25 November 2016

The Greatest Sin is Greed - DaoDeJing 46

The greatest sin is greed. Why? It causes all the wars and disasters said Lao Zi in DaoDeJing 46. The solution is to be contented.
DaoDeJing Chapter 46 Text and Translation:

天下有道,却走马以粪;
When the world practises the Way of Dao, then horses are used to fertilize the fields.

天下无道,戎马生于郊;
When the world follow not the Way of Dao, then war horses are to be found at the wilderness.

祸莫大于不知足,
There is no greatest disasters than not knowing contentment.

咎莫大于欲得;
There is no sin greater than greed (always wanting to have more).

故知足之足,常足矣!
Hence, knowing one has enough already is contentment and will always be so satisfied.

The Greatest Sin is Greed
Lao Zi contrast peace and war.  When there is peace, the horse is a tools for farming. When there is a war, horses becomes the tools for destruction. The root cause is the greed of man - always wanting more. 

The Bible has a similar saying in James 4  (NET Bible) Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? 2 You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; 3 you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.

Greed is a very deceptive kind of sin. Sins like stealing, killing, adultery are known by the acts. But greed is very difficult to define. How much is enough and how much more is greed? Ask anyone if he/she has greed, and the answer will be no. Yet, we always want more that what we get. If always think that if only I can earn some more, I will be happy. But when we reach our wish, we wish to have more. That's greed but we think it is not. It is so natural, how can that be a sin of greed?

The solution is to know contentment.  Lao Zi shows us how to have contentment in A Happy Long Life is as Simple as 123 - DaoDeJing 44.

Lim Liat (c) 25 Nov 2016

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