Monday, November 19, 2012

Huainanzi - Entry 86

Trey Smith
If you indulge in desires so much as to lose sight of your essential nature, nothing you do is ever right: to train yourself in this way leads to danger; to govern a nation in this way leads to chaos; to take up arms in this way leads to defeat.
~ a passage from
The Book of Leadership and Strategy by Thomas Cleary ~
Let's be honest about one thing. We each have desires and they aren't going to go away.

Our desires are what motivates us to action. It spurs progress in humanity society and no poem would ever be written without a desire as the spark. So, while the Taoist sages focus a lot of attention on desire, I'm certain they realized that desire is an essential part of the human make-up.

This is why I often term such urgings as centered on unmitigated desire. When our desires crowd out all other criteria, that's when we find ourselves in trouble. It's like trying to make a cake and pouring so much sugar into the mixing bowl that there is not any room left for the flour!

Desire is okay...as long as it is proportional to everything else.
To read the introduction to this ongoing series, go here.

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