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What does the following mean to you?
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25 / M / NY
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Posted 7/13/09 , edited 7/13/09
"When people are born they are gentle and soft,
At death they are hard and stiff.
When plants are alive they are soft and delicate.
When they die, they wither and dry up.
Therefore the hard and stiff are followers of death.
The gentle and soft are the followers of life.

Thus, if you are aggressive and stiff, you won't win.
When a tree is hard enough, it is cut. Therefore
The hard and big are lesser,
The gentle and soft are greater."

-Tao Te Ching 76

I'm just curious as to everyone's thoughts, interpretations, views on the quote. This is one of the passages I read daily, just as a reminder to myself to be more flexible, more open-minded and willing. What's your thoughts on it? Enjoy it? Hate it?
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Posted 7/13/09
hate it. such a long poem only contains one theme (at least that's what i think): old and big stuff die faster. that does make sense since fatter people (bigger) die faster. but everyone knows that old people die. duh.
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Posted 7/13/09
Interesting, Care to explain where you got that whole fat thing from? Im curious, by no means are you wrong btw. It's your interpretation.
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25 / F / Georgia
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Posted 7/13/09
i think it's too deep for me to understand at the moment, but i think the poem might be saying that life is beautiful & placid in its peak of life & it withers away as it dies (i think, not really sure)~
Posted 7/13/09
Hmm, To me it means that one must be soft and gentle, To live a good life and be given happiness.
Posted 7/14/09 , edited 7/14/09
Seems to me this person has over analyzed the differences between hard and soft...is it really necessary I ask myself?

But here's some more food for thought:

Mr. Intolerance by Boyed Ryce

I'm not a tolerant person
In fact I get more intolerant by the day
I just find it more and more difficult to tolerate assholes
As my tolerance decreases, their numbers seem to increase
Every day there's more and more of them
And every day I have less and less patience
I'm not a mere bigot
But I certainly don't cut any slack to anyone on the merit of their status as an oppressed minority
Your people were enslaved? Tough luck
The white man stole your land? Too fuckin' bad
Your fair sex is plagued by date rape? Grin and bear it
These days everyone has a sob story, and frankly, I don't care
It's no excuse for being an asshole
We live in the age of the excuse
We live in the age of the asshole
They're everywhere
They come in all shapes, all sizes, all colors
There are black assholes, white assholes, women assholes, men assholes, queer assholes, straight assholes, smart assholes, stupid assholes, suburban assholes, inner-city assholes, homeless assholes, upwardly-mobile assholes, lazy assholes, incompetent assholes, sloppy assholes, anal assholes
And so it goes, ad nauseum
Why should I tolerate any of them?
Why should I tolerate anything I don't care for, for any length of time?
Why should I pretend it's okay?
I don't like assholes
Don't like talking to them; don't like talking about them
Don't like knowing them; don't like knowing about them, or their thoughts, or their deeds
Assholes are like bad ideas
You let even a single one into your life, it can begin to ruin things
It can destroy what's good, and foster much that's bad
Why tolerate that?
Tolerance was a virtue once; no more
There aren't enough hours in the day to tolerate all the assholes
To tolerate all the indignities hurled your way and still be able to live a decent life
Perhaps Goethe said it best: that which disturbs your soul, you must not suffer
Remember that when it seems like assholes are hard at work to disturb your soul 24 hours a day
Take a tip from Mr. Intolerance: don't permit them to

[Edit]

I suppose I should explain how I believe this relates to the person who wrote that poem.
He's an asshole for trying to make a simple distintiction of what constitutes a person who embraces life as opposed to one who does not.
There are infinite ways to approaching it, and by quantifying the approaches as being binary (hard or soft) is incorrect in my opinion and is a lot more vast than just those two factors.
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Posted 7/14/09

dark_princessOa wrote:

hate it. such a long poem only contains one theme (at least that's what i think): old and big stuff die faster. that does make sense since fatter people (bigger) die faster. but everyone knows that old people die. duh.


im sorry but ur comment sounds rude they way you interpert the poem is your opinion but i do not believe the way you are saying it is right either true it is rather complicated but to immediatly hate it because it is "too long " is not a very good reason u should really look at the words carefully and try to read it once more it is a very interesting poem in fact. when i read i believed it meant that in life people can either be very calm and carefree and live their life to its fullest or they can be someone who is constatnly worried or stressed out about there life( or as the poem describes "stiff") if the person is somone who is very stressed and worry to much then they are not really living there life to the fullest extent ( like how the poem describe anything that is dead is very stiff) well that is how i see the poem.
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25 / M / NY
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Posted 7/14/09

illincrux wrote:

Seems to me this person has over analyzed the differences between hard and soft...is it really necessary I ask myself?

