The Finger and the Moon Blog

Lao Tzu and the creative quietism

Posted on: June 21st, 2014 by Liuba No Comments

Some Taoists believe immortality is the attaining of spiritual freedom through effortless spontaneity and creativity.

Perhaps one of the best known Taoist phrases is, “To be is to do.” Such a general phrase has many possible interpretations. Unfortunately, in the West, the most common interpretation is something like, “Don’t bother doing anything.” Rather than a philosophy of non-action, Taoism should be considered a belief of creative quietism. Lao Tzu advocated a life of action determined by modesty and individual conscience when he wrote:

“The sanest man Sets up no deed, Lays down no law, Takes everything that happens as it comes, As something to animate, not to appropriate, To earn, not to own, To accept naturally without self-importance: If you never assume importance You never lose it..”



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