Today’s Tao Te Ching Daily challenge is chapter 7:
Heaven and Earth are Eternal
because they do not live for themselves.
This is the reason
they exist consistently through time.
The sage puts herself last and ends up first.
She identifies herself with the Universal Self
And thus remains constant.
Isn’t this so because
she lacks personal self-interest?
This is why she will succeed
in all of her personal endeavors.
Like Einstein is jokingly reported to have said “everything is relative”.
I associate this chapter with the Tower major arcana card. It is about relative perspective, and point of view. This chapter also reflects one of the many overlaps between Taoist and Buddhist thought.
The humorous take there is “What did the Dali Lama say to the hot dog vendor when he visited New York? ‘Make me one with everything'”
Heaven and Earth are eternal because they simply ARE – no comparisons to time, no relative starts or finishes. In Buddhism this is the base state from which all else arises: being, desire, aversion, suffering, etc. It is the grand-ultimate, the taiji, the universal cosmos,the Tao. In tarot, this is the top of the tower, the ultimate perspective. It is a perspective that doesn’t live for its separate self…it lives for everything at once, including self.
Paradoxically, this sage’s point of view is one with everything, and outside of everything (time included, thus eternal)…both at the same time.
The sage succeeds because there is no comparisons or “keeping up with the Jones”. There is relativity to others accomplishes. When action (or inaction) is viewed from the universal perspective…there is no bar to clear, no yardstick by which to measure, no deeming something or someone as a success or failure. The person, the action, the outcome simply IS. It is one with everything, relative to nothing, eternal, peaceful and happy.