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Lao Tzu’s Four Rules for Living

Many centuries ago, Lao Tzu, spoke of the four cardinal virtues, teaching that when we practice them as a way of life, we come to know the truth of the universe. The ancient Chinese master said that living and practicing these teachings can open you to higher wisdom and greater happiness, as they realign you to the source and enable you to access all the powers that source energy has to offer.

“When you succeed in connecting your energy with the divine realm through high awareness and the practice of undiscriminating virtue, the transmission of the ultimate subtle truths will follow.”  Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu means ‘Old Master,’ and he was believed by some to be a God-realised being. The Four Cardinal Virtues are found in the Tao Te Ching, a collection of sayings expounding the principal Taoist teachings. It has 81 short poetic verses packed full of universal wisdom for politics, society, and personal life, and aims to support personal harmony through the right view and understanding of existence. The Tao (also known as the Way or the Dao) has baffled its readers for centuries with its cryptic and deliberate contradictions, yet it offers a profound contemplation to seekers, lending itself to varied interpretations and inner questioning.

Lao Tzu means ‘Old Master,’ and he was believed by some to be a God-realised being.

“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Tao is both named and nameless. As nameless it is the origin of all things; as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery; ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations. And the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.” ― Wayne W. Dyer, Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

The Tao Te Ching is the basic text of Taoism, but it has also influenced Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism, and is among some of the most translated works in world literature. This powerful text of the Tao, road or way of life, reflects the force of the universe and even the universe itself. While many have tried to make sense of its mystery, one man immersed himself in this text, literally living its wisdom, and then distilled the essence of these ancient mystery teachings for a modern audience.

In 2006, the late Wayne Dyer was inspired to spend his entire 65th year reading, researching, and meditating on Lao Tzu’s messages, going into retreat to practice them and ultimately write down the insights he felt Lao Ttzu wanted us to know.  Dr Dyer researched ten well respected translations of the text and the result of that life-changing year was his best-selling book Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.

Affectionately known as the Father of Motivation, Dr Dyer says Lao Tzu’s four cardinal virtues represent the surest way to leave habits and excuses behind and reconnect to your original nature. “The more your life is harmonised with the four virtues, the less you’re controlled by the uncompromising ego.”

The Tao encourages us to be in touch with our own selves, particularly our deepest selves, for when you know who you really are, that is when you discover eternal peace. Lao Tzu liked to compare different parts of nature to different virtues. He said, “The best people are like water, which benefits all things and does not compete with them. It stays in lowly places that others reject. This is why it is so similar to the Way (Dao).” Each part of nature can remind us of a quality we admire and should cultivate ourselves—the strength of the mountains, the resilience of trees, the cheerfulness of flowers.

We enter life with a seemingly clean slate, a spectacular pathway ahead of us with unlimited potentials and choices. To navigate our lives and get a handle on the challenges and gifts life will throw at us, it is useful to have some sort of compass so that we don’t end up on the rocks or lost at sea.

For many people this may be religion, morality, or the belief systems passed down by their family, and they may derive a sense of strength and direction through their strongly held inner compass sourced in this integrity. No matter what happens in life, they’ll always fall back on that maxim, whether it be, for example, to lead from the heart, or to be kind.

“To realise the constancy and steadiness in your life is to realise the deep nature of the universe. This realisation is not dependent on any transitory internal or external condition, rather it is an expression of one’s own immutable spiritual nature. The only way to attain the Universal Way is to maintain the integral virtues of the constancy, steadiness and simplicity in one’s daily life.” – Lao Tzu

The four cardinal virtues, or rules for living life, can provide a framework for a life filled with inner peace and purpose.

1. Reverence for all Life

This virtue manifests as having unconditional love and positive regard for all creatures in the universe, starting with ourselves, then this will naturally flow out to all others. This reverence is for all life, not just some forms. It is honouring all forms of life, and at its core has an innate spiritual understanding of how the universe truly works – that we are all sparks of the one fire. When we live with reverence for all life, we surrender our need to control and to dominate. We naturally come into heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all of life. This first virtue is the key to diminishing the ego.

