Sunday, November 10, 2013

Becoming Masters of Simplicity





Humanity grows more and more intelligent, yet there 
   is clearly more trouble and less happiness daily. 
How can this be so?
It is because intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom. 

When a society misuses partial intelligence and 

   ignores holistic wisdom, its people forget the 
   benefits of a plain and natural life.
Seduced by their desires, emotions, and egos, they 
   become slaves to bodily demands, to luxuries, to 
   power and unbalanced religion and psychological 
   excuses.
Then the reign of calamity and confusion begins. 

Nonetheless, superior people can awaken during times 

   of turmoil to lead others out of the mire. 
But how can the one liberate the many? 
By first liberating his own being. 
He does this not by elevating himself, but by lowering 
   himself.
He lowers himself to that which is simple, modest, 
   true; integrating it into himself, he becomes a 
   master of simplicity, modesty, truth.

Completely emancipated from his former false life, he 

   discovers his original pure nature, which is the pure 
   nature of the universe.
Freely and spontaneously releasing his divine energy, 
   he constantly transcends complicated situations and 
   draws everything around him back into an integral 
   oneness. 
Because he is a living divinity, when he acts, the universe acts.  

~ LaoTzu





32 comments:

  1. There is a fine line here. I agree with the idea of "simplicity" in our lives... but I wonder if, like the Dali Lama and the Pope, that Lao Tzu wouldn't have embraced the technology of communication. Without a complicated process of discovery and drive in humans, we wouldn't have this ability to teach, tell others, share and find information.He lived in a fairly simple period of history as far as technology. Simplicity has many definitions.
    I do agree with his, "... intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom." So true, so true.
    Good post.

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    1. I guess I hadn't thought of it in terms of technology. There are so many ways we can simplify our lives even with the benefit of technology all around us.

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  2. I think many of us are trying to simplify. But when we let go of some task or goal we begin to feel guilty, we have trouble giving ourselves permission. Another piece, for me, is that I need to divest myself of a whole lot of material things, but that is a big project. I have to finish a couple of serious commitments that I will NOT drop before I can make a lot of progress in that regard. So I try to simplify by ignoring what I cannot address. As I write that I realize that this, taken too far, gets people into big trouble.

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    1. We tend to let things accumulate around us in so many areas of life. Our stuff comes to represent our lives and our thoughts become crowded along with our lives. I've found the more I simplify the happier I am and the more liberated I feel. We do it only when we're ready. Moving to Santa Fe and then back again eight years later gave me the opportunity.

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  3. The sermon this morning at my church was on conviction - that we are most true to ourselves and most fully human when we live by our values. I like that.

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    1. It's a grand idea as long as we don't let others decide what they should be ... I have a feeling you would never let that happen.

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  4. Reading this was so calming .
    Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom.

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    1. I'm so glad, Willow. It was the same sense I had on reading it.

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  5. Awesome. Just what I need to read, and at the perfect moment. (Could there be any other kind?) ;) Living divinity...taking action. How cool. Thank you.

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    1. Will. I'm so glad to hear from you. I hope life is feeling very good for you.

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  6. We've wandered off the beaten path made for us by millions of years of evolution. And by doing so lost our collective wisdom. Computers, for example, are intelligent yet have no collective memory that integrates emotion. One has to wonder how "intelligent" we have become.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this, Teresa.

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  8. what a lovely photo at the top, I almost included the pot photo in my latest post.

    words so important for today's societies, the simple life

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    1. So nice to hear from you, Linda. I hope your days of relocation are going splendidly!

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  9. So simple and yet how very, very challenging. Thank you for posting...

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    1. Yes, very challenging ... and oh so rewarding ... :)

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  10. LaoTzu -- he is a favorite of mine -- barbara

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  11. On my second read-through, something occurred to me that I've not thought of before. One of my favorite songs, combining inspiration and aspiration, is old Quaker hymn: "Tis a gift to be simple..." While it certainly is true that we can and perhaps should expend some energy in working toward simplicity, it also is true that simplicity often comes as a gift. Simple moments, simple pleasures, the simplicity of a quiet spirit - when those gifts arrive, we can be tempted to reject them precisely because of their simplicity.

    Something else that caught my attention is the remarkable parallelism between LaoTzu's concept of lowering and the Christian concept of God lowering himself to take on human flesh. East and West seems to be agreeing at least on that one point - humility and simplicity belong together.

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    1. There is a simplicity in the moment that I find very calming, and it is my practice to stay there as often and as long as possible.

      Humility and simplicity do seem to go hand in hand ... however, I have never accepted the belief that God became flesh ... IMHO, Jesus was a reflection of God, as are we all ...

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  12. Lovely. The simplicity of life is not to be underestimated. Can we find it again? I think so.

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    1. Oh, yes, in our individual lives it's still a choice we can make. So nice to hear from you, Betty.

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  13. This is wonderful Teresa. Amen, amen, amen.

    This sentence especially resonates with me: When a society misuses partial intelligence and
    ignores holistic wisdom, its people forget the benefits of a plain and natural life.


    Thank you so much for posting this. Inspiring.

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    1. Simple wisdom. :) I'm glad it resonated with you.

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  14. I just love this poem Teresa, thank you so much for sharing. It has a positive feeling to it and should be read widely. It resonates with me as I am trying to simplify my existence in every way.

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  15. Hello Teresa, I wanted to wish you a lovely and happy week-end with your sweet Buddy. I hope the bear has gone.
    It is a beautiful photo with the horses. Horses are so beautiful don't you think.

    That 's a wise guy, that old Chinese Lao Tzu. I like his way with words.
    We do not live in a simple world now. We are influenced by so many things each day and we have to create our own simple world in between. This is difficult - for we have to live as social creatures.
    I like the simple life, but I must admit that I love a little luxury too.
    I am trying to be a good girl, but I'm not perfect.
    Nodody is. That's my comfort!
    Have a very, very nice week-end, Teresa.
    Wruff, Buddy!
    Grethe `) ´)

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    1. Hello Grethe! So nice to hear form you. No sign of the bear for a while now ... will be hibernating soon I suspect.
      Life is awfully complicated and I have a few luxuries I'd have trouble letting go of as well. we simplify as best we can and learning to let go of some of my stuff has been very liberating... No, nobody is perfect, least of all me. :))

      Thanks for the greeting for Buddy. He sends a big hello. Wruff!

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  16. The problem is that both "partial intelligence " and "holistic wisdom" are rather subjective terms. One mans' partial intelligence could be another mans universal theory. And then we get to superior people leading others out of the mire and I begin to feel uncomfortable again. But it certainly made me think which, I suspect, was the purpose of the post in the first place.

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    1. We seem to be a world awash in "partial intelligence," and among our leaders it leaves us wanting .. imo .. a wholistic life however one subscribes to it, seems a good course of action.

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