Disconnected: Tales and Talisman


There are times when we begin to have self-doubt about much of what we have tried to carry out in the world.  When reflecting upon our lives and wondering if we have made a difference in the world, we sometimes neglect that which makes our spirits lighter.  We often become detached from a healthy lifestyle by allowing routines and small matters consume our lives.  When one reaches this place, we begin to reflect upon that which will take us to another state of being, a place that is usually provoked by something we love, something that will transform our thinking and bring about happiness…..For me that element is…playing some music.

Unfortunately we can often become distracted, and become over time practice behaviors that become habits that will lead us down a darker road than the one we should have liked to walk.  Sometimes the habits of our thinking can distort the nature of ‘things-as-they-are’, and we become disconnected to fundamental healthy living choices.  There are many tales and talisman of those who become “disconnected”.  If our focus is too narrow, or too broad, we just may be leaving much of our experience to the realm that erodes these experiences.  We then little by little become stricken with a decay in our thought on how we should relate and live in the world.  Thus we begin a process of alienation that started with an imbalance somewhere in our own habitual routines which ultimately pull us away from what is truly important in our lives.


“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” – Albert Einstein


Take a look at the cases for addiction.  One can become addicted to any number of things based on our “perception of being!”  We are profoundly affected by the environments we accommodate.  I posit this claim on the history of psychological studies  in the fields of human motivation, developmental psychology, behaviorist conditioning,  cognitive and gestalt findings, from Jean Piaget, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, (et. al.),  and the Eastern influences of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucian teachings.  This is also noted in studies of the Enneagram with conclusive findings supporting my following claim.

Addiction is not caused only by the drugs themselves.  Addiction is caused by a sense of isolation and disconnection in the addict.  It’s not the drugs—it’s your cage.

Causes of Addiction – A Revealing Truth


So our placement in the world, our views about the world can somewhat determine our “Being” in the world.  Our decisions about how we live, are ultimately important when finding meaning in our relationships.

When we become disconnected from

  • Nature
  • Social events
  • Values not based on ego / self
  • Music
  • Harmony
  • Humor and Laughter
  • Family

we may be heading towards hurtful discord and disharmony.

Being Disconnected is an anti-Taoist state of being

The quintessential question we often displace is about being!  How does one fit into the world?  We can become distracted, overstimulated by our passions, but there may be some consequences to our choices that we make about our relationship to the world and in the world.  We must first understand what in this world is critical for our “Being!”  How should we relate to it, the people in it, and what sources should we align ourselves to?

Through the process of immersion one can reconnect to the world.  If we follow paths that lead us down a meandering road full of distraction, such as problematic learned behaviors, maladaptive dissonant behaviors, or faulty poor environments which damage our awareness and dissuade our better natures; then we may find ourselves in an existential bewilderment.

One must use all of our senses and abilities to “Feel” this immersion.  It is not purely intellectual.  It is also emotive and felt from the “Heart”!  I cannot stress the importance of this connection since much of our “detachments” derive from within the mind, but are not solved without the heart being involved.  A disconnection can be largely caused by our will’s overpower other parts of our sensing apparatuses.  Thus we become lost, yet still don’t know why we have disconnected our way from the things that sustain our being the most: family, friends, hobbies, music, et cetera.  We give into our ego, and distort our other relationships that alienate our Being.  Alternately we can become lost in our passions, and leave our intellectual judgements at home on the porch.  Like the saying ….”If you don’t wanna run with the big dogs, than stay on the porch!”  An anachronism that seems to fit in this case.

There are many instances in which one can alienate themselves from that which sustains them.  Sometimes it is from powers outside of their control, yet they have to deal with the aftermath of burdens of such events such as parental alienation.  How we cope with the events in our lives is our decision.  We are responsible for seeking out solutions that will bring about our salvation.  Part of the process of healing, is directing ourselves to open our hearts again to receive the natural positive vibrations the universe has to offer us.  When we close ourselves to this, we risk the chance of becoming overloaded and thus become jaded!

So what’s your Muse?   What will bring you home again if indeed you stray from source of your fulfillment and well-being?