“Affirm this as often as you can, for when you see yourself in a loving way, you have nothing but love to extend outward. And the more you love others, the less you need old excuse patterns, particularly those relating to blame.” Wayne Dyer

2. Natural Sincerity

This virtue encompasses kindness and authenticity. To me, it has a feeling of compassion and an all-encompassing love for all beings. When we are sincere and act with integrity, we move towards peace and inner tranquility. Our conscience clear, we don’t have the inner niggles over our dishonest actions that can erode a peaceful mind. Much of these four pillars relate to karma, the law of cause and effect, and maintaining equilibrium and impeccability. This virtue is honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness, says Wayne Dyer. It is about being true to yourself and walking your talk.

According to Dyer, if you find this challenging, try affirming, “I no longer need to be insincere or dishonest. This is who I am, and this is how I feel.”

3. Gentleness

Gentleness is a deeply powerful trait. Often interpreted as weakness, gentleness is sensitivity, respect, and reverence for all life. Perhaps this virtue can be summed up by the Dalai Lama who often says; “my religion is very simple, my religion is kindness.” In life, it is far more important to be kind than to be right, and to be kind rather than important. Gentleness is an umbrella for forgiveness, acceptance and love. It is much like the yogic term ahimsa, or non-violence. When we give up being right and being superior, we start accepting ourselves and others, and so much conflict in our lives drops away.

“Gentleness generally implies that you no longer have a strong ego-inspired desire to dominate or control others, which allows you to move into a rhythm with the universe. You cooperate with it, much like a surfer who rides with the waves instead of trying to overpower them. Gentleness means accepting life and people as they are, rather than insisting that they be as you are. As you practice living this way, blame disappears and you enjoy a peaceful world.” – Wayne Dyer

4. Supportiveness

When we are supportive of ourselves, with kind words, loving actions and self-care, we are naturally supportive of others. This virtue is the basic tenet of humanity. We are naturally social beings and, at our core, we want to be with others and to help others. Many experiments show how humans are motivated by connection and will move towards this rather than other things. When we give to others, share and support others, we become happy.  Our lives become meaningful and our hearts full. Supportiveness is about service. Open hearted service for the sake of helping others and benefiting others, with no thought to our own gain. Supportiveness is also about holding space for another, listening to another, and being there for others. It is radical loving kindness in action. This quote by the poet, Hafiz, sums it up: “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth ‘you owe me.’”

“The greatest joy comes from giving and serving, so replace your habit of focusing exclusively on yourself and what’s in it for you. When you make the shift to supporting others in your life, without expecting anything in return, you’ll think less about what you want and find comfort and joy in the act of giving and serving.” Wayne Dyer

Let these four virtues fragrance your life, and notice the grace and ease that will come your way. For each one of these virtues brings in a way of being that is light, graceful and flowing and will help you shed destructive, self defeating patterns that sabotage your inner peace and happiness.

“The four cardinal virtues are a road map to the simple truth of the universe. To revere all of life, to live with natural sincerity, to practice gentleness, and to be in service to others is to replicate the energy field from which you originated.”  Dr Wayne Dyer

About the Author

Azriel ReShel is a Writer, editor, yoga Teacher & healing facilitator.

This article was originally posted at Uplift Connect, and is reposted here with permission.

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Spirituality

From light to darkness: A woman suffered clinical death and spoke about the journey to hell

The woman described the sensations during clinical death after a drug overdose. This is reported by the Express edition.

A patient named Francine stated that she took a trip to hell. She wrote about this to the Posthumous Experience Research Foundation after she suffered clinical death.

“I swam above my body and watched them try to revive me. Suddenly I was surrounded by terrible creatures whom I call “dark angels”. They spoke in rhyme: “From light to darkness.” I don’t remember the rest of the rhyme,” she said. 

According to Francine, dark entities tore her to pieces until she became nothing.

After death, not everyone goes to the coffin. Some choose to drown in alkali

“We literally flew through the halls of the hospital and onto the roof. Then I ended up in hell and lay on my back. I heard the screams of other souls and their pain. An evil entity interrogated me, and it seemed like an eternity. She wanted to know what I believed in and who I worshiped,” the woman admitted.

