Take a moment right now to look at your hands. Trace along those personal lines with your eyes as they move this way and that, until you find yourself taking a good look at your fingernails. Are those fingernails painted, jagged, clean and well manicured? Are they trimmed back from their sharp points? Could you imagine that your hands might be the focus of a commercial on TV with you as the hand model? No this is not a George Costanza flashback. These hands of yours touch everything around you and they have preferences... If you're unsure about those tactile preferences think back to the last time you touched anything withered, dirty, or sick and in pain. How'd it make you feel? While we are still thinking of TV close ups think about the last time you really looked at the bottoms of your feet? There are so many lines moving across the soles of your foot that in places they could mirror your palms, and these soles are what makes the most contact with the world we are part of. Your feet know what goes into navigating your surrounding more than any other part of you. Even while each and everyday our hands reach out to move and touch beauty so many other things make contact with them like errors of planned design and intention, sickness, disaster, chaos, longing, and human soil created from our very process of living. If the unclean ideas above begin to move you into a space of guilt, embarrassment, or being uncomfortable then you would be in the right state to qualify for purification. In this moment this is where my thoughts are taking me as I think back over the year and make plans to move forward.
At the heart of Taoist ritual is the concept of bringing order and harmony through the many layers of reality that intersect within us and around us. One major Taoist ritual is the chiao (jiao), a rite of infinite renewal is used for such purposes. Who we are is a universal lens of the infinite to see itself with our perspective reassembles multiple points of connection and reference in continuous evolution. We are in effect an assemblage point that is both connected and connecting information and energy through and around us. To think about this is another way is to say we are constantly communicating with ourselves and the world and altering information and energy each time we touch it. And no different than anything else we experience highs and lows and need to be recharged every now and then. Purification of physical and psychological impediments to one's relationship with interactions of energy, action, and intention need alignment as we make sense of experiences that are often contradictory. It doesn't matter if that realignment is with a harmonic balance or participating divinity, the concept of forgiveness, thanksgiving, and purification is some of the greatest overarching themes shared by systems of ritual practice throughout the world. The process of reflection and recapitulation such as this breaks the basic assumptions that we have accepted throughout our lives. As long as those assumptions remain intact, our memories of our past and the energy they contain will continue to cloud our lives. Not all energy connections need to be recapitulated or cut, and mistakes we refuse to correct have many lives of their own.
Individuals are not the sole beneficiary of a purification as the goal is to bring the individual into harmony with the constellations of community for which they live. A renewal of focus and allows for the dirt to be wiped away from body, mind, and spirit in order to reconnect harmony that was present and gather together what is needed to be nourished and grow. This ancient rite passed on to us holds a basic premise that human nature is incapable of being permanently poisoned or soiled and this frames the preoccupation for purity, cleanliness, and stature across cultures. The very idea of cleansing the body, washing, rubbing, flowering, and speaking to the deepest parts of the mind for passion, duty, memory, and purpose, allows the spirit to respond and reconnect where it's most needed.
Is this not what a modern day spa has evolved to do for some?
While a hot stone massage feels good I feel its often disconnected from the forms of passage that have allowed us to pass through these stuck states, and transcend stress, pain, suffering, weakness, worry, guilt, embarrassment, shame, and so much more by moving beyond that sense of conditions. The spirit of modern individuals sink just as low and still search for meaning, union, and opportunity in the very same ways as our ancestors. Yet, the energetic influence to transcend our daily pattern of thought and emotions comes as naturally as a prayer to worried lips when we feel stuck in our lives. Still so many yearn for more than they have, more than they feel, and more than they know. Taoism's rituals frequently involve confession and expiation to answer the needs of development and purification. As we teach who we are we must also impart the value of mistakes, and failure. Everyone fails. We are teaching about freedom and balance through our art so the blessing to make mistakes must also be communicated. It is our mistakes and our success that allows us to learn how best to maneuver in the force of currents that we find ourselves in.
The elements of water and soil are used as extensions and grounding forces of these virtuous qualities. Passed generation from generation is a inherit reflection on dirt which involves both a conscious and unconscious meditation in modern society on the intersectional confluences that unify to create clean and unclean, or order and disorder. It is maturity from this relationship of dirt that our thoughts move on to concepts of being and not being, form to formlessness, and life unto death. It is wisdom to learn to function outside of cultural expectations, cliques, and tribes. This brings my thoughts back to what I am imparting upon all of you. I've asked myself over and over if the way I am teaching influence, persuasion, and making our life our own coming through with an emphasis on the harmony within the art. I decided that this is an aspect I will emphasize more in the future, and I've begun here by asking you a question to consider. What if I taught influence as an exercise that brought the attention of the infinite through us in order to focus on matters of this reality? How might that change who you are and the connections that come alive with you?
