Living Self Mastery: 33rd Verse
One who understands others has knowledge;
One who understands himself has wisdom.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.
If you realize that you have enough,
You are truly rich.
One who gives himself to his position
Surly lives long.
One who gives himself to the Tao
Surly lives forever.
According to Dr. Dyer, this verse is asking of the reader to change the way you look at the ideas of knowledge and power. A Tao-oriented life focuses on understanding yourself, rather than on the thinking and behaviors of others. You shift from the acquisition of information and the pursuit of status symbols to understanding and mastering yourself in any and all situations.
As you realize that you are responsible for your reactions in any given moment, others will cease to have any power or control over you and Dr. Dyer goes further to state, rather than worrying, Why is that person behaving that way and making me feel so upset? Your ability to look inward at yourself gives you power and control over you and eliminates any such power/control of any other person. Further, by refusing to turn the controls of your existence over to anyone or any set of circumstances, your exercising personal strength instead of force.
The key from Lao Tzu according to Dr. Dyer is to shift your focus on understanding yourself instead of blaming others.
Change the way you choose to perceive the power that others have over you and you will see a bright new world of unlimited potential for yourself. Dismiss your desire to extend power over others through forceful nature of your actions and your personality. Ego believes that others are incapable of running their own lives and wants to control with force, so demonstrate your inner strength by abandoning such tactics. As Dyer says and I so agree, practice allowing others to learn their own lessons without interference from you.
To take things a step further I add in some Zen philosophy from Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi
A Zen master would say, ‘kill the Buddha, kill the Buddha if the Buddha exists somewhere else, because you should assume your own Buddha nature.”
‘We do not exist for the sake of something else, we exist for the sake of ourselves.’
‘You must have your own body and mind, everything should exist in the right place and in the right way, then there is no problem. When we have our own body and mind in order we can then organize things because they will already be in order.’
How or more importantly can we tell someone else how, what, when, why if we do not have ourselves in order and are not living/practicing that which we share through our teachings? How can we teach on a subject when we ourselves, even though knowledgable are not implementing the knowledge and living the wisdom of the teaching?
Increasingly as I continue to learn and grow I further understand the importance of Self Mastery. It is imperative that in order to maximize my potential in all aspects of this life I must understand and master myself. This will empower me to many things beyond myself including being the best husband, dog father, son, brother, friend, coach, doctor, teacher, and so much more.
I feel it is imperative that I carry my own weight through this world as not to burden others. I feel I am of enough knowledge and wisdom to do so thanks in large part to all those whom have taught me the ways of life and living. furthermore, I only continue to grow as I am always a student, constantly exploring myself and the ways of the world and how I best can move through life.