Daily Tao / 173 – Renunciation

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Wine’s pleasure,
Love’s intoxication,
Work’s obsession,
Children’s involvement,
Age’s sorrow.
When will craving end?

Originally there was nothing. It is to nothing that we return. Differentiation came out of the interplay of cosmic opposites. Human life became mired in complexities, and this constant diversity is stressful and disruptive. We ourselves add to the problem with our own lusts and ambitions. We intoxicate ourselves, we indulge in sensual gratification, we strive for success in our careers, we commit decades to the raising of children. All this, only to be caught in the closing jaws of old age, gradually hemmed in until there is no alternative other than sorrows, infirmities, and senility.

Duty is inevitable, but we need not saddle ourselves with extra responsibilities. Keep life simple. Give up as much as possible. Renounce unnecessary cravings and desires. Leave behind the trappings of wealth and success. Turn toward the divine. It satisfies, it brings knowledge, and it brings joy.

Renunciation