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联合国论坛:道家思想与心理治疗

热度 1已有 149 次阅读2024-5-27 13:25 |个人分类:心理学、心理健康、心理咨询|系统分类:科技教育分享到微信

联合国论坛:道家思想与心理治疗

 

【编者按】

 

美国东部时间520日,联合国“世界文化多样性——老子道学文化”国际高峰论坛在美国大纽约地区新泽西召开。本届论坛由联合国《世界文化多样性宣言》纪念活动组委会、东方文艺复兴全球联盟(美国)、老子道学文化研究会(中国)联合主办。联合国非政府组织心理学联盟(PCUN)理事、国际华人医学家心理学家联合会(IACMSP)主席、纽约市立大学(CUNY)退休心理学教授、美国东西方健康科学学院(ACEWHS)副院长Dr. MINGYU DENG(邓明昱博士)应邀出席论坛并作主旨发言。由于邓教授正值手术后休养阶段,无法亲临论坛,其主旨发言“道家思想与心理治疗”由论坛秘书处安排代为宣读。现将本文的中英文全文发布如下:

 ——IACMSP秘书处

2024年5月27日


------------------------------------------------

 



道家思想与心理治疗

Taoist Thought and Psychotherapy

 

邓明昱 博士  (DENG Mingyu, M.D., Ph.D.)

美国东西方健康科学学院教授

Prof., American College of East-west  Health Science

国际华人医学家心理学家联合会理事长

President, International Association of Chinese Medical Specialists & Psychologists

联合国非政府组织心理学联盟理事

Councilor, Psychology Coalition of NGOs Accredited at the United Nations

 

 

前言 Preface

道家是中国诸子百家中思想学派之一,在春秋战国时期以老子、庄子为代表。道家推崇自然、自由的思想,要求一切以遵从为最高原则,尊重自然、尊重人本,不要随意、刻意去干涉个人生命和生活规律,应该尊重天道人道,实现人道合一人与自然合一

道家思想从古至今被人推崇备至,广为流传。一些西方人也把它奉为至宝。中国历代的思想家,还代代相继地传抄、研读、诠释。仅老子《道德经》一书,诠释注说者就有千百种之多。研究者之众,早已是老子(李聃)的千千万万倍。

这里,我们探讨一下道家思想是怎样被人们广泛地应用到心理健康和心理治疗上、它与当代心理科学是否有相通之处、它在心理治疗中有多大的积极意义。

盛行一个世纪的当代心理治疗理论,大致上有三大流派:精神分析、行为主义与人本主义。精神分析治疗学派是本世纪初由弗洛伊德(S. Freud1856-1936)创立的;行为主义是20年代开始盛行的,主要创始人与代表是华生(J. B. Watson1878-1958);人本主义崛起较晚,是二战以后西方心理学革新运动的产物,是由许多心理学家共同发起的。60年代起这一运动有较大的发展。他们既反对弗洛伊德的精神分析把意识经验还原为基本驱力或防御机制,又反对行为主义把意识看作是行为的副现象,主张心理学应着重研究人的价值和人格发展。人本主义心理治疗的代表人物是卡尔·罗杰斯(Carl R. Rogers1902-1987)。

人本主义被称为心理学的第三势力,它强调心理治疗的前提是每个人都有自主权和发展自身人格的能力,认为心理障碍与适应不良是个人内心冲突未获解决所致,只要帮助他们接受自身存在的意义,能够以积极的方式体验自我,修正自己的目标或改变自己的行为,不为别人意见所左右,建立起生活的信心,使生活饶有兴味,就能以适宜的方式处理问题,度过危机。这就是人本主义心理治疗学的基本理论。

人本主义心理治疗学的理论,与中国流传二千多年的道家学说,不谋而合,极其相似。中华民族掌握了道家的心理抚慰技术,进行自我人格的调整,走出困境,换来成就,走出黑暗,换来光明。道家思想是中国人世世代代用以心理治疗的最良好的武器之一。

下面让我们根据《道德经》的思想,从四个方面来分析一下心理治疗。

一、强调人的自我意识;

二、强调洞明世事,认识事物的规律;

