Milan I Can Control Certain Things but Others Are Out Of My Control Reflection

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Instructions

This week we continue journaling in relation to Lao Tzu’s enigmatic masterpiece, Tao Te Ching. In particular, we will reflect more deeply on the notion of Wu Wei and compare it to the Stoic understanding of control.

* As usual, you will have five entries for the week, each a minimum of 100 words. Again, to actually get some benefit out of the assignment, I expect you to make an entry on five different days. This will be much more useful, since it will allow you take a bit of time each day to reflect on things and then to go about your life.

Reflect on and/or compare and contrast the two passages below. The first is written by Epictetus and is a line that many seemed to find intriguing in the forum. The second is written by Lao Tzu, and it is equally interesting. Besides analyzing what the two thinkers might mean, try to put the ways of thinking into practice and explain how they are working in your life.

“Don’t demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well (Enchiridion, 8).”

“In the pursuit of learning one knows more everyday; in the pursuit of the way one does less everyday. One does less and less until one does nothing at all, and when one does nothing at all there is nothing undone. It is always through not meddling that the empire is won. Should you meddle, then you are not equal to the task of winning the empire (Tao Te Ching, 55).”

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