By Shifu Glen Moore
The law is: “Softness (non-resistance), acceptance and non-contention.”
“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” A physical law, which most people know and understand on a physical plane, but not its psychophysical importance. Most of the actions of today’s “modern” person are attempts to resist the flow in the river of life, rather than flow with things as they are. Any such action sets up a turbulence, felt in the human body as physical, mental and emotional tension. When you are not in the natural path this tension can manifest itself in various ways such as short temper, sickness and uncertainty. This tension is a signal, or message. By listening to this message, you can take responsibility for your own activity which contributes to the tension, rather than blame life or circumstances.
There are basically four ways to deal with the different facets of life:
- Give in or surrender to them. Inanimate objects have little choice but to surrender to natural law, but not human kind.
- Ignore them. But, then through our ignorance problems will arise. Creatures who lack human kind’s perspective are relatively helpless as they are guided by their limited instinct, but not human kind.
- Resist them, and create turmoil. Human kind constantly feels compelled to resist or struggle with the natural flow of life. Resistance wastes energy and results in various levels of disease.
- Use Them. Blend with nature, like the bird that rides the wind or the bamboo which bends to absorb the weight of the fallen snow. If you want a child to follow you and take its hand gently, pulling smoothly and lovingly, they will follow. But if you tug, the child will resist and pull away. Use natural law.
Softness or non-resistance is not dumb passivity. Any rock is capable of that. It takes great intelligence and sensitivity to flow with the natural law of non-resistance. Conquering is not the concept of which I speak. Conquering is the concept of a combative mind projecting its own turmoil into the world. There is no resistance in nature Ziran, only in the mind of human kind. Any person should be considered as a teacher who will help to show us our weaknesses and help us to improve. However, any other person’s aggressions can be used against them through softness and non-resistance. This principle can be best be illustrated in one of the soft or internal style martial arts such as Taiji or Baguazhang. These arts teach softness in the face of hardness, yin in the face of yang, always absorbing, neutralizing and redirecting. They teach blending with another’s energy and non-resistance. Problems in daily life can be handled the same way.
The law of action-reaction has the effect of setting up mental opposition when you begin to try. The word “try” implies weakness in the face of challenge. The moment you begin to “try”, you are causing tension. Therefore trying is a primary cause of errors. If you are blending with natural law simply writing a letter, watering flowers or devouring a meal, you just do them easily. Yet when a challenge arises you begin to try. When people feel they are under pressure and they begin to try, they often fall apart. Chuang Tzu, a famous Chinese philosopher observed that when a archer is shooting for enjoyment, they have all their skills; when they are shooting for recognition they get nervous; when they are shooting for a prize of gold they begin to see two targets.
The spiritual warrior never tries. Theirs is an easy, relaxed and natural progressive approach. In this way they are avoiding internal resistance. Be subtle. Be gentle and loving. Be a guide. Let things happen but do not force them. A person who tries to force his muscles to stretch will only feel the muscles tensing in resistance. JUST DO. Dieters who try to diet only get stronger urges for food. JUST DO.
Every bamboo shoot, “knows” how to bend with the wind, but only human kind has the insight to put up a windmill. Understanding softness and the spirit of non-resistance, you can and will become one with Ziran, nature.
This is the first step of evolvement towards being one with NATURE and Wei Wu Wei.