ziran from interpretation associates closely with spontaneity and does so within the surrounding of its view (environment), which the individual naturally creates beauty through interactions of action or movement.
ziran if relating to a core essence of self will do so of itself and does so with an interrelated respect of other, but not by any mechanistic or ritualistic means of doing so.
and yet within a rough interpretation of ziran there’s a distinct sense of its illusive and paradoxical value no matter how well illustrated or presented.
the soil and the waste is in the everyday, it presides often as not in the lowly places below the foot and as a part of it. it is a reminder that we are in fact not separate from it nor can truly dissociate from its presence as physical. the words of soil and waste do not easily allow its association with what are perceptions of perfection or perfecting and yet its very composition proves useful.
in its composition there is a promise of growth and vegetation. in understanding of waste and soil there is a humility and recognition to its importance and the grounding it can give to thoughts that can become too lofty and haughty.
from an interpretation of tao and zen dialogue the very mention of lowly waste can be used as a dramatic but effective shock tactic for learning,which on initial meeting can be perceived as paradoxical, offensive or blasphemous.
If we accept harmony is granted as one of tao’s precepts then it is through such a precept (as an apex of thought in context to this subject) we can begin to attempt a better understanding of yin and yang. within such a context this interpretation attempts to go further in ascertaining questions to how and what do we define as harmony?
but before doing so there is some thought to what else could inform the subject in view of what one interprets as a relevant understanding of yin and yang. given a little creative direction to this there are of course elements worthy of future note, which are the Three Treasures loosely translated as humility, frugality and compassion, but also concepts of Wu Wei, plurality and naturalism. i am sure the list continues on what can be determined to be a cause and effect on promoting human relational equilibrium (relationships experienced peacefully both internally and externally to others and the world around us).
within the definition of harmony comes to mind the genuine sense of concord and a natural flow to ones life that is not in competition with anyone else or unreasonably against any element of nature. further to this harmony being both a peaceful and gentle concord with the internal and its relationship to that which is beyond it. the maintenance of harmony thus becomes of interest especially if we were for example to say how do we preserve it by trying not to be disharmonious in the face of something that would make us disharmonious?
the universal yin and yang are relational to each other and meet at the division of their s drawn lines. their two seed like shapes and form are the same albeit the use of visual black and white to distinguish from each other, but also in the juxtaposition of where they meet. yin and yang not only represent a contrast, difference, opposite or compliment to each other, but also include how the two parts co-exist and interrelate.
both yin and yang in their inter-relational aspects give pause for thought not just in how they are applied or can be applied to life but also in fascinating questions of what should or could occur if one part should over reach the other?
in terms of the relational where it gets really interesting is how each of the two components can perform within human context and what can be done where there’s need to reassert harmonious equilibrium, given this is the central goal. in this context there’s a consideration to the virtue in understanding what equilibrium can look like, acts like and how one could naturally be or do towards it.
the pragmatic nature of tao in its philosophical aspect speaks in part through a reflective practice that possesses both gognizance in action and on action. It allows for a pluralistic regard for events, situations, the every day and even simply our processes of thought (thinking as an action within itself).
the pragmatic tao associates itself with the natural world around us but also our relationship to it and others within it. it doesn’t purposefully compete but touches on notions of moving beyond the entrapment of polarised view or action and harmonises without intention to offend or harm.
as a philosophy any attempt to grasp it as a concrete set of principles can cause frustration within its elusive contradictory and paradoxical nature. humour, understanding through visualisation (rather than use of words) and a sense of its virtues in real time life can help hint at its worthwhile tenants (but not necessarily rendered as absolute or all defining ones).
“once i, Chuang Tzu, dreamed i was a butterfly and was happy as a butterfly. i was conscious that i was quite pleased with myself, but i did not know that i was Tzu. suddenly i awoke,and there was i, visibly Tzu. i do not know whether it was Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming whether it was Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming that he was Tzu. between Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction (but one may be the other). this is called the transformation of things.”
quoted from Chuang Tzu, a contemporary of Mencius
within the human state of affairs there can present to us a flurry of oppositional and contrasting differences to what is the human condition and understanding of self, perhaps especially so when applying what is tangible to believe and what is not.
there can and is the temptation to get caught up and stuck in all manner of such interests. at a certain point of view what could be said of this is simply that it’s the mind moving (its process to interpret a world of possibilities and human transformation).
taoism is inextricably linked with nature and pervades within many of its dialectic undertones and naturalistic outlooks. nature we arguably can not do without but also there is a contrast that can be identified from its reflective influence that speaks of what it is not and such uncomfortable realities that can gnaw at our own lives.
nature in this sense is both bed fellow and something to be deeply respected to its rawness in both power, learning and what it tells us about our changing selves and the environment. we can not readily ignore it as we are an integrative part of it nor determine it as is yet extinct despite our often preoccupation with the modern or technological.
taoism can speak to us of harmony but also change within our own natures and relationship with nature in which both personal and external evolution or revolutions can occur, which at best is interpreted and can prove illusive if we look too close to understand.
in less than fruitful conditions that would render our gentle approaches as static, it is better to quietly tend than risk exposure to uneven yet well trodden paths. at least in such times and in such ways there is better opportunity to quietly cultivate and give.
Wu Wei has an association with effortless doing and the flow of things.
Wu Wei doesn’t literally mean no action but in practical terms can suggest motion or action that is in sync/ real-time flow with life or the everyday that occurs in response to some expectation or otherwise. it is as it were a genuine action, which is attempted as harmonious and helps maintain a still mind. Wu Wei might from listening to other people’s nuanced understanding involve mental practices such as visual spatial, visual thinking and other vision determinants.
Wu Wei has a tacit quality to it and cannot be easily understood by fixed values, which by association lean towards an argument of the mechanistic and rigid.