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January 18, 2018


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Wore red sweater yesterday , Voila ! I have discovered pearl of determinism.
Criminals can't be held responsible for their actions. I have again discovered determinism of highest nature. Where is the Nobel Prize for this path-breaking discovery.

Hi Brian

You wrote with elegance
"Wu wei is a Taoist term that literally means non-doing. But "effortless effort" is how I think of wu wei. It's when things are going really smoothly, when we're in a state of flow, when this follows that in a pleasingly melodious fashion. "

Yes this rings true for me.

But I remember another adage from the Tao that also rings true..

" Discontent is the basis of progress in Man and Nation. "

Determinism is equal in both. But personal progress requires the latter.

If determinism includes living with the illusion that we have free will, along with the illusion that we are individuals, that we are truly aware of ourselves, that we are conscious beings, that such illusions as 'random', and 'chance' actually exist, and in all that illusory freedom we feel compelled to use that free will for a higher purpose, then that is also our destiny.

And if we say determinism means "I couldn't help myself" that is also destiny, to abdicate responsibilities for our own actions in the past and now as well. And in its own way that is also an illusion, because then we presume all the consequences around us aren't of consequence, when we are simply ignorant of it.

But if we understand that one approach builds, creates, helps, the one where we do not insulate ourselves, but instead become aware and sensitive to the suffering of others, then even though that is also destiny, it is a higher one. And those who are drawn to it are blessed.

It's a destiny worth seeking, a burden worth excepting, because life is difficult, and though we may need no one, others need our help. If we need no one, we have been given the capacity then to help those who do.

So, choose the best destiny you can, knowing it is pre-determined, but one most helpful; to be of help.

If in that destiny you loose the comfort of Wu Wei, if you are stepping outside your personal comfort zone, striving to climb your own internal everest to be of help to others, that is the higher Wu Wei, the one that feels terrible, out of place, in struggle, with no answers. Where you must invent, where you must convince others of something they don't understand in order to build the craft that will ferry all of you to safety, knowing you are not very articulate or convincing ; that moment to moment mystery, that hopeless, painful, anxst-ridden challenge you are compelled to pursue, because for whatever reason, you have no choice ; that is the higher Wu Wei, and in time, maybe retrospect, or in the midst of all that chaos and struggle, it hits you : I'm in my groove. It's melodious, baby!

"If you like sausages, don't watch them being made."
Otto Von Bismarck

I have struggled with the question of free will for quite sometime. I suppose it can never be answered absolutely, but only to one's own individual satisfaction. Lately, I have been thinking that the question of whether or not we have free will is too simplistic. There is a wide range to consider.
I think it most likely that we have LIMITED free will. There is the path that we SHOULD take...and if we do, things flow smoothly and we can experience Wu Wei. It is when we CHOOSE to take a different path that we have difficulty. I suspect that things eventually get back to the original path, but it may take awhile.

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