominate your everyday activities with order for order's sake. Her whole deal is about unlearning the habitual mindless pattern (be it order or disorder) and learning mindful ones. The foundation of Marie Kondo's method lies in her deep personal immersion in Shinto -- she spent five years of her life working as a miko -- a Shinto shrine maiden. Miko, whose responsibilities appear humble to a superficial glance (she assists priests with rituals, sell omamori -- charms and amulets -- and helps clean the shrine grounds), historically used to be powerful religious figures, highly regarded and thought of in the community as carriers of practical, life-enhancing wisdom. Order that is mindlessly installed, order for order's sake, order originating from without (rather than from within) and serving those external forces and entities who unleash it onto you to serve them rather than you, tends to be repressive, enslaving and lifeless, whether in one's home or in one's country. Those forced, coerced or brainwashed to obey it tend to get mindlessly enslaved by those who force, coerce or brainwash them into obeying it. Whereas order that makes everyday life easier and more enjoyable is, indeed, one of the prerequisites of freedom. Where the fine line lies between the two is -- well, elsewhere, not in the amount of order per se but in its purpose. Which is for everyone to discover -- and if necessary work toward or even fight for. Sometimes against oneself and one's habitual mindless patterns. And sometimes against external forces dictating mindless life-defeating acceptance of one's enslavement.
  12. /\ continued The taoist version: