[lit-ideas] Re: Wu wei

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2004 10:07:11 -0500

Funny coincidence.  I was speaking about this in class the other day. 
 It is part of Lao-tze's defense of inaction as a way to get things done 
without disturbing the grain of the universe.  Water has many other 
desirable properties for this demonstration.  It seeks the lowest 
places.  It floats things along unless they struggle and fight against 
it.  It is soft and unobtrusive and adaptable, yet can carve canyons for 
itself through solid rock.  It is supple, yet strong: the very virtues 
of wu-wei.

Reminds me also of Buffy Sainte Marie's line from a song whose name I 
can't recall just at the moment:  
I was an oak.  Now, I'm a willow.  Now I can bend.

The Confucians, of course, called the Taoists 'irresponsible hermits.'

in North Bay

>Marlena had written:
>Who is it that can make muddy water clear? No one. But left to stand,  it 
>will gradually clear of itself.
>Tao Te Ching
>Hoping all have a sunny, happy day!
>Marlena in Missour

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