Tao Te Ching (Chapter 30)
He who uses the Tao to advise a ruler will oppose violence.
Such methods tend to turn on the user.
Briars grow where armies have been.
The good general only achieves what has to be done.
He does not use force for his own gain.
He achieves results without boasting;
He achieves results without pride;
He achieves results without bragging;
He achieves results as a manner of necessity;
This is called achieving results without conquering.
Developing excessive strength hastens decay.
This is contrary to the Tao.
Things contrary to the Tao soon cease to be.
(By Lao Tsu, interpreted by Jerry O. Dalton)
Ego as Tyrannical Ruler
The ego pretends to be the ruler of the psyche. If you believe its fabrications, then you will be like a slave under the ego’s tyranny. The late John Sanford (Jungian analyst, Episcopal priest) used to say, “The secret is that the ego is the devil.” The proper role for the ego is to be a vessel for the Self (the Tao).
Dethrone the Ego
If a trader’s ego has become tyrannical, it will mercilessly criticize the trader for any trading losses. The ego can perpetrate internal violence against a softer side of the trader’s personality. The softer side of the personality contains more attributes of the Tao than the ego does. The ego needs to heed the advice of the Tao. “He who uses the Tao to advise a ruler will oppose violence.” The ego needs to embrace nonviolence and inner harmony if it wants to remain a contributing part of the psyche. “Developing excessive strength hastens decay. This is contrary to the Tao. Things contrary to the Tao soon cease to be.”
The Nonviolent Trader
As a trader you need to embrace nonviolence both externally and internally. Externally embracing nonviolence allows you to achieve results “without pride . . . without bragging.” Internally embracing nonviolence allows all the parts of your personality to have a voice without being judged. “This is called achieving results without conquering.” If you allow all parts of your personality a voice in your trading (and your life) you will have less fear of trading losses. Let inner democracy replace inner tyranny.