TAOISM | How to Get Drunk on Life
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TAOISM | How to Get Drunk on Life


The habit of drinking is deeply ingrained
in Western culture. Being drunk is often seen as a blissful state
in which our sorrows are washed away, and exchanged for courage and an extraordinary
ability to be merry and happy. Yes, alcohol loosens the inhibitions, dissolves
our fears and makes us forget about our problems – at least for a while. But it also dampens the senses, reduces our
mental capabilities, impairs our motor skills, and basically helps us to make fools of ourselves. Moreover, drunkenness often leads to violence,
and the trap of alcoholism has been destroying millions of lives. Thus, we might choose the risky joy of drinking,
but the overall debilitating effects of doing so prevent us from truly immersing ourselves
in the precious gift that the universe has given to us: Life. So, instead of escaping the experience of
life, in all its rawness, with all its emotional highs and lows, its joys and hardships, can’t
we just enjoy life as it comes, soberly, as much as we enjoy the state of drunkenness? Or simply put: how can we get drunk on life? Now, years ago I heard a Taoist tale about
Lao Tzu, meeting up with Confucius and Buddha, in a teahouse. When they were sitting together at a table,
the waiter offered them a special drink called ‘the juice of life’. Immediately, Buddha rejected this, saying
that birth, death, and life are all suffering and that a drink called ‘the juice of life’
is definitely not worth taking. As a matter of fact: his enlightenment meant
freedom from the wheel of suffering. So why should he masochistically administer
the pain that he wanted to escape? Confucius, then, said that he couldn’t judge
the drink before he tasted it. He took a sip but didn’t like the taste
at all. “Buddha, you’re right!” he said. “It’s foul, it’s bitter, it’s miserable,
it’s not worth drinking.” Then, Lao Tzu took the bottle and drank it
in one go. After that, he got up and started to dance,
and dance, dance, while screaming like a madman. After a while, he stopped and returned to
his seat. Buddha and Confucius had become curious and
asked: “so, how was it?” Lao Tzu answered: “I’m not going to say
a word, because there’s nothing be said.” He explained that Buddha was too quick to
judge, and Confucius based his judgment on a small sip. In theory, they might be right: that life
isn’t worth the suffering. And based on their doctrines, it might be
better to avoid certain elements of life in order to avoid suffering. But in the story, they refuse to experience
life. And a million words are not enough to describe
what it really is to be alive. Hence: “there’s nothing to be said.” And to really judge about life, one has to
fully experience it. Now, not to discredit Buddha or Confucius
and their traditions, which (needless to say) contain profound wisdom, the story offers
two important messages. The first one is ‘not to take religions
or ideologies too seriously so that they block us from experiencing life’. When the rules we impose on ourselves are
too rigid and inflexible, it’s difficult to move along with existence which is always
in flux. As Lao Tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching, and
I quote: “Those who are stiff and rigid are the disciples
of death. Those who are soft and yielding are the disciples
of life.” End quote. The second one is that to experience life
‘we should drink it at once and just… dance’. We’re likely inclined to dance after drinking
a lot of alcoholic beverages. Without a doubt, drunkenness by substances
is an experience that many people regard as a joie de vivre. But, paradoxically, the basis for this joy
lies in closing ourselves off from life. Perhaps as much, or even more, as those rigid
individuals that are clenched to their spiritual pursuit. What’s to experience when our senses are
numb? Enjoying life more, by experiencing it less,
is nothing more than an escape. It means that we cannot handle our fears or
our emotions in general. When we’re sad, we drink. When we’re happy, we drink. When we’re anxious, we drink. So, this kind of drunkenness is a rejection
of life by an embrace of a mind-altering substance. Now, getting drunk on life is a pursuit in
the opposite direction. Rather than blocking what overwhelms us, we
embrace the full spectrum. See, when people drink they often seek to
embark on a proverbial rollercoaster ride, without fear. They want adventure, they want joyful interactions,
they want to encounter someone attractive. And by reducing fear, they often experience
that it’s indeed easier to make these things happen. Even though fear is uncomfortable, it doesn’t
mean that it’s bad. It means that the body’s fight-or-flight
response is triggered. So, it’s a side-effect of entering unknown
territory, which passes when we experience a sense of safety. It’s a price we pay for getting out of our
comfort zone. But the reward is priceless: it’s this lucid
involvement with elements of life that are new us; it’s the elation of overcoming boundaries
and fears. Didn’t Danish philosopher Kierkegaard once
say that anxiety is the dizziness of freedom? Being drunk on life means that we are able
to fully and consciously enjoy what life, in all its ordinariness, has to offer. And the fact that we seek substances or activities
to numb ourselves is already proof that the experience of life is very intense. Sometimes, it seems too intense to handle. And that’s where we find the key to getting
drunk on life: by riding the waves, no matter how big, while rejoicing when the sea is calm. By not clinging to its highs or lows, but
not to its flatness either. It’s the deep sadness, and grief when we’re
dumped, the tears of joy when we meet with a loved one we haven’t seen for a long time. But it’s also the shivers when we do something
we fear, the delight of spending time in nature, the contentment of not needing anything more,
and the flourishing by the pursuit of virtue like a Stoic. It’s not rigidly standing on the sidelines
of our experience, but establishing ourselves in the present, without the denial of what’s
already there. Thus, we replace our resistance to these inevitable
parts of life, by a welcoming curiosity to them. So, how do we get drunk on life? Well, by drinking it. And the paradox is that we can only enjoy
life fully when we don’t numb the senses as we do when we get drunk. Life itself is already drunk enough. The only thing we have to do is ‘open up
to it’, without resistance and without attaching ourselves too much to our judgments of right
and wrong, and transcend the ideas of what we should and shouldn’t. Life is simply what is. It’s an endless show, that we all have a
part in. At the end of the day, it doesn’t always
have to be enjoyed, nor does it always have to be suffered. It simply has to be lived. Thank you for watching.

