Favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared; honour and great calamity, to be regarded as personal conditions (of the same kind).
What is meant by speaking thus of favour and disgrace? Disgrace is being in a low position (after the enjoyment of favour). The getting that (favour) leads to the apprehension (of losing it), and the losing it leads to the fear of (still greater calamity):--this is what is meant by saying that favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared.
And what is meant by saying that honour and great calamity are to be (similarly) regarded as personal conditions? What makes me liable to great calamity is my having the body (which I call myself); if I had not the body, what great calamity could come to me?
Therefore he who would administer the kingdom, honouring it as he honours his own person, may be employed to govern it, and he who would administer it with the love which he bears to his own person may be entrusted with it.
-From the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13, trans. James Legge:
Are you swayed by praise… or criticism? Are you steadfast in your values and truth, regardless of the approval or disapproval received? That is what I think of when I read this passage from the sacred Tao Te Ching. I explored the importance of seeing past illusions on my radio show a few weeks ago; it seems to me this type of piercing vision takes courage. And what is courage but being in touch with our fears – the fear of failure, disapproval, (or success! or approval!). It is believing and doing what ones believes to be right anyway. Seeing the truth requires courage.
This is a cornerstone of developing one’s ability to perceive intuition and inner wisdom. We must be courageous enough to face our fears, dare to be different, or even be wrong in others’ eyes in order to actually perceive the truth of the situation. We have to be willing to take a risk and cope with rejection or confusion if the truth is not particularly well-received by others. Of course, that does not mean that we need to share every insight and hunch we have with everyone. But true Divinity transcends the disgrace or dignity that is imposed by others. True Divinity recognizes its own Grace and Worth, regardless of outward appearances or judgments. If we are always protecting ourselves against disapproval or judgment, we have lost our power, our very authenticity.
Here is the guidance I channeled from the Penguin spirit animal for episode 22 of Mystical Adventures on 2/16/2021:
We realize our regality, we realize are not insignificant, but deserve the best! One of the things we want to teach you is that it is better to go as a team to dive to the depths. We are adventurers of the sea, adventurers of the depths. We wear a crown around our head, knowing we deserve to be guided. Understand the solutions to problems are not always apparent on the surface, they must be obtained by diving deep and journeying to the cold and mysterious places others may fear to tread. We always come back with something special on these trips, and it is time you learn to trust your instincts like us, to find the treasure, to find your gold. You’ll have better luck if you don’t go it alone, and have the courage to go where others may not want to go. Have the courage to leave your comfortable banks and travel to the ancient depths that hold both mysteries and answers.
It's funny, Penguin spirit reminded me that many penguins have golden feathers around their head, like a crown, and some species have names like “Emperor Penguin” and “King Penguin.” It is important to remember our Divine “royalty”, our worth, as divine children of our Creator, and that can help us have the courage to dive into the depths of any matter and seek the truth. Sometimes we need to feel worthy, loved, or secure before we can mobilize what is needed to truly dive in and be vulnerable. Seeking the truth is a courageous act and involves both vulnerability and risk.
We are in the last days of winter (here in the Northern hemisphere), and it is a time of turning within and seeking one’s inner truth. It’s a great time to reflect and face your fears. The sun is in Pisces and favors this type of introspection and inner growth. I dare you to dive in this month, and carry up to the surface the truth that you found in your depths. We now enter a new chapter on Earth. Cosmic and global shifts are occurring, and it is the perfect time for one to “administer the kingdom, honouring it as he honours his own person.”