三、强调节制物欲,知足知止,调整期望值;

四、强调虚静、恬淡,调整心态

 

一、强调人的自我意识Emphasis on people’s self-awareness

 

自我意识是人类独有的最高级的心理活动,是个体社会化的结果。然而,不是每个成年人都具有同样成熟水平的自我意识,尤其在心理不够健康的人群中,自我意识不强,个性有缺陷的是大有人在。作为心理治疗学常用的领悟疗法,说到底就是通过谈话,进行精神分析,帮助患者意识到自己的一些行为产生的原因,把原来处于无意识(或叫下意识潜意识)状态支配下的一些古怪行为,提高到意识领域中来,让其本人明白何以产生这些不正常的心理与行为,并认识到其无益性与危害性,找到问题的症结,提高自我意识的水平,许多非器质性的精神障碍,就自然解除了。这种领悟疗法,是患者依靠自己的力量来达到自愈的,这就是提高其自知自控的能力来治愈由于自我意识水平不高而引起的一些心理疾病,如焦虑障碍、抑郁障碍、强迫障碍等。这是值得提倡和普及的心理防御技术。

 

《道德经》第33章是这样写的:“知人者智,自知者明,胜人者有力,自胜者强。知足者富,强行者有志。不失其所者久,死而不亡者寿。这38个字,包含的哲理是十分深邃的。自知自胜知人胜人还重要,还难以做到。知人者堪标明智,但真正明智的还是要认识自我,正确地评价自我,既不能过高地认为自已如何如何伟大,又不能过低地认为自己处处不如人。

 

既不亢也不卑的处世态度,就来自于正确地评价自我。这是自我意识的第一步,即自我认知与自我评价。而自我评价免不了要对自己人生的价值,即生存的意义作出评价,要明确地认识到自己活在世上的意义,也就是不失其所的意思。每个人必须建立自己的生活意义,树立生活的目标。否则,就如同生活在真空之中,失其所在(即存在)的意义,不死也等于了。

 

道家的这种关于自我意识的解释,正是当今流行的人本主义心理治疗学要阐释的根本原理。良好的人格调整,首先要有自己的生活意义,一旦失去意义,就会产生焦虑。只有认识自己的生存意义,才能对自己的行为与发展的方向负起责任。在这样的自我认知的基础上,不间断不麻木地体验人生的酸甜苦辣,学会面对焦虑;而不是消极地躲避焦虑,更不是掩耳盗铃式地掩盖客观生活中的种种难题。

 

因此,我们要承认生活本来就充满着紧张的刺激,要随时准备拿出各种各样解决问题的方法来,并在实践尝试中总结哪一种解决方法最为有效。在战胜客观困难的同时,战胜自己的软弱,这就是胜人者有力,自胜者强(《道德经》第33章)的深刻含义,更是不失其所者久,死而不亡者寿(《道德经》第33章)的深刻含义。

 

只有具备了完美的人格,自我意识水平极高的人才能直面人生,奋力搏击,在创造奇迹的同时,才能成为最坚强最伟大的受人崇敬的人。即使因为力量不足或时机不成熟而战胜不了困难,也不至于精神崩溃。

在这里,道家思想绝没有一味把人看作是受本能支配的病态的人,也没有简单地强调用刺激反应的机械模式来训练矫正人的行为,而是早就看到了人具有高级的自我意识这一点,谆谆教导人们自知者明自胜者强,做一个不失其所者久,死而不亡者寿的坚强的人,这是维护心理健康的根本方法。

 

二、强调洞明世事,认识客观事物的规律

Emphasis on having a clear understanding of world affairs and understanding the law of things

 

心理疾病的产生,往往是由于受到不可抵挡的紧张刺激和缺乏应付能力。外部刺激是客观的,而引起主体多大的紧张与焦虑,却是因人而异的。认识能力较强,洞明事理的或有思想准备的人,遇到来自外界的紧张刺激,较能用适宜的方式去应付,这部分人是心理健康的。

