Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 41, Part II

from Verse Forty-One
They use the inner to make the external enjoyable and do not use externals to make the inner enjoyable; therefore they have spontaneous enjoyment in themselves and so have their own will, which is esteemed by the world...It is not up to another, but up to oneself; it is not up to anyone but the individual.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
How often do we say, "HE made me so mad" or "SHE brought a smile to my face"? We like to think that our moods and emotions are determined and controlled by outside stimuli. Deep down, most of us know this is not true. We determine how we will react to any given situation. We alone decide if we choose to become annoyed, angry, outraged, tickled or giddy.

While some people like to point to supernatural entities to explain why they think and act in particular ways, the Taoist sages point inward. If your life is marked by disharmony and strife, look in the mirror. If you always seem to get into one scrape after another, look in the mirror. And if you seem to have a "devil may care" attitude and find humor in unlikely places, look in the mirror.

Who we are and how we comport ourselves is our responsibility solely.

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


  1. That is a really great passage, and analysis. I don't want to taint it with a Michael Jackson lyric, but I will...

    "I'm looking at the man in the mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways".

  2. Here's my question: When you look in the mirror, do you see Tao or Ta-Wan?

  3. I don't know what caused me to swap to this name. This is what my wife calls me.

    If I look in the mirror Eye see eyE


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