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P R E V E N T I N G     A      F A L L

Honor and Shame
are the same as fear.
Fortune and disaster
are the same for all.

What is said of honor and shame is this:
Whether absent or present,
they are inseparable from the fear
that they give rise to.

What is said of fortune and disaster is this:
They can befall any person.

By the accident of good fortune
one may rule the world for at ime.
But by virtue of love
one lives forever.

Fear is perhaps our greatest enemy; and what is it but ignorance? Ignorance is the unwillingness to accept the nature of things — it is a forgetfulness or thoughtlessness.

Remember: Be attentive, be watchful; these are the keys to transforming fear. There is no fear as unrelenting as the fear of fear.

Fear leads us to pretend to be who we are not or to act out of false pride. It causes us to live with shame or guilt.

We fear the unknown, but this fear disappears with the acceptance that disaster can happen at anytime to anyone — and so can good fortune. There is no way to avert the one or create the other.

To understand this gives us the insight to allow life, in all its different guises and fortunes, to happen to us. If we don’t fear, we don’t stumble or fall. Fear is put aside by living in simple acceptance. Fear is not an obstacle to the person who pays attention. Fear does not obstruct the wise in their joyful experience of life.

Source: The Tao Box, Adapted and Interpreted by Priya Hemenway

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