另有一些人由于缺乏认识能力,不知道生活现实的严酷性,缺乏必要的心理准备和应付紧张刺激的有效方式,就会表现出一些过度焦虑、过度抑郁、悲愤沮丧或者采取一些无效的行为,比如可笑地否认现实,一味地埋怨自己或他人,顽固地坚持某一荒谬观点,甚至不由自主地无理恐怖等。这些心理障碍的典型症状,会殃及原本健康的躯体,罹患身心疾病,或染上酒瘾、烟瘾、药瘾乃至毒瘾。治疗这些心理疾病,行为疗法或许有用,但要根治或预防的话,必须提高认知水平,教导他们认识客观事物的复杂性和事物发展的辩证规律,这在道家思想里有特别丰富深刻的阐述。

《道德经》第23章说:飘风不终朝,骤雨不终日。所蕴涵的哲学意蕴就是,天地和天地间万事万物都是遵循自然的法则自然而然地存在和运动着的。这就告诉人们危难终究会过去,黎明终究会冲破黑暗。处境恶劣时不要沮丧,不要丧失信心。因为事物都在不断变化,正如《道德经》第58章说:祸兮,福之所倚;福兮,祸之所伏。万事万物都有对立统一的两个面,而且对立的事物总是相互转化的,曲则全,枉则直,洼则盈,敝则新,少则得,多则惑”(《道德经》第22)

别以为有些事物目前看来是如此强大而不可摧,但却隐伏着灭亡的危险,兵强则灭,木强则折,强大处下,柔弱处上”(《道德经》第76)。这也是教导人们用发展变化的眼光来观察世界。静观待变,这比盲目冲杀有效得多,也不会心灰意懒,更不至于精神崩溃。这是正确面对现实的明智之举。

只有这种认识上的高瞻远瞩,才能处变不惊,处危不慌,从根本上保持自我的心理平衡,成为一个心理健康的人。道家思想就是这样主张从根本上提高人的心理防御能力的。

 

三、强调节制物欲,知足知止,调整期望值

Emphasis on controlling material desires, being content with one’s needs, and adjusting expectations

 

帮助患者调整自己的期望目标,是心理治疗的重要方法之一。不正确的目标或不切实际的目标,都会误导人的行为,招致失败与挫折。但人在确立目标时,总是凭借已有的知识经验,难免有错,所以在实践中要反复总结,不断调整修正原来认定的目标,使其正确、合理。道家思想在指导人们确立目标方面,有过十分明确的警示。

《道德经》第44章说:“名与身孰亲?身与货孰多?得与亡孰病?甚爱必大费,多藏必厚亡。故知足不辱,知止不殆,可以长久”。老子主张生命贵于财富,追名逐利是十分危险的。祸莫大于不知足,咎莫大于欲得。故知足之足,常足矣!”(《道德经》第46)。知足的人才能经常体验到满足的欢乐。所以人只有节制自己的物欲,才能保持心理的健康与平衡。贪得无厌与纵情声色是引起心理疾病的根源。“五色令人目盲,五音令人耳聋,五味令人口爽。驰骋畋猎,令人心发狂。难得之货,令人行妨”(《道德经》第12)

道家主要是劝告统治者要节制物欲,虚其心,弱其志无知无欲,实行无为而治无为的意思是不要政令苛繁,不要横征暴敛,更不要连年征战。兵者,不祥之器,不得已而用之,恬淡为上”(《道德经》第31)圣人处无为之事,行不言之教。万物作而弗始,生而弗有,为而不恃,功成而弗居”(《道德经》第2)不尚贤,使民之争,不贵难得之货,使民不为盗;不见可欲,使民心不乱”(《道德经》第3)天之道,不争而善胜;不言而善应;不召而自来,繟然而善谋。天网恢恢,疏而不失”(《道德经》第73)。世事万物,自然有其必然的发展规律,主观的意志不能脱离客观的现实。期望的目标也须不断从理想化向现实化加以调整。否则,挫折与失败是难免的。心理健康的人,是时常体验到成功喜悦的人。知足者富知足常乐也就是心理自我调适的最好方法之一。

 

四、强调虚静、恬淡,调整心态  Emphasis quiet, tranquility, and adjust your mentality

 

