Taoist Philosophy - Chapter 89

Recommended Posts

Abiding Contentment


Of defects,
None brings more sorrow than the desire to attain.
Of crimes,
None is greater than having things that one desires.
Of disasters,
None is greater than not knowing when one has enough.

The contentment one has
When he knows that he has enough
Is abiding contentment indeed.
There is no greater curse than the lack of contentment;
No greater sin than the desire for possession.
Therefore he who is contented with contentment
Shall be always content.

The Tit

The tit, building its nest in the mighty forest, occupies but a single twig. The beaver slakes its thirst from the river, but drinks only enough to fill its belly.

On The Nourishment Of Life

Obey laws and follow principles so as not to fall into the net of the law. Honor the self for its freedom from crimes, and enjoy peaceful leisure in the lack of burden. Roam in the realm of truth and righteousness, and lie down and rest in a humble adobe. Be quiet, be at ease, and have nothing to thwart your wishes, and then your soul and the vital force (the Spirit) will be in harmonious order. Is it necessary to have glory and splendor before one has honor? Cultivate the field to raise food and weave silk for clothing. When these are sufficient, leave the wealth of the world alone. Do as a thirsty person drinking from a river. He drinks happily enough, but does not covet the voluminous flow. Does one have to depend on an accumulation to be wealthy? This is how the gentleman exercises his mind for he regards rank and position as a tumor and material wealth as dirt and dust. What is the use of wealth and honor to him?

What is difficult to acquire in the world is neither wealth nor glory, but a sense of contentment. If one is contented, though he has only a small plot to cultivate, a coarse garment to wear, and beans to eat, in no case is he not satisfied. If one is discontented, though the whole world supports him and all things serve him, he is still not gratified. Thus it is that the contented needs nothing from the outside whereas the discontented needs everything from the outside. Needing everything, he is always in want no matter where he goes. Needing nothing, he lacks nothing regardless of where he may be. If he does not indulge his will because he enjoys splendor and glory, nor chase after vulgarity because he lives in obscurity, but moves and has his being with all things as one and cannot be either favored or disgraced, he is then really honored and wealthy. This is what the ancients meant when they said: “There is no greater happiness than freedom from worry, and there is no greater wealth than contentment.”

Edited by Marblehead

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Strawdog,


Nice post. Good questions. Most you need answer yourself.


But this:


Marbles.... have you experienced that feeling? Moment to moment... fleeting yes,

but attainable for periods of time,


I can honestly answer yes. Desires is not one of my problems anymore. I have enough. My biggest problem is with my ego. My early life caused me to place more importance on 'myself' than was really necessary but because of externals it was the only way I could deal with my conditions.


In my life now things are fine as long as my ego is not stirred by others. Once stirred I am not a very nice guy. This, of course, is a flaw. I recognize this. I don't know if I will ever over-come this flaw but I do sometimes (but not always, Hehehe).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been a little up in the air for the last couple years because I wasn't sure I wanted to be living where I'm living. We've got a nice little house, a couple cars, and a trailer. But one part of me has been wanting to sell everything, return to California. In essence, totally upset the apple cart, and we're both in our mid to late 60's.

Another (perhaps wiser, perhaps not) part of me has recently been asking What the Hell is Wrong with What You've Got???? Absolutely nothing! I'm trying to look at everything with new eyes. I'm starting to feel a little more settled since this changed mindset. We'll see how long it lasts.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites