Heaven and earth are enduring. The reason why heaven and earth can be enduring is that they do not give themselves life. Hence they are able to be long lived.
This chapter, like the last, speaks to what Jesus said: ‘For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it’. This also corresponds to Buddha’s Four Truths—especially the fourth: ‘…There is salvation for him whose self disappears before truth…’ Basic truth is very simple and universal. I guess religion becomes as partisan as it does because of our strong social/tribal instincts. Also, I suppose, many of us just can’t accept such an austere reality.
Therefore the wise puts his person last and it comes first,
Treats it as extraneous to himself and it is preserved.
Is it not because he is without thought of self that he is able to accomplish his private ends?
Whatever I make important becomes the focus of my personal insecurity. The more important something becomes, the more I worry about losing it… it’s ironic. This, for me is ‘cosmic justice’; clinging is counter-balanced by a fear of loss. I suppose this correlates to ‘I can’t have my cake and eat it too’. Thus, only by letting go can I accomplish my private ends. My most private end is contentment—happiness. I’ve found that my true happiness never comes from holding on.
This corresponds to Jesus’s ‘lay not your treasures upon earth…’. Of course, knowing this doesn’t mean I can let go of everything! But, at least I know the source of my troubles and spend less energy in the futile struggle to ‘have my cake and eat it too’.
Treating my desires and needs as extraneous to myself cuts down on stress. Living this way is like river rafting—the currents take me where THEY will—not where I will. The less importance I put on my own will, the more I can enjoy the journey. Treats it, is how I view it—how I look at my circumstance. It is not an attempt to force a particular outcome! I’ve tried that, and failed.
The deepest joy I experience is the sense of connection (love); I dissolve and blend into ‘that’. The more thought of self I have, the weaker this connection; some issue looms over me, complicates my life, and has to be resolved before I’m able reconnect.
The more I put my person first, the more sensitive to circumstances (neurotic) I become—life grows increasingly complicated. I need this… I need that. I block the gateway of the mysterious female.”[see ch. 6]. by my ever rising expectations. A simple content life is out of reach; simplicity—the key to connection (love).
The dream end of all that I do is to lose myself in peaceful happiness. The more I AM, the harder it is to lose myself. I can only win by giving up.
I often use the word ‘should’ when I put my person FIRST! I take the higher position and start passing judgments and pushing for perfection in myself and others. A peaceful way is to follow a middle path between MY extremes. I say MY because what is extreme varies for each of us. I just know that I tend to flip flop from one extreme to its opposite whenever I pursue perfection.
My private end is the peace that awaits me after my needs are satiated. This is one of natures biological hoodwinks; nature lures me to keep chasing needs with an illusion that through satisfying them I’ll be happy. It’s a good survival trick that keeps me active. However, this habit of pursuing needs never brings more than a fleeting peace… then I’m off and running on the next quest. Only when I “put my need last” and treat it as extraneous to myself do I get close to real peace.