道家在心理保健方面,也摸索出许多行之有效的方法,进行了大胆的探索。在世事纷繁、矛盾复杂的现实面前,道家指导人们要保持平静稳定的心态,冷静地仔细观察事物的演变,然后通过周密的思维,预测事物变化的结果。《道德经》第31章说:“致虚极,守静笃。万物并作,吾以观复”。道家主张守静、致虚,并且要达到极笃的境地,是相信人类有理性思维的能力。然而,理性思维需要冷静平稳的心理状态作保证。任何急躁情绪都会扰乱正确的思维活动。

《道德经》第45章说:“躁胜寒,静胜热。清静为天下正”。在清静的状态下,才能做到不出户,已知天下;不窥于牖,见天道。其出弥远者,其知弥鲜。是以圣人不行而知,不见而明,弗为而成(《道德经》第47章)。人要有明察秋毫,遵循客观事物办事的能力,虚静的心境是十分必要的。有时还必须守得住寂寞,不怕孤立,保持独立思考的能力。

老子自己也不无感慨地说:众人皆有余,而我独若遗。我愚人之心也哉!众人昭昭,我独昏昏,众人察察,我独闷闷;众人皆有以,而我独顽且鄙。我独异于人,而贵食母。(《道德经》第20章)。正是这种保持独立思考的虚静心态,揭示了深邃的哲理,成为两千多年来不朽的思想。

 

小结 summary

 

归真,师法自然,是道家思想独特的最响亮的口号,曾使无数中国人从紧张刺激的矛盾旋涡中获得解救,避免了心理上的失衡。大自然广阔天地中,充足的阳光、清新的空气、新鲜的绿色食品,提供了极其优越的放松神经的外部环境,比在心理医生的诊所里,更有利于调整心身健康。世代信奉道家哲学的隐士们,还利用接近民众的有利条件,大量从事医药学的研究,对生命科学作出了一些有益的贡献。采药炼丹,虽然终究未能炼得长生不老之药,但在延年益寿、驱病强身方面,也探讨出一些有效的养身之道(诸如气功、吐纳、太极拳剑之类)。他们热爱生命、热爱自然,总不能算是消极的处世态度。更何况大多数转向文学艺术的创作,诗歌、绘画、音乐等都在这些高雅之士手中得到了充分的发展。琴瑟相和、高山流水觅知音,不正是医治和预防精神疾患最佳的宣泄与升华吗?

道家先贤们与山川日月同寿的胸襟真不可谓不博大,旷达的情志也不可谓不高远。他们致力于修身养性,积累知识、积蓄能量,说不定当社会需要时,就会像南阳诸葛亮那样,随时准备放弃粗茶淡饭、麻衣布裤的茅庐生涯,投入到紧张的社会生活中去。因此,返朴归真、师法自然作为人类生活的另一种方式,仍然有着十分积极的意义,尤其对维护心理健康是功不可没的。试想在繁忙的紧张工作之余,能度上一段闲暇的时间、趁着云淡风轻的好景,漫步芳草、细数落花,对心理的健康作用是不可低估的。中华民族的历代有识之士,都从道家思想中获得这方面的启迪。掌握了道家心理保健的人,精神上的宁静致远,往往表现为外形上的仙风道骨,道家隐士们在俗人眼里也就很容易被看作是飘飘然超凡脱俗的神仙了,道家也渐渐成了道教,被人顶礼膜拜了。

当代心理治疗技术中,有不少放松疗法、系统脱敏疗、认知行为疗法、辩证行为疗法……等,在道家思想的实际应用中,往往也能寻到踪影,有待于进一步挖掘、研究。

 

 

道家思想与心理治疗

Taoist Thought and Psychotherapy

 

邓明昱 博士  (DENG Mingyu, M.D., Ph.D.)

