the treasure of the nation

PLAINS, GA - APRIL 20: Former President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school on Easter Sunday at Maranatha Baptist Church on April 20, 2014 in Plains, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)

“we never fired a shot, but still achieved our goals”

 

The general

who advances without

coveting fame, who retreats without

being ashamed, whose concern is to keep the

people safe and honor the sovereign —

he will be the treasure of

the nation.

 

from The Art of War, Chapter VIII

 

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beautiful things grow out of shit

“Beautiful things grow out of shit.”

This is the single most important thing I know, can share with you, can be taught to anyone. It’s way down here in this little snippet of a conversation between two lions, Daniel Lanois, at whose musical feet I bow, and Brian Eno, who says this most important thing of all things, which should be listened to by us all all first thing every morning, and played to our children first thing every morning, all of the mornings, for the rest of our lives:

“What would be really interesting for people to see is how beautiful things grow out of shit, because nobody ever believes that, you know. Everybody thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head, they somehow appeared there and formed in his head, and all he had to do was write them down and they would be kind of manifest to the world.

“But what I think what’s so interesting, and what should be a lesson everybody should learn, is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed, in the wrong situation, turns into nothing.

“And I think that this would be important for people to understand because it gives people confidence in their own lives to know that that’s how things work. If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted, they have these wonderful things in their head, but you’re not one of them, you’re just sort of a normal person, you could never do anything like that, then you live a different kind of life, you know.

“You could have another kind of life where you can say, where you say, ‘Well, I know that things comes from nothing very much and start from unpromising beginnings, and I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.'”

earthnationlive

venture with love

goldman bird chickadee

 

Venture

with love and

you win the battle.

Defend with love and you are

invulnerable. Heaven’s

secret is motherly

love.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 67


ebooks & apps of the Tao the Ching, I Ching,

Hua hu Ching, and Art of War for

iPad, Phone, Kindle, Nook,

or Android

 

You

can now buy

Tao te Ching as part of a

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for iPhone or iPad for less than

the cost of one hardcover

book.

brian browne walker taoist app bundle ios ipad iphone

 

wei wu wei

dragonfly kaya cait

kaya satori

 

The

best effort 

one can make is the 

gentlest effort: wei wu wei

Quietly, persistently direct the 

mind toward emptiness. When 

all thoughts and ideas have 

dissipated, then make no 

further effort. Just 

breathe. 

 

This

is the only

practice required of a 

human, the best one, the one 

that perfectly purifies

our lives.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Hexagram 9

Paperback / Kindle here

iPad/iPhone

iBooks

 

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Wei wu Wei Ching as part of a

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praise the mutilated world

now
 

Try

to praise

the mutilated world.


Remember June’s long days,


and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.


The nettles that methodically overgrow


the abandoned homesteads

of exiles.

 

You

must praise

the mutilated world.


You watched the stylish yachts

and ships;
 one of them had a long trip

ahead of it,
 while salty oblivion awaited others.


You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,


you’ve heard the executioners

sing joyfully.

 

You

should praise

the mutilated world.


Remember the moments when

we were together 
in a white room and

the curtain fluttered.
 Return in thought to

the concert where music flared.
You

gathered acorns in the park in

autumn 
and leaves eddied

over the earth’s

scars.

 

Praise

the mutilated world


and the gray feather a thrush lost,


and the gentle light that strays

and vanishes
 and

returns.

 

Adam Zagajewski