But here's some more food for thought:

Mr. Intolerance by Boyed Ryce

I'm not a tolerant person
In fact I get more intolerant by the day
I just find it more and more difficult to tolerate assholes
As my tolerance decreases, their numbers seem to increase
Every day there's more and more of them
And every day I have less and less patience
I'm not a mere bigot
But I certainly don't cut any slack to anyone on the merit of their status as an oppressed minority
Your people were enslaved? Tough luck
The white man stole your land? Too fuckin' bad
Your fair sex is plagued by date rape? Grin and bear it
These days everyone has a sob story, and frankly, I don't care
It's no excuse for being an asshole
We live in the age of the excuse
We live in the age of the asshole
They're everywhere
They come in all shapes, all sizes, all colors
There are black assholes, white assholes, women assholes, men assholes, queer assholes, straight assholes, smart assholes, stupid assholes, suburban assholes, inner-city assholes, homeless assholes, upwardly-mobile assholes, lazy assholes, incompetent assholes, sloppy assholes, anal assholes
And so it goes, ad nauseum
Why should I tolerate any of them?
Why should I tolerate anything I don't care for, for any length of time?
Why should I pretend it's okay?
I don't like assholes
Don't like talking to them; don't like talking about them
Don't like knowing them; don't like knowing about them, or their thoughts, or their deeds
Assholes are like bad ideas
You let even a single one into your life, it can begin to ruin things
It can destroy what's good, and foster much that's bad
Why tolerate that?
Tolerance was a virtue once; no more
There aren't enough hours in the day to tolerate all the assholes
To tolerate all the indignities hurled your way and still be able to live a decent life
Perhaps Goethe said it best: that which disturbs your soul, you must not suffer
Remember that when it seems like assholes are hard at work to disturb your soul 24 hours a day
Take a tip from Mr. Intolerance: don't permit them to

[Edit]

I suppose I should explain how I believe this relates to the person who wrote that poem.
He's an asshole for trying to make a simple distintiction of what constitutes a person who embraces life as opposed to one who does not.
There are infinite ways to approaching it, and by quantifying the approaches as being binary (hard or soft) is incorrect in my opinion and is a lot more vast than just those two factors.


Interesting, But even the most complicated things ultimately break down into something simple right? Maybe the author of the poem was speaking about the very basic. The poem is not as black and white as you think it is, there's a lot of gray in there too. :)

Heres another quote which relates to this post:

"The shortest distance between two points is a simple straight line, It is only when we decide to stray from this line that everything becomes more complicated."
Posted 7/14/09 , edited 7/14/09
You're right tokyomewmewlover in that perspective.

With more stress comes a greater chance of becoming ill and has been scientifically proven to be a major catalyst in provoking certain genetically inherited disease such as heart disease. While those who have very little stress live longer and happier lives.

But then again, without death there cannot be life.

After all is said and done, the only reason we exist is because of the death of a single star.

You're also right Joushio.

I'm an advocate of the "gray area" but I have to disagree with that poem showing it or perhaps not enough of it.

Sure, taking the quickest way from point A to point B would be logical if you had no other reason to stray from the path. But then the journey gets very dull and so if you ignore these side paths then what is the point of living life if you don't confront the important complications?

There has to be a balance between dealing with complications and getting exactly to where you want to be as quick as possible...but if you should to decide to acknowledge the complications, you may find that your initial destination was a false choice.


[Edit]

Great, i'm contradicting myself by over analyzing this now!
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Posted 7/14/09
SORRY. I'M NOT A VERY PATIENT PERSON. AND I'M LAZY TOO. i think that the part where they say a dead person is stiff is about when you die you body gets stiff (i read that in Detective Conan). well sorry. K? and if you won't forgive then what can i do??? so tada
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18 / F / Indonesia Raya
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Posted 7/14/09
This is just the root of Ying-Yang or Light and Darkness.

All things, especially human beings always filled with Kindness and Evilness
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25 / M / Colorado, USA
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Posted 7/15/09
In pursuing perfection, I have observed myself straying from what perfection should truly be.

To act "professional", getting along with every one, fully accepting whatever others' emotions may be, not demonstrating any personal emotions that may make others uncomfortable ... is not ideal behavior. This kind of human has become limited in what they may experience, and this is not what a human should be.

I believe this is a part of the matter that is being addressed here. A human giving into their emotions, even ones thought of as negative, will be capable of getting the full human experience. However someone more narrow in behavior will not experience the fullest, since it is with emotion that someone can reach those heights. In going through life, those acting human experience human, otherwise one will miss out on "human".
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Posted 7/17/09
this poem is a fallacy if you take it on the "serious" sense. ^^

but it makes sense tho. However, it is not always right.
Do you know the quote, "Good men finish last"?
People need to be aggressive and hard sometimes (at the right time and in the right place)
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25 / F / beaverditch
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Posted 7/17/09
i took a class about non western religions and we talked about the dao de jing in great detail. i don't remember all that we talked about because i don't have my notebook with me anymore, but i think the message from this passage is pretty self explanatory. take an argument, for example. let's say someone on this board decided to be snide and rude by leaving a hateful comment or quote(which happens way too often here). most likely, the op of the thread or original comment will say something rude to them back. then of course, the snarky commenter will have to say something rude back to them. it's a never ending cycle until someone just gives up or run out of rude comebacks. the ones who win in the end are the ones who handle rude comments or aggressiveness with tact and maturity because they know that the argument is pointless and there's no use in trying to convince the person otherwise. if you get angry over stupid things or are overly aggressive, you're the one who will end up looking like an idiot compared to the person who handles things calmly and coolly.
Posted 7/25/09
You don't have to be a certain way to live longer or have greater success in life. All you need is to be judicious and be certain in decisions you make. If not, then you end up a hobo or worse.
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