|A quiet life
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A tai chi person does not seek success and recognition. They have no use for such things.
Life is complex enough and riddled with hardships without inviting the scrutiny of others or indulging our own weaknesses and vanities. The simple life is the preferred one.
No fuss. No bother. No fame. No authority.
We do not live such a life because it is expected of us. That would be false. A conceit. The decision to be this way occurs naturally and spontaneously. No other way would seem appropriate.
Somebody and nobody
Awareness offers at least two sides to all situations. Taoism shows us that we are all unique and special. We all have a gift to offer.
At the same time, if everyone is special, then surely no one can be special? What is remarkable about being the same as everyone else?
We are all unique yet we are all the same. It seems to be a paradox but there is no paradox. Any apparent paradox exists in our own thinking.
It is possible to be two things simultaneously without any contradiction occurring. The contradiction lies with words and thoughts, not with reality.
Every person on this planet is both somebody and nobody.
Humility cannot be cultivated. It comes from perspective and awareness. Knowing that we are only one human amongst billions gives perspective.
Realising that humans are just one species amongst millions that share our world is a humbling experience.
The complexity of Earth and all its intricacies is staggering, yet beyond our world lies a universe of possibility.
Arrogance. Pride. Conceit. Vanity. Pomp. Self-importance. Ego. What silly creatures we are.
We are incredible specks of life; both wonderful and deluded. Believing ourselves Gods yet enslaved by our cultures and traditions.
Humility comes from the realisation that existence is unimaginably vast, and we are imperceptibly insignificant.
Although one human make indeed make a mark within our own culture, what does it matter when the entirety of existence is your meter?
Free of pride and vanity we capable of being the best that we can be... Not the top of the class. Not the one with the medals and the trophies or the public acclaim. No, we aim far higher than this.
We reach our own potential. We grow into ourselves. We see who we are and stop 'becoming'. This is done in order to please ourselves. For its own sake. Not for a reward. Not for approval.
There is no need for attention. We do not require a witness or an audience. We excel because anything less would be half a life. A waste of the possibility before us.
throw yourself away. No value will result, and you will lose your dignity.
Remain modest, quiet and correct.
Awareness makes us acutely conscious of our ignorance. It wakes us up. We are not enlightened or saintly. Our perspective has broadened a little and some barriers have fallen. Nothing more.
An awakened person can only feel happiness and freedom when it is not at the expense of others. What use is freedom when another person pays for your pleasure?
Compassion compels us to live a considerate life. A life of kindness and equanimity. We see balance. We see discord and harmony. We see possibilities.
Keeping quiet is essential
If you draw attention to yourself, you tread on somebody else's feet. This creates discord. It is far better to remain silent and unknown. Anonymous and silent.
A quiet person does not parade their skills or demonstrate their accomplishments. They remain humble and reserved.
Simple things are valued more than complexity. At the heart of everything lies the essence. This is what matters. Not the outward show. And the essence is always simple.
Strike to the heart of all things in life and you interact with the real. Remain at the periphery and you dance with shadows and dreams. The maya of the floating world.
Find time for solitude in your life. Switch everything off and walk away. No phone. No music player. Leave your car behind and make sure that you travel alone. Get to know yourself again.
Spend some time thinking, feeling, contemplating and living. Go out in the early hours and walk along the surf. Hear only the splash of the sea and the babble of your own thoughts.
In time, your mind will calm and the inner noise will fade. If you cannot find somewhere nice to go, spend time alone in a room or simply walk the streets.
There is nothing to share
Do not try to share this with anyone else. Set aside your insecurities and stand alone. Be strong. Be you. This is a journey for you alone.
When you understand the peace of aloneness, you will become silent within. This will permeate your life and you will also know silence without.
You will have found your quiet. And you will know that it is not meek at all. It lives. It breathes. Potential resides within.
was his nature, as well as his profession. The byways of espionage are not
populated by the brash and colourful adventurers of fiction. A man who, like
Smiley, has lived and worked for years among his country's enemies learns
only one prayer: that he may never, never be noticed.
Assimilation is his highest aim, he learns to love the crowds who pass him in the street without a glance; he clings to them for his anonymity and his safety. His fear makes him servile - he could embrace the shoppers who jostle him in their impatience, and force him from the pavement. He could adore the officials, the police, the bus conductors, for the terse indifference of their attitudes.
But this fear, this servility, this dependence, had developed in Smiley a perception of the colour of human beings: a swift, feminine sensitivity to their characters and motives. He knew mankind as a huntsman knows his cover, as a fox the wood.
(John Le Carre)
Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 16 June 2023