May 10th, 2015

Noble Humility, Humble Nobility


Poweful people in the East
speak a language of humility.
They act, though, like the powerful everywhere--
privileged, arrogant, prideful, mean, and violently
when things don't go their way.

The "nobility" that  Taoist speak of
is the nobility of the soul;
and Buddhists say everybody has it
as a part of their true nature.

Jesus said: "The last will be first."
Maurin said: "Try to be last."
But maybe trying to be last is just
another way of trying to be first?
-- a "humbler than thou" attitude?

To believe that we are perfect, and see
imperfection is a figment of unclear minds,
is seeking to be first, humbly,
while asking all creaturers along for the ride.

If all is One
there is no second class.
i won't be proud of my humility,
but humble in my pride.

Chuang Tzu On The Need To Win

The Need to Win

When an archer is shooting for nothing He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two targets –
He is out of his mind.

His skill has not changed, But the prize
Divides him. He cares,
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting –
And the need to win
Drains him of power.”

― Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu

Chuang Tzu Foretells 20th Century Anthropology.

“When Life was Full

In the age when life on earth was full, no one paid any special attention to worthy men, nor did they single out the man of ability. Rulers were simply the highest branches on the tree, and the people were like deer in the woods. They were honest and righteous without realizing that they were “doing their duty.” They loved each other and did not know that this was “love of neighbor.” They deceived no one yet they did not know that they were “men to be trusted.” They were reliable and did not know that this was “good faith.” They lived freely together giving and taking, and did not know that they were generous. For this reason their deeds have not been narrated. They made no history.”

― Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu