The Law of Detraction



Here's a jolly little one to provoke thought and provide a trick for manifesting skill enhancement.

The ancient Taoists laid great store in the capacity to invest in loss – it's one of their number one pugilistic principles. Imagine participating in a boxing match and investing in losing instead of winning – knowing that losing you'll learn and hence grow more by it – and by letting go of the (mostly narcissistic) need to win, you have nothing to lose and are hence freed up to fight with more creativity and panache and invariably tend to win the contest, assuming your skills are sufficiently trained, intact and functional.

The reason the martial arts form such a bedrock of the overall Taoist practice is because aside from the health benefits and ability to protect yourself and others from wandering brigands and so on, they provide a perfect metaphor and training ground for dealing with the rigours and challenges of daily life.

So when facing a situation you fear could undo you, rather than expend inordinate amounts of precious life-force investing in having to win, try investing in losing based on it yielding greater value in terms of developing your skills and strengths.

Implicit in this is seeing life as a training school rather than a to-the-death contest, and in this more gracious, let-go state, your actual chances of prevailing are greatly increased and not reduced as you'd imagine.

I'm not suggesting it's easy – it's a radical turn-it-all-on-its-head move and runs counter to conditioning, and indeed is one aspect of the training I'm constantly working on myself.

But even just thinking about it and entertaining the notion creates some sort of radical shift inside and is well worth the moment's attention it requires.

So when it comes to wanting to manifest things using the so-called law of attraction, start by using the law of detraction instead – give yourself space to fail in your pursuit, acknowledge if you do it will somehow work to your advantage, and then you're free to set about guiding whatever it is in and will be able to do so with far more ease than were you greedily grasping at it instead.

In short this is the gist of the law of detraction: everything is eventually taken away from you so why stress.

It's a fine line between letting go to make space for magic to work, and just being complacent, but the way you avoid the latter is to keep your chi active inside, and while remaining relaxed in the midst of action, not succumbing to slumping.

Honor the import of the law of detraction, relax and let go in the midst of action, and life/the Tao will grant you full satisfaction. You heard it here first.

You heard it here first.

Meanwhile Rumi, everyone's favourite Sufi mystic, said, “that which you seek, seeks you also” - practice the law of detraction and you afford whatever it is more space, and it responds to that grace by speeding up its time of arrival.

That's the wu wei way – effortlessly guiding in.

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