100 Comments

  • NoveltyFlux

    What if one seeks substances not to numb, but to intensify and expand, as is often the case with psychedelics?

  • Rumana Keya

    "Life is simply what is. It's an endless show, that we all have a part in.
    At the end of the day, it doesn't always have to be enjoyed, nor does it always have to be suffered.
    IT SIMPLY HAS TO BE LIVED."

  • Julian Barazzutti

    Thanks to your work I connect to taoism’s teachings which are so aligned with the pathway of surrender taught by David Hawkins, my master. Thank you for broaden my horizons.

  • Thats what they say 123

    Make a video on

    Quote by tyrion lanninster

    "Never forget who you are,for world will never,wearit like armour so that it cannot be used against you!

  • Andrew Ortiz

    spiritual experinces are awesome and overwhelming, both Christian and Muslims have spiritual experinces also and many religions

  • Xealot

    Moderate and mindful indulgence is crucial to the experience of being alive. I find that cannabis and alcohol are best used sparingly, and to enhance experience rather to dull or mask our traits.

  • Michael Elijah

    Life on earth isn’t always to be enjoyed ,life on earth isn’t always enjoyable. In with the good out with that bad. Know that there are things which are pushed as good while truly not being so,and vice versa. Know that common sense isn’t all that it seems to be. Common sense ,words used to indicate what is the acceptable,appropriate ,rational way and thinking,doing things. And then there is the other sense which is not so common. That sense ,which has motivated people to stand against racism ,bigotry,corruption.

    The not so common sense which grew and grew so that women could have equal rights. The not so common sense which grew and grew so that blacks would have an equal place in society. It’s the not so common sense which keeps going and going and sets things right in the world. It’s the enemy of injustice,corruption.

    It’s that sense which which is aiding people in not seeing animals as food for the human race or as potential fashion accessories. It’s that tiny sense which gives you that feeling that something isn’t correct. But is sometimes muffled out by the common rational,the common sense in society. The common corruption.

    There is common sense and then there is the other sense which isn’t so common. It would be great if the not so common sense would be the new common sense. That the wool would be removed from the eyes of many.

