The Dao Bums
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About thelerner

  • Rank
    Been here long enough to know better

Recent Profile Visitors

22,105 profile views
  1. The last time I consciously did something bad was 4 hours ago. Ate an entire sausage pizza with onions and green peppers and washed it down with beer. Note, it was a small pizza and I enjoyed it. Will I correct it..? Why? Spent the weekend downtown Chicago, passed by dozens of beggars and wasn't charitable. Bad. A poor excuse is I was with another and followed there lead, and the beggars were 'professional' and in the same spot every day, not that it lessened there need, but there are times I consider it an 'act' for the many tourists and as a local I don't need to fall for it. Very self serving, rationalization.. but that's what I got. All I can say is at other times I am better. Still if bad is what tweaks the conscience then I've done 60 or 70 bad things this weekend. ** FWIW we donate canned food and makes dozens of sandwich bags (2 sandwiches, cookies & fruit) for the homeless twice a month. & volunteer to teach ESL 3 times a week (not me, my wife).
  2. Let's see how would I answer this- I'd put my hand up. I am a Man, due to birthright yet moreso to gradual development. Mostly in terms of taking on responsibility. Per my definition responsibility makes the man. Responsibility for my decisions, livelihood.. morality and willingness to defend those decisions. I am a man because I can put away childish things, make hard decisions, accept hardship and delay rewards. I am duty bound to protect woman, children and those unable to protect themselves and should leave the world a slightly better place. caveats* when I have time I enjoy childish things. I can help, protect and serve to the best of my limited ability and common sense but I'm no zealot. I'm reminded of a knife seminar I went to with the famous Aikido sensei Mitsugi Saotome, a fantastic teacher- who like Ueshiba, considered himself to have gone through Enlightenment. Early on he asked the large attendance Who is content with who they are? I was the only one who raised my hand. Maybe everyone else thought it was a trick question or something. In any case I got praise. (A little later on I was also one the few standing when during warm up rolls to standing, with sensei directing Up down, Up down, Up .. there was no down, but like Simon Sez most of the 60 people went down. But my sensei played that trick, and I didn't fall for it, not that time)
  3. I've been taking classes in Mussar, an old Jewish wisdom/philosophy school on a more practical side, then say Kabbala. Much of it deals with soul traits. Positive ones.. charity, patience, forgiveness, equanimity, gratitude, strength etc., and negative ones anger. You spend time, weeks investigating your relationship with each soul trait. Generally the extremes are bad.. ie going to far. Say charity, its bad to bad to be stingy, but also hurting yourself to give everything away. You think about the trait and where you fall on its spectrum. You read up on thoughts (ie dharma speeches) of wise men.. contemplate where you should be then take actions that will get you there. Most of the time we do better with 'more' of the virtue, moving ourselves along the line, but not always. Each person is unique, you don't want to become artificial. Some need less of a particular trait to regain there balance. You have to be true to yourself, but find your best self. Which takes time and reflection.
  4. I don't know. Sometimes we need.. A break from ourselves.
  5. Title: Politics of Weightloss Promise: Starting on Nov 1st 2017, I plan to lose 5#'s a month (relatively easy first) every month til I get down to 185#s. Plan: 5#'s from weight taken on first of the month. Avoid excess carbs(breads, sugars) Less Crap (fried foods, candy, pastry), Exercise more, Do 3 1/2 day fast end of month if not on track. Consequence: For each month weight loss hasn't been hit, I will pay $150 to a Trump PAC (negative) and $150 to Heifer Org. (positive charity) $300 in total. Assumptions should take 4 or 5 months. I expect it to be easy at first, harder each successive month.. or not. I'll keep my notes within this post. Note if successful consider extending a few months to keep weight off, ie similar PPC to stay at #185 or below.
  6. I was wondering where to put this. Thought about in my PPD but I wanted other people to join in if they wanted, plus the strength of this project is that it's public. Group Studies is a relatively underused sub-forum, maybe it'll do well here. This thread is about making a Plan sealing it with a promise of consequences if you don't follow through. The idea is the use of public peer pressure to increase follow through.
  7. I find my normal 'crack' ride to be bumpy enough. I don't think atomic crack would be good for me . kidding, giving it a like don't cost nothing.
  8. It's too bad such things are so taboo in our society. I think they really can help. On the flip side, any time someone tries to sell a miracle cure.. things often move quickly from a blessing to a curse (thank you Sting).
