Monday, November 23, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 37, Part I

from Verse Thirty-Seven
When externals do not disturb you within, then your nature finds what suits it; when quietude does not affect harmony, then virtue rests in its place.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
I'm sure it's been true since almost the beginning of time, but we humans seem to love to tell everybody else how to live! Surf the internet for just a few scant minutes or peruse the best sellers list and you can find a plethora of blogs, books and various other types of resources which will tell you the best way to lose fifty pounds, secure the next big job, put up with annoying people, simplify your life or become the king or queen of sexual prowess!

To be certain, a person can learn a thing or two from material of this ilk. However, the methods or strategies that work for one person -- the author -- may or may not work for anyone else.

I would have less of a problem with these sorts of materials IF most weren't so over-the-top with their mindless guarantees. It's this incessant belief that one size fits all and, if it worked for me, it's gotta work for you!

We each have different ways of doing things. Some people are hands-on, while others need step-by-step instructions. Some people excel when the process is explained verbally, while others need to see it in writing. No method is superior to any other; whatever works to get you from point A to point B is the way you should go.

Unfortunately, too many of us, consciously or subconsciously, buy into the one size fits all mantra. So we go running down the most popular path and then beat ourselves up if our results fall outside the norm. All the while, the chosen strategy may run against our nature and keep us on a course in which we're perpetually unbalanced.

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

1 comment:

  1. The way virtue comes over in that passage makes me want to redefine Te as the subtle balance point of Tao.

    The point where a good surfer sits and not as is often said 'virtue' as in being 'well behaved' (that untaoistic Confucian notion)

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