Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wen Tzu - Verse 155, Part VII

from Verse One Hundred Fifty-Five
Those who are born into nobility become arrogant, those who are born into riches become extravagant. Therefore wealth and status are not conducive to understanding the Way. Few indeed are those who watch themselves and are able to avoid doing anything wrong.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
From time to time, a few readers have charged that I too easily inject my leftist political views into my commentary of the Wen Tzu. Well, when we read passages like the one above, it appears that Lao Tzu and I are on the same page!! Me thinks there is no other way to read it.

For my part, the reason WHY a person born into privilege is hamstrung in finding the Way is because their frame of reference is too narrow. When all your needs and desires are catered to in your youth, you naturally come to expect such treatment throughout the entirety of your life! You may be a big proponent of laws and protocols, but you believe that such do not apply to you and, in too many cases, it seems to work that way.

In essence, your life is marked by excess. When everything you crave is heaped on you excessively, it becomes next too impossible to understand the lives of others whose lives are marked by want. You really don't have the foggiest idea of what it's like to live on the margins of society. And you don't have a clue of when enough is enough.

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

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