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13 December 2008 @ 09:00 am
Tao of the Day - Desire  
Without desire, there is tranquility.
- Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching #37, trans. Feng & English)

The way to success is this: having achieved your goal, be satisfied not to go further.
- Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching #9, trans. Bahm)

He whose desires are few fulfills them; he whose desires are many goes astray.
- Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching #22, trans. Legge)

As long as we don't want to be honest and kind with ourselves, then we are always going to be infants. When we begin to just to try to accept ourselves, the ancient burden of self-importance lightens up considerably.
- Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The 3 poisons are
passion (this includes craving or addiction),
and ignorance (which includes denial or the tendency to shut down and close out).
- Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe.
A thousand mile journey begins with a single step.
- Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching #64, Mitchell)

Self-honesty, check.

Self-kindness, I'm not so sure I have that one nailed.

At the moment, the way I view my own desires, goals, cravings through my core "carpe diem" objectivist-informed philosophy ... I'm not sure if I can reduce them, confront them, dismiss them, without also being a total martyr. Being a martyr has never done me one iota of good.

Attainable desires, no problem. I handle these well. I attain them, and am happy there.

Unattainable desires are indeed a terrible weight on my shoulders. I see the absolute logic in eradicating them. I usually handle them by not developing them in the first place. Brilliant plan, except when I don't notice that one creeps in and sits down to attend to me. How I eradicate these, my friends, I know not.

How do you do it?

I suppose I could try translating the unattainable into the attainable and find my peace therein? Hmm. If I turn everything into an analogy about leveling in a game, it seems to help (why aim for level 40 when I can first aim for level 30, attain it, and then re-evaluate if it's within my means to level to 40? It may turn out at that point, there is no longer a level 40).

I think the key to this for me is: a thousand mile journey is best taken one step at a time, where only the next step matters and the full journey is irrelevant. Now, and what next, and nothing more. Who cares if you wander a bit, that's where all the adventure is anyway. Let it be a 2,000 mile journey at the end, and at some point, it doesn't matter if you get to the end, because in the end, it was the journey that mattered all along.

Sorry, thinking out loud. No conclusions formed yet. Dialogue most welcome. :)
Angerieangerie on December 13th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
No answers, I struggle.

These quotations you post, they actually sit with me. Totally uncomfortably, so I write them down on my notebook to think about later. It's really in my dealing with other people that it makes sense to me. Personally, goals without people?, yeah, journey journey journey. Goals including people?, let it be let it be let it be.
Kburgunder on December 13th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
Re: yo.
Personally, goals without people?, yeah, journey journey journey. Goals including people?, let it be let it be let it be.

As soon as I read this, three things happened simultaneously.
1. the association to the song "let it be" for this particular place phrase was subsumed by the combination of ascii and rachelle-voice saying let it be let it be let it be.
2. there is truth, or maybe hope, in what you say. something i need regardless of its ultimate definition.
3. another aphorism from somewhere in the Tao struck me, esp. as relates to goals including people.

"Use what is dim for the light it gives."

And suddenly I find, at least for this moment, peace.

If I can just look at things from enough perspectives...

It's amazing one what I can do with my mind.

It is amazing what I can rationalize.

Great gift, great curse, yep.

If my goal with a person is "light me up" (oh, it almost always is), if a match from them is a wild-fire for me, that it's only a match is, it's kind of, suddenly not relevant.

I can have my wild-fire for the price of a match.

Their fire? Their choice.

Even if I happen to love watching people alight with their inner fire, and I'm a fan of fanning the flames.

I'm not always oxygen. I'm not always the match.

I think I'm down with that.

(gah, I feel like I should go back and translate this all back into reality, but I'm just really grooving on the analogy)

Edited at 2008-12-13 06:53 pm (UTC)
Kburgunder on December 13th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
Re: yo.
p.s. You've just been quoted in my book of Taoish wisdom.
Stray Catocicat on December 13th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
I used to state my goal in life as:

"Seek understanding of all things.
That this is impossible to achieve is irrelevant."
Kburgunder on December 13th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
I was so pissed when, in my mid-20s, I was reading a book on the math of cryptology, and found out for the first time that

some problems have no solution

In fact, I'm still kind of mad! GRiN

I recently was discussing my conceptualization of the space-time continuum on a public bus with an ex-co-worker, and as I deboarded, frustrated that I was unable to verbalize what was in my head adequately, a random stranger who had apparently overhead turned to me and said, "It's OK that he didn't understand you. The important thing is that you are trying to understand."

Public Transit Shamans, for the win.
(Deleted comment)
Kburgunder on December 13th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
I KILL BABY GOOSES! OMG!!!!!111!!1!!

Deirdreevillinn on December 13th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you answered with levity, because my first thought was, "foie gras"?