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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Adventures in Enlightenment: The Sleepy Taoist (conclusion)

[follow up on]

So I got much more sleep this month and definitely feel better rested than I have in a while. Which sucks, because if you get used to not being well rested you don't really miss it. Now I'm probably going to have to stick with my new schedule. Truth be told I'm still probably not sleeping enough, but I did average about 6 to 6 1/2 hours of sleep a night which believe it or not is almost decadent compared to what I'd rather do which is closer to 5 hours. (Of course I'd rather do 0 hours - I hate sleep - but that has never worked out too well for me).

The strangest part was waking up at 5:45 am on the weekend. It actually wasn't nearly as painful as I would have thought and some how morning time by myself seems much more enjoyable than evening time by myself. There is something about sitting around in the morning as the sun is rising and the house is almost alive with the anticipation of a new day starting. It's certainly more invigorating than fighting off sleep at the end of the day.

Anyway, did I learn anything about Taoism? I've read much of Alan Watts and even the Tao of Pooh but my favorite author on the topic is Raymond Smullyan. I've read his Tao is Silent many, many times. His interpretation is by far my favorite idea of a religion. If some religion had to be true and I got to pick I would pick out the philosophy laid out in his book. Strangely I can't even begin to describe what his take is. It seems somehow essentially Taoist that I can't put it into words. But honestly that's just probably just laziness on my part. Or maybe he doesn't actually *say* anything and I just like reading his nonsense.

Interestingly in the last year I read Karen Armstrong's "The Great Transformation". She has a great discussion of Taoism in there. Unfortunately I've loaned it out so I can't refresh my memory on it now. From what I recall Taoism was much younger than is usually suggested (it was actually about the last great Chinese religio-philosophical system to be created) and strangely was aligned with obedience with the government and other seemingly un-Taoistic ideas.

But in any case I'm not sure I learned to much about Taoism with my sleep experiment. Of course it's impossible to fight the Tao so in a sense I'm already a Taoist. Blah, blah, blah.

Tomorrow starts my next adventure in enlightenment. I wish there was a path to enlightenment that was based on eating chocolate. I would so kick the ass out of that one.

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