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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

the empty boat

A Taoist parable:

If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and not angry.

If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.


At 12/27/2005 9:44 PM, Blogger BruceA said...

The phrase "empty your own boat" reminds me of John the Baptist's words, "He must increase, but I must decrease," and Jesus's teaching, "For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it."


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