Everyone in the world calls my Tao great As if it is beyond compare It is only because of its greatness That it seems beyond compare If it can be compared It would already be insignificant long ago I have three treasures I hold on to them and protect them The first is called compassion The second conservation The third called not daring to be ahead in the world Compassionate thus able to have true courage Conserving, thus able to reach widely Not daring to be ahead in the world Thus able to assume leadership Now if one has courage but discards compassion Reaches widely but discards conservation Goes ahead but discards being behind Then death If one fights with compassion, then victory With defense, then security Heaven shall save them And with compassion guard them Chapter 67, Tao Te Ching
It is understandable why Lao Tzu called these three virtues as treasures that he holds on to and protects. These three virtues are applicable in every aspect of life. Picking up from the last chapter of Constancy, returning to spirit is sometimes easier said than done. It takes years of practice in cultivating constancy. So I listed the three treasures as a recommended next step in keeping grounded within the Tao.
When combined the three treasures form a complementary foundation for the Sovereign path. Each one gives true context for the other two.
Compassion harmonizes with Conservation and Humility
Conservation harmonizes with Humility and Compassion
Humility harmonizes with Compassion and Conservation
If you are just beginning your conscious effort of cultivating, start with these three. Use these three as your moral compass in everyday life. When you have practiced them long enough, they will become the default perspective as you develop your Tao strategies for moving around life’s problems and obstacles.
On a personal note, I consider these three treasure as one of the key or highest virtues. You could spend the rest of your life attending to your ability to follow just these three. It is worth the effort for yourself as well as the rest of the world.
In the first chapter, you read that the concept of this life experience as being a sacred journey. Now it is time to realize that this is the journey back home. Home is where you live. Spiritually speaking, home is a returning from striving in the world of form to the tranquility of stillness and being. The path back home is very hard if not impossible without following the path of virtue. I consider the three treasures very significant guides on the road back home.