The Art of Effortless Living (Taoist Documentary)


— Handwritten subtitles — Generated subtitles

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Our suffering as a species comes from the incorrect perception of living in the past through our attachment to memories that then shape our future. The phantoms of past and future are only of use to the intellect, because it gives individuals the idea that they are in control of their lives. Yet, as an individual grows, he begins to understand that no matter how grandiose his attempts at control, life always has a way of changing those plans. And in doing so, life also destroys the individual’s imagined ability to control the future outcome. This mentality of forcing ourselves upon life is the socially accepted practice of modern civilization. An individual’s attempt to control life according to her own beliefs, and as a result to force this perspective upon others, is the beginning of tyranny. Lao-tzu’s essential teaching of wu-wei, on the other hand, illustrates the futility of our attempts to control life. He emphasizes that it is only when you give up forcing or controlling anything that you begin to get the kind of control you always wanted, but never knew existed. The Taoism of Lao-tzu was about the Way, the Tao, which is something we experience when we are more attentive to our inner and outer worlds.