10 November 2016

Dao is like Farming - Follow the Seasons to Abundance - DaoDeJing 59

How to do more with less? How to create a viral effect? How to build a sustainable and growing business. Lao Zi tells us to follow the ways of the farming. You sow and reap according to the seasons and let nature carries your effort to produce multifold returns. DaoDeJing 59
DaoDeJing Chapter 59 Text and Translation

治人事天莫若啬,夫唯啬是谓早服;
Ruling people and serving God is like farming. Farming must quickly follow the seasons.
(If you miss the seasons of sowing and reaping, you will not have a harvest).

早服谓之重积德,重积德则无不克;
Follow the seasons is about focusing on the accumulation of virtues(good character and deeds).
Accumulation of virtues will conquer everything; nothing cannot be defeated.

无不克则莫知其极,莫知其极可以有国;
Winning always means you don't know the limits. (There is not limit to your development of virtues).
Not limiting yourself means you can have a country.

有国之母可以长久,是谓深根固柢,长生久视之道。
A country with a mother-like ruler can last.
This is called a tree with deep roots will have a strong foundation.
This is the way/Dao of longevity and lasting vitality.

The Lessons from Farming
There are many lessons that we can learn from farming.  Lao Zi only highlights the important principle of following the seasons. In ancient China, the saying is, 春生夏长 秋收冬藏. "Sow in spring, grow in summer, harvest in autumn and keep in winter." If you follow the seasons, then your effort will be rewarded with multifold returns, a harvest of many times the amount of the seeds you sowed. 

Application to Life - It is about internalization of the Virtues of Dao
As we follow the seasons to get an abundant harvest, we should also follow the Way of Dao to have a meaningful and useful life. The more we develop our character, the better and greater will be our behavior and impact. You can find the 3 attributes of character in Three Treasures for Your Greatness - DaoDeJing 67

You will be like a Tree with Roots - Strong and Always Green
If you have a good character, then you can rule a nation or run a business or have a great career. Lao Zi uses a big tree with deep roots and a strong foundation to describe you. In the Bible, there is also such a description. 

Psalm 1 ESV
1 Blessed is the man 
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord [the Dao],
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Are you developing your character, or are you just trying to improve your skills only?
The way to success is not just your skill set, your IQ. But the more important thing that you need is your EQ, your character - how you manage yourself and how you relate to others.

Lim Liat 10 Nov 2016

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