Re: Taoism and PCP

David M. Mills (
Sun, 13 Sep 1998 17:51:36 -0700 (PDT)

Hello again,
One more comment about "non-action." In my work on the
constructive embodiment of meaning I have found that in practice there are
two different distinctions in play, and I wonder if they might be
relevant to what non-action really refers to. Doing vs. not doing is not
the same as doing vs. non-doing. To "do" something is to carry out in
action my construction of that something. To "not do" that something is
to refrain from action, but in a way that leaves the construction intact.
Non-doing, on the other hand, turns out to be a way of giving up the
construction even "in action." As I understand the general idea of
non-action it is not a matter of abandoning intentionality, but rather one
of "letting" what one intends come about as a natural product of natural
forces present (and of course, the Tao) rather than doing anything to try
to make it happen. We get a particularly moving experience of this when
the natural forces involved are those of our own musculature. Non-action
is of a quite different order than that non-construing state of direct
perception of... It is available to everyday experience, and appears to
be a mode of lived constructive alternativism, moment by moment.