Real Meaing of Being Not Selfish - Tao Te Ching

Real Meaing of Being Not Selfish - Tao Te Ching

Not Selfish

Chapter 7 of Tao Te Ching goes into why the schools or sects and lineages are not selfish, and they don’t really think for themselves. At the same time, you must know that it is more about telling you why they don’t think for themselves, not the disciples should not think for themselves. Read on, and you will find it very logical even applying to business and schools today.

If you have not read our previous chapters, feel free to do so, you can also access them here:

Chapter one

Chapter two

Chapter three

Chapter four

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Remember that there are many sects and lineages in Taoism, which connects to their own Tao, and so the things they have is not the same. They all learn from a difference Tao, a different higher power, and that is why they are different.  Your job, before being a Taoist, is to pick one that fits you, and then request to ordain and join into the lineage to begin the journey.  Just like what we say in “What is Taoism”, a Taoist must first find their Tao!

 

Tao Te Ching - Chapter 7

天長地久。天地所以能長且久者,以其不自生,故能長生。

The sky can keep providing, and the ground will keep growing on and on for a long time. Which here applies to the sky is the Tao, which gives resources to the lineage (ground). The Tao is the higher power that provides the teachings, the wisdom, and the lineage absorbs it.

The reason for the sky and ground to be non-stop going on and on is because it does not born for itself, therefore, it can long live. 

A more modern way of saying this is that a business is not born because of itself, a business is born because of demand in the world.  If you have a business like this, you will always have clients.  Just like restaurants and food business, people all need food. As long as there are people, you will have business, and your business can go on.  Just like chapter 6 said, demand is why the schools exist.

There is a demand and need for this thing, and so there goes a school or lineage for you to learn these things. Regardless of the subject, it’s all the same, isn’t it?

是以聖人後其身而身先;外其身而身存。非以其無私邪﹖故能成其私。

Therefore, the master who can connect to the Tao will take a step back from himself to act for others first, and treat his own body like as if it just exists for the benefit of others, it’s all because he is not selfish and not absorbing only for himself, and that is why he can success in thinking for himself.

If you put this into a business example, you will see how it works.

A chef opens his restaurant, and his mindset is that he is cooking for people who want his food. His business exists because of the people who come to eat.  He doesn’t cook things that he likes, he cooks things that people like, and because he doesn’t only think in his own shoes, that is why he can success in his business! 

Gordon Ramsay taoism

Just watch some shows from Gordon Ramsay like Kitchen nightmare and such, you will know how many chefs actually failed their business because they only think in their own perspective and never think for the client. They only do the cooking because they like to cook, but they never think about the people who are eating and never care about feedbacks from the customers. They only cook it “their way” and expect people to like it and pay them.  Gosh, that’s a disaster!  People are eating their food and complaining about it, and these chefs will say “ah F*xk, they don’t know how to eat!”  Is that the way of doing business?  Don’t think so.

Jee Sifu

This also applies to Chi in Nature here and how me (Jee sifu) went through my journey too. Our lineage and company exist not only because of ourselves but also because there is a demand in the market for us.  As we evolve and improve, we keep on learning from our past experience, from our clients, and we change the way we do things, the way we present our knowledge, and our business gets better and better over the years.

As you can see, this is telling you why you should get ordained into a sect or lineage again. At the same time, it is teaching you how to observe a sect or lineage, or even a master, to make your decision wisely.  There are masters out there who teach well, and some who are garbage-grade teachers.  Well, just look at them and see how they teach. Do they just care about promoting and spreading their words?  Or do they actually care about people listening and learning?  Do they act selfishly and just grab people in?  Or do they actually care about the people learning from them?  Even picking a school for your kids, these are essential elements to consider too.