Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 40, Part I

from Verse Forty
It is in the nature of human feelings that everyone likes to be in high positions and dislikes to be in low positions; everyone likes gain and dislikes loss; everyone likes advantage and dislikes affliction; everyone likes honor and dislikes lowliness. Ordinary people strive for this reason and therefore cannot succeed; because they grasp something they cannot master it.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
Have you ever tried to grasp water? You stick your hand into a stream or pail and when you pull your hand out, if you squeeze your fingers around the liquid, it vanishes before your eyes. You can see some of it seep through your clenched fist, but most of it simply seems to disappear!

That is how most of the elements in our lives go. The tighter we try to hold onto them, the more they seem to evade us.

The only way to grasp water is to cup our hands, to make them like a bowl. It is by being submissive and receptive -- rather than aggressive and forceful -- that we can then drink the water to quench our thirst.

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

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