Francine explained that at first she was very scared, but then she stopped obeying the demons and persuaded them to return her. 

“I told them that I believed in Jesus and I don’t think he would hurt me. Then I suddenly left hell,” she said.

After that, the dark entities showed Francine her entire life path and drew her attention to all the mistakes she made in life. “This revision was so detailed that they even showed moments when I looked at someone the wrong way. I was shown how my behavior hurt others, and I realized that I needed to love others more,” the clinical death survivor explained.

In the final moment, the woman felt herself in the bosom of her mother. 

“It was very calm until I was born. I was reminded of the evil of the world when the doctor who delivered my birth thought, “Here’s another little whore.” I heard this and it was very sad. After that I lived my life, died and was reborn thousands of times. This infinity was a real hell and I wanted it to stop,” Francine said.

Some researchers believe that what the patient describes is a normal phenomenon, and such an experience does not necessarily mean that the person has seen heaven, hell, or life after death. “This may be happening when the brain scans itself as a survival technique,” said Dr. Sam Parnia, director of resuscitation and revitalization research at Langon School of Medicine in New York.

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Spirituality

Between Worlds: The Story of Florence Cook – the Woman Who Talked to Ghosts

Photo: Getty Images

The numerous stories about mediums and psychics are often dubious, but the story of Florence Cook led people to believe that ghosts live among us. Who the famous London clairvoyant really was, and how she managed to achieve such success?

Photo # 1 - Between Worlds: The Story of Florence Cook - a Woman Who Talked to Ghosts

The name Florence Cook is firmly embedded in the history of spiritualism – all the inhabitants of the United Kingdom of the 19th century knew about her experiments, and not only prominent scientists of that time were interested in her activities, but also writers, psychologists and even members of royal families. We tell the story of a legendary medium who was able to prove to people that death is just an intermediate stage between the past and the present.

The future legend of spiritualism was born on June 3, 1856 in one of the north-east boroughs of London. Her family belonged to the middle class – her father was engaged in construction, and her mother was a housewife. From childhood, Florence showed her psychic abilities – according to her mother, the girl from an early age had the ability to feel spirits, which often frightened others.

However, the first time that Florence was able to demonstrate her talents in full force, was an incident that occurred in 1870 – then a group of Florence’s classmates gathered in the Cook house, who decided to hold a session of spiritualism called table turning. At the beginning, the girl did not want to take part in the process, fearing the possible consequences, but her mother, who supported her daughter, allowed her to prove herself. Sitting at the table, young Florence was able to establish contact with the ghost in a matter of minutes, as a result of which the table, which was a conductor for their communication, began to spin at an unimaginable speed, and then rose into the air with Cook herself.

Florence Cook (c.1856-1904) was an English medium who claimed to materialise a spirit named Katie King. Seen here in later life, sitting in a garden with a dog on her lap. Date: circa late 19th century

Florence Cook

This incident marked the beginning of Florence’s career – since then, residents of London, who knew about her extraordinary abilities, began to regularly contact her. However, the more often Cook conducted spiritualistic seances, the more her strength grew, and the process itself often began to go beyond security – for example, once during a seance, Florence soared in the air, and the ghosts completely undressed her in the presence of participants in the process.

After this incident, the girl’s mother insisted on establishing certain safety rules – from that moment on, Florence began to receive visitors exclusively in the dining room of their house. During the sessions, the medium herself was inside a huge wardrobe – the girl tied herself to a chair in order to remain motionless in a trance state, while clients were outside and communicated with the spirits through a small hole made in the closet door.

Very soon Florence had influential admirers – members of wealthy families who turned to Cook for help, tried in every possible way to thank her for the work done. Some simply paid generously for the sessions, others did advertisements for her, but the most grateful was the lawyer Charles Blackburn – after contacting Florence, he provided her with an annual allowance, which allowed the medium to fully focus on his own activities and conduct sessions for free, without thinking about the monetary side of the issue.

