|05-21-2008, 01:13 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Wu Wei - effort without effort
There is a concept in Taoism called ‘Wu Wei.’ It’s hard to translate, but it means something like ‘action without action,’ or ‘getting things done without effort.’ At first glance, this doesn’t seem to make sense, especially to a Western mindset, steeped as it is in the puritan work ethic. Don’t we have to work hard to get anywhere in life? If you want to build muscle, you’ve got to workout, right? If you want to pass an exam, don’t you need to study hard? If you spend all term watching TV you’re going to fail your exams!
Well, this isn’t quite what ‘Wu Wei’ means. Effortless doesn’t mean lazy or indolent. It means getting things done naturally, since the natural way is the easiest and the best. Does grass make an effort to grow? It takes energy and it takes time, but it hardly takes effort. Planets move around the sun, but they do it naturally and without effort.
|05-21-2008, 01:23 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Continuing the grass theme, analogy, you can't make grass grow faster or better, by pulling at it. So it is with things in human life, everything has a natural pace, a natural energy, and a way to it. An intelligence, inherent, it's nature if you like. Wu Wei is like letting go of egoic pushing and striving, and letting this deeper, more inherent intelligence, do it's thing. I would very much recommend the book, The Tao of Pooh, for anyone who wants to learn more about Taoism.
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