Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 94, Part VIII

from Verse Ninety-Four
In winter, ice can be chopped up; in summer, wood can be tied in knots. The right time is hard to find and easy to lose. When the trees are in full flourishing, you can pick from them all day and they still produce more; but let the autumn wind deposit frost, and they will wither in one night.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
This passage offers imagery in line with the idea that there is a right time and place for action. Strike the chord at the right moment and you produce music. Strike it at the wrong time and all you end up with is noise.

Of course, the challenge for each of us is in trying to figure out when the time and place is right. This deducement is made far more difficult by the fact that it is overlaid with our own unique desires and expectations. The ego distorts what we see, hear, think and feel. Consequently, if the ego is the filter we use to determine the right place and time, more often than not, both will turn out wrong.

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


  1. You write often about ego, RT.
    Do you know what it is?
    Do you consider it inseperable from the process of knowing?
    Do you consider it possible to subborn the ego?
    This may bear a bit of investigation.

  2. More yin/yang, five element stuff.

    One of the challenges in Taoism is to "overcome" the ego. There are practical methods and practices and theories (the cosmology) to work on this. I think you think they are religious.

  3. Crow,
    My understanding is that our ego is the conscious part of our mind that identifies the self -- self-consciousness.

    I'm leery of formulas and recipes -- the edifice that most religions are built upon.


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