How to Achieve Tao in Everyday Life through Wu-Wei and Yin & Yang

I want to begin this work from the ancient Chinese proverb quotation which illustrates the values that the Chinese culture places on nothingness and shows the essence of this notion. Chinese proverb proclaims: To attain knowledge add something every day, to attain wisdom remove something every day. One of important aspects is a necessity of conservation of all vital energy. The power of a spirit must not disperse idle ideas, resulting from unregulated desires, or dissipated as a result of out of control pleasures.

Taoism applied to everyday life Practice by not-doing and everything will fall into place. (Chapter 3). In Taoism this is the concept known as wu wei. Wu wei is the practice of doing and not-doing. This concept many years ago comes from the theory of the Yin and Yang. Each of them compliments the other, and each cannot exist alone only in complex with other concept. Such tight connection is explained by the fact that the Yang, along with wei, is the practice of doing and the Yin, along with wu wei, is the practice of not-doing. Their unions give harmony and peace.  The Tao tells people to practice not-doing because it will bring happiness in their life. By not-doing, the Tao means not performing actions, which are unnecessary and uncalled for. People should just take things as they come in life and they will live a life full of happiness and pleasure. If you don’t interfere with the Tao and let things take their natural course, everything will work out in your life. (Chapter 10).  If powerful men and women could remain centered in the Tao, everyone will remain at peace. (Chapter 32). If you work against your Tao, you will never find happiness.

According to we can mention that as well as emptiness the Tao teaches the benefit of nothingness. It is when we practice doing nothing that our body and mind relax and we feel at peace, so nothingness is brought into everyday life in the idea of wu wei.

Wu wei translates as not doing’ or doing without doing’ and like much of Taoist thought it goes against the way many things are done in our society. Really, the idea is to go with the flow around you and not struggle against the tide. When someone advances, yield. Be pliant and patient, and wait until you are in a strong position before advancing. The image of the 90s man or woman is one of a hard working hard playing businessperson who gets things done by being vigorous and aggressive, managing social life, family and work with the same overzealous approach. This very yang attitude is highlighted by marketing departments to sell us the painkillers, mobile phones and ready meals which we all need in today’s hectic world. What we really need is a good holiday, and a few moments to rest each day, and we need to ask is this really what I want? The modern Taoist says no, and tries to bring the yin back into the balance of his life. This example shows us that we should control not only our everyday actions but also control our thoughts, because our thoughts are the personification of our internal world. Everyday we should find free minutes for the rest and receive pleasure from our actions, because people were created not only for work how many people think now, but also for higher aims that they can achieve only thinking about them and preserve forces for them.

There are several basic principles which form the pivot of Taoism and this part of the research paper will explain the wu-wei and why living by this concept you can achieve an equal balance in life. Wu Wei is often the Taoist concept that different people consider the base of Taoism. We know that Wu wei is an important concept that gives the understanding when to act and when not to act in different life situations. In Taoism wu wei has a deep meaning and it caused by natural actions, because planets revolve around sun without doing and trees or grass grow without doing too. This natural process reflects the meaning of doing in Taoism sense and in relate to wu wei this doing is not a real actions but the process. We should understand that doing is not an ability to act right now and right here, but it is the natural thing that goes from the heart and essence. Living by this concept allows every person achieve an equal balance in life and make own life full of harmony and love.

The next point of my research will open the concept of the Yin and Yang and will explain not only their power but also how it works. The Yin and Yang are the life balance and this balance is the key to life. The Yin and Yang are two fundamental forces, which create the Universe and drive it to harmony by the co-operation. These two opposite, conflicting forces are in every action. They symbolize two opposite energies, which mutating and co-operating are the world dynamics. Their character talks that reality consists of co-operation of oppositions and opposite principles. The Yin and Yang are interdependent notions, they create permanent motion, rising and going down, as waves, and support mutual harmony. Yin and Yang looks like man and woman who are partners in dance, in love and in life. The Yin and Yang not only different, but their power concludes in their ability to integrate and create harmonically developed relations. From the Yin and Yang co-operation arises up Five base elements they are water, fire, wood, metal and earth. These five elements are also called five energies and five stages of transformation which describe the motion of the natural phenomena. It is a display of all what be going on examined as a cyclic process, endless birth and dying, as all, attaining it to the higher stage, grows into the opposition. Thus, fundamental description of the Yin and Yang is continuous changes with the Tao title. We see that these two energies Yin and Yang should be in balance and this balance is the key to life.

Above stated words show the yin and yang concept and wu wei concept. It will be good to unite them now in one idea and show how the yin and yang works hand in hand with wu-wei. These two concepts it was makes life a balance and in order to work with Tao, we must follow these concepts. Thus, wu wei in the context of yin yang is possible to translate, as a spontaneous or natural action, action which a man accomplishes intuitional, not planning. It is an action explained by the real circumstances. Often a man acts despite the nature with a purpose – to prove some idea or principle. There are personality contradictions in such situation: emotions prompt one, rational beginning – other, consciousness – third. In such terms an act is ineffective and unnatural, because is the result of compromise between the different spheres of consciousness. Operating concordantly wu wei, man not set the question of competence of act, but simply accomplishes it. A man must operate only then, when it is beforehand known that his act is effective. If all undertaken efforts are beforehand doomed then to operate does not stand in general. Wu wei is the quality which allows to look on a thing with understanding of its meaning, skill of natural conduct and confidence in the forces. Wu wei in the frames of the yin and yang shows up then, when a man does not adhere to the conditional stereotypes of conduct and does not reflect above that does. Thus, it is possible to draw conclusion, that a man, operating in natural way, renounces ethics stereotypes. Ethics implies the rational comprehension of act and way of the realization. In most cases a moral estimation is carried out already after the feasance of act, the result of which talks to his heart and mind. Consciousness of man is subject to influence of social and religious rules and prohibitions. Trying to define morality of the act, a man has to think over beforehand and to estimate consequences.

Based on all the above said, we could come to the conclusion, that following these points will get us closer to achieving the Ultimate Tao. Living everyday life according to a few principles that will achieve balance can potentially make us reach the ultimate goal. In this sense Taoist are not the adherents of moral norms. Accomplishing one or another act, a man must not be stopped half-way, to estimate consequences and reminisce rules conducts. Ethics criteria are needed that, whoever feels Tao. Unnatural acts are violence above human nature and violate harmony of Tao. Taoism offers vital philosophy of natural conduct which minimizes negative experience. Life of a person must flow on the way of the least resistance. The ideal of Taoists is existence, free of passions and ambitions. However by a serious obstacle on a way to a release from mundane desires there is education, because knowledge increases attachment to the desires and ambitious aspirations. Taoism developed the theory of thought, which hinders the increase of intellectual and educational levels. Natural simplicity of the yin and yang shows up in spontaneous acts wu wei, reflecting natural harmony. In a wu wei process personality expressed in the primordial simplicity and unity with outward things. In this case consciousness does not have time to show the rational beginning and subconsciousness undertakes the functions of management personality. The indicated qualities are instrumental in the awareness of nature of all living creatures and place of man in this world. I think that such coexistence of main Taoist concepts is the best way to balance and inside harmony.

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