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The Tao is up. The Tao is down. The Tao is side-to-side. The Tao that can be named is not true Tao, but this Tao is called the Tao Jones Industrial Average, or TJIA for short. A wise man knows not the Tao, but lives by the Tao, rising up at 8am in the morning to get to the opening bell by 9.30. Action, through inaction, is the way of the Tao Jones Industrial Average. The Tao cannot be measured but every day, a number will be computed indicating the rise and fall of the Tao. The number, called “The Tao Jones Index”, is calculated by sages observing the astrological movement of planets in relation to the houses of the Taoist elements - Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. Definitely not randomly made up old, bearded Chinese men.
edit Tao originates from the cosmos
But true Tao originates from within. The earliest scripture for the Tao Jones Industrial Average is Tao Te Ching. It tells of the philosopher Lao Zi, whose real name is Jimmy Li, a graduate of economics from UCLA, who set up a financial consulting firm near Wall Street. From far and wide, the brokers heard of the wisdom of Lao Zi and consulted him. Lao Zi said:
|“||“The mysteries of the TJIA reflect the mysteries of the universe. Before a still and meditative mind, the mysteries of the stock exchange will unravel.”||”|
When asked what is the Tao Jones Industrial Average, Lao Zi replied,
|“||“The TJIA is.”||”|
Lao Zi is widely regarded as the founder of the religion of the Tao Jones Industrial Average. Some records indicate that he lived during the Great Depression of 2009, but others point out archaeological evidence that he was around as early as 1990. Stock exchanges all over the world still operate according to Lao Zi’s philosophy and wisdom. The Tao Jones Index rise and fall in harmony with the flow of energy, or “chi”, in the universe. It is nothing; it is everything. The nothing engulfes everything and pretty soon, everything turns into nothing, but everything was nothing in the first place. And thus, a wise man in the stock market knows not what he is doing; even when he knows, he still knows not.
edit The Old Master’s Disciples
The pebble is not thrown far away from the mountain. Or something like that. Lao Zi had many students but a few stood out amongst them. Like cranes among ducks.
edit Zhuang Zi
Lao Zi’s most famous disciple is Zhuang Zi. Growing up from a humble village in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Zhuang Zhou, the son of Chinese immigrants, grew up to become one of the most famous financial pundits on cable TV. His show usually begins with a dream sequence, involving whatever Zhuang Zi dreamt he was that morning. And then he would say:
|“||“I dreamt that I was a butterfly, but when I woke up, I was solidly and unmistakably Zhuang Zi. But I don’t know if it was I, Zhuang Zi, who dreamt that I was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuang Zi.”||”|
Zhuang Zi’s show involves chanting and meditative music to calm the mind and body. Fruits and flowers are then offered to appease the gods of the stock market, followed by Zhuang Zi’s speculation of the day. Zhuang Zi speaks slowly and mysteriously. He said,
|“||“Buy Lehmann Brothers.”||”|
But after that he said,
|“||“Am I’m really sitting here, asking you to buy Lehmann Brothers? How do you know that I am not an illusion? Maybe I’m not really sitting here, asking you to buy Lehmann Brothers.”||”|
And thus, Zhuang Zi was able to conveniently explain himself when Lehmann Brothers crashed. Zhuang Zi is also the author of a bestselling book, self-titled “Zhuang Zi”, in which Zhuang Zi spent about 100 pages musing whether he actually wrote the book or not.
The “Jones” of the Tao Jones Industrial Average, Jones is a mysterious figure. Some say he is “The Dude” himself, worshipped by millions, founder of the American version of Taoism whose philosophy is “Take it easy, dude”, traditionally spoken with a peace sign and a waving of the bong. Others say he is a statistician named Edward Jones.
edit The Way of the Tao
There is no “way of the Tao”, because that means “way of the way”, and that’s just stupid. Lao Zi said:
|“||“The way that can be described, is not the true way. The Industrial Average that can be quantified, is not the true Industrial Average.”||”|
And thus, the Tao Jones Industrial Average was developed to quantify that which could not be quantified. Said Lao Zi, “If the stock is rising, is it really rising? If the stock is falling, is it really falling?” And so the TJIA is an ever-changing number, jumping wildly from one seemingly random number to the next, as mysterious as God or the universe. Millions worship the TJIA, and watch its fluctuations as closely as if their life depended on it. Lao Zi said,
|“||“I stand on the left side of Wall Street, and become one with the stock exchange.”||”|
It is only through understanding the self that one can understand the Tao Jones Industrial Average. And where there is Tao, there are other things too. Like milkshakes. Existence comes from non-existence, and so the sage speaks by not speaking and acts by not acting. The Tao exists in a balance. When the stock market crashes, that is because the indices today are much lower than the night before. To the mind that is still, the index that is down is like the index that is up. Billions of dollars go down the Void, never to be seen again. That is the way of the Tao.