In the 4 Ascendant Sphere Purity Adept School of the Tao, positive power is a first level practice and is essential to living happily or to becoming a Taoist.
Positive Power is difficult for people to grasp, because of its simplicity. It functions by controlling perception, awareness, and choice–the things that make the enlightenment machine work. SO the difficulty lies in recognizing something like positive power as an actual action, and gradually stripping away the thoughts about what positive power is based on the name, “positive power.” Those perceptions need to be replaced by using contemplation and practice.
An Illustration of Positive Power In Taoist Practice
Here’s a little story that I use to explain Positive Power.
Let’s say you have been placed on a tropical island. On this island there is a sandy beach. That beach is a place of plenty. Lobsters walk up to you on that beach already cooked. Coconuts fall gently from the trees into your lap with straws already in them. The views are startling. The sunsets–the oranges and reds– possess a beauty that tears up your eyes when you see it.
Also on this island is a volcano. It belches out sulfurous smoke. Lava perks from it each day, down the side of the mountain.
You can choose to build your hut anywhere you want. On the beach, or on the smoking hot lava, among the daily stink. Where do you build your hut?
Positive power grows from the positive frame, focusing on the positive events rather than on the negative ones.
The positive focus is not a denial of the negative. You don’t build your hut on the beach and pretend that there is no smoking hot lava. You can always see it from the beach. You simply don’t choose to live on top of the smoking hot lava!
It is also not the same as the saying, ” All clouds have a silver lining.” The truth is that some situations are simply horrible and have no redeeming qualities. There is no silver lining. Positive focus is a basic choice to focus on things that went well during a day, even though those things might be in a small, tiny minority.
Humans are inherently positive creatures. If we are placed mentally into a positive environment, our ability to act and clearly perceive is greatly increased. If we are placed into a negative environment our ability to act and perceive is reduced. This is simply the way humans are constructed. It is the nature of positive power. No matter whether a person is good or evil, the human power is positive.
Positive Power Doesn't Refer to Good Acts
A common misperception of positive power is that it refers to the doing of good acts. It is incorrect. A person could be hugely negative and still perform good acts. That person is simply operating at a dramatically reduced ability because he or she has chosen to live on top of hot lava. The act can fit a morally-defined good, however it was from a negative power.
Positive Power Cultivation Starts Easily
Positive focus leads to positive power automatically. A simple drill to cultivate positive focus is to spend a small amount of time each day, reminding yourself of things that went well or that you did well. This helps to teach you where the beach is and to build a house there.
This cultivation time should be done silently to avoid having social baggage placed onto it. You are certainly free to discuss the overall process with others, but the actual cultivation leave to yourself. It is a sure indicator that you are on the wrong track spiritually, if the majority of your time with positive frame is expressed in your social interaction with others. The reason: you’re expression is a first sphere action. Positive power belong to the 4th sphere, and so must have 4th sphere qualities to be genuine.