Tao Te Ching #7: “Heaven is eternal, earth is everlasting”

Heaven is eternal, earth is everlasting.
The reason they can be eternal and everlasting
is that they do not foster themselves;
that is why they can live forever.
For this reason sages put themselves last,
and they were first;
they excluded themselves,
and they survived.
Was it not by their very selflessness
that they managed to fulfill themselves?

– Thomas Cleary


Heaven is eternal and Earth is immortal
the reason they’re eternal and immortal
is because they don’t live for themselves
hence they can live forever
sages therefore pull themselves back
and end up in front
put themselves outside
and end up safe
is it not because of their selflessness
whatever they seek they find

– Red Pine


The heavens last, the earth endures.
And the reason why they do?
By disowning what they yield,
Heaven can last and earth endure.
So, surely, does the world-wise lord,
Who puts his interest far behind
And ends up in the lead,
Who puts his interest to the side
And ends up safe and whole.
Is it not so:
That having nothing to own
He can achieve his goal?

– Moss Roberts