the greatest conqueror

“The greatest conqueror is he who conquers himself.”

This is a saying or aphorism from eastern philosophy.  A possible meaning is: It is more difficult to gain mastery over one’s self than it is to impose one’s will upon others.  You might conquer a neighboring tribe, kingdom, or nation, but you would not be happy or content.

Another possible meaning is:  If a person has total control of himself, and does not give in to emotional impulses (reactive anger) that often can be self-defeating and harmful or destructive, then he can be free of much needless grief, regret, and frustration in life.

Think about that for a moment.



Are we not our own worst enemies?

In my life, I have caused myself more grief through my reckless actions and errors than all of my enemies combined have caused me over the years.

If a person can achieve self-mastery, conquer his unruly nature, then his enemies will find few vulnerable spots in which to thrust their swords.

Self mastery is like armor to protect one from both others and one’ self.

Conquering one’s self requires taming one’s unbridled appetites and desires. Regarding greed, and lustful desire (for power, pleasure, possessions, fame, etc.), there is an old Chinese (likely Taoist) proverb that is instructive.

“A man who knows when enough is enough will always have enough.”

copyright 2016 –

One comment

  1. Lucky you. I, on the other hand, have suffered far more at the hands of others. But that supports your point; those whom harmed me could not master themselves, and thus acted as animals.

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