  9. It's cliche but virtue is its own reward and evil, stupidity and selfishness tend to self destruct; though it may take awhile. Course so much depends on definitions. This being partially a Daoist website, then virtue is sorta 'Te. Not so easily defined. Here's one way of approaching it ( Three Taoist approaches to te from ( The Spirit and Flesh Sacred Texts Online Library: world religion and spirituality. The little word "Te" in the title Tao Te Ching is usually translated "virtue" or "power." Virtue is a good translation if it is understood in the old sense of the word, as in the healing "virtue" of certain plants, medicines, practices, etc. There are occasions where te seems to translate well as virtue in the sense of goodness, but do not confuse it with the moralistic sense in which we think of virtue in the West. Te is the Tao at work, so te is goodness inasmuch as person of te is adept at living in harmony with the dynamic flow of Tao in the world. Indeed, goodness in this sense has nothing to do with societal conventions of goodness (Taoists decry conventional "goodness" as too contrived, shallow, or complicated), and has everything to do with living in understanding of and harmony with the Way (Tao). The character's typical translations include: power, virtue, success, effectiveness, integrity, and goodness. So "virtue" or te as goodness here must be seen in light of these other translations; what is good is living by the supreme effectiveness of harmony with the powers of the natural universe and unity with the unnamable, ungraspable reality underlying the universe. The title Tao Te Ching might be translated "The Classic Book (Ching) of the Way (Tao) and It's Power (Te)." In his book "The Way and Its Power," Arthur Waley quotes a description of Te: It is close at hand, stands indeed at our very side; yet is intangible, a thing that by reaching for cannot be got. Remote it seems as the furthest limit of the Infinite. yet it is not far off; everyday we use its power. For the Way of the Vital Spirit fills our whole frames, yet man cannot keep track of it. It goes, yet has not departed. It comes, yet is not here. It is muted, makes no note that can be heard, yet of a sudden we find that it is there in the mind. It is dim and dark, showing no outward form, yet in a great stream it flowed into us at our birth.
  10. Imo potential for violence runs on a spectrum in both sexes, but men being awash in testosterone, are clearly getting a boost in that direction. Add to that cultural mores and men are clearly and statistically much more violent then woman. A world without violence sounds good, but strangely, sometimes those selling it, are psychopaths (see cults & communism). Maybe I'm wrong, hopefully someday in the future I clearly will be, but without strength and the ability for violence an organism is in grave danger of extinction, sooner or later. Shades of Robert Heinlein quote 'A second rate military is very expensive thing' (not exact). I like the many of the Miyzaka anime that explore and celebrate gentler heroes. see Especially Spirited Away, Nausicaa.., Howls Moving Castle.. almost all his work, a type genteel heroism of inner strenght and pure virtue not seen in Western ethos. Yet even they fight, when they must.
  11. There's some truth to that, but often before you begin walking its good to know the general terrain. Also, the fastest path is not always straight. And on the third hand, the goals and assumptions of one's youth, change as you get further along.
  12. I agree. Mastering something lays the foundation of concentration and integrity to learn other things more easily. The more you learn the more connections you see. I'm taking a Pool/billiards course now. And the teacher is constantly bringing up other arts, from rifle to golf. Whereas I bring it back to Aikido, lots of connections that help you learn. When it comes to picking a meditative (or martial) practice I've always thought marry one, flirt with others.
  13. I was just reading about a Kick ass queen of the Chinese pirates bought as a slave/wife marrying chief and later son. Ruled with iron fist until she made a pact with the government to settle down. Lived to old age, running a brothel. I recall a famous Celtic queen who gave the Romans much trouble. Again, not the most motherly. Perhaps the saying that well behaved woman rarely make history is true. Yet its also true that as mothers and teachers, wives and confidantes woman have been both behind and a guiding force of great men, particularly the most moral ones.
  14. The discussion got me looking up silver cups. One of the biggest hits was baby cups, made from silver. An age old tradition, have a baby drink from a silver cup and eat with silver spoon. Beyond luck and sign of privilege I can't help thinking there is some energetic, hygienic or nutritious property operating.
  15. Similarly one of the best financial proverbs I learned was from a Little Orphan Annie cartoon. Daddy Warbucks was telling Annie about another Tycoon who always offered the toughest deal, ie the one that benefited themselves the most. Annie asked 'Isn't that what you're supposed to do in business?' Warbucks told her 'No, the best deal is the one that benefits both parties the most.' That may seem naive, but if you want return business and be seen as honorable, at times taking less profit and helping out other business people where you can tends to lead to greater prosperity in the long run. All things being equal or even slightly in-equal people will prefer buying from a friend or one they've found trustworthy in the past.