Daily Archives: October 6, 2013

There Are Some Things You Just Can’t Fight

From Lieh-Tzu, A Taoist Guide to Practical Living, by Eva Wong (Shambhala Publications, 1995):

An eye that is about to lose its sight tends to be extremely sharp in making out details.  An ear that is about to become deaf tends to be very acute in its hearing. A tongue that about to lose its sensitivity can make out the differences between water from two sources.  A nose that is about to lose its ability is most sensitive to fragrances.  It is as if the senses are fighting to maintain their usefulness.  However, no matter how hard they fight, they will eventually lose their effectiveness.

It is the same with people.  People who are beginning to weaken will push their bodies to the limit.  People who are about to lose their minds will become unusually argumentative.  This is because they are not willing to admit that all things must end, and they want to make a show of their strength to cover their weakness.

On the other hand, enlightened persons accept the natural course of things.  They do not force their bodies to display strength or their minds to show cleverness.  Knowing that there are some things that they can’t fight, they accept what comes.  That is why they can embrace life and accept death.