nothing--absolutely nothing--to do with Daoism
Posted by Bao Pu on 2/7/2009, 10:37 am, in reply to "Re: Why Did Lao Tzu Write the TTC ?"
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: Hi Bao Pu,
: Me thinks your understanding of 'nothing to
: do' (as understood within a Laoist context)
: is lacking in depth and insight. It seems
: to be the same way our friend Butcho
: continues to (mis)understand it--i.e.,
: hedonism and nihilism.
: 'Nothing to do' points to the underlying
: peace and contentment that (for some)
: accompanies the sense that everything is
: cool just as it is. That I cannot--and do
: not have to--be 'in control' in any
: essential, fundamental way. That the dao is
: not a diabolic, malevolent process that has
: placed obstacles in my path.
: It has nothing--absolutely nothing--to do
: with 'not caring how life unfolds.'
Whatever the merits or insightfulness of your view are, they have very little to do with the Daodejing or Laoism. Anyone reading your convictions and thinking it represents Laozi's view will be in for a shock when he or she actually reads the Daodejing. Non-interference comes closest to your view, but even that is something we are advised to "do."
If I had to guess, I'd say about 75 of the 81 chapters talk about "something to do" or, more common, "not to do." Here's one example, chapter 19:
Cut off sageliness, abandon wisdom, and the people will benefit one-hundred-fold.
Cut off benevolence, abandon righteousness, and the people will return to being filial and kind.
Cut off cleverness, abandon profit, and robbers and thieves will be no more.
This might leave the people lacking in culture;
So give them something with which to identify:
Do not think just of yourself.
Make few your desires.
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