Recently, I’ve been learning about The Tao Te Ching more and more.
The Tao Te Ching is an ancient book about spirituality originating from China.
When one reads it, he realizes that life exists for the sake of this moment right here, right now.
Lao Tzu who is the author of the book talks about ambition, fame, and wealth as unneeded and ultimately fruitless pursuits as nature requires little to be satisfied. The rest is ego. That’s not to say that Taoists are against wealth but rather that they are fine without it.
When one dives deep into this kind of work, it sort of takes the gas out of the engine so to speak. In other words, it calls a lot of one’s drive for success into question…
Why strive and struggle for all this wealth, business success, etc, when ultimately one can be aligned with the Divine right now in this moment?
I struggled with this for a while and continue to struggle with it…
But I think I’m getting closer to the answer…
One thing that’s worth noting is that in China, Taoism is commonly referred to as a way for elderly people or people who have had their shot in the external world of status, wealth creation, fame, women, etc. It is a way for these people to let go of all those things in favor of living a more quiet life aligned with nature. On the other hand, Confucianism is regarded as more of a way for younger people as it places lots of emphasis on social and cultural tradition and organization.
The above was to simply emphasize that one way of approaching this question would be to come at it from a timing perspective. One can spend the first half or so of his life striving in the world and then spend the latter half letting go and aligning with Tao.
Another factor to add to the equation is balancing a life where one lives naturally and aligned with Tao while also going into the world and striving in a way that’s creative and not so ego-driven. In other words, living your passion. Doing whatever you wanna do without caring what 0ther people think too much. Wanna be an artist? Go ahead. Don’t worry about the money too much. So it’s like a light ambition that isn’t tainted by ego and a desire to “get ahead” of others. It’s more guided by your desire to express yourself in a way that can also happen to make you quite a bit of money and improve your lifestyle.
The Way of the Superior Man is worth checking out as it is a veritable masterpiece in regards to living a life aligned with Tao yet also being masculine and striving.
One of the other key concepts in Taoism is that life exists for itself…for this moment. There is no higher purpose other than this moment. And with that being said, live for today. Optimize for today. Do something fun today that’s aligned with your purpose and brings you joy. Let success come at its own pace which may take a lifetime for some but that doesn’t matter when you’re living happily in the now.
Everyone’s path is unique and comparing yourself to others will often be a shitty choice.
At the end of the day Osho was just a guy anyway and so was Lao Tzu. If you can take the lessons from their work and apply it in a way that suits you and spit out the rest then do it.