philosophy

I’m afraid you’ll lose yourself in me”, he whispered with faraway eyes.
“Even if I’ll get lost in you… Who says that it is bad?”, I asked him.
And he sighed: “I am concerned you can’t be yourself when it happens, babe…”
I sadly smiled, stroked his hair and said: “But darling, maybe I have to get lost in you to find myself.
—  Alison Lee Smith
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(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls6D055tjwo)

For those of us starting a new academic year, listen to what the most important intellectual alive has to say about the destructiveness of our education system on learning. Be inspired and go to school to learn, not to get a qualification or to become an effective component of our capitalist economy.

Dao De Jing, Chapter 78

Translation by A. Waley

Nothing under heaven is softer or more yielding than water; but when it attacks things hard and resistant there is not one of them that can prevail. For they can find no way of altering it.

That the yielding conquers the resistant and the soft conquers the hard is a fact known by all men, yet utilized by none.

Yet it is in reference to this that the Sage said “Only he who has accepted the dirt of the country can be lord of its soil shrines; only he who takes upon himself the evils of the country can become a king among those what dwell under heaven.” Straight words seem crooked.


Interpretation by S. Mitchell

Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.

The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.

Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people’s greatest help.

True words seem paradoxical.