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17 August 2008 @ 08:58 am
Tao of the Day  
Without compassion, strength becomes cruelty;
Without simplicity, insight becomes confusion;
Without humility, influence becomes tyranny.
- Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching #67, trans. Ray Grigg)
animaeruption on August 17th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
A good one.
Responses to each line:

1st~ There are other mechanisms that quell the unnecessary cruelty besides compassion. Respect is the one I follow.
2nd~ Truth... except that simplicity is relative and complexity can be crept up to over the years. Granted... delusion is always waiting for an opportunity to take root.
3rd~ I completely agree. In this instance I would view humility as more of proper perspective than a submissive or inferior view of oneself. Its a subtle twist.

I hope you don't mind rambling in response to your quotes. It is one of the reasons you post them... yes? Conversation starters? I hope so.
Kburgunder on August 17th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
Being an addict of engaging conversations, everything I do and say is a potential conversation starter to me.

I post the Tao stuff because I found it helps clear my head and steady me each morning, and it often addresses a specific issue I'm contemplating. The last line is the one relevant to something I've been contemplating lately.

I am strong. I am insightful. Recently, someone I know granted me more influence over them than I can trust myself with. It made me tyrannical, because not only was he receptive, but he praised me for the influence universally (my ego loved that!), and it made me, over time, arrogant enough that I presumed to inform some of my other friends what I thought they should be doing too. Thankfully: my heartful and worthy friends call me on my bullshit when my own insight fails me, which totally did in the little love affair I was having with someone telling me I was Right all the time (heh). I've been staring at the ugly of that, and learning from the mistake, and trying to kindle further growth of my (really, truly) under-developed humility.

Proper perspective - yes! Another one relevant to what's on my mind is:

"Be straightforward, but allow yourself no license."

Oh-ho. I'm so called out. It's one thing to be my brutally honest self when someone asks me for my insights, and quite another to foist it on someone who hasn't asked. In that moment, no matter how insightful my brilliant insights surely are, I have no insight at all, in a way, because I didn't stop and try to understand their perspective.

Without respect, strength becomes cruelty.


It's not just about respecting others, either, but also acknowledging and respecting our own strength. The gentle giants embody this - they're forced to acknowledge their strength in our culture, and so tend to wield their inherent physical strength with respect for its entire capability. As a classic candidate for a little dog / Napoleon complex weighing in at 5' and 120 pounds, I'm constantly drawn to the gentle giants as teachers. My cousin Scott, bouncers, Harley guys, Ogre, Jake, all the 6'2"+ dudes I twitter over...
Kburgunder on August 17th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Being an addict of engaging conversations, everything I do and say is a potential conversation starter to me.

By which I mean:

YEA! Someone's engaging! More rambling, please :> I might not always get what you're saying right away, because it takes me awhile to develop the kind of intuition I need to follow someone into their mind, but I'm always game to learn, and to ask, and to answer, and above all, to think anew.
animaeruption on August 17th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
People will generally consider what to what you say... if you translate it into their language. If they are taken aback by your insights... I'd bet you didn't come at them from the correct angle with the correct energy wearing the correct filter. It IS ugly, stupid, and dangerous to never be wrong in your own head. I know this well. Fortunately there are a LOT of devil's advocates that shout over the debate table in my mind. Whew.

"Be straightforward, but allow yourself no license" Taking all liberties with words doesn't help any goals one might have. That's the reason behind it all that I carry. I give myself license to do anything but don't because many things do not assist in what I am trying to achieve. I believe it to be important to hold the fact of "I am capable of anything" close to heart. It keeps one in proper perspective and leaves doors open to more options.

Physical gentle giants are a good embodiment of the idea but I'm sure you know how fragile we are. Physical strength doesn't mean much. Mental and emotional strength is where the real damage is possible. Especially living in a social structure where physical violence is heavily frowned upon.

You said rambling was welcome. =)
Cantakerous troubadoursonder on August 17th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
Without pants, you will be arrested
animaeruption on August 17th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
You, sir, are a wise sage.

*nods somberly*
Kburgunder on August 17th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
Unless your Keenan. Washington State Statute §4.5.325.7. I have no idea how he got that on the books.
(Deleted comment)
Kburgunder on August 17th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Speaking of gentle giants ... :)

True, that. I also love its third cousin, once removed:
"Use what is dim for the light it gives."