May 27th, 2010

Chapter 13

Honor and dishonor both move us
Because we are troubled by having a self.
Why do we say that honor and dishonor move us?
Because honor lifts us upward
And dishonor lowers us downward.
Thus, when we are honored we are moved;
When we are dishonored we are also moved.
That is why honor and dishonor are both said to move us.
Why do we say that the great trouble is having a self?
Because we have great trouble simply because we have a self.
If we are selfless, then where is the trouble?
If we identify our self with the world,
Then within our self there is the world.
If we love the world as we love our self
Then within our self there is only the world.

         --- Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.


Accept disgrace willingly.
Accept misfortune as the human condition.
What do you mean by "Accept disgrace willingly"?
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
This is called "accepting disgrace willingly."
What do you mean by "Accept misfortune as the human condition"?
Misfortune comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?

Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things.
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.
Winning can be just as bad as losing.
Confidence can mess you up
just as much as fear.

What does
"winning can be just as bad as losing" mean?

If you're down,
you might be able to get up.
But if you're up,
you can get knocked down real fast.
Don't worry about the score,
just do what you have to do.

What does
"confidence can mess you up
just as much as fear" mean?

Fear can keep you
from getting the job done,
but confidence
can get you in over your head.
Walk tall, but don't get cocky.

Know your limits,
and nothing can ever hold you back.
Deal with what you can.
The rest will follow.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.