Today you must be perfectly calm and restored, because you are going to learn not-doing in spite of the fact that there is no way to talk about it, because it is the body that does it. That rock over there is a rock because of doing. You say that you don’t understand what I mean. Your saying that is doing. Doing is what makes that rock a rock and that bush a bush. Doing is what makes you yourself and me myself. Take that rock for instance. To look at it is doing, but to see it is not-doing. You say my words are not making sense to you. Oh yes they do. But you are convinced that they don’t because that is your doing. That is the way you act towards me and the world.
That rock is a rock because of all the things you know how to do to it. I call that doing. A man of knowledge, for instance, knows that the rock is a rock only because of doing, so if he doesn’t want the rock to be a rock all he has to do is not-doing.
The world is the world because you know the doing involved in making it so. If you didn’t know its doing, the world would be different. Without that certain doing there would be nothing familiar in the surroundings. This is a pebble because you know the doing involved in making it into a pebble. Now, in order to stop the world you must stop doing. In the case of this little rock, the first thing which doing does to it is to shrink it to this size. So the proper thing to do, which a warrior does if he wants to stop the world, is to enlarge a little rock, or any other thing, by not-doing.
Look at the holes and depressions in the pebble and try to pick out the minute detail in them. If you can pick out the detail, the holes and depressions will disappear and you will understand what not-doing means.
Doing makes you separate the pebble from the larger boulder. If you want to learn not-doing, let’s say that you have to join them. See the small shadow that the pebble cast on the boulder. It is not a shadow but a glue which binds them together. A warrior can tell all kinds of things from the shadows.
A warrior always tries to affect the force of doing by changing it into not-doing. Doing would be to leave the pebble lying around because it is merely a small rock. Not-doing would be to proceed with that pebble as if it were something far beyond a mere rock.
Is all this true? To say yes or no to that question is doing. But since you are learning not-doing I have to tell you that it really doesn’t matter whether or not all this is true. It is here that a warrior has a point of advantage over the average man.
An average man cares that things are either true or false, but a warrior doesn’t. An average man proceeds in a specific way with things that he knows are true, and in a different way with things that he knows are not true. If things are said to be true, he acts and believes in what he does. But if things are said to be untrue, he doesn’t care to act, or he doesn’t believe in what he does. A warrior, on the other hand, acts in both instances. If things are said to be true, he would act in order to do doing. If things are said to be untrue, he still would act in order to do not-doing. Not-doing is only for very strong warriors.
There are infinite numbers of lines that join us to things. They are real lines. You can feel them. The most difficult part about the warrior’s way is to realize that the world is a feeling. When one is not-doing, one is feeling the world, and one feels the world through its lines.
Not-doing is very simple but very difficult. It is not a matter of understanding but of mastering it. Seeing, of course, is the final accomplishment of a man of knowledge, and seeing is attained only when one has stopped the world through the technique of not-doing.
Shadows are peculiar affairs. Look at the shadow of that boulder. The shadow is the boulder, and yet it isn’t. To observe the boulder in order to know what the boulder is, is doing, but to observe its shadow is not-doing.
Shadows are like doors, the doors of not-doing. A man of knowledge, for example, can tell the innermost feelings of men by watching their shadows. You may say that there is movement in them, or you may say that the lines of the world are shown in them, or you may say that feelings come from them. To believe that shadows are just shadows is doing. That belief is somehow stupid. Think about it this way: there is so much more to everything in the world that obviously there must be more to shadows too. After all, what makes them merely shadows is our doing.
When searching for a resting place one has to look without focussing but in observing shadows one has to cross the eyes and yet keep a sharp image in focus. The idea is to let one shadow be superimposed on the other by crossing the eyes. Through this process one can ascertain a certain feeling which emanates from shadows.
Dreaming is the not-doing of dreams, and as you progress in your not-doing you will also progress in dreaming. The trick is not to stop looking for your hands, even if you don’t believe that what you are doing has any meaning. In fact, as I have told you before, a warrior doesn’t need to believe, because as long as he keeps on acting without believing he is not-doing. If you tackle not-doing directly, you yourself will know what to do in dreaming.
During the day shadows are the doors of not-doing, but at night, since very little doing prevails in the dark, everything is a shadow. I’ve already told you about this when I taught you the gait of power.
Everything I have taught you so far has been an aspect of not-doing. A warrior applies not-doing to everything in the world, and yet I can’t tell you more about it than what I have said today. You must let your own body discover the power and the feeling of not-doing.
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