Sunday, May 30, 2010

Daodejing, Verse 13

Daodejing - Other Voices
As Buddhism also stresses, it is our attachment to the ten thousand things that bring us both great joy and great sorrow. When we expect that an event will occur (a job promotion, a second date, publication, etc.), we gain a greater sense of satisfaction by having predicted our success, and a much more depressing disappointment for having invested so much of ourselves in a failed event.

In Western societies, we rarely question the inevitable link of success and failure. It is a common reminder to the disappointed that they must "take the bad with the good," or accept that joy is impossible without risking pain.

But what if we didn't expect anything to happen? What if we continued in our wu wei way and were surprised by every turn of events? We would be more likely to accept each turn of events without being sidetracked by extreme emotions. The Taoist trades the highs and lows of a life of attachment for the mellower fluctuations of a detached attitude.

"Honors elevate,
Disgraces depress.
One receives them surprised,
Loses them surprised.
Thus, 'Accept honors and disgraces as surprises.'"
~ from Tao Manor, Original Post date: not listed ~
This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

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