Outcomes versus Goals


Research Association of Laozi Taoist Culture

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We are taught to pursue our goals.  This is a good thing. Focus is always helpful in bringing clarity.

Sometimes, though, we mix up the stages on the journey toward our goals with the goals themselves.

This can happen with anything – not just material things.

Greed for enlightenment and immortality is no different than greed for material wealth. It is self-centered and dualistic, and thus an obstacle to true attainment. Therefore these states are never achieved by those who covet them; rather, they are the reward of the virtuous. (1) 

As well as focusing on our goals we need to increase our vision so that we can better see the end of things.  This will help us to determine our immediate goals without compromising either our integrity or our overarching aspiration.

The essence of true safety is to observe silence, to look at the end of things and to renounce the world. (2)

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(1) Lao Tzu, The Hua Hu Ching

(2) Bahá’u’lláh, Words of Wisdom