The heavy is the root of the light.
The still is the master of the unrest.
the successful person is
poised and centered
in the midst of all the activities;
although surrounded by opulence,
he is not swayed.
Why should the lord of the country
flit about like a fool?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
To be restless is to lose one’s self-mastery.
Unrest stems from reactivity to anger, anxiety, dissatisfaction, and want. Most of us live in a state of constant reactivity. Bouncing between one reaction provoking situation to the next. It is almost as if we have forgotten how to feel without some external force pushing back against us.
I have mentioned before that my son has Sensory Processing Disorder. One of the symptoms of sensory kids is that they often lack the ability to know where they are in space compared to other things around them. Sensory kids will often bump into walls, furniture or other people as a way to center themselves and signal where they are in relation to others.
My son’s disorder is at least identifiable. Most of us, without even knowing it, live with a different kind of sensory disorder where we are addicted to the external stimuli of reacting to others and having others react to us in order to know our place in life. We use caffeine to wake up and drugs to put us to sleep and spend our days looking for someone or something to “bump up against”. I.e. That other driver to vent our frustration at; that family member or coworker to start drama with in order to feel that we matter; that thing that we decide we want and proceed to beat ourselves up because we don’t have it yet.
Self-mastery comes when we learn to come from the stillness inside of us that is peace, love, and contentment. We must learn to respond using this internal stillness instead of reacting to the external stimuli.
Through self-mastery we know our place in the world because we understand our purpose and no longer need external stimuli to provide us with our value in life. The external world can blow to and fro and we stay connected to our root and remain still amongst the unrest.