Friday, November 20, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 34

from Verse Thirty-Four
[Sages] considered the world extra and did not try to possess it; they left everyone and everything to themselves and did not seek profit. How could they lose their essential life because of poverty or riches, high or low social status?
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
The two sentences above introduce a revolutionary concept of existence. If there is something eternal and/or spiritual housed within this framework we call a body, then the world we live in is of no great value because it is transient, in nature. It will change, bend, switch and die away, while our essence will continue on.

It would be like setting off on a long hike that would span several weeks. Who would take with them refrigerated food and that which tends to spoil quickly? If that is what you filled your knapsack with, all it would do is weigh you down and it wouldn't provide you with much nourishment beyond the first day or two.

In this same vein, our journey is a long or never-ending one. Whatever we pick up in this life on earth spoils quickly and won't be with us far along the trail. So, why weigh ourselves down in the beginning with baubles, trinkets and desires that will be discarded as we progress?

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

3 comments:

  1. Wow! This passage really hits hard. I need to really take it to heart. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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  2. Indeed! I like your hiking analogy.
    I think there is a mystic in you after all.

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  3. Oh, I'm quite sure there's a lot of mystic in me!! :)

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