Monday, March 8, 2010

Wen Tzu - Verse 160, Part I

from Verse One Hundred Sixty
How could the world have permanently fixed laws? Deal with the age appropriately, find out reasonable patterns of humanity, accord with heaven and earth, and understand ghosts and spirits; then it is possible to govern correctly.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
As I noted in Verse 159, Part II, civilization changes with the times. Mores, customs, traditions, laws and our understanding of the world around us changes from generation to generation. Consequently, when it comes to humanity, there are no fixed principles.

How a person comports him or herself in 1010 BC is not going to be the same as someone who lives in 2010 CE. People living in society in 3010 -- if humanity lasts that long -- will most assuredly look back to the current generation and laugh or cry at some of our "outlandish" ideas!

So how do we lead superior lives today? According to Lao Tzu, we need to have an eye on the past -- ghosts and spirits -- to help us learn from our predecessors without setting these valuable lessons in stone. We need to look to nature -- heaven and earth -- to catch a glimpse of how the Way operates around and through us. And we need to be ever mindful of the present -- deal with the age appropriately -- so we can move with the flow of the current situation.

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

1 comment:

  1. This is something we see daily. They increase the number of static laws to chase the organic flow of life.

    My pleasure from this is how their rigidity will be their downfall.


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