two sisters & mother are ghost to me

upside downside KeyBoard Clown:: JAIME KIBBEN

A moving door hinge never corrodes.
Flowing water never grows stagnant.

Even in the autumn of your life, you cannot give up growth. If you do, you only invite decline.

All the different aspects of a person—body, mind, and spirit—have one curious quality: If they cease to be exercised, they stop growing. Once they stop growing, they begin to atrophy. That is why, no matter how much you have accomplished and no matter how old you are, you must keep exercising all parts of yourself.

We only grow when we are challenged. Muscles do not strengthen without resistance. Mental faculties do not sharpen without critical thinking. The spirit does not soar without something to excite it. It may seem like a great effort to constantly try new things, but unless you do, you fall out of your heights very quickly. The constancy of physical exercise, varied from time to time into new routines, and the constancy of mental and spiritual challenges are essential to stave off the infirmities of aging.

We cannot reverse aging completely, but we can slow it down. As long as we are vital, we will not suffer as much. Although aging is natural, sometimes following Tao means more than following the route of least resistance. Why slide into old age, illness, and senility? The way of challenging oneself is also a valid but difficult path. Sometimes Tao chooses the difficult over the easy.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
ISBN 0-06-250223-9
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My cousin Jaime Kibben
who never stops giving us the strength to grow
we love you dear friend and miss you*

The Status of Lao-Zhuang Daoism

A little over 2,000 years ago, some man had enough power to condemn quasi-slave labor to build him a coffin the size of a Hong Kong mansion. He made choices that determined what was placed there to rot alongside his corpse. I don't know on what basis the choices were made-his own taste, superstition, tradition, trust of his appointed authorities, what benefited his class, pleased his lovers, or appealed to his aesthetic sense. But his choice then, now shapes our conception of Daoism.

The story of Laozi has been in flux for some time before scholars robbed the MWT tomb. The story transmitted to modern times was of a Laozi the founder of Daoism and author of its central work-The Daode Jing. He lived before and taught Confucius-then traveled to India via "the pass" where, under duress, he committed the unspeakable to words. He went on to instruct the Buddha in the same doctrine--except for adding celibacy!

When I was a graduate student this story was being widely debunked and was subjected to serious scholarly abuse. The story then in vogue was of a text that accidentally fell together (or was brought into unity by an editor. "Laozi" became a kind of shorthand for referring via that definite description. The theoretical editor came sometime before Zhuangzi-roughly about the time of Mencius.

The first story carried with it a comparatively unskeptical acceptance of the Wangbi or He Shang Gong traditional texts. It (or some quite similar version) was approximately what Laozi left with the keeper of the pass. The second story ushered in an embryonic form of deconstruction. Translators imagined themselves taking over where the unnamed editor left off. We'll cut and paste to get the best version. We called it "textual reconstruction."

We were changing our textual story, but didn't much change our view of what Daoism was. That was relatively fixed. "Daoism" referred to the theory of Laozi and Zhuangzi. But Laozi was the defining figure. Zhuangzi, we assumed, followed Laozi religiously. Laozi founded and defined; Zhuangzi expounds, illustrates and enriches the insight with humor, imagination and literary genius. Connoisseurs could rattle off a brief list of differences in emphasis, but we treated them as "members of the same church" in probably a stronger sense than we did Confucius and Mencius-not to mention Mencius and Xunzi!.

* this print is not for sale unless the immediate family gives their blessing
a much better quaility print is available to family members, please contact me!

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