the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


Further into the transformation (Zero to Hero Day 8)

The assignment for Day 8 is to create an About page, or revisit and improve the one you have.

This was no small feat!

First, I decided to hide all but one of the existing Pages I had written.

Two were about other blogs I work on.  I think promoting them will be covered better in a later challenge: Day Thirteen: Build a (Better) Blogroll.

One was about the last blogging platform I wrote at, and another blog that I contribute to for other bloggers that used that blogging platform, too.

The other three were all about this blog here, so it made sense to unite them into one: About the tao of jaklumen and the Hero’s Journey.  That page wasn’t easy to write– I decided to put up links to categories of blog posts I was especially pleased with.  But WordPress starts the Categories page with the newest post, ending with the oldest– and for categories having to do with the Hero’s Journey, it would be like reading a story backwards.

So for the Equilibrium and Silver Surfer categories, I had to sort through every post and include a link at the bottom indicating which post was next in the series.

I also used an image and a text link to each category.  It was hard to line up each image to each text link correctly.

It’s finally done… for now.  I had to revise things over 25 times.  I hope it’s worth it!  The Silver Surfer series will have some additions to it, but I need to get a copy of the Infinity Gauntlet graphic novel first.

I'm a Zero to Hero Blogger!

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Be Water, My Friend

“The Tao is like water. Water takes the
lowest way. It flows around obstacles. It has
no projections but it penetrates that which
has no crevices. It is the softest of all things,
but it grinds rock. It resists nothing, but is
irresistible. It asks for nothing, but nourishes
everything. It strives for nothing, but trans-
forms everything.”

— attributed to Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching (from a translation by Carol Deppe, based on the Ma-wang-tui Silk Texts)

(excerpt from an interview on the Pierre Berton Show)

If you have made it this far, congratulations. Now you shall see, dear reader, my affection and love for the Eastern paths, particularly the philosophical school of Taoism.

I believe this to be an enrichment to the religious doctrine which I also hold dear, but I have held back, in fear of ridicule, derision, and accusation of heresy. It is a paradox, for some already would attack these doctrinal beliefs as such alone.

But I feel it is time to share my journey, to begin to reveal what is in my soul, my spirit, the essence of my being.

Welcome, once again, to the tao of jaklumen.

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The Te of Piglet

The Te of Piglet
Benjamin Hoff

So this is what I'm reading right now.  Yeah, wow, you might be thinking– jak's reading a book, and not just periodicals.  It's a sequel book to The Tao of Pooh (which I read a few years ago), and written by the same author, of course.  Sometimes I read it to my daughter at bedtime.  Pretty deep compared to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (my wife has been going through the series with her).  I'm rather amazed she listens and asks questions.  They aren't much philosophical in nature; as I don't think I can expect too much of that at her age, but she does ask about what particular words and concepts mean, especially if I throw in an explanation or two.

This is not the only spiritual reading with have with her; we have a family scripture study, using a series of LDS scripture and books (the LDS "Standard Works" and LDS Church History, to be precise) adapted for children.

It's all a pleasure, really.  At some point I should acquire copies of both the Pooh and Piglet books.

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QotD: Grudge Match

Do you hold grudges against people? Tell us about an incident if you do, and if you don't, tell us how you rise above it.
Submitted by Sophie.

I hold terrible grudges.  It takes a lot to get to that point, but when I get there, it's cooked over a smoldering resentment.  One I held for about 12-13 years, although reconciliation raised more questions than it gave answers.  This all shouldn't be too surprising to those who know me very well, or at least anyone who looked at my results on "Foundations of Morality".  I hold a strong sense of loyalty, but to individuals, not groups or institutions.

I think grudges are natural, because they come when a bond of trust is broken seemingly beyond repair.  Having grown up in a rather dysfunctional family (who hasn't?) I found a lot of trust broken.  What I have learned is that holding on to a grudge tightly is toxic to the soul; I can actually let go of that, yet still maintain clear boundaries.  (Some of you know the specific context.)  I do not have to keep a poisonous, cancerous sentiment, but I am still free to set a healthy sense of personal space.

Having studied the Tao somewhat (at least within the paradigm of Chinese culture), it seems to me that conflict is part of life.  My Sifu-of-Sorts told me that it is best to pull when pushed, and push when pulled.  My response is very important– I can bend and flex with the vicissitudes of life, and yet retain integrity and wholeness of being.  Taoist philosophers (including Lao Tzu) pointed to examples in nature– the reed that bends but is not destroyed, the hard rock that is gradually overcome by the soft water.  The writings of my faith in particular teach of opposition in all things.
I have begun to see the difference when I have accepted this.

So it is more what I do with feelings of resentment that is key, I think.  I need not deny that it is there, but only to be mindful so that I am not overcome by it.

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