Saturday, 2 October 2010

fears and fantasies

In Tai Chi we learn Non Action, the action that is not action. Non-Action is not really a great mystery. Everyone has experienced it to a greater or lesser degree: those times when we have struggled to create something, only to have it recede from us, until we give up. Then, if we are lucky, we tap some inner core of wisdom that allows us to take a deep breath and relax, and what we want seems to flow to us, or through us, like a gift from heaven, or more exactly as a gift from heaven.

We must be patient, we must wait; but wait correctly, through the creative process of Non-Action. We make ourselves accessible - to the flow of chi in our bodies and the current of the Tao in our lives. The method is to eliminate blockages. There is nothing we have to do: that to which we aspire is already there. We must dissolve blockages to let it emerge.

As for the Tao in our lives, we have to learn to stop interfering with its flow. Take writing for example. Inspiration, the muse, is another way of describing the energy of Tao. You can't force it to come, but if a writer can let go of all the fears and fantasies that darken the creative present, learn how to get out of his own way, he finds that he is like a channel for that core of truth in the deepest part of his being.

Lownenthal, W. (1991) There are no Secrets: Professor Cheng Man-chi'ing and his Tai Chi Chuan, Blue Snake Books, Berkley, California pp8-9

Forget the post-modern critique of 'core', 'truth' and 'deepest'. What can we do with these metaphors?

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