美国东西方健康科学学院教授

Prof., American College of East-west  Health Science

国际华人医学家心理学家联合会理事长

President, International Association of Chinese Medical Specialists & Psychologists

联合国非政府组织心理学联盟理事

Councilor, Psychology Coalition of NGOs Accredited at the United Nations

 

Preface

Taoism is one of the schools of thought among hundreds of Chinese scholars, represented by Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. Taoism advocates the idea of nature and freedom, and requires that all people follow "Tao" as the highest principle, respect nature and human nature, and not arbitrarily or deliberately interfere with personal life and life rules. They should respect "the way of heaven" and "the way of humanity" and realize "the way of nature" and "the way of humanity". "The unity of humanity" and "the unity of human and nature".

Taoist thought has been highly praised and spread widely since ancient times. Some Westerners also regard it as a treasure. Chinese thinkers of all ages have also copied, studied and interpreted it from generation to generation. There are thousands of interpretations and commentaries on Lao Tzu's <Tao Te Ching> alone. The number of researchers is already thousands of times that of Lao Tzu (Li Dan).

Here, we discuss how Taoist thought is widely used in mental health and psychotherapy, whether it has similarities with contemporary psychological science, and how much positive significance it has in psychotherapy.

There are roughly three major schools of contemporary psychotherapy theory that have been popular for a century: psychoanalysis, behaviorism and humanism. The school of psychoanalytic therapy was founded by S. Freud (1856-1936) at the beginning of this century; behaviorism became popular in the 1920s, and its main founder and representative was J. B. Watson (1878-1958); Humanism rose relatively late. It is the product of the Western psychological innovation movement after World War II and was jointly initiated by many psychologists. This movement has developed greatly since the 1960s. They opposed Freud's psychoanalysis, which reduced conscious experience to basic drives or defense mechanisms, and behaviorism, which regarded consciousness as an epiphenomenon of behavior. They advocated that psychology should focus on the study of human values and personality development. The representative figure of humanistic psychotherapy is Carl R. Rogers (1902-1987).

Humanism is called the "third force" of psychology. It emphasizes that the premise of treatment is that everyone has autonomy and the ability to develop their own personality. It believes that psychological disorders and maladaptation are caused by unresolved personal inner conflicts. As long as we help them accept the meaning of their own existence, experience themselves in a positive way, revise their goals or change their behavior, not be influenced by other people's opinions, build confidence in life, and make life interesting, they can live in a suitable way. ways to handle problems and survive crises. This is the basic theory of humanistic psychotherapy.

The theory of humanistic psychotherapy coincides with and is very similar to the Taoist theory that has been circulated in China for more than 2,000 years. The Chinese nation has mastered the Taoist psychological soothing technology, adjusted its self-personality, got out of difficulties in exchange for achievements, and out of darkness in exchange for light. Taoist thought is one of the best weapons used by Chinese people for psychotherapy from generation to generation.

Next, let us analyze psychotherapy from four aspects based on the ideas of the <Tao Te Ching>.

1. Emphasis on people’s self-awareness;

2. Emphasis on having a clear understanding of world affairs and understanding the law of things;

3. Emphasis on controlling material desires, being content with one’s needs, and adjusting expectations;

4. Emphasis quiet, tranquility, and adjust your mentality.

 

1. Emphasis on people’s self-awareness

 

Self-awareness is the most advanced psychological activity unique to human beings and is the result of individual socialization. However, not every adult has the same mature level of self-awareness, especially among people who are not mentally healthy enough. There are many people with weak self-awareness and personality defects. As a commonly used insight therapy in psychotherapy, in the final analysis, it is to help patients realize the causes of some of their behaviors through conversation and psychoanalysis, and to control the problems that were originally under the control of the unconscious (also known as "subconscious") state. Some weird behaviors are raised to the realm of consciousness, allowing the person to understand why these abnormal psychology and behaviors occur, and recognize their futility and harm, find the crux of the problem, and improve the level of self-awareness. Many non-organic Sexual mental disorders will be naturally lifted. This kind of comprehension therapy allows patients to rely on their own strength to achieve self-healing. This is to improve their ability of self-awareness and self-control to cure some psychological diseases caused by low levels of self-awareness, such as anxiety disorders, depression disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, et al. This is a psychological self-defense technique worth promoting and popularizing.

