grasping at space

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  • Monday, November 01, 2004

    A pre-election meditation

    When a country obtains great power,
    it becomes like the sea:
    all streams run downward into it.
    The more powerful it grows,
    the greater the need for humility.
    Humility means trusting the Tao,
    thus never needing to be defensive.

    A great nation is like a great man:
    When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
    Having realized it, he admits it.
    Having admitted it, he corrects it.
    He considers those who point out his faults
    as his most benevolent teachers.
    He thinks of his enemy
    as the shadow that he himself casts.

    If a nation is centered in the Tao,
    if it nourishes its own people
    and doesn't meddle in the affairs of others,
    it will be a light to all nations in the world.

    Tao Te Ching, ch 61 trans. Stephen Mitchell


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