Friday, 1 February 2019

Great things and little things

Just a small reflexion in the middle of the night.

Pascal concludes the Mystère de Jésus by saying that “we must perform little things as if they were great ones because of the majesty of Christ Jesus who does them in us and who lives our life; and we must do great things as if they were simple and easy, because of His omnipotence” (quoted by Lucien Goldmann, in The Hidden God, Routledge, 1964, p.38f).

Great words, and I don't think you have to be a Christian to believe in them.

I once read the following in an old samurai manual from the early 18th century, Hagakure, written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo:"Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige's wall there was this one: 'Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.' Master lttei commented, 'Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.'"

In the same spirit, Yamamoto urges us to make our important decisions within the space of seven breaths (nanakai kokyû suru aida ni ketsudan subeshi). I always understood that to be an example of treating matters of great concern lightly. 

Don't let your mind get entangled. Try to clear it, attend to the moment and do what you think is best.   

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