Nondoing at Chuang Tzu

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laotan
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Nondoing at Chuang Tzu

Post by laotan »

Non-action (makes its exemplifier) the lord of all fame; non-action (serves him as) the treasury of all plans; non-action (fits him for) the burden of all offices; non-action (makes him) the lord of all wisdom. The range of his action is inexhaustible, but there is nowhere any trace of his presence. He fulfils all that he has received from Heaven, but he does not see that he was the recipient of anything. A pure vacancy (of all purpose) is what characterises him. When the perfect man employs his mind, it is a mirror. It conducts nothing and anticipates nothing; it responds to (what is before it), but does not retain it. Thus he is able to deal successfully with all things, and injures none. (Chuang Tzu, VII, 6, translation by Legge).

Another beautiful paragraph from the same Book VII:

The Ruler of the Southern Ocean was Shû, the Ruler of the Northern Ocean was Hû, and the Ruler of the Centre was Chaos. Shû and Hû were continually meeting in the land of Chaos, who treated them very well. They consulted together how they might repay his kindness, and said, 'Men all have seven orifices for the purpose of seeing, hearing, eating, and breathing, while this (poor) Ruler alone has not one. Let us try and make them for him.' Accordingly they dug one orifice in him every day; and at the end of seven days Chaos died. (VII, 7)

In the quote above the doing and notdoing are very clear evidenced.

eddie_wu

Re: Nondoing at Chuang Tzu

Post by eddie_wu »

Interesting quotes laotan. I'm not sure I understand the second one though. I find I have to read Chuang Tzu over and over before I finally understand the meaning.
By the way, is wu-wei the same thing as nondoing?

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laotan
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Re: Nondoing at Chuang Tzu

Post by laotan »

eddie_wu wrote:Interesting quotes laotan. I'm not sure I understand the second one though. I find I have to read Chuang Tzu over and over before I finally understand the meaning.
By the way, is wu-wei the same thing as nondoing?
Te second quote is about doing things in accord with formal thinking (what is best and what is worst). When one proceeds as above he/she derange or even kill the world.

As for your second question, yes, wu-wei is the same as nondoing.

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