  • stevenstrumpf7

    Give me 20 minutes with you and tell me your most prominent negative thoughts, and with a little bit of effort on your part I'll get you drunk on life.

  • F E

    Lao Tzu's decision to drink the bottle reminds me of something I once told to myself after reflecting on my behavior in certain situations – If you focus only on winning (doing the right thing) you block yourself from the lessons you can only learn from losing (doing something despite it maybe being the wrong move).

  • XrazgarX

    I’ve never really gained any confidence drinking if anything I just don’t give a shit about anything. I did however gain extreamly powerful migraines from the hangovers.

  • Matthew Ford

    Yesterday i wanted to watch this video, but then i had stuff to do an forgot. Last night i came up with a frog on the ground, alive thank god, and i was so happy to see a frog.
    Then that moment reminded me of when i studies Taoism and the idea of getting drunk on life.
    Today i see this video and all is good, all comes in balance and returns in peaceful bliss.
    Thank you, this is the way 😉

  • Catsy Mousie

    Although I agree totally all the points when it’s spoken in relation to drinking, to escape, the tricky thing is there are so many forms of escape and many of those can well be seemingly acceptable. Judgement and rationality exist for a reason. We can use that to look clearly at what we avoid to see and the parts we need to change. I now worry our new ‘drinking’ is spiritualism because we all incline to comfort and avoid anxiety. However, like all ‘negative’ emotions, anxiety or anger when use in a right place, accompanied by discipline and actions direct us to true work and growth. While beating ourselves up is not helpful, not picking up our shit is the same self defeating.

  • Svetislav Milutinović

    For me it's not just to reduce those fears and stuff, I just enjoy the taste and high. It's not that I can't stand being sober, i can and I see as the default. But like you said, I see alcohol as part of lifes experiences, and a pleasurable one. So, why ahould I deny myself that?
    I am not an alcoholic btw, I do get moderately drunk occasionally, sometimes its months that I don't get drunk. And I hate being rather drunk, i stop when i get to a certain point, cause up until that point its pleasurable, after that its a bad experience

  • J3m51mct

    I know that I am pure spirit, that I always have been,
    and that I always will be. There is inside me a place of
    confidence and quietness and security where all things
    are known and understood. This is the Universal Mind,
    God, of which I am a part and which responds to me as I
    ask of it. This universal mind knows the answer to all of
    my problems, and even now the answers are speeding
    their way to me. I needn’t struggle for them; I needn’t
    worry or strive for them. When the time comes, the
    answers will be there. I give my problems to the great mind
    of God; I let go of them, confident that the correct answers
    will return to me when they are needed. Through the
    great law of attraction, everything in life that I need
    for my work and fulfillment will come to me. It is not
    necessary that I strain about this, only believe. For in
    the strength of my belief, my faith will make it so. I
    see the hand of divine intelligence all about me, in
    the flower, the tree, the brook, the meadow. I know that
    the intelligence that created all these things is in me and
    around me and that I can call upon it for my slightest
    need. I know that my body is a manifestation of pure
    spirit and that spirit is perfect; therefore my body is
    perfect also. I enjoy life, for each day brings a constant
    demonstration of the power and wonder of the universe and
    myself. I am confident. I am serene. I am sure. No matter
    what obstacle or undesirable circumstance crosses my
    path, I refuse to accept it, for it is nothing but illusion.
    There can be no obstacle or undesirable circumstance to
    the mind of God, which is in me, and around me, and
    serves me now.”

  • 이대성

    those who are stiff and rigid are the disciles of death, those who are soft and yielding are the diciples of life.

  • Gadgetron Guy

    That story is wack, that bloke who drunk the drink of life is a degenerate. Fair play to the other gamers who displayed will power.

  • saleemtar

    Darkinlover, BUT YOU MISSED THE POINT OF PHYDICAL PAIN, WHETHER IT COMES FROM A NAIL GETTING THROUGH OUR FOOT OR IT IS PAIN FROM SOME DISORDER.

    EMOTIONAL PAIN LIKE HEART BEAK ETC IS SIMILIAR TO PHYSICAL PAIN, SO ARE PSYCHOSOMATIC DISORDERS.