 

Chapter 33 of the <Tao Te Ching> reads like this: "He who knows others is wise, he who knows himself is wise, he who conquers others is powerful, and he who conquers himself is strong. He who is content is rich, and he who is forceful is ambitious. He who does not lose his place will last long, and he who dies will not Longevity for the dead." The philosophy contained in these 38 Chinese words is very profound. "Self-knowledge" and "self-victory" are more important than "knowing others" and "conquering others", and are still difficult to achieve. "Those who know others" can be regarded as wise, but those who are truly wise must know themselves and evaluate themselves correctly. They should neither think too highly of how great they are, nor think too low of themselves as inferior to others.

An attitude that is neither arrogant nor humble comes from a correct evaluation of oneself. This is the first step in self-awareness, that is, self-knowledge and self-evaluation. Self-evaluation inevitably involves evaluating the value of one's own life, that is, the meaning of existence, and one must clearly understand the meaning of one's life in the world, which means "not losing one's place." "Everyone must establish his own meaning of life" and establish the goal of life. Otherwise, it will be like living in a vacuum", losing the meaning of its "place" (i.e. "existence"), and immortality is equivalent to "death".

 

This Taoist explanation of self-awareness is the fundamental principle that the popular humanistic psychotherapy explains today. For good personality adjustment, you must first have your own meaning in life. Once the meaning is lost, anxiety will occur. Only by understanding the meaning of one's own existence can one take responsibility for one's own behavior and development direction. On the basis of such self-awareness, experience the ups and downs of life without interruption and without numbness, and learn to face anxiety; instead of passively avoiding anxiety, let alone covering up various problems in objective life.

 

Therefore, we must admit that life is inherently full of intense excitement, be ready to come up with various ways to solve problems at any time, and summarize which solution is the most effective through practical trials. While overcoming objective difficulties, we should also overcome our own weaknesses. This is the profound meaning of "He who conquers others is powerful, and he who conquers himself is strong" (Chapter 33 of <Tao Te Ching>). It is also the profound meaning of "He who does not lose his place will live long and die." The profound meaning of "those who do not die will live long" (Chapter 33 of <Tao Te Ching>).

 

Only those with a perfect personality and a high level of self-awareness can face life, fight hard, and while creating miracles, can they become the strongest, greatest and most respected people. Even if you are unable to overcome difficulties due to lack of strength or premature timing, you will not suffer a mental breakdown.

 

Here, Taoist thought never blindly regards people as pathological people controlled by instinct, nor does it simply emphasize using the mechanical model of "stimulus-response" to train and correct people's behavior. Instead, it has long seen that people have the ability to Advanced self-awareness teaches people that "the one who knows himself is wise", "the one who conquers is strong", and to be a strong person who "does not lose his place for a long time, and dies without dying for a long time" is a fundamental method to maintain mental health.

 

2. Emphasis on having a clear understanding of world affairs and understanding the law of things

 

The occurrence of mental illness is often due to irresistible stress and lack of coping ability. External stimuli are objective, but the amount of tension and anxiety caused by the subject varies from person to person. People who have strong cognitive abilities, are sensible, or are mentally prepared are better able to deal with stressful stimuli from the outside world in appropriate ways. These people are mentally healthy.

 

Others, due to lack of cognitive ability, ignorance of the harshness of life reality, lack of necessary psychological preparation and effective ways to deal with stressful stimuli, will show excessive anxiety, excessive depression, sadness and anger, or adopt some ineffective behaviors. For example, they ridiculously deny reality, blindly blame themselves or others, stubbornly insist on a certain absurd point of view, or even involuntarily and unreasonably fear, etc. The typical symptoms of these psychological disorders can affect the originally healthy body, causing physical and mental illness, or addiction to alcohol, tobacco, medicine or even drugs.

 

To treat these mental illnesses, behavioral therapy may be useful, but if they want to cure or prevent them, they must improve their cognitive level and teach them to understand the complexity of objective things and the dialectical laws of their development. This is particularly rich and profound in Taoist thought.

