He who knows men is clever;

He who knows himself has insight.

He who conquers men has force;

He who conquers himself is truly strong.

                ~Lau Tsu

It is relatively easy to adopt ways of understanding people and the ways of the world, to learn to predict what others tend to do in certain circumstances.  Yet cleverness and insight are not equal.  I have seen especially clever people fail to understand themselves and see them struggle in marriages, with addictions, with any number of vices because they are unable to discern their own personalities and often fail to even consider the questions, “Who am I?”  or “What defines me as a person?” or “Is the person I think I am the real person in control?”

Often there are motives in us as people that are stronger than we would ever realize and those motives pulsate a life of their own in our subconscious.

This isn’t where you will find those answers.  I just read Lau Tsu and bring it to your attention, as I ponder what this means to me, and then reflect that no matter how many emotions, addictions, and psychosis define this suit of flesh, at the heart of me is a humble man who Loves with unconditional fervor and a loyal friend.  This is who I am when all things are scraped away.  Sometimes, those other things make the view difficult to understand, but they don’t erode the inner man that is ever present and defining my every move.

I hope you all find who you are, because I use to think I was just a product of my actions, unaware of the beauty obscured by those very motions.  I now know the Divine “Me” and it is all I ever wanted to be.

11 thoughts on “Insight

  1. I am right there with you iamzion. Resonating with your About iamzion! Kernels of truth are everywhere, and today, I am enjoying finding yours.

  2. Beautiful Zion! I lost who I was in marriage. It has taken me years of searching to gain back that philosophical insight I was working on before meeting him. I like to think I am finally at the stage of working on self! Thanks for the insight and that clue to continue pondering!

  3. In expressing the difference between cleverness and insight and the desire to act from the purity within, you have beautifully summed up a common struggle and goal of all people. Well said!

  4. The quote is an eternal gem of truth, I breath deeply and exhale in relief each time I come across it. The insight that “cleverness and insight are not equal” is a thing I’ve witnessed first hand – being right, being the most knowledgeable, being the first … does not lead to peace of mind if it is only motivated by a need to feel powerful and better… does not lead to happy, supportive, growing relationships. A good post, and a lovely blog.

  5. I have to disagree with myself on one point, the Divine me is not “all” I ever wanted to be, and I think it a bit presumptuous of me to state it so since I obviously have a very definite idea of who I truly desire to be and my devine self is in line with that but most assuredly resulted as a knowledge began in pursuit of another purpose entirely, and that purpose still remains my first and foremost reason to be at all!

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