Great Abide: Tao Te Ching Chapter 7 (Amy Putkonen version)

Introduction to the “Great Abide” post series.

Missed Chapter 7 the first time around…so finally something new for you!

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.

Selflessness can be a paradox.

When we think about putting others first, then there is a risk of being pretentious about it. It is a fine line between building good will and using altruism for personal marketing and taking advantage.

When selflessness is put forth as a virtue, it brings attention to it and in an odd way defeats its own purpose. The wise person doesn’t give selflessness a passing thought one way or another. The Sage just wipes their hands on their apron and gets the job done. Real selflessness doesn’t think of itself as a virtue…it doesn’t think of itself at all. It just IS.

No judging, no weighing, no measuring, no labeling, no extolling…just being in the moment and doing what needs done – this is true selflessness. In the moment of NOW lies all eternity. The wise one who lives in that moment, who simply IS then becomes eternal themselves.