Comments on “Meaningness: the complete stance”



I wouldn’t characterize Taoism as advocating only non-doing. Instead doing only what is within one’s nature, and not struggling beyond it. Which feels very much like a complete stance.

Thanks! Deleted

Thank you for that! I know very little about Taoism. I said “some interpretations of” in order to hedge that—and I have read some popular explanations that do make it about non-doing. I’m not surprised they are inaccurate.

On reflection, mentioning Taoism and Buddhism was irrelevant and unnecessary anyway, so I’ve simply deleted the whole sentence.

Daoism (Taoism), "Wu wei," Hinduism, Zen

Trevor's picture

I wouldn’t characterize Taoism as advocating only non-doing. Instead doing only what is within one’s nature, and not struggling beyond it. Which feels very much like a complete stance.

I agree with Christopher’s comment. I have done a bit of reading and research on this topic (Daoism in particular) and the idea of 无为 (wu2wei2) or “non-action” is actually even defined in Pleco (a very good Chinese-English dictionary) as: “do nothing and let things take their own course (a basic concept in Taoism, understood as no unnatural action rather than complete passivity”. I am not sure if you have learned about Hinduism (and I still have not read extensively yet) but there seems to be a similar concept in the Bhagavad Gita when Krishna (Vishnu) tells Arjuna a similar idea: ‘act without acting.’ That is, to act without personal attachment. I think it likely has nuanced differences (such as in the Hindu idea of duty and whatnot) but it has stood out to me as an interesting point.

Also of interest is that I have read that Zen Buddhism originated from a mixture of Daoist and Buddhist ideas in China that made their way to Japan.

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This page introduces a section containing the following pages:

  • The appeal of complete stances

    Resolving problems of meaning by recognizing inseparable pattern and nebulosity will improve your life.

  • Peak experiences

    Peak experiences and the complete stance are similar in texture, but differ in intensity, conceptual content, and causes.

  • Obstacles to the complete stance

    Meaning and meaninglessness, pattern and nebulosity all obviously exist—yet we resist recognizing and admitting this. Why?

  • ⚒︎ Observing meaningness

    How to catch meaningness in action; ways of watching confused and complete stances.

  • Finding the complete stance

    The fundamental method for resolving problems of meaning: by finding nebulosity, pattern, and their inseparable relationship.

  • Textures of completion

    Patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting in the complete stance, which resolves problems of meaning.

    • Wonder

      Wonder at the vastness, beauty, and intricacy of the phenomenal world: a texture of the complete stance.

    • Open-ended curiosity

      Open-ended curiosity gives you the freedom to interact with the world without metaphysical presuppositions.

    • ⚒︎ Humor

      Recognizing the inseparability of nebulosity and pattern gives experience a texture of good humor, and the funny sort too!

    • ⚒︎ Play

      Playfulness, which recognizes the mingled pattern and nebulosity of meaning, is a characteristic texture of activity in the complete stance.

    • ⚒︎ Enjoying the dance of nebulosity and pattern

      Enjoyment of the intertwining dance of nebulosity and pattern is a characteristic texture of the complete stance to meaning.

    • ⚒︎ Creation

      Creation is the characteristic activity of the complete stance; its densest texture.

  • Stabilizing the complete stance

    Going beyond resolutions of specific problems: consistently maintaining an accurate stance toward meaningness.

This page is in the section Meaning and meaninglessness,
      which is in Doing meaning better.

The previous page is ⚒︎ Sartre’s ghost and the corpse of God.

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