Tag Archives: Chinese Philosophy

Be alive, be flexible

While alive, the body is soft and pliant
When dead, it is hard and rigid
All living things, grass and trees,
While alive, are soft and supple
When dead, become dry and brittle
Thus that which is hard and stiff
is the follower of death
That which is soft and yielding
is the follower of life
Therefore, an inflexible army will not win
A strong tree will be cut down
The big and forceful occupy a lowly position
While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place

Laozi, Tao Te Ching

The Law of Life

imageChange is the only constant. – Heraclitus 

Today is winter solstice. As autumn flows into winter, so does each moment flow into the next. Nothing remains the same. Change is the law of life.

Life is a flux. This is both a blessing and a curse… as are most things.

For those of us who have struggled in the past, or who are struggling now, change is a blessing. We are not enslaved to the past, or bound to the present. We are constantly marching on towards the future.

For those of us who’re thriving in the present and are unwilling to accept that things will change, this is a curse. However, for those with open minds and receptive hearts, it’s a cause for overflowing joy. The joys of the present moment fill their hearts.

One of the greatest fallacies we can make is to mistake the present for the future. Where we are now isn’t where we’ll be tomorrow.

All of these realizations have grown in me over the years. Every event in my life… every person… every book… every interest – all things I’ve encountered have left their mark.

I have changed; I am changing; I will continue to change.

My life has been a crash course in philosophy.

Since March of 1993: I have been near death, and I have been full of life; I have been frail, and I have been strong; I have been fit, and I have been out of shape; I have had beta cells, and I have lacked beta cells. The only constancy has been change.

I have come to accept uncertainty. I have come to accept the fate of all things. I am no longer afraid. In these realizations, there’s freedom… In them, there’s peace.

I am free: the present doesn’t bind me. The past’s influence isn’t set in stone – I am free.

As all things must come to an end eventually, this is where I’ll end this post.