 

Chapter 23 of <Tao Te Ching> says: "The wind will last forever, and the rain will last forever." The philosophical implication contained in it is that heaven and earth and everything in between exist and move naturally in accordance with the laws of "nature" or "Tao". This tells people that the crisis will eventually pass, and the dawn will eventually break through the darkness. Don't be depressed or lose confidence when things get tough. Because things are constantly changing, just as Chapter 58 of <Tao Te Ching> says: "When misfortune comes, blessings rely on it; when blessings come, misfortune lies on it." Everything has two sides of the unity of opposites, and opposite things are always transformed into each other. "The crookedness is complete, the wrong is straight, the hollow is full, the hollow is new, the less is gained, and the more is confused" (Chapter 22 of <Tao Te Ching>).

 

Don’t think that some things seem so powerful and indestructible at present, but they are lurking in the danger of destruction. “A strong soldier will be destroyed, a strong tree will be broken, a strong person will be inferior, and a weak person will be superior” (Chapter 76 of <Tao Te Ching>). This also teaches people to observe the world from the perspective of development and change. "Sit back and wait for changes", this is much more effective than blindly rushing in, and you will not be discouraged, let alone have a mental breakdown. This is a wise move to face reality correctly.

 

Only with this kind of far-sighted understanding can we remain calm in times of change and danger, fundamentally maintain our own psychological balance, and become a mentally healthy person. This is how Taoist thought advocates fundamentally improving people's psychological defense capabilities.

 

3. Emphasis on controlling material desires, being content with one’s needs, and adjusting expectations

 

Helping patients adjust their expectations is one of the important methods of psychotherapy. Incorrect goals or unrealistic goals will mislead people's behavior and lead to failure and setbacks. However, when people set goals, they always rely on existing knowledge and experience, and mistakes are inevitable. Therefore, in practice, we must repeatedly summarize and constantly adjust and revise the original goals to make them correct and reasonable. Taoist thought has very clear warnings in guiding people to establish goals.

 

Chapter 44 of <Tao Te Ching> says: "Who is related to fame and body? Which is more abundant, body and goods? Which disease is gain or loss? Love greatly will cost a lot, and hoarding much will lead to death. Therefore, if you know what you have, you will not be disgraced; if you know how to stop, you will not perish. It can last a long time.” Lao Tzu believes that life is more valuable than wealth, and it is very dangerous to pursue fame and wealth. “No disaster is greater than not being satisfied, and no fault is greater than desire. Therefore, contentment is always enough!” (Chapter 46 of <Tao Te Ching>).

 

Only those who are content can often experience the joy of contentment. Therefore, only by controlling one's material desires can people maintain mental health and balance. Insatiable greed and indulgence are the root causes of mental illness. "The five colors make one blind, the five tones deafen, and the five tastes make one's mouth refresh. Racing and hunting make one's heart go crazy. Rare goods hinder one's movement" (Chapter 12 of <Tao Te Ching>).

 

Taoism mainly advises rulers to restrain their material desires, "empty their hearts, weaken their ambitions", "ignore and have no desires", and practice "ruling by doing nothing". "Inaction" means not to impose harsh and complicated laws, not to impose excessive taxes, and not to fight for years. "Soldiers are an ominous weapon. They should be used as a last resort. Tranquility is the best" (Chapter 31 of <Tao Te Ching>). "The sage does nothing, and teaches without words. Everything is done without beginning, born without being, done without relying on it, and accomplished without living" (Chapter 2 of <Tao Te Ching>). “If you don’t respect the virtuous, you will make the people fight; if you don’t value hard-to-find goods, you won’t steal them; if you don’t see what you want, you will make the people’s minds stable” (Chapter 3 of <Tao Te Ching>). "The way of heaven is to be good at winning without fighting; to be good at responding without speaking; to come without being called; to be silent but good at planning. The net of heaven is vast, sparse but not lost" (Chapter 73 of <Tao Te Ching>). All things in the world naturally have their own inevitable laws of development, and subjective will cannot be divorced from objective reality. The desired goals must also be constantly adjusted from idealization to reality. Otherwise, setbacks and failures are inevitable. Mentally healthy people are those who often experience the joy of success. "One who is content will be rich" and "one who is content is always happy" is one of the best methods of psychological self-adjustment.

