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About Greyharte

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    Dao Bum
  1. Knock Knock

    I realize there's that too. That's with any job, though. I don't claim to be immune, but I usually don't follow crowds unless there's a good reason. Of course, the military kind of requires being a team player and I can do that. But I've now gotten to where I don't really fear the difficulties of any job anymore. If I'm constantly writing off career paths just because there are some sticky parts, I"ll never have a job. You just learn it and go with it while making appropriate decisions when you can. I've recently started martial arts (judo, karate, kendo, etc.) and, though it may not seem like it in the moment, afterwards, I don't hate those that I'm going against. You typically don't kill someone who attacks just because you hate them; it's because you're acting in self-defense. When it comes down to it, if no one fights for the country (or anyone else), then we'll all be taken over.
  2. For reference, I'm a junior in college, just recently turned 21. Bias notice here. From what I have heard/read, the adversity to silence thing is primarily a Western (or at least U.S.) trait. I personally am fine with a moderate amount if I'm conversing with someone else. I like to have time to consider (at least somewhat) what they're saying. Plus, with ADHD, it helps me a lot to understand what is being said. It's odd, though, because ADHD tends coincide with the adversity to silence... In regards to the intelligence part, I'm not sure that I would say that it is declining. Part of that depends on what measure you use to judge it. If you use an IQ test, then people who are better prepared to take the test will typically do better on it than those who don't. I've passed many a test (I'm talking mostly A's) by relying on test-taking skills alone, rather than intimate knowledge of a subject. At the same time, I do think that too much social media and instant gratification via technology can (if it hasn't already) have an effect on people's perceived intelligence. Constantly focusing on others' lives takes the attention away from your own and often hides your own problems. Instant gratification is extremely tempting (especially for someone like me) and the ease of information technology makes it all the more instant. I personally believe (similar to the conveniently named Shallow Person Syndrome) that it is getting harder for people to look past the surface and peer into the essence of things. Though I can't say I agree with all of it, religion in general typically teaches that things aren't exactly as they appear. Though I consider myself a non-theist, spirituality can help teach subtlety. "Modern" culture is becoming less and less subtle. It is supposedly more "obvious" and "out there". Unfortunately, individuals (especially those that are born and raised not knowing anything else) think that that is "just how things are". They see a cell phone as a "cell phone" instead of as a convenient (though not necessary at the bottom line) electronic tool that makes things overall easier. The culture is starting to rely on these things that don't naturally appear. If anything, I think culture is becoming so abstracted that it is getting away from the nature of the world (I suppose the Tao would be appropriate to mention here). How often does it really matter how high our score is on Fruit Ninja? Will it mean life or death for us? What about eating? The culture has become so developed that it's getting away from the basic assumptions that were necessary to build that culture in the first place. Maybe this is related to the parents wanting a better life for their kids thing. Just my (scattered) opinion...
  3. Metaphorical Qi

    All of that seems to make sense. I had wondered about the quantum mechanics part. I've also heard of biophotons, weak photons that are emitted by cells during different times. Though I'm not a science major, I'm deeply interested in all this kind of stuff. In case it's not obvious, I'm not very well versed in much of the Taoist teachings. So here's another I just thought of. I've been rather tired today and especially after helping a classmate with some homework. Other times, I can feel exhilirated even after feeling that same kind of tiredness. Part of it may be restarting karate and judo after a 3 year break (last night). Could this have something to do with a particular flavor of qi or am I just plain tired?
  4. Great Stuff on this website

    Welcome to the forum. I'm new here as well, but I can agree with you on the intellectual knowledge part. It doesn't matter how much "knowledge" you have if you don't apply it.
  5. Metaphorical Qi

    Sorry if this has already been discussed, but I couldn't find a thread about it (maybe I just missed it). Anyway, In my studying, what little bit I've learned of qi/chi/prana/etc. is that it is the life force that runs throughout the universe (or something similar), kind of like the gas for the cosmos. It can be used and abused in multiple ways. Traditional Chinese Medicine (and I suppose Ayurveda too) focus on cleaning/clearing the Qi pathways to prevent/cure sickness. However, I've found little positive evidence backing up TCM. In that light, here's the question: Is Qi a real thing in the sense that it is wholely contained in itself and perhaps misunderstood, or is it more of a metaphor for the multiple body systems working together to make the results of Qi? Is it something else entirely? At this point, I am more inclined to think of it as a useful metaphor, like the concept of an electron or gravity, but I'm interested in what other, more experienced Taoists/others have to say.
  6. Practice, lifestyle, and personal preference

