“In China there was once a man who liked pictures of dragons, and his clothing and furnishings were all designed accordingly. His deep affection for dragons was brought to the attention of the dragon god, and one day a real dragon appeared before his window. It is said that he died of fright. He was probably a man who always spoke big words but acted differently when facing the real thing.”
~Hagakure, Yamamoto Tsunetomo
It is easy to be a man or woman of big words, but extremely hard to be a man or woman who puts those words into practice.
It is a common phenomenon for people to preach but not practice what they preach. They can talk of what is right and wrong, how to behave and how not to, what is good and bad. But their whole lifestyle does not reflect a single thing of what they are talking about.
A man might preach about how to be a nice, kind and compassionate person, and simultaneously find himself easily possessed by hatred when his religious or philosophical ideology is refuted. Another man might talk of how good it is to be healthy and fit, and yet indulge in fast food or smoke cigarettes without end. Still another man might speak against money and power when he is poor and weak, but once he is offered a position of wealth and power, he loses no moment to take it.
What is the quality lacking in those people?
To be honest with yourself and others is the most difficult thing, because, in order to be honest, you must be courageous enough to take a look into the dark side of your psyche and confront your weaknesses—and expose them openly to the world—which is what we are most afraid of.
The majority of us have contrived a false image of ourselves—an ego—which is without flaws, perfectly right and just, and beautiful beyond measure. This image, however, is just a veil to cover our shadow self, not only from the eyes of others, but from our own as well. Thus the way we have been living so far is just an escape from self-understanding and genuine communication.
But unless we face, understand, and accept ourselves—unless we get in tune with the core of our feelings, emotions, thoughts, and intentions—how can we find harmony within ourselves and the world?
That’s why I’m saying:
DIVE INTO YOUR ESSENCE AND SPREAD IT WITHOUT.
Image credit: John Jude Palencar
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