I italicize phrases I borrow from the chapter, and link to phrases I borrow from other chapters to help tie chapters together. Some say that this makes reading it tedious at times... oh well
Because the way is vast and resembles nothing
, Taoism will be around a million years from now, when the other more explicit religions have faded into a distant memory. In fact, when I 'breath in' the [chref=1]manifold secrets [/chref] hinted at throughout the Tao Te Ching, I feel very temporally connected to the old folks back then who were likewise 'breathing in' the mystery, as well as to those who will do so in the distant future. That's enough immortality for me!
Not daring to take the lead, compassion, and frugality
are really the same thing to me. In other words, only when I'm not taking the lead
do I experience compassion
, and only when I feel compassion
can I not take the lead
. Moreover, without frugality
neither is possible. Frugality
is much deeper than its material meaning. It is like holding the reins of life and so as to [chref=15]desire not to be full[/chref] and [chref=64]desire not to desire[/chref].
Now, I must confess that my views here are born out of personal experiences. Countless times have I forsaken frugality for expansion
, and so on. Fortunately, so far anyway, not ending in death
. Actually, it is not the physical death
which is the loss I lament, but the death
of a sense of universal connection that compassion
brings. This is why these are treasures I hold and cherish
. The more I cherish
them, the more likely I am to not dare to take the lead
Why has it taken me a life time to gradually come to (more or less) truly cherish
them? Being frugal
and not taking the lead
are not among life's most instinctive goals - just the opposite, if anything. Alas, we must truly
and viscerally feel a goal is worth it before we are willing to invest true effort.