Here is a paradox: even though the single principle of how everything happens is great, those who follow the principal know they are ordinary.
Great egocentricity does not make a person great. The common ground of all creation is a greater source of life than any exalted isolation.
These three qualities are invaluable to the wise person:
A compassionate person acts on behalf of everyone's right to life. Material simplicity gives one an abundance to share. A sense of equality is, paradoxically, one's true greatness.
Perhaps it is a mistake to consider a person whose only interest is self-interest as either caring or courageous. It is a mistake to rationalize that excessive consumption contributes to the well-being of others by giving them employment. It is a mistake to imagine that a person who acts immodestly or in a superior way is, in fact, a genuinely superior person.
These are all egocentric behaviors. They isolate a person from the common ground of existence. They produce rigidity and death.
Compassion, sharing, and equality, on the other hand, sustain life. This is because we are all one. When I care for you, I enhance the harmonious energy of the whole. And that is life.
- Heider, 1985, adapted
Sean Monsarrat, © 2021