Your sorrow is my depression.
Your joy is my ecstasy.
Your sorrow is my depression.
Your sorrow is my depression.
Your joy is my ecstasy.
I decided to make a new non-anonymous blog where I will put more effort into editing and covering more topics. I will also update some older posts from this blog.
Check it out HERE. Dont forget to subscribe to the email updates on the right :)
The Analects of Confucius is a classic compilation of teachings by the well known Chinese philosopher. It can be downloaded for free if you google it.
Although some parts can be considered outdated to the enlightened modern mind, I enjoyed reading the many timeless principles scattered throughout.
- There were four things from which the Master was entirely free. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary predeterminations, no obstinacy, and no egoism.
- ‘The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.’
- Fan Ch’ih asked about benevolence. The Master said, `It is to love all men.’ He asked about knowledge. The Master said, `It is to know all men.’
- The disciples of Tsze-hsia asked Tsze-chang about the principles that should characterize mutual intercourse. Tsze-chang asked, `What does Tsze-hsia say on the subject?’ They replied, `Tsze-hsia says: Associate with those who can advantage you. Put away from you those who cannot do so.”‘ Tsze-chang observed, `This is different from what I have learned. The superior man honours the talented and virtuous, and bears with all. He praises the good, and pities the incompetent. Am I possessed of great talents and virtue? who is there among men whom I will not bear with? Am I devoid of talents and virtue? men will put me away from them. What have we to do with the putting away of others?’
- `The mean man is sure to gloss his faults.’
- `When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them.’
- `The superior man is correctly firm, and not firm merely.’
- `There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the upright; friendship with the sincere; and friendship with the man of much observation: these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and friendship with the glib-tongued: these are injurious.’
Definitions: “mean man” is an average person. “master” is an enlightened master of life.
Listening is willing to be changed by what you hear.
I was reflecting on a structure to help work out who I am and where I want to go in life. I came up with 6 points and answered them for myself.
1) Decide what kind of person you want to be.
I want to be as heroes and angels are in stories – the universally ideal being that is admired and respected across all cultures. I want to have an inner strength and live with a peaceful heart and mind. I want to connect with others meaningfully and be a positive contributor to others.
2) What kind of basic principles do you live by?
3) Build a meaning structure based on these principles to define the person you are and where you are going.
4) Assess what you want to be better at and take actions for improvement.
5) You will now know what you like and where you want to go because you have a firm definition of who you are and what drives you.
6) Understand that this is an ongoing process where you will continuously define your self definition.
I take joy from this ongoing process and sharing it with others as they go through their own. I understand that there cannot be an end that this is something I will do for my entire life.
It would be cool if some people wrote their own answers in the comments :)
I highly recommend reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. It is available freely to read on the internet as it is out of copyright.
It provides great insight into his thoughts on living life.
Experience keeps a dear School, but Fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that; for it is true, we may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct, as Poor Richard says: However, remember this, They that won’t be counselled, can’t be helped.
Here are a few excerpts:
On Attaining Moral Perfection
It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was employ’d in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our slipping; and that the contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct.
To Madame Brillon,
Passy, November 10, 1779.
I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that, in the meantime, we should draw all the good we can from this world. In my opinion, we might all draw more good from it than we do, and suffer less evil, if we would take care not to give too much for whistles. For to me it seems, that most of the unhappy people we meet with, are become so by neglect of that caution.
You ask what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of myself.
When I was a child of seven year old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.
This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don’t give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money.
As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.
When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.
When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by neglect, He pays, indeed, said I, too much for his whistle.
If I knew a miser who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, said I, you pay too much for your whistle.
When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, Mistaken man, said I, you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.
If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, Alas! say I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.
When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl married to an ill-natured brute of a husband, What a pity, say I, that she should pay so much for a whistle!
In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.
Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider, that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John, which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the whistle.
Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely and with unalterable affection,
Look round the habitable world, how few
Know their own good, or, knowing it, pursue!
Eyes of fire.
Burning with passion.
What is life about other than precious, meaningful moments shared with beautiful and beloved souls?