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Friday, December 18, 2009

Be a Rock

I've recommended that we learn to bend, like a supple tree in the wind.

On the other hand, there are times when we need to be unmoved.

One of my favorite poets, Robinson Jeffers, used images of nature from the spectacular Central California coast to explore ways of being human. In "Rock and Hawk," he contrasted the "fierce consciousness" of a hawk perched on a rock, the symbol of "final disinterestedness."

Here's how he described the rock at the end: "the massive / Mysticism of stone, / Which failure cannot cast down / Nor success make proud."

What a statement of equanimity! Can we develop ourselves to the point where failure does not cast us down, nor success make us proud?

It may be too much to ask, and may not even be desirable for many. But the happy few who can achieve it?

They'll be happier.

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