Which means more to you, your name or your renown?
Which brings more to you, you or what you own?
I say what you gain is more trouble than what you lose.
Love is the fruit of sacrifice.
Wealth is the fruit of generosity.
A contented man is never disappointed.
He who knows when to stop is preserved from peril,
only thus can you endure long.
What are you putting emphasis on in your life? On your true self or on the person that relies on the approval and acceptance of others? On the person that is connected to everything and has everything needed or on the person who needs more and more material things to feel complete?
If you are putting more emphasis on getting more acclaim from others and more things, then, according to this verse, you are only looking for more trouble. What does this mean? If you reliant on outside things and people for your happiness and satisfaction, then you are going to be constantly disappointed. In addition, once you get that approval you are seeking or that object that you think you need, that will soon not be enough and you will then need the next person’s approval or the next bigger thing.
By gaining these things, you are losing because you are allowing those things to define you.When things define you, they are never enough and when you lose them, which you will, you lose your definition.
Love and wealth come to those that give without the need for retribution. What is wealth in this context? Wealth is a well lived life full of love, happiness and contentment.
“A contented man is never disappointed” because his (or her) satisfaction is not tied to any particular outcome. He/she sees the beauty in whatever is offered. He/she is grateful for what already exists and understand that everything and everyone is already connected, so there is no need for want and nothing is really ever missing.
The last two lines refer to knowing when to “stop”. This means to know when to get off of the constant treadmill of want and lacking. The desire for more and feeling that something is missing is a never ending cycle. Under this mindset, once something is gained, more is wanted.
By knowing when to get off that treadmill, one removes suffering and unhappiness.
- 35th Verse – Downward Descent of Decadence (alongthetao.wordpress.com)
- 43rd Verse – Fluidity in Action (alongthetao.wordpress.com)
- 40th Verse – Yielding to the Source (alongthetao.wordpress.com)