Acting with Inaction can be a difficult concept to grasp if taken literally. That’s why the context in which it is meant is very important; for understanding Acting with Inaction, the context is as important as the concept itself.
In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned that meditation and the ideas in the Zhuangzi are closely related. Actually, Zhuangzi made reference to meditation when a man (Yan Hui) asked Confucius about how to proceed to act with the Tao and be in the world of men. This passage can be seen in the “In the World of Men” Chapter of The Zhuangzi.
To many people, Philosophical Taoism and Buddhism are full of strange and fanciful ideas; it may seem absurd that a bird or a mouse could be the reincarnation of a relative or that people can achieve immorality by living stress-free, but these ideas and many others are taken out of context, only allowing potential seekers of “spirituality” and onlookers to engage with the concepts in a straightforward manner. This leads people to think that these philosophies have some sort of “magic” in them.
The Tao is usually translated as the Way or Flow. Zhuangzi wrote that trying to describe the Tao leads a person astray and proves that he does not know the Tao. That I’m writing about it is proof that I don’t know all of it, but I know what is certain about the Tao: that it’s what makes leaves fall in August, what dampens clothes from an unexpected summer storm. Continue reading Our Understanding of The Zhuangzi