4 tao experiences – part IV
Maintain the sacred fire
“Reducing one’s self and restraining one’s desires”, Tao-tö-king, chapter 9
Sacred fire is a metaphor for the living, for qi, that is to say, vital energy. All Taoist practice – meditation, breathing, nutrition… – considers balance to be both the end and the means to living a just and noble life. Man loses himself in excess, he consumes himself and thus extinguishes the sacred fire of which he is the repository. Identifying material, relational and emotional excesses, then reducing them to a level that does not consume more energy than necessary is the essential prerequisite for all those who wish to live a long and peaceful life. Reducing the self means bringing it back to its proper proportion in the living chain, not putting one’s ego before everything and everyone, and taking into consideration the self of others as one takes care of one’s own, with moderation, respect and benevolence.