Because I tend to have phases where I socialize a fair bit, I often find myself at a table of people beings asked what I want to drink. Now myself, I stopped drinking on any sort of regular basis about 20 years ago. I was working pretty much full time as a healer in those days and seeing up to a hundred people a week and I noticed that if I drank, I’d not have my sparkle the next day. And as any healer will tell you, without that sparkle healing people is a real drag – exhausting in fact. And because doing the healing was more important for me than drinking alcohol, I simply dropped drinking from my repertoire. It was amazingly easy in fact and required no willpower at all, but I put that down mostly to having all these wonderful Taoist techniques at my disposal and to not being afraid to feel shy in social situations, which is the main reason people drink, as far as I can tell. I’ll still drink a glass of champagne at a celebration as it would be rude not to and occasionally when in the Celtic lands, I’ve even been known to go through half a bottle of single malt in a sitting and love every minute of it, but that will be it for another few years. So I’m not a prude, I have no moral judgement about it, I simply find I can enjoy the theatre of social life fine without it. And I know what you’re thinking – ‘freak!’ – exactly, that’s precisely the looks they give me when I say, ‘still mineral water’, or when totally bored of drinking water and feeling exotic, ‘a virgin fruit cocktail please’. They look at me as if I’ve got a screw loose because I don’t want to join in the mass liver-pickling going on in the world. But I quite like being looked at askance – I enjoy the theatre of being the odd one out.
And it makes me think about how we all spend so much energy trying to fit in, be with the group, not stick out, not offend – it’s partly why we subscribe to various brands, lifestyles, ideologies, clubs and other assorted illusions of groupings – we want to fit in. Yet we want to feel original. Advertising people have been aware of this paradox since advertising time began: sell people things that will help them feel they’re fitting in, by appealing to their vanity by making them believe they’re being original choosing that particular product.
The Taoist antidote to all this nonsense of course, is to focus instead on the love issuing from your heart and knowing it’s connecting you at the subtle level via the collective mind to every living being in this part of the solar system at least, while simultaneously welcoming the love of all beings. Like this you soon become aware of the background presence of the Tao connecting and informing all of it and all of us and as you do, it becomes spontaneous and natural to see beyond all differences. Beyond differences, there’s no longer any need to fit in or, to fit out for that matter. You simply belong in existence and that’s the end of it. Knowing you belong in existence at the most profound level, is one of the main factors in attaining true peace of mind.
May you know yourself at the heart of existence today and miracles abound for you as a result.