Alice Lin

Alice Lin

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Wisdom in Calmness(2)

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There was a wealthy merchant who, to avoid losing his money, replaced all his wealth with gold and silver. He made a unique paper umbrella, and carefully concealed the gold and silver in the umbrella handle, then he dressed as an ordinary citizen, and got ready to head back to his hometown to retire with this umbrella. However, he accidentally dozed off on the train, and he realized the umbrella had disappeared when he woke up! After carefully observing, this experienced businessman noticed that the package he carried was still in good condition. So he knew that the person who took the umbrella was not a professional thief, but someone who happened to pass by and just took the umbrella by mistake, and that the man should be nearby.

The merchant then settled down there, and he purchased umbrella repair tools to make a living by repairing umbrellas. Two years went by, but he did not find his umbrella. However, as he fixed umbrellas, he learned that people would just buy new umbrellas when they were not worth repairing.

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The merchant then changed his banner to “an old umbrella for a new one,” without charge. The people who came to replace their umbrellas came in regularly. Not long after, a middle-aged man with a shabby oil paper umbrella came in in a hurry. The merchant took a look at it, and it was the umbrella that he had been searching for – and the umbrella handle was still intact. He quietly gave the man a new umbrella. After the man left, he went back to his residence to tidy up his belongings and disappeared without a trace.

There is wisdom in calmness. The curator of the museum deliberately made his case loud to everyone, while the merchants handled his loss silently. Their wise actions derived from calm. In the face of sudden incidents, both of them dealt with it calmly, eventually transforming the situation into something better.

In life, learning to be calm is a valuable asset. It will let you know that if there are storms and dark clouds in front of you, anxiety and distress will not only make things worse but sometimes it will make things disastrous. The calm will allow you to stabilize your position and restore your losses.

Calmness is a kind of wisdom, but also a sort of resilience. More than 80 years ago, a fire burned down Thomas Edison’s laboratory. Edison stood on the ruins and said: “Now we can start again!” I believe that anyone who knows this would admire Edison’s words of calmness.

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 52

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天下有始,以為天下母。
既得其母,以知其子,既知其子,復守其母,沒身不殆。
塞其兌,閉其門,終身不勤。
開其兌,濟其事,終身不救。
見小曰明,守柔曰強。
用其光,復歸其明,無遺身殃;是為習常。
The beginning of the universe
Is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one also knows the sons.
Knowing the sons, yet remaining in touch with the mother,
Brings freedom from the fear of death.
Keep your mouth shut,
Guard the senses,
And life is ever full.
Open your mouth,
Always be busy,
And live a life beyond hope.
Seeing the inferior is insight;
Yielding to force is a strength.
Using the outer light, return to insight,
And in this way be saved from harm.
This is learning constantly.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

Tao is the beginning of the universe, the mother of all things. Since the mother who knows all things is the Tao, it naturally follows that all things in the world are children of the Tao. Since we know that all things in the world are children of the Tao, we must look back and guard our mothers and abide by this principle of keeping the roots forever. Then there will be no great danger.

Plug your senses, close the door to craving, and there will be no scourge of it in its lifetime. If the opposite path is chosen, it opens the aperture to put your life in danger. Those who can see the small are people who understand the Tao. Those who can keep and hold the weak will gain strength and are the real winners. When practicing to use light to gain enlightenment, you will be led to eternity.

Wisdom in Calmness(1)

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A museum was broken into by thieves, and ten valuable pieces were lost. However, a precious diamond ring was not stolen. After many attempts by the police to find clues, the curator of the museum, who had been very calm at the time, proposed to let the television station interview him. The reporter asked him: “How many cultural relics were lost?” The curator answered: “A total of 11 artifacts were lost.” The reporter asked: “Are these artifacts precious?” The curator replied: “Yes, they are valuable, especially a priceless diamond ring that was taken!”

