Tao Te Ching (Chapter 13)
Accept disgrace willingly.
Accept misfortune as the human condition.
What do you mean by “Accept disgrace willingly?”
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
This is called “accepting disgrace willingly.”
What do you mean by “Accept misfortune as the human condition?”
Misfortune comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?
Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things.
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.
(By Lao Tsu, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
The first two lines could be rephrased as “Accept losses willingly” and “Accept losses as the human condition.” This line is also pertinent: “Do not be concerned with loss or gain.” In trading, loss is the opposite of win. Carl Jung repeatedly called for individuals to hold the tension of the opposites in balance in their psyches, not giving preference to either side. This allows for a third viewpoint to be born which is a creative synthesis of the two opposites. This new viewpoint can be life-changing.
As a trader, you need to go through this experience if you want to develop a natural (not mentally controlled) nonattachment to winning and losing. You need to “Accept disgrace willingly” and “Accept being unimportant.” Instead of developing a puffed-up, egocentric attitude about your wins, remember the “disgrace” of your losses and remember your “unimportance” to realize your humanness. Through the Tao’s eyes no one is more important than anyone else.
Surrender and Love the World
Carl Jung talked about the two paths through life: the path of power and the path of love. You need to let go of your power needs and postures in order to embrace love. You need to surrender (lose) your need for power. Only then can you “be trusted to care for all things.” And one of the things you need to care for is yourself. You need to not beat yourself up about your losses. If you can learn to be gentle with yourself, then you can bring gentleness into the world. “Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.”