That which is inextricably related to the self cannot be taken away. That is all that you really have. Don’t waste your time protecting and defending external things that did not come from you.
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#6, line 3, #44
The high Heavens over a yawning Deep chasm:
An expansive void where nothing can dwell.
Even though he sincerely knows he is right, the Superior Person anticipates opposition and carefully prepares for any incident.
Good fortune if your conflict results in compromise.
Misfortune if your conflict escalates to confrontation.
Postpone your crossing to the far shore.
Conflict is a necessary part of life.
Tension upon the strings of a violin can make majestic music.
The critical mass of two hydrogen atoms trying to occupy the same space fuel the sun that nourishes our solar system.
Most conflicts you face in life are the result of your Path converging with another’s.
Your Path is not his, and one Path is not necessarily more right than the other.
This is a warning of the danger that goes with an expansive disposition. Only that which has been honestly acquired through merit remains a permanent possession. It can happen that such a possession may be contested, but since it is really one’s own, one cannot be robbed of it. Whatever a man possesses through the strength of his own nature cannot be lost. If one enters the service of a superior, one can avoid conflict only by not seeking works for the sake of prestige. It is enough if the work is done: let the honor go to the other.
A playful Zephyr dances and delights beneath indulgent Heaven:
A Prince who shouts orders but will not walk among his people may as well try to command the four winds.
A strong, addictive temptation, much more dangerous than it seems.
You are ignoring a clear and present danger to your well-being.
If this threat emanated from a heavy-handed oppressor, you would see it coming.
But this danger comes to you in the form of a seduction, an amusement, a diversion, an indulgence that is eating away at the fiber of your secure little world.
You are too cocksure.
You underestimate the tribute this dalliance will demand…