In Chapter 37 of Daodejing, it is said that:
“The Way never does anything, and everything gets done.
If those in power could hold to the Way,
the ten thousand things would look after themselves.”
Zhuangzi, Chapter 4
“The timber is worthless and useless. That’s why it
can stand so many years. “
- What would progress look like if we could adopt non-doing?
- Do we need progress?
- Does the lack of progress mean things will stay as they are right now, keeping the status quo?
- The Athsheans live in a state of non-doing; they are useless. If you were to embrace ideas of non-doing, of being a ‘useless tree’, what could you imagine might be different?
- Selver needs the bitter dream, the sad dream, the dream that is useful to his healing, not his revenge. In this sense he is very much Doing, he is seeking for the “thing he must do which is not the right thing to do”.
- In the film, they say the “only way to stop collapse is to stop progress”, and that “the idea of growth is in contrast to the idea of equilibrium”. The Athsheans are described as ones who have reach climax state and have stopped progressing. Thoughts?
- Machines may self-balance without authoritarian power, but organisms are unpredictable, and may behave in new ways unexpectedly. Like Selver did when he attacked Davidson. Self-organisation does not work when there is political will, corruption, or unexpected new behaviour.
- The fantasy of stability in a world in which nothing is stable - not who you are, not your relationships with anyone, not your society, not even the weather. Why do we cling to this idea of stability in a world which is inherently not stable?