 

4. Emphasis quiet, tranquility, and adjust your mentality

 

In terms of mental health care, Taoists have also explored many effective methods and conducted bold explorations. In the face of the complicated reality of world affairs, Taoism instructs people to maintain a calm and stable mentality, calmly and carefully observe the evolution of things, and then predict the results of changes in things through careful thinking.

Chapter 31 of <Tao Te Ching> says: "To the extreme of emptiness, stay still and sincere. All things are working together, and I will observe them again." Taoism advocates keeping quiet, achieving emptiness, and reaching a state of extreme sincerity. This is because it believes in the ability of human beings to think rationally. However, rational thinking requires a calm and stable mental state to ensure. Any impatience emotions will disrupt correct thinking activities.

 

Chapter 45 of <Tao Te Ching> says: "Agitation defeats cold, and tranquility defeats heat. Tranquility is the right of the world." Only in a quiet state can one achieve "knowing the world without leaving home; seeing the way of heaven without peeking into the window. Those who go out are far away, and their knowledge is fresh. Therefore, the sage knows without walking, and understands without seeing. This is not the case." It is formed” (Chapter 47 of <Tao Te Ching>). To have the ability to discern clearly and act in accordance with objective things, a quiet state of mind is very necessary. Sometimes you have to be able to stay lonely, not be afraid of isolation, and maintain the ability to think independently.

 

Lao Tzu himself said with emotion: "Everyone has more than enough, but I am alone. What a fool I am! Everyone is enlightened, but I alone am dim, everyone is observing, but I am dull; everyone has more, but I am alone. I am stubborn and despicable. I am different from others, but I value my mother." (Chapter 20 of <Tao Te Ching>). It is this quiet mentality of maintaining independent thinking that reveals profound philosophy and has become an immortal thought for more than two thousand years.

 

summary

 

"Return to nature and learn from nature" is the unique and loudest slogan of Taoism. It has saved countless Chinese people from the whirlpool of tense and exciting contradictions and avoided psychological imbalance. In the vast world of nature, ample sunshine, fresh air, and fresh green food provide an extremely superior external environment for relaxing your nerves, which is more conducive to adjusting your physical and mental health than in a psychiatrist's clinic. Hermits who have believed in Taoist philosophy for generations have also taken advantage of their proximity to the people to engage in extensive research on medicine and made some useful contributions to life sciences. Although the elixir of medicine collected and refined ultimately failed to produce the elixir of immortality, some effective health-preserving methods (such as qigong, breathing, Tai Chi, etc.) were explored in terms of prolonging life, repelling diseases, and strengthening the body. They love life and nature, which cannot be regarded as a negative attitude towards life. What's more, most of the creations turned to literature and art, poetry, painting, music, etc. have been fully developed in the hands of these elegant people. Isn't it the best catharsis and sublimation to treat and prevent mental illness by playing in harmony with the piano and the piano, and searching for a close friend through the mountains and rivers?

 

The minds of the Taoist sages who "live as long as the mountains and rivers, the sun and the moon" are truly broad, and their broad-minded emotions are also lofty. They devote themselves to self-cultivation, accumulation of knowledge, and energy. Maybe when society needs it, they will be like Zhuge Liang of Nanyang, ready to give up their life in a thatched cottage with simple food, linen clothes and trousers, and devote themselves to the tense social life. Therefore, returning to basics and following nature as another way of human life still have very positive significance, especially in maintaining mental health. Imagine being able to spend some free time after busy and stressful work, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery of "calm clouds and gentle breeze" to stroll through the grass and count the fallen flowers. The effect on mental health cannot be underestimated. The far-sighted people of the Chinese nation throughout the ages have obtained enlightenment in this regard from Taoist thought. People who have mastered Taoist mental health care often have a peaceful and far-reaching spirit, which often appears as "immortal bones" in appearance. Taoist hermits can easily be regarded as otherworldly "immortals" in the eyes of the common people. Taoism gradually became Taoism and was worshiped by people.

 

Among contemporary psychotherapy techniques, there are many relaxation therapies, systematic desensitization therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, etc., which can often be found in the practical application of Taoist thought and need to be further explored and studied.










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