Having Enough: Help for the Ego’s Craving

In the realm of ego life, there is never enough of anything. Ego uses a great deal of physical and mental space to fill and store its ambitions and to preserve and expand its possessions. Consider the issue of living space, for example: for the ego, nothing is ever big enough. An apartment is not as good as a house, a house is not as good as a mansion, a mansion is not as good as a country.

Read the wise words of the great Chinese sage, to help free yourself from the endless cycle of wanting, gaining, and losing, here:

Ego cannot distinguish when enough is enough. Since the body will necessarily die, what is the value of it? If the ego can be completely abandoned, how can it be possessed? Since gain and loss complement each other, how can we have one without the other? We come from nothing and we have nothing. We gather nothing on our journey to death other than our own energized deeds. What we gain is what we will lose. The more we gain, the more we will lose.

Which is more cherished, the name or the body?
Which is worth more, the body or possessions?
Which is more beneficial, to gain or to lose?
Extreme fondness is necessarily very costly.
The more you cling to, the more you lose.
So knowing what is sufficient averts disgrace.
Knowing when to stop averts danger.
This can lead to a longer life.
–Lao Tzu

Adapted from The Secret Teachings of the Tao Te Ching, by Mantak Chia and Tao Huang (Inner Traditions, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Mantak Chia nad Tao Hunag. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from The Secret Teachings of the Tao Te Ching, by Mantak Chia and Tao Huang (Inner Traditions, 2005).


Patricia H.
Patricia H.5 years ago

thanks for posting

Susan S.
Paul Stephan5 years ago

So UN American. ;-) And so true.

Ajla C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Thank you for the article.

Victoria P.
Victoria P5 years ago

Reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker: I started with nothing and I still have most of it left!

J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

worth pondering

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago


Anastasia J.
Anastasia J6 years ago

A good reading to help one keep perspective. Thanks.

SuSanne P.

TY dearest Annie :)

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Very nice and true. Thanks Annie!

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy6 years ago

Great article! Being thankful for what we have is a blessing, but being a hoarder of gotta have this or that to show your need or wealth is not normal. Be thankful for what you do have and not morn for what you don't have. Being a person of whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine is insane thinking. Having too much can be just as depressing as not having anything at all. You can have everything in the world and still not be happy. Happiness is within yourself so why put yourself in dept to show others what you worship having to prove your the better person when were just as equal in reality as the person who doesn't have mentally.