In 1872, a spirit appeared in Cook’s practice, which glorified her not only throughout London, but throughout the United Kingdom. During one of the sessions, a ghost appeared in front of Florence, calling himself Cathy King. According to her, she was the daughter of the famous pirate Henry Morgan and returned to the earthly world to pay for the sins she committed during her lifetime.

Since then, Katie has become a regular guest at Cook’s sessions, and a few months later, more than half of Londoners already knew her. They described the ghost as a small white spot that, with each new appearance, took on more and more human form, filling with ectoplasm. Already at the end of April 1872, clients of the medium could see Cathy in the guise of a woman in white robes, whose image did not in any way give out a ghost in her.

This phenomenon became a whole event for the residents of London – Florence Cook was recognized as a genius of materialization, and the number of her clients grew every day. At the same time, the power of the medium also grew – a year after the first appearance of the famous spirit King, Cook was able to achieve her full presence in the world of the living – now visitors could not only touch Cathy, but even photograph her with a flash, which was previously considered impossible by representatives of spiritualism.

However, there were also those who did not believe in Florence’s ability and passionately dreamed of her exposure. One of such people was the lawyer William Folkman, who decided at all costs to expose the medium. During his session, he abruptly jumped up and grabbed the hand of the ghost of Katie King, wanting to prove that she was Florence in disguise. However, Folkman’s plans were not destined to come true – instead of the long-awaited exposure, he saw an angry spirit literally dissolve in front of his eyes, and when he opened the cabinet door, he found Cook unconscious, tied to a chair.

Florence Cook, Katie King and William Crookes

As the assistants of the medium present in the house later reported, William Folkman provoked the so-called ectoplasmic stroke, a phenomenon in which the sudden interference of an outsider in a spiritualistic session provokes too rapid “absorption” of the energy released by the ghost into the medium’s body, which is fraught with serious mental and physical disorders. and sometimes death.

Fortunately, Florence managed to avoid serious consequences – after this incident, it took her only a few weeks to recover, and rumors about the reality of Katie King’s ghost only attracted new clients to Cook’s house, and also drew attention to her activities of one of the prominent scientists of that time.

Upon learning of the incident at Florence’s home, renowned scientist William Crookes decided to collaborate with Cook. He bought an apartment for her in London and began to regularly participate in her seances. When he first saw Katie King’s spirit, he immediately checked where the medium was at the moment the ghost appeared, and found that she was sitting motionless in her place while Katie wandered around the room.

To prove the reality of what is happening, Crookes began to attract outside observers to his work and tighten the conditions for the sessions. So, Florence began to be tied more tightly to her chair, in the room where she was, it was decided to leave the “onlookers”, and once one of the participants in the process even tied Cook’s hair around a nail nailed to the floor, but all these measures did not prevent the medium from establishing contact with Katy – the spirit continued to regularly appear at meetings with representatives of the earthly world.

The famous writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also mentioned this phenomenon in his works – in the book “History of Spiritualism” the author explains that in the beginning Cathy’s face strongly resembled the appearance of Florence herself, which often became the subject of controversy and all kinds of manipulations:

“This phenomenon is one of the mysteries of materialization, requiring study, not ridicule. The faces of ghosts that have only recently appeared in our world often resemble the faces of mediums. This is explained by the fact that the spiritual shell of the medium becomes the basis for the embodiment of the essence of the spirit, however, when they gain their own strength, their true faces are also manifested “

In addition, some researchers even managed to study the physical characteristics of the ghost of Katie King. One of the observers measured the pulse of the spirit, which was 75 beats per minute (while Florence’s pulse at the same moment was 90 beats per minute), and the other allegedly was able to cut off a strand of Katy’s hair – they were golden, and Cook was a bright brown-haired woman …

Florence Cook during a seance

However, the main evidence of the existence of the ghost was the photographs that Crookes regularly took during the sessions. The scientist managed to take about 60 pictures, some of which were attended by Florence and Katie at the same time. Unfortunately, only a few of them have survived to this day, and skeptics argued that the footage was indistinct and could not serve as real proof of the existence of the spirit.

