Monday, December 28, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 97

from Verse Ninety-Seven
Those who plant wheat do not harvest millet; those who sow resentment are not repaid with gratitude.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
Here we have yet another passage -- one that echoes Verse 95, Part IV -- that underscores the point that what we put into life is generally what we get out of it.

I think we all know what it's like to be in a great mood, only to watch it deflate in the presence of another person's negativity. We might be whistling as we walk through the living room and then a housemate storms in with a foul mood. "Hey, what's wrong?" we might ask and the reply hits us in the face like a hailstorm. The other person may shriek at us or let loose with a string of profanities. It then becomes very hard to feel at ease; it's like someone let all the air out of the room!

If we want to be surrounded by love, WE must first be loving. If we desire peace, we must first be peaceful. If we strive for contentment, we must first be contented. We must serve as the catalyst for the world we want to live in.

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


  1. If WE want to be taken seriously WE must learn to spell...

    To sew: to use a needle and thread.
    To sow: to plant the seeds of our own destruction.

    Sorry RT: it just sort-of leaped out at me.

  2. Crow beat me to it, but I kinda like the idea of sewing resentment...tiny angry stitches that you can't rip out later.

    Sew what?

  3. Interesting.

    The last few years, I have found myself frequently the target of resentment, jealousy, and bitterness. I always try to live quietly, and with conscientious respect for everyone, even jerks, whenever possible. I have had what appeared to be close friends turn against me, once I no longer offered usefulness to them. They responded in kind with badmouthing and character attacks, though I did not do the same back to them.

    I have often wondered if I have been sowing seeds of resentment, jealousy, or bitterness lately. After years of cultivating Tao, I simply don't feel jealous of anything anymore at all. It's just gone. But I will admit sometimes I am resentful or bitter, but I've felt it's only after I've been attacked.

    Reading this clicks with a realization I had recently. I am partly sowing a return of bitterness and jealousy from people of poisionous being. By choosing to ignore my intuition and to surround myself with people who are also sowing negativity, I have invited it upon myself.

    A quiet return to the self is often the best prescription.

  4. Crow & Baroness,
    Oooh! I'm embarrassed that I didn't catch that boo boo. I've rectified the situation now.

    You know, I probably should have added another sentence or two to the post. For example, "If we want to be surrounded by love, WE must first be loving" doesn't mean we always will be surrounded by love. Sometimes WE can be loving and it is not reciprocated. That said, it is the first step in the process.

    You make an excellent point, nonetheless. It's not uncommon for each of us to surround ourselves with people with a negative vibe even though we know intuitively that it brings us down. For me, this is an aspect of loving -- loving those who sometimes don't know how to handle it and certainly don't know how to reciprocate it!


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