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Showing posts from July, 2015

Past Loves as a History of Errors

When you have found stability in a relationship with a woman--which really means having committed to her--your present condition changes the color of your past relationships with other women.

All of them suddenly become mistakes, some happy ones but for the most part unfortunate errors of judgment, either yours or by the past beloved. No matter how in your daydreams you curiously wonder how your life may have fared out if you ended up with someone else; no matter how in your weakest moments you even desire those lost possibilities--your past history of love must for all intents and purposes become a history of errors.

As time reinforces your love for who you are with; as custom and habit gradually plant you to an inert state preventing you from moving back and forth; or more importantly, as you delve deeper into the person--the "real" person who can never be seen from the distance of courtship that separates those who have not committed to each other--as you get to know her…

Lao Tzu's Wu Wei ("Doing Nothing") and Teaching

Lao Tzu in his great Tao Te Ching further meditates on the virtues of letting things be by doing nothing. Wu wei figures to be central part of finding the Tao or the way; doing nothing for him enables us to mirror the nothingness which is the very essence of Tao. Now this nothingness can lead to a misunderstanding for some readers, giving the impression that the Tao is some metaphysical principle which sounds very nice but is separate from the soil of reality, having nothing to do with the daily life of work and activity. But Lao Tzu gives specific and concrete ways of attaining the way through the path of Wu wei, most of which have helped me change my approach to teaching and work in general. Take for example an excerpt from chapter 10 of the Tao Te Ching where he speaks of Wu wei as a different view of acting in the world. Lao Tzu here tells us: To produce things and to rear them, To produce, but not to take possession of them, To act, but not to rely on one’s own ability, To lead them, …