Inter -  Faiths  Dialogue

The Saints > Non Action

26  quote(s)  | Page 1 / 2

T here is no action,
Either present, future, or past,
Which has been performed or enjoyed by me.
This I know, without any doubt.

Hinduism Quote n°3736 | 
#72, Reprinted from Abhayananda, S., Dattatreya: The Song Of The Avadhut, Olympia, Wash., Atma Books, 1992 

T here is no preconceived give and take in things or in their principles of being. If things are natural, they will transform themselves without taking any action.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2293 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 11, NHcc, 4:38b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

B y taking no action is not meant folding up one's arms and closing one's mouth. If we simply let everything act by itself, it will be contented with its nature and destiny.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2292 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 11, NHCc, 4:29a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

T he expert driver utilizes the natural capacity of horses to its limit. To use the capacity to its limit lies in letting it take its own course. If forced to run in rapid pace, with the expectation that they can exceed their capacity, horses will be unable to bear and many will die. On the other hand, if both worn-out and thoroughbred horses are allowed to use their proper strength and to adapt their pace to their given lot, even if they travel to the borders of the country, their nature will be fully preserved. But there are those who, upon hearing the doctrine of allowing the nature of horses to take its own course, Will say, "Then set the horses free and do not ride on them," and there are those who, upon hearing the doctrine of taking no action, will immediately say, "It is better to lie down than to walk." Why are they so much off the track and unable to return? In this they have missed Chuang Tzu's ideas to a very high degree.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2291 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 9, NHCc, 4: 11b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

W hat need is there to take any action? Only profound silence, that is all.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2288 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 4, NHCc, 2:25a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

T he mind of the sage penetrates to the utmost the perfect union of yin and yang and understands most clearly the wonderful principles of the myriad things. Therefore he can identify himself with changes and harmonize with transformations, and finds everything all right wherever he may go. He embraces all things and thus nothing is not in its natural state. The world asks him [to rule] because of disorder. He has no deliberate mind of his own. Since he has no deliberate mind of his own, why should he not respond to the world? He who identifies himself with the profoundly mysterious state and understands its wonder to the utmost, appreciates the nature of all things, partakes in the creative and transforming process of the universe, and fulfills the fame of Yao and Shun . He can do so because he acts by taking no [unnatural] action.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2284 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 1, NHCC, 1: 13b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

Y ao was an adequate example of governing by not governing and acting by not acting. Why should we have to resort to Hsu Yu? Are we to insist that a man fold his arms and sit in silence in the-) middle of some mountain forest before we will say he is practicing non-action? This is why the words of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu are rejected by responsible officials. This is why responsible officials insist on remaining in the realm of action without regret…. For egotistical people set themselves up against things, whereas he who is in accord with things is not opposed to them…. Therefore he profoundly and deeply responds to things without any deliberate mind of his own and follows whatever comes into contact with him. He is like an untied boat drifting, claiming neither the east nor the west to be its own. He who is always with the people no matter what he does is the ruler of the world wherever he maybe.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2283 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 1, NHCC, 1: lOa-10b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

T he universe is the general name for all things. They are the substance of the universe while Nature is their norm. Being natural means to exist spontaneously without having to take any action. Therefore the fabulous p'eng bird can soar high and the quail can fly low, the cedrela can live for a long time and the mushroom for a short time. They are capable of doing these not because of their taking any action but because of their being natural.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2282 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 1, NHCC, 1: 8b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

T o be natural means not to take any unnatural action. This is the general idea of [what Chuang Tzu means by] roaming leisurely or freedom. Everything has its own nature and each nature has its own ultimate.

Daoism / Neo Daoism Quote n°2281 | 
Kuo Hsiang, COMMENTARY ON THE CHUANG TZU, ch. 1, NHCC, 1: 4b-5 a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 19. 

V acuity, tranquillity, mellowness, quietness, and taking no action characterize the things of the universe at peace and represent the ultimate of Tao and virtue. Therefore rulers and sages abide in them. Abiding leads to vacuity (embracing all). Vacuity leads to actuality. Actuality leads to the establishment of order among all things. Vacuity leads to tranquillity, tranquillity leads to activity, and activity leads to adjustment. Tranquillity leads to taking no action, and taking no action leads to everyone fulfilling his duty. Because one takes no action, one is at peace himself, and when one is at peace himself, no worry or sorrow can affect him and he enjoys long life.

