Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Creative Health Tip 28 September 2009

This is a Daoist story about how beliefs create reality, and about attachment, from the Book of Lieh-Tzü translated by Lionel Giles in 1912.

“There was once a man who, though born in Yen, was brought up in Ch'u, and it was only in his old age that he returned to his native country.

”Yen was the northernmost State of ancient China, while Ch'u was bounded by the left bank of the Yangtsze.

”On the way thither, as they were passing through the Chin State, a fellow-traveler played a practical joke on him.

“Pointing to the city he said: 'Here is the capital of the Yen State'; whereupon the old man flushed with excitement. Pointing out a certain shrine, he told him that it was his own village altar, and the old man heaved a deep sigh. Then he showed him a house, and said: 'This is where your ancestors lived'; and the tears welled up in his eyes. Finally, a mound was pointed out to him as the tomb where his ancestors lay buried, whereupon the old man could control himself no longer, and wept aloud.

“But his fellow-traveler burst into roars of laughter. 'I have been hoaxing you,' he cried; 'this is only the Chin State.'

“His victim was greatly mortified; and when he arrived at his journey's end, and really did see before him the city and altars of Yen, with the actual abode and tombs of his ancestors, his emotion was much less acute.”

As you can see, the traveler’s belief that he was in his ancestral town created his reality and generated a lot of strong emotions for him even though it wasn’t true. Before you react to any statements or thoughts that may generate an emotional charge for you, make sure they are a reflection of reality.

Attachment can also generate strong emotions, just as did the attachment of the man to his native land. After he had spent his strong emotions believing the wrong place to be his homeland, his attachment became less and when he did arrive at his destination, he was able to view it with the detachment and calmness that bring about health and wellness.

The tip for this week is two-fold; before you believe something, make sure it’s real, and detachment allows you to maintain your harmony, happiness, and health.

Have a great week!


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