Sincerity’s hallmark characteristic is that it can only express itself in the simplest possible terms. Thus, the most potent prayer I can pray is a single syllable. “More words count less,” said Lao Tzu.
Tag Archives: tao te ching
The power of nothing
The planet is awakening to the fact that nothing is primary and all else is secondary. “Do you know how to do nothing?” asked Lao Tsu in The Sutra of the Way and its Power. He was asking if we know how to align ourselves with the power of the divine intelligence so that when nothing is done, nothing remains undone. Zen master Michael Elliston: “If you can sit and do nothing, then you can do virtually anything.”
A masculine spirituality
Does such a thing even exist? Of course. Yes! But that’s a concession, not a boast. A masculine spirituality has a decidedly yang quality to it, an imbedded bias for action. Thus, some women are more yang than some men just as some men are more yin than some women. Wherever we find it, a bias for action needs to be examined and undone. We are human beings, after all, not human doings. “Know the male,” advises the Tao, “but keep to the female.” Most of what yang-men do is unnecessary. That was Gurdjieff’s definition of sin—whatever is unnecessary.
Accessing the source
If nothing is an option, do that. But furlough the head. Do it with your whole heart, as if you had 90 seconds to live—alert, aware, not thinking. This is a profound and dynamic state. Laozi: “When nothing is done, nothing remains undone.”
Yes or no
Right action is pre-eminently necessary. But it does not always mean doing something. Sometimes right action is along the lines of wu wei, from the Chinese for “action-less activity.” That’s why Laozi’s question “Do you know how to do nothing?” is not rhetorical.