The Way is “Wu”

In this divided world, how does one take action
without opposing, judging,
and trying always to fix the others?
Getting “them” to behave as I would wish
by argument, shame, or force of law
is futile.
When polarities exist
(and in the world of form they always do)
we must move and act in another way,
and that “way” is “wu.”

“Wu-wei,” the Tao Te Ching reveals,
is an effortless way of living
that does not let the poles demand
a response of either “this,” or, “that.”
It is another way of being.
“Wu” means “not”
and “Wei” means “action, doing.”
So, “not doing, doing” is the way.

Sounds crazy, no?
But in our crazy world there is but one way out
and that, “wei” is “wu.”
Authentic action flows and slaloms its path
along a course of least resistance,
never constellating the polarities to such a degree
that suffering and resistance drag us down.

So I don’t attack the problem.
I sit and wait, and watch, and open
that part of my mind that does not think or problem-solve,
but simply sees with clarity, with ease,
and without urgency, without attachment.
The “wei” reveals itself, and surprise!
It also does itself.

And that “wei” that does itself is “wu.”

Author: William Martin

Taoist teacher and consultant

One thought on “The Way is “Wu””

  1. I love, love, love this always! Your chapter two!!!* You put it so marvelously! Huge wu-wei-wave to you!!! *"If force always implies a reaction force, the question becomes, “Is our habit of using force really an effective way of living?” This is where Lao-Tzu introduces the concept of “wu-wei” or “effortless doing.” It is one of the most difficult concepts in the Tao Te Ching for our culture to understand. It implies a way of “doing” that is effective primarily because it doesn’t constellate the resistance that always accompanies conditioned ways of “doing” things. It doesn't mean inert inaction. It means action that emerges naturally and flows without second thoughts or resistance. Whenever you make an intention of doing something, notice how the resistance to that very something takes form. Don't give the resistance power by concentrating on overcoming it. Simply return to the original willingness to act along a certain path and let the action flow naturally. …"– Diese Nachricht wurde von meinem Android Mobiltelefon mit GMX Mail gesendet.


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