Effortless Action by Owen Waters

The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tse (“Lay-OTE-say”) gave
teachings which were designed to confuse the conscious mind.
The idea was that, when the conscious mind tires and gets out
of the way, the seeker could discover the deeper truths within.

Lao Tse is credited with the 2500 year-old work, the Tao Te
Ching, which is full of apparent contradictions or paradoxes.
He refers to the Tao (the “Dow”) as that which is everything
and yet nothing. What he means is that the Tao – the Absolute,
the Isness, or Infinite Being – is the transcendent
consciousness which is behind all manifestation. It is not the
active manifestation of the created universe, but the original
consciousness behind it. It is that which, in silence and
unchanging perfection, always was and always will be. And yet,
so the paradox goes, all of manifestation came from it and
therefore is it.

Similarly, he uses paradox to promote the philosophy of Wu Wei
(“Woo Way”) as the way of “action without action.” Sounds
impossible? That’s the point. He wanted people to give up
making logical sense of the idea and, instead, go within to
find the truth behind the paradox.

The principle of Wu Wei really means effortless action. The
secret to achieving effortless action is to realize that there
is a natural flow of influences at work in all parts of the
universe. You sense the natural flow of the moment and act
within that flow. If the moment is not right for a certain type
of action, then the attuned person delays the task. When they
sense that the right moment has arrived, then they act and
easily accomplish the task.

It can also mean not forcing a situation to be what it isn’t.
If a situation comes about which is beyond your control, then
making the best of it is often the elegant solution.

The saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,”
is attributed to the 14th Century Scottish king, Robert the
Bruce. According to legend, he once took refuge in a cave,
where he watched a spider trying to spin a web. It failed
several times to make a connection from one area of the cave’s
roof to another, but each time it started all over again until
it finally succeeded. People, today, take that saying to mean
that if something doesn’t work, you need to be obstinate and
keep trying harder until you overcome all obstacles and
eventually make it happen by sheer force of will.

The Wu Wei approach to life is quite the opposite. It suggests
that, if at first you don’t succeed, there is a reason for it.
It means that you are not acting with the natural flow of
energy within that place and time and it may also mean that you
need to discover a more suitable solution.

First, take a deep breath, relax and step back from the
situation. After that, you’ll be able to judge it objectively
and in a state of balance. Then:

A) Decide if you’re trying to force something into existence
that shouldn’t be, or

B) Look for a better solution to achieve your objective,
and/or

C) Wait for your innate sense of timing to feel right.

One of the benefits of the spiritual consciousness which is
emerging in the New Reality is the ability to sense the natural
flow of universal influences and know when the time is right
for certain types of action.

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