Take nothing for granted, not even the next moment – that's implicit in the Taoist way – or way of the Tao – take nothing (and no one) for granted.
Taking anyone or anything for granted, in the half-conscious assumption you've got all possible information in their respect processed and settled, taking life itself for granted, is a tripwire into the deluded state, into the soul-numbing hypnosis of the everyday.
True the Tao, the great way of all things, has granted you each moment of experiencing life here on the planet in the world of the world until now, but that in no way implies its continuing to do so.
We assume it will in order to maintain some degree of mental and hence practical/logistical organization and emotional fluency and stability, but it is only an assumption.
Failing to recognize or remember that, failing to honor the intrinsic transience of all form – self, other, the external – triggers the taking-it-for-granted mode.
Taking-it-for-granted mode dulls the senses and the sense in general. Going unconscious on the precious gift and miracle of life inclines us to a willingness to be distracted by superficiality and mistakenly ascribe significance to the frivolous.
That's why people experience such profound shock about death and loss of all sorts, and/or about the fast-changing state of the world.
But is there any other way to be and is there any benefit in being so if so?
Yes, funnily enough there is – the Taoist way or way of the Tao.
We remind ourselves constantly by way of an ongoing mental discipline to see through the illusion of objects. Objects or things are actually processes – molecules, atoms in motion and eventually all succumbing to the force of entropy, eventually dissolving back into the pleroma. We just think of them as things, objects as a shorthand description so we don't have to spend time processing and can get on with other things, or processes rather.
And what informs all the motion, and what holds the motion in place long enough to create the illusion of form is what we call Tao – the mysterious great way of all things/processes, the underlying, overflying primordial meta-consciousness we in the west tended to hitherto (primitively) dress up as an old man with a beard in the sky, (but are slowly growing out of now).
By exercising sufficient sensitivity, moment by moment, to remain attuned to its ubiquitous presence behind the disguise of all forms, animal, mineral, vegetable, it's all but impossible to feel anything other than a sense of wonder about absolutely everything/process and everyone/process, including ourselves.
And that's what permits ongoing continuous existential delight even in the midst of the greatest trials and tribulations – I talk and can vouch for this from experience, not theoretically. That's what inclines us to uphold a constant attitude of appreciation rather than going numb on the miracle of existence.
To achieve which, in a nutshell, and I'm allowed to nutshell it in this instance having devoted and continuing to devote so much time creating it all, and in any case not wanting to keep you reading this all day:
Incidentally, talking of A M P E D I'm now starting to receive feedback on Volume Two (just out) and this properly touched my heart – it's from Victoria Parsons, a genius whose remarkable book we'll be publishing at Wayward in due course, incidentally.
“It's astounding... the expanse of it, how you have captured in the sonic panoramic the enormity, the huge power of the Tao. Was like, ah I recognise this place... and only a well seasoned traveller could have musically mapped the territory so exquisitely, so you're fully transported slap bang in the expansive potential... utterly wonderful.
Instead of the fitful nightmare riddled sleep of this last a' while - slept like a babe in arms, which I guess I was, cradled in the big Momma... with beautiful cinematic dreams.
Awe at your mastery of inspiration translation and creation.
A thousand and one hands clapping in appreciation.”
I mean who wouldn't love feedback like that.
Meanwhile, take a moment to shift your weight backwards inside, rest your mind up against the imaginary headrest positioned behind your head, whence to take a proper panoramic view, open your heart in the front, and despite any residual externally referenced psycho-emotional internal narrative-born noise occurring in the forebrain and belly, appreciate being here come what may (because it truly does all go by in a trice and it doesn't happen twice).