musicology #193


teachings of billionaire YenTzu #3

(James Carr – Life Turned Her That Way)

Stalking The Heron, (infinite patience, immediate results)

‘So his obsession for not leting go of anything finally caught up with him,’ commented Yan Kan to himself, on hearing news that the Emperor had met with an untimely end.

It had been several years now since Yan Kan had fortuitously escaped the Emperor’s wrath. It had been his experience of stalking the heron that had led him to see things in a different light. When water accumulates, it breeds predatory fish. And when rites and duties become decorations, they breed artificial and hypocritical people. The title that the Emperor had quickly invented and thrown to him that day, and which he had so obsequiously caught, were now empty and meaningless to him.

He had decided at that moment to apply his new found virtue of patience to more meaningful pursuits and departed the Court.

He would no more attach such importance to such false things. And he would no more suggest solutions that sought reward by pandering to the whims of another in authority. Any leader who demanded, needed or revelled in such bolstering was an insecure leader. How strange it is that when rulers have obsessions, thier subjects do a lot of posturing; when a ruler is crafty, their subjects are devious; and when a ruler is demanding, their subjects are contentious. Any ruler who blamed ill luck for the state of his kingdom and sought to determine outcomes by using his strength to hold on to something weaker, was bound to fall sooner or later.

Yan Kan felt no surprise that the Emperor had lost his life through his rigid attachment to his policy for growth and recognition. His wise friend Cai Tok had ben right: ‘When political leaders ruin their countries and wreck their lands, themselves to die at others hands, it is always because of their impatient desires.’

Since becoming a merchant, Yan Kan had determined to himself that he would follow the sage-like philosophy he now knew to be true: ‘To be able to use the power of other people, it is necessary to win people’s hearts. To be able to win people’s hearts, it is necessary to have self mastery. To be capable of self mastery, it is necessary to have patience.’

Yan Kan resolved to apply patience in everything, particularly when he encountered the obstacles which he had discovered were as much a part of business as they were of life.

‘The ancients were certainly wise in creating writing symbols that contained the meanings of both crisis and opportunity. I will see every obstacle as a further reminder to be infinitely patient and unattached to any particular schedule. For in such flexibility lies the power to cultivate the hidden pearl of opportunity from the grit of adversity.’

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “musicology #193

  1. patience, like all the virtues seems to take a life time of practice to achieve! the James Carr song
    is one of the sadest I’ve ever heard!

    Like

  2. What a sad, sad, “dark end of the street” song. And the accompanying “teaching of Yen Tzu” got right under my skin… in particular…..

    “when water accumulates, it breeds predatory fish”

    “when rites and duties become decorations, they breed artificial and hypocritical people”

    “any ruler who blamed ill luck for the state of his kingdom and sought to determine outcomes by using his strength to hold on to something weaker, was bound to fall sooner or later”.

    Beautifully written metaphorical/allegorical imperatives all…..
    I wonder why the Chinese are/were masters of such slights of tongue? and why is/was it (metaphors) necessary? Stupid question I know, but sometimes it does no harm asking the blindingly, stupidly obvious.

    and “patience taking a lifetime of practice” takes the (wounding) metaphorical biscuit!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s