    I would agree regarding usefulness. I realize some people may be more inclined to become addicted to some thing than others, but not everyone is the same. I feel that's one of the reasons that there are several sects (perhaps even religions in that case) with varying "moral" do's and don't's. If tobacco hinders your development, then don't use it. If it is able to help it (perhaps as a slight soothing tool), then have at it if you so choose. Same with alcohol, but with everything, always in moderation. In regards to tobacco, however, I think a pipe or cigar might be a better alternative to cigarettes. Yeah, it can be more expensive, but it's also more meditative and can actually give you a chance to focus on mindfulness. It depends on your intention. Similarly, alcohol can be enjoyed if you first limit yourself (I personally leave it around two 5% ABV drinks or the equivalent). If you focus moreso on the tastes (like wine connosuers) than the alcohol itself, then it becomes another mindfulness exercise. This should only be done for those that can control it, however. A spiritually-realized individual (or Spirit-talker, my personal favorite term) will know if it gets in their way or not. At the same time, I personally feel that they will also realize that no teacher will ever be perfect. If you constantly sit around waiting on the perfect teacher, you'll never learn anything. I've learned that with my recently restarted martial arts instructors. The neighbor has said some bad things about them, but I've learned to look past that. A mature individual (to me) is able to ignore the surfaces and learn regardless of the individual teacher. I just remembered one more thing. I will agree with Christianity (one of the few times I can honestly say that) in that, if doing something traps your neighbor, then you shouldn't do it. In other words, if you have a friend who is a recovering alcoholic (or just alcoholic period) that you're visiting at a restaurant or something, then obviously you shouldn't go to a bar if you can help it. Also, it wouldn't be good to order a drink if you know it will tempt them. You wouldn't want to be the cause of your friend's relapse (or worse). Merely a suggestion...
  7. Knock Knock

    Yeah, I understand the military might be an odd choice for someone wanting to experience life fully. To me, it's partly a feeling that I must do it (like a duty or something similar), but I also have great respect for the military while realizing that not everyone/everything IN the military is the ideal. I did ROTC for a bit, but had to drop to focus on Band (scholarship) and my degree. I know I'm no expert by any means, but I do feel like any situation is basically what you make it. I think that's what I like about Taoism moreso than Buddhism. I like both, but I think Buddhism focuses too much on the negative parts of life. I'm naturally pessimistic, but I realize that's not always useful, so the last thing I need is another system telling me that all of life is worthless. I don't mean any disrespect towards Buddhism, however. Different people require different systems. I just don't believe pure Buddhism is adequate for me.
  8. Knock Knock

    Thank you very much.
  9. Knock Knock

    Hello Everyone. As you can guess, I'm new here. I'm "officially" Agnostic/Skeptic, but am still very interested in religion, philosophy, and things of that nature. I was raised Pentacostal (as in the swinging from the chandeliers, speaking in tongues type) and also went through the Gifted and Honors programs. I'd say that I have a finely calibrated BS detector (I mean that as humbly as possibly). I am self-diagnosed ADD (occasionally ADHD). I recently got interested in Taoism after researching (one of my common activities) Buddhism. I came upon a particularly sticky part of the theology and decided to find something that I felt fit me more. I was OK with all the suffering stuff, but I couldn't really accept the "disgust with the material world" part. I think that suffering is suffering and that's just what it is. We only consider it "bad" because we call it "bad". To me, Taoism is similar, but I'd say it is fundamentally more positive and optimistic. It says it's OK to enjoy sensual and worldly stuff, as long as it follows the Tao (whatever that truly is). In other areas, I'm currently working on a Business: Entrepreneurship Bachelor's degree, possibly going on to get a Master's in Kinesthetics and Strength Coach certified. I'm interested in pretty much everything except scrapbooking and bicycles. I like computers, cooking, cybernetics, physics, engineering, religion, philosophy, thinking, learning, the military, exercise, music, etc. I can play 2 1/2 instruments (trombone, bass guitar, teaching myself drum set). Though I am unsure of what I will do after college, I intend to join the military at some point (possibly the Marines). Though I don't plan to be a CEO of some huge corporation, I have played with the idea of opening my own business (or several), hence the degree. I am trying to go with the flow of things in that regard. The more I try to plan the future, the more disappointed I'll be when it doesn't line up. So yeah... I try to be friendly, but I have no idea how often I'll be able to post due to my schedual and general ADHD-ness.