Revise the story
you tell yourself about failure.
Consider yourself an apprentice in the world.
Learn all you can. Gain experience.
seek a Buddha,
don’t seek a teaching,
don’t seek a community.
Don’t seek virtue, knowledge,
intellectual understanding, and
so on. When feelings of defilement
and purity are ended, still don’t hold
to this non-seeking and consider it right.
Don’t dwell at the point of ending, and
don’t long for heavens or fear hells.
When you are unhindered by
bondage or freedom, then
this is called liberation
of mind and body in
We are all
wanderers in the Unknown.
Those who travel beside the Sage
are protected from
A person who travels as a stranger in a strange land is wise to display an attitude free of arrogance and belligerence. Otherwise he is liable to meet with trouble and find himself unable to survive it. With this hexagram the I Ching reminds us that we are all strangers in a strange land, wanderers in a vast and unknowable universe, obliged to act accordingly.
Think of how you would proceed if traveling alone in an unfamiliar country. You would be cautious and reserved, taking great care not to fall in with the wrong people or enter into dangerous places. You would be tolerant of others and generous toward them if a dispute arose, and you would be inclined to settle disagreements quickly to keep them from getting out of hand. You would rely on your attentiveness, your modest attitude, and your gentle manner to keep you out of harm’s way. The hexagram Lu comes to remind you that it is wise to travel through your entire life in this fashion.
Seek now to stay in quiet harmony with the Higher Power and to embody caution, modesty, and generosity in your actions. Do not drag out disagreements with others; conflict is a poison that grows more dangerous every minute you are in it. Do not depart from the path of humility and correct conduct; in doing so, you lose the protection of the Deity and risk misfortune. By continually seeking to serve the innocent and the good, you stay in step with the Sage and never wander alone in the world.
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“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.'”