Shortly after this time, the police managed to find the thieves who had stolen from the museum. The reason why was very simple. Several thieves were caught by the police during a fight. They fought because each of them was suspicious of whoever secretly kept the eleventh artifact – the diamond ring.

 

This is the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction: the 8.41 carat gem sold for $17.8 million

The image is from https://www.gemobsessed.com/jewelry-trends/the-most-expensive-diamond-sets-record/.

The original Chinese text is from online and the name of author is unknown. The following is the Chinese version-

鎮靜中的智慧
轉載網路文章
有一個博物館被盜了,丟失了十件珍貴的文物,好在一枚珍貴的鑽戒沒有被盜。警方經過多次努力也找不到線索,這時一直很冷靜的博物館館長卻提議讓電視台採訪他。於是電視上播出記者採訪博物館館長的鏡頭。記者問:請問這次失盜共丟失了多少件文物?館長答:共丟失了十一件文物。記者問:這些文物都很珍貴嗎?館長答:是的,都很珍貴,特別是一枚鑽戒價值連城!
時隔不久,警方就查到了線索順利地破了案。線索來源很簡單,幾個盜賊在毆鬥時被警方抓獲,而他們毆鬥的原因竟然是互相猜疑究竟是誰私藏了第十一件文物那枚鑽戒。

 

 

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 51

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道生之,德畜之,物形之,勢成之。
是以萬物莫不尊道而貴德。
道之尊,德之貴,夫莫之命常自然。
故道生之,德畜之;長之育之;亭之毒之;養之覆之。
生而不有,為而不恃,長而不宰,是謂玄德。
All things arise from Tao.
They are nourished by Virtue (Te).
They are formed from matter.
They are shaped by environment.
Thus all things respect Tao and honor Virtue (Te).
Respect of Tao and honor of Virtue (Te) are not demanded,
But it is natural to do so.
Therefore all things arise from Tao.
By Te they are nourished,
Developed, cared for,
Sheltered, comforted,
Grown, and protected.
Creating without claiming,
Doing without taking credit,
Guiding without interfering,
This is Primal Virtue.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

The Tao Te Ching consists of Tao and Te. They are equally important. Tao generates all things while Te nourishes them, even though all things have various shapes and the environment help them grow. Both Tao and Te are respected and honored by them. Why? Though Tao generates all things it never interferes, and Te nourishes all things, it never dominates, letting them grow naturally. Tao begets them and does not take their possessions, while Te sustains them but does not bear the credits. Guiding them without dominating them, this is called the profound Te.

Zeno’s Circle

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Legend has it that a student once asked Zeno: “Teacher, your knowledge is many times more than ours. The question you answered is correct, but why are you so humble? ”

Zeno drew one small and one big circle on the blackboard and said: “Our knowledge is like a circle. Inside the circle are things you know about, and outside the circle are things you don’t know. The area of the big circle is my knowledge, the area of the small circle is your knowledge, so my knowledge is more than yours.

But outside these two circles are things you and I don’t know. The circumference of the big circle is larger than that of the small circle so that I may have more knowledge, but I also realize that there is still more I do not know. This is why I am humble. ”

Socrates said, “All I know is that I know nothing.”He implies that the more people know, the more they understand their ignorance. Even the largest circles still cannot compare with the blank space outside. The more knowledge they accumulate, the more aware they become. Space is infinite even though the circles are big. So the more knowledgeable people are, the more they know that they do not know enough.

Image result for Zeno of greek
Zeno of Elea is from http://www.massline.org/PhilosDog/Z/Zeno.htm.

 

In another word, a person with a large circle knows a lot but also knows there are still things they don’t know, so they have to be humble. A person with a small circle knows only a little, so they think the whole world is in their hands.

Note:

Zeno of Elea was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of Magna Graecia and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. Aristotle called him the inventor of dialectic. He is best known for his paradoxes, which Bertrand Russell has described as “immeasurably subtle and profound.”

Zeno of Elea – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno_of_Elea

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