Wipe out the delusions of the will, undo the snares of the heart, rid yourself of the entanglements to virtue; open up the roadblocks in the Way. Eminence and wealth, recognition and authority, fame and profit - these six are the delusions of the will. Appearances and carriage, complexion and features, temperament and attitude - these six are the snares of the heart. Loathing and desire, joy and anger, grief and happiness - these six are the entanglements of virtue. Rejecting and accepting, taking and giving, knowledge and ability - these six are the roadblocks of the Way. When these four sixes no longer seethe within the breast, then you will achieve uprightness; being upright, you will be still; being still, you will be enlightened; being enlightened, you will be empty; and being empty, you will do nothing, and yet there will be nothing that is not done.What the author describes as roadblocks and entanglements are just part of being human. We could no more rid ourselves of these attributes and behaviors than we could rid ourselves of breathing!
~ Burton Watson translation ~
For me, such aims are not about perfection. It is more a reminder that, when we allow our ego and emotions to take over our lives, we become greatly out of balance and balance is the key to a life well lived.
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