Issues of Control

Chapter 24 of the Tao te Ching by the legendary Lao Tzu offers helpful direction about the difference between self-awareness and self-deception. Let’s look at this one couplet.

He who has power over others
 can’t empower himself.

Lao Tzu suggests that we participate in life, we can’t control it. The effort to have power over others is a timeless form of denial of this great fact. Feeding the illusion of control diverts us from facing the truth of life, which will empower us. When we can accept that we have very little control, then we begin to align with the forces of the Universe, which carry us the way an ocean carries a raft.

Excerpted from The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart by Mark Nepo, published by Atria, July 2016.

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  • photo credit: Tuur Tisseghem
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