All our lives long, every day and every hour we are engaged in the process of accommodating our changed and unchanged selves to changed and unchanged surroundings; living, in fact, is nothing less than this process of accommodation; when we fail in it a little we are stupid, when we fail flagrantly we are mad, when we suspend it temporarily we sleep, when we give up the attempt altogether we die.We have studied in chapters 3 and 4 about values to guide our lives and about how to control our behavior. In chapters 5 to 8, we turn our attention to four generally unwanted, unpleasant emotions--stress, depression, anger, and dependency. First, we will study stress, anxiety, and fears, because these are the most common emotional problems.
-Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh
Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace...
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity...
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant, disinterested,
amused, kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king...
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.
-Lao-tzu, The Book of The Way, 500 B.C., translated by Stephen Mitchell