Alan W. Watts

“Here is the vicious circle: if you feel separate from your organic life, you feel driven to survive; survival -going on living- thus becomes a duty and also a drag because you are not fully with it; because it does not quite come up to expectations, you continue to hope that it will, to crave for more time, to feel driven all the more to go on.”
Alan W. Watts


“To forget the whole world is easy; to make the whole world forget you is hard.”
Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

Lao Tzu
“Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life.”
Lao Tzu & A J Girling – translator

Oscar Wilde

“Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.”
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

Lao Tzu

“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

recommended for reading:
The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types (Enneagram Resources Series)


Wei Wu Wei

The decision to make changes in our life is a very powerful tool when considering that most of us at times continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.  Even when our intention is good, it still seems that we behave in ways that often repeat prior conduct that may not have been very successful.  We are creatures of habit and unless we are able to see through this, we may continue to follow a similar path not quite advancing our cause.  Whether we know it or not, it may be that our awareness of this is a key part to understanding our place in this equation.  Mindfulness of the foreseeability of our conduct is a crucial factor.  If we are unaware of the intention, the desired result, and the possibility for alternative outcomes, then we may fail to meet that ambition, in like manner we may indeed have varying degrees of success or quite possibly experience just blind luck if things go well.

In contrast it is proper to consider the Taoist principle of Wei Wu Wei, or “Action through Non-action!  An example of this principle is the attainment of happiness.  One does not necessarily realize happiness without any activity or analytic comparative perspective.  Happiness is not something you actively seek, but rather it is the byproduct of doing things that make you happy.

Several chapters of the most important Taoist text, the Tao Te Ching, attributed to Lao Tzu, allude to “diminishing doing” or “diminishing will” as the key aspect of the sage’s success.  Taoist philosophy recognizes that the Universe already works harmoniously according to its own ways; as a person exerts their will against or upon the world they disrupt the harmony that already exists.  This is not to say that a person should not exert agency and will.  Rather, it is how one acts to the natural processes already existent.  The how, the Tao of intention and motivation, that is key.

Wu Wei has also been translated as “creative quietude,” or the art of letting-be.  This does not mean a dulling of the mind; rather, it is an activity undertaken to be the Tao within all things and to cultivate oneself to its “way.”

As one diminishes doing—here ‘doing’ means those intentional actions taken to help us or actions taken to change the world from its natural state and evolution—one diminishes all those actions committed against the Tao, the already present natural harmony.  As such one begins to cultivate Tao, one also becomes more in harmony with Tao; and, according to another great ancient Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu, attains a state of Ming, or ‘clear seeing’.  It is in the state of Ming that the Taoist is in full harmony with Tao, and ‘having arrived at this pointless point of non-action, there is nothing that is left undone.’  It is upon achievement of this Chinese equivalent to ‘enlightenment’ that a sage begins to practice wei wu wei, or ‘action without action.’ Thus the sage will be able to work in harmony with Tao to carry out what is needed, and, working in perfect harmony with the Tao, leave no trace of having done it.

An example of active non-action using wu wei, would be to teach in such a way that no course of action is modeled to a student (they are just told raw facts for use, and left to their own creative devices), so they assume that they have been taught nothing, that is, until their learning’s have been integrated in their lived experience.

The concept of wu wei is often described as performing acts bereft of self.  In Taoist teaching, however, “good” is unknowable.  An act bereft of self can only be performed by someone in an ego-less state.  Every act performed by someone in the usual way of things has a reward attached whether it is financial, power, love, status or just feeling good about oneself.  All these things are ego re-enforcing.  To do an act bereft of self one must let go of one’s ego and pass into an enlightened state of consciousness.  This is called wu wei – the state of doing without doing.  Here every act is without self for the ego has ceased to exist.  There is no making decisions and the outcome is always perfect.

“The mind of the perfect man is like a mirror.  It does not lean forward or backward in response to things.  It responds to things but conceals nothing of its own.  Therefore it is able to deal with things without injury to [its reality].”

The understanding of one’s connectivity to the Tao, the understanding of one’s proper relation to the world can lead one into a life that is not void of fulfillment.  By pursuing the wrong things, or looking at things in the wrong way and asking the wrong questions, one may be apt to miss out on what is truly the fulfilling life.  The trappings of material possession, ego, and bodily pleasures are illusory.  Knowing the proper mediation and negotiation of and between them will make vast differences in the way we live.  Imposition of the will upon the nature of things is futile, and may lead to pointless pursuits that surely will end in a being that is unfulfilled.

“Once I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly and was happy as a butterfly.  I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself, but I did not know that I was Chuang Tzu.  Suddenly I awoke, and there was I, visibly Chuang Tzu.  I do not know whether it was Chuang Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming that he was Chuang Tzu.  Between Chuang Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction.  [But one may be the other.] This is called the transformation of things.”