Never mind "life is suffering". A lot of people around me seem to think taking suffering upon yourself is the kind and noble thing to do. I'm not sure if this is human nature or a modern curse.

In the Tao, there is no such thing as a "good" life or a "bad" life. But there is the notion that we waste a whole bunch of our energy doing things - things which don't really matter, which aren't needed, which get in the way of what will happen anyway.

To add extra suffering to ourselves, on top of the natural suffering we endure, just seems like the work of a crazy person!

And yet, we are looked at strangely when we suggest it's ok to do less.

The fetishism for MORE is, I think, a modern curse. We live in fear of being left behind and outcompeted, and in fear of being shouted at for delivering less than 100%. "MORE" is inherently linked up with "correct".


To do less is to stop competing. We equate it with giving up, with failure. 90% is "good". 50% is "meh". 0% is "outcast".

And yet, when we are doing and achieving nothing, we have all the potential in the world ahead of us. To stop competing is to start listening.

@scribe I think the reason people are always busying themselves is because the void is waiting for them. The whole society rides on this activity-wave to prevent them from really noticing what's going on deep inside. And the emphasis on achievement serves as an excuse to do this.

@reto Good point. Struggle or go mad. Work as therapy, after we've been cut off from natural rhythms. That's tough - can't change that without addressing a deep-down need for people to forgive themselves?

@scribe I think it's not so much about forgiving but the problem is to face the mess. People don't know how to approach it. Only with mindfulness it can be done but people don't know anything about mindfulness, so the whole thing becomes too painful and they prefer to suppress it.

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