Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wu Wei Is Not Doing Society's Opposite

In this clip, Alan Watts says that practicing Wu Wei, commonly known as going with the flow, "the art of sailing as opposed to the art of rowing," as Watts describes it, is not doing the opposite of what society orders us to do. That, in effect, is running along the same groove of society's train, just in the other direction (its mirror image, as Watts calls it).

A lot of people in the world are affected by unemployment and discrimination at the moment due to coronavirus and the George Floyd protests (which I and many believe are intrinsically linked). Therefore, many of us are confronting ourselves, our life choices, the roads that we choose to head down on this journey called life. When we find that we are dissatisfied with some of our choices, choices that are part of the identity that we carve out for ourselves on a daily basis (because, let's be honest, identity is slowly molded, not spontaneously called into existence), we should remember Alan's words and choose a novel existence that flows with nature, with universal truths, and not with societal constructs, mere trinkets by the roadside that will one day be unwanted dusty relics, forgotten.

At the very end he asks, "What do you truly, honestly hear? Don't name it. Just as if it were music... classical music." But tap into it! Let it become a part of you, for that is the truth that is being broadcast to you from the void. That is the wave you are meant to ride so freely and joyously.

Find books by Alan Watts here.

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