Tao Te Ching (Chapter 36)
What needs to shrink
must first have grown;
what seeks weakness
surely was strong.
What seeks its ruin
must first have risen;
what seeks to take
has surely given.
This is called the small dark light:
the soft, the weak prevail
over the hard, the strong.
(By Lao Tsu, interpreted by Ursula K. Le Guin)
A common dream theme when an individual needs to learn to be more intuitive is to feel his or her way through a dark, underground cave network. The only way to navigate the cave is to use intuition. In life aren’t you always in the dark when it comes to making important decisions? There is never enough data to make the rational mind secure in making important decisions. That’s why it’s important to be comfortable in the dark.
Too much light can be dangerous. Phaeton, son of Helios, stole his father’s chariot of the sun and took it for a spin across the sky and as young men are wont to do, Phaeton crashed the sun chariot into the earth (after all, planets are difficult to avoid when you’re speeding) and started a huge fire. A cave might be a safe place to be in a situation like that. Seek the “small dark light” of intuition to avoid crashing your sun chariot.
Shrink Your Ego
If your ego is too big, you will take too large of positions in the market. Thus, a big ego could lead to a big loss. “What needs to shrink must first have grown.” If shrinking your ego sounds too drastic, try shrink-wrapping it. That should keep it from getting into trouble, temporarily.
In Taoism, big can be bad. Like when the terminator walks into the bar and “Bad to the Bone“ starts playing. But Taoism doesn’t mention the terminator. So I can’t use the quote “I’ll be back” when referring to the rapid downturn in this present whipsawing market. But I can use a quote from the Tao Te Ching, “What seeks its ruin must first have risen.”
Soft and Flexible
It is important not to have your ideas embedded in concrete during these current market swings. Pundits will try to explain these swings: down (problems in Europe); up (possible QE3); and down (joblessness). It’s time to be flexible and take refuge in not-knowing. “The soft, the weak prevail over the hard, the strong.” Make your mind as soft as butterfly wings, so you can sense the slightest market breeze before it turns into a hurricane.