This is how I think of influence and how I'd like you to think about practicing your persuasive art. As I began this journey I started focusing on the mind, then on the body, next came the body connection to the mind, and finally looking for harmony that brought the mind, body, and spirit together in thought and action. For me, mind control is the deliberate effort to affect thoughts, ideas, and opinions, to create measurable or observable changes. I would say all parents engages in mind control every single day. I have purposely chosen this word, "mind control" to reclaim it from those who have used it to manipulate others with sensationalism, hubris, and unapologetic apathy for who their actions hurt. Each one of us begins our journey learning how to represent ourselves in a world we are also attempting to understand and move through. Each of us has had a different process for how we got to where we are now as we learned and practiced our art. There is so much all around us that we can engage with to inspire and drive the best of who we are in our lives today. In the words of Lao Tzu, “To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go”
For me, to practice influence as an Artisan of the Tao of The Crown you must not be reliant on the written word. An energetic attunement separate from what is printed on these pages is directly focused at engaging the whole self. It is a direct connection to one another and seeing through to authentic nature. An Artisan of Influence follows the nature and flow of all things to discover what is sought is already present. I have been asked why I do not often speak of Tao as I share in my blog and what I write on influence and lifestyle work. My answer to this question is that I am always speaking about it. I encourage people to live in harmony with their nature and empower their strengths to design their lives in meaningful ways. To this point I offer the story of a Cook from the Tao Te Ching.
A cook was cutting up an ox for the ruler Wan-hui. Whenever he applied his hand, leaned forward with his shoulder, planted his foot, and employed the pressure of his knee, in the audible ripping off of the skin, and slicing operation of the knife, the sounds were all in regular cadence. Movements and sounds proceeded as in the dance of "the Mulberry Forest" and the blended notes of "the King Shâu." The ruler said, "Ah! Admirable! That your art should have become so perfect!" (Having finished his operation), the cook laid down his knife, and replied to the remark, "What your servant loves is the method of the Tâo, something in advance of any art. When I first began to cut up an ox, I saw nothing but the entire carcase. After three years I ceased to see it as a whole. Now I deal with it in a spirit-like manner, and do not look at it with my eyes. The use of my senses is discarded, and my spirit acts as it wills. Observing the natural lines, my knife slips through the smallest of crevices and slides through the great cavities, taking advantage of the facilities thus presented. My art avoids the membranous ligatures, and much more the great bones.
"A good cook changes his knife every year; an ordinary cook changes his every month. Now my knife has been in use for nineteen years; it has cut up several thousand oxen, and yet its edge is as sharp as if it had newly come from the whetstone. There are the interstices of the joints, and the edge of the knife has no appreciable thickness; when that which is so thin enters where the interstice is, how easily it moves along! The blade has more than room enough. Nevertheless, whenever I come to a complicated joint, and see that there will be some difficulty, I proceed with caution, not allowing my eyes to wander from the place, and moving my hand slowly. Then by a very slight movement of the knife, the part is quickly separated, and drops like a clod of earth to the ground. Then standing up with the knife in my hand, I look all round, and in a leisurely manner, with an air of satisfaction, wipe it clean, and put it in its sheath." The ruler Wan-hui said, "Excellent! I have heard the words of my cook, and learned from them the nourishment of our life."
Moving forward I will be emphasizing that we are the lens that focuses a connection and interpretation of this world. All that we take as ourselves is represented as part of our assemblage point. The assemblage point is our energetic filter that transforms the universal energy into a vital and sustainable energy system even while moving through a constantly fluctuating universe. The Tao of the Crown is my process and journey to use influence to make changes inside and out. This is why it is a way of life and an art. I will continue to train and attune those ready for more. These trained individuals are known as Enshrouded. This way is enshrouded with meaning and a cloud of words is necessary to simply call it what it is for those not on this path. The Tao is synonymous with virtue. Taoism holds true that followers should develop and cultivate virtue in themselves and the world. Taoism is a teaching that delights in living, appreciates sensuality, and discovering the joy in all things. The mountain on high for which we practice our art is with each other now.
“Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.”
― Lao Tzu
These are my thoughts in preparing for a new year. As I develop my art through my life things will be changing steadily. While the areas I resonate with have not changed, I am finding how I interact with them is. Many of these changes are coming from the people I have come to know as friends, fellow Masters, fellow Gurus, subs, slaves, and consequential strangers. You know who you are and you are appreciated. Thank you for supporting me and being part of driving me onward into the Tao.
Joseph W Crown
Enjoy your toys and give the gift of Mind Control to those deserving few.
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Seek with your passion and seek with your spirit. We are all unknowing seekers who bring with us stories describing the past. To live with mind controllers you must be accepted as their tribe, learn their dance, and never forget that this is but another hat to wear.
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