Pyramid Art

41. Decline.

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Above: The Tenacious (1)
Below: The Joyous (2)

That which lies below transfers its strength to that above.

Suppose the roots of a young tree are cut away and restricted, in the manner of a Bonsai. The tree will not grow tall, but it will become more elegant and more greatly cherished than if it had been allowed to grow unrestricted in the wild. It certainly will not die, given the right care. The same is true of society. Improved social justice has a moral elegance above unbridled growth. Unrestricted growth may lead to premature failure, such as if a storm should uproot a tall tree exposed to high winds.

Under certain circumstances, decline is not detrimental. Expansion and contraction come in cycles. One should understand the needs of the time and not try to hide deprivation with empty pretence. If a time of insufficiency brings forth inner truth that has everlasting benefit, simplicity then is the very thing needed to gather strength for further undertakings.

One should have no concern for outward appearance at such times. The power of devotion to life’s meaningful content makes up for its simplicity. Even a person of slender means can express the power of the heart.