Mindful Monday: A Verse of Interest

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 7

Heaven is eternal and Earth is lasting.
How can they be eternal and lasting?
Because they do not live for themselves.
That is how they can be eternal.
The sage puts himself last and becomes the first,
Neglects himself and is preserved.
Is it not because he is unselfish that he fulfills himself?

I used the translation provided on Taoist.com website. My 2 copies at home read the same.

I believe this chapter is quite self-explanatory, but I want to highlight my favourite part. “Because they don’t live for themselves, that is how they are eternal.” Because that which lives for itself, dies when it’s own time is up. It is limited in existence – nothing outside it needs it or makes use of its life for any purpose. Its period of breathing in and out is over, so it dies. But if you help your environment and serve it, the environment protects you and saves precious life moments for you.

Can it be similar to the principle that giving happiness away doesn’t reduce it, but just increases the number of happy people? Maybe it can, who knows. It goes well in the tradition that sharing values doesn’t deplete them.

As an ending, I’d use another favourite of mine, the finishing line, from another translation: “It is because he is not focused on self-interests that he can fulfill his nature.” So, go on and fulfill your nature in the new week. Be well!