One way or another, everything ended in May 1874. During one of the sessions, Katie approached Florence and addressed her with parting words, saying that it was “time for her to leave.” When Cook regained consciousness, she suffered a terrible tantrum, and when Crooks was able to calm the woman, King’s ghost was no longer in the room. This was the last time they saw the famous spirit.

After that, Florence’s life changed a lot. She left her career, married and moved to Wales, where she was engaged in housekeeping. However, six years later, Cook again returned to her former hobby, presenting the residents to the ghost of a certain Mary.

In 1880, during another spiritualistic seance, one of the participants decided to test the reality of the presented spirit and grabbed Mary’s hand, at the same time opening the curtain behind which Florence was. To the surprise of those present, the room of the medium was empty, and the “ghost” was Mrs. Cook herself. This scandal took on a very large-scale character, and Florence’s reputation was hopelessly damaged. True, most of her supporters believed that the deception on the part of the medium was not intentional – according to them, this phenomenon may be due to the state of trance, in which the summoned ghosts have power over the body of the medium.

Florence herself was extremely upset by the failure and henceforth conducted sessions only in the presence of an outside observer who was next to her at the time of immersion in a state of trance. But this did not help restore her reputation – people no longer believed that Cook could speak to the spirits of the dead. Florence spent the last years of her life in solitude, communicating only with her husband. She died in 1904 as a result of developing pneumonia. After her death, William Crookes sent a telegram to her husband, in which he expressed his sincere condolences, and also noted her incredible contribution to the development of spiritualism:

“I express my deepest condolences for the irreparable loss, and I also want to say that thanks to the mediumship of Mrs. Cook, the confidence that those we love continue to live and look at us from heaven has grown in my heart. And I am sincerely grateful to her for that “

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Spirituality

Statue of Virgin Mary ‘weeping blood’ in Italy

Italians are flocking to pray to a Virgin Mary statue after a child spotted it “crying tears of blood”. The incident was reported from Paolino Arnesano Square in the small town of Carmiano, Lecce.

The “Weeping Blood” statue of the Virgin Mary in Piazza Paolino Arnesano in Carmiano, Italy, attracted crowds of religious people who came to see the miracle:

Un nuovo rivolo lacrimale, sempre dallo stesso occhio, poco fa secondo i fedeli presenti ha segnato nuovamente il volto della Madonnina in piazza Paolino Arnesano.

Gepostet von Andrea Vivi Citta am Dienstag, 4. August 2020

Carmiano is a small town in the province of Lecce, but after people learned about the miracle, the whole city first came to see it, and now many pilgrims from other cities arrived.

Riccardo Calabrese, a priest of the Church of Sant Antoni Abate, said it was unclear if the incident was “a miracle, the result of warm weather at the moment, or worst of all, someone’s joke.”

“All the time I was next to the statue, I saw a procession of people who, out of curiosity or faith, left their homes to gather there. I saw children, teenagers, adults, and elderly people meeting at our beloved Virgin Mary statue, and they all looked up at her face,” Calabrese was quoted as saying by The Sun.

The local newspaper Repubblica reported that the Bishop of Lecce announced that the church would conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

Organizing all sorts of “miracles” is a traditional family business for priests: they constantly announce crying icons and statues, or some other miracles. Therefore, there is no trust in them – especially if, to calm the public, they declare the incident a joke or write off everything as a result of a heat wave. Now times have changed and if earlier the priests organized “miracles” to control the sheep, now they explain the miracles “scientifically” so that the flock would not worry. 

Carmiano is not just a town, but a town that has developed around a Christian commune. We do not know the details of the doctrine of this commune, but, as Wikipedia writes, the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos is considered a special holiday for the local community, which falls on August 15 among Catholics. And it must have coincided that just on the eve of the holiday, among the many statues, it was the statue of the Virgin Mary that wept. 

There are no such coincidences in nature and it is absolutely unambiguous about a miracle, or more precisely, we are talking about a sign, a horrible sign. 

We do not know what awaits Italy. Maybe there will be some kind of geological catastrophe, maybe Italy will again become the focus of some kind of pandemic, maybe Italy will face a war related to the current conflicts in the Mediterranean. However, the catastrophe may be of a cosmic scale. 

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