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and upholding all things by the word of his power . The Tao teaches the paradox of giving up possessions: "If you want to be given everything, give everything up" (v. "And every one that has forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life" (Mt ).

The Tao teaches the paradox of dying to self: "If you want to be reborn, let yourself die" (v. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Mt ).

Big-heartedness and self-sufficiency, on the other hand, work much better. 'Enlightened' means that you make decisions by considering the long-term consequences of your actions. "I know he's a bad boy, but it'll be so much welfare takes priority, just like in the pre-flight announcement where they say put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others in the case of an emergency. We see this in nature: water runs from high to low; electricity flows between cathode and anode; magnetic force goes between north and south poles. Without polarity, relationships fall flat, whether in heterosexual or same-sex couples: has to wear the pants.

But there are some valuable things in life that cannot be achieved by simply trying harder—and what’s more, efforts to achieve them can often be self-defeating, like planning to be spontaneous or not thinking of a green elephant.

Such things are often the indirect results of our deliberate action.

I don't fancy in any particular food but coffee.

during my senior year in college, and I’ve reread it many times since (as well as the works of Chuang-Tzu and other Taoist scholars).


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