Philosophers and thinkers down through the ages have looked within themselves to determine the ultimate source of knowledge. The ancient Greeks had the likes of Homer, Pythagoras, Archimedes and Solon, whose thoughts and writings have caused continuing ripples in the human psyche like a stone cast into an otherwise still pond. The profound nature of the thoughts expressed by these individuals gave life to many of today’s sciences.
The influence on Occidental (Western) thought is undeniable. Each and every one of us is certain to have heard of Pythagoras’ theorem, the story of Atlantis, Archimedes screw and the tales of the symbols carved on the casing stones of the great pyramids of Giza. These histories and inventions have fired the imaginations of millions of people down through the ages, spawning spiritual communities seeking ‘Gnosis’ or enlightenment through self-knowledge and the reflection of the divine spark within.
While these renowned men of learning have cast their long shadows on history, still others have had similar impact. Their words and works come from a deep and profound self-knowledge and yet are simply written and conveyed. Oriental (Eastern) thought includes the Tao wisdom which reveals the following:
Deal with the difficult, while it is still easy.
Solve large problems when they are still small.
Preventing large problems by taking small steps is easier than solving them.
Therefore, the Tao follower anticipates and lives wisely, by small actions accomplishing great things.
Not earth shattering in its language, yet momentous in its meaning. We should all step back and take a look at how much complication we bring to our lives through procrastination and prevarication. As the passage indicates, we need to disentangle our lives by acting in a timely manner to undertake those things we know need to be done and be honest with ourselves and others.
it is timeliness
that matters. Lao Tzu
Simple, direct and yet still deeply profound. These seven words compliment the Tao Wisdom expressed above very nicely indeed. By dealing with all things appropriately and in a timely way, we defeat the larger problems by not letting them come into being. We train our intelligence to develop solutions that will see tasks completed quickly and efficiently. We come to understand those around us, their abilities and uses in resolving the matters of day to day life and we build on these relationships, leading to material reward. Yet this still does not bring us to enlightenment, in some instances the stresses we create take us further from it.
Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
If you realise that you are truly rich. Lao Tzu
Intelligence vs wisdom, strength vs power. We have the intelligence to develop wisdom and the strength to accept true power, yet we claim we are not wealthy because we do not have material possessions to demonstrate our wealth. Gain self-knowledge and self-mastery and through this develop intellectual and emotional riches. Once you have these you will be able to bring enlightenment to those around who wish to accept it. Achieving this will enable you to experience the knowledge (Gnosis) sought by early philosophers.