Subservience - 奉承 - Fèngchéng
A sudden storm in summer,
drenches travelers and pilgrims alike-
each man and woman dashes for cover
perplexed and distinctly perturbed.
Asking for reasons,
which won't come,
hiding under the eaves.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
(pics taken from http://bipblog.com/archives/3808294.html)
Those who seek Tao make much of knowing the cycles of change. They have made a science of tracking progress. Some are so skilled that their lives seem almost magical. Yet, during sudden emergencies, these wise ones may even be surprised.
Such is the case with unseasonable weather. It is supposed to be hot and dry in the summer, but a drenched, chilly morning seems almost like midwinter. Following the cycles does not mean that you can predict future events precisely and completely. The way that circumstances develop is ultimately independent of our regulation. Nature cannot be instilled with regimentation. It does not adapt to our human theories; our theories adapt as we understand more and more. Our sciences are imperfect at analyzing nature, because we are imperfect beings.
Followers of Tao should strive to be flexible and adaptable in all circumstances. One must forgo personal desire at times. Even if continuing the journey is of the utmost importance, one must take a break under the eaves at times. This is a necessary reprieve from the elements; if ignored, sickness and infirmity will overtake the body. The follower must bow to nature. By setting aside personal interest, it becomes possible to fulfill one's goals without being overcome with despair.