“I have three treasures
I hold on to them and protect them
The first is called compassion
The second is called conservation
The third is called not daring to be ahead in the world. (Humility)TTC 67 (Lin)
So, you want to be a Taoist Sage, well here it is for you folks, the secret sauce Lao Tzu was living by 2500 years ago.
1. Compassion- Defined as Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
The first of Lao Tzu’s three treasures is the key to get you into the room. What I mean is this. Compassion is not something that can be faked; it can not be contrived. Compassion must be genuine. Yet, if I am told to have compassion for someone, I can’t just do it. It is not like tying my shoe. I need to know someone to have compassion. I need to care about them to be concerned for their misfortune. Maybe I can do that for the people closest to me, but the world? How can I be compassionate for everyone, even those that I do not know?
This is why compassion is the key to The Room because the only way to have authentic compassion for anyone is to learn compassion for yourself. To know compassion for yourself is to honestly know yourself; if you truly know yourself, you know the world.
“Therefore observe others with yourself
Ovserve other families with your family
Observe other communities with your community
Observe other countries with your country
Observe the world with the world
With what do I know the world?
With thisTTC 54 (Lin)
Stephen Mitchell translates “With this” to “by looking within.” I feel that looking within fits the overall theme properly. We can have compassion for other families by looking at the insanity (haha) of our own families, and so on.
How do we look at our selves? Honestly.
Welcome to the Room of Sagity.
2. Conservation- is defined as the action of conserving something in particular.
Here Conservation is translated by others as simplicity; I have found it to mean focus. If we look at simplicity and conservation, we can see that what comes from these words is a more focused life.
When I remove things from my life, say social media, tv, staying up late, and unhealthy foods, one could very quickly see how the clearing of these things would make my life 1. simpler and 2. more focused on whatever I would like to focus on. Cutting the fat in our lives is such a vital part of Taoist teaching. The unnecessary clutter in our lives keeps us from our 1st treasure, which is Compassion; if I have much in the way of distraction from outside things, how can I care about someone else with misfortune when I am too busy focusing on my excess.
Thus Conservation keeps us in The Room
3. Humility- is defined as a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.
Here is what I have learned of humility thus far in my life. I have had an inflated image of myself in my mind. One that when I wrote out my life on paper did not match up to the stellar God-like superhero I believed myself to be.
Once the idea of who I was matched up with the reality of who I was, was I capable of being of any use to anyone. Once of use, I have to check in daily to remain right-sized.
Humility is spoken of in the Tao Te Ching many times and so often compared to the rivers of the Valley.
“Rivers and oceans can be the kings of a hundred valleys because of their goodness in staying low.” (Lin 66)
Humility keeps us aligned with our second and third treasures. Without humility, we can not see ourselves as the world. Without humility, we can not live a simple, focused life of service to others.
So we can also see that all three treasures work in unison with one another, all-powerful virtues on their own, but together, they represent a fullness of the Tao.
Thus Humility makes us the Servant King in The Room.
Then we can begin to build a room with no walls, that everyone may be a part of this beautiful expression of the Tao. We can live in harmony with all because we are a representation of the Way and our treasures are on display by a disappearing of ourselves and an awakening of our oneness.
Welcome to The Room. I hope you enjoy your stay.