The third is called not getting ahead in the world”
from verse 11, Chapter 67, Tao Te Ching
The verse above stating “not getting ahead in the world”, is stating the virtue of humility. This virtue, humility, is a complementary of compassion and conservation. In conserving spirit, you have transcended the self-important perspective of ego. Compassion is having loving kindness and caring for the suffering and well-being of others. The joining of compassion and conservation opens the door to a state of not striving to get ahead in the world or non-self importance. This state of being is humility. Humility or selflessness is the antithesis of ego.
As you gain skill at sovereignty, you gain more and more control over the ego. This is the point that the need for self-importance begins to reside. Neediness is a core principle of the ego-self. The need to have attention, to be seen as the best, to always win is how the ego spends its life. Seeking ”to get ahead in the world”, rather than being like water and seeking the low places” 1.
Like the hub of a wagon wheel, being empty of ego, humility gives function to so many other principles and virtues of the Tao.
Chapter 8: “The highest goodness resembles water,
Water benefits myriad things without contention
It stays in places that people dislike”
Therefore it is similar to the Tao
Chapter 22: “….be low and become filled
Be worn out and become renewed
Have little and receive
Have much and be confused
therefore the sages hold to the one as an example to the world
Without flaunting themselves, they are seen clearly
Without presuming themselves, and are distinguished
Without praising themselves, and so have merit
With boasting about themselves and so are lasting”..
Chapter 28 “…The eternal virtue does not deviate
Return to the state of the boundless
Know the honor, hold the humility”…
Chapter 39 “The honored uses the lowly as a basis
The higher uses the lower as a foundation…”
Chapter 66 “ Rivers and oceans can be the kings of a hundred valleys
Because of their goodness in staying low
So they can be kings of a hundred valleys
Thus is sage wish to be over people
They must speak humbly to them…”
The inherent power of humility the first two treasures possible. Because you are not trying to get ahead in the world, your spirit resides in compassion. Because of your humility you are free from the greedy desire of ego never caring for conservation. The ego is too hungry with desire, it is ignorant to conserving resources. Through Sovereignty, you can engage the inherent powers of the three treasures and experience a long joyful life.
Humility is the principle and centerpiece for so many insights within the Tao. Humility opens the mystic door to the insight that those who are blinded by ego/desire/self-importance cannot see or comprehend the power of humility. Humility is the gateway to the Tao.
1See the chapter on Softness