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Agony at straying away from the Tao..

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I was put into a mental hospital for a year when I realized the beauty of non-striving, wu-wei and the emptiness of not doing.   I was free from the constraints of trying to be successful in the world and finally for a period of time I was happy, like a deer in the woods may be happy and content grazing on grass and sleeping throughout the day..  I realized with no sense of uncertainty that I am an animal, just like all the other animals and saw the beauty in eating when I was hungry and sleeping when I was tired.


This is my second entry into a mental hospital and I'm closing in on a year.   I have a background of being a computer programmer, and thanks to state programs I've been given just enough money each month to pay for food possibly and a subsidized apartment.   Without any additional income, it is going to be very tight and I'm concerned with my future prospects..   I remember the birds outside, as Jesus teaches, and even they find food..


To live a life of ease is what the Tao Te Ching promises with its words..   Give up everything and gain the world.   Yet I'm so fucking frightened and in my fear I'm grasping the remains of everyone of my last desires to the point where I'm building goal after goal, completely miserable now with all this striving..    I am not drinking from the great mother's breast because I have desires...  and I really doing my best not to get this wrong this time...   Which is why I am coming to you guys..


I have dreams of writing a book, getting good with socialization, getting good with women so I can experience what I perceive as the benefits of polyamory, making money, being well rounded, being funny, working out, being a good business man, impressing the woman in my life, change the world and make it a better place etc etc etc..  


Yet all of this is making me miserable..  I read these motivational books from time to time, and they talk of pain periods that one must go through to enjoy the benefits of reaping what they sow.   If you want something you should work for it.   Instead it seems I've gained 5 pounds for all the toil and mental stress I have put myself through with these dreams, desires, cravings..


But part of me feels like I need to fit into the world and not be a parasite in some sense.    I remember a line from Chung Tzu saying that everybody knows the value of being useful, but no one knows the value of being useless...    I'm just scared.   At the ripe age of 30, I realize I am not immortal and that I'm dying..  and I only have so much life left.    But to spend the rest of it in this misery doesn't make sense either..    I know my desires are getting me into trouble and I truly need to let go, but maybe Im just hoping for some perspective to help me do this letting go.   All week I've been working my ass off learning this, and learning that, putting efforts into trying to create a good conversational personality, etc etc.   And I've probably made progress.    But my studies make me think I truly need to let go at this point..  Let go of it all and just be at ease.  Scary.


Finally I'm reminded of a beautiful poem (My favorite) by Sir Edward Dyer..   My mind to me a kingdom is:


My mind to me a kingdom is;

Such perfect joy therein I find

That it excels all other bliss

That world affords or grows by kind.

Though much I want which most men have,

Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store,

No force to win the victory,

No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to feed each gazing eye;

To none of these I yield as thrall.

For why my mind doth serve for all.


I see how plenty suffers oft,

How hasty climbers soon do fall;

I see that those that are aloft

Mishap doth threaten most of all;

They get with toil, they keep with fear.

Such cares my mind could never bear.


Content I live, this is my stay;

I seek no more than may suffice;

I press to bear no haughty sway;

Look what I lack my mind supplies;

Lo, thus I triumph like a king,

Content with that my mind doth bring.


Some have too much, yet still do crave;

I little have, and seek no more.

They are but poor, though much they have,

And I am rich with little store.

They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;

They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.


I laugh not at another’s loss;

I grudge not at another’s gain;

No worldly waves my mind can toss;

My state at one doth still remain.

I fear no foe, nor fawning friend;

I loathe not life, nor dread my end.


Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,

Their wisdom by their rage of will,

Their treasure is their only trust;

And cloaked craft their store of skill.

But all the pleasure that I find

Is to maintain a quiet mind.


My wealth is health and perfect ease;

My conscience clear my chief defense;

I neither seek by bribes to please,

Nor by deceit to breed offense.

Thus do I live, thus will I die.

Would all did so as well as I!

Edited by profounded
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Forget about letting go. Just do what makes you happy. Do what gives you peace. Everything is okay.


If you want to create a healthy sense of self, an attractive and strong personality, repeat the affirmation, "I am beautiful and worthy," for a minute or even thirty seconds every day. It works. It will also make you more sexually attractive.


I hope this helps.

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I wrote a little while ago that some trust there instincts/wisdom and do well.  Others do not.  If trusting in the dao is causing insecurity and getting you thrown into mental wards, then it might not be the path for you.  Perhaps combining it with a more traditional route of finding steady employ while making the wisdom of the tao your lifelong study would work out better then just relying on its providence.  


For me the Dao is more about blending into your environment then it being an invisible hand that provides. So your work might be finding the right niche to fit into nicely.  Depending on the government hand outs long term is usually a mistake. 

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Hi profounded,


I have no idea how to respond but I did want to let you know that I am listening.


So you have a skill so that you might be able to earn enough to be self-sufficient.


Having a job and being a part of your society isn't all that bad.  (And it will give you a sense of self-worth.)


There are pros and cons regarding useful/useless.  We must at least be useful to our self.


I can go no further at the moment.

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