Clinging

Flames hang on to their fuel in order to keep the fire burning. Likewise, in the human world, everything that radiates light or love is dependent upon something else. Through the webs of our interdependence, we see that everything is related, each thing to the other. Awareness of your attachment to other people is the key that opens the door to knowing your true place in the world. No human is an island.

Fire is also a symbol of liberation — crackling molecules that fly away from home. Paradoxically, by clinging to what is natural and appropriate, we gain inner freedom.

Clarity of mind is most valuable when its light illuminates events slowly and evenly. True intelligence must be tied to sincerity and genuine feeling; otherwise, it will burn itself out like a fire in dry straw. Those in possession of brilliance should learn to temper their insights, so as not to arouse enmity in others. Those who are restless and impatient with others may rise to prominence quickly, but are likely to descend just as rapidly. It is possible to be too clever.

Clarity of vision can empower you to penetrate the veil of life’s illusions. This can bring good fortune, if such a vision is accompanied by a change of heart and you let go of delusion. Once the vanity of human endeavors becomes clear, one of two extremes can happen. Either you continue to struggle for life’s rewards as if they were real or you find yourself falling into the depths of despair. But after despair, then what?

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