Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.
(Tao Te Ching, chapter 33, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
I Will Endure
Today, we are going to take a step back from what we have been talking about the last few days. It is far too easy for me to get on my bandwagon about politics, and proceed to rush on ahead. Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love to go on and on about people in power. I love to call out our leaders and would-be leaders on their horrible schemes. But, quite frankly, it is all too easy to know others, though it does require intelligence. What requires wisdom is knowing yourself. And, while I delight in showing my mastery over others, because it demonstrates strength, I know that to master myself is wherein lies true power.
That has been my occupation for the last, I’d say, four or so years. Knowing and mastering myself. I can’t yet say I have arrived, though. There is still more of me to know, more of me to master.
I will say I did, and still do, realize I have enough. Oh, how huge this was, and is! It has made me truly rich. And, it doesn’t have a thing to do with my bank account. It isn’t based on anything outside of myself. I have enough! I have everything I need. I remind myself of this every single day. I have to. And, I have decided to stay in the center of the circle, come what may. I will admit I am not so keen on the idea of embracing death with my whole heart. But, I will say, the longer I stay in the center of the circle, the less death concerns me. Will I endure forever? I don’t know about that. Forever is an awfully long time. But, what if we didn’t think of forever in terms of time? What if I just contented myself with embracing being in the present moment? Now, I can say that whatever “forever” may mean, I will endure.