Now v. Tao: Just Say Yes & No

Nowpowers will tell you to say yes to today. Say it more and more yes will come your way. Right now. But the thing about magical thinking is that it is imprecise, so difficult to connect the blessings. Maybe you said a million yeses intended to ensure success and it worked, just not how you thought, or, like, you gotta wait a minute. Hold your horses. It's best to evaluate everything, including this moment, with perspective, get that you don't get it. Because now is but a stitch in time. What seems to be is not what is. Time is the mysterious dimension that shifts everything, the one magician. Now matters, sure, but it also means nothing.

Please don't misunderstand. I love every day magic (for more on making it, listen to the Red Lodge Podcast and see Burroughs on Doing Easy). I'm pro pop culture approaches to mindfulness -- it appeals to me too, mastering the moment first, then the universe. By doing consciously we become the fabled monk who defies physics with his mind, like the guy in Surfing the Himalayas, who snowboards uphill.

But the key to positivity is not only now, being all caught up in it, because that's as nuts as being all Waiting for Godot about this show, and also won't make things go your way. It just won't happen. Things will not go your way unless your way is the way, the tao, the way that is, which is not constant and can't truly be spoken about. That is to say, the only way to gain power over the many ups and downs of life is by adopting a circumspect approach to circumstances; know that in the grand scheme your current feelings matter not at all. Thus we gain power, the power of no.

Like, no big deal if you break my heart, no big deal if we part ways, no big deal if today feels sux because tomorrow we will again try our luck and things are bound to go badly again after they get better. If that sounds not super fun and a little bit fux, buck up, kids. That is life, the cycles, the seasons -- not even the heavens storm forever. That is wisdom. Ancient. Unassailable because all it says is that things change, which I defy you to deny.

Along the timeline of our lives, all will shift, things that once seemed so certain appear foolish, and stupid decisions may prove pretty smart after all. The picture changes and we do too -- the Taoist fool knows that all decisions are critical and meaningless, pivotal and utterly forgettable, that to talk about life is to hold constant contradiction in mind and be totally fine with the fact that the most sensible explanation for anything, truly, will sound utterly senseless because the multiverse is basically beyond comprehension and to talk at all is foolish, yet we all do. You know you don't know, etc. So say no and yes. Because now matters but is meaningless.