Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Taoist Motto

Get it undone.

Taoism, at least my version of it, is about noticing where I'm using too much force, that is to say "doing things", and instead seeing if I can use less force, finding ways to do things that don't require force and don't feel like consciously doing anything in the usual sense of the word. It's tricky because consciously trying not to use force is actually forceful. It's more like developing a knack for letting the forceful actions go rather than suppressing them with still more force. These natural un-forced actions are called "wu-wei" or "non-action" in Chinese. "Get it undone" is using the word "undone" more in the sense of getting a knot undone or in the sense of getting things unblocked, rather than in the sense of getting a job undone...It's more like releasing things that are held in place with force or conscious action and letting them become undone so they can "do" themselves.

What did the Taoist say on his deathbed?

"If only I had done less..."

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