To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Friday, January 07, 2005

Know To Not Know

'Hence Shen Dao "abandoned knowledge and discarded 'self'. He flowed with the inevitable and was indifferent to natural kinds. These were his guiding tendencies. He said "know to not know (what to do)." He would have reduced know how to something harmful. Naked and without responsibility, he laughed at the social world for elevating worthies. Dissolute and with no standards of conduct, he rejected the social world's great sages. Skillful and crafty he responded to natural kinds. He lived together with shi and fei, mixed acceptable and avoidable. He didn't treat knowing and deliberation as guides, didn't know front from back. He was indifferent to everything.

If he was pushed he went, if pulled he followed — like a leaf whirling in the stream, like a feather in a wind, like dust on a millstone. He was complete and distinguished (fei) nothing. In motion and rest never went too far. He was without crime. How was this? Natural kinds that lack knowledge are free from the trouble of creating a self and from the entanglements of knowing what to do. In motion or rest he did not miss the natural tendencies. And for this reason he had no high status. So he said, "reach for being like things without knowledge of what to do. Don't use worthies and sages. Even a clod of earth cannot miss the guide."'

Chaung Tzu


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