Sunday, April 02, 2017

Quiet Independence of Self-Control

"When a person tries to extend
his control over things,
those things will gain control over him.
And the person who is control by things
losses possession of his inner self."

- Chuang Tzu

"The true man of old
Was towering in stature but never collapses,
Seem insufficient but accepted nothing.
Aloofly independent but not obstinate,
Amply empty but not ostentatious,
Demurring, as though he were compelled,
Suffused with an alluring charm,
Endowed with an arresting integrity,
Stern, as though he were worldly,
Arrogant, as though he were uncontrollable,
Reticent, as though he preferred to clam up,
Absent-minded, as thought he forgot what to say."

-  Chuang Tzu, Chapter 6.4
Translated by Victor H. Mair
Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu, 1994, p.52

It could also be "the true woman of old."  Sometimes the Sage is a woman. Sometimes the Sage is a man.  Some refer using the visually awkward "him/her" phrasing.  

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