Wu wei and intoxication

I wanted to air my thoughts about doing not-doing. I feel like I've got a handle on how keeping to the deed that consists of taking no action and having little thought of self helps us achieve our personal ends. It seems to me that while not consciously concentrating on chasing our desires, we'll unconsciously take actions that result in us moving closer towards our goals, and in not actively striving, we'll be less likely to sabotage ourselves in these attempts.

Of course, if this is the case, it seems to require a certain frame of mind, for one, sobriety. Now, I've been smoking marijuana for many years, and frankly, the extent of inaction that it brings is really too inactive to achieve anything. I always figured that worrying about things wasn't worth much, so getting high would stop me worrying, and then things would take care of themselves (this was, in fact, in the time before I discovered the TTC). However, I'm now starting to think that if I was sober, I'd eventually be spurred into unavoidable action, which would lead me naturally into improving my life, without too much conscious thought of my own desires.

Maybe I've just got to the point where my desire to be sober exceeds my need to stay high all the time. I don't know... I'm trying to stop contending and let things happen to me naturally, but just at the moment, I seem to be riddled with doubt. Any thoughts? I'm sure quite a few people have come to Taoism after spending years mired in drug problems or rocky relationships, I'm here through both, and I haven't dropped the weed yet, that's all.


  • edited March 2011
    A desire for intoxication is a symptom of underlying need. Often desire leads us to actions than don't resolve the need, but rather mask it enough. Allow us to cope.

    It takes a certain degree of courage to drop the 'mask' and see what may actually be there. The courage is facing the unknown, dropping that which worked 'good enough' in the attempt to stumble upon something that works better.

    This is essentially the same pioneer spirit that moved people to leave behind the known and venture into the unknown. Taoism is essentially a journey into that realm of the unknown, principally because it poo-poos the one crutch onto which we cling that gives us the illusion of thinking we know.

    "The teaching that uses no words, the deed that consists in taking no action". These are outcomes of dropping our trust in names and words.
  • Hay Dan
    Smoking weed expressly some of the skunk can really mess with your head, and maybe if you do decide to bin it of, your goals might change?
    You might find new interests and through that new people in your life?
    I think the wu wei aspect is about not making a conscious decision to do a particular thing but to have lots of options that you can do,

    I always figured that worrying about things wasn't worth much, so getting high would stop me worrying, and then things would take care of themselves

    This sounds more like burying your head in the sand,
    Maybe bro this is just YOU TIME to change. It looks like you have been giving it plenty of thought, and what have you got to loose? If you don‘t like it?
    One think you might not of thought about you might end up loosing some of your friends that you have had for years? The thing about being riddled with doubt that will be the weed loll
    I have had a similar thing about going out with my mates all the time getting pissed up
    But if I was you bro I would defo give it a go I really hope you become all you can be

    Vincere vel mori bud

    RD 8-)
  • edited March 2011
    A desire for intoxication is a symptom of underlying need. Often desire leads us to actions than don't resolve the need, but rather mask it enough. Allow us to cope

    I was thinking more about this in regards to my "desire for intoxication" via tobacco. I finally quite because some of the underlying need was met in other ways. Also, because I began to realize the 'mask' had its own drawbacks (I wanted to finish being a slave to tobacco).

    I suspect that we only truly change when we either replace the activity with another than fills the underlying need, and/or (and probably both), we realize the activity isn't really giving us what we need any more. This helps induce us to look elsewhere. Slowly but surely, circumstances bring us to maturity.
  • Thanks to you both. You're both saying what I'm thinking anyway. As it was, last week I tried to drop tobacco, weed and my ex all at once and I think I over-faced myself. So now, I'm cutting down slowly and carefully... in fact, insofar as it's possible, I'm trying to allow it to happen to me naturally, and that seems to be having some success. Indeed, I'm just letting circumstances bring me to maturity.
  • I hear you. Patiently waiting for 'It to happened to us naturally' is perhaps the difficulty to which we most need be alive.
  • sorry dan i thought you ment weed (we live and we learn ay bro)
  • I did mean weed. Why, what did you think?
  • I met a taoist tai chi instructor a week ago and talked to him about my indulgence in weed and how I was having a problem with moderation. He told me that the action of taking a shot, or smoking a bowl is not bad, the absence of consciousness is the most harmful. The rest of that week I still kept smoking the 8th I had, but worked on my presence and stayed out of the mind. All of my problems that I was dealing with I could see past, and I could finally let them rest, and I was not bored in the present moment. Instead my awareness was so expanded that the present moment was exteremely thrilling.

    I think weed has two polarities. One is you get dragged a lot farther into the mind, your consciousness becomes more clouded, and you are not able to be very "spiritual" if you will.... on the flip side, if you are present and conscious, your awareness can become greatly expanded, and for me at least my contemplation become super charged, and I start having epiphanies left and right, and make huge leaps forwards instead of small steps. But all in moderation, after the week of smoking, I was so burned out that no matter how focused I tried to be on the present moment, my mind was anywhere else.

    The night of talking to the instructor, I smoked up and decided using a mirror might help in turning the mind off, if I looked at the reflection as being my mind and that I was a free consciousness with no form looking at it (as if no mirror was there) All of a sudden the reflection started talking, and telling me things, that I started believing, and I started feeling my head being sucked into the mirror, when last second, my consciousness woke back up and I realized what was happening. I almost became taken by a demon, if you will, my demon, through the mirror. So please be careful what you decide to do when high. If your consciouness gets turned off, you are at a much greater risk then if you had just stayed solber. So of course :yy:
  • I find humankind's habit of believing what it thinks causes some of its greatest difficulties. We are delusional in thinking we know (and don't know it), or delusional in saying we are delusional (as I'm doing right now). Either way, to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.

    You sound like you are particularly caught up in this neurological whirlwind (e.g., spiritual, epiphanies, huge leaps). The sudden nature of it is also a symptom of hyper delusion. True knowing evolves gradually along with life experience. The 'enlightenments' are delusional highs along the way. Not that they won't inform you over time; it is just that their 'greatness' amounts to making a mountain out of a molehill. This is a natural phase in the early years of discovery.

    Oh, and drug induced 'enlightenments' are just egging on the breath. Like the 'new car smell', they are more a reflection of your needs and fears than any truth for which they mascaraed.

    In short, it is wise to be wary of the output of the brain, especially a drug biased one. The more you feel your thought is real, the more your thoughts will feed back into your emotions. This stirs the emotions from which the original thoughts arose, and ratchets up the delusion another notch. However, to be fair...

    If you would have a thing shrink,
    You must first stretch it;
    If you would have a thing weakened,
    You must first strengthen it;
    If you would have a thing laid aside,
    You must first set it up;
    If you would take from a thing,
    You must first give to it.

    Resolution occurs after one reaches bottom. Poetically, this process looks like this...

    I do my utmost to attain emptiness;
    I hold firmly to stillness.
    The myriad creatures all rise together
    And I watch their return.
    The teaming creatures
    All return to their separate roots.
    Returning to one's roots is known as stillness.
    This is what is meant by returning to one's destiny.
    Returning to one's destiny is known as the constant.
    Knowledge of the constant is known as discernment.
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