The Tao Te Ching is essentially folk wisdom passed down from time immemorial. Said to have been first written down about 2,500 years ago, it eventually coalesced in the form of 81 poems that speak to the common source of man's perpetual dilemma.
How can I be a more compassionately aware and loving person in a world that seems increasingly so barbaric, shallow and insensitive?
The early Taoists were essentially hermits, living in caves, existing hand-to-mouth like most of our early ancestors. These were really quite ordinary people. Living in close contact with nature gave them insights that many of us today are woefully lacking. They were simple people who could still perceive the subtle and spiritual essence of everyday life. Critical of powerful governments and institutions, they saw what was happening in the world and thought deeply about why mankind might have such a shocking capacity for ignorance and cruelty. If this seems relevant today, keep reading.
Why floating? I began floating because Joe Rogan frequently raved about it on his podcast. Joe's advice to novice floaters; "let go and then let go of letting go" certainly has Taoist underpinnings, whether Rogan is aware of it or not. Floating is inherently Taoist because floating, like Taoism, (inspired by the ancient texts such as the Tao Te Ching) is a sort of raw, existential empiricism.
What happens if I remain still, alone, meditating in silent darkness, for extended periods of time?
Having spent several hundred hours in various float tanks, alone, meditating in silent darkness, I can tell you firsthand that nothing happens. But oh, what a delicious nothing it turns out to be.