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Book details
  • SubGenre:Inspiration & Personal Growth
  • Language:English
  • Pages:604
  • Format:Hardcover
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781543954623

The Tao of Family

by Adam Rocinante

Never, has the living organism of Family been more under siege; more dispensable or irrelevant, as though its extinction were part of a final solution in some futuristic, grand scheme unfolding like the Second Coming. Rarely is there an act of violence, a circumstance of poverty, an act of child abandonment, or the financial rape of another that cannot be traced back to the dissolving family unit. Never has this caldron of humanity been in such peril and never has the asphyxia 'out there' created a more longing hunger to go home. But home is not a house, it is a voyage. Fundamental matters of right and wrong have long been exported to the realms of church and family, but both have withered beneath the weight – not because they are unworthy but rather because they lie submerged within perceived irrelevance. The church has its saviors and advocates; the family has neither. But there is a window. Taoism is not a religion; it does not parade a deity, it does not cleave us into 'chosen' groups and nobody is going to hell for dismissing it all together. The Taoist philosophy represents three millennia of visceral, architectural toil and The Tao of Family an alloy of that toil. It is not my family but rather the Family; the Family within us all, a communal memoir. The Tao of Family is the jolting resuscitation of the moral self and the nutrients needed for our emotional survival and that of our children. It is not preachy; there are not rights and wrongs but rather decisions to be made and journeys to be taken, all of which have consequence. The Tao of Family is little more than a compass, it does not pretend to destinations. This is not a book for children. But if you've made it beyond adolescence and remain wary, The Tao of Family offers a banquet of the human condition, suggesting that heaven and hell be the same place, ultimately of our determination. Within the hold of this ship is precious cargo, sufficient for the voyage but in need of a captain. Welcome aboard?
We do not create anything; we discover and assemble. While profound in its profusion, the physical universe (our bodies included) is composed of just ninety-two properties; in its composite represented by The Periodic Table of the Elements. In similar fashion, human experience is comprised of sixty-four permutations, which spawn an abundance of variations that mirrors the natural world; in composite represented by the Tao. Like the universe, the Tao is less mystical than it is overwhelming in its breadth and complexity, but like the universe it is knowable. The Tao of Family pieces these 'elements' together like a massive jig-saw puzzle, ever mindful of the over-arching whole. It is difficult to imagine guidance without 'scripture'. But being no longer tethered to religious dogma, modern man is now 'free' to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, restrained only by the laws of the land and the dictates of conscience, yet these dictates tend to harken back to the well-worn paths of religious fervor, or worse still lead nowhere at all - having jettisoned King and God, what else is there? And having thus been liberated, why is the Self so empty? The Tao of Family was sculpted from the I Ching or Book of Changes, a Chinese text that predates Christ by a thousand years. The I Ching is not contrary to Christianity or any other belief system but rather complimentary and essential, as oils are to an artist. Similar to the I Ching, The Tao of Family is a translation intended to fill a void, to supply a critical nutrient to the body of Family, which labors under the yoke of modernity. It introduces itself in the common dress of an ordinary man within the extraordinary circumstances of an ordinary life, presenting these elements within sixty-four 'trinities': a central consultation derived from the I Ching, a visual depiction of the circumstance, and a narrative story intended to expound upon the nature of the life permutation. The Tao of Family is spiritual without being mystical, inherently moral without being preachy, and evocative without being assaultive. In appearance, the Tao of Family suggests memoir, although the stories resonate within the collective subconscious; most readers will find the narratives embracing/bracing and some, eerily familiar. It is a 'live' book, interactive; one of few, which when addressed responds. One does not 'finish' The Tao of Family and it's doubtful, once understood, that you'll hand it off. Yes, you can read it front to back as though it's a book – it's safer that way; impersonal, abstract, 'out there' – the 'other'. Or, like Santa or Jesus you can breathe your life breath into it and watch it twitch and swell and feel the pulse by following 'The Method'. Tossing coins to illuminate ones circumstance is an absurdity - they're only coins. But they're an initial element in a the sacred equation of You as a process, not a thing. Building a hexagram? - how silly...childish, have you time for silly, childish things? The availability of shelter is advised; just closing the book seldom works. Like life itself, it's merely a game; a most serious game, but yet just a game. Play it as you like, or not. Nobody's watching.
About the author
About the author: Adam is young only when compared to quartz. With an advanced degree, he was a licensed psychotherapist for 38 years, a college professor for 18 years (now retired from both) and he has within his pedigree 2 ½ years in a southern prison (which gave him time to think, true, but in hindsight he'd rather have taken a yoga class). He is a veteran of Korea and Germany. He has fathered 13 children, four his own and nine other peoples'. He continues to husband a wife of 40 years, two dogs, a cat, a gaggle of chickens and hummingbirds. His net worth does not exceed that of a 1995 minivan (see #16, 'Sheila'). In his spare time, Adam enjoys gardening, fishing and drinking. Adam prizes your comments ( but it is unlikely that he will reply. It's not that he does not cherish you, quite the contrary. Adam had a friend once but she died, and no one has since stepped forward. He's come to terms with that (see #17, 'Following').
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