Heaven embraces the horizon.
No matter how jagged the profile,
The sky faithfully conforms.
Wherever you are, the sky constantly meets the horizon. It conforms absolutely with the earth’s surface. Changes in the earth or sky do not affect this perfect adaptation. There might be clouds, it might be night, there might be mountains or trees or even buildings on the horizon, but the relationship remains.
No matter what circumstances life may present, we must adapt exactly, whether we think the situation is good or bad. Resistance is useless. Instead, we should concentrate on perceiving whatever circumstances surround us. For example, if one is in a leadership situation, one must adapt one’s vision to that of the group; the successful leader articulates and brings consensus to the group. Being flexible and constantly adjusting to the times is one of the secrets of Tao.
We often think of the landscape as being in the foreground and the sky as the background. It is because the sky is always in the background that it can meet the outline of the foreground perfectly. If we emulate this feature of bing in the background, then we too can find perfect conformity with life. Such adaptation is not passivity, however. It is concordance. It is because the sky is in the background that it is in fact supreme. So too with ourselves. If we know how to adapt, we end up being superior.
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
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