Comments on “Meaningness: the complete stance”

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Taoism

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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