Daoism Quote n°2261 | 
Chuang Tzu, ch. 13 (Houang Lao school), NHcc, 5:21b-24a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 

D o not be the possessor of fame. Do not be the storehouse of schemes. Do not take over the function of things. Do not be the master of knowledge (to manipulate things). Personally realize the infinite to the highest degree and travel in the realm of which there is no sign. Exercise fully what you have received from Nature without any subjective viewpoint. In one word, be absolutely vacuous (hsu) (1)

Daoism Quote n°2260 | 
Chuang Tzu, ch. 7, NHcc, 3:35b-36a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 
The mirror is an important symbol for the mind both in Zen Buddhism and in Neo-Confucianism. The difference is that with Buddhism, external reality is to be transcended, whereas with Chuang Tzu and Neo-Confucianists, external reality is to be responded to naturally and faithfully, like a mirror objectively reflecting all. (see Paul Dernieville, "Le miroir spirituel," Sinologica 1 (1948), especially pp 117-119).

T herefore it is said that what is natural lies within and what is human lies without, and virtue abides in the natural. Know the action of Nature and man, follow Nature as the basis and be at ease with one's own situation, then one can expand or contract as times may require. This is the essential of learning and the ultimate of truth.

Daoism Quote n°2259 | 
Chuang Tzu, ch. 17 (school of Tchuang Tzu), NHCC, 6:17b-21b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 

W hat do you mean by Nature and what do you mean by man.
The Spirit of the North Sea replied, "A horse or a cow has four feet. That is Nature. Put a halter around the horse's head and put a string through the cow's nose, that is man. Therefore it is said, 'Do not let man destroy Nature. Do not let cleverness destroy destiny. And do not sacrifice your name for gain. Guard carefully your nature and do not let it go astray. This is called returning to one's true nature."

Daoism Quote n°2258 | 
Chuang Tzu, ch. 17 (school of Tchuang Tzu), NHCC, 6:17b-21b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 

A ll things are one. Which is short and which is long? Tao has neither beginning nor end. Things are born and die, and their completion cannot be taken for granted. They are now empty and now full, and their physical form is not fixed in one place. The years cannot be retained. Time cannot be arrested. The succession of decline, growth, fullness, and emptiness go in a cycle, each end becoming a new beginning. This is the way to talk about the workings of the great principle and to discuss the principle of all things. The life of things passes by like a galloping horse. With no activity is it not changing, and at no time is it not moving. What shall we do? What shall we not do? The thing to do is to leave it to self-transformation.

Daoism Quote n°2256 | 
Chuang Tzu, ch. 17 (school of Tchuang Tzu), NHCC, 6:17b-21b, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 

T o act without taking an [unnatural] action means Nature. To speak without any action means virtue. To love people and benefit all things means humanity (jen). To identify with all without each losing his own identity means greatness. To behave without purposely showing any superiority means broadness. To possess an infinite variety means richness. Therefore to adhere to virtue is called discipline. To realize virtue means strength. To be in accord with Tao means completeness. And not to yield to material things is called perfection. If a superior man understands these ten points, he surely makes up his mind and all the world will come to him like rushing water.

Daoism Quote n°2255 | 
Chuang Tzu, ch. 12 (Houang Lao School), NHCC, 5: la-3a, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 

W e put ourselves at the manipulation [of Nature] and ignore all transformations.
With this we enter into the realm of vacuous nature which is one.

Daoism Quote n°2247 | 
Chuang Tzu, chapter VI, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 

O nly the intelligent knows how to identify all things as one. Therefore he does not use [his own judgment] but abides in the common [principle]. The common means the useful and the useful means identification. Identification means being at ease with oneself. When one is at ease with himself, one is near Tao. This is to let it (Nature) take its own course. He has arrived at this situation, (1) and does not know it. This is Tao.

Daoism Quote n°2221 | 
Chuang Tzu, chapter II, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 
(1) Other interpretations: (I) This is because he relies on this (that is, Tao); (II) he stops with this.