    I CAN GO ON AND ON, BUT I THINK, I HAVE MADE A POINT.

    WE HAVE SEEN HOW WHEN IN PAIN, LIKE INJURY ETC., PEOPLE DRINK TO NUMB CONSCIOUSNESS THUS NUMBING THE FEELING OF PAIN.
    THOUGH DRINKING AS PEOPLE DO TO GET HIGH AND FORGET SOME LOSS ETC ., IS MOST DISGUISTING HABIT.

    YET PEOPLE DRINK, SNORT COCAINE , SMOKE HASH OR INJECT HEROINE AND CALL OTHERS HAVE NO FAITH. THESE PEOPLE YOU FIND IN ABUNDANCE IN PAKISTAN.

  • StingerBλte

    TOLLE: You have to believe in thinking about non thinking, so you can become one with the moment!
    YODA: Hiding the sweets, are you not?

  • Andreea Dobre

    I have alcohol intolerance, can't drink because it fucks up my stomach. Here's what I learned:
    – I really, really tried in my late teens/early 20s because I was embarassed/made fun of for being the only dork in a group who doesn't drink. Just thought that I'll get used to it if I keep doing it. Nope. Lots of vomit and diarrhea later, one day I just said fuck it, if you got a problem with me not drinking, it's your problem, not mine. Yes I am that dork, loud and proud, and over time this attitude made me own my individuality in other situations as well. Don't bow down to the crowd kids, it's a trap.
    – If I'm genuinely enjoying being in a certain group, I'm going to have a great time anyway (and I've been told you couldn't tell I didn't drink if you saw me in this situation). If I'm not enjoying the group I'm in, why would I want to lie to myself that I am?
    – There's no way to run from anxiety, heartbreak and all the other nasties that people drink to forget. All I can do is find solutions and/or manage my own feelings.
    – People take alcohol way too seriously. If I had a penny for every are you chronically ill/taking medication/pregnant/super religious/a former alcoholic/come from a family of alcoholics, I'd be rich. Just chill people, it's really no big deal to me, my life is not sad at all without alcohol in it.

  • Iris Love

    Open ourselves to life and no resistance. Fear is anxious for freedom. The more you could live up with, the less limit you counter.

  • Akhil Vashist

    Beautiful in Every Way ! You should write what you say in the video as an article and post it on a website too.

  • Lizzie Goldsack

    I think it’s good to be a fool and get that spirit out of the body to remind myself we’re all abit silly and the human body is such a gift so when you come back next day sometimes the hangover everything feels abit weird and new I think alcohol is an amazing part of life but very much so in moderation. I suppose it’s how you like to see it though, gosh very much loved this video and love that line – anxiety is the dizziness of freedom. Also don’t attach ourselves too much to much to our judgements yes. Kaboom love. Thanks for the great video🔥😍 I feel very spiritual after booze

  • A N

    I'm honestly obsessed with this channel.. I could sit and listen to this guys wisdom for hours!
    Thank you for the videos ❤ love and blessings from Australia

  • Ambuj Kumar

    This confused me. This is not the way. The path of the senses leads to hell. Buddha was right, happiness lies inside us not outside. You are talking about rajas or the mode of passion. Read gita to know more. Transient sensual pleasures do not give true happiness. They are suffering in disguise. Buddha realizes this

  • Sara Blažanović

    I'm so thankful for your videos! Keep doing great work sir!🙏😊
    Cheers to the life! Lets embrace it🥂

  • Eric Houston

    Alcohol is not a healing medicine. It is not a sustainable habit and does not facilitate meditation and sacred connection. Plant medicines are a different story. 🕉🔯☯️😇

    I get drunk on life with the aid of Cannabis, and although they might not talk about it or endorse it, many Buddhists, Hindus, and Taoists use it to create sacred space and time.

  • SpeedOfThought1111

    One of the most distinct parts of the Buddha story though is that he had already lived an amazing life of every excess and realized it doesn't bring happiness, therefore he is not judging too quickly because he's already experienced it all.

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