Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: anti flame capsule - The empty boat

Author:Kevin Miller
Posted:9/20/2000; 3:02:46 PM
Topic:anti flame capsule
Msg #:21554 (In response to 21547)
Prev/Next:21553 / 21555

The old Taoist philosopher Chuangzi had something very interesting to say on this topic: (see, e.g.,

from The Way of Chuang Tzu, by Thomas Merton:

The Empty Boat

If a man is crossing a river

And an empty boat collides with his own skiff

Even though he be a bad-tempered man

He will not become very angry.

But if he sees a man in the boat,

He will shout at him to steer clear.

If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,

And yet again, and begin cursing.

And all because there is somebody in the boat.

Yet if the boat were empty,

He would not be shouting, and not be angry.

If you can empty your own boat

Crossing the river of the world,

No one will oppose you,

No one will seek to harm you.

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