Avoiding Excess

 Today we talk about avoiding excess. Uplifting news comes from California.

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Show Notes

Daily Reading

Today's reading is from chapter 9  of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching from the translation of Gia fu Feng and Jane English.


One of the interesting things about Taoism is that it doesn't position its statements as moral ones. There are plenty of other religions and philosophies out there that also warn against excess and praise moderation. However, they often frame their position as a moral one: excess is immoral because it deprives others of not having enough, or encourages negative character traits in ourselves.

Lao Tzu's argument is a little more simple. He's saying that excess itself has natural consequences. If you're excessive when pouring your drink, you'll spill. If you drive at a speed that's too excessive, you'll crash. If you eat excessively,  your health will become poor.

To borrow a phrase from another part of the Tao Te Ching, "It is always best to be content with what you have." Part of being content is slowing down enough to appreciate what we do have in life. That's why Lao Tzu reminds us to "retire when the work is done". Happy Friday. Make sure to spend some of your weekend actually resting.

Uplifting News

In Klamath, California the Yurok Tribe has bought back 50,000 acres of ancestral land from the Green Diamond and Western Rivers Conservancy. This will allow for permanent protection of the Blue Creek watershed, which is the crown jewel of the Klamath River. The tribe and organization have been working on this project for 10 years now, and a celebration will be held Monday.  

 Quote of the Day

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

― Socrates