Tag Archives: tao te ching

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.