When the mind is overworked without stop, it becomes worried, and worry causes exhaustion.
– Chuang Tzu
In understanding the link between mind and body, one must recognize the mind controls the body and not vice versa. While the two are interdependent, the mind controls the combined organism, creating a functional human machine. This means that mental control is of the utmost importance, as reflected in Chuang Tzu’s warning that the minds of men should not “let their bodily desires run away.” The Center of Traditional Taoist Studies helps its congregation develop the mental facet of human existence as prerequisite to enlightenment. Because the mind is responsible for correctly perceiving reality and then issuing the proper commands to the body, this is the mechanism by which a spiritual man translates his understanding into action. For this reason, the mind can be a friend or an enemy. By issuing correct commands to the body, the spiritual person can optimally navigate through life’s hardships; or, for the confused, it issues incorrect commands that cause its human vessel to batter itself senseless while traveling through life’s dangerous waters. In essence, a clear mind enables the Taoist to synchronize himself with reality, while its opposite — confusion — prevents the mind from accurately perceiving reality and making correct decisions for action. Therefore, spirituality can never be achieved unless confusion is eliminated.