W hat remains stiff is easy to hold.
What is not yet manifest is easy to plan for.
What is brittle is easy to crack.
What is minute is easy to scatter.
Deal with things before they appear.
Put things in order before disorder arises.
A tree as big as a man's embrace grows from a tiny shoot.
A tower of nine level begins with a heap of earth.
The journey of a thousand li (1/3 mile) starts from where one stands
He who takes an action fails.
He who grasps things loses them.
For this reason the sage takes no action and therefore does not fail.
He grasps nothing and therefore he does not lose anything.
People in their handling of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed.
If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.
Therefore the sage desires to have no desire.
He does not value rare treasures .
He learns to be unlearned (1)
and returns to what the multitude has missed (Tao).
Thus he supports all things in their natural state but does not take any action.

Daoism Quote n°2210 | 
Laozi 64, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 
(1) Learn not learn": Wang Pi understood the expression to mean that the no learns without learning, and Ho-shang Kung interpreted it to mean that the ap learns what the multitude cannot learn.

A ct without action.
Do without ado.
Taste without tasting.
Whether it is big or small, many or few, repay hatred with virtue.
Prepare for the difficult while it is still easy.
Deal with the big while it is still small.
Difficult undertakings have always started with what is easy,
And great undertakings have always started with what is small.
Therefore the sage never strives for the great,
And thereby the great is achieved.

Daoism Quote n°2209 | 
Laozi 63, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 

T he more taboos and prohibitions there are in the world,
The poorer the people will be.
The more sharp weapons the people have,
The more troubled the state will be.
The more cunning and skill man possesses,
The more vicious things will appear.
The more laws and orders are made prominent,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.
Therefore the sage says:
I take no action and the people of themselves are transformed.
I love tranquillity and the people of themselves become correct.
I engage in no activity and the people of themselves become prosperous.
I have no desires and the people of themselves become simple.

Daoism Quote n°2208 | 
Laozi 57, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 

O ne may know the world without going out of doors.
One may see the Way of Heaven without looking through the windows.
The further one goes, the less one knows.
Therefore the sage knows without going about,
Understands" without seeing,
And accomplishes without any action.

Daoism Quote n°2203 | 
Laozi 47, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 

T he softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.
Non-being penetrates that in which there is no space.
Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.
Few in the world can understand teaching without words and the advantage of taking no action.

Daoism Quote n°2201 | 
Laozi 43, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 

T ao invariably takes no action, and yet there is nothing left undone.
If kings and barons can keep it, all things will transform spontaneously.
If, after transformation, they should desire to be active,
I would restrain them with simplicity, which has no name.
Simplicity, which has no name, is free of desires.
Being free of desires, it is tranquil.
And the world will be at peace of its own accord.

Daoism Quote n°2196 | 
Laozi 37, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 

T he great rulers value their words highly.
They accomplish their task; they complete their work.
Nevertheless their people say that they simply follow Nature (Tzu-jan) . (1)

Daoism Quote n°2183 | 
Laozi 17, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 
(1) Tzu-jan, literally "self-so," means being natural or spontaneous.

C an you keep the spirit and embrace the One without departing from them?
Can you concentrate your vital force (ch'I) and achieve the higher degree of weakness like an infant?
Can you clean and purify your profound insight so it will be spotless?
Can you love the people and govern the state without knowledge (cunning)?
Can you play the role of the female in the opening and closing of the gates of Heaven?
Can you understand all and penetrate all without taking any action?
To produce things and to rear them,
To produce, but not to take possession of them,
To act, but not to rely on one's own ability,
To lead them, but not to master them
This is called profound and secret virtue (hsuan-te).

Daoism Quote n°2177 | 
Laozi 10, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 
The concentration of ch'i (vital force, breath) is not yoga, as Waley thinks it is. Yoga aims at transcending the self and the external environment. Nothing of the sort is intended her. It is true that in the Huai-nan Tzu, ch. 12, the story of Yen Hui’s "sitting down and forgetting everything" (SPPY, 12:14a) is recited to explain Lao Tzu's saying. But note that "the concentration" is followed by "loving the people" and "governing the state." Because the yoga breathing technique was later promoted by the religious Taoists, some scholars have unjustifiably read it into earlier texts. Wu Ch'eng (1249-1333), for example, thought that the "continuous” operation in ch. 6 was breathing, which is certainly going too far.

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