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  • 'One of the mysteries of the Tao is the essence of life. How did life arise from inorganic- lifeless- material? This is something we still do not understand. How exactly did we- life forms not so different from others on the planet- become self-aware?

    ...Perhaps the answer to [this] mystery is that we are not life forms that have become self-aware. It is the other way around: we are entities of pure consciousness that have learned how to manifest in the physical universe through the workings of life.

    If this is true of us, then it is also true of the people around us. Let us put this idea to the test. When you interact with others, see them not as physical bodies, but as spiritual energy. How does this change the way you feel about them?'

    Derek Lin, Tao Te Ching Annotated and Explained
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