#467 Buddha on: Making Arrows Straight

Carving Wood and Irrigating Water

In our last +1, we talked about Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean. With diligent, patient, and persistent practice, virtuous activity of the soul can be found right between the vice of excess and the vice of deficiency.

I promised to talk about magnanimity today (which literally means “great soul”) but we’re going to save that for tomorrow.

First, I want to go back to this brilliant line: “We must notice the errors into which we ourselves are liable to fall (because we all have different natural tendencies…), and we must drag ourselves in the other direction; for we shall arrive at the mean by pressing well away from our failing—just like somebody straightening out a piece of wood.”

Specifically, I want to talk about that wood we’re straightening.

I’m reminded of the Buddha’s wisdom in The Dhammapada where he tells us: “As irrigators lead water where they want, as archers make their arrows straight, as carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their minds.”

Yep. The wise shape their minds. Just like a carpenter carves wood. And an archer makes their arrows straight. And an irrigator leads water where they want.

Today’s +1.

How’s your wood carving going?

And, to mix the metaphors: What’s one little thing you can do to straighten your arrow today?

Here’s to straight arrows and water flowing where we want.

+1. +1. +1.

Unlock this Optimize +1 (and over 1,000 more) for free!

The Optimize membership used to be $100/year. It’s now free. No credit card required. No strings attached. Just more wisdom in less time.

Sign Up for Free