"Heaven lasts long, and Earth abides.
What is the secret of their durability?
Is it not because they do not live for themselves
That they can live so long?
Therefore, the Sage wants to remain behind,
But finds himself at the head of others;
Reckons himself out,
But finds himself safe and secure.
Is it not because he is selfless
That his Self is realized?"
- Translated by John C. H. Wu, Chapter 7
"Heaven is eternal, earth is lasting.
The reason why heaven and earth are eternal and lasting is because they do not live for themselves,
That is the reason they will ever endure.
Therefore the wise man will keep his personality out of sight and because of so doing he will become notable.
He subordinates his personality and therefore it is preserved.
Is it not because he is disinterested, that his own interests are conserved?"
- Translated by Dwight Goddard and Henri Borel, 1919, Chapter 7
"Both Heaven and Earth endure a long time.
The cause of their endurance is their indifference to long life.
This is why the subsist.
Thus the wise man, indifferent to himself, is the greatest among men, and taking no care for himself, he is nevertheless preserved.
By being the most unselfish he is the most secure of all."
- Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 7
"Heaven is long-enduring and earth continues long.
The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is
Because they do not live of, or for, themselves.
This is how they are able to continue and endure.
Therefore the sage puts his own person last, and yet it is found in the foremost place;
He treats his person as if it were foreign to him, and yet that person is preserved.
Is it not because he has no personal and private ends, that therefore such ends are realized?"
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 7
"Heaven and earth are long lasting (chiu).
The reason why heaven and earth are long lasting:
Because they do not live for self (pu tzu sheng).
Therefore they last long.
Thus the sage puts his body (shen) behind,
Yet his body is in front.
He regards his body as external,
Yet his body remains in existence (ts'un).
Is it not because he is selfless (wu szu),
That he can fulfill himself (ch'eng ch'i szu)."
- Translated by Ellen Marie Chen, 2000, Chapter 7
"Heaven and Earth can endure long. If Heaven and Earth endure long, It is because they do not live for self, Therefore they can long endure. That is why the self-controlled man puts himself last, Yet he is found in the foremost place. He regards his body as outside of himself, Yet his body is preserved. Is it not that his chief interest is in the Inner Life? Therefore he can perfect his chief interest." - Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 6
"Nature continues long. What is the reason that Nature continues long? Because it produces nothing for itself it is able to constantly produce. It is for this reason that the Holy Man puts himself in the background; yet he comes to the front. He is indifferent to himself; yet he is preserved. Is it not because he has no interests of his own that he is able to secure his interests?" - Translated by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, 1905, Chapter 7
Chapter 7 of the Dao De Jing by Laozi: Text and Commentaries
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching