Reflections on Chapter 67 of the Tao Te Ching:
The world says these teachings of the Tao
are great, unlike anything else.
It is because of this uniqueness, that it is great.
If it were like everything else,
it would have disappeared long ago.
I have three treasures that I hold dear –
The first is called love.
The second is called simplicity.
The third is called humility.
With love, one has the power to be brave.
With simplicity, one can afford to be generous.
With humility, one can let others be first.
Therefore, one can develop to one’s true potential.
If you disregard love and remain brave,
if you shun simplicity and are wasteful,
if you try to get ahead of others,
it is surely fatal.
If you fight a battle with love, you will conquer.
In defense, you will be impenetrable.
Heaven protects and guards
those who live the principle of love.
The Three Treasures
We just talked about love in our Stillness series on the 4th chakra. It all comes down to the basics when you really look deeply at your life. What’s important?
Love. Simplicity. Humility.
These are the three treasures. The basics. Love is so important. A Course in Miracles talks about there being two basic tenants: love and fear. If you look at all your thoughts throughout the day, each one contains one or the other. Taoist principles are basically about the love.
How can you be the most loving?
How can you love yourself and humankind, your neighbors? That is where the humility comes in. Everyone wants to be brought forward. It is a universal tendency to want to move forward and to be lit up. It is part of our human condition. So if you can take the high road and be humble about it, it is all the better for everyone.
Everyone can gain from being humble to some degree.
Humility is not about “you are greater than I am”. Most of that is just self-esteem issues. I think that is where we struggle with being humble. We don’t want to be viewed as less than other people. No one does. The humility is more about allowing other people to teach you things because you can’t know everything. If you can allow other people to live into their strengths, to play with them and make them real in their lives, that is huge. It empowers them.
Empowering other people empowers you.
It makes your life better to empower people. If you are humble without throwing yourself down as a doormat, you can actually boost your self-esteem instead of lessen it. Being humble is about being open to learning and being open to not having the answers. It’s about being OK with failure. It is about having a good relationship with failure and recognizing that failure is something that you have access to all the time. Failure can teach you tremendous things if you acknowledge it, but if you try to hide it, it can’t teach you anything.
Simplicity is truth.
We build up these lives that are so involved, so complicated. We are constantly trying to escape them! The more complicated our lives are, the more we want to escape it! It’s true! lol… The things that complicate our lives are money and people and activities and causes and things. Granted, a lot of it is good but we spend so much of our lives chasing after these things that make life more complicated.
Relax into simplicity.
Anthony Bordain did a show once where he was in some small country in Africa, I think. He was with this group of refugees that were living in this camp and their homes were made out of oil drums that had been cut apart and straightened out to make walls and roofs for simple shacks that they lived in. They had dirt floors. They had nothing, really.
Anthony Bordain said these were the happiest people that he had ever seen.
It was an amazing story of the human condition. We always have choice. Even when it seems like we don’t, we really do. Sometimes when you are brought back to simplicity, if you look back at your own life when you had nothing (if you’ve ever had that experience), life was pretty simple then. We often get a bit nostalgic for that part of our lives because that simplicity is so appealing. You don’t have to manage all the stuff. There is a big movement across the globe right now for people to get back to simple living.
A lot of the lifestyle design stuff is not about making money.
It is not about becoming independently wealthy. It is more about getting down to the basics of what you really need and just being satisfied. I think that is why I like it so much. (See my section of links on Lifestyle Design in the sidebar for sites on that topic.) We don’t need big homes and lots of stuff and activities that are keeping us running around so fast. Those things are there because we have allowed that complexity to run rampant.
So these three treasures are worth thinking about. If we can just do a little bit every day to focus on these three things, our lives will just get better and better.
So what do you think? Did any of these treasures ring true for you? Which ones? Do you have any stories you want to share with us about that? We would love to hear from you. If you like this post and want to share it with your friends, I would LOVE that! There are some social media buttons in the upper right corner of this page. Feel free to share! Thanks for stopping by!