“There is a universal flux that cannot be defined explicitly but which can be known only implicitly… In this flow, mind and matter are not separate substances. Rather, they are different aspects of our whole and unbroken movement.” David Bohm Wholeness and the Implicate Order
Unbeknown to either Debra Robins or to me, while she was busy writing the editorial for Odyssey’s Autumn issue, her opening paragraph endorsed my recent ongoing exploration of the Tao (the Way) and echoed that of Gottfried Leibniz’s “Best of All Possible Worlds” (Odyssey Summer 2019/20)
The bold sub-heading: “Wherever you are, in this moment, you are exactly where you need to be” was expounded in the fourth paragraph… “the next thing that happens will be the right thing, even if it doesn’t feel that way when it’s happening. When we are able to allow ourselves to move through whatever circumstance or event we face with faith, grace and ease and we are no longer resisting the flow, but moving with the flow… ”
When I read this, the synchronicity was too strong for me to ignore. I was already attempting to ‘go with the flow’. I had recently bought a copy of Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics and was doing my utmost to ‘go with the flow’ and stop allowing myself to become emotionally entangled in situations beyond my control.
According to Taoism, one should not resist the flow and try to prevent the changes taking place. This does not mean that we must do nothing or keep silent. It means that we should trust our innate nature and adapt to the changes taking place. We need to let everything do what it naturally does, so that its nature will be satisfied.
“By non-action everything can be done.” Lao Tzu.
The concept of an indefinable Tao as described in the first verse of Dr Wayne Dyer’s translation of the Tao Te Ching – Living the Wisdom of the Tao – fits comfortably with my understanding of Consciousness, the Life Force of all that is, as well as with my limited understanding of the Zero Point Energy Field of Quantum Physics. In both instances, I am able to envisage an Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient Eternal being.
As of writing, millions of people are being affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Esoteric and scientific correlations may be of little comfort to those who expect their prayers to be answered, by an ‘anthropomorphic God’, especially when they are suffering from the deep loss of loved ones and in many cases their livelihood.
Warnings from environmentalists who believe that this could be nature’s way of saying enough is enough.
With my nascent knowledge of Taoist thought, I believed it was possible that they could be right. I googled “Gaia, Pandemic, Fritjof Capra” and, sure enough, up came an excellent programme on Gaia Food Talks. Fritjof Capra had been invited to reflect on Covid-19 and the social and economic emergency we’re living through.
During this free video talk on YouTube (https://youtu.b/f6ZH5BDY4G4), he draws attention to what needs to be accomplished in order to restore the balance in the natural order of our life-giving planet:
“With the Covid pandemic,” he postulates, “Gaia has presented us with valuable, life-saving lessons. The question is: Will we have the wisdom and the political will to heed these lessons? And will we apply them to the climate emergency? Will we shift from undifferentiated extractive growth to regenerative qualitative growth? Will we replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources for all our energy needs? Will we stop excessive mass tourism and instead revitalise local communities? Will we replace our centralised, energy-intensive system of industrial agriculture with organic, community-oriented, regenerative farming?”
Addressing these questions certainly relates to my understanding of what is required of us in order to follow the natural order and flow in the current of the Tao.
Fritjof Capra’s talk ties in beautifully with the First Principle of Taoism which is Oneness, as expounded in his book The Tao of Physics – An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism (Wildwood House 1975 and a fifth edition Shambhala 2010, celebrating its 35th Anniversary in 2010).
The First Principle, Oneness, states that everything is linked to everything else. This concept is no longer simply a mystical, eastern or esoteric belief, but a scientific fact as evidenced in Lynne McTaggart’s ground-breaking book The Field (First published by Harper and Collins in 2001.) The Field introduces us to quantum physics and the results of twentieth century scientific research as described on the back cover of the 2003 edition: “During the past few decades science has begun to prove what ancient myth and religion has always espoused: That there may be such a thing as a life force. Frontier scientists all over the globe have produced extraordinary evidence to show that an energy field – the Zero Point Field – connects everything in the universe, and we ourselves are part of this vast dynamic cobweb of energy exchange.”
The Zero Point Field is paradoxically a void, a vacuum and a plenum – indestructible vibrating energy which transmutes into what we call matter. Einstein’s mathematical equation E = mc², shows that energy is indestructible. For those readers not familiar with the equation, E equals energy, m equals matter and c² is a constant which is the square of the speed of light. Instead of using the word ‘energy’ it helps to use Divine Intelligence (for me this would be equivalent to Tao), which makes sense, when one realises that ‘All that is’ is Vibrating Intelligent Energy from which light and thoughts arise, which, in turn, are the source of what we see as our reality.
Unless you happen to be an atheist and support the mechanistic belief in determinism, which in my opinion is a cop-out from taking personal responsibility for our words and actions, then whatever our philosophy or religion happens to be or by whatever name we choose to use for Divine Consciousness, we have been given free will to make our choices wise or unwise – the tricky part is that, when confronted with uncomfortable choices, how do we decide? In my request for guidance, I find the following words taken from the Aramaic Prayer of Jesus particularly inspiring: Focus your light within us – make it useful, as rays of a beacon show the way.
The spiritual beauty of the Taoist concept is that one is enabled to relate to one’s own supportive philosophy/religion/beliefs with which our intuitive guidance resonates. So ‘go with the flow’ and, along with Pinocchio’s Jiminy. Cricket, give a little whistle – give a little whistle and always let your conscience be your guide.